190: Ralph Welborn: What role do we play in business ecosystems

//190: Ralph Welborn: What role do we play in business ecosystems

190: Ralph Welborn: What role do we play in business ecosystems

Ralph Welborn Show Notes Page

Ralph Welborn was working on a wicked problem with the Department of Defense, CEO’s, and Chief Security Officers of many different organizations. He had to get them all to be in service to fight the bad guys. Ralph now takes the lessons he learned to move beyond customer-centricity to ecosystem engagement.

Ralph Welborn was born in Tacoma, Washington. As a child of an Air Force Officer, he lived in a variety of places: Japan when he very young, Chicago, Virginia, then for high school years, back in Tacoma, Washington.

He has one older sister, Caroline who is the first Master Chief ever in the US Navy. And his parents still in Tacoma, Washington. His parents own their own separate small businesses. His Dad owns an Asian antique store and re-builds pianos and his Mom owns a stained-glass shop. At 89 and 82 years old respectively, they still outwork him!

His parents always encouraged travel and being sensitive to other perspectives and how different people in different places looked at the world differently. This is something that Ralph has always brought to his work and has become foundational to it as he gained more experience. It is also why he has worked so much around the world (and lived in different parts of the world as well.

Ralph received a Ph.D. and was going down the path of academic career in development economics… but he quickly became enamored (challenged) by how different stakeholders made decisions and the implications that different approaches to decision-making had on actions taken and impacts catalyzed.

This led Ralph to consulting. First in Advanced Technology, then eventually to running Strategy practices at KPMG and IBM. He’s always been attracted to “Hard (some call them ‘wicked’) problems” – those that require the engagement of different types of organizations to solve them… because no one could solve them on their own. And this focus on collaborative engagement – now called business ecosystems – has been front and center for much of his work over the past 15 years.

Ralph is the author of Get It Done, about bridging the gap between strategic objective/intent and everyday execution and The Jericho Principle, which focuses on how to drive alignment both inside and outside of an organization to drive innovation and new sources of value. And his most recent work is Topple, the end of firm-based strategy and the rise of new models for explosive growth.

Ralph currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife of 26 years Meg. They have 3 fantastic kids Nicole, Jeremy and Jacob.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @ralphwelborn to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“I’m paranoid about so many companies that run the Red Queen race; running faster and faster but staying in the same place.” –Click to Tweet

“What can we do fundamentally different given that we live in a changed competitive environment.” –Click to Tweet

“If you look at the explosive growth models of today, there really is something fundamentally different about them.” –Click to Tweet 

“Industry boundaries are starting to blur together.” –Click to Tweet 

“Only 12% of companies capture 85% of economic profit.” –Click to Tweet 

“The companies that are capturing more of the economic profit have this common new explosive model.” –Click to Tweet 

“Explosive growth models are these business ecosystems model.” –Click to Tweet 

“Businesses are often optimized for a world that no longer exists.” –Click to Tweet 

“You may be optimized for what you’re doing, but as the market shifts, simply doing what you were doing before doesn’t work anymore.” –Click to Tweet 

“The 20% of capabilities that made you successful today are not the ones you need tomorrow.” –Click to Tweet 

“It really is only about 20% in any organization, is what you need to drive 70% of your value.” –Click to Tweet 

“Where are we going to plant our flag and mobilize our capabilities around that?” –Click to Tweet 

“How do you start to unlock how people think about things?” –Click to Tweet 

“We’ve been trained to always do what we’ve done before.” –Click to Tweet 

“A changed competitive environment requires a new strategic question.” –Click to Tweet 

“Where is value being created and destroyed in the ecosystem that I and my customer are engaged in?” –Click to Tweet 

“You can’t win the long-term ‘out-execute’ battle.” –Click to Tweet 

“The majority of companies are fighting over a diminishing pie of economic growth and profit.” –Click to Tweet 

“Once you shift a unit of focus from your company to the ecosystem you don’t go back.” –Click to Tweet 

“Our competitors of tomorrow will not be our industry peers, they will be ecosystem-centric organizations.” –Click to Tweet

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Hump to Get Over

Ralph Welborn was working on a wicked problem with the Department of Defense, CEO’s, and Chief Security Officers of many different organizations. He had to get them all to be in service to fight the bad guys. Ralph now takes the lessons he learned to move beyond customer-centricity to ecosystem engagement.

Advice for others

Learn how things connect and what are the implications.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I’m not running enough.

Best Leadership Advice

Play more tennis, not golf.

Secret to Success

Laughter and having fun with people.

Best tools in business or life

Ask questions and draw pictures with people.

Recommended Reading

Topple: The End of the Firm-Based Strategy and the Rise of New Models for Explosive Growth

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Contacting Ralph Welborn

website: http://www.capimpact.com

email: ralph [at] capimpact.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ralphwelborn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ralphwelborn

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


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2018-09-12T10:30:40-04:00September 12th, 2018|Podcasts|0 Comments

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