"I don't skate to where the puck is, I skate to where it's going to be." - Wayne Gretzky
Key insight form the article, "If we start planning NOW to meet our customers’ future needs, who will they want to work with six, nine or twelve months from now? Us of course! We will have the products or services ready and available to meet their needs. We won’t have to scramble to develop the products they want. We can provide what they need when they need it."
In this rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, our customers arechanging and adapting with the times and we need to be attuned to their world. For me, that means understanding their current state and the research and trends in the future that are impacting them. Then begin to have conversations about the future trends to see how they are impacting your customers and how your customers see those trends.
Great find by Robin Good and timely as we just had a session with Rita McGrath (author of the End of Competitive Advantage) emphasizing the impact of disruption and the need for a different mindset around resilience. This preso by Jeremiah Owyang gives some great tips for thinking about the types of shifts in business models we should be thinking about.
Slide 13 captures these shifts well:
1. Purpose (start with why) is key
2. Glocal wins - Global reach and mindset delivered locally (relationships)
3. Personalize everything possible
5. People make and share - collaboration and co-creation with your customers
6. Empowered people
This is important for CPAs to understand as they advise and support their businesses (clients and employers). Business models are no longer stagnant or as Rita would say, sustainable over a long-term. Thus we need to be constantly re-examiming our competitive advantages.
It's the single most important skill a leader needs.
Tom Hood's insight:
Strategic Thinking ranked in the top five skills CPAs need for the future (http://cpa.tc/topskills) in research conducted for the CPA Horizons 2025 project by the AICPA. I agree that it is one of the most important and sought after leadership competencies, especially in a world of transient advantages as Rita McGrath (End of Competitive Advantage) would say.
Our definition of strategic thinking as a competency is "A future-minded and flexible mindset that thinks critically and creatively. The ability to link data, knowledge and insights together to provide quality advice for strategic decision-making."
I would rank Collaboration and Synthesis up there with strategic thinking, together the ability to think strategic ally with others and the idea of network leadership (or collaborative mindset) work together to form a powerful leadership tool set.
Not actual risk, but the feeling that you're at risk? How many experiences are you missing out on because the (very unlikely) downsides are too frightening to contemplate? Are you avoiding leading, connecting or creating because to do so feels...
Tom Hood's insight:
And what is the cost of not taking the risk?
My friend and colleague, Reggie Henry at the ASAE calls this the RONI (versus ROI) or the risk of not investing. Often hen people are confronted with something new, that feeling you describe turn into a question, what is the ROI of this new thing (knowing the answer is not readily available). To which Reggie asks, what is the risk of not investing in this?
Alignment increase engagement which increase discretionary effort which turns your organization's flywheel...
Insightful post about strategy, value proposition and alignment. I had not thought about the "employee offer" and how you need to think about the value proposition to your employees. You have given me a new way to think about that.
As for alignment, you are spot on - not only do we need to see the alignment to the overall strategy but cascaded throughout the organization as well.
To me this dives a little deeper into the insights from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in Good to Great and Built to Last about the need for vision and strategy and then aligning ALL internal systems (personnel, comp, operating units) to maximize the flywheel effect. If done right their research showed a 15X impact versus the average competitors in their market, yes that's 1500% sustained increased profitability over years.
Thanks for sharing...
Need help with a strategic planning process that promotes engagement and alignment? Our Business Learning Institute can help
In 1975 a young director with no big films credits under his belt, set out to make a horror film. Steven Spielberg wanted his film filled with violent and gory shark attacks.
Tom Hood's insight:
Simon Sinek (Author of Start With Why @simonsinek) has a way of getting to the essence of things. This post hits the innovation thing well.
"Innovation is not born from the dream; innovation is born from the struggle. Innovation, at its core, is not simply about building the future; innovation is about solving problems in the present. And the best innovations, just like the shark in Jaws, is often something we don't even know is there."
One of the things that I enjoy doing is looking for new ideas related to innovation. Usually these new ideas come from studying the lives of innovators. There are a lot of insights that can be foun...
Tom Hood's insight:
Love the distinction between creativity and innovation. The individual is creative and comes up with "innovative" ideas, but innovation is the work of an organization (think collaboration) to make those ideas real and implement. Reminds me of our strengths-based work where we need all of the strengths (Execution, Influencing, Raltionships, and Strategic) to take things to market. Do you agree?
I love the idea of story-doers! This is major theme from our CFOs, the ability to "tell the stories" with their numbersand playing a major role helping the businesses transform themsleves in accordance with the stories.
Differentation by marketers has a long and obvious history. When you see competition, you differentiate. Buy mine, I can prove it is different. They offer X, I offer Y. They cost this, I cost that. The thing is, differentiation is...
Tom Hood's insight:
Reminds me of a recent HBR article on the Top three lessons for business (based on 40 years of research with thousands of companies) that are: 1) Different before cheaper, and 2) Focus on Revenue before costs, and 3) There are no other rules. Seth is reminding us that "different" is not about clever marketing but real unique attributes of your product and service that you have. Especially those that customers focus on which make your organization "remarkable".
Skills shortages in 2020 will rise to an entirely new level.
And I’m not talking about STEM skills, although they’re critical. Or the ability to speak multiple languages, which needs to be more common in the U.S. Or even the readiness of college graduates to take a place in the economy, which a majority of employers report is lacking.
But really — what about the skills for the future? I’m not sure what we’ll call those skills. I’m not even sure they’re skills, to be honest, but here’s what I do know:
People are living longer and will want/need to have longer careers.Smart machines are taking over the most routine workplace tasks.Data – big, medium and small – is changing the way decisions are being made at every organizational level.Text isn’t the only way we communicate any more.Organization structures and behaviors are changing due to social technologies.We say “Global,” but what that really mean is that innovation and growth will be primarily driven through the integration of differing cultural norms and diversity.
"How’s your leadership working on in your VUCA world (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)? "
Liz Guthridge has written a great post on leading in a VUCA world; VCUA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, a term coined by the US Army War College in the weeks before September 11, 2001.
Liz & I discussed the need for collaboration and community across disciplines to succeed in a VUCA world in connection with our recent panel + Open Space presentation we did for a global change conference on Success Secrets of Trusted Change Advisors.
VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen
Here are some excerpts of her take on the insightful presentation by one of our keynote presenters:
"Leading in a VUCA world" is a popular phrase with Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow and former president of Institute for the Future.
According to Dr. Johansen, who shared his 2020 forecast at the Association of Change Management Professionals global conference this week, our VUCA world is not going away. In fact it’s just going to spin faster during the next decade.
In his talk “External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Practice of Change Management,” Dr. Johansen noted that VUCA is not necessarily doom and gloom. While VUCA can provide threats, it also can offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.”
As for his two big 2022 predictions for organizational change agents, they are:
1. “The digital natives (now 16 years or younger) will create new practices to make change through gaming.” (The other key phrase besides gaming in this sentence is “make.” Dr. Johansen predicts that a culture of makers will drive the next generation of change. And as a result, leaders need to show the “maker instinct” trait.)
2. “Reciprocity-based innovation will focus on the economic, social and psychological value of reciprocity.” (Two important traits for leaders are smart-mob organizing and commons creating. Think Creative Commons.)
Dr. Johansen challenged the 825 of us in attendance to figure out how to help people and organizations adapt to these changes and others.
To do this, we should watch our terms and our questions. Read Liz's full post here.
This great blog post captured by curator Robin Good talks about platforms and the gang of four (Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook).
"Today’s dizzying pace of change shows no signs of abating. If anything, it is likely to accelerate. So do everything you can to heed these lessons today, to be as prepared as possible for a vastly different tomorrow."
The ten lessons identified remind me also of the work of Rita McGrath (End of Competitive Advantage) who talks about six key areas in what she calls "The New Strategy Playbook":
You don’t want to waste your time and money building a product no one will want to use or pay for. So, first get out of the building and talk to your customers. But there’s a world of difference between talk and action.
So, you’re the new CEO of Microsoft. Where to begin?
Tom Hood's insight:
Free advice for @satyanadella from @nilofer @wsj could be good for you too!
New CEO of Microsoft must face challenges of changing a company in midst of fading competitive advantage. Best advice - create a culture of collaboration, quickly, says Nilofer Merchant.
"Nilofer Merchant, a Silicon-valley based former technology executive who now advises companies like Yahoo and Logitech, said Nadella should lead by collaboration.
“What’s going to happen in the next 90 days is people throughout the organization and the industry are going to come to him with their proverbial ball of problems and ask him to solve that problem,” she said. “He’s got to not buy into that framework, because his job is to figure out how to get other people to solve problems.”"
How to you create that culture? You must create the common and shared future direction of the company, shared values, and then begin aligning divisions and teams. Give them the "channel markers" around that vision to operate in and encourage and support collaboration around that shared vision.
As Dan Pink says, we are all in sales now. Whether we are selling our ideas, our brands, or real products and services, we are all in sales.
This is a great article about what 'selling' should be. Robin Good's insights combined with this excellent article resonated with me. I think we all need to think about sales in a new light, one that truly focuses on the relationships, trust, and helping others succeed in this crazy and exciting world we live in.
What motivates volunteers to take part in innovation projects?
Tom Hood's insight:
The point seems to be involving people (engagement) in the process of innovation can be a separate value proposition from the actual solution or prodict created. This quote caught my attention, "consider the fact that innovation centrally involves problem solving. In other situations, problem solving is known to be valued by participants for the process itself. That is, people often engage in problem solving for the value of participating in the process — independent of any value derived from the solution found."
Could this be true for team members inside the organization?
Can we increase engagement and results by applying structured collaboration and process (like our i2a: Insights to Action and ThinkTank system) to our innovations?
Agree, the journey matters and the video makes the point that innovation is fundamentally a collaborative exercise, not the brilliant spark of the lone genius. It is those successful organizations who can take the creative, innovative ideas and forge them in the strengths of a team who can bring them t market.
It's natural to try to cut back in tough economic times, and consequently, organisations often cut innovation. This is a mistake. The best results coming out of recessions happen when firms balance short-term and long-term oriented innovation.
I like the quote, "It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark." which says the time to begin inserting the proactive discipline of innovation in your organization is not when you are under extreme market or economic pressures. It also follows my corollary to that which is, "you can't cut your way to success.". The other key point I see about the blend of proactive innovation and "strategic cost cutting" (not across the board cuts) is that it is "both and", not either/or.
Last week we shared strategies to pull you out of temporary creative blocks using quick, easy prompts. This week we’re examining the long, hard road to increased creativity by sharing ten basic fun...
Tom Hood's insight:
Design thinking from a neuroscientist. Some great insights from @tseelig on boosting vreativity. My favorites are "ask the right questions, pay close attention, be amazing at teamwork (this is a major recurring theme I am seeing), and embrace failure (which is extremely hard for both non-profits and CPAs).
When asked by CXOs about the future of business in the next few years — mobile technologies, social business networks, social data analytics, artificial intelligence, smart ecommerce — I find myself referring to innovations emerging within IBM.
Some great biz trends and insights from one of my favorite companies that has constantly reinvented itself to stay relevant, IBM. I like 1. Serve your customers in context, 2. Collaboration between your suppliers/vendors = strategic advantage (take our #MDSUMMIT is example), 4. Fight for Talent is key, and 5. Relationships not transactions.
Yes, caffeine helps. But new research shows that the moderate noise level in cafés also perks up your creative cognition.
Tom Hood's insight:
Is noise always bad?
CONCLUSION: The next time you're stumped on a creative challenge, head to a bustling coffee shop, not the library. As the researchers write in their paper, "[I]nstead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking out of one's comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas."
Part 2 of a series on neuroscience and innovation. We continue our conversation with Janet Crawford, a pioneer in applying neuroscience to improve business performance. In today's part, we discuss the interplay between human biology and innovation.
Tom Hood's insight:
This explains my career and the value of belonging to the MACPA, AICPA, ASAE and the value of volunteering, attending conferences, and connecting to people.
My colleague, Jackie Brown highlighted this passage, "In order to create new intersections, it’s crucial that we cross-pollinate by engaging with diverse people, activities and experience to provide the raw materials for serendipitous insight. Just like in venture capital, most of these intersections will go nowhere. The more diversity in the system, however, the more “weeds” will flourish and the greater the likelihood that some of them will be useful!"
I think this is the secret to innovation. It is also the intention behind this year's MACPA Innovation Summit (May 17th) - Serendipitous Inisght!
Guest post written by Didier Bonnet Didier Bonnet is Senior VP and Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting. Didier Bonnet Over the past few years, Nike has reaped significant business benefits from embracing digital technologies.
Are you a "Digital Leader?" Interesting take on leadership and one that hits home as I prepare for my favorite "personal learning journey" at the upcoming DigitalNow - Association Leadership Conferencein Orlando, FL next week.
I like the MIT Data-driven analysis of "digital leaders", "Our analysis found that they are 26% more profitable than their average industry competitors and enjoy a 12% higher market valuation. They generate 9% more revenue with their existing physical capacity and drive more efficiency in their existing products and processes."
Worth a read... and will be a major theme at our spring townhalls and escpecially our upcoming Innoavtion Summit on May17th in Baltimore.