Disruptive innovation- Have you got it wrong?

4 years ago 0 0 1479

The idea of disruptive change is very ‘hot’ in business and innovation circles at the moment. There are conferences dedicated to it, books written about it, people who have ‘disruption’ on their business cards or Linkedin profiles. However, my guess is that 90% of people in innovation and business are missing the real point about disruption. In this article I take a look at the idea of disruption, and what businesses can really do to understand it and apply it to their business situation. The source of ‘disruptive innovation’ In 1997, Clayton Christensen published a book called ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’, in which he coined the term ‘disruptive innovation’ to describe what he saw in some case studies in the computer industry. The term has gained prominence since then, but I believe that it has now ‘jumped the shark’ – and it is time to really understand ‘disruption’ for what it

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Organising behaviour – learning from Zappos shift to holacracy

4 years ago 0 0 1450

We create structure and process in a business for only one purpose – to organise behaviour so as to create efficient and effective ways of getting things done. With Zappo’s in the news for instituting a ‘holacracy’ model of organisation, it raises some interesting questions about how we can – and should – organise behaviour. How well does it work when you tell someone with depression to “Be Happy”? The paradox implied in the instruction “Be spontaneous” should be clear – how is spontaneity spontaneous if you have ordered it? This has never been better demonstrated in the corporate world than is currently happening at Zappos: “You will become a holacracy”! Forcing the organisation to become self-organising has an ironic paradox buried at its heart. However, as the organisation pursues this idealised structure, it will provide a fascinating case study over time. With it reported that one in seven employees

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Pitch perfect – get your audience to yes

4 years ago 0 0 1378

The role of the ‘pitch’ has been magnified through such TV shows as ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Lion’s Den’. These shows put a pitch in the spotlight, with an assessment and investment depending upon the quality of the presentation as well as the product idea. They can often make the process seem as a ‘one shot for glory’. However, if we view a pitch as this, then it can lead to unnecessary stress and worry, and can negatively impact how we pitch. If, on the other hand, we considered a pitch as simply an opportunity to open a discussion and negotiation, to present our position and influence buy in, then we can use the pitch in powerful ways to create successful uptake of our ideas and secure the support that we seek. Everyone has to pitch – maybe not for a major investment, but politicians pitch their policies for your vote,

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Do you need to change how you change?

4 years ago 0 0 1226

 Are you, and those you lead, scared of the idea change? Do you recognise the need for change, but wonder how you can make your change program successful when so many other change programs, started with the best of intent, simply fail? Why is change so hard, and how can we ensure change programs succeed? Understanding the need to change: Change is inevitable.  Even with a highly successful organisation, change needs to happen as things around them evolve.  Things inside and outside the organisation change, and over time the requirement to change just to keep up, let alone ‘stay ahead’ gets bigger and bigger.  New technology, new processes, new customer requirements, new competitors, new regulations and even new social norms can rapidly turn today’s success into tomorrow’s obsolecence Because change is inevitable, we just need to decide if we will adapt to change, lead change, or become obsolete (there is

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The 8 things which will create a perfect storm in your business

4 years ago 0 0 1616

So you have done the company survey, or listened by the coffee machine.  It seems like the jungle drums are beating, and the natives are restless.  The executive team gets together and asks themselves “How did we get like this?”, and wonder at the emerging signs that the culture and engagement strategies have failed. What organisations often find is that the company is not living its stated values, the staff are hardly engaged and the culture has devolved to something just more civil than a cage fight.  And you wondered where your performance had gone? Does this sound familiar?  Too often issues with engagement and culture are identified after these problems are having a real impact on the business and its results.  So many organisations find themselves in trouble and wonder both how they got there, and how to get themselves out. Unfortunately, many organisations find themselves in the perfect

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Why most sales reps aren’t built to perform

4 years ago 1 0 1154

Our customers today have access to overwhelming volumes of information, have so many choices and are ever more discerning.  The ability for our customers to truly understand what we can offer them can simply be lost in the white noise. How we connect to customers and sell them our purpose, our values and our offerings can be critical in cutting through this white noise and drive business success.  Great sales people are therefore a prerequisite of success – and you need them right across your business. As organisations become more social and customer centric, every person within the organisation not only becomes a brand ambassador, but a ‘salesperson’ of the organisation, and for the organisation, to its customers.  The old days of salespeople on the ‘outside’ and everyone else huddled within are definitely gone. So what really makes a great salesperson? If you had to identify the profile that would

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Crisis communication -surviving the crash

4 years ago 0 0 1350

The recent tragic Air Asia crash is yet to be fully understood, and there are many who are directly and indirectly affected by this terrible event. At times like this, organisations need to respond to what has happened, and how they do this will earn them sympathy or support, or else turn the anger of those suffering, the media and the general public against them. So far, Tony Fernandes, the group CEO of Air Asia, has done an outstanding job.  His communication has been thoughtful, timely and well delivered.  It reminds me of Richard Branson, who was an outstanding crisis communicator during the Midlands train crash a few years back, as well as during the space plane test flight crash in 2014. The truth is that a leader and organisation without a crisis plan, and without a good crisis communication approach, will more than likely be out of business two

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Customers experience pain

4 years ago 0 0 766

Apple announce that iPhone 6 will go on sale at Midnight next Wednesday. By Monday evening, the queue is already forming.  Apple customers are putting themselves through 36 hours of ‘pain’ to become one of the first to own a new model of something they can get today. You walk about a kilometre, have to drag items out of a warehouse and load them onto a trolley to go through check out at Ikea.  Clients accept this pain to buy furniture (that will probably cause them even more pain when they get home and get out the allen key!) You have to wait on hold for a phone operator for two minutes – and the wait is intolerable! In business, we put our clients into three different types of pain: 1: Brand-reinforcing (valued) pain.  This pain, like queuing outside Apple stores, is part of the ‘story’ and enhances the perceived

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you get what you deserve

Leading Customer Service Excellence

5 years ago 0 0 2171

Leading Customer Excellence Sometimes common themes emerge which run through the work you are doing.  At the moment, there seems to be a deep need for engagement, for resilience and excellence in customer service. Perhaps they all stem from the same place – the environment that business exists in is tough – there are competitors, the customer has high expectations and the landscape is often changing through technology, regulatory change or economic pressure. We know that customers have access to unlimited information, often an overwhelming range of options and know their ‘power’ in dealing with organisations.  This makes the point of customer interface critical – we have to provide an excellence in experience which allows them to remain engaged and want to be our customer. How do we, as leaders, help our front line people consistently deliver great customer service?  This is one of the things I have been working

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Transacting or creating real value as a sales and marketing strategy?

5 years ago 0 0 950

Recently, I have been bombarded with ‘push’ marketing emails from some people who have obviously attended a seminar on ‘building and converting lists’ as their main sales and marketing strategy.  They are not talking with me, they are simply shouting AT me.   It makes me wonder how little time have they really put in to deciding that I am the sort of personthat they can flog to me and charge me for. It reminds me that there is a transactional approach –  or a ‘bigger game’ approach – of dealing with your customers: 1. The transaction model. In this model, the organisation has something specific to sell.  They go out and find customers that may want to buy it.  They trade – or more precisely, they transact.  Only the act of exchange brings value to both parties and the customer only serves as a recipient of the good or service for the

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