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15 minute survival guide the fluid way

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business and marketing is changing. this is having a major impact on leadership and management. this guide gives a high level overview of the changes that are taking place and what is required by organisations to be successful in a fluid business world

business and marketing is changing. this is having a major impact on leadership and management. this guide gives a high level overview of the changes that are taking place and what is required by organisations to be successful in a fluid business world


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15 minute survival guide the fluid way

  1. 1. written by liri andersson and jonathan macdonald from this fluid world the fluid way a 15 minute guide to survival in a new communications and business world
  2. 2. consider the following guide to be organic, high-protein, low-fat and full-flavour food for thought. or more so, an essential meal after a long period of malnourishment in this winter of business discontent all you need is 15 minutes to nourish your brain…bon appetit!
  3. 3. we all know what's going on it’s unprecedented, this change at the blink of an eye: people’s expectations have shifted, technology is omnipresent and omnipotent, and ‘word-of-mouth’ has become turbo-charged. we've seen a massive shift in control - away from organisations, onto citizens. you're now competing with everyone from the person next-door to companies on other continents… and all this is putting a huge strain on your organisation
  4. 4. it’s been a bumpy road for most of us, the last few years have been fraught with job changes, redundancies, poor work-life balance, missed targets, endless meetings with more questions than answers, companies closing down – sometimes we've found it too depressing to read the press! we’ve learned the hard way that we have to do business in a different way… but the question is how?!
  5. 5. confusing, we know! there isn’t enough effort being invested into answering the vital question “how should we do business tomorrow?” maybe because many of us are still asking John Nichol’s immortal words, “who ate our cheese?” forget the cheese - what we really should be doing is answering the following: o  what business are we in? o  what's our sustainable point of differentiation? o  who are we competing with? o  who should we work with, cooperate with, trust… and who should we walk away from? o  and finally where is the money going to come from? (good cheese needs a lot of bread) but for the brave few who ask, their reward is (unfortunately) few answers, and more questions!
  6. 6. the future can be orange we are convinced that there's a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who is looking to answer these questions… and is willing to take the necessary first steps forward into the unknown as for us, we want to do our bit to help. we hope our thoughts will shed some light along the way
  7. 7. so let’s get started… some bits are easier than others, but everything we discuss here is achievable and we know this for sure because we've helped companies achieve what we talk about, and we’ve been privileged enough to have worked in companies that have successfully addressed these challenges the guide is made up of 10 real do’s and 10 real don’ts - nothing hypothetical; just fully tried and tested advice so let s get started
  8. 8. in pursuit of ‘there’ “we need to get there and we need to do so quickly”… familiar phrase? in our line of work we hear it all the time. everyone wants to get ‘there’, but ask where ‘there’ is and most people in the same organisation will give you a different answer it’s rare that a company, or even a department, has clearly defined and understood goals (and the existing goals aren’t necessarily always the right ones). it’s rare that an organisation takes the time to define what they’re about, and it’s rare that they build in the necessary mechanism to ensure everyone knows the answer once they have figured it out so we urge you, before you take another step: ensure you, and everyone else, knows what ‘there’ is, where ‘there’ is, and what it will take to get ‘there’ 1
  9. 9. ensure 150% clarity successful companies have one thing in common, they're completely clear about three things 1) who they are 2) what they do and 3) why it matters (try to answer all these questions, it’s deceptively harder than you’d think) it’s this total clarity that makes running these companies a breeze (well maybe not a breeze, but much easier than navigating a storm) making every day decisions, settling internal arguments, identifying relevant partnerships, allocating resources, deciding on where and how to invest and who to hire (the list is endless) becomes so much easier resources have always been a rare commodity in organisations, but now more than ever, so why waste them on losing sight of your goals and having to find your way back? 1
  10. 10. ! maintaining status quo why do companies tend to remain the same? human nature dictates that we prefer doing what we already know well. we also need an ROI on previous investment – after all, wasting money isn’t a popular pursuit. finally, the need for change is often seen as something that can be addressed by someone else, at some far off point in the future it’s too easy to misunderstand the type (and speed) of change that’s needed whilst we focus on every day business. there seem to be few drawbacks to not changing if every day business is going well these behavioural traits are a comfort zone, and whilst no-one wants to lose their comfort, in a world that’s in permanent flux, maintaining status quo is a dangerous place to be ! 2
  11. 11. build in flexibility for adaptability change is continuous and unavoidable. the most productive way to become adaptable is to make flexibility part of your culture there are many ways this can be done: o  sketching first and specking later leads to fast execution and exploitation of opportunities o  developing a trusted network of suppliers and freelancers allows you to respond to specific needs as and when required o  allocating an 'ad-hoc' budget that can be spent where and when needed for greatest impact, keeps you quick on your feet and ensures faster turnaround the competitive advantage of flexibility and adaptability is extreme, as it gives your competition a limited view of what your next move might be! 2
  12. 12. ! myopic view of the world familiar picture?   you and your team work more hours than you care to count (and a lot of them are spent in Dilbert cubicles). you’re always pressed for time so it’s hard to keep up with what's going on. you’re expected to do what you’re paid to do, no more, no less. and you do this faithfully and with little variety day-in, day- out, you don’t have much to do with other departments, and rarely work with anyone outside your company or assigned client far too many businesses are managed and run in this siloed way the problem is, no solution today involves only one company, one department, one discipline, one channel, one job role, one type of customer. the world is a big massive melting pot and to be relevant and competitive you need to deliver solutions that take advantage of the opportunities presented by this converging business world 3
  13. 13. keep learning, keep growing foster curiosity: it’s the most valuable commodity of them all. make sure people get out of the office and into the real world (at least once in a while), make sure they meet citizens, talk to consumers, look at what non-related companies are doing.… encourage them to keep looking, asking, questioning, listening, observing, talking… to embrace their inner child! and to help them out, throw some new people with different perspectives into the mix, even if only for a few hours, or a day   make it a common goal to find time and cost efficient ways of gathering and spreading the new knowledge throughout your team or company, not as a one-off but continuously! 3
  14. 14. follow competition blindly most companies obsess about competition and what they’re up to. there’s a serious problem with this: it’s riddled with assumptions! it assumes you know who your competition is (remember the world is changing), it assumes the ones you're following know what they’re doing and why, and it assumes they’re playing the game you should be playing equally it takes your eyes of the ‘real’ ball; doing something that truly stands out…choose to lead and let others obsess about what you're doing! 4
  15. 15. ignore competition take the time (and resources) you'd normally spend on competitive analysis and start obsessing about people. start looking at what no one else is doing, what's NOT out there, question the market you’re in, and the one you’re not in why? to disregard the standard differentiation of others and to avoid their mistakes by doing this you’ll spend your valuable time, not on following, but on identifying what it will take to elevate you, your team, your department and your company, to a higher playing field - a field where you lead and don’t follow ! 4
  16. 16. only do what worked yesterday you have an idea, you want to do something different, yet you can’t get the budget because you can’t answer management’s questions like ‘who will buy it?’, ‘how much revenue will we get in the 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year?’   sound familiar? (we guess you’ll either have asked, or been the one saying no, at least once in the last year) it’s normal - it’s so much easier to focus on what you can predict, prepare and plan for (this mostly based on past data). one problem: the past is not going to be very helpful to predict a very different future. also, dismissing what could be a great idea by evaluating it according to old world principles will not lead to the necessary innovation your company needs to move forward …taking calculated risks will have to be part of every day life, and planning to learn has to become part of the agenda 5
  17. 17. explore and exploit here’s a paradox for you, from now on you will have to stay the same and change… simultaneously this unpredictable world requires every business to not only exploit the present (basically make money today), but also explore (do things you’ve never done before), in order to grab hold of opportunities, in order to evolve, in order to compete…in order to have a healthy business today and tomorrow find the balance within this paradox, and you can learn faster than others, and what you discover will become yours to mould to your advantage. you will develop the ability to adapt, whilst making profit today 5
  18. 18. a jack of one trade being fantastic at one thing is great but it’s no longer enough o  today's consumer expectations are higher than ever o  not only that but these expectations are constantly changing o  there is an inherent risks with putting all your eggs are in one basket o  and finally, focusing on one thing - albeit successfully - runs you the risk of not seeing new ways to add real value to the people you interact with you and to your organisation  6
  19. 19. unlock extreme value potential value is everywhere. it’s in your people, corporate culture, business model, customers, communications, products and services. identifying and unleashing internal and external value provides a solid and prosperous foundation for profitable business so you must find it and capitalize on it remember though that value for others doesn’t need to be monetary. what it does need to do is resonate with the receiver. this requires an understanding of people which is very different from asking people to fill in a survey or even making assumptions about them from their behaviour but value alone is not enough, what we need is extreme value... by this we mean value with a follow-on effect, by which new value created can be shared with others who will continue to share again, and again, and again 6
  20. 20. bland is dead in an increasingly busy landscape, people only notice things that stand out (you know, like a purple cow, or Madonna fully-dressed...) but in order for people to engage, that ‘thing’ they notice has to make them feel something. humans relate to, and engage with, things that resonate with them; that stir some emotion when there's no passion around an organisation, in its strategy, staff, products, services or customers, the outcome can only be bland, mundane and unremarkable   in this fast moving and competitive world, if you’re in the background and stir no emotion you’ll significantly decrease your chances of survival 7
  21. 21. create an army of fanatics there's no better PR than the customer who advocates you to others, so what you really want to do is to build an army of fanatics; they'll make a stronger sales force than anyone on your payroll however you must be aware that fanatics who support you and your every move, require respect for doing so and need to be treated as your most valuable partners listening and learning from your biggest fans, enables you to provide even more value to them and the process of advocacy can continue the good news is that it’s incredibly hard to compete with a company that has a fanatical following - be that company! 7
  22. 22. thinking your superman it’s far too common for companies to think they can do everything on their own. but the truth is not having a sense of openness and a thirst for partnerships limits our capacity to succeed successful organisations (the ones making lots of money) often feel that they're super-powered, predicting that the future will look just like current success. but just because they make millions today, doesn’t mean they control the future market (think Singer sewing machines) today's discerning consumer is turned off by arrogant companies that think they control everything – people prefer companies that ask for help; companies that want to cooperate 8
  23. 23. collaborate!!! collaborating adds extreme stability to an organisation by the combined power of support from others it ensures that other skills and capabilities can be collectively used to build more value...and it’s a nice feeling to share success! (even Superman had Lois Lane!) collaborating with citizens expands your workforce to include fans who often assist with more passion (and less cost) than everyday staff   collaborating with freelancers and consultants broadens your horizons and nourishes you with new perspectives choose the right partners, and you'll reap the benefits 8
  24. 24. brand centric view of the world we know you love/sleep/eat/drink (delete as appropriate) the brand you work for. but overestimating the interest people have in your brand is a bad idea, as is the assumption that you can control how the brand plays out in people’s lives the days of creating and launching a brand, that remains in the control of organisations, are gone. once people have access to a brand, they chose what to do and say about it most companies are resistant to this but the truth is this will turn people away from the products and services you provide 9
  25. 25. citizentricity the only way forward we believe the trick is to build solutions around people, not organisations, and certainly not brands. we call this ‘citizentricity’ (which is a cunning bit of word-play matching the word citizen with centricity!)    with citizens at the centre, it’s really crucial to understand people we know for sure that understanding people allows us to increase value for them, which in turn drives loyalty and advocacy - that’s the ideal result understanding the links between what people value, prefer and recommend opens up the ability to provide more personalised experiences of higher value - and it just so happens that people tend to pay for what they value   new business models will have to be built as citizentric – we suspect that citizens (i.e. your potential customers) will be very pleased if you make that happen – ‘citizentricity’ is the new black! 9
  26. 26. hire who you ve always hired most companies think it takes longer to learn the skills required to do a job than it actually does - so they keep hiring the same people, from the same background with the same experience. this is an easy solution: it ensures the job gets done but hiring as before will only provide the same results as… er… before. what it won’t do is allow you to compete in this evolving world this will require original ideas, new solutions and new ways of doing things, and for this to happen you’ll need to bring different skills on board: o  generalists to do some of the thinking (people with vertical experience across industries, brands and business problems) o  highly talented specialists to execute (nothing less than extraordinary will do in the not too distant future) 10
  27. 27. work with mavericks Tom Peters said it best, “crazy times call for crazy organisations” - and these are crazy times. so by that rationale, the moment has come to call in the crazy people! these times demand of you to be different, to find ways of unlocking people’s creative thinking beyond just 'the box' - but out of warehouse, and to encourage brand new viewpoints winning in this future will require some risk taking, and this goes for who you decide to work with too notice we said work, not hire! let the mavericks come and go, as needed! 10
  28. 28. ! one more for the road - be brave we intended to share 10 do’s and don’ts with you, but coming to the end of our time together, we realise there's one thing we haven’t covered enough; something we feel is not just relevant but crucial to everything you’ve just read...and that is bravery so as a last point we would like to encourage you to take risks, to go with your instincts, to do things differently…to be brave… moving forward we will all need to spend considerable time outside our comfort zone we see this as an opportunity, we see these as exciting times, and we don’t doubt that whomever gets ‘it’ right will not only enjoy the ride, but reap the rewards of their bravery 11
  29. 29. at this fluid world we believe tomorrow belongs to the ones who… 1.  ensure 150% clarity 2.  build in flexibility for adaptability 3.  keep learning, keep growing 4.  ignore competition 5.  exploit and explore 6.  unlock extreme value 7.  create an army of fanatics 8.  collaborate!!! 9.  embrace citizentricity 10.  work with mavericks 11.  are brave
  30. 30. this fluid world is a boutique business and marketing consultancy that achieves strategic and commercial results for our clients by ensuring success in a changing business environment our approach to consulting is hands-on. the advice given to an industry sector, business, or project is not merely transferred from us to clients, but created during a process of active collaboration. it is through this close cooperation with clients that we design the most powerful strategies, develop world-class ideas and harness leading talent to find out more about us, please go to: http://thisfluidworld.com if you have any comments, thoughts or enquiries, we would love to hear from you so please get in touch: info@thisfluidworld.com

Notes de l'éditeur

  • http://www.gizmodiva.com/entry_image/0509/28/First_Aid_Kit.jpg
    10 things to start doing today
    …and 10 things to avoid
    we all know what's going on
    confusing, we know!!!
    bumpy road
    light at the end of the tunnel
    maintaining status quo
    build in flexibility for adaptability
    believing you’ll get there somehow
    ensure 150% clarity
    siloed thinking
    hunt for knowledge LIRI
    follow competition blindly
    run the other way LIRI
    plan to implement
    exploit and explore LIRI
    exel in one particular area
    unlock extreme value JONATHAN
    stir no emotions
    create an army of fanatics JONATHAN
    thinking your superman
    collaborate, collaborate, collaborate JONATHAN
    operating as if you were at the centre
    ‘citizentricity’ the only way forward!!! JONATHAN
    hire who you’ve always hired
    work with mavericks LIRI BLOG
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  • Maintaining status quohttp://phdjungle.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/brickwall.jpg
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    Your people
    Corporate culture
    Business model
    Product services
  • I have picture
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