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Blogging Innovation

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What may have started with a question from @evanjacobs at Amazon.com’s shareholder meeting, ended with interesting commentary from Amazon’s CEO – Jeff Bezos – on their philosophy around invention, innovation, and risk taking.

The key insights I extracted from Bezos’ response to the question about their lack of big visible market failures and whether Amazon is continuing to take bold enough risks are as follows:

1. Invention versus Innovation

It was very interesting that Jeff Bezos only used the word innovation once in his response, choosing instead to focus on talking about invention. I think that there is an interesting distinction and an important point there. Innovation is not something you do it’s something you’ve done. It’s backward looking to some extent because innovation requires widespread adoption. Innovation definitely can be a goal, while invention can be seen as a component of the pursuit, the attempt to innovate. One important point to remember is that inventions typically cross the bridge from invention to innovation because the solution is not only useful but it is valuable, and the customer makes this determination not you. Another important point – not made by Bezos – is that there are many other factors that go along with invention to create innovation that must be managed, including: psychology, communications, education, trends, politics, legal, and more. This leads me to the second insight extracted from Bezos’ response.

2. “We are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time”

3. “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details”

4. “We are planting more seeds right now, and it is too early to talk about them”

Continue reading via Blogging Innovation @ http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/.

Written by Kees Winkel

June 13, 2011 at 21:37

Seth Godin’s list of human reasoning

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Godin today published his little list of what people want. I agree. It goes like this:

  • notice me
  • like me
  • touch me
  • do what I say
  • miss me if I’m gone

The list looks a bit like the one I wrote a couple of years ago in the booklet ‘Vision, Mission, Compassion’; a list of what people think when buying something:

  • does it meet my demands of quality
  • does it give me a good feeling
  • does it fit my ‘self-image’
  • does it fit my peers
Lists like these help organize our thoughts. I love them.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 14, 2011 at 10:51

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180˚. Eureka, a thought about changing consumer behavior

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Again I was walking the dog and came up with an interesting thought. I was contemplating on my thesis – Harry and I are working on it, as it will be my ultimate research goal for the next couple of years. The current title is “What is the influence of cross media on the relationship between consumer and company? And/or, how does the relationship between consumer and company change under influence of cross media?” Somewhere along the thinking path, I came across 180˚. For me this seems quite obvious. The questions above imply a certain C2B; consumer to business approach.

C2B Is probably a new thought. I got the idea from Harry who gave me “Brand to community” and in our talks, it became clear that there is a tendency of consumers shifting their paradigms to receiving them to giving propositions to brands, companies, organizations. We all know the old B2C marketing and we even understand that there is a C2C; consumers to consumers, telling the world about their favorite brands. But consumers telling brands what they want – giving propositions to brands – that’s new.

I set upon the task of worming myself into these thoughts and came up with the work title 180˚. I can identify certain weak signals that consumers want to tell the brands what they expect of them. It’s not so new. The automotive industry enables individual buyers to adjust their car to their own standards. Nike and K-Swiss offer people to personalize their sneakers. And, as far as I am concerned, this trend is just the beginning of what I now call 180˚. Everything will change.

In my book Vision, Mission, Compassion, I talked about the rotation dynamics in society. And now I see that those words, given by Hans Dijkstra, are becoming reality. The rotation dynamics, or better Dynamics of Rotation is: explained as follows: Normally, the dynamics of rotation in the triad of the Mission is clockwise, from Master plan to Requirements to Concept, unless we reverse directions, i.e. move from Concept to Requirements. This dynamics – moving reversely – is hardly ever practised in organisations currently. Organisations and the people who operate within them commonly remain in the vicious circle of rules and regulations. This results in over-regulation, both in our organisations as it does in society; rule after rule (Requirements) is apparently needed to structure our living together (in broader terms, our Doing (Concept) until people are fed up by over-regulation and will, mostly collaborately, protest en act: reverse the dynamics. This dynamics of reversal will not move to Requirements but to Kernel, the start of the next phase, that of Participation. We make a very relevant reverse move; from Concept to Kernel. Kernel is the first foundation of the compassion statement. This reverse in dynamics is in fact the move we make from the Planning phase (Master plan, Requirements, Concept) to the Participation phase (Kernel, Targets, Identity). Thus, this reverse dynamics is a true milestone in the processes of Communicative Strategy.

If you have not read the book, this may sound abracadabra. No sweat. What it means is that people are constantly fed with new rules, ideas, thoughts, you name it. What happens is that we don’t see the benefit anymore. There is no added value in new things around us, whether they are rules or new things. We seem to accept new things as a given fact. But instead, we react to all these changes in a way nobody seems to be able to anticipate on; we act differently. We do so by turning things around. 180˚ in a constant pace, just like we fill a bucket with drops of water time after time, until it flows over; the tipping point.

I believe that one of the most important factors of this collaborative behavior comes from being given the opportunity to be informed and actually do something with the information given through modern media; we know so much more than before there were cross media. This idea implies that cross media (the new ones, I must insist) actually change our behavior. Let’s find out.

Written by Kees Winkel

May 1, 2008 at 22:14

Vision Mission Compassion, the book and the bookosphere

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On October 18 2007, my book Vision, Mission, Compassion was presented at my faculty in Utrecht. Since then, we, the triad – Luuk van Leeuwen, Kees Winkel and Hans Dijkstra – of ‘making the book possible, have received pretty nice reviews. Here is a brief introduction. In the near future, I may add  text and more pictures. Please let me know what you think of it. If you want to purchase a copy, go to van Gorcum, Management Boek or Bol.com.

The book, 120 pages in English, is published by Royal van Gorcum, Assen, The Netherlands.

Credo of Communicative Strategy

 The current conception of Vision, mission and communication focuses on the strategic (and commercial) targets of an organization. People are seen as assets, tools to realize these targets. For that purpose rules, regulations, norms and measurements are developed as a framework in which people in the organization must act accordingly. This leads to confusion, tiredness and non-interest and in some cases even rebellion.But people really matter in organizations. People are the organization. Each individual forms his own organization. Communicative Strategy focuses on people and their organizations by offering a method to develop and implement Vision through strategy with all concerned, by all concerned and for all concerned. This is compassion. Communicative Strategy is about Vision, Mission and Compassion by asking three key questions: what are the possibilities, what is the drive and what is the foundation? The answers are the basis for developing the Vision – the reason to be –, the Mission – the task – and the Compassion, the Participation Process. In the future, organizations will regard targets as a result of a shared Vision (Visio), thus building strong relationships based on possibilities, drive and foundation.Communicative Strategy prepares people and their organization for the future. 

About Compassion[i] 

Often, people see pity as a synonym for compassion. Pity is sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy[ii]. Pity is in fact the core virtue in the morale of ‘togetherness’. The core in this is that people want to bridge distances in sensitivity between those who are close to us. Pity means the act or capacity for sharing the painful feelings of another. It implies tender or sometimes slightly contemptuous sorrow for one in misery or distress Compassion is not that easy to grasp. In Taoism texts, compassion is not necessarily about feelings of pity but about benevolence (courtesy, goodwill) towards the other. The starting point is the inner notion of unity with the other; to encompass, to engage. The others use the word compassion as in engagement and participation. Encompassment and participation may sound less emotional (as in pity) and less important but understanding the meaning of compassion will make people open to understanding the importance of people in organisations; they are not assets to the organisation, they are the organisation[iii]. 

Communicative Strategy, an introduction

 The book is about Communicative Strategy. It is not about strategic communication although many believe that the two are more or less the same. Strategic communication is really applying communication as a tool for executing general policies in an organization. It is a continuous, well- balanced plan in steps answering questions like which target audience we will approach and how, what tools will we use and what not? This well-considered execution of policies and assets applies to internal and external communication as well as lobbying and crisis communication. In fact, strategic communication is corporate communication in all its aspects.Communicative Strategy, however, is the system of ideas that result in a collaborate awareness, appreciation, and positive intent with all who are related to an organization. Ideologies (political, religious), shifts in paradigms[iv], and reorganizations fit in this perspective as well as selling products and services. Communicative Strategy has a deep foundation. Part of it comes from combining ‘traditional’ communication, marketing, psychological and social (anthropological) theories. And part comes from new – or better renewed – insights, based on such formidable systems like the Enneagraphical system[v], Toffler’s Third wave scenario and the Belgian philosopher Arnold Cornelis who, in his enneagram01.jpg‘Feeling’s Logics’ offered us the system of the three layers of stability. Overall, Communicative Strategy is a method, based on these systems. Two words dominate Communicative Strategy; communication and strategy. The two are of the same strength and always come together; they form a unity. If you want to achieve anything strategy of course is a crucial tool to get things done. But what is strategy without communication? The answer: nothing! Everything you do has an impact on your environment. So everything you initiate will, one way or the other, change things. And that is exactly what you want when introducing a new idea, a product, service or new rule in your organization. Fundamentally, with everything we do, we change. In order to do so, we need two things: strategy and communication.  

[i] The authors base these insights, amongst other on Patricia de Marelaere’s article ‘Het gelaat van de ander’ (the face of the other) in ‘De Groene’ (Dutch opinion magazine), issue #22, 1999. The article has not been quoted; the authors however want to express their appreciation of the contents and relevance of the article.[ii] Source: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/pity.[iii] Based on ‘Spheres’ by Peter Slotendijk, German philosopher.[iv]Par·a·digm:Etymology: Late Latin paradigma, from Greek paradeigma, from paradeiknynai to show side by side, from para- + deiknynai to show — more at DICTION1 : EXAMPLE, PATTERN; especially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype2 : an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms3 : a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.Source: http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/paradigm  [v] As studied by Hans Dijkstra over the last thirty-five years.

Written by Kees Winkel

December 1, 2007 at 14:07

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