Blur – The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy.
by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer
Stan is the visionary and guru, Christopher the corporate guy from Ernst and Young and then Monitor, the consulting group. They argue we are living in a world that is like a night club with strobe lighting. A world where the intangibles of marketing and connectivity are the key as everyone can do the left brain stuff of getting the functionality right (viz. all cars work). The book is a thinly disguised list of ways to run a modern business…none the less it raises interesting issues.
Customise every offer
Porsche says it never makes the same car twice. By customising you get closer to the customer and being able to build a real long term relationship.
Do everything in real time – tomorrow is too late
Not necessarily. Sometimes delivering faster = worse, less thought through or plain dangerous. But in a global economy a 24/7/365 attitude is demanded and provided as the default service by the most modern.
The emotions matter more than ever they did in differentiation
Branding matters big time – underpinned by trust, loyalty, prestige, attractiveness (and something I think matters – stories – constant news and buzz – read “Brand Hijack” by Alex Wibberfurth for more.)
The Otis Lift story – technology rules OK
Sensors in their lifts constantly online tell Otis Control when a lift is about to break down or precisely what needs to done when it’s going to be serviced. Saves time and money for Otis. It improves customer service. Provides a win-win.
E-commerce = telepathy
That’s what Dell said. Best example of how to leverage data are Amazon and Tesco but no one has yet cracked how to get “real human beings on the act” – the “emotion bit” see above.
We are living in a six lane super highway
Use to be a two lane no overtaking road. Now it’s a no speed limit monster with producer and consumer each going as fast. Great model.
Work-life and life-life blur
What they call “bleisure”. No one stops working now but you can be in bed, on the beach, on a horse – people want your brain not your presence.
Give more away
Be the source of interesting ideas. Knowledge is only powerful if it’s shared. Be the first to pass on what you know.
Create new the whole time
We live in an “Innovation Age”. Retailers thrive on “new”. Everything that you do has to be renovated, innovated or replaced the whole time.
Go work for your client, for a retailer, for a TV station, for a magazine for an MP. Do new stuff. Learn. See things from different angles.
Because if you do you’ll become more self critical and start to polish up your greatest assets.
Speed is a competitive plus
Mario Andretti said “if you’re in control you aren’t going fast enough.” Energy and speed of thinking matter because everything is going so fast.
Tear down your firewalls
Confidentiality is a thing of the past. It’s not what you know but what you do with it that matters. If you want to be seen as transparent (doesn’t everyone?) don’t hide stuff.
From market share to share of throat (for instance)
Coca-Cola found seeing themselves as small in the drinks market as opposed to vast in the Cola market a greater stimulant to growth activity.
Big and small (at the same time)
Big gives you scale and wriggle room but the best will always act small…service like a small company, reach and systems of a big company.
Don’t plan – adapt
Old fashioned Alpha Male hugely detailed 3 year plans are a thing of the past. Broad simple plans constantly changed are right for today.
Innovation never starts with the customer
The consumer knows what they know but seldom speculates – if you’d asked what the consumer wanted in the 1880s they’d have said a faster horse that pooed less.
Churn is good
The places to worry about are those where there’s no change. People, products, ideas. Change is good.
If things aren’t moving they are asleep or dead
As is momentum. One of the hardest things to achieve…if you’ve got it you can steer, change direction, overtake etc. Another way of seeing this is what doesn’t move – idle machinery, inventory, lazy employees, money in the bank is costing you.
The real premium is on the word “attention”
In a world of white noise getting attention is hard. (John O’Toole said – “when producing advertising think of yourself as the uninvited guest in a prospect’s living room who has the magical power to make you disappear instantly.”) Attention is the greatest scarce global resource.
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