A Knight in Shining Armor is a man who has never had his metal truly tested.
Corporate & Business Strategy Planning / Execution. Want to know more? Visit me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karlwabst/
Curated by Karl Wabst
People make strategy much harder than it needs to be. For some, the problem is that they focus too much on the tools: environmental scans, SWOT analyses, customer analyses, competitor analyses, financial modeling, and so on. Other people get into trouble because they think it’s all about the broad, conceptual, future-oriented, big picture stuff — […]
First, understand the questions and then read Playing to Win
The app will help users discover chatbots for interacting with more brands and publishers.
Facebook seeks to create customer engagement. They want to connect us with more music, food and services in 2017. This is a great time to be in customer service. That is if you are a chatbot.
Will customers care if the person on the other side of the conversation is a robot? Can you tell the difference?
Some people insist on calling this digital transformation. For those of us involved in psychotherapy this is not a new direction.
All I will say is that you should be suspicious if your customer service representative is named Eliza.
Chat with Eliza, the Rogerian Therapist
Artificial intelligence will amount for 85% of customer relationships by 2020. Is your company prepared? http://on.forbes.com/60148ZLYG
How Chatbots Will Transform Customer Experience: An Infographic http://sco.lt/68CE1x
Whether you're in marketing, customer service or sales, you too can reap the many benefits of chatbots. Learn more in this infographic.
If you work at a company that thinks digital is transformational, find a new job. The place you are at now is hopelessly behind the times. Think about these few facts.
Computers were solving problems that effected the fate of the entire world in the 1940s. Chatbots were real in the 1960s. Desktop computers were in the workplace in the 1980s.
Now, make your case for how digital is suddenly transformational today.
Where will your customers expect you to be three to five or ten years from now?
Digital Maturity, Not Digital Transformation http://sco.lt/8oVTlJ
The Advantages of Digital Maturity http://sco.lt/5xDamv
This company replaced 90% of its workforce with machines. Here's what happened http://sco.lt/8X6bNB
How you engage your customer matters. What is efficient for you may not be an effective way to accomplish your business objective. First, know what you want to accomplish. Are you communicating it clearly? Listen more than you talk. Understand what your customer wants. Tailor your call to action for their ears. Your cost is not your customer’s priority. Be prepared to fail spectacularly if you are only willing to do what is easy.
NASA, in coordination with United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Orbital ATK, will broadcast the world’s first live 360-degree stream of a rocket launch.
Many people are not aware that the US space program is undergoing a transformation. The journey to outer-space, one of our final frontiers, is moving from being government-funded to a commercial market.
This is good news for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fans.
From now on, there will be more opportunities to see things you could not see before. Multiple companies will be competing for launch contracts and your attention.
This event might be of interest to teachers and entrepreneurs with access to virtual technology. Even better, any kid who ever dreamed of being an astronaut can stand on the pad as a real rocket lifts off.
It would be nice to see more coverage of such a historic event. Tell your friends!
Google disabled its functionality, but the fast feeder responds with new versions.
Nice stunt Burger King. Reminds us of the back and forth between hackers and virus checkers. So perhaps I ought to say nice exploit of an underlying vulnerability in smart devices. What is next?
Burger King ‘O.K. Google’ Ad Doesn’t Seem O.K. With Google
I think that it’s no accident that we’re talking about Burger King’s TV commercial that was designed to trigger Google Home — and not just because it would have been really annoying if it worked, or because it raised some some fairly troubling privacy issues. We’re talking about it because I would like to suggest that was the entire aim of this commercial. The media, not your Google Home, has been hacked by Burger King.
Smart devices can act as triggers to do some dumb things. Or, some really clever things.
Burger King made a clever use of a trick that marketers use to trigger your smart device to send information about what you are doing. It is not new and it happens without you ever knowing. Now that is clever.
See how "Connected Whopper" was supposed to work in this demo ad
Do you worry about TV ads making your smart speakers recite a list of real and faked Whopper ingredients? If so, cross-screen marketing will make you nuts.
Explain It Like I'm Eight: Cross Screen Marketing - AdAge http://sco.lt/4obNGj
How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered
Beware of ads that use inaudible sound to link your phone, TV, tablet, and PC
FTC Warns New Tech Uses Inaudible TV Tones to Track User Viewing http://sco.lt/5BJie9
Oracle and Adobe Invest in Cross-Device Identification Trend http://sco.lt/5lqd2P
Burger King’s new ad forces Google Home to advertise the Whopper
Google shuts down Burger King's cunning TV ad
Google Home Is No Longer Responding to Burger King's Clever Ad
Fast Feeder Leveraged A.I. to Complete Its Message
Fixing a modern tractor takes more than the right parts, but also the right software. Farmers are lobbying for the ability to buy that software, and some are hacking their way around the problem.
Even farming has gone 21st Century! Now farmers must think like hackers. I bet this never happened on Green Acres.
More stories about life on the farm.
Hacking the farm: How farmers use 'digital agriculture' to grow more crops http://sco.lt/7D8IKH
Rise of the Robot Tractors http://sco.lt/5Xxaan
Bridging the Gap Between New Technology and Traditional Ag Practices
Calving Book App Helping Ranchers
Harper Farms: Technology Meets Mentorship
Telemedicine: Future of Rural Healthcare?
Rural Education Depends on Broadband
Corn Maze Technology
Technology Helps Farmers Keep Up with Times
FARMERS BUSINESS NETWORK TAKES ON BIG AG
VIDEO: Special equipment helps disabled farmers stay active
The change that organizations need to be competitive today requires more than simply ditching performance reviews or installing collaborative software.
It is true that many companies still have an established culture based on a hub and spoke model. Often, the solution floated by Management is that employees must be empowered.
In these companies, Managers and employees mistakenly believe that power can be bestowed by management. That is not true. With power comes responsibility. Employees, with little experience at wielding power, are unlikely to do so wisely.
Years of restriction have taught employees not to challenge the established structure. If companies change course and require employees to take on additional duties without adequate training it is likely to be perceived as delegation of management duties without the accompanying pay.
To be empowered, employees must take a risk. They must act in ways that may have been punished in the recent past. That takes a major leap of faith for many employees.
In addition, employees must be willing to take responsibility for their actions. Fear of retribution, based on years of experience, make this a difficult task
Employees need training, practice and reinforcement to successfully change their behavior. Theoretically, the employees now act as advocates for their company. This increases positive change in their customer experience.
In short, this change takes more than a magic wand that grants employees new powers. Changing established culture takes more than a process. It is also a change in people, and technology. It is an act of faith that management and employee will now work together for the good of the customer. Employers must expect, and be prepared to show employees, what is in it for me – the same way managers and customers do.
For help with organizational change, take a look at processes from John Kotter (Accelerate!) and Prosci’s ADKAR.
New digital technologies like social media, mobile and analytics are advancing rapidly on the economic landscape. These innovations are used widely by consumers and employees alike. Facebook alone has more than one billion users, and there are more than six billion mobile phones. What do traditional businesses do when employees have better digital solutions at home than they do at work, and customers are more technology savvy than the people trying to sell to them?
It is the start of the second quarter of 2017. However, some industries and consultants are still talking about digital transformation as though it began last year.
The personal computer was launched in 1981. Use of mainframe and minicomputers predate the PC by decades. Globex, an electronic trading platform used for derivative, futures, and commodity contracts was introduced in 1992 by Reuters. Globex ran continuously, so it is not restricted by borders or time zones.
If we want to put a date on digital transformation, based on significance of its contribution to the world stage, I suggest 1939.
That was the year that Alan Turing began his full-time role at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, UK. This is where top secret work was carried out to decipher the military codes used by Germany and its allies. If you are unfamiliar with this work, rent the Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game, released in 2014, http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3398414105?playlistId=tt2084970&ref_=tt_ov_vi
Since the dawn of the Internet, consumers on various form of social media have evolved more proactive forms of customer engagement than corporations. Customer engagement by word of mouth predates and still outpaces what happens on the Internet.
Consumers have been talking with each other about products and features while companies were still mistakenly thinking they had exclusive rights over conversations.
This is an important idea because the mismatch clouds corporate and business strategy. When you get the history wrong, that directly influences assumptions about current market conditions and thus the future strategic aspirations that companies set for themselves.
The strategic goals a company sets are linked to 4 related questions.
While corporations throw digital everything into the marketplace, consumers are expecting a more targeted, nuanced solution.
Just because you use digital technology, that does not mean consumers will engage with you.
Ironically, the thing that makes digitization successful is not application of technology. Companies need to understand the behavior of consumers and embrace their customers’ point of view.
More than just technology, companies need empathy and to boldly re-imagine experiences that create value for consumers. Resolve true pain points, do not just digitize customer interactions.
In summary, digital transformation is history. The goal today, and moving forward, is digital maturity.
You may also be interested in these stories.
Digital Maturity, Not Digital Transformation http://sco.lt/8oVTlJ
Why Having a Digital Strategy Is Vital to Business
Digitally enable the businesses - don't just digitally transform | ZDNet
Adapting your board to the digital age | McKinsey & Company
How Digital Is Your Industry?
The Most Digital Companies Are Leaving All the Rest Behind
How digital business disrupts the five forces of industry competition
How to Be More Agile, Competitive & Innovative in a Digital Era
How Is Your Digital Transformation Going?
Nine questions to help you get your digital transformation right | McKinsey & Company
The Digital Advantage: How Digital Leaders Outperform their Peers in Every Industry
How an organization implements technology is only a small part of digital transformation. In cases where digital transformation does involve implementing new technologies, the technology is only part of the story. Other issues, such as strategy, talent management, organizational structure, and leadership, are just as important, if not more important, than technology for digital transformation.
Digital transformation is a vastly overused term. It is meant to motivate fast response to the perception of immediate peril. A common image used in business is that we are on a burning platform. It is meant to mentally place the listener in a dangerous situation from which we must escape. Now!
People on burning platforms make decisions that they would never have considered until they are faced with desperation and a moment where their next choice literally decides whether they live or die. Dramatic, yes! Motivating, yes! But only momentarily!
This false equivalence has been made in business circles for decades. More than being false, it is dangerous. If you do not know already, the origin of the burning platform is revealed below.
Transformation is being used as a marketing term. It is chosen to create demand. Its use is calculated to conjure visions of danger, and stress; fear of failure, and likelihood of punishment. If you do not do something fast you may not exit from the burning platform!
You can imagine why businesses latched onto this metaphor. The image is vivid. The reality, for the clear majority of office workers, is quite different.
It may surprise readers that the burning platform metaphor arose from a real incident that has been recounted in many business and organizational change books. For example, here is an excerpt from Chip Healy and Dan Healy and their best-selling book, Switch:
“Let’s talk about the “burning platform,” a familiar phrase in the organizational change literature. It refers to a horrific accident that happened in 1988 on the Piper Alpha oil platform in the North Sea. A gas leak triggered an explosion that ripped the rig in two. As a reporter wrote, “Those who survived had a nightmarish choice: to jump as far as 150 ft. down into a fiery sea or face certain death on the disintegrating rig.” Andy Mochan, a superintendent on the rig, said, “It was fry or jump, so I jumped.” He was eventually saved by a rescue mission involving NATO and the Royal Air Force.
Out of this human tragedy has emerged a rather ridiculous business cliché. When executives talk about the need for a “burning platform,” they mean, basically, that they need a way to scare their employees into changing. To create a burning platform is to paint such a gloomy picture of the current state of things that employees can’t help but jump into the fiery sea.” (pages 119-120)
Why does this matter to you?
Bad decisions are made when you act as though your business is on the edge of extinction. Transformational change replaces one system, process, or culture with another. It is not a gradual transition over a long period that one might associate with processes like growing from childhood to adulthood.
Managing through fear will cost you.
The output of extreme energy necessary to survive a crisis like being stuck on a burning oil rig is not sustainable. Especially after a long period of economic turmoil, people are more concerned with preserving their way of life or career than saving your company. It turns out that management by crisis often prompts people to leave, rather than volunteering to help.
Leadership guru John Kotter explains in this article (Why a Fear-Based Culture Will Never Drive True Change - https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/04/21/why-a-fear-based-culture-will-never-drive-true-change/#35e6a98f916a ) why managing by burning platform is not a good idea.
What should you do instead?
Reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt. Recognize that digitization is a process that has been going on for over 50 years. Today’s Automation Anxiety Was Alive and Well in 1960 http://sco.lt/7JYz33
Leading Change Without a Burning Platform https://hbr.org/2008/02/leading-change-without-a-burni.html
Give the process approach some thought. Recognize that digitization is a marathon and not a sprint. Stop trying to manage the fires.
Develop a sense of urgency, not life or death and lead the strategy to win the long game. It is a process.
#CXOTALK: Digital transformation and customer engagement | ZDNet http://sco.lt/4mrPaT
Five Leadership Traits That Will Make You Invaluable During Digital Transformation http://sco.lt/5DJNez
Visa's story: When digital transformation begs for organizational change http://sco.lt/57frtp
How digital business disrupts the five forces of industry competition http://sco.lt/7Qrknp
Strategy, not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation http://sco.lt/7KFBmz
Corporate Strategy: How the CFO Can Capitalize on the Internet of Things http://sco.lt/8sqiED
The Race Against Digital Darwinism: SIX STAGES OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION http://www2.prophet.com/sixstagesofdigitaltransformation
Need for C-level leadership as organisations struggle with digital transformation http://sco.lt/4r43Wr
Crisis of Courage in Social Media http://sco.lt/8rnl4r
Awake at the Wheel:Moving Beyond Change Management to Conscious Change Leadership (http://www.beingfirst.com/resources/pdf/AR_PDF_AwakeAtTheWheel_v2_091123.pdf)
Marketing used to be a one-way communication a few years ago, when enterprises reached customers with advertisements, banners, newspaper, and TV adverts, while customers had little choice in terms of what they wanted to watch and limited scope of comparing products. As a modern-day marketer, you have probably moved away from the conventional mediums and may think, you are at the edge of the game. Well, you are right in one way. But, with marketing technologies evolving every day, science has now become increasingly entrenched into the methods of marketing.
Overall, this was an interesting take on the transformation of Marketing from in-house to cloud -based and infrastructure and programmatic buying.
As informative as this was, there is a lot left out.
There is a great deal of work and rework to do. Shining a light on a future destination is tantalizing. This is to be expected in a marketing piece. The goal is to create demand. As usual the dream masks the sacrifice. How you get there matters.
Lawyers and business professionals often do not speak the same language, particularly when intellectual property law is involved. Too often, when there i
Be prepared to show that you understand the box before you try to make the case that you think outside of it.
Westfield Santa Anita has brought in 16 new stores and restaurants, and all but two originated in Asia or are Asian-flavored.
What is the competitive advantage of a shopping mall in a world where consumers can search and buy almost anything they need, want or desire without leaving home?
Many tried Operational Effectiveness. Their strategy and tactics were easily copied. Customers could go to any mall and find the same shops, prices and experience. That made their advantage short-lived.
Some claim to offer the Lowest Price. That leads to tight margins and price wars that limit growth and shareholder’s Return on Investment (ROI).
Do it different! Differentiation allows stores to tailor their spaces to a diverse set of customer instead of assuming a White Anglo-Saxon population. Instead of taking on the biggest competitors head-on for current customers, create new customers that leading brands are not paying attention to yet. Different commands premium prices!
Or, just continue to do the same old thing and see where it takes you.
More about malls.
Mall Owners Rush to Get Out of the Mall Business http://sco.lt/8jFfjl
The Mall of the Future Will Offer Dinner, Movies, and a Colonoscopy http://sco.lt/6BvBy5
How retail stores are using virtual reality to make shopping more fun http://sco.lt/6XK98T
JC Penney and Pinterest Team Up to Target Moms at a Mall Near You http://sco.lt/5ddC0P
Many consumers consider corporate governance and citizenship more important measures of reputation than leadership, innovation and performance.
A new breed of customer is making up their own mind about what to buy, who to buy from and what prices they are willing to pay.
Instead of relying on corporate advertisements, press releases, and marketing campaigns, customers are evaluating, rating and even berating your business.
Consumers may want what you offer, but they do not feel they need you. In many cases, they do not trust you.
They can and do gather data themselves. They recognize the job they want done. They search the global market to find what they need, want and desire to do it.
Many consult friends and experts through social media. More and more, customers do not bother to contact your company until they are well-inside the sales funnel.
The good old days, when corporations controlled the conversation are fading. Today's customers evaluate product prices, features & corporate reputation.
What are they saying about you? What are they thinking when they talk to your employees or hear they many stories about what it is like to do business with you?
Abdication of consumer privacy protection in Washington could cause states to jump into the fray.
Too often, stories like this are filed under privacy. The real issues are customer trust, customer engagement and sales. This should get more attention from CEO's and less attention from the folks who wear tin foil hats to keep the government spies out of their heads.
IoT Gone Wild! If only this was a new or an isolated incident.
Expect the Wild West cowboy attitude toward privacy to expand as US Federal laws are relaxed.
When this happens, the landscape will be more complicated as companies are exposed to varying laws and regulations. All govern matters in their own jurisdictions. Some try to extend their reach to dictate how data flows between their jurisdiction and other States and / or countries.
Cross-border transactions, as they are called, govern important things like how credit card transactions work, or don't.
50 US States with different laws and regulations covering Internet privacy http://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/state-laws-related-to-internet-privacy.aspx
Life before Federal privacy regulations:
The Growing Problems with the Sectoral Approach to Privacy Law
No U.S. Action, So States Move on Privacy Law
Various national standards.
Separate standards from the EU & UK http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation - APEC Privacy Framework http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=390
Some fun reading for your weekend!
How to Turn Your Microwave into a Camera http://sco.lt/8XzPV3
Big Brother alert: Cameras in the cable box to monitor TV viewers http://sco.lt/62mlfN
How to get targeted ads on your TV? Try a camera in your set-top box.
Verizon racks up $1.35M fine for violating consumer privacy http://sco.lt/6QSHNB
They Can Hear You Now: Verizon Patent Could Listen In On Customers
Apple Finally Reveals How Long Siri Keeps Your Data
"All of those questions, messages, and stern commands that people have been whispering to Siri are stored on Apple servers for up to two years."
In search for effective ads, U.S. TV operators mine viewer data
"DirecTV said it keeps this data anonymous and in "aggregate form" so it does not invade its customers' privacy."
Shhh! Your smart TV is eavesdropping on you http://sco.lt/66o5lx
Maker of ‘Smart’ Vibrators Settles Data Collection Lawsuit for $3.75 Million http://sco.lt/6grFJ3
The Bright-Eyed Talking Doll That Just Might Be a Spy
Creepy toys that spy on children http://sco.lt/7FbkLB
Wi-Fi-enabled 'Hello Barbie' records conversations with kids and uses AI to talk back
Cool or creepy? High-tech 'Hello Barbie' has conversations with kids
Barbie Wants to Get to Know Your Child
Hell No Barbie: 8 reasons to leave Hello Barbie on the shelf
Privacy advocates try to keep ‘creepy,’ ‘eavesdropping’ Hello Barbie from hitting shelves
What Will Hello Barbie Say When A Kid Tells Of Abuse?
The most important aspect of the connected home is the unmolested collection of authentic human behavior and the deep insights they provide.
It was bound to happen. Technology is the norm. It is no longer new and shiny. We expect it will continue to be part of our daily lives.
The process continues as it has before. The newness naturally fades into the background. Technology is just another part of the supply chain. Technologists are not the rock stars they once were.
Consumers expect to be watched by unseen eyes. Data collection is less disruptive. It is an everyday occurrence. We tolerate it for now because we expect to see some of the value that has been promised.
Consumers have adapted. They expect gee-whiz, we live in the future. What about your business model? Do you aspire to create consumer value, or just widgets for a lower price?
Digital ad sales surpassed linear TV in the U.S. for the first time in 2016, pulling in $70 billion compared with $67 billion for national and local TV.
If you want to generate demand and sell products, services and experiences, first you must identify which segments you want to target. Then go where your audience is.
A lot more of us spend less time exposed to ads on TV than on our smart devices. Even there, we are actively blocking advertising.
The next step is product placement inside of new and old content. This is not over by a long shot.
SpaceX aims to re-fly one of its used Falcon 9 rocket first stages for the first time Thursday (March 30), on a mission to loft the SES-10 communications satellite.
The race to a low-cost strategy for space flight will bring change on a scale not seen for over a century. Should space be one infinite free market economy? Or, is its use ripe for regulation? Space Jam coming soon to an orbit above you!
Reusable rockets could disrupt the space industry, and not always in a good way
Every Seat Is a Window Seat on Blue Origin’s Space Capsule
SpaceX’s biggest rival is developing “space trucks” to ferry cargo in an orbital economy
Space tourism companies are going to write their own safety rules because the US government can’t
SpaceX to Launch Used Rocket for 1st Time Tonight: Watch Live
Product placement on steroids. Or, in this case powdered sugar and carbohydrate puffs.
This is the new normal. It was inevitable when we started ignoring, skipping or blocking advertising.
Look for new product placements being pushed out into old shows. Odd, I don’t remember Chandler driving a Tesla last time I watched Friends. Wait a minute!
Can you hear me now?!
Stop saying digital. In the old days when he did print and billboard ads, he wasn't called a "paper marketer" as he is called a "digital marketer" today. The word digital moves the focus to clicks and likes, rather than customers.
Stop over-using the word digital! Almost everything we touch today is digital.
Labeling this or that as digital ceased to add value to our conversations a decade ago.
Do you still have telephonic conversations or do you simply talk to someone?
Emphasizing the digital piece redirects the focus of the conversations.
We talk a lot of about bits, bytes, clicks and programming techniques. Instead, let’s talk about what pays the bills. That would be the engaged customer.
The customer assumes you know how to use a computer. They do too. If digital does not add to the conversation, let’s all move on and get back to the business of serving the customer.
Leveraging real behaviors, emotions and opportunistic moments trumps demographics online, writes Liam Brennan, global digital director at MediaCom.
You are missing opportunities to grow your customer base. A 50-year-old farmer in Des Moines and an 18-year-old computer science major in New York City may be part of a hidden target audience for your product or service. Old tools are not enough in a global market.
Now that you can easily skip through traditional television commercials, advertisers are finding creative new ways to get their brands on your radar.
You won’t believe your eyes! Advertising tricks so cool that they probably aren't legal.
Instead of eliminating human workers, AI may create new jobs requiring updated skills and training.
Technology gives and technology takes. Companies. processes and people must be nimble to survive. The threats and opportunities have changed but this basic fact remains true. Living life how we always have had never been a recipe for success.
As the pace of change continues to accelerate some people will see new, good-paying opportunities. Others will always talk about the good old days and actively resist. AI is just the new kid in town.
Railroad workers bemoaned the advent of the steam hammer that automated the driving of spikes into railroad beds. A lot of human jobs were lost!
The automation also sped people, goods and services across the country. The railroad workers did not see the trade-off.
Today most fly rather than ride the train. One day we could teleport, replacing airplanes.
Change happens. Instead of complaining, learn a new skill and get a job that will take you and your family into the future.
The alternative is to be poorer, toiling away at that manual labor job back in Mayberry. It’s your choice John Henry.
Here is a tune for those choosing to stay back on the farm. Those Were The Days!