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Customer Intelligence and Teamwork Drive Innovation

Customer Intelligence and Teamwork Drive Innovation

Innovation happens in many places and has many faces. Enterprises are required to nurture internal processes that work in sync like ecosystems to encourage front line intelligence to feed ideas through to management so that services, products, processes and teamwork ensues collaboratively to deliver benefits to the Value Chain. This requires effective team work and a supporting methodology that aims to treat your team more like an agile soccer team if you think about it so that anyone can effectively take control of the ball and score the goal.

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In the book "Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice" by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen; the core concept of the "Job To Be Done" theory is introduced which is hugely relevant for enterprises wanting to leverage collaborative team work in creating value. The theory stresses that in order to drive organisational product, service and process excellence; we need to focus on alleviating the forces of anxiety, inertia, substitution and resistance across both the customer and employee value chain. Christensen articulates a mechanism to achieve this by firstly creating "specs" that define what outcomes and values are required in order to lead to customers or employees firing old methods, solutions, products and services and adopting new ones. In doing so, the product development team (as an example of a department vested with solving consumer problems) will be satisfied as they have induced consumer adoption either by bringing non-consumption into consuming contexts or working on incremental product and service innovation. Christensen states that "The circumstance is fundamental to defining the job (and finding a solution for it), because the nature of the progress desired will always be strongly influenced by the circumstance".

This is important as traditionally, managers usually follow one of four primary organising principals in their innovation quest (or some composite therefore) being product attributes, customer characteristics, trends and/or competitive response. The challenge here is that these are not bad or wrong but they are essentially sampling of the most common and are insufficient and therefore not predictive of customer behaviours. In this article, I allude to how the Bioteaming action rules across the Organization, Execution and Connectivity Zone facilitates the dynamics required to solve the 'job to be done'.


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Ten Steps to Better Negotiation Success in Your Business and Personal Life

Ten Steps to Better Negotiation Success in Your Business and Personal Life

In a perfect world, negotiation would be unnecessary. If you have something that someone wants, and they have something that you want, then you'd just go and exchange them without all the hassle. Unfortunately, real life is rarely like that. Most of us go through some sort of negotiation on a daily basis. Whether it's getting your child to eat their vegetables in exchange for ice cream or getting that fortune 500 Company to hire you, knowing how to negotiate is imperative. Here are ten steps to help you.


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Power Posing: The Art and Science of Making Posture Work For You

Power Posing: The Art and Science of Making Posture Work For You

Most of us are familiar with the concept of body language and its effects on our social interactions; for example, greeting a date with open arms and a warm expression says that we're excited for the evening, while a slumped stature and a pout says the opposite. These types of associations refer to what our posture and positioning say to others, but new research shows that the relationship runs in both directions. That is, the way we pose our bodies "speaks" not only to those around us, but to ourselves as well.


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C3: a new approach to Collaborative Project Management

C3: a new approach to Collaborative Project Management

Most approaches to project management concentrate on the tasks which need to be successfully completed to achieve the project goal. Important as this is, it is at most only half of the story of successful project management. The C3 approach addresses the hidden side of project management - the people-collaboration-end-result perspective and is also a powerful tool for conducting a quick project healthcheck.


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Behavioural Economics can predict irrational human behaviour

Behavioural Economics can predict irrational human behaviour

I have been reading about Behavioural Economics (and Behavioural Finance) through the excellent 8-minute summaries from iminds.com. BE explains why we are systemically and predictably irrational in our economic decisions and introduces 2 terms "Bounded Rationality" and "Bounded Willpower" as limits to rationality within which we all operate.


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How the way we talk can change the way we work ... and think

How the way we talk can change the way we work ... and think

I am working through an intriguing book How the way we talk can change the way we work written by two psychologists of adult learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The authors contend that we are naturally immune to any form of change (with our systems quickly rejecting casual changes) and to make change in ourselves and others we must learn 7 new languages (ways) to think and talk about change.


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The 5 Myths of business: How they invisibly drive our thinking

The 5 Myths of business: How they invisibly drive our thinking

Strategy and Business Magazine has just published an excellent in-depth article "The Dueling Myths of Business" based on the work of scenario planning expert Betty Sue Flowers who worked with Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the world of big government where she helped draft many influential scenario planning reports.


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The Art and Science of Resilience and Survival: 12 Rules Of Life

The Art and Science of Resilience and Survival: 12 Rules Of Life

In "Surviving Survival" Laurence Gonzales looks deeply into the mental processes that enable us to cope with the trauma that often sets in during and after a challenge to our survival. In the final chapter of the book, The Rules of Life, Gonzales outlines 12 key principles of resilience and survival:


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From a systems perspective the UK Public Sector is totally broken!

From a systems perspective the UK Public Sector is totally broken!

John Seddon, in his ground breaking book Systems Thinking in the Public Sector, provides a harrowing view of the "value destroying and non-customer centric system" the UK Public Sector has become locked into in the last 10 years.


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The five major theories of how people "learn": a synopsis

The five major theories of how people "learn": a synopsis

Carlton Reeve has written an excellent series of five articles in Play with Learning which compares and contrasts the 5 main theories of learning (Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Constructivist, Experientialism and Social Learning) which underpin personal learning. Carlton also identifies different computer games founded on each theory. I have produced a short synopsis here with links to the 5 original articles which are well worth studying.

Each of these 5 theories (or modes) has its place in learning. In fact the most effective learning will likely contain some element of each mode. For example, this blending of learning modes is used in our portfolio of Business Simulation Games to develop highly effective Leadership and Management skills when combined with facilitation and learning in teams.


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