About funnyyoushouldask

I’ve always been intrigued by brands and the roles they play in our lives specifically and in society generally. I provide brands and organizations with strategic advice, processes and new ideas in order to make better business decisions with regards to this. I’m in commercial creativity, but am often refered to as a planner or strategist.

Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of working with companies such as H&M, FedEx, Rusta, Dustin, Virgin Atlantic, Reebok, Adobe and many others. Types of projects include service design and branded utility, new brand development, social media strategies (often entailing organizational change management) and advertising. Even a bordello… I’ve built up a fairly broad set of skills and experiences by having collaborated or been a part of places like gyro.com, dga.se (formerly gyro stockholm), Medieinstitutet, doberman, Tre Kronor Creative/Tre Kronor Media, Hyper Island (Collaborator, Master Classes)

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Here are my most recent posts

Ber du om case så plocka isär dem

Jag lyssnade nyligen (som vanligt) till filosofiska rummet och avsnittet om Aristoteles ”Fysik”. Inte bara är verket i sig uppenbarligen en obduktion av fysiken och naturen och hur den (verkar) funka, utan även avsnittet är ett metaforiskt intelligent böljande samtalshav, mellan tydliga exempel och analys av mekaniken och förhållandena bakom den. Ett bra case.

Detta är något jag saknar så otroligt mycket i många föreläsningssituationer. Case efterfrågas, gärna best practice, men de får gärna avverkas tillsynes utan djupare reflektion. Av många. Inte alla, så klart. Workshops är annorlunda. De kretsar inte kring case utan lek och utforskning av just mekaniken. Om den designats väl vill säga.

Min uppmaningar är att lyssna efter vad som ligger bakom exemplet. Välj aktivt att inte bemöta eller fråga om exemplet i fråga, utan principerna. Förstå mekaniken. Dyker då inte frågorna upp, ja då har du alltid en väldigt enkel. Att du hör vad personen säger och beskriver, men att du bättre vill förstå grundprinciperna. Kan personen i fråga inte obducera detta case på ett sätt som är upplysande bakom det uppenbara, då ska du istället befinna dig i en workshop.

kommunikation som påverkar

from Cecilia Edling Ostman on LinkedIn

Kommunikation är sannerligen ett brett område. Kommunikatörer i organisationer pysslar med internkommunikation och externkommunikation, som i sin tur kan brytas ner på säkert hur många underliggande typer som helst.

Det ultimata målet med kommunikation måste vara på beteendenivå. Det gäller för övrigt alla som håller på med människor… Kommunikationsbranschen i stort har varit, och är fortfarande, rätt dåliga på att definiera och mäta dessa. Mina närmaste konsultkollegor och jag talar rätt ofta om att gå från värderingar/kommunikation till praxis och beteenden. Alltså att se bredare på kommunikation utifrån frågan “vad kommunicerar detta”. Inte bara börja med kommunikation som innehåll utan lika mycket vad något i sin tur kommunicerar vidare. Vi arbetar inte specifikt med kommunikation utan förändringsprogram, men kommunikation blir där självklart ett av alla viktiga verktyg. Exemplet här ovan – från Kårrestaurangen på Chalmers – trillade jag över på LinkedIn, delat av Cecilia Edling Östman, en kollega från vääääldigt länge sedan.

Ett fantastiskt exempel på hur kommunikation, i det här fallet med uppgift att lyfta klimataspekten av vad vi stoppar i oss (gissar jag, oavsett så skulle det kunna vara det), kan ta ett fantastiskt steg från uppmanande budskap ofta en bra bit ifrån aktivitets/beteendetillfället till mer av en aktiv (“nudging”) roll exakt i beteendetillfället. Och med enkla medel.

Den här typen av kommunikation lånar mer från digital/tjänsteutvecklingen än traditionell kommunikationsstrategi och planering. Kommunikatörer som ännu inte lånat/stulit/berikat sig i den världen missar något.

misstag och lärdomar – en podcast

Misstag har det länge snackats om. Ord och utryck som fail fast och fail forward har inte sällan använts väl flyktigt och utan någon riktig substans. Förhoppningsvis låter inte FM (Fredric Marcus, Creuna) och jag som två ytliga signalförstärkare av detta, utan att vi når lite djupare. Det var i alla fall vår intention.

Misstag, och framför allt misstagets positiva effekt lärdomen är helt avgörande. Mer så än någonsin tidigare. Det går för fort för att veta. Vi måste förhålla oss till okunskap och komplexitet med hjälp av misstag och lärdomar. Denna förmåga är bland det viktigaste ett företag kan träna på idag. Det är definitivt kopplat till digitaliseringen och den tekniska utvecklingen med alla effekter på samhället som det för med sig, men det handlar inte om teknik utan om företagskultur och ledarskap. Detta är en aspekt som faller inom ramen för det vi på Co:LabX lägger mycket tid på, nämligen innovationskraft, förmågan att arbeta på nya sätt och i det stora förändra ett företag. Lyssna vetja. Hoppas något intressant landar. Tack till DIK – Det kreativa facket för inbjudan.

the fallacy of thinking about doing

Theory and knowledge isn’t real. That’s why we always look for empirical evidence. It’s also why you would never qualify as a car mechanic having only read about engines. You need to get a feel for things. You need to practice doing. Doing the actual behavior we’re studying, trying to fix or do more of. Don’t really know what to think about this:

When I ask him how he knows what he knows about these new platforms, he says, “I’m not active on social media; I am a student of it,” and waves an arm at a wall of his office covered in dozens of color printouts of pie charts, tables, line graphs full of digital metrics—proprietary information that he asked remain off the record. “I spend a lot of time thinking about the trends that are reshaping our industry. I spend a lot of time talking to people on the front line of those trends,” he tells me, “and a big part of my job is making sense of that.”

– Arthur Gregg Sulzberger of NY Times, in Wired

Why cut off some of your senses? Thinking about doing things does not provide sufficient understanding of the doings studied. The most bewildering part of this is why on earth, given there’s no cost associated with it (only learnings and benefits), would you not throw yourself out there to feel what it is we’re dealing with? Beats me.

Journalistic nuggets beginning of 2017

2017 means yet another year for journalism to find its way forward. A subject I love a little extra. It’s a little messy to say the least. So many wonderful things and opportunities from a technological point of view, and from another we have increasing scepticism towards media, a president down right fighting a war on them and then my favorite one (given my focus on digital and business transformation) around workflow, processes and its own perception on journalistic work. A few nuggets that recently struck me.

From The Washington Post came this fact checking plug-in for tweets by Donald Trump (for chrome here). Funny and handy in itself given how much he twists facts, but the phenomena beyond Trump is thought worthy from a facts relationship point of view. Interesting because it’s an extreme version on “the news/article/post vs. stream scale”.

Add to this the issue of comments. The value (and risk) of them, and the need for very different view on, and workflow for, journalism. Niemanlab shares a study on comments. It’s a good place to correct errors and clarify stories. If comments were a piece of the article or whatever the format of the piece might be. Both from a reader/recipient perpective and journalist/producer perspective. For reader/recipients as a natural continuation of an article/post and a producer as equally much of ”the job” to populate.

The report says the Times isn’t doing enough to build reader engagement; “our richest community engagement right now” is in “nooks and crannies” like Well posts and recipes. “The Times experience doesn’t get more interesting or valuable as more of a reader’s friends, relatives and colleagues use it. That must change.”

A block from Nieman’s summary of the New York Times 2020 report that came out early 2017, indicating how to develop NY Times digital first (what else..). A quote that’s basically an expression or statment around how to look at journalism from a network/social perspective.

We all know of Medium, but another service started by the founders of Twitter was Branch. I always thought that was way more interesting than Medium. Read a bit about it here (from 2012). It felt like an attempt, at least, to work out how comments/perspectives of high-profile people could blend with that of you and me, in relation to a subject, in some structured format (platform) beyond the original platform of a (news)post, for example. Still not cracked.

The threat of artificial intelligence more intelligent than ourselves

Detta med artificial intelligence va? EU-parlamentet släppte sin robotrapport. Massa möjligheter men också hot. Kill switch? Jo, det känns kanske tryggast så. DI Digital lyfter även denna biten:

Men utredningen belyser också att robotar kan utgöra ett potentiellt hot mot människor. Det finns en möjlighet att AI kommer att vara vida överlägsen den mänskliga intelligensen, heter det. Om det inte kontrolleras riskeras människans överlevnad.

från DI Digital

Jag slås av att vi också kan våga se det som så att om robotar blir mer intelligenta än oss människor så kanske vi har en bättre chans att överleva. För så intelligenta beslut har vi väl ofta inte tagit? Just a thought.

Do to get curious

TheFutureIsRepugnant_Keynes

Do you recognize yourself in the quote above? Some people admit to it, most people don’t.

It’s easy to keep reading and keep going to seminars and courses, in an effort to understand what to do in the future. If we could only get the hang of this digitalization thingy, we’d know how to change. I get to meet lots of people in the midst of those efforts, but we have no doubt reached a tipping point from ”what should we do” to ”how do we do that”. It is of course not evenly distributed yet, but the macro shift is indisputable.

This means the world now knows a whole lot more about what can be done and what’s possible. We’re familiar with a few “best practices” and cases of successful digital transformation. Now all that remains is to do it. Our Head of Digital has been here a while, maybe even a head of digital innovation. Question is – how do we do something differently in your organization? Not daily operations. Something different. How do you do new things? Here’s the new frustration, bigger than ever. But it’s the right one.

In a pre-workshop interview recently, I read this: ”I will be very impressed if I can walk away with concrete tools for changing things, or actually doing something different.”

This is why Co:LabX – where I spend most of my time since mid 2015 – is about helping companies practice doing things differently. We are an innovation partner and we design innovation processes, but what we really do is help companies practice doing new things, and with new people. The key to really start working on the future is to become more curious, and you become curious simply by doing.

We paint future scenarios, we apply lateral ideation methods to produce vast amounts of ideas and we produce prototypes to test in quick ways. But the most important thing is to foster new ways of collaborating in organizations. New types of personal relationships. That takes creativity. And like another workshop participant said: ”…but then it feels like we all have to be change change agents nowadays”. That’s exactly it, isn’t it?

Here, you can read more about Co:LabX, an innovation partner with equal focus on the what and the how.

mind expanding examples of objects with meta layers

IoT, voice, predictive search, contextual search and so on. In “the future”, lots will happen very differently. Part of that lot, are very simple and mundane interactions and tasks. These two videos help not only expand ones view of how these simple things will be carried out in ways that might still seem magical, but also provide proof of how imminent this magic is.

Here’s interacting with a knob that isn’t there, but the interaction with that non-present knob is physically there. Get it?

Build further on ordering coffee instantaneously from the coffee maker with “pre-emtive orders” and/or voice. “Buy more coffee”. Beep.

I can definitely dig that future.

competitive advantage – how we work

I’ve experienced it, you’ve experienced it. Everyone has. To some extent, we know what’s not working for us, but often we don’t act on it. Some times, in many organisations (if I extrapolate on my own and colleagues’ experiences) it’s even hard to get acceptance when fixing the problem.

The problem of working effectively. With concentration. Focused.

I believe that industries in which you live by people, their minds, creativity and collaboration – how we work is going to be the primary competitive advantage. It’s organizational culture of course. Orgs can get really good people. Many of them can. Some are more attractive and have more traction (HR and employer branding being more and more important). But over all, they get good people.

Is it better to have 50% better people or an organization in which people can be 50% more effective and just work better?

I’ve touched on it before in another post. I keep coming back to it.

Digital strategy deconstructed: key considerations, part. 2

This is the second part of a few, deconstructing and highlighting some important aspects of the concept of digital strategy and what to consider when approaching it. You’ll find part 1 here.

Part 1 was much about the power of words and definitions, and the need to actively reflect on this with the group responsible for thinking “digital strategy”. It also highlighted the power of using a networked perspective for understanding the integration, organisation wide implications as well as stakeholder alignment.

In this second part I’d like to touch on how brand culture and purpose matters greatly, and how reframing this, and ones market, creates a vantage point that fuels the thinking. I use two fairly well known examples to do this.

Ford manufactures cars, but a while back they redefined themselves as a mobility brand (actually, the original mission was to make America mobile, so not that drastic change…). What does that do? Obviously that depends. But there’s a number of things that fit very nicely together in business strategy, but I’d like to include it in digital strategy as we define that as broadly as strategic thinking in a digital (networked) world.

The mobility brand Ford saw the number of 16 year olds who get their first car drop considerably. More numbers are showing the same changes in demand. But if you’re not in the business of selling cars, but rather mobility, there’s another side to that.

Ford partnered with Zipcar which offers a subscription based model for access to mobility, in the form of cars. This could have been done without Zipcar. It is now done in different shapes and forms by many car manufacturers (I recently saw that Audi pushes micro-sharing experience, collective access to Audi cars)

Zipcar bought by Avis, but what if Ford bought it? Making money from providing mobility services in Volvos, BMWs etc? Competitors become collaborators. The revenue model drastically different. Not switching, complementing. All facilitated by new, networked, technology. But, more importantly: new self perception on behalf of the brand. The organisation, and how everyone sees value creation.

Slideshare: Part 2 touches on slide 5-7

reframing the market and the business

Product development vs business development. A networked perspective can dramatically fuel the thinking in business development. Looking at the brand, its purpose and meaning in peoples lives, is an important part of digital strategy. It might make it inseparable from business strategy, that’s fine. That’s actually just right. And here’s also where it becomes something bigger than a digital thing. That’s important, because when it’s a business matter, and even a cultural matter, you (still) have a better shot at getting more people excited and onboard.

The vast majority still don’t feel ”digitally savvy” and hence exclude themselves from ”digital” projects. Many are literally scared of it. But cultural transformation, processes, thinking about markets and business – there’s where you might find those people.

I’ve jotted down some thinking on meaning markets before. In the case with Uber, on slide 6, they think of themselves in a number of ways appart from ”taxi company”. One is as a logistics platform. What makes sense when you’re a logistics platform? Partnership with destinations. An open API. Revenue sharing between company and private drivers carrying out the transportation. All of the things that any taxi company could have done, but didn’t. Because their culture, self-perception and view on value creation, doesn’t allow for it. That’s right, it doesn’t allow for it. That’s how strong impact culture has on ideas. It’s back to definitions in a sense.

  • Always include, and even describe, your digital project/initiative as a (organizational) cultural one. You benefit from appealing to people who dislikes and even fear digital.

  • Rethink your market. Do the product vs. meaning exercise. What is your product? What is the meaning of you, and that product/service, in peoples’ lives? Then think about what your market really is. I’ve heard Unilever is very much in ”home care”, aiming to ”free up family time”. So how about a global platform for subscription based home-cleaning, laundry service, laundry pickup etc?

  • See also a method called Jobs To Be Done. This is not equating an initiative around digital strategy with innovation, but it is highlighting the perfect occasion for truly taking a stab at preemptively exploring ”how the business might change”.

OK. So two posts in and still no focus on media channels, social platforms and communication. I don’t think the next one will be either.