Using video surveillance, and signals from shoppers’ cellphones and apps, retailers are tracking customers’ behavior and moods.
Corporate and Business Strategy and Execution in the Post Industrial, Digital Economy. Want to know more? Visit me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karlwabst/
Curated by Karl Wabst
It's the Internet Economy, stupid! We are driving ourselves out of jobs.
Companies remain focused on creating efficiencies. This lowers costs and wages in the old physical workplace and marketplace.
If we stay this course, nobody will have the means to afford all the cool services offered over the Web.
This problem is not restricted to the US. It applies to developing markets too.
The choice between generic basic business strategies remains the same.
- Standardize, and Relentlessly Drive Down Cost.
- Customize, and Gain Deep Understanding of Customers, Needs & Desires to create new customers and markets.
The Internet is a tool, not the final destination. What more can you do with it?
Some of the talent and tools won’t necessarily be found in-house. Here’s how to create a sustainable strategy for sourcing the right people and products.
Before going digital, the company leadership must understand why. People in IT tend to assume this is self-evident. It is not.
Going digital is a business decision. If IT cannot make the business case it is pointless to talk about what technology to choose, and how to staff the initiative.
Come prepared to lead, not manage the change.
You must frame the choice in a way that is beneficial to the purpose of the organization.
Apollo Education Group, parent company of The University of Phoenix announced bad earnings Wednesday. Enrollment is half of what it was 5 years ago. The stock fell over 20%.
University of Phoenix blames technology problems for their fall from grace.
I tried one of their classes. The quality of the instructor was a much bigger problem than the technology.
Your people use technology to execute strategy. Without the right people, there is little chance of success.
Even great technology cannot replace good employees who are great at engaging their customers.
Executing a mediocre strategy well will yield much better results than a perfect idea done poorly.
The idea of revealing human capital data in annual reports is not new and the reports won’t change overnight; however there is now an unmistakeable trend towards enhanced reporting. And vague statements about leadership or culture won’t cut it.
CFO and Board Members, are you prepared for this new trend in corporate financial reporting?
Because it is so rarely done, engaging in Expectations, Aspirations, and Preferences Conversations can also become one of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself in your quest to attract, retain, and engage talent.
Have these important conversations to engage your employees. Make sure you spend more time listening rather than talking. It is not about you.
Managing talent isn’t just about new hires. Somewhere along the way, most workers lose some of their motivation to make a difference and create value for their employers. Many grow apathetic over time and spend each day doing the minimum to get by.
Manage people, and you will get what you expect. At best, that means an average level of performance.
Average has not been good enough for decades.
Lead people. Engage them to help you to get to that new destination described in your strategy. Then, you can acquire your average competitor.
The first step is to change your managers into leaders. Change is the new normal.
Expect it. Embrace it. Just do not get too comfortable, ever.
Researchers have have discovered a way to improve performance that has nothing to do with dishing out benefits or deploying new processes.
Be excellent to yourself and to each other. In a world of hard business, soft skills matter. Culture still eats strategy for breakfast.
Four strategies that can be used to keep employees interested in compliance and to improve the overall compliance culture.
This article has some good ideas on employee engagement for compliance. Show employees why it matters to them.
An important idea that I evangelize is to make a point of mining compliance audits to find ways to generate business or to create a better customer experience.
Change employees’ mindset and attitudes about compliance. Finding money that is laying around is a great way to motivate management engagement in compliance.
Make a point of rewarding employees for ideas that connect compliance to the top line, customer experience or shareholder value.
Look for information to support planning, decision making & to recognize attractive opportunities.
Many companies find that they lack knowledge about the types of data collected by various divisions. This is especially true in multinational companies.
Ironically, it is also true in companies that flatten organizational structures in an attempt to cut management costs. Due to a lack of coordination between departments, it is common to find:
- Duplicated work
- Competition between siloed functions that blocks collaboration
- Lack of understanding of the big picture and missed opportunities
Identify what role collection, analysis, & monetization of data can play in strategic initiatives.
You may uncover buried treasure. Compliance does not always have to be a cost center. If data is valuable for compliance, it should be valuable to the company in other ways. Happy hunting!
Most business executives don’t see IT departments as strategic partners that help drive corporate growth according to a new McKinsey & Co. report.
All CIOs, wannabe CIOs and IT Management should read this report.
Look through your customers' eyes.
How do your customers see you? Why does it matter to you?
Read Why CIOs should be business-strategy partners from McKinsey here:
B2B purchasing decisions increasingly trace complex journeys, challenging the long-standing practices of many sales organizations.
B2B customers are moving outside the traditional purchasing funnel. They are changing how they research and buy your products. If your marketing hasn’t changed in response, it should.
Any leader facing high levels of ambiguity needs to do two apparently paradoxical things: First, get comfortable with the idea of not having all the answers, and second, take steps to reduce the uncertainty.
Change is the new normal. Build your business with that assumption and develop that expectation from the start.
A few thoughts to help with the inevitable change.
Develop your understanding of how you and others go through change. Expect it. Look for the opportunities. Check out ADKAR. http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-adkar-overview.htm
Have a strategy. Be able to explain it. Many think they know what strategy is, until they have to explain it.
There are reputable studies that have found that many executives cannot explain their company’s strategy in terms that subordinates can understand.
Even if you understand strategy, it is a wise investment to make sure others in the organization understand too. Read Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin. Expect tactics to change. http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Win-Strategy-Really-Works/dp/142218739X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=
Understand the limitations of strategy. If you have a strategy, you may feel ready to take on the world. If you or your people cannot execute your strategy, you have trouble. Check out Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change by Lawrence G. Hrebiniak. http://www.amazon.com/Making-Strategy-Work-Effective-Execution/dp/0133092577/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Understand how VUCA, or Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, affects leadership decisions. Read the Strategic Leadership Primer from the US Army War College. https://www.carlisle.army.mil/orgs/SSL/DCLM/pubs/slp3.pdf
Our volatile workplace needs people who can lead, learn and adapt to change. Hire Adapters. They are comfortable leading or following depending on the circumstances.
Coaching employees does not mean you simply tell someone they need to change.
It is a bidirectional conversation and an ongoing process. You must ask, then listen and empathize with them so your advice gets past their defenses.
Just because you are the manager, does not mean your advice is welcome or understood.
Often, the coach must change something in his or her own behavior or viewpoint to be successful at changing someone else.
You are selling a prospect on change. Listen and be prepared to work at showing employees what is in it for them.
There is too much focus on new toys and technology and not enough on business fundamentals.
Instead of focusing on how to use the latest social media platforms, companies should start with a clear business plan.
Why be on social media?
What are your aspirations? What is the business goal? Are you committed to winning, or are you just doing it because everyone else is?
Choose where to compete & not to compete. Should you be on all platforms or some? Which ones? Why?
List the business drivers. Tie your answers into your organization’s target market, geographies, categories, industries, customer segments, and communications channels.
How will you win where you have chosen to play? What does it mean to win?
Is it to amass millions of Likes? Does winning mean you can tie the resources spent on an increase in sales, customer engagement, or customer satisfaction? Make sure you know before you go!
What capabilities do you have, and which will you need to build to deliver on business objectives, where-to-compete & how-to-win choices?
What management programs are required to measure performance and social media’s effect? Are your people ready to collaborate with each other and customers?
Alternatively, you could just let some IT folks create a bunch of social media accounts and see what happens. If you go this way, you are likely to be unimpressed with the results.
Digital transformation can help businesses better interact and engage with their constituents. With these opportunities come some challenges.
The real issue is trust. Governance is the less than sexy field that allows investors to trust that you are protecting their money. It helps customers trust that using your product will not kill them. It also helps business run more efficiently.
Companies shouldn't assume that "leadership" only applies to their chief officers. In fact, businesses must find the right people to fill four distinct types of leadership roles.
Every company needs an actionable process to identify and develop leaders. This is only a piece of a successful whole.
Play to win.
We must also have plans to prepare, and ensure that our staff executes our strategy in a constantly shifting global marketplace.
We need people who are prepared to get their hands dirty at every level.
We accomplish little without the awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement of individual workers who compose our teams.
In a successful organization, everyone works for somebody. This rule is not limited to the space within our company walls.
Do not forget that the true purpose is to add value to the lives of our customers.
They have more choices than ever before. They are talking to each other about us. Make sure you are listening to them, not just each other.
What we think we are matters less than what our customers think we are.
Competition demands that companies "upskill" their workforces. But first, they must upskill their human resources functions.
Where is the human resources department leading us? Are they leading us astray, or into the future?
IBM spells out in great detail the vision of Chair and CEO Ginny Rometty as she reshapes Big Blue in her image. In an SEC filing, IBM stresses three points as "strategic imperatives" to the turnaround:
If you do business with IBM, this may be of interest. IBM CEO shares the plan to leave her mark on Big Blue.
Unexpected legal problems manifesting down the road can derail any Big Data project. Focus on those issues at the outset is infinitely easier and less expensive than managing them later in a crisis situation arising from a breach or legal violation.
Be proactive before starting a big data project. The reputation you save could be your own.
Leaders today still have to understand their business thoroughly, but it’s unrealistic and ill-advised to expect them to have all the answers...One way for leaders to adjust to this shift is to adopt a new role: that of coach. By using coaching methods and techniques...
Leaders, do not create the expectation that you have all of the answers.
That is so twentieth century.
In today’s uncertain and complex world, that is unlikely. Even if it were true, it is not enough.
If being the font of all process information at your company is your focus, then you are merely managing. You are not leading.
Learn how to lead your people. Coach them so they can grow the company.
You might worry that if you lead your people to be better, they might leave. Your time and money are wasted. Worse, you think that you are just training tomorrow’s competitors.
Instead, ask yourself, what is the cost if they stay?
You cannot do it all.
For most people, the word “marketing” summons up a single-minded focus on selling products – a one-sided endeavor. But one-sided doesn’t work in a world where social media has given consumers a megaphone just as powerful as that of traditional marketers.
The Chief Loyalty Officer may do a great job answering the question for customers, “What should this company be?” That is not enough.
A loyalty program is little more than old-fashioned marketing without an internal component sharing and enforcing the expectation to live the company's values.
With all of the eyes on corporate misdeeds, you must expect someone will shine a light onto your dirty laundry.
Non-customer facing employees have to understand and like the customer too. They must also be focused on doing right by the customer.
Yes, profit obviously matters! If you are going to say that you differentiate yourself by doing business differently, the change had better not be fake.
Believe it or not, the Federal Trade Commission can and does take action against companies who mislead consumers by not doing what they say they do. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) (15 USC 45) prohibits ‘‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.’’ For more on this, see http://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/what-we-do/enforcement-authority
Probably sooner rather than later, a disgruntled employee or customer will share proof of your transgressions.
I have seen companies try to prevent customers from sharing what goes on by using disclaimers on email or in user agreements. Such practices are ineffective and only make things look worse.
Corporate leaders create and reinforce that culture. Measurements of internal processes, rewards, incentive programs and even punishments gage whether we are being the company we say we want to be.
Without the internal effort, it is still just marketing.
Many of us are “coached,” but few of us are changed by the experience. Why? Because of these three common — but fixable — mistakes managers make.
Coaching adults is different from teaching children. Learn how to help others to be successful at change.