Say What? Business Jargon Gone Awry.


Tim J. Smith, PhD
Founder and CEO, Wiglaf Pricing

Published April 2, 2014

In a blue-ocean strategy session, the executive leadership council sought to shift the paradigm through challenging innovation lenses.  They sought value creation through organic growth rather than exploiting synergies through acquisitions, yet knew the Sisyphusian challenge lay ahead.

Executives discussed crafting a straw-man within open space ocean to define market potentials.  Using a sculptural analogy, executives were seeking to define space by identifying the lines to enclose the negative space between the boundaries of the positive structural market components.

Discussions agenda items included ideation of latent market ecosystems within which to inject value-generating strategic forces.  Market disruptions were identified as necessary to realize the envisioned new new thing which would cause new flora and fauna of market cooperants to evolve across the value network.  Synergies were to be regarded as too tame to enable the required competitive repositioning from the current strategic arena to the target, as yet undefined, strategic arena.

While a minority of executives strategized around competitive leverage in market adjacencies by brainstorming potentialities posited in euphoric market possibilities in geographic non-BRIC submarkets, concerns in this direction were raised regarding unfamiliar competitive sets and regulatory uncertainties.  After exploiting the analysis tools of Porter’s 5 Forces, BCG Matrix, SWOT, 3 C’s and 4 P’s,  the concept was tabled on the whiteboard to create oxygen for alternative hypotheses.  Analogies, megatrends, herd maps, value chains, and the leveraging of inimitable strategic resources all must be considered prior to resting on market-adjacency innovation.

Product strategists raised the potential to pursue ubiquity first, revenue later, in a market-penetration play.  Finance feared over-investiture in problemless solutions yet observed stock valuations of revenueless social media plays.  Operations suggested inshoring outsourced full-time equivalents to improve flexibility and enable market responsiveness.  The salesman from Harlan, Kentucky ruminated over identifying mavens and connectors to convert into coaches in entering the new strategic engagements.  Crowdsourcing remained a possibility.

With preliminary options identified, analysis commenced.  Methodologies, approaches, and frameworks connected solution roadmaps with roles, processes, techniques, and automation and infrastructure requirements.

With scope, budget, and timeframe shaping up, alterative outcomes were raised.  Risk possibilities and mitigation strategies were identified and documented. The executive leadership council identified nameless roles to engage within the RACI framework to drive results.  GANTT charts were drawn.  Resource allocation priorities were determined.  A spreadsheet effort leveraging game theory through real options analysis identified means to mitigate investment risk until informational uncertainties are reduced.

In other words:  Executives gathered, acknowledged a problem, and identified a doable solution.

And now, for something completely different.

Wiglaf Pricing Network

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About The Author

Tim J. Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Wiglaf Pricing, an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Economics at DePaul University, and the author of Pricing Done Right (Wiley 2016) and Pricing Strategy (Cengage 2012). At Wiglaf Pricing, Tim leads client engagements. Smith’s popular business book, Pricing Done Right: The Pricing Framework Proven Successful by the World’s Most Profitable Companies, was noted by Dennis Stone, CEO of Overhead Door Corp, as "Essential reading… While many books cover the concepts of pricing, Pricing Done Right goes the additional step of applying the concepts in the real world." Tim’s textbook, Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures, has been described by independent reviewers as “the most comprehensive pricing strategy book” on the market. As well as serving as the Academic Advisor to the Professional Pricing Society’s Certified Pricing Professional program, Tim is a member of the American Marketing Association and American Physical Society. He holds a BS in Physics and Chemistry from Southern Methodist University, a BA in Mathematics from Southern Methodist University, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and an MBA with high honors in Strategy and Marketing from the University of Chicago GSB.