The building blocks of a dynamic organization

The building blocks of a dynamic organizationI have written about many themes that touch the corporations of today in this blog over the years. Themes such as Lean, social business, dynamic capabilities, Lean Startup, intrinsic motivation, and service-dominant logic each have had their time in the spotlight.

With all these themes and theories, what is the big picture? I believe there is, in fact, quite a coherent picture that can be painted from all these themes, and that picture provides some much-needed answers on what a dynamic organization looks like and how to build one.

Continue reading “The building blocks of a dynamic organization”

Theory is not the enemy of practice, they are allies

Theory is not the enemy of practice, they are alliesA dangerous misconception has become prevalent in our society. It is a pestilence that affects, among other things, companies, the academia, health care, and education. As an almost invisible force it prevents mankind from reaching greatness in many ways.

This misconception is the great divide between theory and practice.

Continue reading “Theory is not the enemy of practice, they are allies”

It’s not the world of platforms, it’s the world of service

It is not the world of platforms, it is the world of servicePlatforms are all the hype nowadays. It seems as if the silver bullet to success for any enterprise is to become a platform following a trend set by the iPhone with which Apple disintegrated Nokia as a smartphone giant.

However, I argue that this belief in the power of the platform is ultimately misplaced and only manages to capture the superficial instead of the core underlying principle. In order to understand why, we need to turn to service-dominant logic.

Continue reading “It’s not the world of platforms, it’s the world of service”

The time is right for service-dominant logic

The time is right for service-dominant logicA change in marketing logic is underway. The perception that markets are a place where goods are exchanged for money is being replaced with a more nuanced view of service as the fundamental basis of exchange and value as subjective, consisting of multiple dimensions, and realized only through use.

Why is this shift taking place? Has the world changed? Or has our understanding of the world improved? Why didn’t we think of this before?

Continue reading “The time is right for service-dominant logic”

Value-based pricing and the four dimensions of value

Value-based pricing and the four dimensions of valueFor many companies, the traditional way to set prices has been some form of cost-plus pricing. In other words, they calculate their costs, slap on a margin, and there they have a price. However, this pricing scheme has come under increasing pressure as of late, and exploration is underway into other pricing schemes.

The most prized goal at the moment is often value-based pricing: determining the value the customer is able to create with the service and adjusting the price accordingly.

In this post, I will look into what value-based pricing is and how a more sophisticated understanding of what value is can help companies on their journey towards value-based pricing.

Continue reading “Value-based pricing and the four dimensions of value”

Seek out those who want to join your journey, not just the job

Seek out those who want to join your journey, not just the jobOne good guideline in recruitment is to hire the person who wants the job, not the title. Even if they are less skilled initially, motivation to push through and learn easily outperforms learned skills that are sloppily applied.

But is this all there is to it? I don’t think so.

Continue reading “Seek out those who want to join your journey, not just the job”

Can all support functions become strategic business partners?

Can all support functions become strategic business partnersCompanies are constantly looking for ways to be more effective and more focused. This places a major strain on the support functions, as they need to prove their worth in creating value for the business or face more and more cost-cutting measures and outsourcing. This has led practically all support functions to seek a deeper partnership status with the core business units. However, therein lies a problem: how many partners can the core business units have? Is it viable for all support functions to become business partners? If it isn’t, which ones of them can reach this level?

Continue reading “Can all support functions become strategic business partners?”

Fostering innovation by developing and hiring generalists

Fostering innovation by developing and hiring generalistsWhere do innovations come from? The Soviet scientist Genrich Altshuller scoured through tens of thousands of patents in the mid-20th century to find an answer, and his findings suggest that generalists may have an important role to play in fostering innovation.

Continue reading “Fostering innovation by developing and hiring generalists”

Leaders grow their own replacements, managers don’t

Leaders grow their own replacements, managers do notIn recent weeks, Raph Koster has been writing interesting post-mortem articles about Star Wars Galaxies. One point in particular caught my attention from a leadership point of view: the state in which the team was left in after Koster’s departure and his regret over his failure to train a replacement before he left.

Koster’s story is not a rare one. I have been through similar experiences myself. It is the difference between managing a team and leading a team, and it is a difficult lessons to learn. In this post, I want to dig a little deeper into management and leadership, and how it affects the growth of the team members.

Continue reading “Leaders grow their own replacements, managers don’t”

Guarding against complacency in the enterprise

Guarding against complacency in the enterpriseComplacency is a natural, almost inevitable feature of human behavior. It really is very difficult to recognize the need for change, especially as companies that experience hard times have almost always had a very successful past.

Motorola experienced sliding market share for five years before they recognized that maybe they should do something about it. Harley-Davidson almost went bankrupt and saw their domestic market share fall from over 80% to below 5% before their turnaround began. A similar story could be told of many other companies. Complacency is not rare, it is, in fact, systemic. So is there something we can do about it?

Continue reading “Guarding against complacency in the enterprise”