Monday, October 19, 2015

Building a design-driven culture
It’s not enough to just sell a product or service—companies must truly engage with their customers. Here’s how to embed experience design in your organization.
September 2015 | byJennifer Kilian, Hugo Sarrazin, and Hyo Yeon

This article is a must read

Think about a product you recently bought. Now think about the experience you had buying and using that product. Increasingly, it’s difficult to separate these two elements, and we’re actually seeing many cases where customers prioritize the experience of buying and using a product over the performance of the product itself. In fact, customer experience is becoming a key source of competitive advantage as companies look to transform how they do business. 
This fixation on customer experience isn’t just for the cool start-up world. Consider HP and the mundane task of replacing printer ink. Through HP Instant Ink, the company has executed a subtle shift away from pure transactions—customers simply buying ink when they need it—and toward establishing an ongoing service relationship, wherein HP knows when its printers will run out of ink and preemptively ships more, saving customers time and effort. And making their lives easier not only makes customers more productive but also makes them happy and generates loyalty. Similarly, heavy-industry stalwart John Deere is transforming its business by moving beyond pure equipment to provide farmers with digital services such as crop advisories, weather alerts, planting prescriptions, and seeding-population advice… 
… Many companies are committing to improve the user experience. But making design a core capability that drives growth and competitive advantage means companies need to go further. 

The four elements of design-driven culture 

Really understanding the customerThe difference with design-driven companies is that they seek to go far beyond understanding what customers want to truly uncovering why they want it. 
Bringing empathy to the organizationOne essential to running a design-driven company is making sure the right people with the right skill set are in the right place. 
Designing in real timeDeveloping any customer journey requires input from many functions. We believe in a “braided” approach that combines design, business strategy, and technology as the core working group. These functions should work together to make decisions, ensure that the designed journey aligns with the business strategy and is delivering value, and keep customer experience a top-of-mind issue. 
Acting quicklyGood design is fast. That means getting a product to market quickly, which depends on rapid prototyping, frequent iteration, and adjustments based on real customer feedback

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Future of Management Is Teal
Organizations are moving forward along an evolutionary spectrum, toward self-management, wholeness, and a deeper sense of purpose.
by Frederic Laloux

This is a bit more philosophical than my usual posting, but I think it is important to understand how organizations may evolve in the future

Many people sense that the way organizations are run today has been stretched to its limits. In survey after survey, business people make it clear that in their view, companies are places of dread and drudgery, not passion or purpose. Organizational disillusionment afflicts government agencies, nonprofits, schools, and hospitals just as much. Further, it applies not just to the powerless at the bottom of the hierarchy. Behind a facade of success, many top leaders are tired of the power games and infighting; despite their desperately overloaded schedules, they feel a vague sense of emptiness. All of us yearn for better ways to work together — for more soulful workplaces where our talents are nurtured and our deepest aspirations are honored….…. In describing the pattern of organizational evolution, I draw on the work of a number of thinkers in a field known as “developmental theory.” One of its basic concepts is the idea that human societies, like individuals, don’t grow in linear fashion, but in stages of increasing maturity, consciousness, and complexity. Various scholars have assigned different names to these stages; philosopher Ken Wilber uses colors to identify them, in a sequence that evokes the light spectrum, from infrared to ultraviolet. I borrow his color scheme as a convenient way to name the successive stages of management evolution…

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

For Biggest Results, Focus On The Struggle

This is from a piece Co-Authored by David Schonthal and Bob Moesta, CEO of the Rewired Group (Originally published as a contribution Dave Kerpen’s column Inc Magazine)

Pretty nice thought the full article

Successful innovative products and technologies start by focusing on the consumers’ problems to be solved. What do consumers really want to do? What are they trying to do but cannot? What are the trade offs they are willing to make to achieve better outcomes? 
The solutions target consumers’ functional, social, and emotional needs and, even more important, their desired outcomes. Think Maslow’s Hierarchy, with its tiers of psychological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization needs. The further a product‘s benefits extend up that pyramid the better chance the company will tap into massive pent-up consumer demand for innovation… 
…..The key is to frame the forces of progress (function, social, and emotional) that cause people to make progress in their lives. As the “Forces Diagram” (below) illustrates, the push of the situation and the pull of a new idea are weighed against the habit of current practice and the anxiety of adopting a new solution. Progress only happened when the push and pull are greater than the anxiety and habit.