Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PTV©- Our generation’s Sputnik Moment View - to tap the untapped opportunities?

“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.” In his State of the Union address, President Obama threw down the gauntlet: “We’re issuing a challenge; we’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems (clean energy etc.), we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

As it turns out, our Portfolio-Thread View (PTV) is being birthed as an answer to solve these “Sputnik moment” challenges of our generation strategists – who are faced with a similar challenge of not able to effectively, tap the untapped growth (and innovation) opportunities, and so, we thought of re-positioning PTV as a Sputnik Moment View – as our way of living up to President’s challenge. In other words, PTV© is being redefined as a Sputnik Moment view, from both application and symbolic standpoints, as outlined below, and on the picture, on the top of the page -
  • “Analysis/Synthesis” balanced (solving the 6 macro dilemmas of - Purpose vs. Profit, Customer Centric vs. Vision Centric Innovation, Pull vs. Push value chain, Operation Excellence vs. Innovation Excellence, long term vs. Q-To-Q results and Market based vs. Resource based view),

  • PtC© positioned ( overcoming the collaboration gridlock using the "Power through Collaboration" process promoted by Willis Consulting LLC).

  • “Nature’s principle” driven (using nature’s three principles of balancing opposites, energy conservation/transformation and Solomon’s cyclical seasonality),

  • “Value Accelerators” propelled (using the value accelerators called experience/capability pools),

  • “Purpose” landed (in the form of three Portfolio/Thread portfolio frameworks called experience pools, capability pools and purpose innovation pools (EPP©, CPP© & PIP©).

Sounds like a symbolic redefinition resembling Sputnik's “Balance-Position-Drive-Propel-Land” sequence, isn’t it? Interestingly enough, our PTV© , indeed is a Sputnik moment view that is meant to be latched on to the business orbit of corporations (as depicted on our PTV radial cycle framework picture with an embedded Apollo XVIII image on top of the page)– not only to overcome, the so called sputnik moment challenges (from the standpoint of effectively “balancing-positioning-driving-propelling-landing” their strategies), but also, to continuously measure, monitor and manage them for maximizing their efficiencies.

With one of President’s sputnik moment challenges happen to be energy sustainability – the symbolic coincidences to our PTV could not have been any better, that PTV is indeed being designed with the same energy sustainability principle as its cornerstone, from both symbolic and application standpoints. What do we mean by that? With our blog being known for its spiritual/metaphysics metaphors, let us explain PTV with yet another spiritual metaphor called Tai Chi, the well known form of Qigong/Yoga (that is further enhanced with few other popular meditation techniques of Chinese/Indian/middle eastern origins) – to get our point across!

First things first- let us start with some energy management basics i.e. matter and energy are just different forms of the same thing (as revealed by Einstein’s insight/foresight balanced energy equation- e=mc2), and so, for all practical purposes, we can call Einstein’s energy equation as value equation. With that said, Tai Chi in its essence is nothing but the manifestation of this value/energy equation in five steps - Balance, Position, Inhale, Exhale and Iterate that is in perfect alignment with our sputnik moment PTV sequence “Balance-Position-Drive-Propel-Land” , as identified in the top of the page.

In other words, Tai Chi is all about balancing the posture of our body so that energy can flow better followed by a slow and deep, abdominal inhaling and exhaling (breathing) exercise, creating a self awareness which further channels the energetic thoughts of the mind to iterate on a continual basis with an end goal of maximizing that energy.

With that said, let us peel the Tai Chi steps, like peeling the layers of onion – wherein, Tai Chi starts with a fluid balancing process first – and then gets strengthened from the right body posture – which is further accelerated by the inhaling of oxygen to make the energy flow efficient, creating the self awareness that is needed to overcome the illnesses causing stresses -by turning that self healing mechanism that is buried within our human body!

Similarly, under PTV©, strategy is all about first balancing these six nebulous dilemmas using these three nature’s principles resulting in a positive value flow– that is further strengthened with the posture (or structure) provided by the power through collaboration (PtC) process- which is further accelerated by injecting value accelerators (in the form of experience and capability pools overcoming the value de-accelerators) that turns-on the self healing mechanism called value maximization that is buried deep within our businesses. Let us use the following “similarity map” to put these similarities in perspective!

  • Balance the energy flow/blockage dilemma –> Balance the six macro level value dilemmas using “analysis/synthesis” based 3 nature’s principles as identified earlier.

  • Position the posture for energy to flow without inhibition– >Position the collaboration structure for value to transform, using PtC driven collaboration principle.

  • Inhale the oxygen for accelerating the energy flow -> Inject the “insight/foresight” positioned value accelerators (in the form of effective experience pools and efficient capability pool portfolios) for accelerating the value flow/creation.

  • Exhale (Relax) –> Let the stakeholders (shareholders, consumers, customers, partners, suppliers etc) reap the value on a periodical basis.

  • Iterate –> Reinvest and keep the cyclical process going.

As it turns out, PTV not only qualifies to be a sputnik moment view from application standpoint (i.e. its power to tap the untapped opportunities), but also from symbolic standpoint as identified in the picture and the Tai Chi metaphor based similarity map. Yet another coincidence is that PTV© , as a matter of fact aligns perfectly with Einstein’s energy equation as well!

Value Accelerators=Capital Pool x Experience Pool2

Now that we have built a compelling case that PTV indeed is a Sputnik Moment view (from both application and symbolic standpoints) – it is a moment of “call for action”! Our ask today is – should there be an interest from any of our readers (especially to those of you who are in leadership roles running specific organizations within your firms), here is a golden opportunity to seize your Sputnik type moments – and all that you have to do is, just second President’s closing statement “we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time” – to tap your untapped growth opportunities that are buried deep within your businesses. The call is yours -as we are just a phone call away, readily available to help and serve!


  1. Hello Charles,

    The flow of energy upon reading this post is incredible. The metaphor has shed light brilliantly on your value model and the linkage to Einstein's Equation is incredibly witty.

    Honestly, this is a post for continued reading. The Similarity Map is worth pondering upon for hours.

    You have added too much meat to the bones and more than I can chew in one reading session.

    One word: Bravo

  2. Hello Charles again,

    It elapsed me to mention an important point. If you inspect the above diagram you see it resembles the balanced scorecard (BSC). at the same time it deviates from it. The Growth/Learning box is matching with the BSC.The next box you have is Value Chain as compared with internal processes in the BSC. Here your Value Chain covers internal processes and other values. The third and fourth boxes are the same as the BSC, but you have their order reversed. The BSC brings customers first and then profitability from these customers. In your diagram Customer comes last and after financial performance. Could you elaborate on this, please?

  3. Hello Ali,Thanks for the follow-up comment as it shows how meticulously our readers read our blogs.

    First of all, you are correct in terms of pointing out the order of perspectives within Kaplan/Norton’s original BSC design. Given the fact our PTV is being derived from BSC – I agree that it makes sense to keep the same order to maintain continuity and better readability.

    However, if I may, let us also point out the flexibility of PTV that we want to give the liberty for strategists to enter the radial cycle framework through multiple ways (even through the zigzag interconnected lines that are connected through the central fifth PTV perspective called PURPOSE. As a matter of fact, to put things in perspective (not BSC perspective!), let us remember that Market Based View (MBV) enters through Financials, whereas Resource Based View (RBV) enters through Growth/Learning. On the other hand Execution Based View (EBV) starts with Value Chain and Design Thinking View (DTV) starts with Customers.

    Given the fact PTV is a balanced/blended View, it has given us the flexibility to start in any one of those perspectives and navigate to others, because of the additional interconnected links we have created as part of PTV using the central PURPOSE perspective. In its essence, the whole motivation for PTV is to choose the right entry point depending upon the context and requirements of the problem we are trying to solve.

    Having said that- if interchanging Customer and Financial Perspective would resonate better with our readers (as we are readers/customer driven blog and so customer interest comes first!), I will be happy to interchange it in my next post, my as it does not change the crux of our message. Point very well taken!


  4. Hello Charles,

    It seems a worthy effort to bring issues to you as they provoke you bto come up with outstanding responses. Yes, your point is well taken as in your diagram the entry point is dynamic and changes with the interest are the key determining factor.

    Surely, just to keep things consistent and to be perfectly honest with the reported literature, I would reorder the diagram to keep it aligned with the BSC.

    Your response added clarity to a very important post, Charles.