Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 38, 2022

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.vd
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – The One Number You Need to Grow
#2 – Are We in the Metaverse Yet?
#3 – More-Experienced Entrepreneurs Have Bigger Deadline Problems
#4 – How to Make Your Culture Work with Agile, Kanban & Software Craftsmanship
#5 – Your Strategy Should Be a Hypothesis You Constantly Adjust

The One Number You Need to Grow

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Frederick F. Reichheld

Summary: Companies spend lots of time and money on complex tools to assess customer satisfaction. But they’re measuring the wrong thing. The best predictor of top-line growth can usually be captured in a single survey question: Would you recommend this company to a friend? This finding is based on two years of research in which a variety of survey questions were tested by linking the responses with actual customer behavior—purchasing patterns and referrals—and ultimately with company growth. 

3 Highlights:

“… Willingness to talk up a company or product to friends, family, and colleagues is one of the best indicators of loyalty because of the customer’s sacrifice in making the recommendation...

“… When customers act as references, they do more than indicate they’ve received good economic value from a company; they put their own reputations on the line. And they will risk their reputations only if they feel intense loyalty…

“… By substituting a single question—blunt tool though it may appear to be—for the complex black box of the customer satisfaction survey, companies can actually put consumer survey results to use and focus employees on the task of stimulating growth...” 

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Are We in the Metaverse Yet?

Source: The New York Times
Author: John Herrman and Kellen Browning

Summary: Crypto people say they’re building it. Gamers might already be living in it. The art world is cashing in on it. Web veterans are trying to save it. But what is it? In some rare cases, the terminology sticks. A lot of people talk a lot about a lot of loosely related things, and then those things merge into a single semi-comprehensible thing. Then we live our lives within that thing forever. Remember hearing about “the internet”? Get ready for “the metaverse.”

3 Highlights:

“…  Many people in tech believe the metaverse will herald an era in which our virtual lives will play as important a role as our physical realities…“ 

“… It’s just going to continue the blend, he said, until we’re all wearing goggles, or living in tanks of goo, after a gradual and disorienting transition from the internet of today, which is, perhaps, more metaverse than it gets credit for…“ 

“… It’s a primitive version of what’s coming...” 

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More-Experienced Entrepreneurs Have Bigger Deadline Problems

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Amy Meeker

Summary: Entrepreneurs are notorious for failing to hit their own delivery dates, and those in our sample were no exception. The more projects the founders completed, the wider the margins by which they overshot their go-to-market dates. The conclusion: More-experienced entrepreneurs have bigger deadline problems.

3 Highlights:

“…  The first thing I’d advise is to build awareness of the nature of complexity. Many unknown unknowns will arise. You need to recognize that any small tweak to your product could increase complexity dramatically and rapidly. Think geometrically, not linearly…

“… Remember, time is money, and these delays are not trivial. They can cause companies to go under. So try to plan for them as best you can…

“… You can do this by experimenting with new components in low-stakes settings—using incremental stress testing, small-batch production, and iterative processes like agile—to identify potential issues early on before you establish your timeline...”

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How to Make Your Culture Work with Agile, Kanban & Software Craftsmanship

Source: Methods & Tools
Author: Michael Sahota

Summary: Culture is often ignored, misunderstood, and yet a key dynamic in company performance. In this article, we will introduce a model of culture that is simple to understand and apply. The model will be used to show that Agile, Kanban, and Software Craftsmanship have strong cultural biases that limit the scope of their applicability. Finally, an approach will be outlined to select approaches that work with the culture in your organization.

3 Highlights:

“… In the Schneider model, no one culture type is considered better than another. Please refer to the book for details on the strengths and weaknesses of each. Depending on the type of work, one type of culture may be a better fit…

“… I have already established that the Agile community is focused on Collaboration and Cultivation at the expense of Competence. We as a community of software professionals do need to pay attention to Competence and technical excellence for long-term sustainability…

“… More importantly, you can use the cultural fit model to decide what approach – Agile, Kanban, or Software Craftsmanship – will best fit with your organization…”

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Your Strategy Should Be a Hypothesis You Constantly Adjust

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Amy C. Edmondson and Paul J. Verdin

Summary: Strategies must be constantly adjusted to incorporate information from operations and the market. Research on recent dramatic cases of strategic failure in different industries involving vastly different business models and strategies shows a common pattern: What started as small gaps in execution spiraled into business failures when initial strategies were not altered based on new information provided by experience. 

3 Highlights:

“… An alternative perspective on strategy and execution conceives of strategy as a hypothesis rather than a plan…“ 

“… Like all hypotheses, it starts with situation assessment and analysis. Also like all hypotheses, it must be tested through action. With this lens, encounters with customers provide data that is of ongoing interest to senior executives — vital inputs to dynamic strategy formulation…“ 

“… Strategy as learning is an executive activity characterized by ongoing cycles of testing and adjusting, fueled by data that can only be obtained through execution. What is new is the idea that closing the gap between strategy and execution may not be about better execution after all, but rather about better learning…”

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