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Healing Business [How to Rehumanize]

Healing Business - Experiential Social MediaIn Healing Business, I’ll share why I think business needs healing and how CSRA is doing it with experiential social media. Business is wounded from a human point of view because it’s become very impersonal; large organizations don’t mean to, but they treat employees and customers as numbers because they don’t know or trust them. Experiential is a practical way to change that.

If you’d like to watch this post instead of reading it, click the thumbnail button!

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Many Businesses Live In Fear—How to Break Free

Many Businesses Live In Fear: How Trust Drives Down Firms' Risk and Fear[Updated] Many businesses live in fear, and how to break free reveals how fear and risk can be sharply reduced by increasing trust among employees, customers and partners.

I have learned many surprising things while practicing experiential social media, but one of the most astounding is the realization that most business practices, especially those that concern people, are grounded in fear and mistrust. This ties businesses in knots, but few people realize it because it’s accepted as normal. This post aims to open your eyes, so you can start noticing how fear and mistrust operate in your firm. Then I’ll offer numerous ideas that can help you to reduce fear and risk by increasing trust.

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Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media

Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media: de-risk innovationEthnographic research for business innovation shows how to apply ethnographic research of social media to managing controlled disruption within organizations. Ethnographic research of social media can transform the entire innovation process because it’s a very efficient way to study the behavior and motivations of the people that the innovation proposes to serve. Unlike traditional innovation and ethnographic research methods, which are relatively slow, costly and qualitative, ethnographic research of social media combines qualitative richness with quantitative analysis. It’s faster and less costly, too.

Ethnographic research for business innovation can dramatically improve the depth and breadth of business and corporate strategy, business design and service design research since it allows teams to consider more users and to assess their behavior and motivations, which can improve the value of more costly research.

This post outlines the business innovation use case of ethnographic research of social media, and it includes examples in banking, professional services, consumer products, and B2B marketing. For more on ethnographic research, see More Resources below.

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Social Media Strategy Lessons Learned

Social media strategy lessons learned summarizes eleven golden rules I’ve learned while leading strategy and its execution for global firms. Some of them might surprise you: I’ve come to learn that I have a different perspective on social media strategy since I advised global firms and startups in their corporate strategies before founding CSRA in 2006.

Social Media Strategy Lessons Learned

Before diving into lessons learned, let’s specify what we mean by social media strategy. “Strategy” itself is an overused work that denotes some mixture of research and planning. The strategy trade-off is simple: the more research and analysis you do upfront, the more risks you can foresee and account for in your plan. When you put your plan into action, you make fewer mistakes and execute more efficiently. Conversely, “minimum viable”/lean strategy does less research upfront, so the team learns while doing. Neither approach is universally “right,” and both work best for certain situations and firms.

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Noodle XIII: Surprising Benefit of Extreme Weather (Before you cancel that event..)

Surprising benefit of extreme weather: reflectionsThis winter carries a surprising benefit of extreme weather. It has been a bit colder than usual in much of the U.S.A. due to the “Polar Vortex,” and I have observed that many professional groups in Chicago have canceled or postponed events due to “extreme weather” over the past two months. This has started to become a phenomenon, so I’ve been observing it with interest.

My social business client work involves analyzing digital social networks, and it constantly reveals how people affect each other’s behavior, often in surprising ways. I hypothesize that reactions to this weather phenomenon are having unintended effects, so, in the spirit of all Noodles, I’ll explore some of these deeper meanings and invite your thoughts.

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Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do You Need a CDO?

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis is an executive summary of how CSRA helps organizations assess their need for “going digital” and hiring digital executives. These engagements serve as “requirements analysis” for an enterprise, business or brand.

Improving the Selection Process for Digital Executives

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do you need a CDO?Astute CEOs and boards of established firms and brands are awakening to an increasingly uncomfortable reality: for many, business results have been flat, and customers are behaving “unpredictably.” Since this is such a prevalent trend, there is emerging consensus that “going digital” is the way to get closer to customers(1) and revitalize business. CEOs or board members get on the phone to their executive recruiter to search for a Chief Digital Officer, a “digital CMO,” or maybe a digital-savvy CIO to lead digital transformation. As we’ll see, in so doing they are too often putting the cart before the horse. They will get better results by assessing their needs for digital expertise first, so I’ll offer a simple yet robust needs assessment process.

Although CSRA’s client work shows accelerating digital adoption […]

Noodle XII: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy

Noodle 12: Why Machines Won't Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge EconomyWhy Machines Won’t Displace Human Workers in the Knowledge Economy is a short thought experiment, in the spirit of all Noodles, which was in response to a post in Wired. In Here’s How to Keep the Robots From Stealing Our Jobs, John Hagel posited that a major rationale for the Knowledge Economy firm would be its role as a “knowledge platform” that enabled people to accelerate their learning and productivity. I highly recommend the post, which sparked many intelligent comments.

It’s obvious that many people are having difficulties imagining the world toward which we are hurtling, a world in which machines are getting “smarter” and able to “compete” for work roles that humans now do. In writing The Social Channel App, I thought long and hard about the Knowledge Economy and people’s roles in it, and its main thesis is that everything, from states and enterprises to people and products, will be differentiated in the Social Channel and that “humanness” will assume a much more visible importance in the economy.

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Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Social Big-Data Age

10 Detailed Case Studies + Big Data & Analytics’ New Digital Divide + How to Think Like a Data Scientist Book Review: Numbers Rule Your World/Kaiser Fung

Why Probability Is the Key to Profit in the Digital Big-Data Age[UPDATED] Step inside a data scientist’s mind, and learn why probability is the key to profit and how it’s the key to understanding and using big data for better decision making. This fascinating and useful book clearly shows how people misunderstand probability and misuse statistics—and therefore big data—and how the knowledge gap leads to faulty models, thinking and decisions. New winners and losers are emerging in the digital social and big-data age. A new digital divide, people who think like data scientists and use probability to support decision making—and everyone else. The data science group will outperform, and Fung shows how creative, fun and useful data science is.

This book is a perfect twin to Duncan Watts’ Everything Is Obvious* Once You Know the Answer, which exposes how common sense pervades management decisions and failure. I shall refer to several specific connections between the […]

Chicago-Style Innovation 2013 [Lightbank Innovation Day]

Lightbank logoChicago-Style Innovation is my notes from Lightbank Innovation Day, which took place on 9 May 2013 at the City Winery (presentations) and Lightbank’s offices (networking). Throughout the day, it was obvious that the Knowledge Economy’s Social Channel was unfolding; entrepreneurs’ startups are stripping off an increasing breadth of enterprise processes and using digital social software to improve them. For example, Needle’s platform creates experts in user (customer) use cases and outcomes that outperform anyone at retail; Fieldglass, HighGround, Fooda, oDesk and TalentBin take aim at various parts of human capital while Aon Hewitt showed how to practice enterprise innovation on the inside; DoubleDutch aims to [at long last] digitize trade shows and conferences through its platform’s geosocial functions. Sprout Social and Contently offered social tools.

Presenters Gian Fulgoni, J Schwan and Ramon De Leon shared valuable advice for entrepreneurs, investors and enterprise executives. Fulgoni provided statistics that showed how mobile was eclipsing ecommerce and analog commerce; Schwan opened the audience’s eyes to Ubiquitous Computing and the Internet of Things, and De Leon showed the power of (pervasively ;^) being yourself.

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The Big Omni-Channel Trap: How Retail Risks Overspending, Low Returns

The Omni-channel trap logo[UPDATED] The big omni-channel trap awaits digital executives who make huge technology, process and people investments to create new “experiences” for “connected customers” but neglect social technologies’ ability to engage people emotionally. Few business executives have spent enough quality time in digital social venues to appreciate how personally and deeply people collaborate online; rather, it is normal for CDOs, CMOs and CIOs to primarily think of “digital” as mechanizing technologies like Web transaction systems (ecommerce), mobile and big data. That’s the preconception baits the big omni-channel trap. The Big Omni-Channel Trap is second in CSRA’s retail & omni-channel series, and it will show you how to avoid the trap.

More and more customers and other stakeholders are collaborating online and getting accustomed to being individually treated like people, not demographics of consumers or customers. They like it. People can’t resist places in which they, and others around them, are listened to and responded to meaningfully. People respond to each other’s emotions. Organizations that don’t appreciate this development will invest heavily and receive lackluster returns, weakening themselves at a […]