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Enjoy access to exclusive insights from CEOs and business leaders of world class organizations. In our Playbooks, you’ll find key takeaways and best practices that have emerged from our roundtables, or private events held by our sister companies. Peruse the SSA Notebook to read a collection of recent provocative business stories. Or, explore our Thought Papers to find expertise on particular topics/industries.

Horizontal Integration – The Direct Path to Digital Success

Overview

Three Tips for Incorporating Digital Holistically Across Your Business When tackling digital transformation, many CEOs chose to structure their digital teams as separate entities. They believed that approach would be less disruptive to their core businesses and will be easier and faster to get off the ground. However, we now know that adding digital vertically limits its benefits. Though there are short term gains to building or buying a separate digital arm to your organization, integrating digital across your business can leverage valuable existing company assets in ways that a separate unit cannot. And aligning digital closely with a firm’s other capabilities fosters the internal speed and agility critical to meeting the “anytime, anyplace” expectations of today’s digital marketplace. Nike is a prime example of a company that has transformed itself by weaving digital organically through its enterprise to strengthen…

SSA & Company Notebook | Fall 2018

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A note from our President: As we head toward the new year, we are excited to share some evolutions at SSA & Company. We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Matt Katz, Managing Partner, to our team. He brings over 25 years of global management and advisory experience working with some of the most iconic brands. Matt will grow and lead the firm’s retail and consumer packaged goods practice, as well as help manage the firm. Additionally, as we partner with clients to build next-generation businesses, we’re building a new website that better reflects impact for clients, culture, and team. We look forward to sharing it with you in the coming months. With transformation in mind, this Notebook explores how companies are reimagining business with disruptive technologies, creative and customer-centric strategies, and new digital capabilities. We delve into talent and culture changes…

Don’t Forget the Basics While Chasing the Changing Retail Marketplace

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In October 2018, I had the pleasure of joining a panel with Michael Kollender, Rick Perkal, and Colin Watts at the Association for Corporate Growth’s M&A East event in Philadelphia. We had a practical and engaging discussion on “The Changing Retail Industry and the Impact of Amazon.” Our discussion revealed that while the new retail landscape presents challenges and Amazon has forced many to rethink their operating models, some have simply taken their eyes off fundamentals.  Below are a few ideas that emerged from our conversation. 1.    Develop “outside-in” leaders who win in the business of today and tomorrow. CEOs and leadership teams must be able to recognize and act upon the trends that have potential to improve their business. The ever-increasing pace of disruption demands that organizations build a method to constantly identify disruption while evaluating ROI and required capabilities to apply them. Yet,…

Matt Katz featured on panel exploring The Changing Retail Industry and the Impact of Amazon at the ACG Philadelphia M&A East Event

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In October 2018, SSA & Company Managing Partner Matt Katz participated on a panel at the ACG Philadelphia M&A East event. The discussion explored the changing retail industry and the impact Amazon has had on the industry. ACG Philadelphia has shared key takeaways from the conversation, which includes some of Matt’s insights. Matt Katz serves as Managing Partner of the Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods practice at SSA & Company.

SSA & Company Notebook | Summer 2018

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A note from our President: As Chairman of the Columbia University Deming Center Advisory Board, I recently attended the annual Deming Forum. The discussion centered around today’s unprecedented disruption and the need for clear processes around keeping an organization and its people ahead of the curve. Innovation is not a “nice to have.” It demands a delicate balance of strategy and agility. In this issue, we hear from Deb Henretta, G100 Companies Partner and former Group President of e-Business at Procter & Gamble, on how companies can win in digital and what senior leaders need to know to transform their businesses. We also explore the implications of disruptive technology on operations in retail and financial services and delve into the workforce of the future. We close with insights on human capital, shared by our sister firm The Miles Group (TMG).…

8 Tips for CEOs Leading Digital Transformation

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Truly embracing digital is not an evolutionary change—it is revolutionary change and touches every aspect of the business. As such, it must start with CEOs and the board. It can neither be delegated, nor can it be implemented without fundamental changes to people, processes, and technologies. In partnership with SSA & Company and based on our work implementing digital strategies in the trenches alongside CEOs, boards, and their teams, I have compiled several key takeaways for CEOs to consider as they cut through complexity and successfully transform their enterprises for the digital world. 1.  Ask Big Questions. How can our company use digital to do what our company does best better, faster and cheaper? How can digital tools, technologies, and capabilities help our company meet or exceed its business and organization goals? How can digital get our company to its…

Accelerating Digital Transformation: 5 Ways CHROs can Help

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How can CHROs help speed up digital transformation across the enterprise? That was a key question at a recent G100 Talent Consortium seminar. Author Ram Charan and Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow, led a conversation with CHROs, which helped unlock actionable insights. The ensuing conversation led us to five key ideas—and no surprise, it all starts with people. 1. Create a culture that embraces agility and operates at the speed of data. Think like a startup. HR managers must instill a growth mindset and facilitate continuous discussion about disruption and agility. Does your company’s senior team prize speed, agility, and continuous innovation? Change management used to be a deliberate plan with a long runway. That approach is no longer relevant in the fast-moving world. Off-sites and town halls alone are no longer an effective way to communicate strategy.…

Run, Don’t Walk, To Digital Transformation

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Established companies looking to transform their business must go “all in” and start generating results quickly. This startup mindset is what incumbents compete against and it often poses a variety of challenges. Winning in digital does not come from slowly tweaking the margins of your business. It requires going beyond digital marketing to a holistic rethink of how your business model and enterprise can be enhanced through digital tools and technologies. And most importantly, leaders must shift from talk to walk—moving from strategies to action. Bringing strategies to life is where companies often get stuck. Even the best of strategies are just words on paper if they can’t be operationalized. These failures, combined with competitors’ successes and pressures from digital insurgents, widen the digital divide. Despite these challenges, we are seeing emerging best practices that shed new light for incumbents…

SSA & Company Notebook | Spring 2018

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A note from our President: Experts have dubbed 2018 as the “year of data.” Artificial intelligence and machine learning shifted from emerging technologies to expected touchpoint for many companies, and most CEOs and executives have blockchain on their minds. Amid this changing technology landscape, a company’s success continues to stem from its ability to bring its strategy to life. This notebook issue is dedicated to the new tools and techniques that help get companies there. As always, we feature a special section on executive leadership and talent from Stephen Miles, founder and CEO of TMG. I am pleased to share these stories and practical insights with you. – David Niles Ideas That Made Us Think   Sprint to Digital Transformation “Many companies start off thinking about digital transformation as a means of cutting costs,” shares Sprint Chief Digital Officer, Rob…

SSA & Company Notebook | Fall 2017

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A note from our President: As Chairman of Columbia Business School’s Deming Center Advisory Board, I had the distinct pleasure to award this year’s Deming Cup to Jeffrey Immelt, former Chairman and CEO of GE, and Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. The Deming Cup recognizes leaders who make significant contributions and develop continuous improvement within their organizations. In today’s business environment, operationalizing strategy matters more than ever. The Deming Center’s mission is to ensure that the operations skills, quality expertise, and leadership are made modern. At SSA & Company, we take these central tenants and build further upon them. This quarter’s newsletter focuses on topics surrounding continuous excellence in an environment of consistent change and uncertainty. I am pleased to share these stories and practical insights with you. – David Niles   Ideas That Made Us Think…