Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

February 9, 2010

Nilofer MerchantThe New How: Five Practices for Busting Out

Successful strategy creation means raising the level of consciousness around decision making, according to this excerpt from a new book, The New How.

By Nilofer Merchant, Rubicon Consulting

No matter what you do or where you sit in your organization, you are always making choices. You make choices of action and inaction. You make choices about which ideas matter, which ideas you want to champion, when to assert your point of view, and what is worth advocating for the business to consider.

Some choices are about leading people and leading the processes. But right now, let’s look at how each of us can participate in strategy creation as a peer.

We want to achieve two objectives with respect to choices. First, we want to be more thoughtful and less automatic in all our choices, not just the big ones. And second, we want to establish a clear sense of “targeted intentionality” - that is, we need to be aware of the subtle impact on the big picture that we are looking to achieve through the sum of our small and large choices.

The tools that we will use to achieve these objectives are embodied in the following five practices. These practices will help raise your level of consciousness about choices that you are already making at work every day. If the practices seem a bit edgy, it is because they are intended to stimulate your thinking as you reimagine ways you can be more influential in how strategy gets created and how you contribute your ideas to the mix.


Attention Software CEOs/CFOs: Your Insight Needed wants your outlook on the software business in 2010. Take a short survey and confidentially share your opinions on how the industry - and your company - will perform in the coming year. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of the full Software CEO Outlook 2010 report. Click here to participate.

Innovation Tradeoff: Acquired vs. Outsourced

Jon Fisher Jon B. Fisher takes a look a Apple’s recent acquisition of PA Semi which highlights the tradeoffs tech companies face when developing new products. Read more in this post to his Blog, Strategic Entrepreneurism. Also this week, Jon forecasts a further dip in unemployment, dropping to 8 percent by year end.

The Week in the Cloud: Feb. 5, 2010

Kamesh PemmarajuKamesh Pemmaraju recaps the latest news, deals and thought leadership in the cloud computing space. Read this week’s post on the business case for the cloud, new offerings from major vendors, federal cloud budgets, and EMC’s cloud ambitions.

Poll: Is Strategy Co-creation Possible?

Can today’s software company leaders really cooperate on strategy creation?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Top Software Stories of the Past Week

  1. Plattner back at the helm of SAP after Apotheker resignation. (ZDnet)

  2. Already a pacesetter, Amazon drops cloud pricing. (

  3. Google ready to cut ribbon on enterprise apps store. (E-commerce Times)

  4. Oracle loses some MySQL mojo with departure of a key executive. (

  5. Today's Google's Gmail Announcements. (

The Latest Software Business News

All Headlines: Hot tech companies like Yelp are bypassing IPOs.

VC Activity: PeopleMatter receives $2.3 million.

M&A Deals: IBM buys Initiate Systems.

Executive Moves: Open-source telephone software maker Fonality named Dean Mansfield CEO.

Quote of the Week

I can’t find a single Wall Street analyst who thinks anything other than the wheels are falling off SAP. It’s a classic case of panic now, think later.

— ZDNet’s Dennis Howlett on the resignation of Leo Apotheker and the current state of SAP

Share Your Insight wants to publish your opinions. Email your insight on the software business to editor, Maryann Jones Thompson (



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