Creativity #1 Leadership Quality

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on July 31st, 2012 by admin

Global IBM Poll – Creativity #1 Leadership Quality

Creativity is now considered the most important leadership quality for success in business, outweighing even integrity and global thinking, according to a much-referenced recent study by IBM.

The study is the largest known sample of one-on-one CEO interviews, with over 1,500 corporate heads and public sector leaders across 60 nations and 33 industries polled on what drives them in managing their companies in today’s world.

Source: Innovationexcellence.com

How strategists lead

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on July 26th, 2012 by admin

A Harvard Business School professor reflects on what she has learned from senior executives about the unique value that strategic leaders can bring to their companies.

Seven years ago, I changed the focus of my strategy teaching at the Harvard Business School. After instructing MBAs for most of the previous quarter-century, I began teaching the accomplished executives and entrepreneurs who participate in Harvard’s flagship programs for business owners and leaders.

Shifting the center of my teaching to executive education changed the way I teach and write about strategy. I’ve been struck by how often executives, even experienced ones, get tripped up: they become so interested in the potential of new ventures, for example, that they underestimate harsh competitive realities or overlook how interrelated strategy and execution are. I’ve also learned, in conversations between class sessions (as well as in my work as a board director and corporate adviser) about the limits of analysis, the importance of being ready to reinvent a business, and the ongoing responsibility of leading strategy.

All of this learning speaks to the role of the strategist—as a meaning maker for companies, as a voice of reason, and as an operator. The richness of these roles, and their deep interconnections, underscore the fact that strategy is much more than a detached analytical exercise. Analysis has merit, to be sure, but it will never make strategy the vibrant core that animates everything a company is and does.

The strategist as meaning maker
I’ve taken to asking executives to list three words that come to mind when they hear the word strategy. Collectively, they have produced 109 words, frequently giving top billing to plan, direction, and competitive advantage. In more than 2,000 responses, only 2 had anything to do with people: one said leadership, another visionary. No one has ever mentioned strategist.

Downplaying the link between a leader and a strategy, or failing to recognize it at all, is a dangerous oversight that I tried to start remedying in a Harvard Business Review article four years ago and in my new book, The Strategist, whose thinking this article extends.1 After all, defining what an organization will be, and why and to whom that will matter, is at the heart of a leader’s role. Those who hope to sustain a strategic perspective must be ready to confront this basic challenge. It is perhaps easiest to see in single-business companies serving well-defined markets and building business models suited to particular competitive contexts. I know from experience, though, that the challenge is equally relevant at the top of diversified multinationals.

What is it, after all, that makes the whole of a company greater than the sum of its parts—and how do its systems and processes add value to the businesses within the fold? Nobel laureate Ronald Coase posed the problem this way: “The question which arises is whether it is possible to study the forces which determine the size of the firm. Why does the entrepreneur not organize one less transaction or one more?”2 These are largely the same questions: are the extra layers what justifies the existence of this complex firm? If so, why can’t the market take care of such transactions on its own? If there’s more to a company’s story, what is it, really?

In the last three decades, as strategy has moved to become a science, we have allowed these fundamental questions to slip away. We need to bring them back. It is the leader—the strategist as meaning maker—who must make the vital choices that determine a company’s very identity, who says, “This is our purpose, not that. This is who we will be. This is why our customers and clients will prefer a world with us rather than without us.” Others, inside and outside a company, will contribute in meaningful ways, but in the end it is the leader who bears responsibility for the choices that are made and indeed for the fact that choices are made at all.

The strategist as voice of reason
Bold, visionary leaders who have the confidence to take their companies in exciting new directions are widely admired—and confidence is a key part of strategy and leadership. But confidence can balloon into overconfidence, which seems to come naturally to many successful entrepreneurs and senior managers who see themselves as action-oriented problem solvers.3

I see overconfidence in senior executives in class when I ask them to weigh the pros and cons of entering the furniture-manufacturing business. Over the years, a number of highly regarded, well-run companies—including Beatrice Foods, Burlington Industries, Champion, Consolidated Foods, General Housewares, Gulf + Western, Intermark, Ludlow, Masco, Mead, and Scott Paper—have tried to find fortune in the business, which traditionally has been characterized by high transportation costs, low productivity, eroding prices, slow growth, and low returns. It’s also been highly fragmented. In the mid-1980s, for example, more than 2,500 manufacturers competed, with 80 percent of sales coming from the biggest 400 of them. Substitutes abound, and there is a lot of competition for the customer’s dollar. Competitors quickly knock off innovations and new designs, and the industry is riddled with inefficiencies, extreme product variety, and long lead times that frustrate customers. Consumer research shows that many adults can’t name a single furniture brand. The industry does little advertising.

By at least a two-to-one margin, the senior executives in my classes typically are energized, not intimidated, by these challenges. Most argue, in effect, that where there’s challenge there’s opportunity. If it were an easy business, they say, someone else would already have seized the opportunity; this is a chance to bring money, sophistication, and discipline to a fragmented, unsophisticated, and chaotic industry. As the list above shows, my students are far from alone: with great expectations and high hopes of success, a number of well-managed companies over the years have jumped in with the intention of reshaping the industry through the infusion of professional management.

All those companies, though, have since left the business—providing an important reminder that the competitive forces at work in your industry determine some (and perhaps much) of your company’s performance. These competitive forces are beyond the control of most individual companies and their managers. They’re what you inherit, a reality you have to deal with. It’s not that a company can never change them, but in most cases that’s very difficult to do. The strategist must understand such forces, how they affect the playing field where competition takes place, and the likelihood that his or her plan has what it takes to flourish in those circumstances. Crucial, of course, is having a difference that matters in the industry. In furniture— an industry ruled more by fashion than function—it’s extremely challenging to uncover an advantage strong enough to counter the gravitational pull of the industry’s unattractive competitive forces. IKEA did it, but not by disregarding industry forces; rather, the company created a new niche for itself and brought a new economic model to the furniture industry.

A leader must serve as a voice of reason when a bold strategy to reshape an industry’s forces actually reflects indifference to them. Time and again, I’ve seen division heads, group heads, and even chief executives dutifully acknowledge competitive forces, make a few high-level comments, and then quickly move on to lay out their plans—without ever squarely confronting the implications of the forces they’ve just noted. Strategic planning has become more of a “check the box” exercise than a brutally frank and open confrontation of the facts.

The strategist as operator
A great strategy, in short, is not a dream or a lofty idea, but rather the bridge between the economics of a market, the ideas at the core of a business, and action. To be sound, that bridge must rest on a foundation of clarity and realism, and it also needs a real operating sensibility. Every year, early in the term, someone in class always wants to engage the group in a discussion about what’s more important: strategy or execution. In my view, this is a false dichotomy and a wrongheaded debate that the students themselves have to resolve, and I let them have a go at it.

I always bring that discussion up again at the end of the course, when we talk about Domenico De Sole’s tenure at Italian fashion eminence Gucci Group.4 De Sole, a tax attorney, was tapped for the company’s top job in 1995, following years of plummeting sales and mounting losses in the aftermath of unbridled licensing that had plastered Gucci’s name and distinctive red-and-green logo on everything from sneakers to packs of playing cards to whiskey—in fact, on 22,000 different products—making Gucci a “cheapened and over-exposed brand.”

De Sole started by summoning every Gucci manager worldwide to a meeting in Florence. Instead of telling managers what he thought Gucci should be, De Sole asked them to look closely at the business and tell him what was selling and what wasn’t. He wanted to tackle the question “not by philosophy, but by data”—bringing strategy in line with experience rather than relying on intuition. The data were eye opening. Some of Gucci’s greatest recent successes had come from its few trendier, seasonal fashion items, and the traditional customer—the woman who cherished style, not fashion, and who wanted a classic item she would buy once and keep for a lifetime—had not come back to Gucci.

De Sole and his team, especially lead designer Tom Ford, weighed the evidence and concluded that they would follow the data and position the company in the upper middle of the designer market: luxury aimed at the masses. To complement its leather goods, Ford designed original, trendy—and, above all, exciting—ready-to-wear clothing each year, not as the company’s mainstay, but as its draw. The increased focus on fashion would help the world forget all those counterfeit bags and the Gucci toilet paper. It would propel the company toward a new brand identity, generating the kind of excitement that would bring new customers into Gucci stores, where they would also buy high-margin handbags and accessories. To support the new fashion and brand strategies, De Sole and his team doubled advertising spending, modernized stores, and upgraded customer support. Unseen but no less important to the strategy’s success was Gucci’s supply chain. De Sole personally drove the back roads of Tuscany to pick the best 25 suppliers, and the company provided them with financial and technical support while simultaneously boosting the efficiency of its logistics. Costs fell and flexibility rose.

In effect, everything De Sole and Ford did—in design, product lineup, pricing, marketing, distribution, manufacturing, and logistics, not to mention organizational culture and management—was tightly coordinated, internally consistent, and interlocking. This was a system of resources and activities that worked together and reinforced each other, all aimed at producing products that were fashion forward, high quality, and good value.

It is easy to see the beauty of such a system of value creation once it’s constructed, but constructing it isn’t often an easy or a beautiful process. The decisions embedded in such systems are often gutsy choices. For every moving part in the Gucci universe, De Sole faced a strictly binary decision: either it advanced the cause of fashion-forwardness, high quality, and good value—or it did not and was rebuilt. Strategists call such choices identity-conferring commitments. They are central to what an organization is or wants to be and reflect what it stands for.

When I ask executives at the end of this class, “Where does strategy end and execution begin?” there isn’t a clear answer—and that’s as it should be. What could be more desirable than a well-conceived strategy that flows without a ripple into execution? Yet I know from working with thousands of organizations just how rare it is to find a carefully honed system that really delivers. You and every leader of a company must ask yourself whether you have one—and if you don’t, take the responsibility to build it. The only way a company will deliver on its promises, in short, is if its strategists can think like operators.

A never-ending task
Achieving and maintaining strategic momentum is a challenge that confronts an organization and its leader every day of their entwined existence. It’s a challenge that involves multiple choices over time—and, on occasion, one or two big choices. Very rare is the leader who will not, at some point in his or her career, have to overhaul a company’s strategy in perhaps dramatic ways. Sometimes, facing that inevitability brings moments of epiphany: “eureka” flashes of insight that ignite dazzling new ways of thinking about an enterprise, its purpose, its potential. I have witnessed some of these moments as managers reconceptualized what their organizations do and are capable of doing. These episodes are inspiring—and can become catalytic.

At other times, facing an overhaul can be wrenching, particularly if a company has a set of complex businesses that need to be taken apart or a purpose that has run its course. More than one CEO—men and women coming to grips with what their organizations are and what they want them to become—has described this challenge as an intense personal struggle, often the toughest thing they’ve done.

Yet those same people often say that the experience was one of the most rewarding of their whole lives. It can be profoundly liberating as a kind of corporate rebirth or creation. One CEO described his own experience: “I love our business, our people, the challenges, the fact that other people get deep benefits from what we sell,” he said. “Even so, in the coming years I can see that we will need to go in a new direction, and that will mean selling off parts of the business. The market has gotten too competitive, and we don’t make the margins we used to.” He winced as he admitted this. Then he lowered his voice and added something surprising. “At a fundamental level, though, it’s changes like this that keep us fresh and keep me going. While it can be painful when it happens, in the long run I wouldn’t want to lead a company that didn’t reinvent itself.”

Source: McKinsey Quaterly, July 2012
Author: Cynthia Montgomery is the Timken Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, where she’s been on the faculty for 20 years, and past chair of the school’s Strategy Unit
Link

Mirakelbatteri till mobilen dröjer

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on July 24th, 2012 by admin

De smarta mobilerna omges av blandade känslor. Vi älskar telefonen men hatar batteriet. Enligt forskarna kommer inget nytt mirakelbatteri de närmaste tio åren och då återstår bara för användarna att också bli smarta.

Källa: DI.se, 24 juli 2012
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How to reduce resistance to change

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on July 23rd, 2012 by admin

Leaders have always had the challenge of managing resistance to change. But in today’s highly competitive market, characterized by a more rapid rate of change than ever before, it becomes increasingly important to manage resistance to change.

I will talk more about this at my seminar in Bangkok on 23 August.

Here are two articles on this topic:

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Resistance to change is a natural reaction when employees are asked, well, to change. Change is uncomfortable and requires new ways of thinking and doing. People have trouble developing a vision of what life will look like on the other side of a change. So, they tend to cling to the known rather than embrace the unknown.

Change produces anxiety and uncertainty. Employees may lose their sense of security. They may prefer the status quo. The range of reactions, when change is introduced, is immense and unpredictable. No employee is left unaffected in most changes. As a result, resistance to change often occurs when change is introduced.

Resistance to change is best viewed as a normal reaction. Even the most cooperative, supportive employees may experience resistance. So, don’t introduce change believing that you will experience nothing but resistance or that resistance will be severe. Instead, introduce change believing that your employees want to cooperate, make the best of each work situation, and that they will fully and enthusiastically support the changes as time goes by.

By your thinking and your approach, you can affect the degree to which resistance to change bogs the change down. You can reduce natural resistance to change by the actions you take and how you involve the employees who will be asked to change.

In a best case scenario, every employee has the opportunity to talk about, provide input to, and impact the change. Rationally, this depends on how big the change is and how many people the change will affect. In a company-wide change effort, for example, the employee input will likely be about how to implement the change at a departmental level, not about whether to make the change in the first place.

These recommendations are made for the millions of managers, supervisors, team leaders, and employees who are asked to change something – or everything – periodically at work. You may or may not have had input into the direction chosen by your executives or your organization. But, as the core doers at work, you are expected to make the changes and deal with any resistance to change that you may experience along the way. You can reduce employee resistance to change by taking these recommended actions.

Manage Resistance to Change
These tips will help you minimize, reduce, and make less painful, the resistance to change that you create as you introduce changes. This is not the definitive guide to managing resistance to change – but implementing these suggestions, will give you a head start.

Own the changes
No matter where the change originated – and change can show up at any point in your organization, even originating with you – you must own the change yourself. It’s your responsibility to implement the change. You can only do that effectively, if you step back, take a deep breath, and plan how you will implement the change with the people you influence in your organization.

Get over it
Okay, you’ve had the opportunity to tell senior managers what you think. You spoke loudly in the focus group. You presented your recommended direction with data and examples to the team. The powers that be or the team leader have chosen a different direction than the one you supported. It’s time for the change to move on. Once the decision is made, your agitating time is over. Whether you disagree or not, once the organization, the group, or the team decides to move on – you need to do everything in your power to make the selected direction succeed.

No biased and fractional support allowed
Even if you don’t support the direction, once the direction is the direction, you owe it 100% support. Wishy-washy or partial support is undermining the change effort. If you can’t buy into the fact that the chosen direction is where you are going, you can, at least, buy into the fact that it is critical that you support it. Once the direction is chosen, it is your job to make it work. Anything less is disrespectful, undermining, and destructive of the team decision.

Recognize that resistance to change is minimized if you have created a trusting, employee-oriented, supportive work environment prior to the change. If you are considered to be honest, and your employees trust you and feel loyal to you, employees are much more likely te get onboard for the change quickly. So, the efforts you have expended in building this type of relationship will serve you well during change. (They will serve you well at work, in general, but especially during times of stress and change.)

Communicate the change
You undoubtedly have reporting staff, departmental colleagues, and employees to whom you must communicate the change. How you communicate the change to the people you influence has the single most important impact on how much resistance to change will occur. If you wholeheartedly communicate the change, you will win the hearts and minds of the employees.

One of the key factors in reducing resistance to change is to implement change in an environment in which there is wide-spread belief that a change is needed. So, one of your first tasks in effective communication is to build the case for why the change was needed. (If the rationale was not communicated to you, and if you are not clear about it yourself, you will have difficulty convincing others, so consult with your manager, first.)

Specifically inform the employees about what your group can and cannot affect
Spend time discussing how to implement the change and make it work. Answer questions; honestly share your earlier reservations, but state that you are onboard and going to make the change work. Ask the employees to join you in that endeavor because only the team can make the change happen. Stress that you have knowledge, skills, and strengths that will help move the team forward, and so does each of the team members. All are critical.

Help the employees identify what’s in it for them to make the change
A good portion of the normal resistance to change disappears when employees are clear about the benefits the change brings to them as individuals. Benefits to the group, the department, and the organization should be stressed, too. But, nothing is more important to an individual employee than to know the positive impact on their own career or job.

Additionally, employees must feel that the time, energy, commitment, and focus necessary to implement the change are compensated equally by the benefits they will attain from making the change. Happier customers, increased sales, a pay raise, saved time and steps, positive notoriety, recognition from the boss, more effective, productive employees, and an exciting new role or project are examples of ways in which you can help employees feel compensated for the time, energy, focus, change, and challenge that any change requires.

Listen deeply and empathetically to the employees
You can expect that the employees will experience the same range of emotions, thoughts, agreement, and disagreement that you experienced when the change was introduced to you or when you participated in creating the change. Never minimize an employee’s response to even the most simple change. You can’t know or experience the impact from an individual employee’s point of view. Maybe the change seems insignificant to many employees, but the change will seriously impact another employee’s favorite task. Hearing the employees out and letting them express their point of view in a non-judgmental environment will reduce resistance to change.

Empower employees to contribute
Control of their own jobs is one of the five key factors in what employees want from work. So, too, this control aspect follows when you seek to minimize resistance to change. Give the employees control over any aspect of the change that they can manage. If you have communicated transparently, you have provided the direction, the rationale, the goals, and the parameters that have been set by your organization. Within that framework, your job is to empower the employees to make the change work. Practice effective delegation and set the critical path points at which you need feedback for the change effort – and get out of the way.

Create an organization-wide feedback and improvement loop

Do these steps mean that the change that was made is the right or optimal change? Not necessarily. You must maintain an open line of communication throughout your organization to make sure that feedback reaches the ears of th employees leading the charge. Changing course or details, continuous improvement, and tweaking is a natural, and expected, part of any organizational change. Most changes are not poured in concrete but there must be a willingness to examine the improvement (plan – do – study – act).

If you implement your change in an organizational environment that is employee-oriented, with transparent communication and a high level of trust, you have a huge advantage. But, even in the most supportive environment, you must understand and respond to the range of human emotions and responses that are elicited during times of intense change.

Source: About.com, Susan M. Heathfield, 2012
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Six STEPS TO MANAGE RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

Understand why people are resisting the change. Reasons may include:
– They believe the change is unnecessary or will make things worse.
– They don’t trust the people leading the change effort.
– They don’t like the way the change was introduced.
– They are not confident the change will succeed.
– They feel that change will mean personal loss — of security, money, status, or friends.
– They’ve already experienced a lot of change and can’t handle any more disruption.

Encourage employees to openly express their thoughts and feelings about the change program.

Listen carefully to their concerns, explore their fears, and take their comments seriously.

Engage them in the planning and implementation processes.

Identify those who have something to lose, and anticipate how they might respond.

Help them find new roles either in your group or somewhere else in the organization—roles that represent genuine contributions and mitigate their losses.

Source: Harvard Business Reviw, 2012
Link

Becoming more strategic: Three tips for any executive

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on July 20th, 2012 by admin

You don’t need a formal strategy role to help shape your organization’s strategic direction. Start by moving beyond frameworks and communicating in a more engaging way.

We are entering the age of the strategist. As our colleagues Chris Bradley, Lowell Bryan, and Sven Smit have explained in “Managing the strategy journey,” a powerful means of coping with today’s more volatile environment is increasing the time a com pany’s top team spends on strategy. Involving more senior leaders in strategic dialogue makes it easier to stay ahead of emerging opportunities, respond quickly to unexpected threats, and make timely decisions.

This is a significant change. At a good number of companies, corporate strategy has long represented the bland aggregation of strategies that individual business unit heads put forward.1 At others, it’s been the domain of a small coterie, perhaps led by a chief strategist who is protective of his or her domain—or the exclusive territory of a CEO.

Rare is the company, though, where all members of the top team have well-developed strategic muscles. Some executives reach the C-suite because of functional expertise, while others, including business unit heads and even some CEOs, are much stronger on execution than on strategic thinking. In some companies, that very issue has given rise to the position of chief strategy officer—yet even a number of executives playing this role disclosed to us, in a series of interviews we conducted over the past year, that they didn’t feel adequately prepared for it.

This article draws on those interviews, as well as our own and our colleagues’ experience working with numerous executives developing strategies, adapting planning approaches, and running strategy capability-building programs. We offer three tips that any executive can act on to become more strategic. They may sound deceptively simple, but our interviews and experience suggest that they represent foundational skills for any strategist and that putting them into practice requires real work. We’ve also tried, through examples, to present practical ways of acting on each suggestion and to show how doing so often means augmenting experience-based instincts with fresh perspectives.

1. Understand what strategy really means in your industry
By the time executives have reached the upper echelons of a company, almost all of them have been exposed to a set of core strategy frameworks, whether in an MBA or executive education program, corporate training sessions, or on the job. Part of the power of these frameworks is that they can be applied to any industry.

But that’s also part of the problem. General ideas can be misleading, and as strategy becomes the domain of a broader group of executives, more will also need to learn to think strategically in their particular industry context. It is not enough to do so at the time of a major strategy review. Because strategy is a journey, executives need to study, understand, and internalize the economics, psychology, and laws of their industries, so that context can guide them continually.

For example, being able to think strategically in the high-tech industry involves a nuanced understanding of strategy topics such as network effects, platforms, and standards. In the utilities sector, it involves mastery of the economic implications of (and room for strategic maneuvers afforded by) the regulatory regime. In mining, leaders must understand the strategic implications of cost curves, game theory, and real-options valuation; further, they must know and be sensitive to the stakeholders in their regulatory and societal environment, many of whom can directly influence their opportunities to create value.

There is a rich and specialized literature on strategy in particular industries that many executives will find helpful.2 Tailored executive education courses can also be beneficial. We know organizations that have taken management teams off-site to focus not on setting strategy but on deepening their understanding of how to be a strategist in their industries. For example, one raw-materials player headquartered in Europe took its full leadership team to Asia for a week, in hopes of shaking up the team’s thinking. Executives explored in depth 20 trends that would shape the industry over the next decade, discussing both the trends themselves and their implications for the supply of and demand for the organization’s products.3 They also looked across their industry’s full value chain to understand who was making money and why—and how the trends would change that. A number of the executives in the discussion were surprised by how much value certain specialized intermediaries were capturing and others by how the organization was losing out to competitors that were financing retailers to hold their inventory. The executive team emerged with a clearer appreciation of where the opportunities were in its industry and with ideas to capture them.

Building this kind of industry understanding should be an ongoing process not just because we live in an era of more dynamic management4 but also because of the psychology of the individual. Experience-based instincts about “the way things work” heavily influence all of us, making it hard, without systematic effort, to take advantage of emerging strategic insights or the real lessons of an industry’s history. War games or other experiential exercises are one way executives can help themselves to look at their industry landscape from a new vantage point.5

2. Become expert at identifying potential disrupters
Expanding the group of executives engaged in strategic dialogue should boost the odds of identifying company or industry-disrupting changes that are just over the horizon—the sorts of changes that make or break companies.

But those insights don’t emerge magically. Consider, for example, technological disruption. For many executives, the rise up the corporate ladder requires a deep understanding of industry-specific technologies—those embedded in a company’s products, for example, or in manufacturing techniques—but much less knowledge of cross-cutting technology trends, such as the impact of sensors and the burgeoning “Internet of Things.”6 Moreover, many senior executives are happy to delegate thinking about such technology issues to their company’s chief information officer or chief technology officer. Yet it’s exactly such cross-cutting trends that are most likely to upend value chains, transform industries, and dramatically shift profit pools and competitive advantage.

So what to do? Some executives choose to spend a week or two visiting a technology hub, such as Silicon Valley, to meet companies, investors, and academics. Others ask a more technophile member of the team to keep abreast of the issues and brief them periodically. We know a number of executives who have developed “reverse mentoring” relationships with younger and more junior colleagues (or even their children) that focus on technology and innovation. And of course, there’s no substitute for seeing what your customers are doing with technology: during several store visits, an executive at a baby care retailer saw mothers compare the prices of products on their smartphones at the store and leave if they could get a better deal elsewhere. The store visits brought home how modern mothers research their buying decisions, the interaction between mobile technology and store visits, and the importance of advertising a price-matching scheme to keep tech-savvy customers buying in stores.

Nascent competitors are another easy-to-overlook source of disruption. Senior strategic thinkers are of course well aware of the need to keep an eye on the competition, and many companies have roles or teams focused on competitor intelligence. However, in our experience, often too many resources—including mental energy—are devoted to following the activities of long-standing competitors rather than less conventional ones that may pose an equivalent (or greater) strategic threat.

For example, suppose you are an executive at an oil company with assets in the UK Continental Shelf. It is natural for the competitors that you meet regularly at board meetings of Oil & Gas UK, the regional industry association, to be more top of mind than Asian players that have only just acquired their first positions in the region. And that’s exactly why many long-standing industry leaders were surprised when Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), South Korea’s national oil company, clinched a hostile takeover of Dana Petroleum in late 2010, in what was to be the largest oil and gas transaction in the United Kingdom in several years. The transaction was a harbinger of future investments by less traditional players in the North Sea oil and gas industry. Similar dynamics prevail in mining: developed-world majors (such as Anglo American, BHP Billiton, and Rio Tinto), which have long competed with one another globally, now must also take into account players from Brazil, China, India, and elsewhere.

Picking up weak competitive signals is more often than not a result of careful practice: a systematic updating of competitive insights as an ongoing part of existing strategic processes.7 Executives with diverse backgrounds can boost the quality of dialogue by contributing to—and insisting on—issue-based competitive analyses. Who is well-positioned to play in emerging business areas? If new technologies are involved, what are they, and who else might master them? Who seems poorly positioned, and what does that mean for competitive balance in the industry or for acquisition opportunities? Focusing competitive reviews on questions like these often yields insights of significantly greater value than would be possible through the more common practice of periodically examining competitors’ financial and operating results. It also helps push the senior team away from linear, deterministic thinking and toward a more contingent, scenario-based mind-set that’s better suited to today’s fast-moving strategy environment.

3. Develop communications that can break through
A more adaptive strategy-development process places a premium on effective communications from all the executives participating. The strategy journey model described by our colleagues, for example, involves meeting for two to four hours every week or two to discuss strategy topics and requires each executive taking part to flag issues and lead the discussion about them.

In such an environment, time spent looking for better, more innovative ways to communicate strategy—to make strategic insights cut through the day-to-day morass of information that any executive receives—is rarely wasted. This requires discipline, as it is always tempting to invest in further analysis so that the executive has a deeper grasp of the issues rather than in communications design to ensure that everybody has a good grasp of them. It also may require building new skills; indeed, developing messages that can break through the clutter is becoming a required skill for the modern strategist.8

Experiential exercises are one way of boosting the effectiveness of strategic communications within a top team. A strategist we know at a shoe manufacturer wanted to illustrate the point that many of his company’s products were both unattractive and expensive. He started with a two-by-two matrix. So far, so predictable. But his matrix was built using masking tape on the floor of the executive suite, and the shoes were real ones from the company and its competitors. His colleagues had to classify the shoes right there and then—and he made his point. Similarly, we know another strategist who spent an afternoon cutting the labels off samples of men’s boxer shorts. She wanted the board members to put them in order of price so they could see how their perceptions of quality were driven by brands and not manufacturing standards.

We would add that as strategy becomes more of a real-time journey, it’s important to figure out ways to support discussions with data that’s engaging and easy to manipulate. To the extent possible, executives need to be able to push on data and its implications “in the moment,” instead of raising questions and then waiting two weeks for a team of analysts to come back with answers. Ideally, in fact, anyone in a room could drill into thoughtfully visualized data with the flick of a finger on a tablet computer. The proliferation of tactile mobile devices and new software tools that help make spreadsheets more visual and interactive should facilitate more dynamic, data-driven dialogue.

Executives hoping to become more strategic should look for opportunities to innovate in their communication of data, while prodding their organizations to institutionalize such capabilities. Breakthroughs abound—look no further than the interactive visualizations in the New York Times in the United States or the Guardian in the United Kingdom; the 2006 TED.com video “Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen”; Generation Grownup’s interactive tool Name Voyager, which examines the popularity of baby names over time (see babynamewizard.com/voyager); or Kiva.org’s Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance visualization of loan-funding and repayment flows. But few companies have kept up.

It’s not enough to increase the number and diversity of executives engaged in setting strategy. Many of those leaders also must enhance their own strategic capabilities. We hope these three tips help them get started.

Source: McKinsey Quaterly, July 2012
Authors: Michael Birshan and Jayanti Kar
Link

En stolt medarbetare ger bra service

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales on July 18th, 2012 by admin

Service-gurun Alan Gregerman, författare till boken Surrounded by Geniuses, förklarar varför god service måste börja med att ge allt för medarbetarna.

1) En smart medarbetare är en villig medarbetare
Kvinnan på affären Rabalder i Grebbestad stängde dörren framför näsan på honom.
– Ni får komma tillbaka senare, nu ska jag äta lunch.

Hon var inte ägaren, eller hade bara affären som hobby, konstaterar Alan Gregerman, amerikansk service-guru. Men om hon nu var anställd, hur skulle man få henne att bry sig tillräckligt för att faktiskt skjuta upp lunchen en kvart?

Ett sätt är att få medarbetaren att känna sig viktig och smart. Alan Gregerman berättar om amerikanska Wholefoods Market som säljer ekologisk mat. Den som jobbat där i fem år får välja en produkt som man vill följa till dess ursprung. Det kan bli en resa till en kaffeodling i Brasilien. Det blir både en belöningsresa och ett sätt för medarbetarna att bli verkliga experter inom ett område som också intresserar dem. Då vill man också dela med sig till kunden.

2) ”Allt ljus på mig” spiller över på kunden
Prata kundservice redan under anställningsintervjun, och visa direkt för nyanställda att det är prioriterat på företaget, råder Alan Gregerman. Visa att deras tankar kring produkter och hur man bäst tar hand om kunden tas tillvara. Istället för ”kunderna i första rummet” pratar vissa bolag om ”medarbetarna i första rummet”, men det är egentligen bara en naturlig väg att nå samma mål – att ge den bästa slutservicen, menar Alan Gregerman. Man måste investera i de anställda först. De yngsta medarbetarna kan innebära en extra utmaning då det inte är så enkelt längre att ”man bara vill göra ett bra jobb” utan inställningen mycket oftare är ”vad får jag ut av det”? Det gäller att komma på hur man ska få ”allt handlar om mig” att mynna ut i att göra det bästa för kunden.

3) Toppen måste tro på service
En förutsättning för att kundservice verkligen ska tas på allvar att högsta ledningen visar att den är avgörande för bolagets framgång. Amerikanska sajten Glassdoor.com gör en årlig undersökning om anställningsnöjdhet i detaljhandeln.

Faktorerna som ges störst vikt är högsta ledningens agerande, karriärmöjligheter och kvalitet på vidareutbildning. ”Att engagera kunder idag kräver engagemang från hela bolaget”, skriver McKinsey Quarterly i en artikel från i höstas. Alan Gregerman menar att länder som Sverige har en bit kvar i att verkligen förstå servicens betydelse i den globala konkurrensen.
– Om vi inte är redo att göra en dramatisk förändring så kommer vi bli förlorare. Som chef tycker han att man ska man ställa frågan: Hur kan mina idéer för hur vi ska ge den bästa kundservicen översättas till hur jag ska inspirera mina anställda?

Källa: SvD.se, Sara Lomberg, mars 2012
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Undvik att tillhöra gruppen företag som undrar vad som hände!

Posted in Aktuellt, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on July 16th, 2012 by admin

När jag arbetar med min uppdragsgivare talar jag ofta om tre typer av företag:
– De som får saker att hända
– De som ser saker hända
– De som undrar vad som hände

Det finns mycket tydliga karaktäristika för företag i var och en av grupperna ovan. Och de skiljer sig mycket åt! En sak är dock gemensamt: Det handlar om ledarskap. Jag har aldrig sett ett företag med bra ledarskap som hamnat i den tredje kategorin ovan. Det är inte marknaden, konkurrenterna eller bankerna som ytterst stjälper företag. Det är svagt ledarskap!

I min dialog med företagsledningar landar man snabbt i tre slutsatser:
1. Man vill tillhöra gruppen företag ”som får saker att hända”.
2. Man känner viss osäkerhet vad som krävs för att tillhöra den kategorin.
3. Man saknar ”verktyg” för att faktabaserat säkerställa ett nuläge och ett målläge inom de
områden som är direkt avgörande för att lyckas i sina ambitioner att tillhöra de första
gruppen.

Låt mig ge ett konkret exempel på ovan. Inte ofta säger en företagsledning att ”rätt intern inställning” (som en del av företagskulturen) är direkt avgörande för att t.ex. kunna utveckla företaget tillräckligt snabbt för att möte de allt snabbare förändringarna på marknaden.
– Hur ser kulturen ut idag?
– Finns det något (strategiskt) underlag som beskriver vad som skall karaktärisera kulturen?
– Hur duktiga är dagens chefer / ledare på att förankra denna kultur?
– Om det är avgörande för företagets framgång – målsätter och mäter man chefers förmåga att förankra (implementera) rätt intern inställning (kultur)?

Tyvärr saknas ofta kopplingen mellan ord och handling hos alltför många företag. Det innebär att man kraftigt minskar sina möjligheter att nå sin fulla potential.

När man tittar på företag som finns i den tre kategorin tänker vi väl alla på företag som Kodak, AIE, HQ Bank, Carnegie, Saab m.fl.). jag läste idag en artikel i DI (se nedan) och kom då att se ytterligare ett exempel på den totala graden av ”missmanagement” som tyvärr har varit karaktäristiskt för alla de företag jag nyss räknat upp.

För ca. 10 år sedan hade jag ett möte på Svenska Golfförbundet. Mitt emot mig satt den dåvarande VDn för Svenska Golfförbundets marknadsbolag.
Mitt syfte med mötet vad att diskutera hur golfen skulle kunna behålla, och kanske ytterligare stärka, sin starka ställning i Sverige. Vid denna tidpunkt var det både svårt och dyrt att ta det Gröna Kortet (som ju krävs för att spela golf på svenska golfbanor). Dessutom var det i många fall långa köer för att bli medlem i en golfklubb och det var också ganska dyrt (inte minst om alla i familjen ville bli medlemmar).
Jag minns att jag frågade VDn om han inte kände en viss oro för hur länge golfspelare skulle vara villiga att betala så höga avgifter för att kunna spela golf ett fåtal månader (i varje fall i stora delar av landet) om året.
Han tittade på som om jag inte var klok, och jag minns hans svar: ”Det kommer för all framtid att vara kö på de svenska golfbanorna”!
jag försökte föra in diskussionen på hur det under århundraden har visat sig dels att marknadsekonomin alltid haft en tendens att skapa balans mellan utbud och efterfrågan och dels att kunderna (inte minst i dagens konkurrensutsatta marknad) hela tiden vill ha mer och mer till en allt lägra peng. VDn förstod absolut ingenting, och jag minns att jag lämnade mötet med en känsla av att han nog tyckte att jag var det största idiot han någonsin träffat.

Och se vad som hände! Nu är golfen i Sverige djupt rotad i kategorin som ”undrar vad som hände”. Och vad är orsaken? Jo, inget annat än svagt ledarskap.

Läs mer om golfens situation här nedan och framförallt: undvik att Du / ni hamnar i samma sits!

Golfklubbarna fortsätter att tappa medlemmar och för att överleva måste de anpassa sig till spelarnas villkor. Det har blivit golfarnas marknad.

Tiden när golfen i Sverige växte så det knakade är förbi. 2004 fanns det över 550.000 medlemmar. Sju år senare, 2011, hade klubbarna tappat till drygt 490.000 aktiva medlemmar. Framför allt har svensk golf tappat ungdomar — från 94.000 2003 till 54.000 ungdomar i fjol.
“Dagens klubbar måste ha en bättre verksamhet för att locka ungdomar”, menar Gunnar Håkansson, generalsekreterare i Svenska golfförbundet.

Samtidigt lockar svensk golf närmare 25.000 helt nya golfare varje år.
“Vilken annan sport gör det? Det viktiga nu är att behålla fler. Smartare medlemskap är ett steg”, säger Håkansson.

Ett par som löst ett specialdesignat medlemskap för småbarnsföräldrar är Frida Schlyter och Mats Lomander på Öijareds golf, 3,5 mil från Göteborg. När hon beger sig ut för kvällsrundan över nio hål passar han dottern Maja, fyra år.
“Jag har aldrig spelat så här mycket som jag gör nu. Nu kan ju alltid någon vara hemma med Maja”, säger Frida Schlyter, 35 år.

Båda kan spela till priset för en. Vid samma tillfälle om en av dem löser greenfee.
“Det är väldigt många som tappar golfen under småbarnstiden. Detta medlemskap är grymt bra för att hålla många kvar i sporten”, menar Mats Lomander, 48.

En anpassning till golfarnas villkor är ett måste för att klubbarna i Sverige ska överleva. Utövare söker flexibilitet och de vill betala för hur mycket de spelar.
“Tröskeln för att börja spela måste bli lägre. Smartare medlemskap är ett måste för klubbarna”, säger Gunnar Håkansson.

Den traditionella formen med en medlemsinsats förhindrar nyrekrytering och är en stor ekonomisk risk för klubbarna. Ett nutida exempel är klubben A6 i Jönköping. När klubben i fjol bestämde sig för att överge medlemskapsformen bestämde sig 300 medlemmar för att lämna klubben. Nu riskerar klubben konkurs efter att de forna medlemmar krävt tillbaka sina insatser på sammanlagt 5,2 miljoner kronor.

Öijared var i en liknande situation under slutet av 2000-talet. När 600 medlemmar under en fyraårsperiod ville lämna blev det kris.
“Det innebar att vi skulle ut med fyra – sex miljoner för lånen. Så god likviditet hade vi inte”, säger Lars Brydolf, klubbchef.

Lösningen stavades rekonstruktion år 2009 och en övergång till spelrätter. Nu erbjuds flertalet medlemsformer, fritt spel på andra banor och möjlighet till avbetalning via autogiro.

Källa: DI, 15 juli 2012
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CEOs need to get serious about sales

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on July 14th, 2012 by admin

With many companies trying to shake off the drag of a global recession, CEOs are eager to find growth. One place they need to look is in their own sales organizations.

In writing the book Sales Growth, we’ve found that CEOs who put sales management at the heart of their agenda have captured astonishing growth — outstripping their peers by 50 to 80 percent in terms of revenue and profitability. However, while CEOs play an active role in driving performance improvement across many parts of the organization — think of the “lean” movement — sales has traditionally been neglected. That’s a big mistake.

CEOs at the best companies are willing to roll up their sleeves and attack the details to transform their sales organization. It’s not enough to set budgets and set goals. The best CEOs call on their management toolkit to transform sales into a growth engine by focusing on three actions in particular:

Crank up the analytics
When it comes to selling, even many hard-nosed executives believe that sales is an art, and artists do their best work when left alone. But winning CEOs demand analytics from their sales organization (much as they do from operations or strategy) to help understand everything from the effectiveness of sales campaigns to opportunity analysis to performance reviews. CEOs need to champion this “sales as a science” approach by demanding KPIs and then holding their leaders accountable for delivering on them.

When tracking trends for future growth opportunities, for example, invest real money (2 to 4 percent of the sales budget is good) to develop analytical tools and teams that monitor trends such as demographic shifts, regulations, and new technologies. Actively track performance and shift budgets to monitor promising trends while killing off tracking projects that aren’t going anywhere. A contract manufacturing company that builds products for IT equipment makers, for example, had a dedicated team of speculative market analysts whose active trend monitoring led to a 15 percent return on investment.

You also need to push sales organizations to find overlooked pockets of growth in “tapped” markets. Demand that your sales organization do a deep analysis into micro-markets — sometimes even down to the zip code or street level — to find the growth hot spots.

Finally, demand that data inform decisions on the sales function’s inner workings. For example, use regression analyses of performance and 360-degree feedback data to determine training priorities.

Build a lean selling machine
CEOs generally don’t want changes to how their sales force operates for fear of killing the golden goose. But cutting cost does not mean cutting revenue. In manufacturing, lean both cuts cost and increases effectiveness (e.g., higher quality, faster cycle time). The same thinking applies to sales. Optimizing sales operations with automated tools or dedicated back-office units for specific tasks can improve revenues by 10 to 25 percent and reduce back-office costs by 20 to 30 percent.

Start with removing waste from front line sales so your reps can do what they’re supposed to do: sell. That means getting sales leaders to develop a comprehensive assessment of current operations before setting up clear back-office processes to support the front line while managing costs. In one global manufacturing company, the CEO set up “sales factories” comprised of specialized sales support for functional tasks and “deal coordinators” to help shepherd deals through the system. Sales reps gained 15 percent more time for selling.

This lean approach can also provide a serious lift in sales effectiveness. Simplified and standardized processes to respond to RFPs, for example, speed up responsiveness, put the most compelling offer in front of customers, and increase loyalty. A Fortune 500 company found that for every two days it cut from cycle time, it increased its win rate one percent.

Make sales a team sport
Sales organizations can’t drive growth on their own: strategy needs to provide insights into future trends; marketing needs to provide reliable intelligence to identify where to compete; IT needs to develop technology to support remote customer interactions and self-serve capabilities; customer service needs to translate customer interactions into cross- or up-sell opportunities. Only the CEO can push this kind of coordination through.

Part of this effort requires raising sales’ profile within the company. Give your best sales performers broad recognition, make sure that sales has a seat at the table when you’re discussing product strategy, and share sales successes and insights throughout the company.

To foster collaboration, find discrete opportunities to bring different functions together such as improving sales and supply chain coordination to better manage inventory. When a major international service provider announced it was leaving the North American market several years ago, for example, the CEO of a remaining competitor instituted a “war room” where his top managers from sales, marketing, strategy, and product development could thrash out a coordinated plan for grabbing these new customers. Marketing provided detailed customer analysis and developed tailored proposals that led to crucial wins in the field.

CEOs will always have to make decisions about where to invest their time to build their company. But if they are serious about growth, they need to get serious about sales.

Source: Harvard Business Review, July 2012
Authors: Ram Trichur, Maria Valdivieso de Uster, and Jon Vander Ark
Link

Management matters most in motivation

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on July 14th, 2012 by admin

Management Vision and Communication Foster Motivation

Motivation is the most powerful emotion that employees bring to work. The management role in stimulating motivation through shared vision and communication is the fundamental skill that great managers bring to the workplace. Employees in management roles can learn to inspire motivation.

According to Jon Gordon, author of Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (compare prices), “Employees are in a funk. They are fearful, overworked, distrustful, and have less enthusiasm and passion than ever. And many leaders are continually frustrated by their team’s performance and low morale and engagement.

“The answer,” says Gordon, “doesn’t involve fancy technology, a new piece of equipment, or extensive R&D. In fact, the answer lies in a basic human emotion: motivation. Leaders who motivate do. Now, more than ever, a leader’s job is to motivate and rally his or her team through challenging times. You can’t outsource motivation. It is the leaders and managers who must motivate.”

“Most business leaders want to take the emotion out of business,” he says, “but that is a huge mistake. When fear and negativity are the primary emotions people in your organization are feeling, you have to counter that with an even more powerful emotion, like faith, belief, and optimism. And your success in that depends on your ability to motivate.”

Motivation Through Management
Jon Gordon participated in an interview with About.com to flesh out important ideas about management and motivation and the roles of culture, communication, vision, emotion, and relationships in inspiring motivation.

Susan Heathfield: All of my readers have an opinion and a picture in their minds when they hear words such as employee motivation and employee engagement. Define what you mean when you refer to employee motivation and employee engagement so that we are all starting together with a shared picture.

Jon Gordon: Employee motivation is based on the culture management creates and what the leader or manager says and does to help employees perform at their highest level. The goal is to motivate employees with the right environment and management practices that bring out the best in employees so they can give their best to the organization and customers. Employee engagement is how committed, excited, energized and passionate you are about the work you are doing and the organization you are working for.

Heathfield: What is the management’s responsibility in creating this environment for employees?

Gordon: I believe it is one of the most important things that a manager must do. They must create the right environment and culture that fuels people and their performance. Culture drives behavior, behavior drives habits, and habits create the future. As the leaders at Apple Computer say, “Culture beats strategy all day long”.

Heathfield: How about the employee? Should employees sit back and wait for their management to motivate them? What is their shared responsibility?

Gordon: Every employee contributes to the culture of their organization. Therefore, employees share the responsibility of motivation. In fact, you can’t motivate someone unless they want to be motivated. The employee’s responsibility is to come to work every day and work with maximum effort and energy to contribute to the vision and goals of the organization. They need to motivate themselves. And managers must also create an environment that motivates them.

Heathfield: As the number of unemployed workers has reached an all-time high, employees are wary about job searching and changing employment. Many believe that they are better off where they are – with a job – than walking among the ranks of the unemployed. My site readers’ favorite recent article, however, was 5 More Reasons to Quit Your Job, so, under the circumstances, there must be a pent-up interest in moving on from current employers. Knowing this, how would you advise managers to create an environment in which employees want to stay and are motivated to work hard, contribute, and continue to develop their talents and skills with their current employer?

Gordon: It makes a lot of sense. People aren’t quitting because they want security, not because leaders and managers are building winning teams. The solution is to create what I call a culture of greatness – a culture in which you focus on creating a culture that values, cares for, and develops their employees. The key is to create engaged relationships with your employees.
I write a lot about this in my book SOUP. Focus on investing in people: training them, mentoring them, appreciating them, recognizing them, encouraging them, coaching them and caring about them. Very simple objectives, but too many organizations and managers don’t do them.

Heathfield: What are the key areas of employee motivation and engagement that a manager can tap into, recognize, and reinforce so that employees are clear about what is most wanted from them?

Gordon: The key is share the vision of the organization and then talk to each employee and have each employee understand how they contribute to this vision. The vision can’t exist on a piece of paper. It must come to life in the hearts and the minds of the people who work in your organization.
I believe that every organization must have a vision and purpose and each employee must know, understand, and demonstrate how they contribute to this vision and purpose. Even more powerful is when each employee taps into their own personal vision and purpose to contribute to the vision and purpose of the organization.

Heathfield: What would you recommend for management eager to create a work environment in which employees choose to be motivated, excited, and contributing?

Gordon: Expect the best from the employees. You can settle for nothing less than excellence. But you also help each person achieve excellence. You help each employee be their best. You create the culture that is motivating, exciting and flexible and then you give employees room to grow in this culture. Don’t micromanage. Trust them. Develop relationships with them. Give them opportunities to share ideas, and contribute and they will. Also give them room to make mistakes. Nothing drains an organization’s energy more than fear of failure.

Heathfield: How can managers support each other in creating a motivational work environment for employees?

Gordon: By sharing best practices. By doing a book study together. By discussing their success and also failures so they can learn and grow together. The key is to be humble and hungry. Learning and growing and improving with a hunger and desire to get better.

Heathfield: What are specific actions that management can take on a daily basis to create a motivating environment for employees?

Gordon: The actions management can take are so simple and full of common sense and yet they are uncommonly practiced… The actions include: smile more at employees. Listen to them, their ideas and solutions. Earn trust by saying what you will do and doing what you say. Appreciate them with a sincere “thank you”. Companies spend billions on recognition programs and what people really want is “thank you”. Coach them so they know that you care about them. Invest in them so they know that you are concerned about their growth and future. And, do the little things to show them you care: An encouraging word, a listening ear. If you don’t treat them like a number, they won’t treat you or your customers like a number.

Heathfield: What actions on management’s part will alienate employees and make them resentful, unhappy, and negative?

Gordon: The worst? Yelling at them. Berating them. Making them work hard but not sharing appreciation or recognition. Negative comments. Most of all, making them feel like they or their work doesn’t matter.

Management’s Role in Motivation
Arguably, management’s ability to create an environment in which employees choose motivation is the key management role for the success of your organization. Other roles, such as managing change, hiring talented employees, and setting measurable goals, are enhanced by management’s ability to inspire motivation and contribution from employees. Motivation matters, to management, to employees, and to your organization.

Source: About.com, Susan M. Heathfield, July 14, 2012
Link

Om du vill flyga som en kung

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on July 14th, 2012 by admin

Flygbolag från Asien och Mellanöstern håller högst klass, enligt en ny undersökning. Den som vill åka med världens bästa flygbolag bör välja Qatar Airlines.

Visst är det trevligt med en lågprisresa som tar en från en plats till en annan på ett smidigt, och framförallt, billigt sätt.
Men ibland vill man kanske istället lyxa till det och prova på världens bästa flygbolag. För de stunderna har en tio-i-topp-lista nu presenterats.

Det brittiska företaget Skytrax är den största aktör som presenterar statistik och listor över flygbolag och flygplan världen över. Nu har årets upplaga av den årliga World Airline Award, som de själva kallar för flygbranschens Oscarsgala, gått av stapeln.

Med topp-listan i hand går det att se att flygbolagen från Asien och Mellanöstern är de som får bäst betyg av sina resenärer.

I topp ligger Qatar Airways, ett flygbolag som är känt för sina nya flygplan. Medelåldern för flygplanen i bruk inom företaget är 4,1 år.

På andra plats kommer Asiana Airlines, Sydkoreas största flygbolag. Singapore Airlines, som bland annat har planet A380, världens största jumbojet, knep tredjeplatsen.

De två andra platserna på topp-fem-listan tillfaller Cathay Pacific Airways, med bas i Hongkong, och japanska ANA All Nippon Airways.

Undersökningen grundas på data som har samlats in från 18,8 miljoner flygresenärer mellan juli 2011 och juni 2012. 200 flygbolag har varit med, och personer från ungefär 100 olika länder har fått säga sitt.

Undersökningen har låtit passagerarna tycka till om alltifrån hur de uppfattade incheckning och boarding till städning ombord, mat och dryck, hur komfortabla sätena är och hur servicen från personalen såg ut.

Om man vill leta efter svenska SAS får man bläddra en bit nedåt på listan. Men företaget finns med, och har avancerat tio platser från förra året. Då placerade sig SAS på plats 78, nu är platsen istället 68. Det betyder till exempel att SAS slår den norska lågpriskonkurrenten Norweigian som hamnade på plats 74.

Bästa flygbolag i norra Europa blev Finnair, som även knep en 31:a plats på topplistan.

Källa: DN.se, Linnea Johansson, 14 juli 2012
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