Mastering Business Analytics: The real MBA for career success, Step-by-Step


A straightforward tutorial in plain English.

Context ... Self-knowledge (Under construction!)
The issues characterized within this diagram, constitute a province solely executive in nature. While all sources of intelligence should be tapped, it remains, ultimately, the sole and primary responsibility of the senior executive officer.

At its most rudimentary level, "context" embraces everything bearing upon a firm: Its performance, its competitiveness, its very existence. It must lay at the heart of all senior executive decisions; it must inform each and every corporated discussion.

As noted elsewhere, on the site, context incorporates Sun Tzu's:
Know your resources,
Know your enemy's resources,
Know the terrain.

For perspective: Your faithful writer, would prefer to be 6' 2", blue eyed, and have a full head-of-hair. Unfortunately, such is not the case; wishing is not going to change it.

Similarly, if our firm is neck-deep in debt, there's no point in predicating our endgame (and strategic plan) upon upon an unleveraged balance sheet. If the economy is deep within the throes of clearcut recession, we might want to delay introducing our new line of discretionary income-driven products.

Conversely, were we pursuing aggressive capital equipment expansion to drop unit costs on our rapidly increasing sales, we might choose to lever our balance sheet to lock-in fixed funding costs through debt — rather than use externally generated equity funds — during a period of low interest rates.

In addition to these sorts of relatively concrete internalities and externalities entailing capabilities and resources, we have to weigh more nebulous elements. Can our IT capability meet the demands stemming from the anticipated growth path? Is our firm "young" enough and agile enough to reasonably engage is the undertaking? And, finally, such dark and midnight matters as, "Just how great is our appetite for risk?"

Think of context, in current street parlance, as our "reality check." (To complete the vernacular metaphor, metrics constitute our "wake-up call." "A man has to know his limitations." (Thanks, Clint.)

In the end, several well known aphorisms come to mind, among them: Know Thy Self, To thyself be true.

corporate lifestage / evolution (MUST develop and maintain commensurate, compatible capabilities across ALL functional areas; 2005 Finance doesn’t mix with 1980 IT.) (Give example of IT / SCM / Finance / Marketing disconnects

Know the world in which you live: