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Big Idea 2014: When A Big Idea is The Big Idea... 2014.01.01

New York, USA - December 10, 2013 - Most of us assume globalization and increasing digital penetration means the era of big winners is gone forever. But the evidence suggests otherwise. Paradoxically, the comfortable balanced approach may no longer hedge risk effectively in such an interconnected world. (Hey, didn't everything in my investment portfolio go down together during the last crash?). Rather, with perspective, and the insight I gleaned from the Elberse book, it seems to me that we are moving into an era where less may be more; where a big idea is actually the big idea. Now go out and put that lens to work re-examining your business model and basic mission as a company. You'll be surprised by what you see.

Photo courtesy Bill McComb / Anna Ismagilova / shutterstock
 

New York, USA - December 10, 2013

Bill McComb, Chief Executive Officer at Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.
Photo courtesy Bill McComb
 
By Bill McComb
Chief Executive Officer at Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.


Not long ago, I was lucky enough to chat with Anita Elberse, a professor at Harvard Business School.
She is a shrewd and smart observer of business, technology and life, and she talks about something so simple, yet so important in recent book Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking and the Big Business of Entertainment.

She talks about when a Big Idea is the Big Idea.

What does this mean?

It means that the motion picture industry in particular has recognized that placing big bets on potential big hits is a better strategy than pursuing the perceived safety and conservatism of a steady stream of small to mid-sized successes.

Anita takes the argument well beyond Hollywood, applying it to media, music and sports at large, and she immediately made me realize that it was true of our industry: fashion.

Amazingly, I realized it also provided a framework for my experience leading a transformation.

Seven years ago, when I entered the fashion world, our company (then known as Liz Claiborne, Inc.) collapsed from the weight of its singles and doubles strategy.

Also known as a portfolio approach.

In this case, our very swollen portfolio failed to withstand powerful technology-driven industry trends long in the making.

After a few months of serious fact-gathering, consulting help and company-wide soul searching, we put in place a then very controversial strategy — focus on three core businesses instead of 46; become a direct retailer, instead of being primarily a wholesaler; and put “brand” at the center of everything we do.

The move went against the grain of our competitive set.

Yet we had looked outside the narrowly defined peer group and reached a blockbuster-style conclusion:

“If any one of these three brands goes the way of Coach, we will have a win for our shareholders for decades.”

Courtesy Bill McComb
 
Perhaps most disturbing to our industry and critics, we also had to accept that, in movie terms, a franchise had run its course.

Namely, the blockbuster which had built the company — the Liz Claiborne brand — would never regain its past fashion and cultural dominance.

Now, seven years later, we are seeing the fruits of our “less is more” philosophy, and they are substantial.

With Kate Spade New York, we have one of the fastest growing brands in the world, and our company has been reborn.

When we look back, we can also see our strategy reboot in 2007 allowed us to become more global, more digital, and more consumer-driven than we ever could have been with our old singles-and-doubles portfolio approach.

Let me take it a step further.

The truth is the blockbuster strategy is now central to success in so many businesses.

Some like Apple have managed to produce multiple big winners (like a Hollywood studio).

Others such as Ford have surged around trucks and SUVs.

Jet Blue redefined air travel via a lower cost, better experience.

The list goes on…

Most of us assume globalization and increasing digital penetration means the era of big winners is gone forever.

But the evidence suggests otherwise.

http://www.linkedin.com/channels/bigideas2014
 
Paradoxically, the comfortable balanced approach may no longer hedge risk effectively in such an interconnected world.
(Hey, didn’t everything in my investment portfolio go down together during the last crash?).

Rather, with perspective, and the insight I gleaned from the Elberse book, it seems to me that we are moving into an era where less may be more; where a big idea is actually the big idea.

Now go out and put that lens to work re-examining your business model and basic mission as a company.

You’ll be surprised by what you see.


Source: LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/  



ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.12.29

2013 Business School Dean of the Year

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1619  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.10.01

Sir Richard Branson on how he judges personality. How I Hire: Focus On Personality

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1566  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.08.26

Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO at GE: How to Differentiate Great Leaders from Good Leaders

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1530  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.07.16

John Donahoe: To Beat the Chaos, Take a Thinking Day

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1500  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.06.13

Bill Gates: Three Things I've Learned From Warren Buffett

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1482  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.06.13

LinkedIn Influencer: The One Conference You Want to Attend

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1481  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.05.10

LinkedIn Celebrating 10 Years of "Relationships Matter"

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1460  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.04.02

Sir Richard Branson: Smart Phone? I Prefer a Brilliant Assistant

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1436  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.02.11

LinkedIn reaches 200 million members worldwide

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1410  


ASTROMAN Magazine - 2013.01.04

Richard Branson: Top 10 tips for making lists

http://www.astroman.com.pl/index.php?mod=magazine&a=read&id=1378  



ASTROMAN magazine


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