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Posts Tagged ‘collaborative’

Michael Porter has obviously white hairs. But not because of his age, even if it’s been years since his “Porter’s forces theory”, but probably because of #Uber. His former theories with his famous “forces” theory matrix haunted lots of universities, students, consultants and companies, made a classic model to explain, draw and shape the main forces and links through modern strategy. I think every people, far from close, one day has been in trouble with this matrix, trying to adapt it to his personal business case. I mean in trouble, while searching clues and tips for his own industry, sector or product. This was a wise approach to put the things right, since the beginning. I never understood that since then, there was a scarcity of ambitious models that could tumble down the historic fundations built by M. Porter. Even since the run of digital revolution, in the mass effects, it seems the old rules could play again their guiding role in strategic planning. Even on Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation concept, Porter’s forces could function to describe a whole environment, a whole playground where different actors could grow or die, but still go on their economic destiny. Then there was Uber…

PorterUber

“Über alles”

We can at this point consider Uber as a perfect example of “disruptive” phenomena (I prefer not to use the term of innovation, as for me, the real innovation is in the “UX”). They re-invented an existing service, better (some say “far more”), at lower prices (and then at lower cost, forcing the whole chain through lower margins). We’re fed up with the “middle”: middle-class, middle management, middle-price, middle quality…middle of the value chain and intermediaries. High class or low cost seem to resume the economics. “Stuck in the middle” is so far the worst strategic planning situation for many reasons. The increasing and forced run for innovation creates and destroys, each day and the speed of cycles gears up. Time is up and now to “re-arrange” and update the old models to include disruptive brutal behaviours. While there’s still much competition, all we can say is that the customer centric era has begun and let himself as a king of the game. I tried here to start a reflexion of where and why, Porter’s forces may change on the impact of collaborative society.


The uber-matrix (from Porter’s forces)

Porter_UberMatrix

How’s competition so far? Fair, intense, rough or beginners’ field? As it’s the starting point of any strategic analysis, we may spend a while on this.


“The Competition, the customer and the supplier”

There’s no big innovation, I mean on the technology plan, in transforming the supply of transportation, like Uber did. They simply used the new principles of digital: always-on, connected things and people, lowering waste and waiting lines and optimizing the transportation offer. Less lose time, empty cars and…angry consumers. The big picture is in optimization, optimizing time and resources. And that means, a lot of money indeed! The next steps will simply optimize again: using transportation time and devices to transport anything: meats, packages, mail, services and so on. Optimizing again. The application will cover many versions, until you’re so much profiled, that they will be able to monetize your datas.
On the market plan, a very balanced market, with no dominant actor: drivers need consumers who need drivers and everybody needs Uber to get in contact and stay in touch. The very big star is the “platform”. We just entered in a world of platforms, which capture essential of the value chain and kill many intermediate actors. Here we go, like the web goes…Progress destroys at a speed that even Schumpeter could not imagine. We call it “uberization” of economy, a kind of “new born” of relations, interactions and business models. Anyone can be catched with no tomorrow. Anyone can  get stuck in a dead end. Something thrilling or fearing, depends on your risk attention.


“Where playground gets a new shape”

Uber now seeds a new way of doing business, and draws many actors with him. Under the influence of digitalization, customer experience grows up frankly to a new standard that calls for excellence. Nothing will ever be like before. The extreme focus on operation, delivery and accuracy calls for a new standard for customers. Where there seems to be no entry barriers, the ability to build a copycat is a longtime run. Not in technical aspects but in the delivering experience. Even the substitutes field must be a tough job to get the same level of result. The “platformization” of economy used to be the way of doing business, throwing away all useless midlevel actors. And even if it’s the sense of history with progress bulk modifications, legal watchover is live like never before: strikes, hard negociations, realtime bad influence on PR…While we lived many revolutions, the one that goes is far violent, quick and uncompromising. Any sector is concerned, soon or later and you’d better think of it and organize the answer, or other new comers or opportunist actors may do it without you.

Schrödinger’s cat dilemma: yes it’s technology, no it’s not”

The easy-to-use plenty offer of digital tools gets bigger every day so there’s some foolish feed of the whole ecosystem with techs. But technology wise speaking, nothing really complicated: localization, customization, smart UX, realtime traffic management, rating panel…A complete thinking of just “what it needs” to create a blue ocean, out of the box and disrupt the well ordered old world…Until then, it’s been a tipping point: using these new features opened an ocean for many industries to get closer and more efficient with their customers and value proposition.


“Innovation for change”

It changed the business model for a flat well known price, fixed cost with no surprise, flat prices for usual travels or recurrent ones. It changed for a more trusty model, trusty relation between industry and customers. It opened to many other solutions, in parallel markets, services or goods. It created many jobs, pushing the need beyond the natural demand. It played in a “winner takes it all” market, where speed is the key, to eliminate competition. The only limit (and mistake) for uber was no exit barriers, so competition could flurish, one time they understand the main principles and spread the word. The diverse moves to complete their main job, was to create and use transportation capabilities to transport anything else: “eats”, medecine, etc.

It changed the way it usually changes. Brutal and unexpected, many didn’t see the wave, nor the huge potential for many business. Who can say it as well from one’s own business? Who can say “well, I’m not concerned, it’s for others”? One day, soon or later, you’ll meet the beast, the wall of doubt, of uncertainty which may paralyze your brain and your usual skills, trained for mainstream. “Forewarned is forearmed”. Unfortunately, it may be not enough…

“Time for change, time for reboot”

We never knew anything so quick that this new “kind of thinking”, of doing business, and oftenly refer to “digital wave”. Not as a mean, but a way of setting new behaviors, in front of massive and settled competition. No recipe, no warning, like bootlegs invading the old world. Just a necessary reboot, from A to Z, bottom and up. A concrete and real disruption, where incremental innovation dressing doesn’t work anymore.

You can’t say not being warned until now…

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Small is beautiful…and useful, efficient now. Look at all those blue chips, coming from new economy, with light structures, skilled minds and clever intentions. We use to see big monoliths as never ending winners, champions in any industry. That used to…before the web. Web and linked technologies tumbled down lots of industries, because of disruptive ways of marketing, production, delivering. How can we consider software, technology or social networks could value so, in the middle of such big companies that build and need so much capital intensive? Past jobs disappeared on the effect of technological shifts or processes that completely changed the organizations, including big structures.

That makes this new subject about “size” of companies to be compared and valued, as new challenges in world commerce points out. But not only “size”, but also the ability of reaction facing the speed up of competition and focusing on abilities to compete on “time-to-market”, with great resources and know-how. In fact, the size might be the effect of several causes in growing up companies:

  • Raising the business and activity
  • Raising the R&D tasks
  • Complexity of processes, needs for controlling or middle management
  • In direct effect for human intensive resources needs

And we said “size” might be increased by the complexity of organizations, not directly focused on results and too much on means. To get an impression of what’s going on and the different leverages that could be used, it seems necessary to compare strengths and weaknesses of the two ways to do business. Having in mind that there is no “good” or “bad” but relevant with your activity, your business plan and the kind of business you’re in. You could be a startup in a whole big group and act as well. The simple fact to measure and value the differences between small and big structures make sense to the way you organize path to delivering.

And it seems startup models spread through all industries now, according to the fast moves from software and IT power. Having a different method to go faster and rethink the way doing “business” or simply create and deliver products or services. The “lean startup” or light structure company steps aside of traditional approach of:

  • Business plan
  • Financial goals
  • Design and building
  • Launch

Recovering some kind of instinct creativity with:

  • Hypothesis
  • Experience
  • Trials/samples/prototyping

Faster than ever in the creativity cycle and the way it can improve really on the go, the starting defaults and mistakes. No need to start with perfect products, but having in mind “testing and launching fast” instead of trying to do the best at first sight. The idea behind is to be more flexible and test any possibility, with several trials, formulas and prototypes to cover all situations before really launching. The different kinds of issues allow lots of consumer reactions, corrections and empower the experience cycle. Doing, building and destroying in short decision cycles make the whole creation experience more interesting and collaborative too. And these practices are particularly owned in startups spirit, where ideas run and go, as fast as the wind…Building, creating other combinations means agility and flexibility that big companies can envy, but don’t handle correctly.

This new method, named “pivoting”, in the lean startup concept, brings a new approach for innovation and collaboration between customers and teams, including fast innovation and reaction to dead end, studying more easily B plans. Big companies and schools, with the whole scrambled education system turn their eyesight to these behaviors as business cases and practices to hold, nurture and leverage. This makes another round for risk taking too, that is a huge danger in strong and long process for big companies, who then hesitate to innovate and launch new concepts. But we all know differences in appreciation of “risk” and failure: some fear and some learn, just this difference means a lot in an entrepreneurship environment and mindset. A culture where failure is considered only as a “bad side” is doomed to sleepers and followers. But meanwhile, if you risk often and fast, you’re in the know for an incredible venture of learning more efficiently than others. Because, instead of fearing yourself and your skills, you enforce them by example, mistakes and make it a “friend”. Not a loser, but a learning machine to enhance your creativity and trust potential.

The lean startup model knows to cope with it, so that it could be a strong model for biggest companies, out of order with creativity, flexibility and relevance.

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First part of three set, including the changes triggered by the connected world in which we live. We’ll underline there all that is described by “way of doing”, now, considering things we can’t stop and have to cope with.

Did you ever live, the incredible speed of information spreading, as you first have an idea, start to tell to a friend…and what becomes next: the one tells to a friend, who tells to a friend…six degrees later world knows all about it. That shapes what is to be said: living in a connecting world allows us to save time, moments and whole phases in building innovation. You can now make work a huge diversity of people, around the clock, in a single project, getting insights from the best of them, challenging everything from seeds to concrete plan. And it changes the vision we have on anything is possible or not: speed of sourcing, evaluating and throwing an insight, our ability to get information on marketplaces, competitors or competition in a larger view. Branding or modeling prototypes and viewing them in “real” second world (3D, social games, virtual environments…). Thrilling isn’t it. Not at all but a strong opportunity.

And if it’s for us, it’s for competitors, too. Competition keeps us awake (must?), and dangers come faster than ever: from stakeholders to suppliers, or even closer partners, anyone can, without having it in mind, leak on important secrets. And for a time-based competition, connectivity might probably change the game: speed of renewal cycles, defining, correcting and sourcing make markets more demanding on the service level and innovation. Being faced in daily life to digital shift, consumers have to adopt, learn and make them, the opportunities of technology.

In production fields, the reduction of wastes, mistakes or return, driven by a more accurate forecast of volumes, needs and trends go directly on the bottom-line. Engineers can have a close feedback with marketers, for model design, duplication, customization…and on-the-go modifications. That’s an incredible change in the process, always wired, and the ability to evolve, on ongoing periods, and raise the sustainable facet of production: less wastes, less energy, less stress, as it takes part of the whole shipment way of delivering goods or services.

Don’t you know that in poor areas (like described in BOP markets with books like), 7% on the income of poors is dedicated to connectivity expenses, often before cleaning, safety water, health or food…? The only step for isolated zones to be linked, bankable and start a tiny commercial activity is to be…connected. Connectivity changed the way farmers for example, can set their prices for their crop, because they’re connected (e-choupal system) with bid marketplaces and stocks for the raws they have: they can choose quickly to do or not and with who, they are going to deal.

Hold on for the second part and “connectivity effects on resources”. Stay tuned, and meet the following part soon, here…

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We live in a connected world, for sure. Even those who don’t want, won’t escape to changes, they feel, live or suffer. When, how, which ways? Where from, why? New generations can explain because they live in and are confronted to old school and traditional rules, they even sometimes, can’t understand. Codes, habits, rules…How imagine the world in such situations and understand the wealthy mix we can draw benefits from and hold the main direction to sustain the daily life?

I was thinking of writing in last centuries: from stones, to paper, wrting styles and ink, and printers…then digital writing and contents…Such situation meant slow shifts (as we stare technology revolutions go faster and faster), but we will be confronted in a future, where nobody will write anymore, one day…because of the huge invasion of digital supports, we won’t be using pens, stencils and so on, anymore…And at school, nobody will learn writing anymore, because “use” would have disappeared? It’s part of something that hurts me in fact…Living without knowing any letter or figure to write, because keypads or vocal systems would replace them…?

Weird, but not really far from reality…

I started a whole reflection with connectivity effects on “business”…with :

1) the ways it does…:

  • Competition insights, sourcing innovation, ideas or best practices?
  • The Impacts on collaboration and collaborative circles?
  • The way the world is connected and then, how to use marketplaces to reduce time, effort and delay on sourcing information?
  • Sourcing/buying 2.0?
  • Producing with benefits of connected technologies: reducing wastes, errors and returns, thriving simulations
  • Delivering: accuracy, reliance and relevance of supply chain
  • Launching and buzzing: hot to get the word before start…
  • Sales: virtual efficiency, mixed models of distribution (stores and e-business, m-business, social shopping and recommendation…

2) the effects on resources:

  • How to manage resources (people, time, schedules and machines) in a connected world?
  • HR implementation with social networks (pro and personal platforms, dealing with synergies)?
  • New opportunities on live work: always connected, live, home…

3) the outputs/outcomes driven:

  • Loyalty, but reactivity and sensibility: CRM, SRM, CEM…concepts that drive customers motivations and feedback
  • Communities, branding, e-reputation: how to solve the equation of truth and trust?
  • Marketing rules and new ways of improvement: who is the product manager, now?
  • Effects on life cycle of products, brands and relation: shortening delay without throwing the essential

I hope some bright ideas will surge and converge to identify a simple plan and path, to drive new business and companies, in this ocean of opportunities. As we accept opportunities more than threats and open our minds to change the cards and adapt enough our perception and abilities to do so…

First step to come, stay tuned for “the way it does”

 

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It is. We’re facing a new world, a world that shapes itself, confronting our abilities, but our failures too. We used to live with “leaders” showing the way, inspiring us and guiding the bulk to success and notoriety. If it’s just like to be more confident, it used to show limits in the efficiency to novelty and renewal. Last article from Nancy Lublin at Fastcompany, described a whole period of charismatic leaders, forgetting teams and organization. Time is now to recover the thrill for working in team project, creation task forces and so long.

Times are changing because we’re changing. Times makes us changing, in the race for competitiveness, strong competition between old established players, and new generation with new ways of thinking, new methods, and new mindset: be considered. Nothing else but being an active part of the company, building the success and the future, with the whole group, being understood and listened, because intelligence and initiative can be shared, with pleasure, motivation and success.

We even can think that in 140 characters, collaborative thoughts, can be more productive than ever. Staring at design, and lots of bright conferences like TED, Lift, SXSW and so much more, seems that bunch of people try to reinvent and innovate, with design, entertainment and technology. Taking some times to draw what changed in someway, found myself in the know: leading is not only sourcing ideas, deciding all and give the bad steps to teams. “followers” as they could be called in the past, are the essence of the creation, in the way, nothing could be done without execution. Let’s see as “things” are done now, in a more complex and collaborative processus than ever:

Then, what HAS to change: the way we can choose our working environment, workmates, lean management and some “freedom way of working and doing the things we are payed for”. And we can see huge and successful companies use to do it, as they are involved in waiting more participation, creation from their employees, because they let them doing so, encourage them and set some moments to do it true.
Social revolution is not an ordinary change. It’s an unusual way of mobilize huge parts of power, mavens and motivation, organized with heart, sensibility and trust. And that’s not usually found in modern companies, while matricial organisation and too much levels of management lead to complicated and centralized process of “making things”. But innovation needs to be close to customers, reactive and accurate listening of “what’s going on” to get all the juice from the efforts. The question now, is “how do we get the best juice, with motivation and without negative stress?

While diversity can be a awesome fuel design to innovation, organization of decision, thinking, ordering and planning is too. Now, tools, platforms, networks exist, are useful and need to be used with professionalism. To do so, HR have to make their own revolution, and allow using them, behalf the company’s welfare. Too many executives mistrust social web (Facebook, Twitter…), because they don’t want to understand it, think it’s wasting time, worst when they think it’s giving secret information to competition. Nevertheless it’s a never ending source of learning, sharing and confronting ideas, projects and know-how. Hr, yes, but management too. Leading doesn’t only mean “deciding” but showing direction more than deciding the whole picture.

Isn’t it more pleasant for a leader, to be chosen to support a main innovation, speak about it and be the respected tycoon who allows everything behalf his teams? Or be the tyrant who struggles innovation with narrow mindset?

Now, it’s time to chose who you want to be, and where you want to work. For all, be the reason to change, be the modern guru of managers social revolution…

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