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True Love for Customers [Love in Business Series]

True Love for CustomersTrue love for customers reveals how nonprofit, commercial and government organizations of all sizes can create much stronger relationships and business by transforming how they relate to customers.

Philosophers, clergy and psychologists have long acknowledged love as the most powerful force between humans. Love connects people like nothing else can, I think because love touches and binds together so many parts of the brain simultaneously: Love stimulates the reptilian brain because it’s related to survival. It is central to the limbic brain, which is grounded in emotion and memory. And love throughly engages the neocortex in art, ideals, and many other forms.

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Employee Engagement: An Experiential Business Application

Employee Engagement and Experiential Social MediaEmployee engagement and experiential social media shares my insights into one of the biggest challenges faced by business today—the employee engagement crisis, and how firms can change the game. Fewer than a quarter of employees are engaged, a slightly smaller quarter are “actively disengaged,” and the majority is blasé and punches the clock.

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

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[Updated] CSRA 11th Year Celebration

11 Celebration: Ten years of Experiential social media & social business hightlights, mission & vision11 Celebration summarizes my reflections on CSRA’s first decade in business, and my vision for our next decade. We’ve been pioneering in experiential social media and social business transformation since I founded the firm in February 2006.

It’s difficult to encapsulate ten years of learnings, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying! This page will reprise some of my favorite posts, and it will feature a series of videos I’ve made in which I explain where we’ve been and where we’re going. This post will change frequently, so please consider it a work in progress.

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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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The Connected Car and Customer Experience

The connected car and customer experienceThe connected car and customer experience reveals a new opportunity for carmakers to dial into real customer behavior and desires around connected cars and autonomous cars. The Connected car and the autonomous car are powerful services that will help transform how people move around, and they are emerging during an era of unprecedented volatility in markets. I’ll wager that there’s never been a better or more challenging time to be a carmaker because opportunities and threats have never been higher. I’ve been fortunate to meet product managers and engineers who are pioneering connected and autonomous car services. I’ve also been meeting leaders in the Internet of Things (smart devices), of which the connected car is a part.

My crystal ball says that the connected car is a bet-the-brand proposition for carmakers because it directly addresses competing on customer experience, the most disruptive trend of all. As I detailed in The Social Channel, we have moved from a product/service-based economy toward an experience economy. Even IT analyst Gartner has proclaimed that customer experience is the final battleground for firms. Established […]

Ethnographic Research of Social Media

Ethnographic Research of Social Media[Updated] Ethnographic research of social media is one of my biggest secrets. It has become the foundation of CSRA’s ability to create trust at scale, so here I’ll share how I came to use it with social media. Then I’ll explain what ethnographic research is, why it’s vital to CSRA, and how it works, so you can use it. Finally, I’ll share use cases for experiential social media, product management, business innovation, and cross-border business.

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Pricing Guide for the Knowledge Economy with Behavioral Economics

How Free Things Are Disrupting Businesses + Radical Innovation + Guide to Free Business Models

Book Review: Free/Chris Anderson

Pricing Guide for the Knowledge Economy with Behavioral EconomicsFree is an indispensable introduction to the disruption of “a product for a price,” one of the Industrial Economy’s key constructs. It is rich with examples of many of the pricing innovations and business models with which you’re probably familiar but haven’t thought about in depth. Many of its examples have to do with digital products, which are inherently disruptive because their distribution cost is close to zero, and they can displace legacy analog products.

Free is important and useful for two reasons beyond pricing and business model innovation: it contains a good dollop of behavioral economics with regard to pricing, and it gives numerous examples for thinking beyond the two-party market model that dominated the Industrial Economy, buyer and seller. As Anderson repeatedly shows, in digitally networked markets spawned by the Internet, firms put themselves at significant risk when they don’t adopt a networked ecosystem mindset. For example:

When something becomes free, it […]

Big Data in Healthcare and Education: Two Examples

Big Data in Healthcare and EducationBig Data in Healthcare and Education shares how U.S. and UK government agencies used big data & analytics to help evolve national policy and outcomes. These examples are useful because they show the range of big data projects; the U.S. example is simple, yet it has profound impact on the health of the citizenry and therefore on the economy. The UK example is more involved and shows in depth how organizations can use big data to address expensive programs that are full of unknowns—like national education.

This post shares my notes from a recent Deloitte Dbriefs webcast, Analytics in Action, which you may watch and download its slides. The webcast was moderated by Steve Dahl, and David Weir and Haris Irshad presented the examples.

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Noodle XI: The Rise of Design and Fall of Nokia, RIM and Motorola

The Rise of Design Signaled the Fall of Nokia, RIM and MotorolaThe rise of design signaled the fall of Nokia, RIM and Motorola describes how engineering is becoming less important in distinguishing hightech and other products from each other. It also presages a seismic shift away from product towards customer experience in determining market leaders for people-oriented products and services. A very large portion of product companies will follow in the footsteps of these three former mobile phone titans unless they transform their focus from product features (engineering) to customer experience (design).

By no means do I imply that engineering is not important—in fact, it is more important than ever—I assert that it is less important than design in differentiating people-oriented products. Engineering is abstracted away from the customer/user of the product, and design explicitly addresses how the customer uses the product to attain outcome(s).

Design is to the Knowledge Economy what engineering was to the Industrial Economy.

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