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Posts Tagged ‘collaborative’

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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