Last updated by at .

working concretely with culture and behaviors

A while back I posted this list (below) from McKinsey showing a ranked order of challenges with regards to meeting digital priorities. Now, I’d like to add to that an initiative from colleagues of mine (with whom I also collaborate on the project) that seeks to spread solutions for how to deal with this situation.

Culture for a digital age - McKinsey Quarterly, July 2017

The initiative I’m referring to is a Kickstarter Campaign for a series of books that’s a part of a collaborative project called The Book of Collaboration. A project that is more than a book.

The need for working human-oriented

The basic premise for the project is quite depressing: Only 15% of employees are engaged… How about that for starting point when really needing to change, transform, build and all those things we need right now…

Now to the solutions. The project is based on 5 key pillars that help you ask better questions with regards to the diagram above and most business challenges. They help you work with what you can affect and not just the outcomes. If you look at the above items, they are the equivalent of lagging indicators, whereas the 5 pillars help you work with leading indicators that can actually be affected. Kind of like happiness correlating to innovation output. Just looking at output won’t help you affect or control it. Ok.

  • Reinforcing a human-oriented culture and building trust
  • Applying a growth mindset, unlearning, and learning in new ways
  • Creating effective teams and collaborating for real
  • Making everyone leaders and focusing on growing facilitation skills
  • Re-inventing leadership and organizations – with engagement as core

Leaders: mind your toolbox

If you’re a typical leader it’s unusual to you, you don’t immediately have tools that come to mind and you might think it’s fluff. If you’re an interested, great future leader, you understand the need to include this in your toolbox and catalogue of methods. I’m basing this on my day-to-day work from within, and not looking in from the outside. It’s not even debatable and it’s easy to see.

The good thing with this diagram is that the number one item – culture and behavior – indicates the realization of a human-oriented focus as a prerequisite. The challenge is still how this is done, but that’s a better problem to have. And that’s the aim of the project, so go back it if you’re smart.

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.

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.

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. 1

In a previous post about a digital marketing lab in Singapore, I realized I should probably structure and share some of my thinking and learnings having discussed, presented, debated, consulted on, workshopped around and taught digital strategy.

So, the reason for this first of a few posts is for a number of reasons:

1) Deconstructing a couple of slides used in workshops and talks, in order to structure what I believe is often overlooked and missed. It’s good for myself to do it.
2) If we’ve had a workshop together or if you listened to a presentation I gave – Hello! Here are some things we touched on if you feel like a refresh or if there was a language/speed problem. You should have the full presentation already.
3) Basically, why not share it beyond rooms of people.

So here goes number 1.

The first, and most important, thing to reflect on when approaching digital strategy

the blogpost Can you invent something new if your words are old, Deborah Mills-Scofield highlights the power words have over us. She’s a consultant in innovation. But not only in innovation is that important. It goes for politics, pedagogy, and our dear subject digital strategy.

Part 1 touches on slide 2-4

Because – what do we think when we think digital? Words and definitions, knowingly or not, frames and maybe even dictates, how we think. And how we think, well, that very much guides what we do and don’t do. As Kevin Spacey put it, TV is simply episodically punctuated video streams. From that, what can you (and disruptors did) imagine?

Add to that, you’ll be in a room of people, perhaps from different parts of and organisation with different agendas, ambitions and painpoints. This further necessitates a discussion around, and a common view on, what it is we’re digging into.

– So, what would you say digital strategy is (yes, that’s how rudimentary my question is)? Take 3 minutes and try to articulate it concretely. Write it down if it helps.
Silence, looks, twisting in the chair. A few smiles. More looks.
– Would you care to go first?
– Hrm, well. It’s about how we communicate with the different target groups in different channels and social networks.
– OK, good. And what did you write down?
– Well, I don’t know. I wrote that it’s basically everywhere around us. It’s everything today.
– Wow, that’s quite all encompassing and massive. Personally I can nod to that. You?
– Actually, I would say that it’s our future business. Our business strategy.
– OK.

A typical conversation about the word digital and digital strategy. Often taken for granted as self explanatory and clear. Not so clear anymore.

Some people implicitly are talking about communication and channels, while others seem to understand it as something that’s basically everything. While some are very clear about the fact that it’s the future business strategy. Digital definitely affect communication and the communication landscape, but maybe that’s communication strategy that just happen to be hightly “digital” today? And surely we can agree that “digital” is effecting more or less every aspect of society today, and hence is everywhere. As a consequence it has to be taken into account when thinking about ones (future) business model, revenue models and business strategy. It’s all obviously correct, but until the whole room realises this, and recognizes the complexity (but also opportunity) in this observation, getting constructive and solution focused is useless.

The reality in which we strategise is networked. Networked is a very useful word as opposed to digital because it more clearly stresses the fundamental shift, change and impact (probably not the originator, but the guy I associate with stressing the benefit of using networked is Mark Comerford, @markmedia) in a way that we can feel and see as we mention it. If I’m in a store shopping and I’m all connected – is there brick and mortar vs e-commerce? Yes. Is there offline vs. online? No. From a networked perspective, that dichotomy is flawed and reframing this makes all the difference.

This is why the great variety in response to digital strategy is so natural. We see it from different angles. It’s like the proverbial elephant and the blind men. PR people see one thing, service design folks another and e-commerce managers yet another, and so on. The solution to this is to discuss ones business and reality from a networked perspective. This way, you’ll see the integrated and holistic nature of digital strategy.

These two activities are my suggestion for a start.

  • Mind the words you use (in general) in this case digital strategy specifically. Dig deeper into what we take for granted (I’ll touch on that again from another perspective). Understand the lens through which you see the concept, and understand what you don’t see.
  • Approach the project as strategic thinking in a networked world. That means departments, stakeholders, business units and even the business model itself, will reveal those clear connections and the need/power in approaching everything as an integrated totality. This can come across as massive and frustrating, but it’s also where the true power of a digital strategy lies.

More on that in the next post. Thoughts and comments are more than welcome.

Digital marketing in a laboratory?

Photo from Digital Marketing Lab in Singapore, 2014
On of the many active, collaborative, parts of the Digital Marketing Lab in Singapore, 2014.

Earlier this year I was in Singapore running a 4-day lab on digital marketing. Running it as in collaborating with Hyper Island (and the wonderful Maria, who’s responsible for the Labs within Hyper Island) in tailoring the different parts of the content around which to, well, lab.

Other labs include rapid prototyping and social – both very suitable to do hands-on lab type of workshops, especially rapid prototyping of course. Our first collective challenge with this lab was actually figuring out the labs ingredient.

A laboratory (/ləˈbɒrətəri/ or /ˈlæbərətri/; informally, lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research,experiments, and measurement may be performed.

We were definitely in a controlled environment. For 4 full days in a large, open, area approximately 20 people with different backgrounds worked together. Representatives from Google, business consultants figuring out what to do next, community managers, account directors, digital creatives and even recruitment professionals. We were experimenting with propositions, hypotheses and opinions – all open for debate. Hypotheses around how organisations needed to, perhaps, rethink and reorganize how marketing was viewed, budgeted and executed. Very much perceptions of what has been true, but not necessarily anymore.

One key challenge we gave the participants was a hands-on assignment – a brief – from a multinational brand, very much recognized for having momentum and guts to rethink its existence and purpose. Both from a consumer product/brand point of view, but also from an organizational sustainability point of view. This assignment was evaluated by key representatives from the company (the measurement part). My role very much being that of a nudger, suggester, questioner. Without digging into the ideas – there were some really great stuff, some of it actually already in the pipeline within that organisation which says something about its commercial viability. Impressive.

A participant’s recap and reflections on the digital marketing lab

I’m not going to share anything detailed, because one of the participants has shared a quite extensive summary of the digital marketing lab. It’s one individual’s summary, and someone else might recall it differently. But what strikes me is how some of the content that I shared (Simon Kemp of We Are Social, Singapore also shared his) is obviously referred to and has thankfully been helpful. I like that.

Posting your video on YouTube does not make it Digital Storytelling. Building a story of your brand, creating an experience, a feeling, a journey (that holds together across platforms), something worth remembering – and telling others about. That’s digital storytelling

But. If I were to highlight a few key nuggets that I keep coming back to as fundamentally important, from the digital marketing lab but also from doing presentations and workshops (and everyday work) around digital strategy (challenges), they’d be a bit different and framed in another way. Which brings me to the conclusion that I probably need to get my stuff together and share it in a properly packaged and connected manner. Easy to share with more people. Easy for people who have been in workshops to access and refresh or get clarification.

So, in a while I suppose this will be a link to the first of a series of post. Which means this post about a lab participant’s post is a trailer for posts to come.

Make your bedroom happy with Viking Beds

Viking Beds of Sweden from funny you should ask on Vimeo.

Viking Beds of Sweden, ett litet familjeägt företag ifrån djupa Småland, är ett trevligt varumärke jag fått stifta bekantskap med. Workshop, besök fabriken i Landsbro (som om allt går vägen är dubbelt så stor), sängprovande och slutligen köp av egen Viking Bed (jag skriver under på hur jädrans sköna dom är).

Efter intervjuer, observationsstudier, siffergenomgång och det sunda förnuftet hos de affärssmarta grundarna kommer man fram till att…dra mig vilken makt återförsäljarna har. Vi valsar in med ett par 3 varumärken i skallen (vilka vi också testar). Kanske en favorit, inte helt osannolikt genom rekommendationer från bekanta. Sedan står vi där med (felaktiga) uppfattningar om hårdheten, naturmaterial och individuella behov, men börjar mer och mer dumpa ansvaret på sovspecialisten (läs: säljaren). Hen ställer frågor av ergonomisk natur som vi lite ovant svarar på. Jo, jag har ju breda höfter. Nja, jag ligger nog mer på sidan. Det hela avslutas med den frustrerande och avgörande frågan, genom vilken ansvaret kraschlandar hos oss igen, “men i slutändan ska det kännas bra för er, vilken tycker ni själva bäst om?”. Tack för den. 30 lax, och den som känns skönast för mig gäller.

Vad gör man med högst begränsad budget (till skillnad från Hästens sängar när det begav sig), otroligt ambitiösa tillväxtmål och en stor geografisk marknad? Tro det eller ej, men TV-reklam flyter upp som det mest potenta första draget.

Make your bedroom happy kommer från observationen att sovrummet kan anses vara det mest mobbade, exkluderade och illa behandlade rum vi har. Speciellt när folk kommer på besök. Släng in den där grejen så länge, ställ in ostruken tvätt bakom sängen, ja men den kan stå där tills helgen, göm den här inne. Sängen är en sak, den ska (och kommer att) vara mycket skön. Allt talar för det, oavsett varumärke. Men stackars rummet då? Vi menar att sängar inte är så mycket annorlunda än bilar och kläder; vi vill känna att vi väljer, vi har ju stil, smak och tycke utöver en sned rygg. Sen väljer vi gärna det andra väljer ändå (hur många tror att den blommiga modellen säljer speciellt mycket, hur cool den än är?).

Viking Beds of Sweden skapas helt i Sverige. Teknik, material och tillverkning konkurrerar fint med de andra. Men bättre är att lyfta något annat. Valmöjligheterna och det faktum att som central möbel kan den göra under för ditt misshandlade sovrum. En misshandel du ofta erkänner dig skyldig till efter utfrågning.

Men så bred kommunikation trots återförsäljare? Jo, det är extra skönt och tryggt att välja något som inte är helt okänt. Speciellt efter ett ursprungligen rationellt förfarande, men i slutändan (och med säljarens hjälp) väldigt öppet och godtyckligt val. Då vill du gärna ha något du känner till, och vet att andra känner till.

Sen kan jag personligen tycka att något sängvarumärke borde åka runt med en buss, tuta som hemglass, och få alla stackars ryggar i kvarteren att komma in och provligga deras sängar. Det, om något, kommer du ihåg. (bumper sticker suggestion: “vill du sova skönt? Ta rygg på oss”. Ha!)

ta turen till dig på vinnarum casino

Ta Turen Till Dig

Det är inte första gången jag jobbar med poker och casino, dvs spänning, underhållning och den ständigt hägrande chansen att vinna stålar. Vilken är den största drivkraften om man nu ska välja mellan de tre? Ingen – det är en onödig diskussion, även om alla spelbolagsrepresentanter säger sig ha en klart bild på hur landet ligger. En som gör dem unika och tydligt annorlunda gentemot konkurrenterna. Jag håller ju aldrig riktigt med, men vi släpper det.

Vinnarum är ett svenskt Casino (ja, det kan faktiskt spela en viss roll att det är svenskt) uppbackat av Bonnier Gaming (ja, ännu viktigare garant) där strategiarbetet satte fingret på ett ganska intressant fenomen tycker jag. Inom casino och poker representeras ju i kommunikation nästan alltid någon aspekt av skicklighet, tur eller underhållning. När det gäller just tur har vi en tendens att tala i termer av antingen/eller. Inte bara “antingen har du det eller så har du det inte”, utan även som i “antingen så har man tur, eller så är man skicklig”. För de som känner sig skickliga kan detta med att ha tur vara direkt avtändande.

Men faktum är att det finns en hel del forskning kring tur, och det faktum att det inte är helt upp till antingen fru fortuna eller din exceptionellt begåvade hjärna. Nej, de två sitter ihop. Det tyckte vi var en jäkligt intressant och sporrande tanke som resulterade i uppmaningen att “Ta turen till dig. Aktivt alltså; se till att få tur.

Läs mer om tur, skicklighet och hur de samspelar i Richard Wiseman’s bok “The Luck Factor”

Vinnarum “Turmetoder” from Tre Kronor Media & Create on Vimeo.

ta turen till dig - vinnarum

Vad tänker du själv när okänt nummer ringer?

words on turning ideas into action

The 99% Experience: Insights On Putting Your Ideas Into Action from 99% on Vimeo.

I think we’re quite a few who have experienced a variation of blockages, often invisible, that occur when trying to move an idea of some sort into action. Or even getting a seed of an idea to more of a full fledged idea. Procrastination kicks in. A coffee sounds perfect even though it was 30 minutes ago since the last cup. The situations are many and the reasons for the blockage as well.

I think there’s a few good suggestions in this clip from the 99 percent. Setting the egg timer is a good one I think. Really low-tech but effective in its simplicity. And I really do think there are devices that help us to be productive with, as well as within, technology.

I like what one guy says, as he likes the idea of micro failure but not macro failure. Perhaps something that can help you with just doing it and rather micro fail fairly quickly.