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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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).
- 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.
- 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?