Japanese management scholar Ikujiro Nonaka sums up the challenges facing today’s companies this way: “When markets shift, technologies proliferate, competitors multiply and products become obsolete virtually overnight; successful companies are those that consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely throughout the organization, and quickly embody it in new technologies and products.” That’s the essence of BIQ—business intelligence quotient. But while most companies would lay claim to having BIQ, many founder when it comes to execution, the Achilles heel of many organizations. Management consultant Oren Harari says to execute like a winner, leaders must set priorities and provide the resources to achieve them; must develop strategies based on solid information and real data points that provide clear understanding of the whole picture, including emerging rivals and customer feedback; and above all, must do it fast.
“Speed is life,” says Target chairman Bob Ulrich, and in today’s “nanosecond” economy it’s important to have the tracking systems and response mechanisms to cope with a dynamic market. Above all, it’s important to avoid a “corporate culture that rewards people for politically massaging data for opportunistic reasons, or for shielding executives from ‘bad news,’” says Harari. “As seen in the recent spate of ethical meltdowns in many once-proud firms, reliance on slippery reporting and financial sleight-of-hand ultimately destroys companies.”

Association Management Dec 2004