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
The command-and-control approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable. Globalization, new technologies, and changes in how companies create value and interact with customers have sharply reduced the efficacy of a purely directive, top-down model of leadership. What will take the place of that model?
Neither employees nor customers will follow someone they do not trust. Do you want to build trust within your organization?
You may not realize it, but for most of us, the world has changed. People no longer say, “How high” when the boss says, “jump.” It is more likely they will ask “why?”
Try getting out of that old command and control mindset and talk to people.
Better still, do more listening than talking. To learn something, you must listen.
Trust is not given because you are the boss. Do not confuse compliance with trust.
Across industries, organizations can greatly benefit from making tiny changes in their processes to take into account how employees and customers really behave — including not liking being told what to do.
Big change does not have to be a big pain.
You can have highly engaged employees and still go out of business. How can that be?
Complacent employees, and self-congratulatory management, create bad customer experience.
Too much happy talk creates complacency. Complacency drives a lack of urgency.
I have heard many variations on the theme.
“There is no need for us to improve. We are #1!”
“I am a great employee! I have a plaque that says so!”
“We are so great! Customers should feel lucky to be able to buy our widget.”
If your customer is price-sensitive, they may aspire to buy your widget but they are not willing to pay your price.
“Our technology is the best! We have no competition!”
You have more competition today than ever before. Change is the new normal. You may not see them coming. Barriers to entry are lower. Technology and customer expectations are constantly evolving. Today’s #1 is next year’s takeover target.
Customers decide who the best is.
Customers are fickle. They will leave.
If you are busy looking at your own reflection in the mirror you do not realize you are alone. Your other admirers have left the building.
Find a balance between employee engagement and customer experience. Customers are like water. They seek their own level.
They will go places you do not expect to meet their needs and desires.
Xiaolin Zheng is a nanoscientist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer whose inventions are on the leading edge of a solar power revolution that could allow people to harness sustainable energy like never before.
The pizza approach to solar cells.
I am absolutely sure that I could be tricked by a well-crafted spear phishing attack, and I am equally sure I could do the same to you.
Hackers may see more value in you than you see in yourself.
When I’m called on to help an organization with a sales transformation, I quickly gauge the culture and begin to address counterproductive beliefs that are holding them back from getting the performance they want. There are three key steps to overcoming a negative sales culture:
It may be an idea, product or service. Even though sales are part of what everyone does, we still hold onto negative stereotypes.
For example, when we hear the word sales many think about the used car salesperson. Another thought may be about the person who sells ice to Eskimos. That is so last century.
This misunderstanding is holding you back. A Salesperson does not have to be slimy. This is not to say that some are not. All I am asking is that you question your assumptions.
Others sell. Without sales skills, you are a victim of other people’s plans. Does that sound like you?
See also:To Sell is Human: The New ABCs of Moving Others : http://sco.lt/91vnKD
A new owner for the NYSE means fewer workers overall but more brokers on a renovated trading floor. What else does Intercontinental Exchange have in mind?
There are reports of disruption at the World's most famous stock exchange. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are the new normal. Who would have guessed such a thing was likely?
This survey of 2,300 employees worldwide reveals a rising social movement ignited by the digital and social media era: employee activism. Employee activists are more than just engaged employees. They make their engagement visible, defend their employers from criticism and act as advocates, both online and off.
According to this study only 42% of employees can explain to others what their company does! (Yikes!!)
How to Activate Your Employees to Help Carry the Message?
Get everyone moving in the same direction. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” The challenge for leaders is that, while we often know where we’re going, it’s easy to get distracted. Two things are helpful to stay on track:
Read this before your next leadership meeting. Follow the big arrow!
You may be familiar with the Apple Watch's predecessor.
I had to laugh at this. It seems that no one remembers the Microsoft Smartwatch from way back when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
The Microsoft SPOT Watch smartwatch was revolutionary, smart, and sexy — at least for technophile geeks. It was also a major commercial failure.
- Microsoft Smartwatch Review
The Microsoft product failure even spawned a Harvard Business School case study. Let us hope Apple read it and found the solutions. http://hbr.org/product/Microsoft--Launching-the-/an/504004-PDF-ENG
The year is 2003....
Microsoft is about to launch its Smart technology Watch, which allows specially designed watches for the latest up to date information on sports, business, transportation, news, etc.
After years of effort and millions of dollars spent, the questions now revolve around the launch strategy and likely adoption by the consumer. Is this the next big thing for Microsoft or a waste of money and resources?
Complicating matters that although Microsoft has developed and will operate technologies to provide information on the clock, the clock itself will be sold and marketed by several famous watch partners.
- by John T. Gourville, Christina Darwall Source: Harvard Business School 20 pages. Publication Date: October 30, 2003. Prod. #: 504004-PDF-ENG
This level of workplace stress can engender disengagement and absenteeism, which in turn results in reduced productivity.
The poll gathered responses from over 22,000 employees in 12 countries.
Lack of work/life balance was the second most common cause of stress amongst employees, cited by 40% of respondents.
Just 15% of employers identified lack of staff as a contributing factor. The key concern among employers is the impact of technology enabling professionals to access work out of hours (34%).
Only 8% of employees agreed.
This summer, LEGO launched a minor revolution. It introduced professional women – scientists, no less – into its latest toy line aimed at girls. The new figurines – called “minifigs” by Lego die-hards – feature a female palaeontologist, an astronomer, and a chemist. They sold out on the first day.
According to research, stagnant mindsets and attitudes are a major obstacle to organizational change.
Bringing in new people is one way to introduce new behaviors and ideas that move companies out of their rut.
When the problem is in the C-Suite, the likelihood of change diminishes in a hurry.
Lego may take another near-collapse before it learns the lessons of its own history.
There is another possibility. Opening new markets (girls) may not be their strategy. That is fine too.
It seems to fly in the face of capitalism, but that is their right as a family-owned business.
There are plenty of other toys to play with. If you do not like the LEGO product, buy another.
People who do not want to change do not have to. Do not waste your time trying to teach a pig to whistle. You just waste your time and annoy the pig.
Consumers often change. So do investors. Vote with your wallet. Leave dinosaurs to their own mindsets and attitudes.
Southwest is no longer the low-fare carrier. The competitive market changed around them.
The question now is who are they? What will be their new strategy to differentiate themselves from the other major carriers?
Look for more changes than just the paint job.
Do you sell the same way you did a decade ago? In the classic movie Glengarry Glen Ross Alec Baldwin tells a group of salesmen that the key to selling is, "A-B-C. Always Be Closing
I have met many people in IT whose bosses ask them to generate sales.
Many are repulsed because their view of Sales is inherently negative. This view is based on an old model.
Do not be the person who would sell ice to Eskimos. Do not be that sleazy salesperson.
You will find that social customers have as much information as vendors, have ample choices in vendors and the means to push back if you try to shine them on.
Learn about a new way to sell that helps customers solve problems. It can help you sell to customers and help you sell your ideas internally.
The key is mutual learning, understanding, and teaching.
The sad truth is that when people do not make an effort to reach out and find common ground, your customers and shareholders are the real losers.
Lead change in your little piece of the world. What you find may change your life. It starts with one.
“Everyone wants to be interesting, but the vitalizing thing is to be interested…As the proverb says, ‘It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.’”
Real leaders do not stay in their comfort zone. Always be learning.
Apple might have wowed the crowd in attendance at Cupertino today with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, but it wasn't all sunshine and roses. The tech giant couldn't keep its event live stream running...
Apple proved toady that success in the technology market requires more than technology. Perhaps they need a Denny’s on the Apple campus.
See the reaction on Denny's Twitter account
Leaders need to focus on adoption, not just deployment. Remember, creating a digital organization is not just about implementing new technology. If you want to see true and lasting value from your technology investments, people need to change their mindsets and behaviors, and you need to lead that change.
Technology is not a magic bullet. It does not bestow competitive advantage.
You may ask, “Why not?” The salesperson said it would.
Any company can install the same technology. You need more.
If you have an MBA, this should sound familiar.
If you are not an MBA, consider getting one so you can do a better job of integrating business and technology.
Here are some thoughts from the Quick MBA website. The following is from their Strategic Management section. http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/competitive-advantage/
Resources are the firm-specific assets useful for creating a cost or differentiation advantage and that few competitors can acquire easily. The following are some examples of such resources:
Capabilities refer to the firm's ability to utilize its resources effectively. An example of a capability is the ability to bring a product to market faster than competitors. Such capabilities are embedded in the routines of the organization and are not easily documented as procedures and thus are difficult for competitors to replicate.
The firm's resources and capabilities together form its distinctive competencies. These competencies enable innovation, efficiency, quality, and customer responsiveness, all of which can be leveraged to create a cost advantage or a differentiation advantage.
To repeat my first point, Technology is not a magic bullet. You need more.
You need engaged & knowledgeable people, process and an innovative culture. That means you need more leadership and a bit less management.
Some background in psychology would help as well. Why? Here are two examples. Today, customers have more power. They can choose to do business with you or an increasing number of competitors. Employees are less inclined to bow to corporate authority. Just telling them to do something is no guarantee it will be done.
The world has changed. We all may need to change to keep up.
How to build strategy in a world that's volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.
Do not use VUCA as an excuse not to plan strategy. Yes, the world is more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
Amazon, Google and Microsoft have not abandoned strategy planning and execution.
Neither should you. You should learn more.
What VUCA Really Means For You
The militant group blends military tactics with conventional terrorism, tribal ties, coercion and a highly organized structure.
Terrorists are crazed lunatics hiding in the shadows. That is what we see in popular media.
For a different take, there is an interesting read about the transformation of the terrorist organization in the Wall Street Journal.
Why should you care? Consider this quote from Sun Tzu in The Art of War.
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle”.
A CIO community powered resource about how to drive innovation in the enterprise | The Enterprisers Project
A collection of Harvard Business Review articles curated for technology leaders who are thinking more strategically about the role IT plays in their companies
At Morning Star, the world's largest tomato processor, employees make all the decisions--from how they'll do their job to what resources they need to do it.
The hype around self-management is likely to lead the naive to be disappointed.
Take away the title but there are still managers. When everyone is a leader, you never leave work.
Accountability is more important. To succeed, you have to work harder and smarter. There is profit and loss. There are more stakeholders. Do not expect utopia.
The journey to a new corporate culture is not trivial. Maintaining a new culture takes management by any other name.
A culture without Managers may not be what you think. Google conducted a study to discover the value of management. See what they found out here.
Google's Project Oxygen: Do Managers Matter?
How Google Convinced Its Engineers That Managers Matter
Follow a process. Avoid being caught up in the excitement of innovating. Making a bad business decision in the heat of the moment will cost you down the road. An outsider may be your best friend.
There is a grumpy new face in line at Silicon Valley's lavish freebie cafeterias: the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS increasingly has sought back taxes when employers haven't been withholding taxes related to the meals.
I have to wonder whom Google, Facebook and other tech companies hire to advise them on tax issues. There is no such thing as a tax-free lunch.