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Benefits Of The Book – 5 Star Business Network

Chapter 1 – Why Business Networks Are Important?

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Many business problems appear intractable and unsolvable.
  •  Business executives face the dilemma – how to approach a problem, that appears unsolvable, with a flexible and lateral mindset?
  •  Most business executives undervalue and underutilise their own and their company’s business network.
  •  As a result, they frequently sub-optimise the outcomes for themselves and for their companies. How can they recognise this tendency and correct it?
  •  Most business executives do not recognise the variety of circumstances in which their business network can rescue or build their businesses. How can they understand the full capability of their business network and deploy it optimally?
  1. Learn why business networks are important and the tremendous value they can add to the businesses who use them wisely.
  2. How to make your business more resilient and responsive in the periods of high volatility by using business networks to absorb the shock. This might actually save your business one day.
  3. Learn how to substitute a business network for a multi-billion dollar business infrastructure.
  4. In credit crunch times why business networks that play together survive together, while the lone rangers get shot down. Learn from Lehman story.
  5. Learn how to scale up faster in boom time – using your business network far enhanced and rapid scalability.

Chapter 2 – Business Networks Through the Ages

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  A few people make things happen, some people watch things happen and understand what is happening, while most people are bewildered by what is happening and struggle to understand it. If you don’t understand the trends and recognise them then you will remain in the third category – and get hit by the results and be on the receiving end of the change.
  •  A few people make things happen, some people watch things happen and understand what is happening, while most people are bewildered by what is happening and struggle to understand it. If you don’t understand the trends and recognise them then you will remain in the third category – and get hit by the results and be on the receiving end of the change.
  •  Are you struggling? Stop. Use your brain – start winning by creating and making use of your own cohesive business network!
  1. Find out what you can learn from the historical business networks and why not to look for salvation from the governments of the day.
  2. Learn the reasons of success of these vast business networks of the past to make use of these in creating your own business networks.
  3. Learn the reasons of decline of some of these vast business networks of the past – so that you can avoid these pitfalls in your own business networks.
  4. Understand the cyclical nature of success and what can be done to maintain the momentum of success without hubris or arrogance taking over the actions.
  5. Recognize the patterns and trends in today’s economic and business environment in order to see invisible business networks shaping up around you. Decide which networks to be part of, and how. What do you bring to table to the existing participants? How do you break in, and play your part?

Chapter 3 – What Makes the Business Networks Great?

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Due to frequent mass layoffs, corporate loyalty is disappearing.
  •  If loyalty is disappearing, and it is the effective basis of organisation then is the organization becoming redundant fast?
  •  What will replace organization?
    • Networks
      • Why? – because they are based on trust, and not loyalty.
      • How? – internet, globalisation, speed of formation and dissolution of teams, opportunistic plays etc.
  •  If you do not recognize the above truth you will be working in a dead economic model and end up among the dead yourself.Does that mean everybody should leave their jobs? Obviously, no.
  •  Then what? Create a business network no matter where you are. Use this network to create, communicate and claim value. Your network will support you in life – not your company or organization.
  •  Highest form of co-operation is co-creation – which happens only when the trust is at its peak. That is the basis of synchronicity inherent in well-functioning networks.
  1. Draw substantive benefits out of your business networks by understanding the root cause and basis of those benefits.
  2. Gain insights into flexibility that is possible in configuration of your business networks – so long as you keep in place the substantive basis of their benefits.
  3. Learn to use the tipping point effect – the power of the few thought leaders (mavens, connectors and the salesmen), the stickiness factor, and the power of the context – to your benefit.
  4. What is the secret sauce of the most powerful networks? How to derive and use this for massive business gains?
  5. What is synergy and how synchronicity of networks is even more powerful than synergy? How voluntary and repeated interaction creates synchronicity under certain conditions – leading to massive gains from ‘network effect’?

Chapter 4 – Information Technology Systems That Support Great Business Networks

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Massive problems at every step in IT projects – cost overruns, time overruns, project under-delivery.
  •  On the other hand – you cannot do without IT.
  •  So – what is the solution?
  •  Business advocacy and stewardship of IT projects. Lead with a vision, plan with exactitude, and execute with precision.
  1. Do not be seduced by technology for its own sake – every investment in technology must provide proven ROI as per expectation.
  2. Learn why IT projects fail, and how to avoid failure?
  3. Key traps for the novice and the seasoned – how to spot them, identify them and get around them.
  4. IT is a two-edged sword – it will cut you, or cut your enemy; you decide whether you want to learn how to cut your enemy, or fail to learn and let it cut you.
  5. See a clear vision of what is possible using IT and how to get there.
  6. Learn why various IT players act the way they do – so you can get them to co-operate on your agenda.

Chapter 5 – Types Of Modern Networks

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Most people cannot recognize business network around them – like the radio waves around us, they only see the results but are barely aware of the means to the results.
  •  Because they cannot recognize these business networks they cannot fully benefit from them. Imagine, if we were unaware of all the properties of the radio waves, we would have no television, and many other devices that use them.
  •  Those who learn to recognize, create, configure, transform the business networks will benefit handsomely and those who do not will lose out.
  1. Expand your horizons of knowledge and possibilities surrounding all types of networks to achieve more.
  2. As you widen your scope of thinking, you will realise there are far more possibilities and options in any given situation than you originally think. You can pick and choose better options to maximise your results while minimising your risk.
  3. Learn the whole spectrum of networking universe, and decide where you want to play the game in this universe. What are you seeking in this wide universe of networks, and which space is the more appropriate to achieve what you seek.
  4. Decide how you want to play the game of networking – which rules, which other players, what is your respective added value, – PARTS (by Nalebuff). Win big – if you change the game by changing the scope of the game.
  5. Learn to recognise the invisible business networks that permeate the world around you. Learn how these business networks keep transforming themselves and the business environment they create and operate in. Benefit as a businessperson, investor or even an employee.

Chapter 6 – Super Networked Business

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Old organisation design model encourages bureaucracy, staid, slow innovation, silo mentality, lack of collaboration within company and between companies.
  •  Linear collaboration does not work. It is mainly good for master-slave relationships inherent in the past hierarchies of stable eco-systems.
  •  Most organizations have their own unique weaknesses. Best way to overcome your organization’s weaknesses is by collaboration with other organisations for whom one of your weaknesses is a key strength.
  1. Learn a whole new way of looking at organisations – a way which is more action oriented, realistic and dynamic. Once people start looking at the organisations differently they will not see a drainpipe model of traditional bureaucratic structure (waste flowing down the drain pipes to the bottom). They will see a spear that penetrates the customer defenses for their own good – to create value, communicate value and claim value – in collaboration with the 5-STAR business network.
  2. Move away from the traditional slothful linear model of collaboration to a game-changing real-time model of collaboration of a pride of lions. Faster, cheaper results that are more accurate.
  3. Learn to power your real time collaboration using business networks to leverage your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
  4. Teach the same lesson to your collaborators – suppliers and customers – to ensure that all are singing from the same song sheet to make the results faster, cheaper, higher quality, easier and more profitable.
  5. Hunt in packs – teach your pack how to hunt with you.
  6. Make the end-customer the focus of the entire business activity – cut the waste and eliminate anything that does not add value. Create a customer fan base.

Chapter 7 – Key Cornerstones Of 5-STAR Business Networks

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  You can now see/discern the invisible business network but still have no way to assess how good or bad it is in your situation?
  •  You know that new business model is necessary, but you don’t know how to start on the journey.
  •  You have difficulty to remember the names of the 5 key building blocks of the 5-STAR Business Networks.
  •  You know what the key building blocks are – but do not know how they are applied in practice.
  1. Learn how to differentiate between a good business network and an ordinary business network, and why the difference is important.
  2. Find out the five key building blocks of great business networks, and how they are tightly inter-twined in order to create outstanding business outcomes.
  3. Learn an easy to remember mnemonic formula that makes it easy to remember the five key elements of the 5-STAR Business Network, and use these whenever you need to use them.
  4. Apply a real life example to the formula and see how it works in practice and consolidate the learning.
  5. Learn how a company doubled its revenue by nearly $24 Billion in 3 years by applying the ideas embedded in the 5-STAR Business Network framework.

Chapter 8 – Fire-Aim-Ready Innovation – For Rocket Launch

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Most (more than 90%) new product launches fail. In most cases people involved in the process do not know the reasons till it is very late.
  •  Significant waste of time, resources and brainpower in the process of creating new products and services, and bring these to the market – due to the mismatch between the product life-cycle stage and supply chain maturity model.
  •  Many people invest too much time, resources and energy in new products at too early stage in its introduction, and as a result find it difficult to adapt to the market feedback.
  •  As Steve Jobs says, many times customers do not know what exactly they want unless they see it – so market research is an imperfect tool that companies rely too much on for new product development and introduction.
  •  Too much mediocre products and services launched into the market place, tepid demand mercifully kills most of these – but would be better to design better products and services to begin with.
  1. Fire-Aim-Ready co-design leads to faster innovation, more profits
  2. Design, produce and sell products and services that are more appropriate to the customer’s needs. Create a customer fan base as a result.
  3. Create and multiply your options for more innovative products and services that are derived from each new product and service – flywheel effect of innovation.
  4. Use your knowledge of product life cycle to match the supply chain maturity in order to maximise results – maximise profitability and minimise disruptive waste of efforts.
  5. Gives you a new framework to focus your effort during innovation – on either demand development (sales and marketing) or on supply development (R & D, procurement, production, logistics, supply chain).

Chapter 9 – $eed-to-$tore Efficiency – For Cash Actualisation

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Most (more than 90%) new product launches fail. In most cases people involved in the process do not know the reasons till it is very late.
  •  Significant waste of time, resources and brainpower in the process of creating new products and services, and bring these to the market – due to the mismatch between the product life-cycle stage and supply chain maturity model.
  •  Many people invest too much time, resources and energy in new products at too early stage in its introduction, and as a result find it difficult to adapt to the market feedback.
  •  As Steve Jobs says, many times customers do not know what exactly they want unless they see it – so market research is an imperfect tool that companies rely too much on for new product development and introduction.
  •  Too much mediocre products and services launched into the market place, tepid demand mercifully kills most of these – but would be better to design better products and services to begin with.
  1. Everybody wants more cash, faster. Learn how to use your business network to systematically generate more cash faster.
  2. This art of managing supply chains for efficiency is now a well developed science with 30 years of accumulated know-how. If you do not use this know-how to use it to its best effect for your company, you are at a serious competitive disadvantage.
  3. Learn how the various tools such as JIT, inventory phasing, DRP etc are interlinked and form a greater whole where all the moving parts worth together in unison.
  4. Learn all the various tools and how to pick the right tool for the right situation to enable the best results. Using the wrong tool is worse than not using any tools.
  5. Learn how to manage the invisible business networks and how much money is invested in these invisible networks.

Chapter 10 – Transaction Optimisation Profitability – For Beneficial Growth

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Do you know what percentage of your total transactions are profitable? Most companies do not.
  •  Do you know how to turn unprofitable transactions into profitable transactions? Most companies make wrong decisions when faced with this problem.
  •  Do you know the real costs of transactions? What level is your information accurate up to?
  •  Do you know your real profits on each deal? Most companies do not.
  •  Do you know how to minimise costs and maximise revenues simultaneously in order to optimize the profits on every transaction?
  1. Continually improving understanding of profitability at a more granular level – until you can optimize profitability on each and every deal you make.
  2. Understand the ultimate goal of BIG DATA – better understanding of the customers and cost drivers in order to maximize profitability. BIG DATA is one of the means to the end goal of transaction optimization profitability.
  3. Better customer understanding through more and more finely tuned information about the customers available readily – happier customers because you promise only what you can deliver and you deliver the promise.
  4. Better understanding of the costs of all the processes in the entire network – allows you to cut the non-value added process steps. Also provides information on what to promise. Minimise your costs and know what to promise your customers at the time of the deal.
  5. Move beyond the outdated models such as Activity-Based-Costing (ABC), or Cost-to-Serve modelling to real time transaction optimisation.

Chapter 11 – Advanced Product Phasing – for Product Serialisation

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  Avoid 1 hit wonder companies that fail after the first product has gone through its natural life cycle.
  •  Companies that milk their products to maximum, without investing in second generation products – eventually kills themselves.
  •  Companies that launch products too frequently – without getting the best run out of their current products leads to customer confusion and reduced profits.
  •  If the supply chain maturity does not match the product life-cycle, there is chaos, missed expectations and frustration – accompanied by high costs or lack of flexibility.
  1. Understand the innovation cycle, use it to pace the innovation effort, build on it, create and sustain momentum.
  2. Learn how to balance short term profitability and long term business sustainability at the same time.
  3. Learn how the supply network must correspond with the innovation stage in order for the innovation cycle to succeed.
  4. Learn how you can simultaneously be both efficient in delivering current products at best costs, and effective in developing best new products by using your 5-STAR Business Network.
  5. Learn how to create a perpetual innovation motor within your organization that keeps churning out new products at regular intervals, while at the same time keeps getting the maximum profits out of the current products.

Chapter 12 – Results-Focused Outsourcing and Modularisation – for Insourced Outsourcing

Summary and key takeaways:
  •  No company can do everything by itself – so every company must outsource. However, there are far too many hidden traps in the process of outsourcing that are discovered only when the outcomes are not what they were anticipated prior to outsourcing.
  •  Too many myths surround outsourcing, and several of them persist for a long time due to self-interested parties perpetuating these myths.
  •  Too many problems inherent in the process of outsourcing – cost creep, scope creep, low-balling, promising what could be delivered, encouraging dependence etc.
  •  Current approaches to managing outsourcing problems are inadequate because they only address part of the problems.
  •  Divergence of interest and information asymmetry between the parties in an outsourcing arrangement.
  1. Learn how to build your 5-STAR Business Network using insourced outsourcing to build rapidly and profit immensely.
  2. Learn how to leverage massively to multiply your effectiveness while managing the risk carefully. Win big – lose small.
  3. Learn how to recognise the key myths associated with outsourcing and counter them by logic.
  4. Learn the current approaches to overcome the problems associated with outsourcing and why a new approach is required.
  5. Identify hidden risks in the process of outsourcing and manage them systematically.

Chapter 13 – Super Networked Business of the Third Richest Man on Earth

Summary and key takeaways:
  • Concepts are difficult to relate to the reality unless they are clearly shown to do so.
  •  Too much testing of concepts makes them outdated or redundant. Case examples are a good way of seeing them in action and adapting them to your circumstances.
  •  Nuances are missing in cold facts of conceptual discussion – case studies are required to see a nuanced version of the concepts.
  1. See the concepts from this book in action building the fortune of the third richest man on earth.
  2. Learn to recognise the patterns shown in this book using a real life case study.
  3. Think about how to apply these concepts in your own situation to create a 5-STAR Business Network that builds your fortune.
  4. Learn how to simultaneously innovate, profit, grow, sustain, and leverage to create an optimum fly-wheel effect.
  5. Convince yourself and others of the powers of these concepts.

Chapter 14 – Research Methodology and sample table

Summary and key takeaways:
  • What if your company or geography is widely different from the case examples used in this book – how to apply the concepts in your situation in that case?
  •  How to rate your suppliers, customers and collaborators in their understanding and use of the concepts in this book to create a 5-STAT Business Network?
  •  How to measure, improve and manage the progress on these 5 key dimensions?
  1. Understand the research underlying the concepts in this book.
  2. If the case studies discussed throughout the chapters of this book are not representatives of your industry or geography – find other companies that meet those criteria better.
  3. Use a high level framework to rate your business network, suppliers and customers.
  4. Lay the foundation for a more detailed framework to be developed for rating on each of the 5 scales based on companies internal data.
  5. Create a diagnostic tool kit to measure, improve and manage on all the key elements of the 5-STAR business networks.
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