Hoainam Duong

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The Metrics Sales Leaders Should Be Tracking

As an executive vice president for sales, I spent countless hours reviewing, examining, and analyzing the sales forecast for my company. I required the managers who reported to me to do the same. And that’s what they asked their reps to do, too. We weren’t alone. Conversations between sales …

The Pace of Technology Adoption is Speeding Up

Many people suggest that rates of new product introduction and adoption are speeding up, but is it really, across the board? The answer seems to be yes. An automobile industry trade consultant, for instance, observes that “Today, a typical automotive design cycle is approximately 24 to 36 months, …

How is Big Data Transforming Your 80/20 Analytics?

Even today, most organizations technically struggle to answer even the simplest 80/20 analytics questions: Which 20% of customers generate 80% of the profits? Which 20% of suppliers are responsible for 80% of customer UX complaints? What 20% of customers facilitate 80% of the most helpful …

Why Young People Are Miffed About Being Considered Junior

Young people tend to feel older than they really are. For example, in a series of experiments by Matthew L. Hughes and two colleagues at Texas A&M, participants with an average age of about 24 felt about <b>5 years older</b> than their true ages, a finding that confirms the results of previous research. …

Use Your Sales Force’s Competitive Intelligence Wisely

The vast majority of your marketing data, whether from purchases or surveys, tells you about your business customers’ past behaviors. But the past is over. Your job as a manager is to know what your customers will do next month or next year. Who has data about the future?<p>Your salespeople, that’s …

Analytics 3.0

Artwork: Chad Hagen, Nonsensical Infographic No. 5, 2009, digital<p>Those of us who have spent years studying “data smart” companies believe we’ve already lived through two eras in the use of analytics. We might call them BBD and ABD—before big data and after big data. Or, to use a naming convention …

You May Not Need Big Data After All

Artwork: Chad Hagen, Graphic Composition No. 2, 2009, digital<p>Companies are investing like crazy in data scientists, data warehouses, and data analytics software. But many of them don’t have much to show for their efforts. It’s possible they never will.<p>What’s the problem? To begin with, big data has …

Order in the Strategy Court

As followers of Dilbert all know, personal and office politics pervade organizational life. If pressed, therefore, most of us would agree that whenever you have a) ambitious people with a variety of visions, b) limited resources, and c) serious flaws with decision tools, any strategic decision is …

The Tyranny of Strategy

Satan was rhetorically gifted enough to persuade a third of the angels to turn against God. He was charismatic enough to raise his troops’ morale in the face of their first defeat. He was sage enough to persuade his captains to continue the fight using his plan. He was cunning enough to trick the …

Can You See the Opportunities Staring You in the Face?

We all suffer from inattention blindness. We focus so intently on a particular task that we don’t notice the weird thing that’s right there in plain view. The person walking by in a gorilla suit, for example.<p>Companies suffer from inattention blindness too. And in a business context, the weird thing …

Data’s Credibility Problem

Artwork: Chad Hagen, Nonsensical Infographic No. 7, 2009, digital<p>As a rising product-management executive prepares for an important presentation to her firm’s senior team, she notices that something looks off in the market share numbers. She immediately asks her assistant to verify the figures. He …

Will Your Bad Boss Make You a Bad Boss, Too?

One of the best predictors of whether a person will become an abusive parent is if he or she was abused as a child. On the face of it, this is puzzling. Certainly, as children, these people did not say to themselves, “This is how I want to treat my kids.” To the contrary, our guess is that they …

Three Strategy Lessons From the Latest Round of Xbox vs. PlayStation

In 2008, when the Harvard Business School case study was written on the launch two years earlier of the PlayStation 3, the question was whether it was “game over” for Sony. The electronics giant had seemingly lost its dominant position in the gaming console market, with the Nintendo Wii’s surprise …