Archives for posts with tag: Capabilities

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Image: Courtesy of Coralie Bickford-Smith

I took this journey of 13 blog posts to better define the model of Human Business Design. It was necessary to walk through the ideas of systemic thinking, introduce various systems, introduce the idea of interactive management, planning for the apocalypse, pie in the sky models, gap and assets, how to develop a community enterprise based on market principles, design a multidimensional organization, stay away from quick fixes and develop leadership for organizational evolution.

The model of Human Business Design is based on above foundation and rooted in the belief that all human interactions inside and outside of your organization matter now. They way human beings are motivated to connect and realize value has fundamentally changed. We’re seeing a fundamental reset in the nature of work due to drastic changes all of us are experiencing in how people communicate, coordinate and collaborate. And the Enterprise 2.0 “movement” tries to capture this changed behavior by applying Web 2.0 principles to the “command-and-control” needs of the enterprise. In addition, we see a mere obsession with tools for tools sake without much understanding of the socio-business context. The old problem of throwing software solutions at organizational problems is just being re-invented in the social networking arena.

Instead, we need to focus our attention on the shifting nature of work itself and how enterprises need to evolve in a rapidly changing world, Organizations need to dig deeper, define new principles around which work itself can be reworked. Forward thinking companies will develop their own constitution, a bill of rights and a social contract for all stakeholders to have a common purpose everybody involved can rally around. In short: enterprises need to socialize their business.

Technology is the critical enable to implement Human Business Design within your organization but technology is not a sufficient agent for change. We have to focus our work on humans, the limitations of extrinsic motivators (external reward or punishment) and the need for intrinsic motivators (finding meaning in work):

– Developing a foundation of trust
– Motivating and educating the stakeholders to become more active participants
– Providing access to stakeholder knowledge and skills
– Facilitating individual freedom and control
– Encouraging emotional/aspirational co-creativity and participation.

    Successful evolution of the organization to a Human Business Design Enterprise requires them to find the appropriate locus of learning, between both market and non-market sources of ideas and knowledge. Most established firms are still trying to access these autonomous idea pools using industrial age logic and rational economic arguments, and, in most cases, tired and outdated marketing efforts where the emphasis is on surface-level tinkering of the customer engagement model, not a complete realignment and reorientation.

    Enterprises have to understand that each business, with money and investment in structures, is no more than its people within and its people outside (all stakeholders). Enterprises need to rely more on people and bridge their left-brain thinking demands with the desires of people to focus more on their right-brain capabilities.

    More than 10 years ago, the Cluetrain Manifesto exclaimed “Business is fundamentally human”. We need to stop treating stakeholders as “resources” and regard each stakeholders as clients with their own interests, desires and drivers.

    If you want to learn more about Human Business Design and how we can help you implementing these principles into your organization, feel free to contact me at uwe@bateshook.com

    And, all previous installments for this series, can be found here:

    Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12

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    Image Courtesy of Fubiz

    I like people who forget about safe bets and stick their heads out, risking to have their heads chopped off. I like people who take risks. And I like people who go against the grain.

    And, that’s why I like Joseph Jaffe. I especially like to spar with him (We had a few of those exchanges.), hoping I could find more reasons reading his new book “Flip the funnel – How to use existing customers to gain new ones.

    Jaffe’s premise is that companies should reverse their marketing tactics and focus their efforts on customer retention by having the highest quality customer experience. (Reminded me of the Zeus Jones vision of Marketing as a Service.) By focusing on current customers and delighting them with superior service, companies can activate happy customers to become evangelists for the brand. Customer Service, often outsourced and seen as a necessary but unloved cost center, should be at the table with R&D, Marketing and Sales when strategic decisions are being made.

    These are not revolutionary thoughts for many of us but rebellious ideas for the majority of companies who are still considering their customer service as a cost center and hide behind the walls of phone trees aka customer avoidance centers. The book appeals less to people knee-deep into the evolving world of Social Marketing but it should be read by anyone starting to understand that we live in a new marketing reality with changed rules.

    A few additional thoughts:

    – Yes, we all love Zappos. But, we don’t need to hear about them anymore. Using Zappos as the banner child for customer service has been done by too many people too many times.

    – Some of the examples (Motrin, United, Obama, etc.) are tired and don’t really need to be repeated over and over again. However, Jaffe provides new case studies that I wasn’t aware of.

    – Best Buy: I don’t get the hype about Twelpforce and all these great initiatives that Best Buy is developing and implementing. My problem with all this is that Best Buy offers a horrendous store experience. I just purchased a Mac and the associate asked me at least 10 times if I didn’t want to sign up for their numerous extended warranties. I’m not the only one feeling bullied and Best Buy seems to push their employees extremely hard to make a certain quota. And the results of this bullying are even apparent in Jaffe’s book: While he writes pages lauding Best Buy’s social effort, on page 239 he shares a chart from Forrester Research ranking Customer Experience for major companies. All the tweeting and blogging of Best Buy didn’t make any difference; They are still ranked in the bottom quantile or better: the hall of shame.

    Social Marketing doesn’t pack a punch when it’s just used to market to people, when it’s basically masking severe organizational problems.

    Social Marketing can pack a Tyson punch when it’s used to transform companies. By focusing on effectiveness of your workforce and less on efficiency. By focusing more on human interactions and less on technology. By making stakeholder value a priority, not shareholder value.

    This has to be the focus of our industry in the years to come. It’s interesting to follow the evolution of Jaffe’s thinking: From post-mass media to Conversational Marketing and now the focus on Customer Service. I wonder if the next book will be about Human Business Design? Oh wait, that’s my book.

    My point: Everybody involved in Social Media understands that the challenge all of us are facing are institutionalized processes and structures. We experience these challenges each and every day when evangelizing new ways to communicate within and outside of your brand. That’s why people talk about E2.0 and Social Business Design. Jaffe’s book is a good start and should be considered by anyone interested in transforming companies.

    However, all of us need to dig much, much deeper. If you thought convincing companies to tweet or blog was hard, don’t bother trying to transform a business. The former is a tiny sandhill, the latter a Mount Everest. Let’s start climbing.

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    In a world driven by human and intellectual capital, traditional Org Charts, Employee Handbooks and most traditional tools that used to help enterprises to run their business have become increasingly unreliable and ineffective. High performance and value creation doesn’t originate from to traditional enterprise tools or new technologies, it originates from focusing on the human side of business.

    Jack Welch had it right when he said: “The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what they think and do is important – and then get out of their way while they do it.”

    Enterprises face the biggest challenges to humanize their business since their organizations are driven by spreadsheets and shareholder value. As we’ve learned throughout the Great Recession, many companies leveraged their future away by focusing on short-term gains, destroying long-term value over time.

    While shareholder value will remain a dominant metric, businesses have to focus their attention more and more on their relationships with customers, employees, partners, and all other stakeholder groups. By investing in these relationships, businesses will be able to create long-term value and, ultimately, shareholder value.

    We believe that those organization aspiring to succeed in the current socio-economic environment have to understand holistically who their key stakeholders are and what they want. They have clearly defined strategies to ensure that constant value is delivered to these stakeholders. They have implemented processes to support this strategy and understand the necessary capabilities to execute processes. And they have thought through and communicated what the organization needs from its stakeholders – Loyalty, profitability, investment, etc.

    Too often, metrics are derived from strategy. It seems so obvious. But it’s a trap. You can go from A to B directly, pass by C or go from A to D to C and end at B. Strategy is not a destination, it’s a choice of one path you’re going to take. Metrics help you track whether you’re moving in the right direction. Most corporate initiatives are focused on incremental improvements – expand your business to a new market, grow your product line, find new consumers. All these initiatives are developed with the belief that they will enable the business to deliver better value to all its stakeholders. That’s why focusing on the stakeholder perspective is imperative to deliver replicable value, choose the right strategy and exact metrics. When formulating strategies, businesses need to consider the wants and needs of all their stakeholders. This is not limited to primary stakeholders, the view needs to be expanded to the general public, special interest groups, legal and regulatory community. If this broad view of stakeholders is not adopted, businesses run the risk failing to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders, opening themselves up for revenge on multiple Social Media channels.

    So, what is the best path for businesses to increase stakeholder value?

    1) Stakeholder Satisfaction: Who are the most influential stakeholders and what do they desire?

    2) Performance Strategies: What strategies should the organization adopt to ensure the desires of stakeholders are satisfied?

    3) Measurement: Metrics are required to track if the chosen strategies are actually implemented. Metrics help to communicate strategies throughout the organization. Metrics combined with incentives help to speed up implementation. And, ultimately, metrics help you determine if the chosen strategy was the right one and if not, why. When the measures are consistent with the organization’s strategies, they encourage behaviors that are consistent with the mission and vision of the business.

    4) Align processes with strategies: What processes do we need to put in place to allow the strategies to be executed?

    5) Capabilities: What capabilities do we require to operate these processes? Today, tomorrow and in the future?

    6) Stakeholder Contribution and Collaboration: What contribution does the business require from its stakeholders to succeed? How can we maintain and enhance these capabilities?

    This complex exercise will help your business to face the challenging socio-economic environment and adapt efficiently. Or as Jack Welch said:

    “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”