Daily Archives: December 12, 2008

Dumb Company (The Lyrics)

In the spirit of CIRCUIT (the Corporate Intelligence Rating Under Inflationary Times), Dumb Company, and Dead Company, I bring you Dumb Company, in lyrics.

Company, always on the run
Destiny … we’re all chasing the sun
We’re downsizing, pink slips in hand
Without a prayer, we make our final stand
That’s why we are called

Dumb Company
Oh, we can’t deny
Dumb, Dumb Company
Till the day we die

Brainless souls
Innovation we do stall
Use the axe
It’s time to drop the ball
All the blogs
They know us by name
A slashing sound
It’s our claim to fame
That’s why we are called

Dumb Company
Oh, we can’t deny
Dumb, Dumb Company
Till the day we die

Enjoy the Song
Time’s up, we move on

To the tune of Bad Company

Design for Frugal Growth, Be Ready for Explosive Growth

A recent article in Strategy + Business pointed out the best reason why a company should design for frugal growth … it lays the foundation for explosive growth when the situation presents itself. To see this, let’s look at the design for frugal growth triangle that clarifies the five things a company designing for frugal growth has to focus on:

  • Accountability
    A company that is prepared for frugal growth is accountable for every dollar spent, and only spends dollars that lead to organizational improvement, such as increased efficiency, quality or productivity; cost savings and avoidance; and innovation-focussed R&D.
  • Innovation
    A company intent on frugal growth is constantly innovating new processes to improve efficiency and quality and reduce costs and innovating new products to bring to market to increase profitability.
  • Pull-based Functional Relationships
    A company designing for frugal growth does not tie up working capital in unnecessary and excess inventory … it uses a flexible and responsive supply chain to pull products and services on an as-needed and timely basis.
  • Differentiated Capabilities
    A company focussed on frugal growth knows that it needs to differentiate itself if it is to survive, especially in a down market.
  • Ability to Leverage Scale
    A company that has adopted the frugal growth philosophy has created economies of scale by consolidating research, manufacturing, and distribution. It has also established cross-functional teams and close collaboration between business units, removing the bottleneck that plagues so many of today’s departmentalized corporations.

All of this helps prepare a company for explosive growth when opportunity knocks. Here’s why:

  • Innovation Mindset Recognizes New Opportunities
    A company with an innovative mindset is always looking for problems to solve as well as new solutions to existing problems and will be the first to recognize a new opportunity when it presents itself.
  • Accountability Provides Focus
    An accountable company, used to focussing on getting results for every dollar spent, will be able to focus on the opportunity, develop a plan to take advantage of the opportunity, and execute the plan with the resources it has.
  • Differentiated Capabilities Enable New Product Design
    A company with differentiated capabilities will be able to quickly design new products to meet the specific opportunity presented to it, or streamline production processes to meet a surge in demand for existing products.
  • Pull-based Functional Relationships Allow for Rapid Response
    A company with optimized pull-based functional relationships will be able to quickly scale up production to fuel explosive growth when the time is right.
  • Ability to Leverage Scale Opens Up Markets
    A company that can leverage scale can use the same cross-functional capabilities to open up new markets, and expand globally when the opportunity arises.