Apr 23

Transformation Through Technology: A Vision for Embedding Micro-battles

By | April 23rd, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

We’ve talked to roughly 800 companies about the Founder’s Mentality® and micro-battles. We’ve also been involved in hundreds of micro-battles ourselves. Patterns emerge. We’ve used these blogs to discuss those patterns in detail. Now we want to step back and give you our latest views on how the journey of micro-battles will transform your organization over time. As you embed micro-battles into your ways of working, you’ll begin to challenge your operating model. This will occur in a series of steps, based on four big themes. View this blog as a teaser—it’s going to be short, but we’ll delve more deeply into these themes in our next release.

The micro-battles journey consists of your point of departure, your point of arrival and the journey to get there. It’s simple, but let’s briefly reacquaint ourselves with each part.


Apr 19

The Embedding Challenge

By | April 19th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

Congratulations. You’re running a number of micro-battles and beginning to address some tough scaling issues, where you’ve had to:

1. Convert individual prototypes into Repeatable Models® that can be rolled out across the company.
2. Amplify the impact of the portfolio of micro-battles to help you achieve full potential for the business as a whole.


Apr 18

Communicating the Micro-battles Journey: Six Lessons from the Masters

By | April 18th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

In our blog on the micro-battles training agenda, we refer to our Leadership training workshop, where we help leaders better understand how to manage the portfolio of micro-battles. A key issue that comes up repeatedly is “communication”: How should we talk about our journey to embed micro-battles in our ways of working? To gather some best practices, we interviewed management teams that we consider to be the most proficient at this. Here are six lessons that we hope you’ll find useful.


Apr 17

Interventions: The 10 Most Common

By | April 17th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

You’re frustrated. Your company is surrounded by insurgents, who are constantly innovating, disrupting and occasionally picking off some of your most important customers. Yet, internally, there’s no sense of urgency. Meetings come and go. Initiatives are launched with great fanfare, only to repeatedly underperform, yet never quite die. You lose top recruits that hint you’re yesterday’s company, but these losses are explained away. Some longstanding customers drift away, but again, the organization produces perfectly satisfactory explanations.

You decide to shake things up. You like this Founder’s Mentality® thing, and you like the idea of becoming a scale insurgent. You recognize this demands you rediscover your original insurgency, your frontline obsession and your owner mindset. And you’re compelled to launch micro-battles, to rediscover the art of getting things done. You’re tired of the complacency that surrounds you and love the idea of a minirevolution to wake everyone up. So you launch micro-battles and “trust the system”—your micro-battle teams will work according to the Win-Scale cycle and your leadership team will manage the portfolio of micro-battles through the Amplify cycle.


Apr 16

Designing the Journey: How to Tailor to Context

By | April 16th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

By Peter Slagt

Many companies ask us for our best-practice examples, which can help spark new ideas or inspire a new perspective on their current situation. But when it comes to designing a transformation journey and creating sustainable results, copying best-practice companies won’t always work—the context in which these companies operate may be very different from your own. As you continue to scale the micro-battles portfolio, you often need to step back and look at the progress of your broader transformation journey and tailor it to the context of your organization.


Apr 12

Broadening the Micro-battles Portfolio

By | April 12th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

We’ve written previously on how to select your first set of micro-battles. In the first wave of micro-battles, we emphasized that you should select battles that are material, winnable, address big sources of organizational dysfunction, and involve the stars of your business. But, of course, you want to launch more than one wave of micro-battles. So that raises the question: After the first wave of micro-battles, how should you begin choosing the full portfolio of micro-battles? This blog focuses on that issue. We’ll review three topics.


Apr 11

Building the Scaling Community: Five Questions

By | April 11th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

We are obsessed with the notion of scaling. More specifically, “How do great companies scale great ideas across the enterprise?” One CEO calls it industrializing, meaning, “How do I move from ideas to pilots to industrialization, i.e., convert an idea into our ways of working, so the full enterprise is bringing innovative ideas to our customers at industrial scale?” The entire Bain Micro-battles System℠ is set up to scale—individual teams worry about moving from prototype to repeatable model, and the executive team is constantly asking, “How do we scale insights from individual micro-battles across the company?” We’ve set up a process to consider scaling at every point.


Apr 10

Scaling as a Capability: 10 Lessons from the Masters

By | April 10th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

In our blog on the micro-battles training agenda, we referred to our Leadership training workshop, where we work with leaders to better understand how to manage the portfolio of micro-battles. A good deal of this training is about behavioral change, but we also train on skills. One skill that’s common to most companies working on micro-battles is scaling. But to put it bluntly, most companies realize they’re not very good at it. This is our collection of best practices for scaling issues.


Apr 9

Micro-battles and the Learning Center

By | April 9th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

Besides the obvious fact that they’re all music acts, what do the Beatles, Green Day, the Four Tops and Jimi Hendrix have in common? Sometimes, they just couldn’t settle on a song title and played the parentheses game.

• The Beatles: “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
• Green Day: “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
• The Four Tops: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)”
• Jimi Hendrix: “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”*

Well, at least we’re in good company—we can’t figure out what to call the war room (aka the learning center). We love the war room’s action orientation, and we love the learning center’s emphasis on continuous learning. So, we ultimately decided that the war room would be for the Win-Scale team and the learning center would be for the Leadership team. Let’s take a look at the learning center.


Apr 6

The Amplify Team: Key Skills

By | April 6th, 2018|Micro-battles|0 Comments

When we introduced the notion of micro-battles, we identified two teams. The first is the Win-Scale team. It’s in charge of running micro-battles on a daily basis. The second is the Leadership (Amplify) team. This is the senior leadership team. It’s charged with reviewing the progress of micro-battle teams regularly (every three to four weeks) and managing the portfolio of micro-battles. We also introduced five specific roles of the Amplify team (see Figure 1). We noted that across these five roles, the Amplify team should act as the role model for what it means to be a scale insurgent. The purpose of this blog is to go into more detail on what skills are required to play these roles.


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