Ram Charan is a world-renowned business consultant, author and speaker who has spent the past 40 years working with many top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. In his work with companies including Toyota, Bank of America, Novartis, Humana, etc., Ram is known for cutting through the complexity of running a business in today’s fast changing environment to uncover the core business problem. Ram’s real-world solutions, shared with millions through his books and articles in top business publications, have been praised for being practical, relevant and highly actionable — the kind of advice you can use Monday morning–in areas such as growth, talent development, corporate governance, and money-making models for the digital age.
Ram is out with a new book, Rethinking Competitive Advantage: New Rules for the Digital Age. On The Leadership Podcast, Ram shares how the end-to-end individual consumer experience will separate winners from losers in our new digital age, and six new critical rules for leaders.
[2:25] Ram makes an active effort to learn something new every day.
[3:35] Ram credits a lot of his luck and success with having a mentor early in his career.
[4:15] This morning Ram learned something new about batteries!
[6:45] All the major tech giants today didn’t exist in the ’80s. In less than 20 years, they’ve amassed a big fortune and following. The key has been through personalization.
[12:25] There are six rules to achieving a competitive advantage in the digital age:
Rule 1: Must connect digitally to customers.
Rule 2: Data is essential.
Rule 3: Build an ecosystem.
Rule 4: Measure the cash.
Rule 5: Innovation is driven by the people and culture.
Rule 6: Every good leader continuously learns.
[18:10] Remember, the person is the product. You have to work with your customer on their pain points and find a solution to their problem. The way most companies do this is backward.
[22:35] Ram talks about how tech companies and old school companies use scale to their advantage.
[26:25] Despite how big some of these tech companies get, the consumers are still in charge.
[29:45] Without enough data, you cannot make empowered decisions. Also, most companies have 12 layers to work through and this blocks leadership empowerment.
[31:50] The problem is often not the people wanting responsibility. It’s often the bosses. They have a hard time giving up control.
[36:10] Ram shares an example of how great leaders and companies show up. It all comes down to the “best fit.”
[40:15] You know if you have a best fit when you experience a “bend in the road.” Ram dives into what this looks like, but it often comes in a form of new and uncomfortable innovation.
[44:10] Listener challenge: Invest your time in external change. Find it and explore it. Don’t shun it.