Category Management Trends for 2020 on our 20th Anniversary


Following up from my last  two posts, I’m happy to report that smarter people at our firm took what I wrote and took it a lot further and (drumroll) here it is – Our listicle (and that is not a derisive thing anymore) for 2020 and beyond.  I hope you like what they did as much as I do.  Allow me to make some obvious observations.  The eight Trends (sorry if you were looking for ten) will not change after 2020 so you can use this model to do some long-term strategic thinking and planning.  And that’s the reason for not forcing another two Trends on you – the fewer there are, the easier to plan.  What may change over time are the elements within each trend.  And as I pointed out last time, this represents what many others (Gartner, E&Y, Eurasia Group, NCSU, et al) much smarter than us are saying in the industry, what we think the challenges are going to be and the input from many client executives representing many industries across the globe.

Let me point out some of the ones I think should be of particular interest.  We have often talked about the issue of the biggest failure of Risk Management processes is that it mostly doesn’t lead to action and decisions, but mostly ends up in measures, assessments and analyses – which is all critical.  There have been many examples we have cited in the past (natural disasters, the Dreamliner, etc.) and we think we all need to ensure that we address this deficiency now.

An interesting one that deserves focus is the added responsibility of impacting the Top-Line in our function.  During our validation process, one of our alumni discussed how he is part of the sales and marketing process and is directly involved in sales calls and customer interface.  In fact, he may be speaking at an upcoming workshop for us on this topic.  He’s also developed an interesting metric to reflect the impact that his organization has on the Top-Line.  We did have another alumni who almost launched an initiative with us impacting the Top-Line but ended up having to postpone it, so stay tuned.  This is clearly emerging already.

The shift from Cost to Value includes a reference to focus on Stakeholder Value Drivers.  I continue to worry about this only because I think that it is highly underestimated.  We assume (mostly wrongly) that we know who all the Stakeholders are.  And even for the Stakeholders we know, we assume (again wrongly) that we know what their Value Drivers are. 

The link between your talent strategy and corporate strategy deserves some emphasis because it’s an area that continues to be a challenge for many.  The bonus of ensuring alignment between the two also means that support for your Competency Based Talent Management (CBTM) Strategy will be far stronger from your Stakeholders.  While we’re on the topic of Talent, the emphasis on Strategic Competencies must, of course, be mentioned by us 😊 – it is now being mentioned by many others across multiple Trends.

And the most obvious one is a change in metrics, and you will see that explicitly in some places and implicitly in others.   We mention them in SRMO and in Cost to Value – the creation of the right metrics and especially the inclusion of non-numeric metrics is something that we need to figure out and quickly  because getting them accepted by the Stakeholders – especially the finance types is not the easiest thing to do.

We would love to hear back from you and get your opinion.

Download our 2020 Trends list:



Leave A Reply

Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.