Perhaps the very best business book I’ve ever read is summarised in this neat animated video. It’s about Customer Experience Management, and it’s called ‘Outside In – The Power of Putting Your Customers at the Center of Your Business’. Enjoy!
At Creuna where I work we talk a lot about why firms should become truly customer-centric and improve customer experiences across touch points continuously and holistically. Because “at the end of the day, customers no longer separate marketing from the product – it is the product. They don’t separate marketing from their in-store or online experience – it is the experience. In the era of engagement, marketing is the company,” as McKinsey perfectly puts it. Learn more about the principles of Customer Experience Management in this brilliant video by my colleague Torbjørn.
Creativity is vital for innovation. And, in fact, the ability to innovate has essentially replaced raw materials, labour and capital as the key sources of economic value. Some form of creativity is now the primary source of competitive advantage in the developed world, according to for example economist Richard Florida, as I wrote about in a section of my dissertation.
But how can creativity and good ideas be encouraged? Well, start with not hindering it. One highly typical way of killing creativity is to deter failure. A work environment where people are afraid to fail is doomed to be thinking inside the box and creating safe, but bad and very few new ideas.
In Silicon Valley they have a special word for failure: Pivoting. In perhaps the worlds most innovative cluster, failure just means some change of focus. “Failure, and how companies deal with failure, is a very big part of innovation,” says the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Judy Estrin, a founder of seven high-tech companies and author of a book on innovation. Failures caused by sloppiness or laziness are bad. But “if employees try something that was worth trying and fail, and if they are open about it, and if they learn from that failure, that is a good thing.”
So, as you all probably know, Steve Jobs quit. He resigned as CEO of Apple, a company he started, then rejoined, and in 14 years drove from near-bankruptcy to become the largest public firm in the world with more cash than the US government and the world’s most valuable brand.
Consider, for a moment, the meaning of Steve.
Jobs haven’t really invented stuff. He sees the potential in new ideas and then, at the right time, he takes that idea to its full potential. Someone recently said: “Three apples have changed the world. The one that Eve ate, the one that dropped on Newtons head and the one that Steve built.” But Jobs haven’t just changed the world once. By my count, Steve Jobs has changed the world four times. Four.
The below is a very interesting excerpt from a new McKinsey Institute report released last week at the eG8 Forum in Paris.
“The evidence is abundantly clear: Internet usage triggers a significant increase in performance in businesses at all levels and particularly among SMEs and other entrepreneurial endeavors. We surveyed more than 4,800 SMEs in 12 countries (our study group excluding Brazil) and found that those utilizing Web technologies grew more than twice as fast as those with a minimal presence (see Exhibit). The results hold across all sectors of the economy. Further, Web-savvy SMEs brought in more than twice as much revenue through exports as a percentage of total sales than those that used the Internet sparingly.
As I wrote about in my dissertation, creativity is vital for the innovation, and hence, the survival of most businesses (at least in developed countries). Indeed, creativity and innovation have essentially replaced raw materials, labour and capital as the key source of economic value and is now the primary source of competitive advantage, according to for example economist Richard Florida.
But how can creativity and good ideas be encouraged? Well, one highly typical way of killing creativity is to deter failure. Yes, that’s right, a work environment where people are afraid to fail is doomed to be thinking inside the box and creating safe, but bad and very few ideas. In Silicon Valley they have a special word for failure: Pivoting. That is how acceptable it is! The ingenious Sir Ken Robinson said in a highly recommended TED video: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
Check out this old, but great ad with Michael Jordan:
This an excerpt from my bachelor’s dissertation (references are removed to increase readability).
Modern economies are increasingly dependent on knowledge. The management guru Peter Drucker argued in 1988 that the organisation of the future will be knowledge-based and “composed largely of specialists who direct and discipline their own performance through feedback from colleagues, customers and headquarters”.
Concurrently, creativity, which is closely related to knowledge, is claimed to be an essential organisational competence. Indeed, over the last decades, innovation and creativity has become the primary engine of growth in developed economies and have replaced raw materials, labour and capital as the key sources of economic value. Florida claims human creativity has become “the decisive source of competitive advantage”.