The Times of Trenton has picked up some topics from my talk on discovery driven planning at the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.
It was a fun and lively session and the Chamber folks ask great questions!
- Posted Rita McGrath on October 19, 2010
A few months ago, I had the pleasure to give the keynote speech at the annual CFO "Core Concerns" conference published by CFO Magazine. The topic - how can you invest in growth, while containing risk - seemed to resonate with the folks gathered there. You can read the lead story in CFO Magazine by clicking here. I found it most gratifying that several CFO's and other business leaders that I've been working with were finding the discipline of DDP useful, particularly when it comes to redirecting or shutting down projects.
The article provides examples from Air Products & Chemicals, Innosight and other firms who have been applying the technique.
- Posted Rita McGrath on September 01, 2010
Mac teaches Discovery Driven Planning in his entrepreneurship classes at Wharton, and received the following story about how one of his students applied DDP:
I took your MGMT 802 class earlier this year. I'm working for a start-up in D.C. this summer, and I wanted to share with you how incredibly helpful the DDP process has been.
The founders are in the process of raising money and had built a very rough, top-down financial model to show to the VCs. As you can imagine, it got ripped to shreds, and the founders couldn't explain how changing certain variables affected the financial results. I showed up shortly after and built what I think is a pretty in-depth, bottom-up DDP model for just about everything. The founders were blown away when they saw it - especially after seeing the Monte Carlo/sensitivity analysis on the main input variables. I also introduced them to the assumption/milestone planning concept and they loved it. As a result, we're now in the process of formulating ways to test every single assumption in our DDP. The VCs won't know what hit them.
So, in brief, thank you so much for teaching such a great concept. It is, by far, the most worthwhile and practical tool/skill I have learned so far at Wharton. And learning about DDP is exactly why I chose to go to business school (specifically Wharton) in the first place.
Thanks again and take care,
- Posted Rita McGrath on August 24, 2010
My dear colleagues Jim Thompson and Ian MacMillan have just published a fascinating description of their work on social entrepreneurship, entitled "Making Social Ventures Work". It's a neat usage of discovery driven planning in an entrepreneurial setting. Here's how it starts:
In recent years, we’ve all experienced considerable volatility—financial breakdowns, natural disasters, wars, and other disruptions. It’s clear we need new approaches to the world’s toughest economic challenges and social problems. Entrepreneurs can play a central role in finding the solutions, driving economic growth (building infrastructure, developing local talent, infusing struggling regions with investment capital) and helping hundreds of millions of people worldwide. If successful, socially minded entrepreneurial efforts create a virtuous cycle: The greater the profits these ventures make, the greater the incentives for them to grow their businesses. And the more societal problems they help alleviate, the more people who can join the mainstream of global consumers.
The failure rates for new companies and markets, however, are high. That is true anywhere in the world, including emerging economies. The management challenges associated with producing and marketing goods and services at the base of the economic pyramid include imperfect markets, uncertain prices and costs, nonexistent or unreliable infrastructure, weak or totally absent formal governance, untested applications of technology, and unpredictable competitive responses. Given this daunting uncertainty, entrepreneurs need a framework for “unfolding” success from a perceived or an emergent opportunity.
- Posted Rita McGrath on August 18, 2010
While looking for something else, I ran across this post which provides an outline for an entrepreneurial business using the discovery driven planning framework. I know many of you are always keen to find additional examples and applications, so I thought I'd provide a link.
- Posted Rita McGrath on August 12, 2010
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