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Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

Companies have goals sometimes we don’t even guess about, because of complex business strategies, fakes or trials, to hide any movement from competition. And sometimes they lose the real direction and how they build their global intent, in lean management, avoiding wastes and loss of times. In any company, at one time of their existence, grows some kind of “culture” that is written in gold by HR or in the basement times. As any individual, we all have cultural roots, more or less deep and recover it and bearing themselves in mind means a lot for history. But even if don’t look back, the simply shaping of “cultural lines” is quite interesting to speak as on voice and have all teams behind a common whole of values. This is called “cultural alignment”.

How to manage in such complex systems? It means managin several parts in the company and use outside inputs, as described in the below drawing:

Navigate through:

  • Talents management: know how to hire relevant talents, nurture them and hope they will grow themselves and grow their business. And hope one day they’ll go elsewhere (!), with everything they learnt to build another masterpiece. Not convinced? Think about Zappos who offers 3.000$ for people who want to leave company while they’re still in training and welcome period…A smart way to learn about limits and “real” motivation…and keep the goal on passion, values and real sense of delivering. The only purpose that counts, in competition…
  • Innovation: “at any step of the growth, keeping in mind to stay innovator”. The only way to have an incredible footprint and grow a tremendous brand. And a windful of passion, leading to compete with hurdles, inside and outside the company. Somekind of super power that overcomes any willingness to succeed and make any employee a super hero. Catch it if you can, and set it up in the ordinary process of all teams. “Ask for the impossible, and make innovation do the rest”. Sometimes, dream is the reality as you believe in it. And the innovation passion is the essence of the next blue chip.
  • Execution and deliverings: “without execution and deliverings, nothing exists”. No promess, no product, no customer, no brand. This is the sad story about all companies which spend their times in R&D, searching, describing and creating thing, products, services they will never handle to shape and deliver. It’s double truly sad, because no one will ever appreciate all efforts and attention…through execution, accuracy for details and delivering to end using. In my opinion, one of the most important part of any process, that shapes the user’s experience and makes it buzz everywhere.
  • Customer insights: if it’s still to prove for you, your customers will leave you, feeling alone with no particular relation but money with you. Figure out they have bright ideas, know probably your market and products more than you, and can give you a smart view of a “strategy”, dealing with a simplicity you dream of.
  • Business strategy: you can call it a game, but believe in something reliable, explainable, sharable and scalable. Doing this, you start in the whole business strategy process, and begin to build and organize departments, flows and process to hold the whole structure of the economic equation. You’ll have to describe, believe and inhold a frame for business, exclusive, bright and envied features. One that can be adored by your shareholders and converge all partners toward your company. And sometimes a smart move can transform a whole ecosystem, with your innovation. “Be the one others will follow and make a business case in the world”.
  • Imagination: “we all miss a lot of imagination, in everything we do”. We don’t miss ideas, motivation of skills, but imagination. The sole part of our brain we rarely train, because of time, laziness or easiness. In fact, look at children or young at work: they’re not perverted yet with failures, fear or politics. They do “essence” and genuine art of business, trying to solve their first puzzle. They answer with truth, heart and logics, just for the game, and not for the money yet.

Getting the best of the whole organization, from align business to innovation with a cultural support for this same innovation. Having all these elements together make a war machine and awesome bottom line result for an enhanced efficiency. Be blue, think out of the box, protect and defend your assets and brand, but also, nurse your culture and make it happen in all the simple key elements of your whole company. Grow it, make it sustainable and keep your startup spirit, push away the limits and have a incredible faith for the impossible. Dare the cutting-edge organization and handle it with team and process. The more cultural and mixed is your approach, the more it will win all your stakeholders: employees, partners, customers and shareholders. But the battle is to do with sensibility, the culture sensibility…

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Research for innovation is something like the graal, for companies. They are always tempted by stay in their comfortable position, or try to get out of the box and create a new field of business. But that’s not supposed to be easy…And makable. For most of them, innovation stay a wild dream, where they hope for a new easy start, while employees have not really ways to make it real. If we could resume for a short and simple idea, the concept of innovation, “Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries. It may refer to an incremental emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations”. Something simple, shaping and describing the whole circle of play, for considering a thing, action or process could be considered as an innovation.

As far as we can define it, it seems far more difficult to live an entire story of innovation. Few brands or companies or built-in successfully to achieve such goal. Why? Because Innovation is not something that you can impose to customers. Innovation goes to customers as far it’s been recognized and adopted as such. Innovation meet the needs of a market, a demand, a customer. It has to be devoted to serve a useful value purpose or change with relevance a product, service with significant change to be asked (payed because innovation means business too…) by a whole community. I would underline “whole community”, because innovation is sometimes recognized by early adopters or innovators, but doesn’t cross the chasm and fails to the big hole…

Well it seems so complicated that we understand why it’s so rare and why there is so much “shy” companies to launch anything really “out of the box” that is not only a fake move, test or something aside the “real” business. Innovation is in fact, not a toy, but makes part of the whole company, breathes with it and need a whole change of mindset, but process and operating too.

In this simple picture, see how company is in fact struggled between “forces” (no not Porter’s one…), that bury it into complexity and supply lots of reasons to stay in comfortable positions.

Outside the walls, a certain willingness to move, like a flow that could support innovation and drive motivation…But outside this “river of change”, the hard times with hard competition with tough guys…with the traditional niches with blue oceans, where life is cool and creative…for a while. But seeing inside the walls and considering that this company has motivation and some abilities to innovate, walls keep this whole force inside…Why, how?

1) Process and policies: keeping barriers of justice, legal and rules…Necessary, for sure…but hard to move and make them evolutive and flexible. Managers like them while it’s the best way to say “no”, with no regrets…easy to say no, easier than taking risks and new directions?

2) Fear paralyze anything. And anyone. And there’s no exception that in companies, those ones are built with certainty and are scared with anything that is unknown, troubled or uncertain ; environment of fear or “fear policy” (eg lose his job), doesn’t facilitate the taste for innovation…the only case is to survive, scared by his competitors…

3) unskillness: how could we do if don’t know how? innovation asks for a perfect mindset and behavior, to avoid huge failures. Knowledge to identify real innovation from fake, knowledge to swim among several hurdles: value environment, identify niches, product development, trendsetting…And the ability to answer to question: what premium fee for me if I’m leading the bulk now, with my new product, expensive, full of bug and a whole work of buzz to convince and recruit early adopters? Nerves had to be strong…

4) the “no” school: from any situation, any people will have a defensive reflex saying “no” to unknown. Kind of sport you could fall in love with, a kind of culture for some companies. We can even imagine there’s some hiring programs for “no people” and some training session for those who say “yes” too often…In fact innovation need envy, ambition and positive attitude. Staying beyond the walls, with strong positions only drive to “no”, facing the simple idea of “changing” anything…Chose the “yes” DNA to rise chances of success!

I told you from the start how hard could it be, until a conscious and bright path to innovation could born. Unchain what we know, free ideas, collaborative and social power, people just want to express itself and focus energy on “new”. All you have to do is to lead/drive this awesome energy in doing business and brand building, while you’ll be the king of HR improvement. Yes companies have silent forces they prefer ignore because it’s more comfortable and less dangerous, but standing like this won’t lead to manage talents, skills and innovation mindset. All you’ll generate is a twirl in people turnover…giving the best resources to competitors and losing your innovation workforce.

Time to harvest and educate the best seeds: prolific leaders will get prolific innovation and loyalty mindsets.

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Considering that famous book by G. Moore, that en-lighted the real chasm threat in launching new products or services, and achieve them to the next step for huge mass markets, I’m wondering, how could 2.0 could help, improve, support the chasm tomorrow and changes driven by interactivity. According to need of a launch session for new products and services, while these products or services can be sometimes not really ready to be launched, boosted by urgent, economics, and competitive goals (!), we saw it can exist a chasm that even good ideas don’t cross…Targeting a mass market requires talent, good product, and innovation advance to make the difference. But if innovation is a lifestyle for geeks and early adopters, shifting the trial to a mass success needs. Fortunately, geeks and EA are awesome levers to get empowerment for news things to be hugely used. And where can one find geeks and EA, most of the time? Yes, on social web.

Chasm20

We all have the opportunity to see how social sharing and participation can have changed relation mindsets, providing warming contacts, experts advising, communities rising and breakthrough boundaries and time. See how a novel, buzz or information can be built or denied in few seconds, or participate now to empower politics polls and decisions (mentioned that with last Obama’s victory with bulk social web virality). Necessary, but not the only thing to be done. New products/services have to be launched in an accurate, scheduled and secret plan. Too quick sometimes, making the idea real, but keeping bugs for the end users…Look at how cars models, can be back at fixing stations, few moments after their beginning of life…Microsoft products? Found lots of reasons to launch them, and thousands of users not really happy with new releases. I think business cycles now gear up. Innovation cycle, in some sectors can be so short, we mix several phases in one, already thinking to the next step. That’s probably why now, time is a strategic value, and all that can keep us from wasting it, is key. 2.0 and social web can help a lot to “cross” and have quick feedbacks on launch, polls, ideas, improvements, tests and corrections. And usually, addicted people to social web are particularly clever about new things and like to give you, for free, new ways of thinking. Meaning that, if you built a community, to worry about your launches, they will know how to handle it, and will cope with competitors that won’t miss to be cruel. But if you don’t, your products will go on an invisible of ocean, with potential users, who wait like sharks for new food, question is how they will “digest” the straight venue and what they are going to say about success or lead to die?

Chasm might be deep, chasm might be short, but chasm is a strong reality. Imagine you’re subjected to a judgement step, and more you prepare before, more product or service has a chance to succeed. If you want to give chances to survive, well organize first launch as if you were driven in front of the bulk scene: products/services prepared to be understood by many of the target, will get more chances to mass market, than fashion ones, excluding if you’re dealing on a niche market. We saw that maybe target of 2.0 is a new valuable field to get audience, advises and early tests for new services or products. But how can 2.0 helps this to increase the chances to cross the bridge (build one)? On the chasm.

I think it’s in listening and working with early users that you can do it, and social boards, like betas, experts panels and communities gear up the way information turns. The more you listen, the quicker you work with it, the greater chances you’ll have to correct, evaluate misfits, features, quality problems for bulk success. And social web for sure makes you saving time for that, if you can spend some time to build a network and give it news regularly. Each part of the market has its own behaviors: innovators are pure tech lovers, early adopters next, may feel there’s a real use for the innovation in field, and early majority, that’s the main problem, has to be guided by other early majority members, which wait for a main change in their life, because of the innovation. And if this brand new thing doesn’t ensure them, with entourage for done a good tip and be sure they will have all kinds of support, customer care and so long, there’s no chance for tech to be adopted, by mass early majority. And then may enter web 2.0 power: linking people, advises and take the role of customer care…While we saw that innovators/geeks prowl on social networks, no need to be clever to think that they will give all their advises and share their experience to ensure and make a better sale than you…they know the product, they know bugs (!), they can guide you to adopt it by several “old good rules”…And while trust is an essential rule for communities leaders, looking at the most influencers can be really relevant, giving them samples to test and keeping eyes on back timeline. That’s how it goes, that’s now how advertising stands place, while buzz is exploding. Ignoring power of social leaders is like ignoring power of www community As I already said, “customers are the best sellers for a brand”, and to go further, “social leaders are strong guides to burst your brand and your products”, crossing the chasm, convincing early (sleeping?) majority to come and buy.

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