Culture

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My Facebook Nightmare

It started with a phone call around 7.30pm on Wednesday night, January 14th. A concerned friend was calling from interstate.

“Mark, where are you?,” he asked.

“I’m at home. Why?” I replied.

“So you’re not in London?”

“No.”

“And you haven’t been robbed at gunpoint and had your wallet stolen?”

“No! […]

By |January 28th, 2009|Culture, Media|49 Comments

Mimicking bacteria – strategy for success?

History tells us that it is rare indeed that a single individual will come up with a totally new idea that leads to innovation (even Newton is purported to have needed a bit of help in the form of an apple). Innovation is more likely to arise from the recombination of existing ideas in novel ways […]

By |September 6th, 2007|Culture, innovation, Leadership, Strategy|1 Comment

Short-sighted view of the growing importance of digital channels

I noticed an interesting job advertisement in the papers over the weekend. The job title – Online Communications Manager – caught my eye, as I had recently been wondering when we will see organisations  invest the same levels of resources into managing their relationships and interactions with customers over digital channels as they do, say, […]

By |August 27th, 2007|3rd Horizon, Culture, Leadership, Strategy|0 Comments

How will tomorrow’s consumers differ?

The UK Centre for Future Studies has released several studies outlining key demographic changes over the next 15 years, and the impacts these changes will have on lifestyles and consumer values. The following are some excerpts from their findings:

We will be living in an older society. This will be the result of increased […]

By |July 6th, 2007|Culture, Strategy|0 Comments

Meta-Convergence and Demand Singularity – Part I

For the past 24 months, I’ve been seeing signs that a unique strategic challenge is emerging, one which will significantly impact every industry, including media, before the end of this decade: demand singularity.

We can already see that a form of ‘meta-convergence’ is happening in nearly all consumer industries, in that more and more companies are trying to be all things to all people. They are trying to sell everything to everyone.

Coca-Cola no longer sells just cola – it sells water, fruit juices, energy drinks and teas/coffees. Pepsi Co. is now the largest US vendor of potato crisps and similar snacks. McDonalds no longer sells just burgers, it sells salads, yoghurts, cereals, and cafe-style coffee. Woolworths doesn’t just sell groceries, it offers banking, petrol, electrical and whitegoods, music (including iTunes cards).

Today, there was news that the eponymous watchmaker, Tag Heuer, was moving into the eye glasses market!

We’re seeing a similar meta-convergence in the media space.

Newspaper companies, like Fairfax, now offer music, video news, audio programs and, elsewhere, movies-on-demand. Web publications are moving into print and vice versa (e.g. Sensis/Trading Post). Search engines are moving into rich media and broadcast media (Yahoo! + Google). Electronic games companies are moving into cinema. Outdoor advertising companies are embedding mobile media capabilities. The list goes on.

The root cause of this trend is economic.

Companies are leveraging technological efficiencies to re-engineer traditional value/supply chains, in an effort to squeeze additional profit or growth through ‘economies of scope’ (i.e. cost savings achieved by increasing the variety of goods and services produced using existing infrastructure/staff).

This trend is likely to continue (and accelerate) for the remainder of this decade.

[…]

By |July 4th, 2007|Culture, Media, Strategy, Web 2.0|2 Comments

Creating Culture (Australian Anthill)

This is an excerpt from a regular column that I write – Neely Ready – which appears in a magazine called Australian Anthill.

—8<—

The Importance of Culture

Every organisation has a culture. Spend time observing the day-to-day goings on within, say, a medical practice, a law firm, an airline and a fast food franchise, and you will notice some stark differences. While each business might have common objectives – serving clients, generating profits – it is very likely they go about these objectives in vastly different ways.

Culture, broadly defined, is the personality of an organisation. It is the collective, learned behaviour of its staff (“the way we do things around here”,) and the values, norms and beliefs that shape that behaviour.

Culture drives the behaviour of people. It drives how your staff choose what is done, and what is left undone; what is valued, and what behaviour, actions and outcomes are rewarded. Culture operates (and can be influenced) at three levels:

[…]

By |May 30th, 2007|Australian Anthill, Culture|0 Comments

How Creative is Your Business? (Australian Anthill)

I write a regular column – Neely Ready- which appears in an (exellent) magazine, Australian Anthill.

—8<—

How creative is your business?

Entrepreneurs and scientists use the concepts of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ interchangeably. This is not surprising, as both play an integral role in the new product development process. They are not the same, however they do have a symbiotic relationship: each is largely useless without the other.

Creativity is the process of coming up with new ideas. Everyone is capable of being creative, and there is no single, definitive methodology for generating creative ideas.

Innovation, on the other hand, is a broader process of implementing a creative idea – or ‘applied creativity’. Innovation is intrinsically harder than creating ideas, and there is again no definitive methodology. However, it is the process of creativity – coming up with the spark of an idea that kick starts the new product development process – that most individuals and businesses believe they require assistance with (perhaps because creativity is seen as a behaviour, whereas innovation is seen as a process). […]

By |April 15th, 2007|Australian Anthill, Cash, Culture, Media, VC|0 Comments