June 2018 What We're Reading
We’re here to help you make your business spending more strategic, intelligent, and connected. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.
Accurate, timely forecasting is critical for businesses, but few do it well. Here’s an overview of the key differences between budgeting and forecasting, and advice for avoiding four common missteps.
"Management can course-correct based on forecasting data, but budgeting contains goals that may not be attainable due to changing market conditions."
Why Growth Depends on Taking Risks with Your Hiring Strategy
Ruth O’Brien for Inside Intercom | @RuthOBrienIRE
As a company grows, its hiring strategy must grow with it. Here’s how to bring on the right kind of talent at the right time.
"The inflection point is when you go from only being comfortable hiring star candidates who pose very little risk to taking chances on candidates who don’t tick all the boxes but who have promise and potential."
What Startups Can Learn from General McChrystal about Combining Strategy and Execution
Adam Pisoni for First Round Review | @adampisoni
The former US military commander draws from his experience transforming the Joint Special Operations Task Force into a more agile organization to show how transparent communication and decentralized decision-making can help businesses, too.
"Leadership must first trust that employees understand the organization's context and goals enough to make decisions on their own. But how can leadership ever trust their employees if they won't freely share the information people need to make good decisions and let go enough to allow those employees to prove themselves?"
Want a Purpose-Driven Business? Know the Difference Between Mission and Purpose
Patrick Cook-Deegan and Kendall Cotton Bronk for Fast Company | @FastCompany
Today’s young workers want to join purpose-driven organizations. Focusing on why you do what you do is the best way to retain top talent and connect meaningfully with customers. Here’s how to clarify your purpose and share it widely.
"Leaders not connected to the reasons behind what they’re trying to accomplish are more likely to get distracted by novel trends, to give up when the going gets tough, to be viewed as opportunistic by customers and employees, and to avoid taking risks that can lead to innovation."
Jeff Bezos’s approach to decision making helps Amazon stay as nimble as a start-up, despite its size. As long as a decision is reversible, it should be made quickly, in spite of a lack of complete data and a 100% certainty of success.
"We often think that collecting as much information as possible will help us make the best decisions. Sometimes that's true, but sometimes it hamstrings our progress. Other times it can be flat out dangerous."
Company founders, VCs, and independent board members often have different ideas of what constitutes success. Asking the right question, early and often, can help a board gain alignment and agreement.
"It’s clearly simplistic to say that everyone is aligned around a single goal: to maximize the value of the stock. Yes, surely that is true at one level. But it gets a bit more complicated than that."