Have you tested your strategy lately?

Recently I read again the article from Mc Kinsey in 2011 and feel it’s still valid as of today.

Three authors named Chris Bradley, Martin Hirt, and Sven Smit tested with more than 700 senior strategists around the world that to bring us the test of a good strategy.

The list of the 10 tests is as follows:

Test 1: Will your strategy beat the market?
Test 2: Does your strategy tap a true source of advantage?
Test 3: Is your strategy granular about where to compete?
Test 4: Does your strategy put you ahead of trends?
Test 5: Does your strategy rest on privileged insights?
Test 6: Does your strategy embrace uncertainty?
Test 7: Does your strategy balance commitment and flexibility?
Test 8: Is your strategy contaminated by bias?
Test 9: Is there conviction to act on your strategy?
Test 10: Have you translated your strategy into an action plan?

It is not surprising that recent McKinsey Quarterly survey of 2,135 executives indicates that few strategies pass more than three of the tests (Exhibit 1).

exhbit

 

Hereby is the details of the 10 tests:

Test 1: Will your strategy beat the market?

All companies operate in markets surrounded by customers, suppliers, competitors, substitutes, and potential entrants, all seeking to advance their own positions. That process, unimpeded, inexorably drives economic surplus—the gap between the return a company earns and its cost of capital—toward zero.

For a company to beat the market by capturing and retaining an economic surplus, there must be an imperfection that stops or at least slows the working of the market. An imperfection controlled by a company is a competitive advantage. These are by definition scarce and fleeting because markets drive reversion to mean performance (Exhibit 2). The best companies are emulated by those in the middle of the pack, and the worst exit or undergo significant reform. As each player responds to and learns from the actions of others, best practice becomes commonplace rather than a market-beating strategy. Good strategies emphasize difference—versus your direct competitors, versus potential substitutes, and versus potential entrants.

Q1_10TimelessTests_ex2

Market participants play out the drama of competition on a stage beset by randomness. Because the evolution of markets is path dependent—that is, its current state at any one time is the sum product of all previous events, including a great many random ones—the winners of today are often the accidents of history. Consider the development of the US tire industry. At its peak in the mid-1920s, a frenzy of entry had created almost 300 competitors. Yet by the 1940s, four producers controlled more than 70 percent of the market. Those winners happened to make retrospectively lucky choices about location and technology, but at the time it was difficult to tell which companies were truly fit for the evolving environment. The histories of many other industries, from aerospace to information technology, show remarkably similar patterns.

To beat the market, therefore, advantages have to be robust and responsive in the face of onrushing market forces. Few companies, in our experience, ask themselves if they are beating the market—the pressures of “just playing along” seem intense enough. But playing along can feel safer than it is. Weaker contenders win surprisingly often in war when they deploy a divergent strategy, and the same is true in business.6

Further reading:
Anita M. McGahan How Industries Evolve: Principles for Achieving and Sustaining Superior Performance, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2004.

Michael Porter, “What is strategy?” Harvard Business Review, November 1996, Volume 74, Number 6, pp. 61–78.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life, New York: Texere, 2001.

 

Test 2: Does your strategy tap a true source of advantage?

Know your competitive advantage, and you’ve answered the question of why you make money (and vice versa). Competitive advantage stems from two sources of scarcity: positional advantages and special capabilities.

Positional advantages are rooted in structurally attractive markets. By definition, such advantages favor incumbents: they create an asymmetry between those inside and those outside high walls. For example, in Australia, two beer makers control 95 percent of the market and enjoy triple the margins of US brewers. This situation has sustained itself for two decades, but it wasn’t always so. Beginning in the 1980s, the Australian industry experienced consolidation. That change in structure was associated with a change in industry conduct (price growth began outstripping general inflation) and a change in industry performance (higher profitability). Understanding the relationship among structure, conduct, and performance is a critical part of the quest for positional advantage.

Special capabilities, the second source of competitive advantage, are scarce resources whose possession confers unique benefits. The most obvious resources, such as drug patents or leases on mineral deposits, we call “privileged, tradable assets”: they can be bought and sold. A second category of special capabilities, “distinctive competencies,” consists of things a company does particularly well, such as innovating or managing stakeholders. These capabilities can be just as powerful in creating advantage but cannot be easily traded.

Too often, companies are cavalier about claiming special capabilities. Such a capability must be critical to a company’s profits and exist in abundance within it while being scarce outside. As such, special capabilities tend to be specific in nature and few in number. Companies often err here by mistaking size for scale advantage or overestimating their ability to leverage capabilities across markets. They infer special capabilities from observed performance, often without considering other explanations (such as luck or positional advantage). Companies should test any claimed capability advantage vigorously before pinning their hopes on it.

When companies bundle together activities that collectively create advantage, it becomes more difficult for competitors to identify and replicate its exact source. Consider Aldi, the highly successful discount grocery retailer. To deliver its value proposition of lower prices, Aldi has completely redesigned the typical business system of a supermarket: only 1,500 or so products rather than 30,000, the stocking of one own-brand or private label rather than hundreds of national brands, and superlean replenishment on pallets and trolleys, thus avoiding the expensive task of hand stacking shelves. Given the enormous changes necessary for any supermarket that wishes to copy the total system, it is extremely difficult to mimic Aldi’s value proposition.

Finally, don’t forget to take a dynamic view. What can erode positional advantage? Which special capabilities are becoming vulnerable? There is every reason to believe that competitors will exploit points of vulnerability. Assume, like Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen, that you have to run just to stay in the same place.

Further reading:

Michael J. Lanning and Edward G. Michaels, “Thinking strategically,” mckinseyquarterly.com, June 2000.

Michael Porter, “The five competitive forces that shape strategy,” Harvard Business Review, January 2008, Volume 86, Number 1, pp. 78–93.

Phil Rosenzweig, The Halo Effect and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, New York: Free Press, 2007.

 

Test 3: Is your strategy granular about where to compete?

The need to beat the market begs the question of which market. Research shows that the unit of analysis used in determining strategy (essentially, the degree to which a market is segmented) significantly influences resource allocation and thus the likelihood of success: dividing the same businesses in different ways leads to strikingly different capital allocations.

What is the right level of granularity? Push within reason for the finest possible objective segmentation of the market: think 30 to 50 segments rather than the more typical 5 or so. Too often, by contrast, the business unit as defined by the organizational chart becomes the default for defining markets, reducing from the start the potential scope of strategic thinking.

Defining and understanding these segments correctly is one of the most practical things a company can do to improve its strategy. Management at one large bank attributed fast growth and share gains to measurably superior customer perceptions and satisfaction. Examining the bank’s markets at a more granular level suggested that 90 percent of its outperformance could be attributed to a relatively high exposure to one fast-growing city and to a presence in a fast-growing product segment. This insight helped the bank avoid building its strategy on false assumptions about what was and wasn’t working for the operation as a whole.

In fact, 80 percent of the variance in revenue growth is explained by choices about where to compete, according to research summarized in The Granularity of Growth, leaving only 20 percent explained by choices about how to compete. Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of the allocation of time and effort in a typical strategy-development process. Companies should be shifting their attention greatly toward the “where” and should strive to outposition competitors by regularly reallocating resources as opportunities shift within and between segments.

Further reading:
Mehrdad Baghai, Sven Smit, and Patrick Viguerie, The Granularity of Growth: How to Identify the Sources of Growth and Drive Enduring Company Performance, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Mehrdad Baghai, Sven Smit, and Patrick Viguerie, “Is your growth strategy flying blind?Harvard Business Review, May 2009, Volume 87, Number 5, pp. 86–96.

 

Test 4: Does your strategy put you ahead of trends?

The emergence of new trends is the norm. But many strategies place too much weight on the continuation of the status quo because they extrapolate from the past three to five years, a time frame too brief to capture the true violence of market forces.

A major innovation or an external shock in regulation, demand, or technology, for example, can drive a rapid, full-scale industry transition. But most trends emerge fairly slowly—so slowly that companies generally fail to respond until a trend hits profits. At this point, it is too late to mount a strategically effective response, let alone shape the change to your advantage. Managers typically delay action, held back by sunk costs, an unwillingness to cannibalize a legacy business, or an attachment to yesterday’s formula for success. The cost of delay is steep: consider the plight of major travel agency chains slow to understand the power of online intermediaries. Conversely, for companies that get ahead of the curve, major market transitions are an opportunity to rethink their commitments in areas ranging from technology to distribution and to tailor their strategies to the new environment.

To do so, strategists must take trend analysis seriously. Always look to the edges. How are early adopters and that small cadre of consumers who seem to be ahead of the curve acting? What are small, innovative entrants doing? What technologies under development could change the game? To see which trends really matter, assess their potential impact on the financial position of your company and articulate the decisions you would make differently if that outcome were certain. For example, don’t just stop at an aging population as a trend—work it through to its conclusion. Which consumer behaviors would change? Which particular product lines would be affected? What would be the precise effect on the P&L? And how does that picture line up with today’s investment priorities?

Further reading:

Peter Bisson, Elizabeth Stephenson, and S. Patrick Viguerie, “Global forces: An introduction,” mckinseyquarterly.com, June 2010.

Richard Rumelt, “Strategy in a ‘structural break,’” mckinseyquarterly.com, December 2008.

 

Test 5: Does your strategy rest on privileged insights?

Data today can be cheap, accessible, and easily assembled into detailed analyses that leave executives with the comfortable feeling of possessing an informed strategy. But much of this is noise and most of it is widely available to rivals. Furthermore, routinely analyzing readily available data diverts attention from where insight-creating advantage lies: in the weak signals buried in the noise.

In the 1990s, when the ability to burn music onto CDs emerged, no one knew how digitization would play out; MP3s, peer-to-peer file sharing, and streaming Web-based media were not on the horizon. But one corporation with a large record label recognized more rapidly than others that the practical advantage of copyright protection could quickly become diluted if consumers began copying material. Early recognition of that possibility allowed the CEO to sell the business at a multiple based on everyone else’s assumption that the status quo was unthreatened.

Developing proprietary insights isn’t easy. In fact, this is the element of good strategy where most companies stumble (see sidebar, “The insight deficit”). A search for problems can help you get started. Create a short list of questions whose answers would have major implications for the company’s strategy—for example, “What will we regret doing if the development of India hiccups or stalls, and what will we not regret?” In doing so, don’t forget to examine the assumptions, explicit and implicit, behind an established business model. Do they still fit the current environment?

Another key is to collect new data through field observations or research rather than to recycle the same industry reports everyone else uses. Similarly, seeking novel ways to analyze the data can generate powerful new insights. For example, one supermarket chain we know recently rethought its store network strategy on the basis of surprising results from a new clustering algorithm.

Finally, many strategic breakthroughs have their root in a simple but profound customer insight (usually solving an old problem for the customer in a new way). In our experience, companies that go out of their way to experience the world from the customer’s perspective routinely develop better strategies.

Further reading:
Patricia Gorman Clifford, Kevin P. Coyne, and Renée Dye, “Breakthrough thinking from inside the box,” Harvard Business Review, December 2007, Volume 85, Number 12, pp. 70–78.

 

Test 6: Does your strategy embrace uncertainty?

A central challenge of strategy is that we have to make choices now, but the payoffs occur in a future environment we cannot fully know or control. A critical step in embracing uncertainty is to try to characterize exactly what variety of it you face—a surprisingly rare activity at many companies. Our work over the years has emphasized four levels of uncertainty. Level one offers a reasonably clear view of the future: a range of outcomes tight enough to support a firm decision. At level two, there are a number of identifiable outcomes for which a company should prepare. At level three, the possible outcomes are represented not by a set of points but by a range that can be understood as a probability distribution. Level four features total ambiguity, where even the distribution of outcomes is unknown.

In our experience, companies oscillate between assuming, simplistically, that they are operating at level one (and making bold but unjustified point forecasts) and succumbing to an unnecessarily pessimistic level-four paralysis. In each case, careful analysis of the situation usually redistributes the variables into the middle ground of levels two and three.

Rigorously understanding the uncertainty you face starts with listing the variables that would influence a strategic decision and prioritizing them according to their impact. Focus early analysis on removing as much uncertainty as you can—by, for example, ruling out impossible outcomes and using the underlying economics at work to highlight outcomes that are either mutually reinforcing or unlikely because they would undermine one another in the market. Then apply tools such as scenario analysis to the remaining, irreducible uncertainty, which should be at the heart of your strategy.

Further reading:
Hugh G. Courtney, 20/20 Foresight: Crafting Strategy in an Uncertain World, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2001.

Hugh G. Courtney, Jane Kirkland, and S. Patrick Viguerie, “Strategy under uncertainty,” mckinseyquarterly.com, June 2000.

Charles Roxburgh, “The use and abuse of scenarios,” mckinseyquarterly.com, November 2009.

 

Test 7: Does your strategy balance commitment and flexibility?

Commitment and flexibility exist in inverse proportion to each other: the greater the commitment you make, the less flexibility remains. This tension is one of the core challenges of strategy. Indeed, strategy can be expressed as making the right trade-offs over time between commitment and flexibility.

Making such trade-offs effectively requires an understanding of which decisions involve commitment. Inside any large company, hundreds of people make thousands of decisions each year. Only a few are strategic: those that involve commitment through hard-to-reverse investments in long-lasting, company-specific assets. Commitment is the only path to sustainable competitive advantage.

In a world of uncertainty, strategy is about not just where and how to compete but also when. Committing too early can be a leap in the dark. Being too late is also dangerous, either because opportunities are perishable or rivals can seize advantage while your company stands on the sidelines. Flexibility is the essential ingredient that allows companies to make commitments when the risk/return trade-off seems most advantageous.

A market-beating strategy will focus on just a few crucial, high-commitment choices to be made now, while leaving flexibility for other such choices to be made over time. In practice, this approach means building your strategy as a portfolio comprising three things: big bets, or committed positions aimed at gaining significant competitive advantage; no-regrets moves, which will pay off whatever happens; and real options, or actions that involve relatively low costs now but can be elevated to a higher level of commitment as changing conditions warrant. You can build underpriced options into a strategy by, for example, modularizing major capital projects or maintaining the flexibility to switch between different inputs.

Further reading:
Lowell L. Bryan, “Just-in-time strategy for a turbulent world,” mckinseyquarterly.com, June 2002.

 

Test 8: Is your strategy contaminated by bias?

It’s possible to believe honestly that you have a market-beating strategy when, in fact, you don’t. Sometimes, that’s because forces beyond your control change. But in other cases, the cause is unintentional fuzzy thinking.

Behavioral economists have identified many characteristics of the brain that are often strengths in our broader, personal environment but that can work against us in the world of business decision making. The worst offenders include overoptimism (our tendency to hope for the best and believe too much in our own forecasts and abilities), anchoring (tying our valuation of something to an arbitrary reference point), loss aversion (putting too much emphasis on avoiding downsides and so eschewing risks worth taking), the confirmation bias (overweighting information that validates our opinions), herding (taking comfort in following the crowd), and the champion bias (assigning to an idea merit that’s based on the person proposing it).

Strategy is especially prone to faulty logic because it relies on extrapolating ways to win in the future from a complex set of factors observed today. This is fertile ground for two big inference problems: attribution error (succumbing to the “halo effect”) and survivorship bias (ignoring the “graveyard of silent failures”). Attribution error is the false attribution of success to observed factors; it is strategy by hindsight and assumes that replicating the actions of another company will lead to similar results. Survivorship bias refers to an analysis based on a surviving population, without consideration of those who did not live to tell their tale: this approach skews our view of what caused success and presents no insights into what might cause failure—were the survivors just luckier? Case studies have their place, but hindsight is in reality not 20/20. There are too many unseen factors.

Developing multiple hypotheses and potential solutions to choose among is one way to “de-bias” decision making. Too often, the typical drill is to develop a promising hypothesis and put a lot of effort into building a fact base to validate it. In contrast, it is critical to bring fresh eyes to the issues and to maintain a culture of challenge, in which the obligation to dissent is fostered.

The decision-making process can also be de-biased by, for example, specifying objective decision criteria in advance and examining the possibility of being wrong. Techniques such as the “premortem assessment” (imagining yourself in a future where your decision turns out to have been mistaken and identifying why that might have been so) can also be useful.

Further reading:
Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, New York: HarperCollins, 2008.

Dan Lovallo and Olivier Sibony, “The case for behavioral strategy,” mckinseyquarterly.com, March 2010.

Strategic decisions: When can you trust your gut?” mckinseyquarterly.com, March 2010.

Charles Roxburgh, “Hidden flaws in strategy,” mckinseyquarterly.com, May 2003.

 

Test 9: Is there conviction to act on your strategy?

This test and the one that follows aren’t strictly about the strategy itself but about the investment you’ve made in implementing it—a distinction that in our experience quickly becomes meaningless because the two, inevitably, become intertwined. Many good strategies fall short in implementation because of an absence of conviction in the organization, particularly among the top team, where just one or two nonbelievers can strangle strategic change at birth.

Where a change of strategy is needed, that is usually because changes in the external environment have rendered obsolete the assumptions underlying a company’s earlier strategy. To move ahead with implementation, you need a process that openly questions the old assumptions and allows managers to develop a new set of beliefs in tune with the new situation. This goal is not likely to be achieved just via lengthy reports and presentations. Nor will the social processes required to absorb new beliefs—group formation, building shared meaning, exposing and reconciling differences, aligning and accepting accountability—occur in formal meetings.

CEOs and boards should not be fooled by the warm glow they feel after a nice presentation by management. They must make sure that the whole team actually shares the new beliefs that support the strategy. This requirement means taking decision makers on a journey of discovery by creating experiences that will help them viscerally grasp mismatches that may exist between what the new strategy requires and the actions and behavior that have brought them success for many years. For example, visit plants and customers or tour a country your company plans to enter, so that the leadership team can personally meet crucial stakeholders. Mock-ups, video clips, and virtual experiences also can help.

The result of such an effort should be a support base of influencers who feel connected to the strategy and may even become evangelists for it. Because strategy often emanates from the top, and CEOs are accustomed to being heeded, this commonsense step often gets overlooked, to the great detriment of the strategy.

Further reading:
Derek Dean, “A CEO’s guide to reenergizing the senior team,” mckinseyquarterly.com, September 2009.

Erika Herb, Keith Leslie, and Colin Price, “Teamwork at the top,” mckinseyquarterly.com, May 2001.

 

Test 10: Have you translated your strategy into an action plan?

In implementing any new strategy, it’s imperative to define clearly what you are moving from and where you are moving to with respect to your company’s business model, organization, and capabilities. Develop a detailed view of the shifts required to make the move, and ensure that processes and mechanisms, for which individual executives must be accountable, are in place to effect the changes. Quite simply, this is an action plan. Everyone needs to know what to do. Be sure that each major “from–to shift” is matched with the energy to make it happen. And since the totality of the change often represents a major organizational transformation, make sure you and your senior team are drawing on the large body of research and experience offering solid advice on change management—a topic beyond the scope of this article!

Finally, don’t forget to make sure your ongoing resource allocation processes are aligned with your strategy. If you want to know what it actually is, look where the best people and the most generous budgets are—and be prepared to change these things significantly. Effort spent aligning the budget with the strategy will pay off many times over.

Further reading:
Carolyn Aiken and Scott Keller, “The irrational side of change management,” mckinseyquarterly.com, April 2009.

Mahmut Akten, Massimo Giordano, and Mari A. Scheiffele, “Just-in-time budgeting for a volatile economy,” mckinseyquarterly.com, May 2009.

Josep Isern and Caroline Pung, “Driving radical change,” mckinseyquarterly.com, November 2007.

 


As we’ve discussed the tests with hundreds of senior executives at many of the world’s largest companies, we’ve come away convinced that a lot of these topics are part of the strategic dialogue in organizations. But we’ve also heard time and again that discussion of such issues is often, as one executive in Japan recently told us, “random, simultaneous, and extremely confusing.” Our hope is that the tests will prove a simple and effective antidote: a means of quickly identifying gaps in executives’ strategic thinking, opening their minds toward new ways of using strategy to create value, and improving the quality of the strategy-development process itself.

About the author(s)

Chris Bradley is a principal in McKinsey’s Sydney office, Martin Hirt is a director in the Taipei office, and Sven Smit is a director in the Amsterdam office.

The authors wish to acknowledge the many contributions of McKinsey alumnus Nick Percy, now the head of strategy for BBC Worldwide, to the thinking behind this article.

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Chief Growth Officer: Who they are, Why Now and Do you need one?

Why now?

With the appointment of Francisco Crespo as the new “Chief Growth Officer” (CGO) of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola  together with other FMCGs like Colgate-Palmolive, Coty and Mondelēz have all hired CGOs to “accelerate growth efforts” or to “bring focus and growth to our platforms”.

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(by RR Associates)

One of the reasons I think we just can know by simply just looking at its name: for growing the company. But why? Because growing now is not the easy task as before. For such FMCG companies, as the other name that we can call them as “epic marketers”, they rely on their marketing techniques to grow and earn profits. But why this role does not belong to the Chief Marketing Officer? Maybe the CEO does not trust the CMOs anymore for such role or the CMOs could not deliver what the CEOs expect?

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 3.16.48 PM.png

(by RR Associates)

According to the Accenture Strategy Research, CMOs spend just 37% of their time on innovation and just 30% see themselves as cutting-edge marketing innovators. CMOs may have different understanding of what they are expected or they could not focus on driving growth because of their traditional function? Maybe both. And their CEOs could not wait any longer to drive growth for their companies.

As Michael Koziol, international president at global brand experience agency Huge, mentioned “As long as marketers continue to position themselves as experts in advertising, brand positioning, millennials and the latest digital fads – instead of being growth drivers – we’ll see more CMO positions disappear.”

Welcome to the new exciting role.

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(by RR Associates)

CGO’s Role

Even the fact that CGO title is named by only a few companies, the role of growing companies have long history. They have various names such as Chief (New) Business Development Officer, Chief Strategy Officer…

But who can become the CGO? According to RR & Associates,  CGOs must have the marketing and brand building expertise to make the consumer the focal point of the business and the P&L experience that brings credibility and commercial grounding.

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By placing the chief growth officer as a direct report to the CEO, the CMO, may remain on the executive committee, they no longer are reporting directly to the CEO.

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Do you need CGO?

As mentioned by RR Associates, you consider a CGO by looking at such questions:

Does your company culture reflect today’s market reality?

                + Are best practices shared across your company?

                + Is there duplication of activities across your company?

+ Are you bureaucratic rather than agile?

+ Is your innovation additive rather than disruptive?

+ Do your insights and R&D teams inform your new product development and routes to market?

Do your products and services serve evolving consumer needs?

+ Do the bulk of your revenues come from legacy brands in shrinking or sluggish categories?

+ Are you losing market share to products from new categories?

+ How diverse are your business categories in terms of consumer base and channel?

Are your financial and human capital investments future-proof?

+ Do your investments reflect your growth agenda?

+ Are business leaders focusing on short-term targets over long-term profitability?

+ Do you have a strong bench of talent when it comes to CEO succession?

The CGO’s Job Description

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Depending on the companies, there are various way to describe what CGO’s accountabilities and responsibilities.  We can just look at some key lines in their JD to know what they are expected to perform:

Reporting Relationship 

The Chief Growth Officer position reports to the President and Chief Executive Officer and serves as a member of the Senior Executive Team.

Principal Accountabilities 

• Lead and direct the day-to-day activities leading to profitable growth. This includes business development, marketing, product development, and executive management business planning and marketing strategies.

• Provide leadership and direction in setting performance criteria and ensure proper training and development plans for sales and account management resources to ensure creation and maintenance of strategic relationships with clients. Serve as an “environmental compass” to senior management.

• Work with senior leadership on a cross-functional basis to build team relationships aligned with internal and external expectations of business development and service delivery.

• Ensure excellence in standards development, maintenance, and evolution that retains current accounts and positions the company strategically through market analysis and industry assessment for market growth domestically and abroad.

o Analyze historical standards of product/information and report on account vitality rates – growth/attrition.

o Analyze and develop business plans, model financial impact, ROI development, and create financial forecasts/projections.

• Build global brand equity and consistency through multiple promotion and communication industry channels:

o Responsible for presentation venues and educational events – both in person and via the Internet.

o Promote company’s standards and its business value through its publications, Web appearance, and social media efforts.

• Align under the Company brand and lead company’s market-focused managing directors to ensure targeted prioritization of effort and return on investment for commitment dollars.

• Oversee the creation and integration of all key marketing and branding activities to enhance company’s market position.

o Oversee all activities and strategies for marketing campaigns, advertising, communications, public relations, and other promotional efforts, providing overall leadership to market positioning and strategic communication.

o Regularly evaluate market reactions to programs/services to ensure marketing strategies, plans, and actions are consistent with evolving market needs and the competitive environment.

o Establish marketing goals to ensure share of market and profitability of products and services. Develop and execute marketing and sales plans and programs in a fiscally sound manner to ensure goals for growth and expansion of Company products and services are met or exceeded.

• Build a “best in class” collective company marketing sales and business development team. Represent the company through key client visits, presentations, and industry events as appropriate to advance Company’s goals.

o Develop strategy and plans for new business opportunities.

o Identify variances to plan and opportunities to improve performance, efficiency, and productivity to achieve the goals and objectives set by senior leadership.

o Analyze industry trends and information to identify standards, product categories and markets to enter as future sources of growth.

• Identify/evaluate financial feasibility of prospective business opportunities. Develop plans for new ventures that hold potential for a high degree of success from a business development perspective based on customer accounts’ needs and trends in the industry.

• Lead process of defining product strategy and developing product roadmaps and requirement documents. Analyze competitive/market research and customer feedback data.

• Oversee product development and design, execution, and operational sequencing of products from concept to customer. Profitability, customer service, speed-to-market, quality, and focus on compliance requirements are critical to success.

• As a senior executive with Company, demonstrate personal conduct in keeping with Company’s reputation of “excellence,” ensuring Company’s integrity, trust, and reputation in the marketplace with key stakeholders/influencers, including customers, payers, regulators, consumer groups, and internal staff and field surveyors while maintaining alignment with Company’s core values and advancing the goodwill and credibility of Company staff, surveyors, and its accreditation processes.

• Recruit, select, and retain highly qualified professionals.

• Attend board meetings and provide information and actions as directed and consistent with the Company policy governance model.

• Create a working environment where productivity can be sustained and improved, and where innovation and personal growth are encouraged and realized. Provide the leadership necessary to maintain a motivated, productive, and competent team through open communication and delegation of responsibilities and authority. Ensure people are in place to drive business results.

Experience and Qualifications 

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The successful candidate will possess a master’s degree in a health or human services discipline, or a master’s degree in business or public administration, marketing, or related field with an undergraduate degree in health or human services discipline. In addition, this individual will have a minimum of 10 years of progressively higher-level managerial experience with a focus on business development in human services or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience: 

• Demonstrated success unifying and aligning multiple, unique, yet related products or service lines under a corporate brand, and advancing the value and marketability of such as a branded suite of solutions or services through a variety of channels.

• Experience leading the growth and launch of multiple product lines or business development strategies in an entrepreneurial environment achieving market success and alignment under a common corporate identity.

• Understands the complexity of managing in a neutral impartial accreditation environment. When considering corresponding growth opportunities, must consider the impact on and value to Company’s “balanced stakeholder” communities, persons served, direct business customer, payers and insurers, regulators, and the general public).

• Demonstrated experience and ability in developing and executing highly sophisticated, appropriate, and effective sales and marketing presentations tailored to a variety of audiences.

• Ability to move and inspire people to action through articulate vision and direction, influence, and persuasion. Proven ability to effectively lead cross-functional teams and build processes to deliver results.

• Proven professional skills in written and verbal communication; interpersonal/ relationship-building; planning and project management; creative business development; branding; analytical and problem-solving; influence; persistency; and negotiation.

Personal, Professional, and Leadership Attributes 

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The successful candidate will understand and have a commitment to the philosophy, mission, values, and vision of Company. This key executive will be able to demonstrate these values with his/her leadership practices and will possess personal and professional integrity and display a professional decorum in their representation of the company.

Specifically, the following skills and attributes will be required to be successful in this position: 

• Excellent decision-making skills and strong analytical, strategic planning, and financial acumen required.

• High energy level, superior communication skills, and the charismatic personality needed to gain the respect and confidence of subordinates and key customer contacts.

• An extremely organized, disciplined, hands-on, and process-oriented leader who is not afraid of digging into details when necessary.

• Proactive and action-oriented, assertive, committed, and high-energy with a high level of adaptability.

• Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; promotes a harassment-free environment.

• Strong work ethic, achievement-oriented, and motivated beyond personal interests.

• Strong people management and leadership skills. Highly effective and active communicator who works well with people at all levels.

• Strong business acumen, intelligence, and capacity. Thinks strategically and implements tactically.

• Highly ethical; open leadership style. Actively seeks out and supports collaborative thinking and problem-solving with others in the organization. Does not view collaborative dialogue around decisions as a personal attack on abilities. Coachable.

• Strategic vision and thinking. Ability to position the organization for the future, looking beyond the present situation to conceptualize key trends and identify changing market demands.

• Knowledgeable of how decisions impact all aspects of the business. Approaches his/her work as an interconnected system.

• Creative, innovative, and “out-of-the-box” thinking skills.

• Problem-solves and approaches work from a “return on investment” perspective. Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; responds promptly to customer needs; elicits customer feedback to improve services; responds to requests for service and assistance; meets commitments.

 

Ascending to the C-suite

A new McKinsey survey finds that executives who move effectively into the C-suite are communicating priorities, valuing their teams, spending time on culture, and understanding their unique leadership role.

Nearly half of top executives say they weren’t effective at earning support for their new ideas when they moved into C-suite roles—and more than one-third say they have not successfully met their objectives during their tenures. But even successful transitions1didn’t require new executives to have all the answers, and certainly not within their first 100 days in the job. These are among the key findings from a recent McKinsey Global Survey on executive transitions,2which asked C-level respondents how they managed the business, culture, team, and self-management aspects of their new jobs.

While there is no single predictor of success in a new role, the responses indicate which practices link most closely to an overall effective transition. Organization-wide alignment, for example, is critical. Executives who made the most successful transitions say it was just as important to align their organizations on what not to do as it was to explain what they would do in their initial agendas. They relied more than others on their initial team of direct reports and spent more time learning about organizational culture, which all executives rate as the hardest area to understand. What’s more, these executives received more support and resources from their organizations and were better able to spend their time and energy understanding the issues that they were in a unique position to influence.

The C-suite challenge

Making a successful transition to the C-suite is difficult: nearly half of respondents say they weren’t successful at aligning others around their initial objectives, and more than one-third admit that they have not successfully met their overall objectives for the role. Executives report the same difficulty regardless of their transition’s context: whether they made a lateral move or were promoted, continued in the same function or led a new one, or were internal or external hires.

This isn’t surprising, given the high expectations of new executives, the competing demands they must balance, and the fact that many of them feel they don’t have much practical support. Only 27 percent of respondents believe their organizations had the right resources or programs in place to support their move into a C-level role. Indeed, the responses from executives who have made successful transitions (those who say they successfully aligned others during their transition and have successfully met their overall objectives) suggest that support has a role to play: these respondents are twice as likely as all others to say they received company support.

There’s no clear deadline, though, for executives to move effectively and comfortably into their new roles (Exhibit 1). Roughly one-third of respondents (the most successful ones, as well as all others) say it took them more than 100 days to feel fully comfortable in the role. And regardless of the transition’s outcome, most respondents say it took them longer than three months to determine solutions for the key strategic questions they identified when their transitions began.

Executives' timeline to adapt to C-level roles

Creating a shared vision on business priorities

When asked about different aspects of their transitions, executives rank business-related activities among the most important to the transition’s overall outcome. The largest share say it was very or extremely important to create a shared vision and alignment around their strategic direction across the organization (Exhibit 2). This is also among the most difficult aspects to carry out: just 30 percent of all respondents (and 39 percent of those reporting successful transitions) say it was easy to create a shared vision in their new role.

Transition activities importance for C-suite executives

Indeed, executives reporting the most successful transitions stand out from the rest in how they built buy-in and communicated a vision to their teams and their organizations. These respondents are nearly twice as likely as others to say their organizations understood their initial priorities well—and were much more effective at communicating which initiatives would not continue, given those priorities (Exhibit 3). The most successful executives also say that 69 percent of their direct reports actively supported their initial strategic directions, compared with 60 percent of direct reports for their peers.

New C-suite executives clarify priorities

Getting the team right

Regardless of the outcome, many C-level executives acknowledge that they did not have all the answers when they began their new positions—and that their direct reports played a valuable role. Most executives (including those whose transitions were a success) say they relied on their direct reports’ input when determining solutions to the strategic problems they faced at the beginning of their tenures. When identifying which activities were most important to the transition’s outcome, 86 percent of respondents cite mobilizing teams to function as a high-performing group, second only to creating a shared vision.

Executives tend to keep their inherited teams intact: 74 percent say at least half of their initial reports were still on their teams by the end of their transitions, and the most successful respondents made even fewer changes to their original teams. Respondents also believe it’s important to move fast to get the right people on their teams. A majority say their final teams were in place within the first year, but they still wish they had moved more quickly. While with hindsight, executives would have moved faster in every area of their transitions, they are most likely to say they should have acted quicker to put their teams in place (Exhibit 4).

Four elements of C-suite executive transitions

Tackling culture and self-management

While they wanted more time to build their teams, the executives who transitioned successfully are more likely than others to say they devoted the right amount of time to understanding the organizational culture. But cultural issues are difficult to act upon and to get right (Exhibit 5). Across the four areas of transitions we asked about, both internal and external hires agree that they most often struggled with implementing material changes to organizational culture.

Externally hired C-suite executive transitions

Part of the challenge posed by culture is that many executives believe they don’t have accurate ways to measure or even describe it. This is especially true for external hires, 42 percent of whom say it would have been most valuable to have more information on culture during their transitions, compared with 29 percent of internal hires. Of all respondents, nearly half say that during their transitions, they assessed the effectiveness of their organizations’ cultures less rigorously than their business initiatives, or not at all.

During transitions, executives also struggle with self-management. Just over half say they spent too little time preparing for the personal demands and their own readiness in the new position (Exhibit 6). The executives with the most successful transitions, though, spent more time than others preparing for their roles, and they are 1.6 times as likely as others to report proficiency at the key skills for their jobs. What’s more, they report doing a much better job than others of understanding their unique role on the executive team. These respondents are also twice as likely as their peers to say that during their transitions, they had time to focus completely on the issues they alone were in a position to influence.

Four elements of new C-suite executives' preparation

Looking ahead

  • Be purposeful. The four aspects of an executive transition—business, culture, team, and self—require different tools and resources to successfully engage with each one. New executives might face a bias to focus disproportionately on issues that receive external scrutiny (delivering short-term business results, for example). But they must think holistically about their new responsibilities and identify the nuances of each aspect so they can take purposeful action. Crafting a clear vision of strategic priorities, building their teams in a timely way, rigorously assessing the organization’s culture, and spending enough time to prepare for the personal demands of the job will all be essential to success in a new role.
  • Create organizational support. The results suggest that executives who make the most successful transitions received important resources and information from their companies. Yet, in our experience, few organizations have established internal capabilities or ownership for the transition process. Given the high price organizations pay for every failed transition, more of them should develop a systematic approach to support new leaders. The most successful approaches we’ve seen blend in-class learning with other interventions, such as personal coaching for the first 6 to 12 months on the job.

About the author(s)

The contributors to the development and analysis of this survey include Rajiv Chandran, a specialist in McKinsey’s Delhi office; Hortense de la Boutetiere, a principal in the Paris office; and Carolyn Dewar, a principal in the San Francisco office.

They would like to acknowledge Juliane Bardt and Rahul Varma for their contributions to this work.

Future Stores

From the book “Gamechangers: Creating Innovative Strategies for Business and Brands; Lessons in Innovation from Those Winning the Game”

Cover image for Gamechangers: Creating Innovative Strategies for Business and Brands; Lessons in Innovation from Those Winning the Game

FUTURESTORE
CHANGING THE GAME OF RETAIL

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Futurestore, Rethinking the World of Retail

From Amazon to Etsy, ZaoZao and Zappos … through branded boutiques and online marketplaces, digital walls and mobile marketing, big data and personalized promotions … what is the future of retailing, in general, and for your business?

Walking around the Burberry flagship store on London’s Regent Street, with its beautifully arranged clothes, its magic mirrors that superimpose your image in the clothes of your fantasy and place of your choice, and the VVIP room on the top floor, it is a world of imagination, where emotions not rational desire prevails. It is the work of designer Christopher Bailey who has overseen the rejuvenation of the brand from its ‘chav’ ubiquity to its super premium status. The $100,000 limited edition white alligator skin jacket, not to everyone’s taste, perhaps demonstrates this stretch. It is a brand that is truly global, more Asian than European if measured by its custom, and more digital then physical, based on the focus of its innovations. Burberry showcases the future of retail – as a niche focused, premium branded, hybrid experience.

SMART SHOPPERS, SMART STORES

Online retail has grown rapidly over the last decade, from a marginal bolt-on, to major revenue stream in a multi-channel model. In the USA, it has grown by around 18% per year, and now accounts for 8% of all sales. But digital is more that this, it is not just another way but a fundamental capability that can enhance every channel. Search on your phone, buy online, pick up in store. Go to the store, use your phone to buy, delivered to your home. Retail innovation is about hybrids, combining physical and digital activities and options in a more experiential and valuable way.

Retail purpose, formats and incentives all change – whilst loyalty cards originally drove behaviour through points, people soon became wise that the rewards were trivial compared to special offers in store. Whilst stores have enhanced their shopper experiences, markets have fragmented with more space for discounters. In Turkey, for example, BIM has taken around 40% of the food market with low price, small outlets across cities. At the same time, online players have morphed into credible alternatives, where Amazon sells wines and eBay replaces physical outlet stores. More emotionally, technologies such as Synqera from Russia can ‘mind-read’ a shopper’s emotions, judging how to best engage them as they shop and how to make them smile.

DIGITAL HYBRIDS, DATA AND MOBILE

Mobile is already a huge factor: at upmarket fashion retailer Gilt, 50% of shoppers and 30% of sales are by mobile. It is the glue that brings together online and offline, creating more personal experiences, from individual promotions geo-targeted, to in-store research and navigation, price checks and comparisons, as well as fast and safe payment. As newspapers are replaced by digital news, TV is on demand, and online retailers never close their doors, the way retailers engage and serve consumers changes. We expect 24-hour access, we don’t tolerate stock outs, compare prices instantly, shop beyond our borders, and demand delivery in 24 hours.

Big data, the huge quantities of transactional data, mashed with other sources of personal and behavioural data through complex algorithms, means that marketing is highly personalized. Around 35% of all Amazon purchases and 75% of Netflix movie choices are based on recommendations. Of course these suggestions compete with the much more trusted recommmendations of friends and peers on social media, often valued around 10 times more highly than anything from a brand. A brand therefore needs to think laterally about how to influence communities, and give them the abilities and incentives to influence each other. Consumers also become much less tolerant of failures, unavailable products or poor service, they expect free and easy returns, and they immediately tweet their feelings, particularly the negative ones, to thousands of people like them.

Together, our gamechangers show how the variety of innovations builds a future vision of retail. The demand side is led by the engaging, personal experiences – driven by the passion of Zappos, the collaboration of Threadless. On the supply side, this is about the efficiency and speed of Amazon, the reach and richness of Aramex or Etsy, and the transparency of Positive Luxury. In between is the ability to match niche segments with lifestyle store experiences, and whilst the Abercrombie brand portfolio is not without challenges, it knows how to connect.

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What CEOs are reading in 2017

Leaders of some of the world’s biggest organizations share which books will keep them occupied in the weeks ahead.

Whether you’re heading to a Northern-hemisphere beach or hunkering down for a Southern-hemisphere winter, take inspiration from this eclectic and inspiring mix of fiction and nonfiction books, dog-eared and new. Find picks from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, the Dow Chemical Company’s Andrew Liveris, Maria Ramos of Barclays Africa Group, and General Sir Nick Carter, head of the British Army, among others.

General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the General Staff, British Army

General Sir Nick Carter

Churchill: The Power of Words—Martin Gilbert (Da Capo Press, 2012; nonfiction)

Fighting Talk: Forty Maxims on War, Peace, and Strategy—Colin S. Gray (Potomac Books, 2009; nonfiction)

Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business—Gerald A. Michaelson and Steven W. Michaelson (Adams Media, 2010; nonfiction)

Gail Kelly, member of the Group of Thirty and former CEO, Westpac

Gail Kelly

Lab Girl—Hope Jahren (Vintage, February 2017; nonfiction)

Pachinko—Min Jin Lee (Grand Central Publishing, February 2017; fiction)

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics—Daniel James Brown (Penguin Books, 2014; nonfiction)

Andrew Liveris, the Dow Chemical Company

Andrew Liveris

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder—Arianna Huffington (Harmony, 2015; nonfiction)

The Sympathizer—Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press, 2016; fiction)

The Quantum Spy—David Ignatius (W. W. Norton & Company, November 2017; fiction)

Francisco Pérez Mackenna, Quiñenco

Francisco Pérez Mackenna

The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds—Michael Lewis (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016; nonfiction)

Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal—Eugene Soltes (PublicAffairs, 2016; nonfiction)

Life After Life—Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books, 2013; fiction)

Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology—Jim Al-Khalili & Johnjoe McFadden (Crown, 2014; nonfiction)

Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream—Stephen J. K. Walters (Stanford University Press, 2014, nonfiction)

David McKay, Royal Bank of Canada

David McKay

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis—J. D. Vance (Harper, 2016; nonfiction)

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines—Thomas H. Davenport and Julia Kirby (Harper Business, 2016; nonfiction)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind—Yuval Noah Harari (Harper, 2015; nonfiction)

Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination—Adam Lashinsky (Portfolio, May 2017; nonfiction)

Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Satya Nadella

Leonardo da Vinci—Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, October 2017; nonfiction)

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality—Jaron Lanier (Henry Holt and Co., November 2017; nonfiction)

Exit West—Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead Books, March 2017; fiction)

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City—Matthew Desmond (Broadway Books, February 2017; nonfiction)

Maria Ramos, Barclays Africa

Maria Ramos

The Gene: An Intimate History—Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner, 2016; nonfiction)

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies—Nick Bostrom (Oxford University Press, 2014; nonfiction)

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness—Arundhati Roy (Knopf, June 2017; fiction)

Fabio Schvartsman, Vale

Fabio Schvartsman

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind—Yuval Noah Harari (Harper, 2015; nonfiction)

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike—Phil Knight (Scribner, 2016; nonfiction)

Sigmund Freud en son temps et dans le nôtre—Élisabeth Roudinesco (Seuil, 2014; nonfiction)

Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP

Sir Martin Sorrell

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency—James Andrew Miller (Custom House, 2016; nonfiction)

Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes—Richard Davenport-Hines (HarperCollins, 2015; nonfiction)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future—Ashlee Vance (Ecco, 2015; nonfiction)

Dominic Barton, global managing partner, McKinsey & Company

Dominic Barton

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future—Kevin Kelly (Viking, 2016; nonfiction)

Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline from Obama to Trump and Beyond—Gideon Rachman (Other Press, April 2017; nonfiction)

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow—Yuval Noah Harari (Harper, February 2017; nonfiction)

Effective Leadership Workshop

Decision_base_July_2016

World Best Leadership Business Simulation-based training program selected by Top World 500 Corporations

According to McKinsey’s study, there are 3 ways the companies grow its business: increase effective competition (increase market share, geography expansion…), increase portfolio (make new products, new business ideas…) and/or thru merger and acquision.

The successful companies are the ones leverage thru these 3 ways. However the problem is not about knowing them but doing them. Let’s come to our 2.5-day workshop that can transform your team to better success. The workshop is only for the highly ambitious companies that want to grow their business to the next level. The workshop can help you and your team work together for planning the next growing stage of your company.

WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

1.   Develop a compelling strategy: Help you to set the direction of your business and craft its overarching strategy.

2.   Master the essentials of corporate financial management: Help you to understand the financial dimensions of a competitive strategy to manage more effectively in any economy.

3.   Lead your company and your career: Help you to enhance your personal leadership skills and accelerate your role in building and leading a high-performing organization.

4.   Leverage the power of marketing: We help you to address the challenges that general managers confront when dealing with the customer-facing functions of a firm.

5.   Create and conduct value-based management: We help managers to create valued-based program and implement them successfully.

6.   Measure, analyze and drive corporate performance: We help you to deepen your understanding of financial reporting, capital investment decision making, and driving firm performance.

WHY SIMULATION?

This workshop is fully designed on the concept of “learning by doing” and provides a ‘safe’ environment for reflecting and improving on management and leadership skills. During the workshop, participants will handle situations related to strategic planning, finance, sales, purchasing, production, product development and marketing and make decisions as a CEO to improve the overall value creation in the company. According to Corporate Strategy Magazine, the business simulation is the important part for providing education for CEO development.

WORKSHOP FORMAT

Delivering a truly global experience in Vietnamese setting practices.

o    No theory, no teaching

o    Learning-by-doing

o    Brain utilization > 120%

o    Fun and challenging

THE KEY CHALLENGES IN SIMULATION

Like managing your business, in our simulation, you and your team have to make the strategic plan and be able to execute the plan to grow your business and make profit for 09 years. You are challenged to practice the followings:

1.     Make your mission and vision

2.     Analyze TOWS for the industry and your enterprise

3.     Analyze BCG and Ansoft model for finding your portfolio’s investment plan

4.     Make strategic objectives

5.     Build KPIs for monitoring your goals and progress

6.     Focus investment

7.     Define your competitive advantages and the competitors’ advantages

8.     Analyze company’s value chain and supply chain

9.     Make short and long term strategic plan

10.   Alignment and Collaboration across all departments

Registration

Please contact us if you are interested to know more of this workshop.

For brochure workshop please download at here

Date:  6th, 7th &  8th July, 2016

Venue: Eastin Grand hotel, 253 Nguyen Van Troi, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City

Contact directly to:

Ms. Mai – Tel: (08) 3930 2242 – 3507 4299 – Email: clientservice@bemind.vn – Hotline: 0903 70 80 84

Do you want to grow your business in 2016?

Sometimes we make business far harder than it is.

We over-think our strategy, complicate our product line, worry too much about our staff.

All of these are important issues to be sure, but they pale into insignificance compared to the one area of business that contributes most to success.

Click to see how.

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