Posted in Strategies on October 3, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

In one of my recent talks with a fresh Junior Marketing Officer, he mentioned:

“..and I could finally put together a pretty nice file on measuring our market  by only using  SWOT Analysis, I am certain that my Executives will be impressed …..”

“The SWOT Analysis for measuring the market?!” I asked.

Well, it was clear that this officer was a bit confussed with what he might have heard or learnt in some inadequate business classes or that he was not well explained and supervised on the task at hand.

What is actually required to measure a market is rather the PEST Analysis.

PEST is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors, which are used to assess the market for a business or an organizational unit.

The PEST Analysis headings are a framework for reviewing a situation, and similarly to SWOT Analysis, it can be used to review a strategy or a position, or the direction of a company, a marketing proposition, or an idea.

You are recommended to use PEST Analysis for business and strategic planning, marketing planning, business and product development and research reports. As PEST elements are ‘external’, completing a PEST analysis is helpful prior to completing a SWOT analysis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, which are based on half internal and half external elements).

Note that while a ‘PEST Analysis measures a market’; a SWOT Analysis measures a business unit, a proposition or an idea.

The PEST Analysis needs to primarily address:

  1. How a company/a service is looking at its market;
  2. How a product is looking at its market;
  3. The relation of a brand to its market;
  4. A local business unit in context of its market;
  5. The strategic options, e.g entering a new market / launching a new product;
  6. The possible or potential acquisition;
  7. The potential partnerships;
  8. The investment opportunities.

Final note for Senior Executives:  Make sure you describe both ‘subjectivity’ and ‘objectivity’  for the PEST Analysis to your staff as clear as possible so that everybody who contributes to the Analysis as well as those who read it have a  clear picture and proper understanding of the outcome and its assessment.


Posted in Strategies on September 6, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

In one of my recent talks with a CFO of a national company, she said:

” Research and Market Research are unhelpful. A waste of money”

But fact of the matter is, the investment on research is quite essential. It enlightens business strategies and helps to reduce risks.  When you want to launch a new product or even cut costs on a project, you need to get it right on at first place and stay away from any costly errors.

A good effective market research,  will address ‘needs’, ‘wants’, ‘behaviours’ and ’emotions’. It will assess both current and future problems and facilitate you to take better and cost-effective decisions.


Posted in Leadership, Management on August 3, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

What is the hardest thing in an organisation?

I would say: Paying attention to what people are not saying!

This is probably the hardest required skill in managing, moderating and leading staff : spotting what people are not saying, looking for omissions and what they would be saying if the situations were different.


Posted in Human Resources, Organisational Culture on July 7, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

Those in middle management positions are the key here! Why?

Because they are the ones who actually turn strategies into implementation.

Middle managers and their team are crucial to translate your organisational ‘vision’ to ‘action’.

I have observed that many effective managers with good practical ideas are prevented to deliver and eventually they lose their effectiveness.

Not only should organisations develop a culture of trust on mid management but also treat them with the respect they deserve.

Once you unleashed the talents in your mid management, you would see more leaders emerging.


Posted in Leadership on July 5, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

In my recent observations of various organisations , I noticed the
struggle of certain leaders, when counseling  their  team  members.

Counseling is an important element of leadership and it is:
• To help staff solve problems;
• To encourage or reassure;
• To help an explorer reach his or her potential.

Counseling can be effective when a member of staff / team is:
• Undecided, i.e. S/he can not make a decision.
• Confused, i.e. S/he does not have enough information or has too much information.
• Locked in, i.e. S/he does not know of alternatives.

How a leader can counsel?
1. Try to understand the situation. Listen carefully. Summarize. Check the facts. Paraphrase to make sure you understand.
2. Help list as many options as possible.
3. Help list the disadvantages of the options.
4. Help list the advantages of the options.
5. Finally, let the person decide on a solution. The counselor’s role is to give encouragement and information, not advice!

As a leader or leader to be, you would be required to apply counseling; therefore, you are highly recommended to have further studies on this subject.