Vantage Blog

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23
Aug
2018

Connecting the Dots…making sense of disruption

Agility is without doubt the management buzz word of the moment. Great Leaders are agile; organisations must reorganise to be agile; your products and services, and how you go to market, must have agility at its core…or so we are all told.



But why?

It is increasingly clear to me that the pace of change, and in particular the impact of digital technology on competition and our organisations, is the reason.

The accelerators of change including artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, big data, augmented and virtual reality, and even Blockchain (ignoring the smoke and mirrors of Bitcoin!) will, I believe, enable new products, services and business formats to develop and scale at a pace currently only just starting to be seen.

However, there is too much emphasis on the specifics of the individual technologies themselves, and not enough on how these technologies can be used together and applied to real customer problems. The ability to remove customer friction by the smart application of technology is a clear differentiator for many already. Think Uber, contactless cards, Netflix to name a few. This will be what differentiates winners in the future.

It is the role of business leaders to figure out how to ‘connect the dots’ – the nexus of technologies, models, concepts and ideas.

We are moving from a relatively linear trajectory to one of exponential change. Some sectors and industries will move faster than others, so the need to respond will be different. The opportunity, though, is available to all.

And it’s not just about start-ups – though their adoption and application of new ways of working and digital technologies are a sign of things to come and should act as a cue and/or wake up call.

Agile organisations that are able to transform their culture and think about how they can partner and work in alternative ways will be the success stories of the future. Impenetrable moats around our businesses are no longer assured.

The unbundling and re-bundling of integrated value propositions – just look at what has already happened in financial services – enables new customer offers to be designed and delivered for customers in different and exciting ways. As a result, we are already seeing industry definitions change, with some sectors effectively disappearing.

A key consideration is a shift in many companies from offering products to overseeing, participating in or facilitating ecosystems. Nespresso was an early example where the offering was a combination of components that only worked together - an espresso machine, pods, milk frother and the physical coffee making experience - in a closed fully controlled (via patents) loop.

Apple is another early ecosystem participant. They effectively embedded their ‘hardware’ (iPhone, iPad, Mac etc.), all operating of a single platform, as the core with complementary products and services creating value for customers – the sum being greater than the parts. Not ‘closed’, like Nespresso, but orchestrated or controlled by Apple with app developers, musicians etc embedding their offer in the wider ecosystem.

Newer ones worth having a look, at that are leveraging new digital technologies, include Babylon and Nest.

Ecosystems are modular (re-bundling), and rely on mutual interdependencies, two-way value flow and shared data, held together with a variable level of hierarchical control specific to each one. As a result, the various players in these ecosystems are able to embed their offers in a broader set of customer needs.

This can be challenging. It requires business leaders to think beyond a traditional ‘value chain’ that their business model has been built on. We need to consider what could be the core of an ecosystem and its (typically) digital platform – the one or two features that drive customer take up and use. What can complement that core and ensures a broader set of needs are met – not just for customers but business partners and suppliers?

Will ecosystems be the business model of the future? Will thinking about how you could embed your product or service into a broader set of needs be a key strategic question to consider? Building, catalysing or joining an ecosystem (or ecosystems) could well become a core strategy for future growth. The legacy of an organisations cost base, structure and offering could be key barriers to overcome if you want to not just ‘connect the dots’ but work out how to win by being agile in a fast-changing world.

James Atkins
Vantage Strategy & Marketing

I recently attended the London Business School’s course on Exploiting Disruption in A Digital World where these, and many other such concepts were covered. The August Vantage Leaders Forum spent half a day exploring these issues and how they could be applied to their organisations.

If you would like to discuss running a workshop, or presenting a keynote, exploring the opportunities that these new ways of thinking open up, or how these models or technologies could be applied in your organisation, please feel free to contact me on 0419 516 655 or at jatkins@vantagemarketing.com.au

WEBINAR: To view a complimentary 45 minute webinar on Connecting the Dots click here



Agility is without doubt the management buzz word of the moment. Great Leaders are agile; organisations must reorganise to be agile; your products and services, and how you go to market, must have agility at its core…or so we are all told. ..

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18
Jul
2014

From Rants to Raves: Social Media and Employment

By this month’s guest bloggers Suzanne Whitmarsh and Andrew Thoseby from 1st Executive
There is a lot of talk around about employment. In Australia, unemployment remained steady in April at 5.8%, the US saw a sharp fall in benefits applications and unemployment fell to 6.3% and in the UK, the number of unemployed fell to 2.2m from a post GFC high of 2.7m with a rate of 6.8%.


Troubled Western economies are recovering and even in Australia, where recession was avoided, the economic baton appears to have passed from mining construction to civil and residential construction with private and government infrastructure spending on the rise.


There is no doubt that social media has played a major role during tough times – sometimes outing bad business or management practices and often just facilitating stream of consciousness venting The tide is turning though. The recruitment industry, whether in-house or agency has had a multi-speed approach to engaging with social media. There have been HR drives to ensure employees understand that their rants about an employer could result in disciplinary processes, some recruiters have over done the application and many remain bewildered by it. In our view, it is just another tool.

The internet is just one “big data” list of potential employees. Social media platforms are the windows through which they can be viewed. If the strategic and creative thinking is right – social sourcing can pay dividends.

Two simple examples for us have been with a regional transport company (think really big blokey trucks) and Tigerair who opened a new flight base in Brisbane and needed 50 cabin crew – fast.

There are common elements – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. Each application was different. YouTube played a big part for the transport company. The problem they had was securing longer term, family oriented drivers who struggled to convince their partners to leave the city for the country. While it certainly augmented numbers, the ability to send a link to a lifestyle video for the area and to deliver the family values of the business on film was a winner – we found wives following up on their husbands’ applications.

For Tigerair, the challenge was delivering 200+ candidates to fixed assessment centre dates as part of time line to takeoff. We knew this age group would go viral, and we only advertised for 3 days. The ability to link all social media platforms to a (database) application form was critical – we needed the interest, but we needed technology to handle the volume that came from sharing. We filled all 3 assessment centres and hit new employee target within a very tight time frame. Our reference site for this was a Facebook campaign which is the leading European volume recruitment case study (click here). Our page (click here) gives a preview of how this will look when rolled out to a multi-branch network.

There are a few simple questions that need to be considered before rolling headlong into social media:
1. What is the real business problem? Our first example was about solving a communications challenge and our second was about driving volume for a job that many young people would covet.
2. What is the best vehicle to solve the problem? Video tells the best story, but often Twitter and Facebook content will be shared faster (of course all of these can be combined).
3. Can we cope with the response? In simple terms, if we are using social technology, we need a “back office” that can cope – quantitatively or qualitatively as appropriate.
4. Is this a one off or do we need social to be part of our strategy ongoing? This will lead to ether investing in creating apps or to using what is already there.

In summary, the hype about social media and recruiting has created everything from raving fans to gibbering wrecks. It needs to be looked at as just another tool and what it can do needs to be considered as a value add on a case by case basis. However it is used, employers will always want to meet (even if by Skype) their potential employees.

Learn more about 1st Executive - click here

By this month’s guest bloggers Suzanne Whitmarsh and Andrew Thoseby from 1st Executive
There is a lot of talk around about employment. In Australia, unemployment remained steady in April at 5.8%, the US saw a sharp fall in benefits applications and unemployment fell to 6.3% and in the UK, the number of unemployed fell to 2.2m from a post GFC high of 2.7m with a rate of 6.8%.  ..

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06
Mar
2013

Vantage March 2103 Newsletter out now...

Competitive advantage is one of the most critical issues for businesses to address.

As I have written before there are a number of ways that you can tackle this critical challenge...click here

But once you are clear, what comes next?  Well I believe you need to prove it, not just to your customers (normally through experience) but to your prospects! 


Easier said than done...and not a path many take (which is a differentiation opportunity in itself!).  Read more

Also in this edition…

Read more here

Best wishes,

Vantage Strategy & Marketing 

Competitive advantage is one of the most critical issues for businesses to address.

As I have written before there are a number of ways that you can tackle this critical challenge...click here

But once you are clear, what comes next?  Well I believe you need to prove it, not just to your customers (normally through experience) but to your prospects!  ..

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22
Feb
2013

Are you adapting to the digital disruption?

Last year Deloitte Digital published a paper titled Digital Disruption – Short fuse, big bang?  It was a great piece of thought leadership that explores the digital challenges and opportunities across the economy.

What I found particularly interesting  was this digital disruption map that that placed industries into quadrants based on degree of potential disruption (small or big bang) and how soon it would impact them (short or long fuse).



Download map here

For me it has been a great way to discuss with clients where they are positioned in relation to the digital disruption (to use Deloittes terminology).  Here are a few questions I have found helpful:

·         Do you agree with where your industry is placed on the map?
·         If not, why not – how are you different (are you really that different is always a subtext)?
·         How you have responded to digital challenges and opportunities – are you ahead of the curve, a fast follower or is it not on the agenda?
·         Is there a potential competitive advantage now or in the future?
·         What can you learn from other industries and businesses in how they have responded to the digital revolution?
·         What’s next for your industry, and how would you lead or respond?

There is no doubt that this is a fast moving issue for most businesses and one, that if played right, should be more of an opportunity than a threat.  How quickly you address it, and include it as core part of your strategic planning, is what will define those who succeed and those who potentially lag behind.

If you want to learn more about Deloittes framework, and their thinking on this issue, their website is worth a visit, as is downloading a copy of the report.

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing

This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

Last year Deloitte Digital published a paper titled Digital Disruption – Short fuse, big bang?  It was a great piece of thought leadership that explores the digital challenges and opportunities across the economy.

What I found particularly interesting  was this digital disruption map that that placed industries into quadrants based on degree of potential disruption (small or big bang) and how soon it would impact them (short or long fuse). ..


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