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DHagar
DHagar
4/18/2016 2:41:09 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@elizabethv, well stated.  Yes, the markets can force the changes that are needed.  And just staying in business is not a viable strategy.  It is essential in today's markets to keep finding new ways to improve what exists, explore the new opportunities, and create new products/services to serve the customers.  Companies and managers that can do this truly have to transform to align their products/operations with the new strategies; otherwise, they are just finding new ways to resell the old packages.

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clrmoney
clrmoney
4/18/2016 11:21:50 AM
User Rank
Platinum
strategic transformation
I'm interested in the strategic operation part of it to see wht plans and ideas they have in store.

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elizabethv
elizabethv
4/17/2016 8:24:29 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
DHagar - I agree, advancements in other areas will force the hands of cable companies. And this is a great thing! They will be forced to either keep up or get out of the way. I actually really wish that more people would make the decision to cut the cord - admittedly cable companies are already feeling the effects of people choosing to do this, but the more of us that leave cable and look for alternatives, the more management will have no choice but to figure out how to keep the customers they have, and lure old ones back. Which realistically, is playing catch up, not being proactive. If they were going to be proactive about the matter, they should have been thinking about this five to eight years ago. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/15/2016 10:12:17 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@HeadofSe30011,  if the transformation of the telcoms is actually going to be worked out strategically and carried out according to master plans formulated at the C-level of the major players, it will be the first such major business shift ever accomplished in that way. Every other "high tech" of every other period has been mostly a process of ratifying muddled-through random events under severe selection pressure. And don't adjectives like "nimble" and "agile" belie the whole idea of planning a sustained campaign? The whole idea of being nimble, agile, etc. is that you be ready to chuck what doesn't work ("fail fast") even if it is central to your idea, and to grab onto what does even if you never thought of it before.

Probably the best-at-survival companies will be those with a large, competent, uncommitted reserve of people, tech, ideas, etc. that they can throw in very late, once it's really clear where the opportunity is. Many of the heavyweights of today became so because they could plunk down a sizable operational bet on each thing that looked sort of workable, and then leave the bet behind if it didn't pay off, or double up if it did. But that's not so much a strategic plan as it's eschewing strategy in favor of really good tactics.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/15/2016 9:59:19 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@elizabethv It's odd that you say "I completely agree with your assessment that these decisions are made by management" about my comment, because that's the opposite of my meaning; I'm wondeirng how I went so far off track. I'm saying that most of the things we call "decisions" are management at each succeessive level up from the field ratifying what has already happened by some combination of local market conditions, available tech, and pure chance and whim. Those are not "decisions made by management," they're ratifications of a few items left on the menu after the evolutionary process has largely run its course.

I think the whole mythology of the visionary manager laying out a successful strategy is mostly propaganda put out to justify drastically inflated salaries that sustain what amounts to a new aristocracy.  Mostly managers just manage -- i.e. get permission for things that need permission, find resources at workable prices, and in general cope as the owner's representative to the work force and vice versa. That's a reactive role and that's exactly what they should be doing.

So my point was that the "three levels" or "three stages" our author was laying out here are just the three stages of the natural cycle:

People who actually do something productive use the best/cheapest tools they can find to do it ...

Once the tools are there, user demand and low-level managerial improvisation creates important secondary demands ...

Once the tools and secondary demands are a substantial part of the budget, the "leaders" take credit for it by proclaiming that it was their "vision" or "strategy."

 

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DHagar
DHagar
4/15/2016 9:00:44 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@HeadsofSe30011, I am in total agreement with your assessment.  Management may have been able to get by in the past with a basic utilitarian approach or just keeping up - or as elizabeth uses as an example a purchasing favor.  But the future really will demand a much higher strategic and operational performance to stay competitive.

Executives will have to have a focus and build the systems that can truly make a difference and enable the organization to be competitive from top to bottom.  I think that is a good thing and will demand change at the C-levels.

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HeadofSe30011
HeadofSe30011
4/15/2016 3:26:38 PM
User Rank
Steel
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@JohnBarnes @elizabethv, I agree that management teams haven't always been the great visionaries they'd like to portray themselves to have been. That said, organizational success and viability going forward will require managers to get ahead of the process and not lead from behind. Much of the rapid increase in worker productivity from the mid-90's – mid-00's was driven by advancements in computing and storage at ever decreasing prices.  But, productivity gains due to technology, as we know it, are beginning to wane which should lead to margin pressure. So, now is the time for managers to take a serious look at what is going on, both on the factory floor as well as within the eco-systems they operate, and figure out how they will evolve and what will be required for the evolution. Service providers face some serious competition from the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix. This isn't the voice or cable TV world of the 1960's. The competition is sharp, nimble, technologist. From the Service provider side there is still much work to be done; they are still burdened with legacy technology. It was a little over two-and-half years ago, on September 23, 2013, that AT&T announced domain 2.0 which put significant weight behind NFV and SDN. Just deploying NFV/SDN are not enough. Now is the time for managers to put muscle behind the strategy that will transform network operators into viable, profitable players in the communications space.

 Mike Serrano

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elizabethv
elizabethv
4/15/2016 8:55:11 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
@JohnBarnes I completely agree with your assessment that these decisions are made by management and that management seems to work more reactively than proactively. On a small scale I have seen this more times than I care to count. When I worked for a large "unnamed" private college, they rolled out a new computer program that was supposed to revolutionize the way we did our work. The program was a glorified version of MS:DOS. I was flabbergasted that the largest private college in the country would think something like that would be beneficial to employees. Until I left the company I liked to joke that the whole program had been nothing more than a favor of the CEO for his nephew who wanted to get a job in programming. These businesses have to rely on management to make good decisions for their companies futures, but it rarely seems the case that they really know what they are doing, or what's going on on the ground level. 

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
4/15/2016 7:43:27 AM
User Rank
Platinum
It is tempting to think things are being driven by management
... since in general that is who signs the paychecks. But the operational/nifty gadget stage tends to be an aggregate of traditional microeconomic decisions (NFV is just plain cheaper than buy-another-box, and it's obvious to almost anyone that its price advantage widens with time). Once there are enough of those gadgets around, and the techs are comfortable with them and their capabilities, word of mouth and ad hoc projects leak those capabilities to users, who start demanding them, and the managers on the floor please users whenever they can because that's central to their jobs. And gradually it dawns on upper management that things are being done down on the floor that weren't done before, and the new things are making more money than the old things, and that some decisions are needed about what to do and how to do it in this new world.

Or in short, not only do I think that most of the decisions in all three phases described here are reactive, I think management is mostly a reactive business and that the "proactive" side of things is a combination of flattery to managers and retro-rewarding people who were in the right space at the right time (though admittedly some spaces are better or worse bets than others). Where people are seeing decision-making and strategy, I'm mostly seeing improvisation, adaptation, and codification.

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DHagar
DHagar
4/14/2016 2:46:13 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Super-informative Summary
@faryl,  I fully agree.  This is an excellent overview of the elements and true vision required for transformation.

I like the new descriptions of "dynamic networks" and the use of data that will continue to deliver value.

As you point out, the basics of project management provide an oranization with the capability to truly build these competitive advantages and develop the skills required for transformation.  It appears that transformation will require real leadership.

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