Innovation Isn’t Just About New Products

Innovation is about a new solution to a new requirement ( whether is articulated or inarticulated), not just a new product.

Issue is many companies have a group focusing on new solutions and have a pipeline of ideas/products but do they have an equally strong pipeline of market insights/needs which then gets absorbed by the organisation? And how well do they marry the solution/need without the thought of cannibalizing their existing product lines.

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Brands, Businesses, People Don’t Get Social Media Because It Gets Them

Some brands, businesses, people not only love Social Media but they thrive in it and others sayI-socialmedia-ondemand they don’t get it or they don’t have time for it. The ones that thrive in Social media, enjoy and leverage the reach it gives whereas the ones that don’t get it, hate others’ reach into their space.

Space, focus and role are 3 critical parameters that can help companies get Social media

1.    Space: Social media is seamless, don’t create borders:

The Social media concept of openness, collaboration with a wide range of people is not staying outside the organisation, it has already reached inside few organisations, in the name of Enterprise Social networking tools such as SAP Jam, Yammer etc. These web based platforms help employees collaborate with each other across the enterprise, breaking all barriers, silos. According to ‘Research and Markets’ the Global Enterprise Social Networking Software market to grow at a CAGR of 51.94 percent over the period 2012-2016

Coca-cola: On New Year’s day 2010, three ambassadors in their 20’s set out on their Expedition 206 campaign and achieved the strongest global marketing integration ever. They visited 206 countries over 365 days to ‘generate happiness’ and published it on social networks. This enabled 3500 coca-cola marketers around the world to leverage and run local programs.

2.    Focus: Social media is timeless, don’t be short-sighted:

Issue is – Social media is the new email and much more! Think about building a brand, running a business, leading people and all this without using email -hard? Social media just made it harder or easier, depending on your position and intent. Social media programs cannot only be about interactions, it’s also about business and brand direction, validation and continuous value creation.

Companies such as coca cola turned their corporate webpage into a digital magazine with opinions, infographics, stories by people, thereby opening up their organisational boundaries on website to co-create content and customer programs.

3.    Role: Social media team members are your future customer behavior strategists, don’t make them work in isolation:

Frank Herbert once said ‘Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken’. And Social media does precisely this; it awakens the company-customer ecosystem.

With the rise of Customer Experience Management, current social media team members can play a key role in customer behaviour programs. The experience of mobilising and leveraging masses outside and inside the company gives an edge to the social media team in terms of picking up new trends across opportunities, sale, service and customer satisfaction.

Culture has emerged as a core competitive differentiator as it has a multiplier effect in effectiveness and efficiency in todays’ socially connected world.  Companies that are really old fashioned with a command and control mindset can be exposed by aggressive campaigns from competitors, customers, arbitrators. And when such members get the companies, it’s difficult for companies to come up with a plan when they are in a panic mode.

Get social media, before it gets you – when it’s inevitable, why evade.

Follow @Ramesh_Ramki on Twitter, on Linkedin or Google+

HBR: If Your Leader Departs, Preserve the Company’s Story First – My Comments

(Image source HBR)

Original article – If Your Leader Departs, Preserve the Company’s Story First 

Nice post Ty Montague,

The issue with some companies is that they find it difficult to separate ‘Person’ from ‘Narrative’. They tend to view it as a Chicken and Egg situation and start giving lot of importance and space to the person than the narrative. What happens next ?- you’ve aptly described it ‘The board and shareholders, enjoying the dizzying ride, are happy to look the other way if some of his antics sometimes seem… unconventional’.
This brings us to the question – why does this happen? Is it because it is easier for the press and people in general to symbolize the new way or wave using a person?. The danger is, when the wave starts by doing the right thing for the company, by challenging status quo, after a while it turns to doing the right thing for the persons image and hence challenging status quo and logic.
– Ramesh Ramakrishnan

#HBR Connect, Then Lead – My Comments

Image Source: HBR

(Click on the image for the original article)

My Comments:

The command and control type of organisations ( including military) over decades and centuries has led to many people adopting this fear tactic in order to get things done – so this forms a ‘Push type’ approach to get things done in a ripple effect.
In a network based era which is emerging, creativity is key & tapping into various skill-sets across boundaries where people are really good at and are passionate about something, such fear tactics don’t work, it pushes people away. ‘Pull type’ approach works where there is warmth, where one is fair and firm at the same time, this helps you create space and move forward. And this is the mindset that Millennials appreciate. When you engage with them, you can see resonance, when you are cold or try fear tactic you simply enrage them and you’ll see dissonance.

As Deepak Seth rightly points out (above), socio-cultural context is critical and I believe the Millennials have an advantage of testing the waters through social media by understanding and acknowledging such differences, but of course there is a lot to learn. Key to everything is to have an open-mind.

– Ramesh

#HBR Can You Overdo People Skills? My Comments

Image Source: HBR

(Click on the image for the original article)

Robert & Robert, great post

Being a caring leader is about caring for the people & issues together not people or issues (this or that approach). Avoiding talking to the person or soft-pedaling is a ‘this or that approach’, one can still be firm and flexible by talking about the issue in time in a particular way where the person absorbs/embraces the point/issue and moves forward or moves out.

Being firm & flexible at the same time is key, just being firm without being flexible will only make the ecosystem brittle, and will look solid till cracks begin to appear.

– Ramesh

#HBR If Your Mobile Strategy Can Win Here, It Can Win Anywhere #MobileStrategy – My comments

 (Image source HBR)

Great article Morra (Original Article)

You’ve captured critical aspects of relationship building and at the same time addressed the limitations/perceptions and quality (spam) issues of mobile media. More often than not, people/companies look at mobile strategy in isolation and look at ROI in isolation. Am glad you captured the essence of mobile as an enabler/amplifier of other channels (on the ground connect)as well.

Adoption comes from within, but the trigger to adoption is when there is resonance, trust and continuous value. Here is wishing you all the best for your contributions towards making this world a better place.

#HBR: Why Successful Companies Stop Growing : My Comments #Leadership #Strategy #Success #Startup

Original Harvard Business Review Blog: Why Successful Companies Stop Growing 

Great post Ron

Most companies have pockets of employees that are either buzzing with energy or lack it. Typically what we notice in start-ups, where people look for feedback externally in order to start up the company and grow ( progress in their career), whereas in some pockets of established companies, employees tend to look for feedback internally to progress their career internally. The former brings market relevance, the latter brings internal relevance, and when this is left unchecked it spreads across leading the company to a wall.

Also this boils down to the culture of an organisation, some try really hard to maintain the start-up culture like google. Innovation and new ideas within start-ups tend to be easier as it is mainly based on market dynamics, and in some existing companies such ideas tend to be picked up based on internal structures/cannibalisation of existing offerings – of course its not an easy balance, but I guess some companies are doing it.

While the founder of Kodak, George Foreman managed to embrace a new trend at the right time twice (once when he turned down profitable dry-plate business to move to film and then when he invested in color film even when their black and white business was doing well), the successive CEO’s managed to stay on the same old trend and failed consistently ( Read more: http://blogs.sap.com/innovation/sales-marketing/social-networking-could-have-saved-kodak-032300)
My blog covers this topic
Titanic, Icebergs And Network Leadership (http://blogs.sap.com/innovation/innovation/titanic-icebergs-and-network-leadership-033027)

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