Thought Leadership

We provoke deeper thinking and empower operators to build high-value companies.

Blueprints

Actionable ‘why,’ ‘what,’ and ‘how’ deep dives into company-level topics that influence value creation, capital efficiency, and sustainable profitability.

December 20, 2023
Holistic Companies

Board of Directors: What does ‘good’ look like?

John Oommen

Effective boards are a foundational necessity for a well-run company. Conversely, a weak board opens a company and its stakeholders to significant risks. An ineffective board leaves a company's prospects to chance due to the group's passive, inexperienced, or biased nature. Board development focuses on convenience rather than effectiveness too often. So, let’s explore how we would build an effective board.

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August 30, 2023
Productivity Crisis

Employee guide to predict and avoid layoffs

John Oommen

Unlike previous economic crises, sustained government policies have masked the ill effects of long-term easy monetary policy. As government tools that hide these effects weaken, hard-working people will face a rough transition in their employment relationships. Transparency and predictability are the most basic expectations in any relationship, including an employment contract. Avoiding ecosystems prone to suboptimal outcomes with personal and professional costs is optimal. Minimally, it is prudent to predict involuntary separations to minimize impact.

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June 21, 2023
Productivity Crisis

Rediscover investment effectiveness to exit The Productivity Crisis

John Oommen

Investors, CEOs, executives, supervisors, and all spend approvers must develop an objective investment effectiveness mindset to reverse their companies' productivity challenges. The first lever to drive productivity improvements is to embrace an opt-in mindset to curb wasteful investments. The second lever is to optimize human capital investment, which involves a fundamentals-focused recalibration of our labor force towards customer-centric work, skill-focused staffing, and reintroduction of up-skilling and performance management. An ability to connect every investment dollar to tangible intrinsic value creation for internal and external customers will characterize companies that can profitably and sustainably grow.

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June 4, 2023
Productivity Crisis

Have roles & seniority decoupled from skills & experience? An organizational self-assessment.

John Oommen

We are experiencing The Productivity Crisis worldwide, as companies and individuals. The predicament results from the easy money era of the last decade. Cost insensitivity, followed by investment ineffectiveness, set off The Productivity Crisis domino. Poor organizational designs, over-staffing, seniority and pay inflation, and decoupling of skill from employment rewards formed the domino that epitomizes this crisis. Self-diagnosing our organizations for this domino will set us up for remedial actions.

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June 13, 2023
Operational Enablers

Enable top players to thrive and encourage competition to build market-leading companies

John Oommen

Discover how organizations can excel by enabling top performers and fostering competition. Let's explore the pitfalls of managing for the middle and learn how leading companies proactively identify and empower high-performing individuals for sustained success.

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April 7, 2023
Mainstream

“AI” exploration is a test of human critical thinking | Not a test of “artificial intelligence”

John Oommen

Given recent excitement and apprehension around “artificial intelligence” (“AI”) triggered by the public release of ChatGPT, the popular platform powered by OpenAI’s algorithm, we must parse reality from sensation and prepare for pretenders jumping in to clutter the powerful and dangerous space. Internalizing what really constitutes “AI”, what can “AI” really do for us, and what should scare us will simplify the conversation.

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March 29, 2023
Mainstream

Necessity to Relearn Risk Management

John Oommen

Explore the aftermath of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse and the vital lessons in risk management it offers.

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July 13, 2022
Holistic Companies

Why must we build Holistic Companies?

John Oommen

We need a cohesive and comprehensive definition of a 'good' company. The lack of such a definition and its broad acceptance gives rise to dysfunctional behaviors within the concept of companies which is as natural to all of us as air and water. A holistic company satisfies all the intended conditions of a capitalistic enterprise while avoiding the most common form of its mutation - capital engineering.

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May 24, 2022
Productivity Crisis

What is capital engineering and why is it unproductive?

John Oommen

Growth-at-any-cost era, spurred on by easy-money for fifteen years, is over. We turned a great and necessary idea of privately funded companies into a productivity-challenged, artificially inflated asset class. Let’s internalize the harmful distortions caused by the pervasive tendency to focus on capital engineering.

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February 9, 2022
Operational Enablers

How should we prioritize investment to enable customer stickiness?

John Oommen

Many companies have built their businesses around recurring revenue models that determine everything from company valuations to employee compensation. Stickiness is the lifeblood of such a business model. Losing focus on aspects that truly impact stickiness risks losing the entire plot. Almost every sustainably growing company has one common factor—they directly inject value into a critical operational component within the customers’ journey.

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October 5, 2021
Strategic Planning

What is unique about your solution and how does it align with your strengths?

John Oommen

The crux of a strategic plan is the firm articulation of how we solve the market problem using our unique strengths and how those strengths will be evolved to deliver our solution sustainably.

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September 27, 2021
Strategic Planning

How will you reset to accommodate macroscopic disrupters?

John Oommen

Macroscopic factors may not influence the short-term valuation or value creation ability of a company if they do not come to pass immediately. But when they eventually transpire, there won’t be a rock to hide under if we do not prepare a company for it.

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September 19, 2021
Strategic Planning

Will you redefine your people agenda to focus on customers?

John Oommen

A company’s people agenda dictates how it delivers value to customers. An effective strategic plan will frame an approach to dovetail the company’s people to behaviors customers consider valuable.

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September 7, 2021
Strategic Planning

What is your company-level intent - operate or exit?

John Oommen

A company’s strategy and plan entirely depend on the ownership time horizon of majority shareholders. An effective strategic plan creates accountability by affirming our intentions and communicating our game plan to all stakeholders affected by ownership changes.

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Sparks

Short takes connecting real-world observations to factors that will impact companies in the future.

July 1, 2024

Technology Value Realization: Employees vs Consultants

Effective investment decisions, choosing skilled consultants over outsourced staff, and addressing employee incentives maximize value realization.
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May 29, 2024

Market Price Correction Impact

A single mid-tier B2B company's market price normalization can be bigger than 80 countries' GDPs.
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May 28, 2024

Breaking Fans

Innovation requires time for the whole ecosystem to move together. Otherwise, fractious events stall progress.
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