I recently read Pieces for Profit by David Yeghiaian. The author had provided me a copy of this book for review.
The main premise of the book is best summarized by the author in the introduction:”Based on the experiences, I developed an effective organizational model, tested across these industries, with consistent success. The model includes three elements – Strategy, People and Customers. While there are other books and research supporting each of these – Strategy, People and Customers – separately, I do not believe there are any portraying them together as a puzzle. This book provides you with a vision of how the three work interdependently to help you continuously improve by becoming more profitable and successful.”
The book is divided into three sections each covering one of the three elements, and how they each in turn support the others. Each chapter ends with a real-world example from the author’s experience to support and illustrates the concepts presented. Also a summary of the key points is provided at the end of each chapter.
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- “Alignment of functional areas is a key outcome of strategic planning. Divisions lacking a shared view of the organization’s ultimate goals are more likely to take on their own agenda. Consider the word division: “di-vision.” The Latin prefix “di” literally means apart. So, unless you plan to prevent it, your divisions are “visions apart.” We will introduce a new term, intervision, to identify your distinct functional areas. To align the functional areas completely, think of your unique functional areas as “intervisions” or “visions together.” Your intervisions work cohesively sharing the same vision; with the strategy as the means and the objective as the end.”
2- “There are five characteristics for a main objective: 1. It should be grounded in the reality of your organization’s present situation. 2. It should facilitate creative tension. 3. It should be the result of integrated thinking of the team, rather than a collection of individual objectives. 4. It should represent all key stakeholders – employees, customers, investors, etc. 5. It should invite and inspire people to want to bring it to fruition.”
3- “So, the answer to which comes first – people or strategy – presents a third option; your people and your strategy interact in parallel. Determining employees’ needs and executing your strategy are both continuous review processes.”
4- “Allowing your steadiest suppliers access to your objective and alignment across your value chain is sensible for forecasting. The same is true with other partners that will be affected by your strategy. Your emotionally connected partners will appreciate knowing their role with the future of your organization.”
5- “Innovation as it is being presented here is ultimately a function of your overall strategy. For organizational growth, innovation must be considered as a goal of your strategy. Include innovation as one of the goals. This allows everyone in your company to recognize innovation as the invisible hand moving your organization towards improvement and growth.”
6- “The 4 R’s are: recruiting, retraining, rewarding and retention. Roles – the fifth R – is actually the first R as it must be completed before anything else.”
7- “AL2A (Ask, Listen, Learn & Act) is a newly created process that provides organizations with an opportunity to assess your people’s and customers’ current reality. It provides the bookends related to People and Customers that surround your overall strategy.”
8- “Follow the six-step process to achieve an effective customer strategy with brand and message positioning. • The six steps are: • Assess the current situation • Determine internal touchpoints • Prioritize customers • Evaluate research needs, objectives and budgets • Conduct formal vs. informal research • Develop action plan( s)”
9- “AL2A with customers consists of six steps. 1. Prioritize customers and determine customer-specific teams. 2. Establish attribute criteria. 3. Communicate and implement. 4. Develop and execute action plans. 5. Align the organization. 6. Unite with performance management.”