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Strategy, Architecture & Problem-Solving

headphones

False Features

Are the features you provide in your products the features that your customers want or those you think they want? Variants on that question are common. But all too often, a feature slips through and you have to wonder how it got there, how was it approved, why did the company spend time and effort…
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Port

Customer vs Enterprise Perspective

Here’s a quick exercise on perspective, scope and how we view problems.  How big is your enterprise? Follow that question with these two questions: How big is it compared to the size of your organisation? How big is it compared to the size of your team? That’s the internal focus.  Now let’s try a different…
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grave

The Truth Behind Reducing Death Rates

I was being interviewed by a prospective client a few years ago and I was asked an odd variant of a common question. There are more typical versions of that question, e.g. “what accomplishments are you most proud of?”. This variant blended the 3rd person perspective with reputation and achievement. If was more along the…
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NateSmith

Participation

A short while ago, I posted about how we can engage others in making decisions through the creation of an appropriate framework. Today, I noticed something else similar. I saw a video of the drummer Nate Smith engaging an audience in counting. Now if you’ve got even a basic level of musical talent, you’ve probably…
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drops-of-water

Invest in Now

Also known as “Take care of the customer in front of you, not their future selves.”  I’m minded of this, specifically regarding how organisations can manipulate the perceived balance of power between them and their customers when applying refunds. Mistreatment I’ve noticed that it’s not necessarily specific companies, but the industry sectors they operate in.…
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Jumbled music

Devolving Decision-Making through Frameworks

If you create an appropriate framework, people can understand what to do when you haven’t told them the details. All too often, organisations define rules that do not need defining. They may choose to set criteria for approvals, or host panels in order to evaluate submissions. A better approach in many cases is to create…
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Hospital

Treat your customer as valuable

Treating your customer as valuable could be the first step to understanding what your customer values.   I went shopping in my local supermarket. It was eventful for the number of things that went wrong for me, all of which could have been prevented with some foresight and some real-world gemba.   It was early…
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bathroom

Your Customers’ Problems Are Your Problems

I’m writing a new book, this will be my second*. I’d written a couple of chapters last week, one of which focussed on how organisations leave problems for the customers to resolve, but that they don’t think of it that way. In one chapter, I used the example of “Warning. Hot Water.” signs, stipulating that…
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theatre seating

Outsourcing Your Future – part 2

There are a number of company-hosted competitions, events, hackathons all with the aim of introducing innovation to the host company. I questioned the rationale behind these initiatives in the first part of Outsourcing Your Future. The P&G Signal Accelerator Innovation Brief for Daycare Subscription is a good example of how these can be presented to the public,…
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Innovation

Outsourcing your future

There’s a growing trend in organisations to outsource their future through innovation labs and innovation competitions. I like to question the rationale behind these decisions and look at the host company more closely. After all, what is behind its decision to handle innovation from outside-in, rather than inside-out? Reasons So let’s explore. Why would an…
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