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Digital Disruption: New Required Skill sets Open Doors for Innovation

 

There is no denying that companies and individuals alike are no longer looking to traditional business models and education systems to stand out among the herd and compete with the ever-accelerating pace of technological change. New skill sets required for global, enterprise workforces often cannot be found at traditional universities and leaders are looking outside the box to procure talent.  Read the full article from HR Tech Outlook here.

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Providing Digital Supply Chain Solutions Essential to Market Success

CGE’s “The Digital Supply Chain: Tips from the Insiders” is a special video series aimed to help companies and their leaders transform their supply chains for the future.  Released bimonthly for the first half of 2017, you will learn practical, actionable tips from top supply chain executives based on their experience and expertise.

 

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The Digital Supply Chain: Tips from the Insiders video series

CGE’s “The Digital Supply Chain: Tips from the Insiders” is a special video series aimed to help companies and their leaders transform their supply chains for the future.  Released bimonthly for the first half of 2017, you will learn practical, actionable tips from top supply chain executives based on their experience and expertise.  Get to know the experts by watching the introduction video or pick the videos that interest you from the list below and watch as many times as you want.  Check out the latest release below.

 

 

In this series you will learn from:

 

  • George Bailey, Digital Supply Chain Project Leader, The Center for Global Enterprise on how Digital Supply Chains Increase Revenues and Halve Costs
  • Craig Moss, COO, CREATe.org on Defining the Digital Supply Chain Platform
  • Chris Caine, President, The Center for Global Enterprise on The Digital Supply Chain Institute
  • Michael Maguire, VP Ariba Business Development, SAP on how to Put the Customer at the Center of the Digital Strategy
  • Anders Karlborg, Assistant CEO, ZTE on Providing Digital Supply Chain Solutions Essential to Market Success
  • Michael Corbo, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Colgate Palmolive on how New Technologies Enable Digital Supply Chain: 3-D Printing
  • Zahid Hai, Chief of Strategy, Worldwide Corporate Services, Sodexo on Business Integration and Breaking Silos
  • Michael Crowe, CIO, Colgate Palmolive on Top Executive Commitment to Enable Digital Supply Chain Success  
  • Mitch King, Supply Chain Director, DOW on Using Big Data to Understand and Respond to Customer Demand
  • Kyle Hamm, VP Global Supply Chain, Schneider Electric on how Cloud Computing Enables Digital Supply Chains for Small to Large Businesses
  • Suresh Senoy, EVP, Alyx Technologies on how Structured Data is the Oil that Makes Digital Supply Chain Possible
  • Victoria Dolan, Chief Transformation Officer & Corporate Controller, Colgate-Palmolive on how to Reimagine the Corporate Planning Process
  • Suddhir Redy, CIO, Aricent on The Sense and Response Digital Supply Chain Strategy
  • Phanindranath Kakarla, EVP Corporate Services Group, Edelweiss Finance on Digital Supply Chain in Financial Services
  • Sudheer Pamighantam, Global Head of Supply Chain and Logistics Practice, Tech Mahindra on how Digital Supply Chain Starts Where Traditional Supply Chain Stops

 

For additional information about CGE’s Digital Supply Chain initiative and the supply chain experts visit the Digital Supply Chain initiative webpage and download the recently released white paper, “Digital Supply Chains: A Frontside Flip” available in both English and Chinese.

 

 

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Digital Supply Chain Institute: Developing Practical Tools for Supply Chain Executives

Supply Chain Futurists Predict the Impact of Digital Transformation

The Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI) has identified four key management areas of the digital supply chain and will produce tools and reports for senior supply chain managers. Read all about the upcoming work in “Digital Supply Chain Institute: Developing Practical Tools for Supply Chain Executives” a preview from CREATe.org, a DSCI partner organization.

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How an Online Course Gave Rise to Africa’s First Consulting Platform

Lessons from Global Scholars is an occasional update on the activities of CGE’s Global Scholars. Our goal is to keep you in touch with the current activities of your peers and to share how lessons learned through our Global Scholars programs are being applied. Contact us if you have recent experiences you would like to share. Stay connected with your colleagues through our LinkedIn Alumni Network.

 

 

Name: Glory Enyinnaya

Age: 31

Country of Origin/Residence: Nigeria

Global Scholars Program: Africa Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation

Education: B.Sc. (First Class Honors) Accounting from the University of Nigeria; Change Management certification from Prosci; Executive MBA from Lagos Business School

Work Experience: Management consultant at Accenture, the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria, British-American Tobacco and several Oil and Gas companies. Founder and Lead Consultant, Kleos Advisory

Inspiration: The desire to contribute to the ‘’Africa Rising’’ narrative

 

Glory Enyinnaya was among the 50 participants from the “Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation,” CGE’s inaugural course in April of 2016. Since participating in the course, Glory has created her own online consulting platform, KleosAfrica.com, to help businesses based in Nigeria gain access to affordable management consultants. Glory is a former Accenture consultant and is completing her MBA at Lagos Business School, but says the transition from corporate consultant to entrepreneur blossomed during the course. As Kleos Africa ventures into the market, CGE discussed Glory’s new platform and how she has applied lessons learned from the Global Scholars program to her new venture.

 

Q&A

 

Tell us about your background and how the idea for Kleos Africa came to be.

 

I was born in the sprawling metropolis of Lagos, Nigeria. I attended Chrisland Primary School and the Nigerian Air Force Secondary School, where I served as the Deputy Head Girl. I began quite early in my life to take the road less travelled. In Nigeria, bright students usually study the sciences – Medicine, Engineering or Architecture – but I wanted a career in business so I chose to study Accounting instead. Even as an adolescent, I marched to the beat of my own drum. I was subsequently admitted into the University of Nigeria, where I studied Accounting as a Shell National Merit Scholar and graduated with a First Class Honors degree, after holding a couple of student leadership positions.

 

After a brief stint as an investment banker, I was fortunate to be employed in my dream job as a management consultant in Accenture. I was there for five years and gained exposure to the fundamentals of management consulting. Subsequently, I left to pursue my interest in change management as an independent consultant.

 

I see my work as a businesswoman as a vocation and a calling that gives meaning to my life. My entrepreneurial aspirations led me to invest in an MBA from Lagos Business School. I chose LBS because the school places a strong emphasis on ethical business practices. It also offers a world-class business education and the Executive MBA, in particular, offers excellent opportunities for immediate application of the knowledge acquired in the classroom.

 

While at LBS, I was privileged to be a participant in the maiden edition of the ‘Africa Platform Management, Strategy and Innovation’ course hosted by the Center for Global Enterprise. The initial idea for KleosAfrica was birthed as a result of the program. During the application process, we were asked how we would apply the knowledge from the course and I had my ‘’Eureka’’ moment: I could create a platform for African freelance consultants!

 

At the same time, I was asked to develop a marketing plan for my MBA Marketing class. Not being one to pass up an opportunity to make a difference, I shared the idea for KleosAfrica with 250 SMEs and received an overwhelmingly positive response! And … the rest, as they say, is history!

 

How does KleosAfrica meet an unmet need in Nigeria?

 

KleosAfrica meets the needs of two key stakeholder groups: senior managers/business owners and skilled professionals.

 

Studies have shown that small firms play an important role in the growth of the Nigerian economy. However, Nigerian small businesses often suffer from a dearth of the managerial skills critically needed for successful business operations. These skills include proficiency in Finance, Operations, HR, Marketing etc. This leads them to make sub-optimal competitive decisions, ignore strategic threats and fail to use scarce resources maximally.

 

Meanwhile, there are many skilled professionals (both within and outside Nigeria) who have three problems: excess spare time, inadequate current income and under-utilized business acumen developed at previous employment and during business school. There are also local and foreign MBA students with the skills and the passion to support the development of African businesses, but without a feasible channel to connect them to business owners.

 

Our online platform will connect senior managers and business owners in need of strategy consulting, financial modeling, managerial accounting, marketing and other services with skilled professionals and business school students seeking to earn spare money to pay for tuition, discretionary and living expenses.

 

SMEs cannot afford McKinsey, Accenture or PriceWaterhouseCoopers. But our platform gives them affordable access to the intellectual horsepower behind those firms’ client output. In other words, we will be ‘’McKinsey for SMEs’’ or ‘’Uber for consultants.’’

 

Our online consulting platform will reduce the huge failure rate of small businesses in Nigeria by providing affordable, innovative and premium solutions to SMEs. We expect this to have a multiplier effect on the per capita income and economic growth of Africa.

 

What were the most important lessons learned during the “Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation” course?

 

I gained two major benefits from the course: new skills and a wider network.

 

Taking the course exposed me to the fundamentals of the platform business model. This included elements such as the revenue model, impact of network effects, governance models, value creation, growth constraints and mitigation strategies. Three books, in particular, stood out for me. ‘’Platform Revolution’’ written by Sangeet Choudary, Geoff Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne of the Massachusetts institute of Technology has been my manual for my business. I have a dog-eared copy in my laptop bag which I refer to all the time. Another great book is ‘’Platform Scale’’ written by Sangeet Choudary. Finally, ‘’The Digital Transformation Playbook’’ by David Rogers of Columbia Business School helped me define the business model for the platform.

 

In addition to the skills I gained, my network also expanded to include my CGE angels (such as Amy, Kristen and Ira) and my TA team (such as Francine Beleyi, Timothy, Aluko, Ayobami and Chris). I can’t fail to mention the insightful mentoring and support I’ve received from Dr. Yinka David-West, the Lagos Business School faculty on the program. I wouldn’t be here today if she hadn’t accepted me into the program.

 

How did the course help you accelerate your career goals?

 

When I left Accenture, I knew I would like to set up a consulting firm of my own someday. That was one of the driving forces behind my decision to embark on the MBA journey at LBS. However, I always assumed my firm would have the traditional pipeline model. The course opened my eyes to an innovation which transformed my vision for my career and enabled me to be of service to my immediate community. I’m aware a similar course on Platform Strategy is offered at the Massachussets Institute of Technology for $3,700 (excluding accommodations). I’m grateful to have had it for free, from the comfort of my MacBook Air.

 

There’s no such thing as perfect execution when it comes to a business plan. Entrepreneurs have to be practical and flexible. Tell us how you’ve had to change your original plan.

 

Indeed, I’ve had to pivot on the following elements of my business model:

 

Customers: I started out thinking KleosAfrica would be a social enterprise providing quality consulting services at heavily subsidized prices to SMEs. I realised that, without regular and guaranteed funding, that model is not very sustainable. It’s evolved to be a profit-oriented enterprise for larger businesses (not just early-stage startups)

 

Services: I started out wanting to offer purely MBA-type analysis and strategy consulting. Based on the demand from the market, I’ve now decided to include other professional services ranging from Legal services to Website design.

 

Execution Approach: I started out wanting to follow the entrepreneurial steps I learned from the Wharton course step-by-step. Similar to executing a project workplan. Then I read a Harvard Business School case about Hourly Nerd, a platform with a similar business model, and I decided to be less rigid and just do it! Focus on achieving product-market fit, and let all the paperwork come later.

 

What type of clients do you hope to attract? How can they use the platform?

 

Business owners and senior managers in need of temporary consulting assistance are welcome to post projects on the platform. Our prices are significantly lower than those of traditional firms, which enables us to serve small and medium sized enterprises that are unattractive for larger firms. Similarly, we offer consulting services to managers in larger companies who lack the budget to purchase services from the firms that serve senior executives. You can sign up as an employer here, view profiles of our consultants here and post a project here. Here’s a brief overview on how the process works.

 

What type of consultants do you hope to attract? How can they use the platform?

 

KleosAfrica consultants have an average of 8+ years of experience. They range from stay-at-home parents with operational experience, to former consultants from large firms seeking better work-life balance, to business school students anxious to earn money during school, to international business school students and consultants looking to contribute to Africa’s development, to retired professionals looking to monetize their experience. We are interested in both independent consultants and boutique consulting firms. You can sign up as a consultant here. There’s no cost for registering as a consultant.

 

What career and life advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

 

Three prominent business leaders wrote a book that says successful businesses are built by heart, smarts, guts and luck. Building on that premise, my advice is four-fold:

 

Heart: I’d like to quote Sarah Blakeley, the billionaire founder of Spanx, ‘’I didn’t have the most experience, or the most money, but I cared the most.’’ Find a group of people you care about, find out what their problems are and commit to solving them, with the resources at your disposal. And if you don’t have enough resources, find them! Love will find a way.

 

Smarts: Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin, said ‘’Launching a business is an adventure in problem-solving.’’ In a rapidly changing business environment, in order to survive, you must have an unquenchable thirst to learn. After the CGE course, I went on to take additional courses from Wharton Business School, IE Business School, Bocconi University and Acumen to increase my knowledge of how to be an entrepreneur.

 

Guts: Don’t be afraid to aim high. In the words of Robert Browning, the poet, ‘’ Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or what’s a heaven for?’’

 

Luck: According to Carl Zuckmeyer, ‘’One half of life is luck; the other half is discipline – and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck.’’ So, time and chance do happen to all men, but be alert so that when your chance comes, you take it!

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Micro-course Alumni Shares the Evolution of his Startup Business Plan

Lessons from Global Scholars is an occasional update on the activities of CGE’s Global Scholars. Our goal is too keep you in touch with the current activities of your peers and to share how lessons learned through our Global Scholars programs are being applied. Contact us if you have recent experiences you would like to share. Stay connected with your colleagues through our LinkedIn Alumni Network

 

 

Name: Ayobami Oladejo

Age: 36

Country of Origin: Nigeria

Country of Current Residence: South Africa

Global Scholars Program: “Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation.” CGE’s inaugural micro-course in April of 2016

Education: MBA, BSc Mathematics

Work Experience: Current CEO Adroyte. Past Ericsson, Vodacom, MTN, Airtel

Inspiration: Solving real African problems with technology as an enabler

 

Ayobami Oladejo was among the 52 participants from the “Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation,” CGE’s inaugural micro-course in April of 2016. Since participating in the course, Ayo has resigned from his position at Ericsson, a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company, to focus on his startup, http://adroyte.com. Adroyte builds innovative value added payment systems on mobile networks, utility, and financial services infrastructures and recently participated in Google’s Launchpad Start Program in South Africa. Ayobami lists CGE’s micro-course among the factors that led him to fully embrace his startup.

 

CGE sat down with Ayobami to discuss his new company and how he has applied lessons learned from the Global Scholars program to his new venture.

 

Q&A

 

Tell us about your background and how the idea for Adroyte.com came to be.

 

It is a dream that went on for a long time. We started building Adroyte when I was working full time in various organizations. I always wanted to solve problems and realized that one day, I’d have to focus on running a company that solves real African problems using technology. I started my career in Software Development, mostly web applications and then moved into the Telecoms industry in 2005. I was in a field of Telecoms that was just emerging and one that was at the forefront of blurring the line between IT and Telecoms. I was headhunted for a position in Swaziland in 2008 to help modernize the only mobile operator in the country. I then worked for Vodacom South Africa and eventually joined Ericsson in 2011. Through these times, I was developing software for use in various verticals but more specifically filling gaps in Telecoms in a personal capacity.

In October 2014; while attending a program in innovation at the Florida International University as part of my MBA at the University of Stellenbosch South Africa, I met a wonderful professor who listened to my story and told me that I should be doing more and that I have a chance to build a real company that would become an African pride. I finally resigned from Ericsson at the end of 2016 to focus on Adroyte as CEO. I also lecture part-time at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

 

How does Adroyte.com meet an unmet need in South Africa?

 

Our focus is on Africa and indeed the developing world. In fact, our utility credit platform was first deployed in a network operator in India! We learned so much in both business processes and improving the technical aspects of the platform in India. At the moment, we are focusing on Africa and gaining some traction.

We modernize the way utilities vend their products from a distribution angle. On top of that, we provide intelligent analytics capabilities for them to make better decisions very fast. We also empower their big wholesalers with technology they didn’t have in the past.

 

On top of that, we provide platforms that convert the activities of customers of utility companies (mobile networks, electricity companies) into credit ratings for utility loans. We also provide credit facilities to small retailers of these utility products and this is a form of financial inclusion that enables them access capital to sell more. All these are data-driven powered by our in-house algorithms making use of several data points.

 

What were the most important lessons learned during the “Platform Management, Strategy, & Innovation” course?

 

CGE’s Platform Management, Strategy and Innovation course came at the right time. My previous work experience and education had helped a lot in shaping my career. But I have a principle of life-long learning and take opportunities to learn new things very seriously. The course expanded my thought process in platform thinking. I particularly found the network effect principle amazing and am grateful for being under the tutelage of Proffesor Geoffrey Parker. I eventually bought a hardback copy of the Platform Strategy book, Platform Revolution, which serves as my reference point when thinking of any platform issues. I intend to start a PhD soon and the course has really helped in narrowing my research endeavor.

 

How did the course help you accelerate your career goals?

 

I recall the course came at the point when I was debating the right time to leave my job. At the time, we were deploying some of our platforms and building new ones. It was also a time of refining our business model. The course helped me understand the different ways of entering new markets using platform strategies. After the course, I was more confident of our ability to use proven platform strategies and not just the traditional MBA and our technical expertise.

 

Tell us about the evolution of your business plan as an entrepreneur.

 

The definition of a startup that I love so much is by Steve Blank- a startup is a “temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”

 

I believe that until that scalable business model is achieved, the evolution must be very agile. And even after getting the business model right and a market fit, the evolution must continue. Facebook has evolved from a social network to EVERYTHING. Amazon also started as a bookstore and now is the everything store.

 

I believe what companies should be using is a business model, which is part of the strategic exercise and not a business plan. We use the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya, which can be obtained from leancanvas.com.

 

The lean canvas is a living document for us and we keep going back to check the metrics to see if we are on track or need to change something very fast. For example, we used the single-sided strategy to build a new product for our customers, which aided the existing product offer. We offered a credit platform to a customer but their existing platform was legacy and we could not integrate to it. We had to offer them a new system and we will now make money from the new system as well as have the ability to integrate the credit product. Without an open mind, we could have just moved on and not taken the new opportunity. We will be selling this new system to other organzations too.

 

This is one of the principles of lean thinking, else we keep doing the same thing and realize the market is not in need of what we have built and resources wasted.

I suggest everyone should read Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz.

 

What career and life advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

 

I will refer to Bud Caddell:

 

  1. What can you do well?
  2. What do you like doing?
  3. What can you be paid to do?

If you as an entrepreneur can answer the three questions and successfully have an intersection, then you are ready to build a business. It is also important to grow but not become a bureaucratic dinosaur. Yes, there must be checks and balances but it must not affect your agility and decision making abilities.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, so it is important to have business partners with the same vision to help you get to the dream. It is also good to be flexible and open to learning from others. I believe in having a life and not compromising totally on family life and personal health. A good balance is very important.

 

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Put the Customer at the Center of the Digital Strategy

CGE’s “The Digital Supply Chain: Tips from the Insiders” is a special video series aimed to help companies and their leaders transform their supply chains for the future.  Released bimonthly for the first half of 2017, you will learn practical, actionable tips from top supply chain executives based on their experience and expertise.

 

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Alpha Team Helps Silicon Valley Startup Enter New Markets

On Wednesday, March 8 four Alpha Team members presented their final recommendations on behalf of the 21-member team to the senior leadership of Carbon, a Silicon-Valley based 3D printing startup that is revolutionizing additive manufacturing.

 

Over the course of eight weeks, the Alpha Team worked with three mentors to research new applications of Carbon’s technology in the spare parts market. The Alpha Team, which collectively represented nine countries across three continents and 15 languages, identified key target industries and companies active in the spare parts market in the U.S., Germany, UK, and Japan.

 

In the consumer market, Carbon recently announced an agreement with Adidas to create a 3D-printed sneaker for the German company. A limited number of the Futurecraft 4D” shoes will be available in the fall, with full production ramping up next year.

 

At the Alpha Team presentation were Carbon co-founder and CEO, Joseph DeSimone, and Carbon Vice Presidents Philip DeSimone and Paul DiLaura. Other members of the Alpha Team also attended via a video conference. After the presentation, the Alpha Team members answered questions about their research and received a tour of Carbon’s headquarters and a demonstration of Carbon’s CLIP technology.

 

Alpha Teams are an offering of the Center for Global Enterprise’s Global Scholars program. Past Alpha Teams sponsors include the NFL and The London Taxi Company. You can learn more about Alpha Teams and other programs available through the Global Scholars program here.

 

 

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CGE Joins Think Tanks from Around the World to Recognize Importance of Global Trade and Innovation

Waves of populist discontent have called into question the merits of the prevailing economic order. Yet the case for trade remains as strong as ever—so long as it is conducted on genuinely fair and market-based terms and so long as countries implement effective policies to spur domestic competitiveness and assist their citizens in adjusting to technological change and international competition.

 

It would be a mistake to move away from globalization and deeper economic integration. This is why, the CGE, along with members of the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) – an international network of think tanks dedicated to liberalizing trade, spurring innovation, and curbing mercantilism – unite to call on policymakers around the world to take three steps in support of the global trading system. The multinational group’s assertions are outlined in this joint declaration.

 

“Given the highly visible proclamations coming from many individuals in government or seeking to enter government that economic openness is a bad thing, it is important for there to be a balanced and constructive point of view based facts” said Christopher Caine, President, the CGE. “That is why CGE chose to align itself with think tanks from around the world to express itself at this time.”

 

The world is at a pivotal moment and it is critical that a public commitment to multilateral trade and innovation remain the prevailing view for all countries seeking a better future. CGE encourages companies and individuals to deepen their awareness of what it means to be a global enterprise, global leader, and global citizen so that an environment for a better future can be created. The following think tanks from nine countries around the world joined in this cause:

 

The Center for Global Enterprise (USA)
Center for Social and Economic Research (Poland)
Competere (Italy)
Free Market Foundation (South Africa)
Fundacion Idea (Mexico)
Geneva Network (United Kingdom)
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (USA)
The Lisbon Council (EU)
Shanghai Science and Technology Policy Institute (China)
Tic Tac de la CCIT (Colombia)

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The Global Enterprise: Where to Now?

A decade after the publication of his seminal 2006 Foreign Affairs article, Mr. Palmisano reexamines the global business landscape and the challenges facing corporate managers in his new article, “The Global Enterprise: Where to Now?” Powerful forces are pulling in opposite directions: Governments are retrenching from economic and political openness, while technology is bringing people together in everything from commerce to entertainment to scientific endeavors.

 

 

Special thanks to the Global Scholars universities that participated and helped make this webinar possible:

 

  • University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
  • IESE Business School, Spain
  • ESSEC Business School, France
  • University of Surrey Business School, UK
  • Boston University Questrom School of Business
  • Indian School of Business, India

 

For more information Read the Foreign Affairs article(s) by Mr. Palmisano:

 

 

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