Now those who read this blog will know a recurring theme is the need to dress old ideas up as new ones, with the skill being in spotting which one of these ideas ‘time’ – usually based on something that started out in Kotler On Marketing – has come round again.
For the winners in 2015, I think the new idea will be leveraging the greatest untapped resource most companies have. Their own Colleagues.
Well for a variety of reasons, but significantly a fundamental shift in technology which is:
- Enabling an agile iterative approach to change Vs the historic model of very expensive and “I’m scared of getting sacked if my 3 year £10m-£100m legacy system change programme fails”.
- Allowing pioneers to adopt new agile/iterative ways of working to create change ‘despite’ siloed structures and not just restricted to IT – where Agile methodologies have resurfaced.
- Opening up companies and blurring the lines between Customers & Colleagues, as data & technology combine to ‘externalise’ the inner workings (and thoughts) of business’s.
What do you mean – Leverage Colleagues?
So we’ve talked about the need to build a business through engagement and empathy (catch a previous blog here – which is something we always keep in mind.
After all, the reason we buy things at all, and (especially) pay more than their pure utility value, is because of the way it makes us feel better about ourselves – Right?
Photo courtesy of Philip Taylor
But in the past we’ve tended to act and think differently inside a company as ‘colleagues’ than we do/would outside as ‘customers’ and perhaps part of that is because when inside, we are subject to someone else’s process, whilst when outside, we are masters of our own destiny.
However with the advent of Point 3 above, this difference is increasingly threatening our ability to do what most colleagues come to work to do i.e. satisfying customers in ways that a) makes the colleague/customer feel good (engagement/empathy) b) delivers the right commercial return for the business.
Now I admit item b) is not front of most colleagues minds – Good. Because that is what the “management team” should be spending time on – The brands Unique Selling Proposition – or more simply the answer to – Why should I by from you Vs a competitor.
From that point on though, we think the smart money will be on using ‘technology’ to createand leverage an alignment between the USP and the Colleagues ability to ‘sell’ to the Customer.
And the winners will be?
Well we suspect that as usual, it will be the pioneers. The ones that create an outcome and head for it. It’s just that perhaps in the past technology, at best, got in the way.
Now it could be the ‘spine’ along which a companies emotional & commercial (brand) aspirations, can be aligned to it’s Customer expectations and Colleagues capability to meet them.
And that will be change, powered by people (Customers & Colleagues). Which may, or may not, be closely related to the old idea of “create a strong brand & empower your people to sell it”