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Crowdsourcing The Next 7 Tools 0

Leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Community purpose: to explore, create, and perfect the next generation of continuous improvement tools that will lift the quality and effectiveness of organizations beyond 2020.

The first seven tools were published by JUSE over 40 years ago, and the new management tools are already 20 years old. Therefore, we think it is high time for us to take another look to see what new tools there are that can propel our organizations effectiveness and our careers. With your help we can do just that! Next7Tools

We want each person here to have the rare opportunity to share your ideas in a safe environment where respect for people is paramount, and where unique pragmatic ideas drawn from deep wells of tacit knowledge and experience are valued most. Our goal is to share best practices and things that really work with each other in this select community.

Therefore, to ensure our community health your moderators will promptly prune any weeds before they can drown out sunshine or steal nutrients from the root system. Since we can all make a mistake, we aim for a balance with fairness and many times will try to coach and salvage a member rather than block and finally prune at last resort. Your best behavior is most appreciated.

We appreciate all those members who choose to contribute to rich and meaningful conversations, and especially those who refer great prospective contributors to us as we co-create the Next Seven Tools. Please join us in evolving the Next Seven Tools. Now let’s open a discussion. Please start by introducing yourself and why you like this topic.

Leave a 3-Minute Video on Your Favorite Tool. Why do you like it?

(This is A Google Community: Next 7 Tools)

Presenting in a Digital World 0

A passionate teacher, Dr. Nick Morgan is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas – and then delivering them with panache.  Nick wrote this little treasure, How to Tell Great Business Stories, which is how I happened upon him. Since then he has published a new book, Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact.

Related Podcast and Transcription:  Maximize Your Story Telling 

An Excerpt from the Podcast:

Joe Dager:  Well, we live in this digital world. Can you present yourself better being virtual? Are there any real tips in that area that helps you besides putting the mirror in front of you and those types of things? You have to elaborate more or it’s all voice inflection, isn’t it?

Dr. Nick Morgan:  Yes. For instance, on this podcast now, your voice becomes very important. My voice becomes very important.

Here’s the way I think about it. If you think about face-to-face communication, that’s the richest form and the most natural form for humans of communicating. As soon as you get virtual, you go on the phone or you send e-mail, then what you’re doing is you’re sending less information back and forth. It’s information poor. It’s like the difference, in the old days, between dial-up and broadband. Face-to-face is broadband and talking on the phone or email is dial-up.

As a result, we get less information about things that matter to us like intent, emotion and attitude. Does the person mean what they’re saying or not? If they say something mean to us, it’s much harder to tell. Are they saying it with a smile on their face? Are they trying to soften the blow or do they mean it? Are they saying it with a scowl? Those kinds of things get lost. That makes information coming through much less and it makes it much less interesting for us.

In the digital world, you have to do your best to replace those things that are lost. You need to replace the information. When I coach people, for example, when they’re on a teleconference and they’re talking to their team, they need to say things like “I’m excited about this!” or “This is great news!” or “it’s terrible that this happened.” You put the emotions in the words because they’re not going to show up in the face or gestures as they normally would in a face-to-face conversation.

Joe Dager:  You’re saying, you practically have to prepare more for virtual presentations?

Dr. Nick Morgan:  I think you do if you want to do a good job. I mean, we all know the jokes and the anecdotal evidence about people putting their teleconference on mute and then doing something else far more interesting while they’re supposed to be listening to a teleconference. The hero of the hour says, “Are there any questions?” Then there’s a long pause while everybody scrambles to take the phone off mute and to remember what was said. Yes, I think you do have to work harder.

Another thing you have to do is an audience in a room when we’re talking to somebody, we can see them. We can tell when they start to get bored. Or when they don’t make eye contact anymore, they start to fidget or something. Or when they disagree with us, they scowl or fold their arms. We can’t tell that virtually so you need to stop. Give people a break. Ask for feedback and say, “Let’s go around all the teams here and find out what they’re thinking in Dubai and what they’re thinking in Detroit…” and so on. Give people artificial chances to provide feedback because they don’t get the natural ones.

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A Scrum Drawing for Lean Marketing 0

Before the podcast, Design Think Your Way to Sales with Régis Lemmens,at Sales Cubes, we had a discussion about applying Service Design Thinking, Scrum and Agile to sales and marketing. The conversation turned into a discussion about this drawing on my website.

Value Stream Marketing

It is reflective of a Scrum sprint. Scrum is an iterative, incremental framework for project management and agile software development. The sprint is typical a two to four week process with the large loop representing the overall process and the smaller (top) loop representing a twenty-four period and the daily scrum meeting. In the Value Stream Marketing Process, I use the loops to demonstrate a higher level of intimacy with a prospect. The top loop is for existing customers to nurture an even stronger relationship. Time is not part of the process loops.

The three separate areas of the diagram will have their own Kanban board, if there are separate teams working on them, or you could visualize each as a separate swim lane. Separating these three processes apart allow you to better identify the process steps and the tools needed to facilitate the value stream flow. And, of course, using a Kanban board for this process will help you identify where the process is not working or where the bottleneck is occurring. Below is how the conversation went.

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Design Think Your Way to Sales 0

Could this approach actually make Sales a Noble Profession? Regis Lemmens

I had the pleasure of discussing with Régis Lemmens his new book, From Selling to Co-Creating. He is a partner at Sales Cubes, a sales management consulting firm located in Belgium, specializing in sales and key accounts management. He is a firm advocate of design thinking in business and helps organizations to apply this approach to innovate and redesign their sales processes finding new ways to add value to their customers.

Regis is a member of the team of experts at Impulse Brussels (the Bussels Enterprise Agency for starting and experienced entrepreneurs) where he serves as coach for startups to help them to develop and implement their commercial strategies. He also volunteers as a coach at the ‘Startup Weekend’ events in Belgium where he helps future entrepreneurs with the development of their business ideas.

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Is the Sales of Tomorrow based on Lean Startup Thinking? 0

From Selling to Co-Creating is not just an academic conversation. It is happening and this ground breaking book is discussed in tomorrow’s Business901 podcast. I had the pleasure of discussing this topic with Régis Lemmens, a consultant, author and teacher on the topic of sales and sales management. He is a partner at Sales Cubes, a sales management consulting firm located in Belgium, specializing in sales and key accounts management.

The podcast and the book delves into this more but I think it is important to understand the interpretation of co-creation. Borrowing from the book:

Value for the customer is co-created by the interaction between the customer and the sales person concerning the job the customer wants done. This means that the customer is always involved at in the process, learns something out of the process and has the feeling or emotion about the whole process, thus both tangible and intangible outcomes may be created, both tangible and intangible forms of value.

The book also goes into describing the Sales person’s interaction which I think is imperative. When I think of co-creation, I simply state that there must be a vested interest in a common outcome (job to be done) by both the seller and the customer.

What is your definition of co-creation?

An excerpt from the podcast:

Joe Dager: We’re talking about this co-creation, co-innovation, adaptability and agility. How does the sales person fit into this? How do they go out and sell? Can he drive someone’s interest there? Or, is this a re-definition of sales happening?

Régis Lemmens: We call it a re-definition of sales, absolutely. We actually see sales becoming more a strategic function in an organization; where marketing used to define the strategy, sales executes it and was more operational. We’re actually seeing more and more organizations today, where sales is way too expensive to keep a dozen operational tools. They’re using sales people now to, basically, develop relationships with key accounts and using those relationships to innovate and to develop new products with those key accounts.

This is kind of interesting because where marketing used to be the ones with focus groups or developing new products with customers, it’s actually the key account managers who are doing that. Now, you see marketing actually drawn more and more into the operational side saying, “Whatever we’ve developed with those key accounts, have a look at it and see if you can market it to a larger market using call centers, the internet and any other form.”

We actually see change. Sales is becoming way more strategic; marketing is becoming way more operational; in terms of how organizations look at them.

Joe: You discuss Lean Start-Up principles when talking with key customers. I think it is very intriguing. I use maybe what you might call a modified type Lean Start-Up approach. Is that something that sales people bring to the table now? Doesn’t marketing try to discover product customer fit or service customer fit?

Régis: I think even sales does it. I think even sales is involved in that. The sales of tomorrow, as we see it, is more an entrepreneur and he will do the lean start-up. He will be involved in the customer validation and product validation. That’s pretty much the role of sales.

To tell you an anecdote in the Netherlands, a big technology research organization and consultancy, I was given a workshop on my book. I addressed a hundred and fifty sales people and I called them sales people. Believe me, they were heavily offended. By the second time I did that that day, they made it very clear that they did not want to be called sales people. Yet, officially they were but they were business developers.

That was really because they see the task really, really differently. They see it as really being an entrepreneur. They go in, find new opportunities, develop them with the customer, validate it with the client; and that’s how they see themselves. They don’t like to be even seen as a sales person because that’s too linked to the old ways of selling products door to door.

What is your definition of co-creation?

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The First Step In Being Brief Is Preparation 0

Joe McCormack is an experienced marketing executive, successful entrepreneur and author, Joe is recognized for his work in narrative messaging and corporate storytelling. His new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less (Wiley & Sons, 2014) tackles the timeliness of the “less is more” mandate.

Related Transcript and Podcast: Be Effective, Be Brief

Joe: Can I just sum that up saying that the first step in being brief is preparation?

Joseph: Preparation is huge. I know in talking to people about this topic three consistent tendencies that people have that many people are not aware of. The first is the tendency to over explain. The second tendency is the tendency to under prepare; not taking more time. There’s a famous quote that says “I would have written you a short letter if I had more time,” attributed to Mark Twain, which is a great quote because it takes time to prepare. And then the third thing is missing the point completely; not knowing what the essential point is. But preparation is an absolute key element that people just don’t spend nearly enough time doing.

Joe: I think Winston Churchill has a great quote along that same line where he says, “If you want me to write or speak for twenty minutes,” – I forgot how the quote goes – “I can do it right now. But if you want me to say it in a paragraph, it will take me a fortnight,” or something to that line.

Joseph: Exactly. What happens is it makes sense but people think about a short communication as being easy. Like “Oh I’m just going to talk to my boss for five minutes. I’m going to leave a quick voice mail. This is going to be a short part of the agenda.” And the truth is the shorter you speak the harder it is to do it well. People need to spend more time upfront preparing it. They get lured into the false sense of “Oh because this is short I’ll just wing it,” and it gets people into a lot of trouble.

Joe: A second part of what you go into in the Discipline part is the foundation of a story. You want to tell people in a story form but most stories seem to run on. How do I prevent that?

Joseph: Make the distinction between a short story and a long story. So I think we’re talking about the short story format which is perfectly suited for people’s attention spans. People’s attentions spans a decade ago were twelve seconds and now they’re eight. So we need to put it into a smaller package. Stories are beautiful, people love them but you can’t fall in love with them and tell the long version. You have to be gifted at cutting out the excess detail and giving people a nice concise narrative that hits the mark.

Joe: But how do I keep discussions brief and to the point? Am I manipulating it? Is that what I’m doing? I’m trying to have a conversation, a dialogue?

Joseph: Yes, I think that first of all nobody is nearly as interesting as they think they are. So part of it is –you’re right – you want brevity to be “I’m saying a little. I want to invite a conversation.” So brevity omits monologues. That’s one of the benefits of being brief is it’s not just you talking, you’re having a conversation with somebody else. When you’re in a conversation with somebody once you’ve made a point, stop talking and then have a person ask you a question and respond. And people fail to do that and then they ramble. It should just be brief interludes of a balanced conversation or two people are talking about the same thing, not waiting for their turn to talk.

 

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FMEAs have to be as Innovative as the Innovation 0

In the Google Community, The Next 7 Tools, I started a discussion on FMEA thinking it will be tool that will re-surface in popularity. It has been used quite extensively in manufacturing but I think it can be pushed into the fields of service and software.  It will need some refinement more towards Innovation and Design Thinking Concepts.Risk Management

FMEA: Failure Mode & Effects Analysis

Innovation, Lean Startup, Design Thinking and Disruptive Innovation are very much becoming ingrained as one of the ways we must conduct business. All of us claim to be Agile and Innovative. So it must be true, it is in every company’s mission and vision statement. Or, maybe we should call it their value proposition or their “Why”.

However, Risk Management is on everyone’s mind, even when managing your career path. When companies make choices they often take the path of least risk. I can relate this easily to HR Managers. Seldom do they hire the best person for the job, they normally hire the safest person. It goes back to that old saying that ‘No One Ever got fired for buying an IBM.”

When you view how decisions are being made, they are often involve committees or a better way of saying might be with many participants input. In this scenario, seldom will be risk be managed correctly. The safest choice even from the most innovative companies is likely to be chosen.

New technologies bring about new failures. Therefore the advancement of FMEA’s have to be as innovative as the innovations. Assessing risk then has to take on a multidisciplinary approach to address these challenges.

The traditional FMEA is a systematic approach that:

  • Prioritize risks associated with specific causes of failures.
  • Identifies the ways a process can fail to meet critical customer requirements.
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of existing practices to prevent identified failures.
  • Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of existing practices managing identified failures.
  • Identify ways of eliminating or reducing the specific failures
  • Document a plan to prevent the failures

In simple terms, it allows you to anticipate problems so you can take steps to reduce the risks. It is just not about product. There are several types of FMEA to include, product, process, application and service.

What about a non-traditional FMEA approach that?

  • Prioritize risks associated with scenario-based causes of failures.
  • Identifies the ways a process will add complexity to a customer use.
  • Evaluate competencies of existing practices to carry out likely scenarios.
  • Evaluate competencies of existing practices to manage un-likely scenarios.
  • Identify ways of adjusting to the different outcomes.
  • Document a plan to deliver support to customer when un-likely scenarios occur.

Should FMEAs be restructured? Or, is there an alternative tool?