Decide your corner in a world that Transforms


Decide your corner in a world that Transforms. A lot of business owners and marketers that I interact with, do realize and share openly, that something major must happen to ignite their Brands and operations for Growth through renewed Customer experience and loyalty. The same you hear from the new online creators and startups. But few do it.

Decide your corner in a world that Transforms

I’ve thought long for writing this post. I have significant evidence now, from Borrow My Brain numerous Customer introductory meetings, that we all talk a lot about change, but we resist to change ourselves and our accompanying practices. This is the greatest issue of transformation, matching to a famous quote by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy.

A lot of business owners and marketers that I interact with do realize and share openly, that something major must happen to ignite their Brands and operations for Growth through renewed Customer experience and loyalty. The same you hear by the new online creators and startups. But few do it. There are obstacles. Primarily behavioural. Sometimes internal resistance. Other times, resistance by the owner.

First, a shift in perspectives needed

For any company, operation, department, role, and profession the Change adoption and execution are critical. It keeps you up to speed with context, competition, and digitization. But it requires to first accept that there is an opportunity ahead if we are to improve what and how we do something today. Example: you realize that people order more and more online, but you continue investing in physical stores’ chain. A shift in perspective needed.

Example: you realize that Sourcing, Accounting, Business planning are now offered by e-platforms and apps and instead of investing in resources for customer support and partnerships, your cost-base is still allocated on old-routines, while an ERP / CRM combined could have led you to grow.

You know that e-commerce is accessible and low-entry, but you do it without investing in after-sales support personnel/bots etc.? You must be able to scan, read, understand, and see something that others can’t. Then, toughest, do the things that others won’t.

Companies and web entrepreneurs avoid becoming narcissists

I’m sometimes afraid that technology, smartphones, apps, peer-to-peer and digital solutions teach us that we are the centre of a universe. Click and you get an immediate response and fulfilment. We get everything on-demand. It’s so easy to get a like and promote something on Instagram. We feel empowered and a bit narcissists? If that is true, how can we have the patience to plan a Change program; a personal career transition?

It’s important to realize that companies, no matter the size or industry, and we all as internet creators don’t own the same “secured” role in the transformation. Those that first opened-up a market, those that introduced first a new service, or built a critical infrastructure will not surely lead in the digital transformation deployment phase as professor Carlotta Perez has explained some years now, in her theory framework (download the pdf here).

It’s important for owners, brands and marketers to realize that their customers aren’t just waiting for them to say or sell them something. They have many options. They click away in a few seconds. They’re also not impressed with the archaic means in which companies communicate with them. Please think: how clear is the “Customer first” for your audience?

Thirdly, innovate – innovate – innovate

Believe me, no matter if you are a coach or a multi-million FMCG, or a franchise there is great need to improve, evolve, change for better what you do and offer. Innovation is not a DNA thing. As I have seen it in global R&D hubs and to the owners I support, it takes first an internal process of discovery and then the desire to make sacrifices, change the routine of which you feel safe.

Innovation is about new Ideas, new Services, new easy access and new benefits for your Customer. The more you validate these ideas, your company’s culture becomes less risk averse (yes, even if you’re a small-medium size company). Only then, people will follow the leader away from “business as usual”.

Only by innovating you can open up to new partners, geographies, channels, loyalty schemes and communication themes. Otherwise, you might be trapped for good in the old routine. You might be keeping the same market share, but if you overlook the behavioural shift happening with mobile, social and real-time technology you will lose. These shifts change what people value, how they discover, connect and share, and also their intentions and aspirations so we should all have in place a targeted and relentless approach to modern engagement.

Now ask: what will your position be in the future?

What sort of novel do you want to write? It’s uniqueness? What unique concept does your restaurant offer? Why follow your channel on Youtube? Why buy your esteemed brand and not some cheaper alternative? Why insure with your company and not with some cheap promoted offer? Why?

It’s tempting indeed for any company and brand offering to be of high quality, low priced, durable, with excellent service, less filling, better taste, poetic phrasing, conveniently located, powerful characters and organic. All at once. But that’s not how humans process what you have to offer.

Customer experience is defined by what customer’s feel as a result of the total sum of engagements with a company in every moment of truth throughout the lifecycle/customer journey, off-and-online. Experience is the new brand. There’s a gap today between the brand promise and the experience people receive. In services and products…and people/creators.

We all talk of change but we don’t talk of changing ourselves

Leo Tolstoy

The #borrowmybrain “Compass tool workshop” for Transformation

For the above reasons, we have introduced successfully the Compass tool workshop. We combine business plan elements, outcomes/hard-facts with Customers and we creatively connect the dots, to help them realize what changes they should introduce in: a) their business model and b) to their leadership style and culture. Especially the non-multinationals, to improve and live through.

The first workshop session looks at the Business model, existing operations and Customer. Having fine-tuned this crucial part, then we go to the second session which looks at Leadership and strategy adoption by the human resources. Without it, nothing will happen. Without deciding the company’s “corner” in between defensive and open approach, or between mass portfolio approach vs. the selective stars, nothing will change.

Why we do this workshop? If you don’t shape your story, someone else will take your place.If we don’t review creatively your past performance, then you are only feeling safe. But your business isn’t safe.


Stimulating examples of Transformation

  • Harry Potter outperformed all content entertainment brands because it’s plot kept kids riveted.
  • Zappos might have good prices, like many others, but it’s the service that all marketing cases talk about.
  • Tom’s Shoes (now part of Bain by 50%) might have fashionable shoes, but it’s the social contribution that resonates. And your iPhone might have good download speed, but it’s the design and fashion that we pay for.
  • Simon Sinek although one among hundreds of thousands of speakers, authors, online (passive income) creators, and influencers stayed globally respected and perceived as unique for his Start with Why. One thing, single-minded, repeated and developed 360o, now a book, workshops, keynotes. One thing…
  • Tuscany cheese and cured meats are now global export leaders of origin, taste, and unique mystery and sensuality, although almost every country has local producers. Go in Instagram and search the cultural and fashionable propositions associated with Tuscany region and you’ll realize the power of Brands…
  • Zady now leads as a raw-model of conscious consumerism and aims to change the way we think about the fashion industry. Founders Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bedat focus on high-quality, hand-crafted goods that are ethically produced (ie: vegan leggings), locally sourced, environmentally conscious and made in America. Isn’t this a clear and unique positioning?
  • Beechwood, a genus of deciduous trees native to Europe and North America, may be commonly found in furniture, but it also makes for a soft fabric. MeUndies now uses this material to develop underwear(!!), which it then sells via a monthly subscription service. Based in Culver City, California, the business ranked at $32.6 million in 2016, landing on the Inc. 5000 at No. 276. …Sustainable underpants at its best!
  • Michael Virardi might not be a US-based consultancy powerhouse, with respective resources and a global affiliate network, but he’s scaling his business globally focusing on motivational speaking and public speaking push-workshops and this is something that Microsoft, McDonald’s, Bayer CropScience, GlaxoSmithKline respect when choosing his service.  Mind you, he didn’t follow in his family business (another example of personal transition away from the “safety net”).

One last thing: before all, be first a mindful manager

To decide your corner in a world that Transforms, you have first to be a mindful manager. For your Customers. For the employees and their competence development. For your partners. For institutions and other stakeholders. You’ve managed with a rational approach for years. But Reason persuades people, emotion moves them.

I firmly believe that the leader should be an uplifting, inspirational and fit for purpose driver. A unique example, behaving as first among equals. Otherwise, the company, the online offering, the employee will be taken by surprise by the speed of Change. The mindful manager deals with ‘the world as it is’, not ‘as s/he might wish it to be’.

The mindful manager has no personal bias but 24/7 synthesizes opinions and views. Leads by example. Listens. Empathetic and inquisitive mind. Failing to learn and adapt, fails to keep promises and evolve them…

Today’s post isn’t about technology transformation. It’s about making a choice of your human and cultural approach before doing a company, brand, and operational changes. We need to see anew.

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