Menedżerowie Archive

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Competing on the Rate of Learning

New technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, have the potential to propel the rate of learning in business to new heights—the volume and velocity of data have exploded, and algorithms can unlock complex patterns and insights with unprecedented speed. In an era of shrinking product life cycles and rapidly changing business models, the companies that are the first to decode new trends or emerging needs have the best chance to take advantage of them.

But learning at the speed of algorithms requires more than algorithms themselves. New technology can accelerate learning in individual process steps, but to create aggregate organizational learning and competitive advantage it must be complemented by organizational innovation. Moreover, slow-moving contextual shifts, driven by social, political, and economic forces, are becoming just as important to business as fast-moving technologies. To compete on the ability to learn, therefore, leaders must reinvent their organizations to leverage both human and machine capabilities synergistically in order to expand learning to both faster and slower timescales.

A Brief History of Learning Organizations

In first-generation learning organizations, businesses learned how to execute existing processes more efficiently—best exemplified by the “experience curve.” As Bruce Henderson observed half a century ago, firms tend to reduce their costs at a constant and predictable rate as their cumulative experience increases. For example, in the early 20th century costs of the Model T consistently fell by about 25% every time the cumulative product volume doubled.

In this model, learning was a game of continuous improvement aimed at reducing marginal costs. Competing on learning was essentially about building volume, and therefore experience, faster than competitors. This permitted a strategy of pricing for the anticipated value of learning and pursuing cost reductions systematically, using mechanisms such as statistical process control, kaizen, Six Sigma, and quality circles.

In recent years, a second-generation concept of learning came to the forefront: learning how to envision and create new products. In other words, companies must learn not only to descend experience curves but also to “jump” from one curve to another.

This second dimension of learning has always existed in business, but its importance has grown. Technological innovation has compressed product life cycles, so new learning curves appear before old ones have fully played out—and firms must balance both dimensions of learning at the same time. For example, Netflix jumped from a DVD rental business to a streaming service to in-house content creation, while expanding to 190 countries, in less than a decade.

Today, a third phase of the learning game is beginning to unfold. Modern technologies, such as sensors, digital platforms, and AI, promise to massively accelerate the rate at which information is generated, gathered, and processed. This potentially enables companies to operate at superhuman speed, learning about the market and reacting in seconds or even milliseconds.

At the same time, however, companies must also expand their learning abilities to consider longer timescales, as social, political, and economic shifts gradually reshape the business context. Most businesses have woken up to the reality of time compression, but this is only half the picture. The range of timescales that need to be considered is being stretched in both directions. A third-generation learning organization is one that can embrace this new reality—adopting algorithmic principles over shorter timescales while adapting to nonbusiness forces that operate over longer ones.

To make this leap, businesses cannot rely on technological sophistication alone. Repeating a well-established historical pattern, evolution of the organizational model is needed to unlock the potential of new technologies. The original experience curve could be exploited only when new industrial technologies were complemented by organizational innovations like new factory layouts, redefined roles for workers (such as the assembly line), and new managerial approaches like quality circles and kanban. In the same way, to build the third generation of learning organizations, leaders must reinvent the enterprise not only to unlock the potential of new technologies but also to synergistically combine the unique learning capabilities and timescale advantages of both humans and technology—in other words, to build effective “human + machine” machines.

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The third generation of learning organizations presents an enormous opportunity. Companies can unleash both the power of technology for rapid learning and human ingenuity on longer timescales. But this will require leaders first to reimagine the organization and how it is managed.

More: BCG By Martin Reeves and Kevin Whitaker

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BCG – How Complicated Is Your Company?

  

Around the world, economic growth is slowing down. In developed and emerging economies alike, growth rates have declined considerably from their peaks, and there is little evidence that they will rise substantially any time soon. Anemic expansion of labor productivity is largely to blame. As Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman wrote in The Age of Diminished Expectations, “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”

True, many factors can affect the rise and fall of labor productivity in the short term, including political instability, changing regulations, business cycles, technology investment, and the difficulty of improving the service sector’s productivity. But we believe that the underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness, a phenomenon we first measured in one of our previous publications on Smart Simplicity, “Smart Rules: Six Ways to Get People to Solve Problems Without You.”1 We define complicatedness as the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment.

We recently surveyed executives and employees at more than 1,000 companies about their perceptions of the nature and degree of complicatedness at their organizations. The results highlight the strong connection between complicatedness and performance and indicate where companies should concentrate their efforts to simplify.

By Reinhard Messenböck , Yves Morieux , Jaap Backx , and Donat Wunderlich

More: www.bcg.com

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EY – Engineering the engineering org

How can companies design their engineering functions to strike the right balance between market responsiveness and operational efficiency?

Harnessing and optimizing engineering talent is paramount to success in the technology sector, but our experience has shown that there is no single way to accomplish this when it comes to designing an engineering organizational structure. Some structures optimize solution time-to-market, while others optimize operational efficiency. If an organization leans too far in either direction, it risks falling behind competitors in cost structure, innovation or speed-to-market. How can companies design their engineering functions to strike the right balance between market responsiveness and operational efficiency? It is worth noting that what is right for one company in its current form (stage in the product life cycle, competitive landscape, etc.) may not be right for another or for that same company five years from now. In short, there is no right structure — only the right structure at the right time for a given company.

Know your options. There are a wide variety of options when it comes to engineering organizational structures. For this analysis we have grouped them into three categories: vertically oriented, horizontally oriented and hybrid.

  1. Vertically oriented structure where engineering is part of each business unit (BU)
  2. Horizontally oriented structure where engineering is a stand-alone organization
  3. Hybrid structures that use hard and dotted lines to matrix engineers between an engineering organization and BUs

To assess where their company lies on this spectrum, executives can ask themselves questions such as:

  • Who is responsible for meeting customer demands and anticipating market trends?
  • Who owns the product line P&L? Who is responsible for prioritizing engineering investments?
  • Who is responsible for attracting, developing and retaining engineering talent?

by: Barak Ravid, Managing Director, EY Co-head of Technology; Contributors: Barak Ravid
Managing Director, Co-head of Technology, EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young LLP; Spencer Lee, Vice President
EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young LLP; Nina Lapachet, Senior Manager, Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP

More: EY

About EY. EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

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How Vital Companies Think, Act, and Thrive

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

“How do you keep the vitality of day one, even inside a large organization?” — Jeff Bezos

Leadership has its benefits—scale, knowledge, influence, and financial stability among them. But our research shows that as companies age and grow, incumbents increasingly focus on internal matters, have more difficulty freeing themselves from legacy businesses and approaches, and progressively shift their priorities toward running—rather than reinventing—the business. Nontraditional competitors, disruptive technologies, and new business models are making corporate reinvention a critical priority.

 

How can legacy leaders remain vital—to preserve and develop their capacity for growth, risk taking, innovation, and long-term success? In creating a quantitative measure of corporate vitality and its underlying drivers, we hope to provide a working framework of what matters when managing the balance between delivering near-term execution and investing in the future. The drive to maintain vitality has organizational, financial, and cultural levers—all of which reinforce each other.

VITALITY: A NECESSITY FOR LONG-TERM GROWTH

The challenge is straightforward: growth is critical for sustained value creation. In the short term, companies can create value by optimizing costs or assets or by building investors’ expectations. Yet in the long run, most value creation comes from top-line growth, which accounts for 74% of total shareholder return of S&P 500 top-quartile-performing companies over a ten-year period.

The good news is that achieving sustainable growth is still possible for today’s incumbents. Approximately 10% of large US companies are growing at double-digit rates.  Among that 10%, many—such as Visa and Mastercard (credit cards), Hilton (hotels), Constellation Brands (alcoholic beverages), and O’Reilly (auto parts)—are from nontech industries. What is their secret?

In today’s rapidly changing environment—with elevated political, social, and technological uncertainty—what will make a company thrive tomorrow is different from what makes it succeed today. Current performance is less and less predictive, and an overreliance on backward-looking metrics can be deceptive. Many of today’s large incumbents are vulnerable, even if they have a solid track record of past performance.

And abrupt failures happen increasingly frequently—think Kodak or Blockbuster—in no small part because of the risk of digital disruption. Even when their positions seem comfortable, incumbents need to create a sense of urgency and preemptively address the requirements to sustained success. They must develop their capacity for growth and reinvention. This is what we call vitality.

We are able to measure vitality by using BCG’s proprietary methodology behind the Fortune Future 50—the result of a two-year research partnership between BCG and Fortune magazine. This index ranks the most vital US-listed companies. To build it, we collected all theories purporting to explain the ability of a company to grow and we associated them with measurable variables. We then tested those theories against historical data and only kept the variables that had a measurable and robust impact on long-term revenue growth. As expected, the age and size of a company have a negative impact on growth—confirming that the more established the incumbent, the harder it is to remain vital.

Authors: Martin Reeves, Gerry Hansell, and Rodolphe Charme di Carlo

More: BCG Henderson Institute

The BCG Henderson Institute is The Boston Consulting Group’s internal think tank, dedicated to exploring and developing valuable new insights from business, technology, and science by embracing the powerful technology of ideas. The Institute engages leaders in provocative discussion and experimentation to expand the boundaries of business theory and practice and to translate innovative ideas from within and beyond business. For more ideas and inspiration from the Institute, please visit Ideas & Inspiration.

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Projmors – Dobre czasy dla inżynierów

Terminal LNG w Świnoujściu, stanowisko T1 w DCT Gdańsk to sztandarowe inwestycje hydrotechniczne, które już wrosły w pejzaż polskiej infrastruktury morskiej.

Rozwój infrastruktury portowej, modernizacja stoczni, inwestycje w rozwój żeglugi krótkiego zasięgu i śródlądowej to trend światowy, w który wpisuje się aktywność firmy Projmors – Biura Projektów Budownictwa Morskiego działającego od prawie 70 lat.

Czas inwestycji. Niedługo rozpocznie się budowa kanału żeglugowego przez Mierzeję Wiślaną. Ambitne plany mają porty w Gdyni i Gdańsku. Oprócz nowej obrotnicy i publicznego terminalu promowego, Gdynia planuje zbudowanie terminalu w głębi Zatoki Gdańskiej – informował Adam Meller, prezes Zarządu Morskiego Portu Gdynia. Modernizacja portu wewnętrznego oraz budowa portu zewnętrznego – to priorytety Zarządu Morskiego Portu Gdańsk – podkreślał prezes Łukasz Greinke w czasie niedawnego  Forum Gospodarki Morskiej w Gdyni. W planach Ministerstwa Gospodarki Morskiej i Żeglugi Śródlądowej znajduje się również modernizacja stoczni i aktywizacja szlaków śródlądowych, bowiem „gospodarka morska jest branżą, z którą rząd wiąże ogromne szanse i która należy do priorytetów rządu” podkreślał w czasie gdyńskiego Forum  Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister Gospodarki Morskiej i Żeglugi Śródlądowej.

Czas na doświadczenie. Tak ambitne programy stanowią wyzwanie dla projektantów z unikalnymi umiejętnościami. W czasach rajzbretów w firmie pracowało nawet 400  projektantów i innych specjalistów. „Wraz z rozwojem komputeryzacji zatrudnienie było ograniczane i obecnie nasze biuro projektowe zatrudnia 60 projektantów we wszystkich specjalnościach” – mówi Mateusz Samulak, prezes zarządu  Projmors. Połowa z nich to młodzi inżynierowie. „Łączymy bowiem doświadczenie z młodzieńczą pasją. Inżynierowie z długim stażem spełniają rolę mentorów” – wyjaśnia Samulak.

Doświadczenie budowano latami. W latach 50.  60.   Projmors wykonywał projekty dla odbiorców krajowych, by z czasem realizować zlecenia dla kontrahentów w Europie, Afryce, Bliskim i Dalekim Wschodzie. Silną pozycję na rynku międzynarodowym zapewnia mu to, że firma jest zarejestrowana w FAO oraz UNIDO, a unikalną wartość ma Świadectwo akredytacji bezpieczeństwa systemu teleinformatycznego ″TAJNE″ i ″NATO SECRET″.

Czas na projekty. Inżynierowie Projmorsu mają na swoim koncie bazy przeładunkowo-składowe towarów suchych i płynnych, terminale promowo – kontenerowe, porty i przystanie jachtowe morskie i rzeczne oraz oczywiście budowle i konstrukcje hydrotechniczne. Tu zaprojektowano obiekty o konstrukcjach stalowych, żelbetonowych i drewnianych, kompletne obiekty i instalacje budowlane, wodno-ściekowe, cieplne, energetyczne, telekomunikacyjne i transportowe. W pracowniach Projmorsu powstały kompleksowe projekty z obszaru ochrony środowiska, a także stocznie remontowe i obiekty zaplecza techniczno-warsztatowego, urządzenia transportowo – podnośne, dźwigi pływające, suche doki,     porty i bazy rybackie, chłodnie i magazyny specjalne. Tu, na deskach projektantów rodziły się tak spektakularne inwestycje jak: Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy oraz Port Północny, Terminal Przeładunkowy w Porcie Elbląg oraz Terminal Głębokowodny DCT Gdańsk, Terminal LNG w Świnoujściu.

            Czas na wdrożenia. Z ostatnich realizacji na konto inżynierów Projmorsu zaliczyć należy Port LNG w Świnoujściu, a więc zbudowany od podstaw  całkowicie nowy port zewnętrzny z głównym falochronem dł. 3000 m, stanowiskiem przeładunkowym gazowców o dł. do 300 m, torem podejściowym i obrotnicą o gł. 14,5 m i wym. 630/1000 m. Projektanci z Gdańska tworzyli również terminal kontenerowy dla Deutsche Bahn na Ostrowiu Grabowskim w Porcie Szczecin o zdolności przeładunkowej 120 000 TEU. W komputerach Projmorsu narodził się również Głębokowodny Terminal Kontenerowy DCT Gdańsk o zdolności przeładunkowej 500 000 TEU w I etapie. Tu zaprojektowano falochrony o łącznej długości 2600 m, 2 stanowiska statkowe o gł. 13,5 i 16,5 m na nabrzeżu kontenerowym długości 650 m dla statków Postpanamax i całe zaplecze lądowe aż po terminal kolejowy.

Z ostatnich realizacji zagranicznych warto wymienić koncepcję budowy  wielofunkcyjnego terminala paliwowego w Afryce oraz projekt Stoczni Sacomar W Namibe w Angoli.  Zaprocentowało doświadczenie projektowaniu i realizacjach w libijskich portach Derna, Trypolis czy Garabulli, budowie  Stoczni Remontowej Nigerdock II w Lagos czy terminala kontenerowego w Porcie Algier. W Gdańsku zaprojektowana została również  Stocznia Remontowa Nigerdock I w Lagos w Nigerii oraz Stocznia Remontowo-Produkcyjna ″Ha-Long″ w Wietnamie.

Czas dla inżynierów.  Od roku 1975 Projmors wykonuje funkcje Generalnego Realizatora Inwestycji, pełni nadzory inwestorskie oraz pełni funkcję Inżyniera w rozumieniu umów o roboty budowlane wg FIDIC. Na kocie firmy są więc typowo morskie nadzory inwestorskie, jak Baza Mosawa w Gdyni, czy system kierowania statkami w Zatoce Gdańskiej, jak i budowa giełdy rolno-spożywczej Rënk w Gdańsku, czy  budowa zespołu obsługi startowej lotniska Rębiechowo w Gdańsku.

Niedawno Projmors włączony został do grupy ASE, zespołu firm innowacyjnych, skoncentrowanych na projektowaniu instalacji przemysłowych, a szczególnie bezpiecznych technologii dla przemysłu i infrastruktury. Niedługo firma przeniesie się do nowego budynku, blisko Międzynarodowych Targów Gdańskich. W wyniku tego w ramach Grupy ASE powstanie nowa jakość – kampus technologiczny, w którym innowacyjne rozwiązania będzie tworzyć około 300 inżynierów  i pracowników zaplecza – wyjaśnia prezes Samulak. Niedawno oddano do ich dyspozycji nowy zespół laboratoriów, w którym tworzone będę kolejne innowacyjne technologie.