Business transformation report, by Tieto

My work is never dull. I frequently get involved in workshops and discussions with stakeholders from different industries, all battling the same core challenge. That of change and transformation. Recently I got a taste of private banking. I’m not going to share any of that, but it struck me how true much of this Business Transformation Report, from Tieto (a leading Nordic IT Service Company) and Kairos Future (Strategic Futures Consultants) is spot on and true based on the conversations. Some excerpts:

“Hand on heart: Is your prime goal with adopting new technology incremental change or radical innovation?”

”The reason we do not invest more in transformation is not lack of resources. It’s because we simply don’t know what to invest in”.

– Major Bank executive (Tieto report)

“Even though they might have a rough idea of where the market and technology is heading, they are uncertain of how the business models will play out and what the consequences will be. The questions those executives need to ask is: Will you be more certain if you sit waiting, or if you invest small in exploration and low-cost experimentation?”

Easier said than done, transforming and changing. But waiting to be sure isn’t the route you want to bet on.

Don’t just stand there (chapter):

  1. Do you have a clear view of where the future of your industry is heading over the next 3-7 years?
  2. Would you describe your company as an active future-oriented reallocator?
  3. Do you have a process for scouting and acquiring promising companies or technologies?
  4. Do you actively engage your partners and customers in co-creation activities to find the future for you?

“Consequently, having a culture where people are embracing or at least not rejecting changing behaviours (my marking), practices and attitudes is necessary if a fundamental transformation will ever take place.”

That’s an interesting distinction when working with change. You don’t have to focus on loving change, start by not disliking it so much, and from that position you can do things slightly different. Doesn’t sound as a big difference, but it is. Don’t go for daring to do things differently. Go for not being afraid of trying some things differently.

“As neurologists and neuroscientists say, we become what we constantly do. This is true not only metaphorically. Even our brains are being transformed and rewired as we start to use them in different ways. So fundamental transformation in terms of new practices and behaviours is – literally – fundamental.”

End of block quotes…

Full report accessible here.

Hardware becoming software – dimple

Is hardware becoming like software? What is that even? We often hear about hardware becoming more and more like software, meaning open source (-ish), hackable and customisable. Then, of course, focusing too much on hardware might be wrong. Either way.

This thing dimple is quite interesting as it lives somewhere in-between software and hardware and kind of transcends those boundaries. Keeping hardware intact, yet still customising it. By way of software. Hmmm. Something like that.

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Patagonia, are you asking us not to buy?

I recently bought a Patagonia jacket. Which made me think of this. Worn Wear. Not just the fact that they do in fact become stories and memories, but the reaction from a lot of people when Patagonia explicitly encourages people not to buy their clothes.

I can hear proponents of the concept of brand loyalists scream. Of sales people squirming in their chairs. But it all aligns beautifully with how brands grow, and how brands can resonate, if we think about it.

Aware Patagonia loyalists, because it’s quite likely one of the fairly few brands who actually have real loyalists. Those who go quite far to stick to Patagonia. But those people are few, and they’re most likely very environmentally conscious already.

Another thing is about the message here. It’s not so much about the message, even though it’s very clear, true, and firmly positions the brand as a true “do good brand” with a purpose beyond making quick bucks. But it’s also about how they make this public. It’s so real. There’s not an ounce of fake in here even coming from a brand. I wrote/commented a few lines on how brands publicise themselves creatively here.

And with this in mind, lets just remind ourselves that there’s always people out there, however environmentally conscious or unconscious they might be, in the market for a new jacket and pants. And those people can buy from a number of brands (except for the exceptionally small group of die hard loyalists), all of which would suit their needs. The question is about who do they come to think of first? Who resonates more?

A few of those people might take you up, reconsider, and get used clothes or maybe even repair what they have. That’s a win for Patagonia. But enough people will get something new.

So, as Byron Sharp and other myth-busting researchers have pointed out to us – go for penetration, because the potential buyers are everywhere. They’re not loyal, they’re just likely buyers, to a varying degree.

What Patagonia does isn’t risky, it’s doubly good (and they’re f***ing awesome).

hipsters – an iteration of the dandy

The word hipster. eww. But I quite liked this investigation, in Monocle Urbanist, of the concept – if it at all exists. Knew of dandyism, but not the connection between the two. Also, love sound cloud.

In 1836 Thomas Carlyle wrote:

A Dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of Clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, purse, and person is heroically consecrated to this one object, the wearing of Clothes wisely and well: so that the others dress to live, he lives to dress … And now, for all this perennial Martyrdom, and Poesy, and even Prophecy, what is it that the Dandy asks in return? Solely, we may say, that you would recognise his existence; would admit him to be a living object; or even failing this, a visual object, or thing that will reflect rays of light…[15]

– Wikipedia

Mt. Gox, official systems and a parallel CEO profile

There are some hilarious quotes and secions in this story in Wired, about Mt. Gox and its fall. Simply hilarious, even though there is a serious side to it.

The 28-year-old Karpeles was born in France, but after spending some time in Israel, he settled down in Japan. There he got married, posted cat videos and became a father. In 2011, he acquired the Mt. Gox exchange in from an American entrepreneur named Jed McCaleb.

But soon, McCaleb was getting wires for tens of thousands of dollars and, realizing he was in over his head, he sold the site to Karpeles, an avid programmer, foodie, and bitcoin enthusiast who called himself Magicaltux in online forums.

That’s exactly what I would do with a burgeoning financial empire, sell it to a cat-vid-poster.

No, but seriously. As with everything that has a future affect – before it comes, it comes in numerous versions. This (sort of thing) might do something with how we view the more traditional structures and systems. More positively. Or it might not. Regardless, It has shown that official systems aren’t nessesarily a rule.

The internet of things – industrial internet

The incredibly smart people of BERG hacked a washer and proves a great deal of areas where connectivity help. I mean, the “find repair people” part alone is worth a lot. Some time, after 2 years of really not thinking about it. Postponing rinse takes care of the “shit, sorry I can’t because I’m doing the washing” problem. There are probably not many products that do not benefit from connectivity.

I talked aobut this and that (which is what interesets me most) with a very technically oriented ex-colleague who shared a conversation with interaction designers of a more visual background and nature, and how that hinders the thinking around connected products. “What’s a couch gonna say to me?”. Nada, but tracking the use of it provides input to material choices and manufacturing (something that today is a part of the manufacturing process, but pehaps could be combined and outsourced to “natural use situations”) as well as feedback to healthcare industries benefiting from understanding our couch-potato-behavior.

Cloudwash: the connected washing machine from BERG on Vimeo.

instant-on is the killer TV feature

That’s the central problem plaguing both set top boxes like Roku and Apple TV and content services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Instead of letting you lean back and soak up content, these new challengers require decisions–a careful cost-benefit analysis of thousands of different options. If the traditional TV experience is about letting viewers surf channels, today’s on-demand video is like giving them a speedboat and forcing them choose a destination before they can even get in the water.

From the article “To Grow, Netflix Must Learn From the Quietly Brilliant UI of Regular TVs”, in wired

Well hear hear. This is exactly what Is missing in the creating of the future of TV. From the services currently in the market to the reasoning that goes on in pitch material, and pitches, that I’ve been involved in with regards to positioning TV content providers of today, when developing for tomorrow.

Don’t just stare at new technology and heaps of content at your finger tips. Look at the tired people whose brains stop functioning as their ass lands softly in the couch. The key feature? Bzzz – TV is on and streaming. Streaming something. One more bzzz and there’s something new.

The instant on, under a second, is something “new” TV (content, and the delivery of it) doesn’t manage. This is also why personal, pre-loaded, schedules are important. Not just because you can create your own channels based on favorite content, but because something has to start streaming as you enter couch mode. Human behaviour, not just technology.

Vänsterpartiet – nej, nej, nej oavsett vad

DNs ledare ringar in precis det jag upplever med Vänsterpartiet, de är ett hopplöst nejsägande parti. Dom spelar evigt “defence” och maler uteslutande på med sina nej, nej, nej. Man kan – och utifrån ett varumärkesperspekiv bör – utan att blanda in faktiska politiska budskap och visioner diskutera energin, framåtandan och “momentum” bakom partier. Vänstern är toktröga.

Vänsterpartiet vill förändra sin image som dogmatisk nejsägare. ”Vi måste lära oss att uttrycka oss på rätt sätt. V har tidigare varit mer nej än ja”…

– DN (Linda Snecker)

Erik Modig skriver på sin kommunikationsblogg på Dagens Media om, hur man vinner ett val. Jag tycker två kommentarer till artikeln sätter fingret på vad Vänstern än så länge missar.

Du har så fel….Sverige vilar på en socialdemokratisk grund, den som lyckas vinna essensen ur den vinner. M lyckades ett tag men nu tar S åter rodret. Ideologi är starkare än reklam, den har nämligen arbetats in under generation efter generation. På så sätt är vi olikt många andra länder.

Kommenterar Jonny

Jonny, du har förmodligen rätt. Jag tror dock inte jag har fel för det. För det första så handlar det om HUR man vinner ”essensen” och då tror jag ovanstående principer kan hjälpa. För det andra finns osäkra röstare som inte baserar sitt val på ideologi. Det är dessa kommunikationen kämpar om.

Replikerar Erik Modig

Precis, kampen om yngre väljare, till exempel, måste ta i beräkningen att ideologi – extremt starkt begrepp inom Vänsterpartiet – är ett fenomen som för en yngre väljargrupp kanske inte riktigt är vad det varit (förutom för de inbitna, och de är ju frälsta). Vi ser ju substitut till kyrka (varumärken till viss del), politiska ideologier (subkulturer, nära grupper), stark geografisk tillhörighet (webbens geografi) etc.

Vi ser starka trender inom individualisering, uppluckrade arbetsformer (friare, inte bara osäkra och nedriga som Vänstern påpekar), socialt engagemang, intresse för rättvisefrågor mm. Småföretagandet är starkt, intressebaserade konstellationer formas utan geografiska begränsningar, man har större möjlighet att påverka än någonsin tidigare. Allt detta gör mängder med unga individer för att det är meningsfullt och ger dem värde. Frågan är hur Vänstern appellerar till denna yngre, medvetna och företagssamma generation/grupp? Vänstern framstår mest som solidaritetspolis (inte fel i sig), och inte inspiratör (avgörande metod för positivt momentum). Det ena borde inte utesluta det andra. Vi får väl se om de tätare inpå valet faktiskt presenterar några konkreta, inspirerande och offensiva förslag för att uppnå vad de vill (målet bakom ideologin) eller om det är idel förbud, nej och begränsningar.