Posts Tagged ‘business strategy’

Event Report: #NRF14 Preview – Retail’s Big Show Hints At Lessons Learned In #MatrixCommerce

Retails Big Show Transformed For 2014

Over 29,000 people are expected to gather at the National Retail Federation’s big show (NRF) this Sunday, January 11th, 2014, in New York City.  #NRF14 brings the intersection of new retail business models, products, store concepts, technology, society, and culture together!

A few big trends emerge based on conversations with our clients attending the event:

  1. Building out matrix commerce. Retail faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated. Matrix commerce describes the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world of buyers seeking frictionless buying experiences. Channels move from multi-channel to total channels. As the world revolves around the buyer, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create what Constellation coined in 2011 as Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today’s commerce models.  This shift to a buyer centric model will result in continued consolidation of retail technologies as stacks and ecosystems form around real buyer needs.  Lessons learned: There is no single end to end solution.  However, strong open standards and a focus on buyer centricity will help provide guide rails to success.
  2. Dealing with digital disruption. The convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010 serve as the five pillars of digital business.  Retailers recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes. Market leaders and fast followers now democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation at all levels More…

Tuesday’s Tip: Seven Lessons Learned In Customer Experience Strategies During A Data Breach (such as Target’s)

Every Brand Should Have A Plan For A Data Breach

The confluence of centralized personally identifiable information, reliance on digital channels, ease of hacking of magnetic stripes, and the application of the Willy Sutton rule ( a.k.a. you rob banks because that’s where the money is) improve the odds that many organizations will face a data breach.  The question is not whether one will happen, but more a question of when and to what extent.  How a brand addresses the customer experience component during a data breach will have significant impact that will subsume all other brand efforts up and until the data breach.

Source: Target

On December 19th, Target confirmed reports of a data breach affecting 40 million customers between November 27th and December 15th, 2013.  In conversation with over 30 customer experience professionals, many lessons have been learned from the recent Target breach and the largest breach with TJX (TJ Maxx and Marshall’s).  The following seven approaches highlight pragmatic and effective strategies to responding and mitigating the damage:

  1. Begin by isolating and understanding the root cause of the breach. Understanding the root cause enables a realistic understanding of all the options.  While it may take some time to get to the source, the investment in resources is worth it.  The truth will set you free from weaving an ever growing snow ball of lies and half truths.  Saying that you don’t know yet is not good enough.  Sharing how you are resolving or approaching the problem helps folks understand the why not the what.
  2. Catalyze a crisis command center. The command center should not be an after thought but part of the communications readiness training.  Prioritize key data. Put all your data sources to work.  Identify a protocol for decision making.  Quickly agree on talking points and messaging.  Democratize decision making and out reach to as many spokes persons as possible.  Apply the 9C’s of engagement to build out the crisis journey map.  While Target has an excellent social media program, the challenge is tackling crisis communications in defense not offense during the holiday season.
  3. Trust that transparency is the right course of action. Communicate the breach as early as possible. Do not try to cover it up as Target did. In fact, Target was outed by security expert Brian Krebs first, then Target had to come clean. The result has been disastrous.  Get in front of the issue.  It’s always easier to proactively influence than react.  Customers ultimately value transparency when they can understand the process and the efforts provided to date.  Outcomes ultimately matter but in the absence of a solution, upfront communication of the situation and approach helps bridge the trust gap. More…

Monday’s Musings: The Chief Digital Officer In The Age Of Digital Business

Market Leaders and Fast Followers Prepare for Digital Business In 2014

Conversations at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise last week validate a larger trend in the market place.  The audience of 220+ early adopters with 75% representing line of business and 25% in IT highlighted the convergence of the five forces of consumerization described in 2009 and 2010.  This convergence of these five pillars of digital business now form the foundation of all future digital business strategy and drive customer experience, matrix commerce, future of work, data to decisions, consumerization of technology, and digital marketing (see Figure 1.).  In fact, market leaders and fast followers have embraced this strategic direction in their 2014 planning.

Figure 1. Convergence Of The Five Pillars Drive Digital Business Strategy

Emerging Trends In 2014 Digital Business Strategy Reflect The Shift To Digital Business

As Constellation works with leaders to define their 2014 business strategies, digital transformation plays a key role.  Many organizations will:

  1. Recognize that they no longer sell products and services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes.
  2. Democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable innovation.
  3. Realize that B2B and B2C are dead. It’s a P2P and M2M world.
  4. Focus on context as right time relevancy beats real time information overload.
  5. Shift from engagement to personalization at scale.

(A full update will be posted in Harvard Business Review soon)

The Bottom Line: Organizations Can Expect The Rise Of Chief Digital Officers

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Research Summary And Speaker Notes: The Identity Manifesto – Why Identity Is At The Heart of Digital Business

Forward And Commentary

Constellation Research keynoted at Ping Identity’s Cloud Identity Summit 2013 in July.  Gathered in front of the Identerati,  an Identity Manifesto was presented.  The research behind that manifesto has been summarized here in this summary.  The final big idea research report will offer insight into four of Constellation’s primary research themes, the Next-Generation Customer Experience, The Future of Work,  Matrix Commerce, and the Consumerization of IT and the new C-Suite.

A. Introduction

Identity often means many things to many people for good reasons. Traditional definitions of identity for the identity and access management professional have revolved around standards for authentication, access, authorization, and management.

B. Research Findings – Identity Expands Beyond Enterprise Despite Stuck in Massive Standards Hell

While standards such as SAML, Open ID, OAuth 2.0 address the technical side, the rise of consumer and enterprise social networks has spawned a consumer identity that reflects a digital ubiquity of the individual. Facebook, Google, and Twitter now dominate most social logins. Users expect their identity to be transportable from personal to work environments.

However, a limitation exists between personal and work worlds. In fact, the facets of one’s identity remain isolated and separated by not only our digital and analog presence, but also by our inability to deliver context across our worlds. Why? The lack of context separates our personal life from our work life and creates artificial barriers by role, relationship, and a host of other factors.

The reality – identity plays a multi-faceted role for each individual. The business implications of identity after authentication, authorization, access, and availability touch on commerce, work lives, personal lives, and engagement with each other. Without a more comprehensive view of identity, organization and individuals will continue to undermine the strategic role of identity in the context of business. Identity is a unifying factor in the current transformation to a digital world.

The Identity Manifesto Relates Identity To Work, Life, And Society

Identity plays a central role in the future of business and is a unifying point. The seven points in the identity manifesto set the stage on the future of identity (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Seven Point in The Future of Identity – The Identity Manifesto


The Bottom Line: Herald The Reputation Economy – Identity All Comes Down To Trust and Transparency

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News Analysis: Mr. N R Narayana Murthy Returns To Infosys As Executive Chairman of the Board

Will There Be A Come Back For NRN and Infosys?

Infosys announced on June 1st, 2013, that Mr. N R Narayana Murthy (NRN), the legendary co-founder of Infosys who retired in August 2011 as Chairman Emeritus, has been appointed by the board as Executive Chairman and a director.  From the press release:

Mr. N R Narayana Murthy said, “This calling was sudden, unexpected, and most unusual. But, then, Infosys is my middle child. Therefore, I have put aside my plans-in-progress and accepted this responsibility. I am grateful to Mr. K V Kamath – the Chairman, the Board, and every Infoscion for giving me this opportunity. I intend to do my best to add value to the Company in this challenging situation.”

Mr. K V Kamath said, “The Board has taken this step keeping in mind the challenges that the technology industry and the Company faces and in the interest of all stakeholders, particularly shareholders large and small, who have asked for strengthening of the executive leadership during this challenging time. Murthy’s entrepreneurial and leadership record and the long experience he has had as a technology pioneer makes him eminently qualified to lead the company and provide strategic direction at this point in time.”

Key points from the announcement include:

  • Board seeks shareholder approval for five year term. Company shareholders must approve the appointment of Mr. Murthy as a director and Executive Chairman at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 15, 2013.  The current Chairman of the Board, Mr. K V Kamath would step down and remain on the board as a Lead Independent Director effective June 1, 2013.  Mr. Murthy will take a token annual compensation of one rupee.

    Point of View (POV):
    Most expect the confirmation to be swift and non-controversial.  Infosys seeks a stronger leadership team to address challenges in both its business model as well as direct competitors.  With Cognizant and TCS overtaking Infosys on many fronts, the selection of NRN comes at a very critical juncture.
  • New Chairman’s office group to be created. The new team is designed to provide a central war room to assess the situation, propose solutions, and drive impact on strategy.  At Mr. Murthy’s request, his son Dr. Rohan Murthy will serve as his executive assistant.

    (POV):
    Sensing the magnitude of the challenge, Mr. Murthy approach to put a tiger team together indicates a realization that Infosys must solve their predicament as a multi-disciplinary problem.  The appointment of his son, Dr. Rohan Murthy, as executive assistant provides Rohan with an interesting front row seat.

Bottom Line: Infosys Needs To Shake It Up For Transformational Change

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Trends: Seven Priorities In The Shift From CMO to Chief Digital Officer

Shift From CMO to CDO Is In Progress

Today’s marketing strategies increasingly depend more on digital and on data than in the past.  With more data, marketers can measure against a new set of metrics that matter including:

  • calculating return on promotional investment (ROPI),
  • performing multivariable testing (beyond A/b)
  • driving conversion rates and optimizing efforts,
  • fine tuning customer segmentation, and
  • managing omni-channel diversity

Unfortunately the shift to digital requires a greater reliance on technology.  Historically, CMOs relied on IT for help on the database or CRM system or even the website.   However consumerization of technology and the cloud have now given marketers more control on their technology destiny.  In fact, a recent post by fellow analyst Gavin Heaton on “CMO to CIO, It’s time we talked” highlights many of these new challenges.

Expect Seven Strategies To Emerge In The Shift To CDO

Consequently, many marketing leaders are making the shift from CMO type roles to Chief Digital Officers as marketing leaders align technology closer with strategy. This shift from analog marketer to a Chief Digital Officer role will result in seven trends for 2013 (see Figure 1.)

Figure 1.  2013 Trends Signal Shift From Classical CMO to Digital CMOs or Chief Digital Officers

  1. Drive relevancy with context not content. Context trumps content as relevancy required to break channel fatigue.  Relevancy will improves engagement metrics.
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Tuesday’s Tip: Focus On The Business Outcomes, Not Technology With Big Data

The Why Behind Big Data Starts By Asking What’s The Business Outcome

So organizations have lots of data.  New techniques have emerged to correlate big data.  Enamored by the potential of big data, leaders are now reinvesting in technologies to find hidden nuggets of insights with the business goals of:

  • Mitigating regulatory risks
  • Identifying operational efficiencies
  • Improving revenue growth
  • Creating market differentiation
  • Expanding the brand presence

These big data use cases often follow the business hierarchy of needs, which are based on concepts pioneered by Maslow (see Figure 1).  More importantly, a key question in big data has been to ask the right question.

Figure 1. The Business Hierarchy of Needs Drives Many Big Data Use Cases

An Information Flow Approach Moves The Discussion From Data To Decisions

Unfortunately, the problem is most organizations start by talking about outcomes and then get mired in the technologies to achieve these outcomes.  Big data technologies include advanced business analytics, application of existing technologies such as data warehousing and business intelligence.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed. Yet, from Data to Decisions requires the integration of quite a few disciplines.

Data to decisions is about taking data sources, transforming them into useful information, gathering key insights, and then making the right decisions (see Figure 2).  Data sources, information, and orchestration belong in the realm of IT and hopefully will be delivered via the cloud.  Insight, decisions, and actions are line of business driven areas which deliver the most value add:

  • Data sources. Expect a mix of structured, semi-structured, and lots of unstructured.
  • Information and orchestration. The mix of information types include physical, virtual, machine, and contextual.
  • Insight. Information translated to insight considers performance, deduction, inference, and prediction.
  • Decisions and actions. The outcomes are driven from next best action, prevention, suggestion, and even no action.

Figure 2. The Flow From Data To Decisions

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Monday’s Musings: Understand The Four Organizational Personas Of Disruptive Tech Adoption

Pace of Innovation Exceeds Ability To Consume

Rapid innovation, flexible deployment options, and easy consumption models create favorable conditions for the proliferation of disruptive technology.  In fact, convergence in the five pillars of enterprise disruption (i.e. social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications), has led to new innovations and opportunities to apply disruptive technologies to new business models.  New business models abound at the intersection of cloud and big data, social and mobile, social and unified communications, and cloud and mobile.

Unfortunately, most organizations are awash with discovering, evaluating, and consuming disruptive technologies.  Despite IT budgets going down from 3 to 5% year over year, technology spending is up 18 to 20%.  Why?  Amidst constrained budgets, resources, and time limits, executives are willing to invest in disruptive technology to improve business outcomes.  Consequently, successful adoption is the key challenge in consuming this torrent of innovation.  This rapid pace of change and inability to consume innovation detract organizations from the realization of business value.

Organizations Fall Into Four Personas Of  Disruptive Technology Adoption

A common truism in the industry is “Culture trumps technology”.  As organizations apply methodologies such as Constellation’s DEEPR Framework in improving adoption, leaders must first determine which of the four personas best fits their organization’s appetite for consuming and innovating with disruptive technologies.

The personas of disruptive technology adoption assess organizational culture in two key axes (see Figure 1).  The first is how incremental or transformational an organization looks at applying disruptive technology to business models.  The second assesses how proactive or reactive an organization is in carrying out new initiatives.  Based on these dimensions, the four personas include:

  1. Market leaders. Market leaders prefer to drive transformational innovation.  They look at technologies as enablers in disrupting business models.  They see competitive differentiation in delivering outcomes to customers. Market leaders accept failure as part of the innovation process.  They fail fast and move on.
  2. Fast followers. Fast followers prefer to react to the success of market leaders and their experiments.  When they sense success, they tend to jump in.  Fast followers do not like to fail and rapidly apply lessons learned from market leaders into their road maps.  Fast followers tend to deliver scale in the markets as a counter balance to arriving later in the market.
  3. Cautious adopters. Cautious adopters proactively deliver incremental innovation.  They tend to take a more measured approach and spend more time studying how they can improve an existing success than creating a transformational change.  Cautious adopters often come from regulated industries where security and safety are paramount objectives.
  4. Laggards. Laggards tend to procrastinate on applying innovations to their business models.  They prefer not be bothered by trends and will only react when the trends have moved beyond mainstream.  They see value in waiting as prices will drop over time as success rates increase over time.  Laggards enjoy waiting.

During the interviews and discussions with the 2012 Constellation SuperNova award participants, key questions emerged in the decision process on whether to adopt or pass on a disruptive technologies.  These questions aligned well with the four personas of disruptive technology adoption.

Figure 1.  Organizations Should Understand Which Persona Of Disruptive Tech Adoption Describes Them Best

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Market Maker 1:1: Beyond #BigData, The Shift To Decision Management w/ James Taylor (@jamet123)

From Data to Decisions – The Shift To Decision Management

Organizations have faced a constant technology arms race to achieve basic levels of decision management.  From data warehousing, to data marts, to reporting tools to BI, and now Big Data, organizations and leaders have been inundated with technology fads.  While the the latest buzz in technology may come and go, Constellation Research believes organizations seek a path from data to information to insight to action.  This path from Data to Decisions drives the science and discipline behind decision management.

Consequently, decision management in the data to decisions world examines the necessary tools, steps and methods for deriving insight from data and acting on it.  These tools are useful creating informed people and processes, but the continuation and follow-through to decisions and actions demands a robust set of performance monitoring and management practices. Those are the table stakes.  In many cases, application of decision automation, semantic technology and collaborative tools are also needed.   Data 2 decisions is about moving from insight to action and moving to fact based decisions making at all levels of the organization.

I sat down with James Taylor, a thought leader in this space to hear his insights on the latest trends.

The Inside View With James Taylor – One of The Leaders In Decision Management Systems


R “Ray” Wang (RW): James is the CEO and a Principal Consultant of Decision Management Solutions. He is the leading expert in how to use business rules and analytic technology to build Decision Management Systems. James is passionate about using Decision Management Systems to help companies improve decision making and develop an agile, analytic and adaptive business. He provides strategic consulting to companies of all sizes, working with clients in all sectors to adopt decision making technology. James has spent the last 20 years developing approaches, tools, and platforms that others can use to build more effective information systems. He has led Decision Management efforts for leading companies in insurance, banking, health management and telecommunications.

James is the author of “Decision Management Systems: A practical guide to using business rules and predictive analytics” (IBM Press, 2011). He previously wrote Smart (Enough) Systems: How to Deliver Competitive Advantage by Automating Hidden Decisions (Prentice Hall) with Neil Raden, and has contributed chapters on Decision Management to multiple books including “Applying Real-World BPM in an SAP Environment”, “The Decision Model”, “The Business Rules Revolution: Doing Business The Right Way” and “Business Intelligence Implementation: Issues and Perspectives” as well as many articles to magazines.

In addition to strategy and implementation consulting, James delivers webinars, workshops and training. He is a regular keynote speaker at conferences around the world such as the Decision Management Summit, Business Rules Forum, Predictive Analytics World and IBM’s Business Analytics Forum.

James was previously a Vice President at Fair Isaac Corporation where he developed and refined the concept of decision management. The best known proponent of the approach, James helped create the emerging Decision Management market and is a passionate advocate of decision management. He understands how companies buy and use these technologies and he has helped companies successfully adopt these technologies and apply them in the context of Business Process Management and Business Intelligence initiatives.

1. I noticed that you are tying Decision Management to the Customer Relationships? What are some basic principles that someone knew to this space should know about?

James Taylor (JT): Historically Decision Management got applied primarily in risk and fraud but the energy recently has shifted to customer decisions. Decision Management works best on high volume, repeatable decisions. For most organizations, decisions about customers are the ones they take most often. Focusing on how to manage these decisions offers companies tremendous value in becoming more customer-centric and improving their customer engagement and relationships. At the end of the day your customer relationships are driven by their reaction to the decisions you make about them. Developing systems to manage these decisions that are agile enough to change when that is necessary, that embed analytics to improve these decisions, and that are adaptive so they can improve over time is a critical need for better customer relationships. Managing customer decisions is not the only thing you can do with Decision Management, just a great place to start to unlock customer value and drive the customer journey.

2. What’s been the big shift in the journey from Data to Decisions?

(JT): I think there have been three big shifts. The first is an increase in the use of more advanced analytics. Where reporting and perhaps dashboards used to be the primary way to use data, now more organizations are using data mining, predictive analytics and advanced visualization techniques. We see a tremendous growth in these more advanced analytics. Second we also see a focus on operations and operational decisions, with more organizations trying to improve decision-making at the front-line of their organization – where they interact with customers and their supply chain – not just in their back office. Finally we are beginning to see organizations becoming explicit about the decisions involved. Instead of just putting data out there, summarizing it and perhaps visualizing it and hoping that someone will be able to make better decisions, organizations are explicitly identifying the decisions that they need to improve. Then they are building the right kind of decision support or decision management system to ensure that decision gets done right. This last topic is a personal interest and one of the most exciting sessions for me is the hands-on session where folks will actually get to do some decision modeling.

3. Where are we with this fad and hype around #bigdata? Is this just the beginning or will we morph?

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Market Maker 1:1: #HRTechConf Preview w/ Bill Kutik

15 Years of HR Technology At The Industry’s Premier Event

The fifteenth annual HR Technology Conference and Exposition returns to McCormick Place in Chicago October 8th to 10th, 2012.  HR Tech is the industry’s longest running event looking at technologies that influence the Future of Work.

The Inside View With Bill Kutik – Future of Work Pioneer And Co-Chairman of HR Tech

Since 1990, Bill Kutik has been a Technology Columnist for Human Resource Executive® (and for HREOnline™ since 2006,), also serving as co-chairman of the magazine’s famous annual conference, HR Technology® Conference & Exhibition, since it began in 1998. In 2008, he started The Bill Kutik Radio Show®, a bi-weekly online talk show with industry leaders.

HR World named him one of “The Top 25 HR Influencers of 2007.” More recently, he was named a “Top 25 HR Digital Influencer 2009″ and a “Top 100 Influencer.”

For 20 years, he was consulting editor for Esther Dyson’s leading computer industry newsletter, Release 1.0. Previously he was the founding editor of the monthly magazine, Computers in HR Management; managing editor of Ziff-Davis’ Computer Industry Daily; and a reporter for The New York Times and The New York Daily News. He has also published articles in Newsweek, Washington Post, Institutional Investor, New York Magazine, Business Month, IHRIM Journal, Cruising World and Backpacker (where he was the founding editor).

We sat down with industry pioneer Bill Kutik for a preview of this year’s event:

1. Where do you see the new trends in HR tech going? What’s changed since last year? (Have we moved beyond Cloud, is everything social?)

Bill Kutik (BK): This year marks an inflection point in HR technology – perhaps in all of IT – the end of one era and the beginning of another, a generational shift in computing.

It happens every 10 – 15 years and remarkably HR has often been at the leading edge of change, either because corporations thought it didn’t matter if IT experiments failed there or because it’s the only department that touches every employee in the company.

Remember, PeopleSoft released the first packaged client/server application (for HR but the first for any function) in 1989, which started the death of the mainframe. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s claims aside, HR has been using hosted applications (perhaps not anyone’s version of true SaaS) for recruiting since 1998 and major web-based applications since 2000.

Now the combination of SaaS (Cloud Computing) plus Social in the Enterprise – companies using private collaborative software to get real work done – are marking a new era in computing.

These will be among the major topics this year at the HR Technology® Conference in Chicago, October 8-10.

2. Why the continued interest and investment by organizations in HR and related technologies?

BK: The main reason is the 50-year-long lie in large type in corporate annual reports is finally seen as true: “People are our most important asset.” People costs, even in manufacturing firms with huge capital investments, are more than 50 percent of the annual run-rate. Obviously closer to 90 percent in knowledge-based firms like consulting, law, accounting and software.

To succeed in 2012, organizations must have an effective people strategy aligned with their goals. They must identify the best players, assign them to the right work and keep them engaged. Technology doesn’t create this strategy – executives do – but they can’t properly execute their strategy without the right technology to enable it.

HR technology isn’t for HR anymore. The latest applications reaching mass adoption – such as the Talent Management suite – are now used almost exclusively by line managers and employees after HR has purchased the software and configured it properly.

3. Are 2012 HR technology budgets increasing compared to prior years?

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Monday’s Musing: Avoiding Social Media Fatigue Through Engagement

Social Media Moves From Ubiquitous Usage To Relevant Rationalization

Have we hit a social media plateau?  In recent client conversations on usage of social media, the trendsetters appear to be “socialed out”.   Most early adopters seem to be overwhelmed with their personal (Facebook, Google+), corporate (Yammer, Jive, Chatter, SharePoint), and professional (LinkedIn) social networks.  In fact, respondents feel that adding any additional network for anything social is quite overwhelming.  While early adopters are moving from ubiquitous usage to relevant rationalization, the majority remains in ubiquitous usage (see Figure 1).  Recent data on number of users at the Big 4 of social media show that we are in the middle of ubiquitous usage:

  • Facebook (901M users as of Feb 2012)
  • Twitter (500M users as of March 2012)
  • LinkedIn (161M users as of March 2012)
  • Google+ (100M users as of Feb 2012)

Early Adopters Facing Social Media Fatigue

As early adopters start rationalizing their networks, some are even pulling out.  From loss of interest in Google+, Empire Avenue, to even FaceBook, people have started to selectively choose networks to combat overload and social media fatigue.  The common theme – relevant rationalization by self-interest.   These trends parallel those for mail, phone, email, web and other disruptive technologies.  Going forward, users will move towards desensitization when the advertisers and companies abuse the channel by spamming users with an unwanted deluge of irrelevant offers.

The Bottom Line: Engage Users To Combat Fatal Fatigue In The Disruptive Tech Adoption Life Cycle

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Tuesday’s Tip: Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs To C-Level Business Strategy

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Provides Prioritization Of An Individual’s Needs

In 1943, Abraham Maslow put forward his paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Eleven years later in 1954, Maslow went into detail on his hierarchy of needs in his book titled Motivation and Personality. The framework outlined five needs from the most fundamental or “deficiency needs” at the bottom and ended in Meta motivational needs towards the top (see Figure 1.).  At the highest level – self-actualization, the individual would focus on the needs to better society.

Figure 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Source: Wikipedia

A Business Hierarchy Of Needs Provides A Model To Prioritize Business Strategy

While Maslow’s research explained what would drive and motivate individuals, applying the model to organizations yields a powerful framework for business prioritization. Why? Today’s next gen C-level executives face an onslaught of business priorities that must address the organization’s basic needs from regulatory compliance to higher level needs that include the management of the brand.  The business hierarchy of needs uses an analogous framework to Maslow’s.  Using the framework, business priorities and related projects can be aligned with the five levels that include (see Figure 2):

  1. Brand. The brand describes a promise to stakeholders. The brand is more than the collection of products or services offered by the company.  The brand encompasses an emotional value, an aspiration, and the public face of a business strategy.  The brand can be viewed as a person, product, organization, and symbol for the company.
  2. Strategic differentiation. Organizations seek strategic differentiation to achieve a desired reputation, create a defensible competitive advantage, and influence preferential behaviors in the value chain.  Tools include positioning strategy, design thinking, and innovation programs.
  3. Revenue growth. Revenue growth reflects the initiatives used to drive new customers, revenues, and market share for the organization.  Revenue growth is also known as top line priorities.
  4. Operational efficiency Operational efficiency priorities focus on reducing costs, improving existing performance, and optimizing existing landscapes.  Operational efficiency is also know as bottom line priorities.
  5. Regulatory compliance.  Regulatory compliance is a base need.  Organizations must comply with legal requirements.  In addition, organizations may want to avoid legal suits, causing injury, or failing to meet a commitment.

Figure 2. Constellation’s Business Hierarchy Of Needs

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