Posted on : September 29, 2017
Views : 8
Category : Startup
Bain Partner James Allen discusses how micro-battles can help companies achieve competitive advantage in a world of faster change. As a company rapidly grows, it’s all too easy to become lost in the complexity. To energize the organization and gain the benefits of scale, successful leaders translate their strategy into a set of micro-battles. Growth creates complexity, and complexity is the silent killer of growth. And so the issue is, how do I grow, remain an insurgent, but gain the benefits of scale and not get lost in all the complexity that comes out of growth? And this is where micro-battles become so important. What you need to do is translate the strategy into a set of micro-battles and then create a core team around them. The six steps of micro-battles:
  1. Define Micro-battles: This is hard, because a good strategy comes away with must-win investment priorities, but those aren’t micro-battles. A micro-battle says we’ve got to win in for example country ‘X’; what are the stores and channels that we’re going to try to dominate early on in that; and how do we create a cadence of co-creating solutions with those stores so that our customers get the best possible product that we have?
  2. Step two assigns a team to fight that micro-battle: who are the core franchise players that are going to lead this battle (give the front line ownership for the battle)…. so who are those people?
  3. Step three are the rules of engagement (empowering people). Lots of organizations talk about freedom within a framework, but step three defines this; how often do team need to report to the center? How much deviation from plan can they have before they have to come back and talk about what’s going on?
  4. Step four is breaking that battle up into 30-day cycles and review them at the end of each cycle; every four weeks they come back with the results on that battle that they’re fighting (increases the cadence of the company, but brings in a culture of a bias to action).
  5. Step five is all about learn, learn, learn. What are we learning about what’s going on (franchise players talk to each other, peer-to-peer learning). But also, we’re learning as an organization.
  6. Step six is what we are learning about our culture, what can we begin to change about our operating model, what is happening with the functional agenda?