Buying gifts can be tricky. For that reason, you want to know that you can easily swap things out. At these retail stores, returns are as easy as pie.
Aaron Epstein Security, Middle East U.S. personnel deserve the most responsive and most capable medical coverage no matter where they are deployed. In December 2016, a team of U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) suffered several injuries in Northwest Iraq. Among those injured, one member was critical and quickly bleeding out. The nearest military assistance, an Army Forward Surgical Team, was well over an hour away in Erbil, Iraq. Today, that SOF member is alive, not because a helicopter was deployed to transport him to Erbil, but because he didn’t even go to Erbil. A team of forward-deployed civilian doctors from the Global Surgical and Medical Support Group (GSMSG), located in the vicinity where the injuries occurred, saved his life by performing emergency surgery. The civilian medical team also treated the rest of the special operators with field CT/MRI imaging to check for other injuries. Those injured SOF team members were subsequently stabilized, later transported to Erbil, and flown out of country for continued medical care. As much as we want it to be, the military cannot be all things in all places. Despite the shift toward nimble/agile SOF and small distributed intelligence teams working on a global scale over the past decade, the rest of the force structure to support those teams lags considerably. The military apparatus has ironically yet to solve the problem of downrange medical/surgical support. The smaller and more mobile the surgical teams become, the less effective they are in their ability to care for injuries. The recent unfortunate loss of Army SOF lives in Niger is a glaring example of that. In another example, the “death-from-wounded” rate from the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan are no better than that of the Vietnam War. But if looking at the trauma centers in the United States, the medicine and skills readily exist. Unfortunately, marrying those things in a sustainable and effective way with small distributed teams of operators in the field does not. Read full article
After reading Agilent Technologies Inc’s (NYSE:A) most recent earnings announcement (31 July 2017), I found it useful to look back at how the company has performed in the past andRead More...
12 фев. Скинулись, открыли с Олегом и Мишей шиномонтаж. Работаем сами, подсобником взяли Шухрата со стройки. Проходное место, очередь клиентов с утра до ночи, бизнес попёр.9 мар. Надоел учет в блокноте и бардак на складе. Наняли девочку, установили ей компьютер с 1С, всё теперь будет вноситься в базу. Закончили наконец спорить о названии, победило моё: "Мир покрышек" - коротко, точно и очень ёмко.12 апр. 1С это конечно бомба! В ней можно всё учитывать, и даже рулить бизнесом. Наняли программиста, чтобы немного её допилил. Скоро блокнот можно будет выкинуть!17 мая. Учет ещё немного сбоит, но уже видно как будет всё круто, когда закончим. Взяли второго программиста для ускорения. От сбоев страхуемся старым добрым блокнотиком, но его дни уже сочтены. На выходных поигрался с конструктором и сконструировал наш первый сайт. Выходим в онлайн!8 июн. Обновили версию 1С, очень крутая, огонь! И хотя все наши доработки слетели, не беда - мы их быстро повторим и даже сделаем лучше. Для ускорения наняли java-программиста, тестировщика и менеджера проектов. Сделаем из нашего шиномонтажа Индустрию 4.0, это будет прорыв!20 июл. Клиенты видимо свалили в отпуска. Блокнотик говорит, что с июля всего одиннадцать покупок. Зато в 1С видно, что отремонтировано тридцать пять колес, заделано семь проколов и установлено 940 граммов балансировочных грузов. Биг дата рулит!19 авг. Переманили из соседней кофейни data scientist. Всего за три дня он вычислил, что с понижением температуры на два градуса, количество клиентов растет на 9.5%, а с дождем - падает на 5.7%. А пока мы ждем сухой и холодной погоды, команда подключает балансировочный станок к облаку.19 сен. Наши программисты - гении! На коленках написали мобильное приложение. Теперь все графики под рукой и даже есть управление скоростью станка с телефона. Благо клиентов вал - начался сезон и Шухрат пашет 24/7. Мы тоже не сачкуем - внедряем Agile и ремонтируем новый офис.10 окт. Уберизация наше всё! Придумали, как объединить все шиномонтажи страны в одну сеть. Пилим для них маркетплейс и создаём единую шинную экосистему. Пока всё тестируем на Шухрате. Он конечно ноет и просит прибавить за это денег, но ничего - скоро поймет, насколько автоматизация упрощает ему жизнь.4 ноя. Шухрат уволился - сбежал обратно на стройку и мы решили временно закрыть шиномонтаж. Тем более что, что работы хватает и без него. Завели блог на Хабре, канал в Телеграме, едем с докладом на блокчейн конференцию в Барселону. Расскажем про нашу концепцию покрышка-as-a-service. Это будет революция!15 дек. Пока проект не взлетел, с деньгами приходится туго. Две недели бегали по инвест фондам и бизнес-ангелам. Но эти чертовы капиталисты слишком жадные - никто не согласен дать миллион за 10% нашего стартапа, хотя мы стоим намного больше. В итоге затянули ремни и взяли на себя шесть потребкредитов разом. Начинаем готовить ICO(fb)
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Only three Gunners players feature in our north London derby XI and one of those – Alexis Sánchez – is largely relying on past performancesPetr Cech has been one of the finest goalkeepers of the Premier League era and, at 35, is still very good. But he is past his best, with that prediction of him being worth 10 points a season to Arsenal when he joined in 2015 always looking over-optimistic. Hugo Lloris is far quicker and more decisive when sprinting off his line, excellent in one-on-ones and among the best sweeper-keepers around. The wiry Frenchman is also particularly agile and regularly makes spectacular point-gaining saves, such as against Real Madrid in this season’s Champions League. Cech sits out Arsenal’s Europa League tussles. Continue reading...
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rosmaro/Getty Images Can a large incumbent company rediscover how to act like an agile start-up? I believe the answer is yes, though success depends largely on another question: Can the executive team learn to get out of the way? Behaving like an agile start-up implies speed, a sharply defined mission, and a deep understanding of customers. Those qualities allow a company to consistently formulate the right strategy and execute it cleanly—but also to pivot decisively when conditions change. Big companies generally don’t act this way, and neither do their leaders. The complex organizations they’ve built to capture the advantages of scale slow them down and dull their reactions. Internal issues and processes muffle the voice of the customer. Divisional politicking fragments the sense of mission. There’s too much planning and not enough doing. When companies do find a way to recapture the insurgent energy of a start-up, it’s usually because leadership has emphasized two things. The first is clarity. Ask what their mission is and they can tell you in a sentence, ticking off on their fingers the three or four distinctive capabilities that ensure its execution. The second is focus. Starting with a bold strategy, they pick specific battles that must be won and then design initiatives to attack potential failure points—the game-breaking issues that stand in the way of success. Insight center The Gap Between Strategy and Execution Sponsored by the Brightline Initiative Aligning the big picture with the day-to-day. At Bain, we call these initiatives “micro-battles” and believe they are a powerful tool for fighting back against the complexity that slows companies down when trying to implement strategy. Though they may sound like an exercise in micromanagement, they are actually the opposite. Leaders of these companies work relentlessly to focus the enterprise on their strategy’s biggest potential challenges, but they delegate solving these issues to small, cross-functional teams of specialists drawn from across the company. That forces the action closer to the customer, dials up speed, and begins to break down bad corporate habits that have accumulated over time. Micro-battle teams use agile ways of working to achieve narrowly focused missions, not sweeping divisional priorities. They have the authority to make rapid decisions rather than shop approvals up the line. Their objective is always to get a basic prototype, or “minimum viable product,” in front of customers as quickly as possible. They can then test it, learn from it and devise a new prototype in rapid, iterative cycles based on real-world customer data. Micro-battles are all about using these fast test-and-learn cycles to innovate—developing new products, opening new markets, figuring out better ways to do things. They also shed valuable light on the corporate behaviors, cultural habits, and complex processes that cut down innovation in its tracks. Building a winning prototype that incorporates both kinds of learning is the first aim of the micro-battle team. But the solution can start to be transformational if the team can turn that prototype into a repeatable model that can be rolled out across the organization. Needless to say, trusting teams with this kind of responsibility doesn’t come naturally for many top executives. Most leaders, in fact, have been trained not to trust those around them. Their default mode is to second-guess, to challenge, to assume they know better. Rather than solve the specific, their impulse is to broaden the inquiry, which only makes problems bigger. Even leaders who embrace the micro-battle concept have trouble breaking old habits. One global logistics company CEO, for instance, launched a series of micro-battles in a bold effort to shake up a tired organization and implement a new strategy. The company staffed the battles with 20 of its biggest stars and set them free to start building prototypes. When the teams and top management gathered a month later to talk progress, the CEO showed up late and was clearly distracted. Ordinarily, this would have been a golden opportunity to exercise new coaching muscles and build up team confidence. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the CEO asked: “So whose idea was this thing?” “Well, actually, it was yours,” answered one deflated micro-battle leader. “Three weeks ago, you asked me to lead what you said was one of your most important priorities.” Changing leadership behaviors like this is a major part of making micro-battles work. It means standing the typical large-company approach on its head. Instead of creating enterprise-scale solutions at the center and pushing them down through the organization, leaders rely on teams of front-line stars to find solutions that actually work in the real world and then help them clear a path to broad corporate adoption. Leaders set strategy. They make the hard decisions about which micro-battles to fund and at what level. But their most important role is coaching, mentoring, and breaking through the inevitable big-company organizational hurdles that would otherwise block progress. This typically requires a period of behavior modification as leaders buy into moving decision making closer to the front line. But if leaders set the right course and deploy the right people, it should be easy to trust that their teams will deliver the goods. More than anything else, companies that act like insurgent start-ups know how to get things done. They have finely tuned radar for what customers want and are relentless in delivering it quickly. The most effective micro-battles are set up as microcosms of the fast-moving, strategy-driven insurgent you want to become. Given the chance, that energy will grow and spread across a large organization. The biggest challenge for leadership is stepping back and letting it happen.
Sebastien Roblin Security, Middle East And it is very lethal. Russia’s lethal-looking Ka-52 attack helicopters have reappeared in video footage blasting targets in Syria—catching some journalists in Europe by surprise. Even if Russia withdraws the agile attack helicopters, the type will remain active in the Middle East in Egyptian service. The lean, two-seat Ka-52 is visually distinguished by its pronounced nose, and is fittingly dubbed the “Alligator.” The nimble, ultra-maneuverable scout/attack helicopter uses two three-bladed contra-rotating rotors for stability so that it can go without a lag-inducing tail rotor, allowing the helicopter to soar at up to 196 miles per hour, nearly 20 percent faster than an Apache. According to Russian media, unlike the more heavily armored Mi-28N “Havoc,” the Alligator can both glide like a plane and pivot ninety degrees on the spot. Recommended: Why North Korea's Air Force is Total Junk Indeed, when NATO first learned of the Alligator’s predecessor, the single-seat Ka-50 Black Shark, it was assumed to be a purpose-designed antihelicopter platform for chasing down American gunships! This was not really the case: though the Ka-50 and Ka-52 (NATO codenames Hokum-A and -B) reportedly can mount deadly R-73 heat-seeking air-to-air missiles, the helicopter’s primary mission is reconnaissance and ground attack. Recommended: Why Doesn't America Kill Kim Jong Un? Thirty-two Ka-50s served as prototypes in the 1990s and 2000s, each configured differently from the previous model. In 2001, a few Black Sharks launched rockets and laser-guided missiles strikes on Chechen insurgent camps. Later in the decade, the Russian Air Force finally ordered more than 146 of an upgraded two-seater version, the Ka-52, of which ninety-four were delivered by the end of 2016. Recommended: The F-22 Is Getting a New Job: Sniper In January 2016, as Moscow announced it was “withdrawing” its air force from Syria, it dispatched a contingent of a Ka-52 attack helicopters which began air strikes on Syrian rebels and ISIS fighters. Read full article
Daily Press Briefing: Climate Change, Peacekeeping, Security Council, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Children's Space Daily Press Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General. HIGHLIGHTS: ---------------------- - SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MORE AMBITION IN FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE, ‘DEFINING THREAT OF OUR TIME’ - IN VANCOUVER, TOP U.N. OFFICIAL CALLS FOR PEACEKEEPING TO BE AGILE, MOBILE AND TO INCLUDE MORE WOMEN - SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVES 900 EXTRA PEACEKEEPERS FOR CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - U.N. OFFICIALS URGE D.R. CONGO AUTHORITIES TO RESPECT FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND EXPRESSION AMID PLANNED PROTESTS - U.N., PARTNERS DELIVER AID TO OVER 100,000 PEOPLE IN SYRIA’S AR-RASTAN - 925,000 SUSPECTED CHOLERA CASES IN YEMEN AS ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES RUN OUT – U.N. RELIEF WING - AFGHAN OPIUM PRODUCTION JUMPS TO RECORD LEVEL, UP 87 PER CENT – U.N. AGENCY - U.N. LAUNCHES TOUR FOR CHILDREN Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=15%20November%202017
Danita Delimont/Getty Images Few industries are being disrupted as drastically as the retail industry. Pioneers of new business models, such as Alibaba and Amazon, are launching innovations in rapid succession, such as voice ordering and real-time pricing, while simultaneously building scale and driving down costs. More retail purchases are moving online, and a growing number of manufacturers now sell to consumers directly, cutting out retailers entirely. Making matters more challenging, these shifts are happening across practically every retail category – books, entertainment, housewares, clothing, food, financial services, and even energy. The retailers left standing are those that figure out how to treat disruption as business-as-usual in an industry accustomed to slow, strategic planning. Today, even long-established retailers are starting to set and deliver on selling strategies at the nearly real-time pace set by their online competitors. It’s either adapt to the new environment or step aside and make room for a competitor who can. To accommodate frequent, fundamental changes to business models, leading retailers generally follow three principles that have been developed through trial and error, often in the midst of disruption. Below, we explore each one, in turn: Empower mid-level teams. While executives excel at setting a firm’s strategy, it usually takes teams made up of people on the front line from all of the divisions affected by proposed changes to figure out how to implement them at pace. That’s why Alibaba and Amazon, for example, create and sprinkle autonomous cross-functional teams across their respective companies to invent and deliver products in new ways. These teams regularly come up with innovations that enable these online retailers to roll out more new products and services faster than their competitors. At other future-focused retailers, setting up autonomous, cross-functional teams to meet constantly evolving challenges is taking hold in different ways. Some retailers maintain a separate in-house team to try out potentially superior new systems that don’t follow traditional rules, in parallel with existing processes. Others have gone so far as to start their own venture capital funds, such as Walmart’s Store No. 8, to invest in small firms to test out new technologies – such as advanced data analytics or new ways to deliver products – before bringing them in-house. By incorporating these disruptors into its own operations, a retailer can more easily pose challenging questions and embrace change more quickly. Insight center The Gap Between Strategy and Execution Sponsored by the Brightline Initiative Aligning the big picture with the day-to-day. Once given permission to “think the unthinkable” via cross-functional teams, retailers can often realize material impacts on agility and costs. For example, by pulling together people from finance, human resources, sales, and other product-related departments, one retailer figured out how the company could operate with one-third fewer employees in its stores. The group designed an entirely new store model from the ground up, using lean store approaches, and cherry-picked the company’s best products, reducing the number of offerings by 70% in its catalog and by one-quarter in its stores. They also simplified checkouts and shelf restocking processes and equipment. By streamlining store complexity, the team was also able to slash the retailer’s supply chain costs by 20 percent. In the process, the company became better acquainted with its customers – what they liked to buy and how they liked to shop. Leading retailers continually improve their businesses by encouraging employees to not only abandon old ways of doing things, but to think as if they were creating the company from scratch and picking the system or tool that makes the most sense. This is especially effective since cross-functional teams do not answer to a particular department. So they are more likely to recognize, for example, when a company’s legacy IT system has become a stumbling block to progress – a common affliction in retail operations. Engage executives in continuous small sprints. Companies often pull together teams made up of technologists and front-line managers to continuously test and refine paths to progress, remove obstructions, and keep things on track. But top retailers have found that executives, including chief executive officers, need to get involved day-to-day for revolutionary thinking to be accepted quickly. Otherwise, issues raised will go unresolved or projects will drift back to more conventional paths. At Amazon, for example, executives are required to “dive deep” as well as to “think big.” That means they are expected to work regularly with junior operational teams to solve specific issues as well as set strategy, and they are rated by others on their ability to strike the right balance. By taking this approach, Amazon can improve its processes swiftly and the company’s senior leadership stays in touch with what’s happening on the front line. One way insightful retailers are breaking free from their conservative cultures is to have the CEO lead a weekly “drop in” meeting for project teams or 15-minute daily catch-ups. When CEOs lead these meetings, teams can raise any issues, big or small, and get them resolved in minutes. Even complicated issues that cut across traditional organizational boundaries can be detangled, such as getting permission to change a marketing campaign without checking with the marketing director or to test a new product offer in stores without first having to secure agreement from both the commercial and store operations departments. Executive involvement can also help with breaking free of strongly ingrained principles or procedures, such as rules around how products are displayed on shelves. Enable people to feel comfortable with failing fast – including the CEO. Leading retailers have developed the ability to nimbly change direction, even based on beta testing. The ones that do this best have CEOs who fight their instincts to avoid failure and instead champion taking more risks and learning from them – even at the very top of their organizations. Amazon has practically codified failure throughout the company by separating decisions into “one-way doors” and “two-way doors.” One-way doors are decisions that are difficult to reverse, such as a big acquisition, where it’s critical for the decision to be more carefully considered and made at a slower pace. But two-way door decisions are reversible without costing the company its life, such as a new product launch or pricing decision. It’s assumed that these decisions can be made fast with limited information and that failing is okay. As a result, Amazon can regularly adjust to trends and rush out products. In some cases, retailers are setting up “lab stores” — pop-up establishments designed to test a specific hypothesis. Nordstrom, for instance, has set up a smaller “Nordstrom Local” test store where customers can try on clothes and then have them delivered to their homes later the same day. Nordstrom offers customers time-saving, personalized attention by keeping personal stylists, tailors, and manicurists at the store. But it does this at a lower cost by pulling merchandise from its other larger mall-anchored stores and web site instead of keeping inventory for purchase in stock. The retail upheaval that began two decades ago when Amazon was founded is nowhere near an end. While painful, the turmoil has given retailers a head start in discovering how to transform constant disruption into new ways to unleash inventions that make their operations stronger. If managers in other industries take a page from retailers’ playbooks, dealing with disruption could start to feel like second nature to them as well.