Tag Archives: technology

Visual Business Inspiration

Did you know that Ford made typewriters? Now you do… business inspiration for those who enjoy seeing brands evolve and change. – EMC

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Failure…yet again

Earlier this year I opened an article with an interpretation of a line from Arthur Ransome’s book Swallows and Amazons: “Better dead than duffers.” I have studied the cult of failure as part of my consulting practice and to help my clients understand how and if “fail fast, fail often” makes for a higher overall result.

I have spent the last week on vacation and continue to see this topic pop up in business articles, TED talks, presentation and discussions within my social networks. If you have the opportunity, pick up the December issue of Harvard Business Review where research around the “80% of companies that existed before 1980 are no longer around” idea is well diagnosed and ties into the discussion of creative destruction and “fail fast fail often”.

The purpose of this post today is a short reminder that mistakes are the “necessary evil” (as PIXAR’s Ed Catmull says) of companies who innovate, transform and disrupt. The evil or pain from the failure becomes less when value is extracted from the experience. Think about it.

Do you remember having skinned knees as a child while trying to ride your bike or learn to rollerskate? Did the pain lessen when you first took the freeing ride on your own?

Failure in business is exactly like that. If you extract maximum value from failure than although you might not have “failed fast” or don’t want to “fail often” you will have maximized the overall result of the project or the innovation bringing benefits to your organization.

All the best in 2017! May this coming year be filled with health, wealth and happiness.

-EMC

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Right Brain, Left Brain

Steve Jobs believed the best way to add value in the 21st Century was to connect creativity with technology. And it makes sense…

Technology helps a process move to the next level. We tend to think of technology in terms of software or hardware or advances in technology…but technology is application of science (and engineering) for practical purposes.

In Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs he states:

Apple developed not merely modest product advances based on focus groups but whole new devices and services that consumers did not yet know they needed.

One of my favorite lines relating to business that I have used with some of my clients is:

How do you expect to think differently if you read the same books everyone else is reading?

So here is the crux of this post today – great leaders connect right brain and left brain. Creativity and technology. Art and business. Dreaming and planning. Out of box thinking grounded in real life actions. People and data. My favorite management thinker, Peter Drucker, would wholeheartedly agree.

 

 

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“Everything we design, designs us back”

Called ontological design, it is a concept that considers how context and environment shape our ideas. Spaces where we work impact our work. Colors make us feel more creative or more restricted in our thinking. Furniture design can impact how we interact with our clients. Spaces with hammocks and green plants can help employees feel playful and encourage new ideas and approaches.Where we do business affects how we do business (and vice versa).

Our experiences are subjective and they can be influenced by our environment. I am reminded of a quote by the famous Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan who said:

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”

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We often talk about this quote in terms of technology, yet there is so much more to what McLuhan says here. We are natural creators, born to create but also born to become part of the reality we construct and influence with our art, science and business.

EMC

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Are we social? Are we human?

Today I am sharing with you a small excerpt from Brian Solis’ blog – a blog that talks about the intersection of technology, culture and business. The reason why I think these words are important for all of us to hear and internalize is because social, as Nilofer Merchant pointed out at a conference I attended last year, is not social media. Social is being human. It’s about interaction and about getting closer to our customers to understand them, listen to them and create amazing products from one human being to another. From one organization to another. Media and social media is the WAY to do this. Not the WHY. Read on for some great thoughts from Brian Solis.

Customers and employees are still underserved and underappreciated.

Some would say, in business, social media lost its way.

Others would argue social media failed to live up to the hype.

There are unfortunately still many examples of businesses not getting it, viewing or outsourcing it as a mere “marketing” function, and operating in siloes where social becomes anti-social by design.

Without purpose and collaboration, social will always be just another thing that businesses use to defer the inevitable…change.

Even though the “cool” kids moved on, there’s a real need for businesses to become social…to become human. Our work is just beginning. Perhaps observing the gap between the expertise we have and the insight we need to make a difference is where we need to begin.

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EMC

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Why I Love Transformation (and Sailing Ships!)

Transformation is about profound change. Peter Drucker predicted that by 2020 a new world – completely different form our grandparents’ reality – would exist. Drucker, father of modern management, explained in a 1992 essay for Harvard Business Review, that “every few hundred years throughout Western history, a sharp transformation has occurred. In a matter of decades, society altogether rearranges itself – its worldview, its basic values, its social and political structures, its arts, its key institutions.”

It is a privilege to live through transformation; to be given the opportunity to see how society rearranges itself over the course of the years; to experience our grandparents’ reality along with our children’s triumphs and challenges. But no privilege comes without responsibility and I feel extremely responsible having been given the opportunity at a young age to take a step back and experience a bygone era; in my case, an era of sailing ships, leisure travel, unchartered waters and traditional navigational tools like compass and sextant.

Pacific Swift First Offshore

Last year I wrote about what I had learnt about leadership on a 111 foot topsail schooner. This year I am grappling with how to be leaders in an age of transformation. The 2014 Global Drucker Forum focused on Transformation: Managing Our Way to Prosperity and it got me thinking about how we are given gifts through our experience and upbringing and how these gifts – when aligned correctly – can help us be able to “see around corners” and build a future in a transforming world; a world, as Drucker says, completely different from the one our grandparents and even parents grew up in.

I grew up on sailing ships; traditional wooden sailing ships that had very few comforts beyond a bunk, a well-stocked galley kitchen, and solidly built hull and rigging. How did this prepare me for thinking about transformation? I think living simply helps us to see something right in front of all of us: humanity. I think that with a human focus and finding those things that connect us all – the shining Southern Cross constellation, dolphins playing at the bow, lava rolling into a frothy sea off the Hawaiian Islands or voices joined in chorus to accompany raising sails – we are more prepared to see how we can keep continuity, stay relevant and move towards bettering our organizational practices even in a completely transformed (and transforming) society.

Transformation is about profound change so we must dig deep to find the simple things that connect us all. We must align ourselves with human interest and a larger purpose in order to survive and be relevant as the world changes around us.

Aristotle said that society is something that precedes the individual. If society undergoes change we cannot look to further individual or even organizational goals but rather have those goals connected to something larger.

EMC

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Visual Business Inspiration

This one got us thinking (and talking)…

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Image from FastCo Design “An illustrated guide to our maddening relationship with tech”.

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Making Positive Change through Alignment of Values

I was inspired to write this after reading a recent Seth Godin post where he asks the question:

Are you doing this to get people to do what’s good for them or what’s good for you?

I think we all want to think we act altruistically and with our stakeholders best interests at heart; nevertheless, it’s a valuable practice to re-evaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it – and what stakeholders we might be favoring with our actions. This is what a board does – or should do – when it takes decisions.

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At the management level, if we make a decision to launch a new product or service into a new market like Colombia, we are probably doing it to provide value to new clients in a new market. The client might be grateful to have another option to choose from or a new service that wasn’t available before in Bogotá or easy to access from his/her vacation home in Cali. This is common sense.

But what happens when you change status quo? When you “throw your weight around” as Seth Godin says. That’s when the importance of real alignment with organization mission (and what your customers value) comes into play. As Godin says are you changing pricing, technology or policies because “it’s good for the organization, because it raises quarterly earnings,” or because it’s good for the customer. Are you making decisions to delight the customer and to bring positive change to your community?

There’s no way of pleasing all people all of the time but if you are making changes in line with your core values and what your followers and clients value about you, this mean you are leading your stakeholders to change for their benefit, not forcing them to change for yours.

EMC

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Generation C: Demographics or Behavior?

There is an excellent interview posted on David Solis’ blog this week where you can find his thoughts around disruption and disruptive technologies, innovation, social media and the future of a connected society. It’s an excerpt from David Passiak’s free book where he interviews 20 innovators in the start up world.

The whole interview is a great read (check it out here) but I found the piece below especially interesting as Solis jumps from describing demographics (something we look at constantly in the Latin American marketing and media space) to talking about actions, habits and behavior. Here it is:

“This is a big, big conversation. The easy answer is this—when we talk about Gen Y, Gen X and Gen Z, or Boomers and Millennials, we really tend to go down the demographic spiral. That limits our view of what is possible.
For example, you and I are both analog. We had to learn how to use digital in every iteration that has been thrown at us and they had to learn analog, which is crazy. And when you start to study behavior, you start to realize that older demographics, once they start using an iPad, a smartphone, or if they start getting a Facebook or Pinterest account, actually start to exhibit a lot of similar behaviors to Millennials. It’s fascinating. While it is not as extreme, there are similarities. This really introduces psychographics.
Talking about Gen C was my way of saying, “Stop looking at demographics and look at behavior.” Generation C is a collective of connected consumerism that just acts, thinks and influences differently than our traditional customer. It is a way to get people to see things differently, not by age but by their behavior.”

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Networks and Global Solutions

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The first month of 2014 is drawing to a close. January has shaped up to be an interesting month for many of us. We have been able to “action” some of our New Years Resolutions and perhaps try something new in our business and in our community.

For Hipona Consulting, we are proud to be representing Scoopshot (P2S Media Solutions Ltd) in Latin America as their partner for the region.

It’s a wonderful gift to be able to combine what we love doing (connecting business and brands), with technology (the Scoopshot platform is amazing) and with our passion for building business in Latin America.

In celebration of our partnership with Scoopshot in the region and to the power of crowdsourcing – whether it be projects, ideas, design or photos – I am sharing with you an article that I wrote for America Economia on how the internet is facilitating global problem solving. The full article is available here.

Thanks for following our blog and looking forward to what the next month of 2014 has to bring!

EMC

Redes y Soluciones Globales
Por Esther Clark

¿Por qué miles de personas se organizan a través del internet para resolver un problema? ¿Significa esto que estamos viviendo un importante cambio estructural sobre cómo nos organizaremos en el futuro y del liderazgo en general?

En los últimos diez años han surgido varios proyectos, libros, talleres y presentaciones que analizan el uso del internet y de las redes para resolver problemas. No hablo de aplicaciones o de plataformas que nos ayudan a encontrar un bien o un servicio que necesitamos, sino de unos proyectos que concientizan el por qué de la colaboración online y del impacto de esta colaboración en nuestras vidas y en las vidas de los demás.

El mes pasado tuve la oportunidad de conversar con Don Tapscott, autor y co-autor de 15 libros, incluyendo Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet (2010) y uno de los fundadores del proyecto Global Solution Networks (Twitter: @GlobalSN). Tapscott hizo una presentación durante el Peter Drucker Fórum en Viena donde explicaba que el internet está uniendo personas e inteligencia a nivel global. Dijo que no es una era de información sino de comunicación, colaboración, participación e inteligencia colectiva.

Lo que me fascina en este tema no es sólo cómo el internet está facilitando la comunicación de ideas sino cómo el liderazgo está cambiando. Como dice Rachel Botsman, autora de Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (2012) y quien hizo famoso el “collaborative consumption” (consumo colaborativo), los términos como economía colaborativa, consumo colaborativo, economía de compartir, economía de pares (“peer economy” en inglés) son distintos pero tienen algo en común: el poder está siendo redistribuido a redes de individuos y comunidades. Eso hace que los consumidores ya no sean tan pasivos y tengan la posibilidad de ser creadores, colaboradores, financistas, productores, proveedores y líderes en estas comunidades a través de plataformas como kickstarter.com, scoopshot.com, o wikipedia.com. Los activos están siendo utilizados de una manera diferente, el poder del “crowd” tiene efecto y nuestra contribución a la definición de los líderes (empresas y personas) está cambiando también.

Una de las preguntas que Tapscott está explorando en el proyecto GSN es el futuro de estas redes. ¿Cómo pueden los pilares de la sociedad – gobierno, sociedad civil, empresas e individuos – unirse de mejor manera para tener las respuestas a los problemas globales – calentamiento global, pobreza, seguridad alimenticia etc.?

Les dejo con dos links de presentaciones en TED.com de Tapscott y Botsman, que hablan con ejemplos claros sobre este tema y los efectos y oportunidades de un mundo más conectado y colaborativo y, confiamos en que más inteligente.

Tapscott: http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html Botsman: http://www.ted.com/talks/rachel_botsman_the_currency_of_the_new_economy_is_trust.html

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