The most successful businesses often create their own unique marketplaces by offering a new twist on an old service. San Francisco-based Uber has done exactly this with its mobile app that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles for hire – at a highly reasonable price.
The company recently secured $258 million in financing for expanding into new markets and growing its customer base. It has also expanded its board to include power players like Google’s Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond and David Bonderman, founding partner at TPG Capital.
Bringing Drummond onto the board is no coincidence. Uber will now more effectively tap into the robust Google Maps and Android platforms. In addition, Drummond will provide strategic advice related to products and services, as well as help navigate international governmental and regulatory bodies. This will facilitate the company to grow in Europe and Asia.
For taking the right strategic business steps for enabling international growth – based on an idea as simple as getting people from point A to point B – we are naming Uber as this week’s Pivotal Player.
There’s an old adage about being fortunate: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Roy Helu proved that saying accurate this past week, when the third-year reserve running back made the most of a fluke chance in the fourth quarter of the Redskins’ preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Helu, who started in the Redskins’ preseason opener, registered his first carry in the waning moments of Washington’s most recent preseason win. A veteran roster-lock, Helu did not need to be on the field as the Redskins put the finishing touches on a runaway exhibition win.
The circumstances of the game forced Helu back into action, a couple quarters after he thought his night had ended. Two running backs had left with injuries and another two were unavailable to play. In a pinch, Washington’s coaching staff turned their attention back to Helu – a former starter who was willing to trot out onto the field for a late-game cameo.
With 3:28 remaining on the clock and the Redskins facing a 3rd-and-3 from Pittsburgh’s 30 yard-line, Helu checked into the game and lined up in the backfield. Quarterback, Pat White, took a shotgun snap out of the pistol formation before giving it to Helu on a read-option carry. Helu burst through Washington’s offensive line and sprinted all the way to the end zone, extending the Redskins’ lead to 11 points and sealing the team’s second straight win.
He wasn’t lucky. He was prepared when he got an opportunity – committing a Pivotal Play that we can all learn from as it pertains to making the most of whatever chances we get in our work environment.
Family-owned Twiddy & Co. Realtors faced an epic challenge. With 950 vacation properties and 1,200 vendors that service the properties, the real estate and rental company lacked the technology to determine how much money they were spending on specific types of work orders.
The company generates thousands of work orders each year, which were tracked manually using Excel worksheets. To better manage this information, Twiddy & Co. Realtors needed a dynamic view of all property management and rental data. It also needed to combine data from disparate sources for fully automating business processes.
Led by Laura Carver, CTO of Twiddy & Co. Realtors, the company turned to SAS’s Business Intelligence for Midsize Companies technology, which enabled it automate certain manual processes and gain a 360-degree perspective of its business data. As a result, tasks that used to take eight-to sixteen-hours were cut down to a mere 20 minutes.
For searching out and implementing innovative technologies to streamline businesses processes, which ultimately impacted both the bottom and top lines of the company, we are naming Twiddy & Co. Realtors as this week’s Pivotal Player.
Written by Grant Paulsen:
Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan is doing something that business executives in all professions struggle with constantly. He’s doing what is right for the company he’s leading – not what is most popular for his organization.
Three weeks into his fourth training camp, Shanahan is dealing with the most analyzed and scrutinized saga during his time in Washington. Second-year quarterback Robert Griffin – one of the NFL’s most revered talents – is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last January. Griffin wants to practice with his teammates, and not surprisingly Washington’s fan base is clamoring to see more of the reigning NFL rookie of the year at the team’s training facility in Richmond. But Shanahan isn’t allowing outside pressure to influence an important decision.
Shanahan didn’t allow Griffin to participate in 11-on-11, team drills until his team’s 15th day of practices. Griffin has pleaded with his coach for an increased workload through the media, but Shanahan has stuck to a plan that he and doctors believe will help Griffin make a full recovery.
Now, however, Griffin is being used in portions of practice that he wasn’t able previously.
Although Shanahan has been vilified by many outlets for the decision, he didn’t cave. Time will tell if Shanahan’s plan for Griffin was the right one, but his persistence is admirable enough to help him receive this week’s Pivotal Play.