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July,  2007
Volume III   Issue 7

by Jack Miller

Maybe I seem obsessed with Dots. First, there was the nine dot problem ,
and now this. All I can say in my defense is that when you play golf, you get
Dots on your scorecard for birdies and greenies, and at the end of the day,
Dots are worth money!

This month, I want to talk about “Connecting the Dots.” Yes, I know, it’s one
of those overused phrases like “think outside the box,” “strategic fit,” and
“big picture.”  But  there’s a reason why some phrases are used so often.  
“At the end of the day” they convey an important concept, or at least they
did before the meaning was lost through overuse.

I knew what I wanted to say about Connecting the Dots, but I decided I would
first  Google “Dots” and see what came up.

The first entry was, a women’s clothing store. Good job
getting that URL and popping up first on a Google search. But not relevant to
this article.

The second entry was an
online version  of the game that comes to mind in connection with  the
phrase “Connect the Dots.”  The idea is that you draw lines connecting dots
in a grid. These lines make boxes, and whoever makes the most boxes
wins. The game requires a bit of strategy, in that what you do in one part of
the grid can affect another part of the grid, and a winning strategy must take
this into account. You might say that you need to look at the “big picture.”

Next I Googled “Connect the Dots.” This gave links to the dots game, but
also gave links to the children’s activity where you connect numbered dots
with a pencil, and this generates a picture that can be colored with crayons.

Yes, connecting the dots gives you the “big picture.”

In business, as I’ve discussed before we have strategic plans which all too
often become numbers exercises and don’t really involve strategic thinking.
Sometimes these strategic plans are really forecasts, but in reality we NEED
to plan because we CANNOT forecast accurately.

What if our market starts to decline due to competing technologies?

What if our costs make us non-competitive with imports?

What if our competitors come up with a new product that takes share away
from us?

What if our products or packaging depend on non-renewable resources, or
are not recyclable, and hence do not meet the growing demand for

You can’t look at these issues in isolation, though, because they are linked.
Pira has programs like “Print Horizons” and “Eyes and Ears”  not only to
monitor new developments and emerging technologies, but also to interpret
the strategic significance of those developments and relate them to your
business, today. Marketing. Technical. Sustainability.  Business Intelligence.
Strategy. Need help connecting the Dots? Pira can help, because, at the end
of the day, Dots are worth money.

For more information call Jack Miller at  203 925 0326 or  

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Copyright 2007, Jack Miller

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