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Traditional business education was formed in the Industrial Age. The Industrial Age was an era of stability and narrow problems. Historic numbers would indicate the future, and organisations were packed in neatly separated functions that worked next to each other. Like a predictable set of Lego blocks. Back then, the key challenge was to find reliable processes to scale these stable businesses, that were protected by economic moats.
Accordingly, traditional business education treats business like a step-by-step enterprise, focused more on replicable tools and formulas to build those scalable businesses.
Since the Industrial Age business reality has changed.
Today, we operate in an era of rapid change and wicked problems. The emergence of new technologies, the shift of consumer habits, the shake up of the basis of competition, transforming business models and declining boundaries between business functions require decision makers to constantly review, re-launch or reposition their products and businesses.
This means that the future performance of any business is influenced by a variety of drivers. As a result, business decisions do not come in nice packages anymore and the Lego blocks are not visible at first sight.
Putting this puzzle together has moved business thinking from being a science to being an art.
“A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capabilities and culture – all of the connections among them – and respond to them before they become obvious parts of the conventional wisdom. It’s an art form, not a science.” Satya Nadella
The development of businesses cannot be routinised through tools and checklists anymore. Instead, understanding & perspective has become crucial.
“Anxiety is the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools” Marshal McLuhan
Throughout history, conformists rarely have create unique products and businesses. Yet in this new environment, more than ever before, repeatable recipes don’t provide a formula to stand out.
This is why we cater to those who want to go beyond a formulaic, static approach and who are aware that there are no silver bullets. We cater to those who instead venture into the unknown where the next step is not pre-defined and where they cannot get away with checklists. They enter an area where they need a deep understanding and original thinking, with the ability to weave together different strands of a business.
After all, this is where success lies in today’s world.
In today’s interconnected environment, a real edge emerges from a wider perspective and from a deeper understanding of the various connections within a business. Or, in other words, from being able to connect the right dots.
“Creativity is just connecting things. … they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. ” Steve Jobs
Our aim is to provide business leaders with the right dots to connect, helping them get to the real problems, ask the right questions and tackle the right opportunities.
We do this by educating about the full architecture of the business and its market environment. We help readers weave together different strand and see the connections between various parts of the business.
One of our focus areas is to help leaders bridge the fundamental gap between the product and the business. For founders and growth companies that means properly aligning the product with business requirements and market reality. For larger companies, strategists and investors that means understanding how the different silos of the business lead to an integrated whole, understanding what drives success, what insights and activities to focus on and what metrics to track.
Our core aim is to provide them a deep understanding of the logic of the business, helping our readers quickly see how the pieces fit together, helping them ask the right questions, know what to focus on and deal with situations that don’t fit the classic recipe book.
This is the deep understanding and wide perspective that helps them see the whole situation, evoking fresh insights that enabling them to rise to the front of the pack.