high-heeled-shoes

High-heels, guitars and cultural expectations

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Expectations can run deeper than you may at first think, especially if those expectations are based on decades of cultural information/misinformation. This may affect attitudes towards quality or acceptance of new ideas, including industry innovations. If we’re aiming to make changes in an organisation, we should look out for the deep-rooted expectations of what’s acceptable. It’s about the form High-heels have been a feature of women’s attire for centuries, especially since the latter half of the last century. They’ve become a focus for discussing what’s acceptable in our society, to the extent of legislation in some countries banning companies from requiring its female workforce to wear heels. But also, from a moral perspective about whether wearing them can ever be required. Setting the moral and legal arguments aside, let’s take a quick look at what’s behind them. Morris conducted an […]

taco

The Taco of Business Architecture – What’s the Purpose of Business Architecture?

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As a profession, Business Architects are in danger of becoming defined by just one of the products that they create. Unfortunately, it reduces the value that the profession can provide to organisations and limits expectations of prospects and clients. What went wrong? Imagine a fine-dining chef who makes tacos once at the request of a favourite customer. The chef knows tacos will do the job, she knows they’re sustenance, she knows that there are better products and even advises the customer of what she can do instead. But the customer wants tacos, so she delivers. Other people like tacos as well. So she becomes known as a taco chef and the world is left short one fine-dining chef. Or rather, she’s no longer unavailable to provide the fine-dining experience since she’s now cooking tacos at the request of many customers. […]

server

xTech – Part 1 – Why I’m fed up with tech

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xtech for Sector x Fintech is challenging the Finance sector Insurtech is challenging the Insurance sector Healthtech is challenging the Health sector Will we see Techtech challenging the Tech sector? And since new technology is developed every month and every year, would we be looking at a Techtechtech sector in a decade? It’s seems ludicrous to think of it that way and it is indeed ludicrous. The reason it sounds so odd to have a Techtech sector is that we’re allowing ourselves to be focussed on the technology that’s enabling us to replace the older business models. Analysis If you get a nice interface to your banking account and that bank account has a different charging model to the older high street banks, does that make it fintech? According to the hyped world, then yes. But it’s stilll banking. It’s […]

Partnership Map 0_02

Partnership Map

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I’ve developed a Partnership Map, designed to help us think about which companies we partner with and why. With my clients, I’ve often found workshop attendees confused (at least initially) by the term partnership. If you use other well-known tools such as the Business Model Canvas, maybe you’ve encountered similar issues. We all use the term partnership, but rarely question what we actually mean by it. I usually revert to asking what the partnership entails. If it’s one company paying another for services, is that really partnership? Components There are two parts to the target The Map itself: designed so you can print it large and place your partnering companies on the map A table of the definition of the tiers. I’ll admit this is a very rough draft, but I thought it better to get it out in the […]

The Kano model can operate in reverse: exploring the travel industry

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You may have come across the Kano model before. It’s an analytical technique for understanding what your customers want and, importantly, what they’ve come to expect as required. Exploration I was travelling on a local train last week with a largely empty carriage. I had the choice of seats. I am familiar enough with these carriages to know that there are heating vents in blocks underneath every third row of seats, so I didn’t sit behind one of them. That way my feet would have somewhere to fit. So I a seat two rows behind. Then I noticed that my knees didn’t fit. Actually, couldn’t fit. I was seated as far back in the seat as I could go and still my legs could not fit straight in front of me. I had to resort to man-spreading (the shame of […]

Sheep

Black sheep or Shepherd?

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As a business architect, I feel like I’m sometimes the black sheep and sometimes the shepherd of the Enterprise Architecture function.   The Black Sheep 1: Uncovering the rationale I feel like the black sheep because I find myself regularly asking why. Why did you make that decision? Why did you choose that approach? Why caused you to think that way? I tend to use different, phrasing which is more approachable and open, such as “tell me the story so far. How did we get to where we are now?”, etc. But underneath it all, I’m aiming to understand the motivation behind the changes that are progressing in front of me. It’s not so much a position of devil’s advocate, more of one of uncovering the rationale behind decisions and evaluating whether that decision is still a valid one. Many […]

guitar

Further innovations in the musical instrument industry

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In a previous article, I wrote about TC Electronic and what we can see from the outside regarding their innovation process. Today, I’m introducing Fender’s approach to reducing churn.   Fender Musical Instruments have released a new training service called Fender Play, which has a different aim to the current Riffstation. The central idea behind Fender Play is to keep guitarists motivated to learn, by providing shorter lessons based around their favourite songs. Fast Company have a good introduction to the service, so I won’t repeat what they’ve already written. Instead, I want to highlight a few features that are of significance from a corporate innovation perspective. Attrition rate Two phrases from Andy Mooney, CEO of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation really struck home: “About 45% of the guitars that we sell every year are bought by an absolute beginner” “Somebody […]

calendar

How a Simple Change Can Bring Multiple Benefits

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I’m often designing change programmes for large organisations. I’m an external consultant, an outsider coming into the organisation that already exists. There are already governance boards in place, whether for operational, financial or change governance. These boards happen on a regular basis, often on a set day of the month. As an outsider, I’m not going to be able to change those days. At most, I can influence the shifting of one or two on ad-hoc and in very rare occasions, the executive sponsor is senior enough to be able to change the day because it suits her as well. But remember that a lot of other activity is set around these events and most organisations will resist changing the day. So why do we need to change the day? If you think of a typical design sprint, then it’s […]

Ladder of citizen participation

Where Organisations Go Wrong

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A lot happened in 1969. The moon landing, Led Zeppelin was released (the first LZ album), the maiden flight of the Boeing 747, and a paper by Sherry Arnstein. It’s difficult to say which is the most important of those above, but Arnstein’s paper is probably the least famous. Context I frequently speak with directors and project leaders who introduce their voice of the customer initiative as the way that they interact with customers. That’s the way the company understands what customers are saying, what customers want, etc. After some digging since it’s never completely easy to find the one team (often because they operate under a different name, but someone thought Voice of the Customer would be a good title for what they do), I find that the initiative is a survey with some analysis of the results. That’s […]

Automation of White Collar Jobs and Process Debt

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Background Business Insider published an article on how automation may remove the need for people in white-collar roles. While the context of the article seems relevant, I found the choice of example to be very odd. Specifically Deliveroo’s creation of 25 redundancies in their ordering process. In fact, I think it more likely that process debt had been accrued and then paid off as part of an improvement programme. Initial Thoughts I found it odd because to me that sounds like the original ordering process was horrendously inefficient. Automation was one tool that was used, but I doubt that it was the only tool. Better process design, streamlining and more intelligent analysis of the how the process worked were probably a bigger part of the result than the automation itself. The automation was just one of the enablers. Rationale The reason that I […]