Bo Burlingham on Small Giants (3): special places to work

Fifth, the companies also had what struck me as unusually intimate workplaces. They were, in effect, functional little societies that strove to address a broad range of their employees’ needs as human beings – creative, emotional, spiritual and social needs as well as economic ones. … They were places where employees felt cared for in the totality of their lives,…

Bo Burlingham on Small Giants (2): key relationships

Third, each company had an extraordinarily intimate relationship with the local city, town or county in which it did business – a relationship that went well beyond the usual concept of “giving back”. That was part of it, to be sure, and all of these companies were model corporate citizens, but the relationship was very much a two-way street. The…

Bread and butter: unbundling complex products

There is a place (a big place!) for custom work – people pay more to get difficult jobs done well, and the craft required gives you an opportunity to do work that people will notice and “cross the street for.” But if everything you do is complex and nuanced, such that every quote is a custom quote, and every sale…

Crossing the street: Seth Godin on monopolies

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as particularly successful. I think of them as useful. I’m glad if I need a bag of coal someone’s doing it,…

The competition

However well things are going, from time to time you might get worried about the competition – people who do what you do, who look like they might be doing it better or cheaper. It’s important to know what’s going on, to think about what you can learn and why. And it’s even more important to think about what it…

Which “better”?

More accessible Disruptive Innovations are NOT breakthrough technologies that make good products better; rather they are innovations that make products and services more accessible and affordable, thereby making them available to a larger population. Christensen Institute Could you make it… … cheaper? … easier to discover? … easier to find out more about? … easier to get hold of? ……

Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)

Design Singapore: Changi airport (1)

It’s simple, but so rarely done well: put yourself in your customers’ shoes at every point of interaction with your organisation and ask “What do I need at this moment? What would help me, and make me feel helped?” This photo is classic Changi – just after immigration and the bustle of putting your passports away, as you look up…

To make change happen…

We usually need several things to come together before we actually make a change. 1. See that the change is possible We learn what’s possible through exposure (seeing a thing happen or be done), experience (doing things ourselves that suggest similar things might be possible) and education (being taught, or self-teaching, about what has and can and could happen). 2.…

Customer hierarchy (1)

It’s good to keep your products – and I include services as part of product – as focused as possible on the needs of your customers. One catch is that you are almost certainly serving multiple costumers: The people you hope to impact with your product End users of your product The people choosing and buying your product Any other…

Who pays? (client / user edition)

It means all kinds of things if the client or user of a non-profit organisation’s services pays. The organisation will be focused on the client, and their needs – “She who pays the piper calls the tune.” The non-profit will be able to charge only in proportion to the usefulness of the service they provide (and in proportion to the…