September 5, 2019

Design Thinking is Not Democratic

Design Thinking is not democratic. Well, at least it shouldn’t be. If you don’t know what Design Thinking is, my previous statement probably didn’t make any sense. Don’t worry. If you’ll stick with me, I’ll explain what it is before I explain why it shouldn’t be democratic.

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August 16, 2019

Wargaming for the War on Talent

When the job market is tight and employees have their pick of companies, we often find ourselves with a heightened need to better understand how we stack up in their eyes. That is currently the case in the marketplace, and we see this trend continuing into 2030. (For more on trends impacting the workplace of 2030, see our eBook, Organization Effectiveness for 2030 — Are You Ready? How the World of Work is Changing).

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August 20, 2019

Using Design Thinking in Business

Design Thinking has become a well-known approach for solving problems—used now in an array of industries and businesses—but it can mean a lot of different things in different contexts and to different people. The set of activities underpinning Design Thinking have traditionally been used for product development and refinement. However, through working alongside clients and business partners with various functions and backgrounds, we’ve found that Design Thinking can be effective with almost any type of business problem or scenario.

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August 13, 2019

Understanding and Meeting Customer Needs

Clayton Christensen, the business guru and Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, notes that of the 30,000 new products launched each year for consumers approximately 95% of them end up failing. That’s a high rate of failure by any measure. While nobody who launches a new or improved product wants to be in that 95%, it is often difficult to know which steps are best to take to improve your odds of success.

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July 9, 2019

Competition Makes You Better

It’s easy for us to view competition as “the reason we can’t charge more.” However, if you only view competition through this lens, you will continue slashing your prices until you’re unprofitable. We must recognize that competition doesn’t only force companies to cut their prices (and profits). Competition drives companies to be better, and thus serve their customers better.

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July 2, 2019

Wargaming in Business to Get a Competitive Advantage

Staying Ahead of the Competition There are several options in any organization’s toolbelt when it comes to identifying, targeting, and eventually selling to a key market segment. Most of these combine consumer feedback with meaningful data. However, if you find that competitors seemingly are always a step ahead of you, then one of the best ways to start moving ahead in your market is by thinking like them.

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June 21, 2019

Three Web-Based Tactics to Get a Pulse on Your Place in the Market

Nearly every open market has a leader. Typically, the number two and three spots can also be strong positions for a firm to occupy, especially if the market is still growing. While these positions are said to all be “strong,” the correct strategy for increasing or maintaining market share will vary greatly from the 1st to 3rd position, with the strategies varying to an even greater degree between the 1st and 33rd position. Where your company stands among its competitors matters across a wide range of variables and inputs, and it can impact everything from your procurement office’s ability to implement strategy to your marketing spending across different platforms and regions.

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June 7, 2019

Do You Have a Clear View of Your Market?

You may know your company inside and out, but it is much more difficult to know the moving pieces in the industry around you. By industry knowledge, we don’t necessarily mean well-worn metrics like annual forecast demand or largest buyers, though these are important. Rather, we’re referring to a deeper knowledge of the market’s ins and outs: current and future players, underlying trends, weaknesses, and possible disruption points. While it may seem like a lot of work to stay up-to-date on market forces and your competitors, it’s definitely worthwhile to maintain a macro-level perspective of business activity occurring around you and your company.

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March 22, 2019

CHROs: Are You Sitting at the Conference Table or the Kid’s Table?

While everyone recognizes the need for a solid HR department headed up by a reliable CHRO, they can often get left out of the broader strategic company loop. As a CHRO, it’s important to make room for yourself at the conference table so you’re not only always aware of business decisions and strategies, but can contribute to them as well. In other words, what can you do to ensure that you’re not only advocating for yourself and your department, but demonstrating value and providing insights for the company as a whole?

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March 22, 2019

What is Technical Debt

Similar to financial debt, technical debt isn’t automatically bad. Well managed tech debt can bring your company great benefits. Basically, technical debt is the result of development teams who push to rush a project in a knowingly imperfect manner to achieve a deadline. It’s the result of a company choosing speed over quality. It can also sometimes be referred to as design debt or code debt. There are three basic kinds of tech debt: Intentional, Unintentional, and Unavoidable.

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