Knowledge Economy Products and The Future of Manufacturing

Knowledge Economy Products[UPDATED] Several profound market forces are preparing the ascendancy of Knowledge Economy products, which result from collaboration among designers, artists, engineers, customers and firms. This represents one of the Knowledge Economy’s most exciting-yet-disruptive elements: “products” will cease to be dominated by monolithic factories that mass produce virtually all items that people use and consume. Moreover, people have an inherent joy when they can make things for themselves, their friends and their families—and a dramatic new wave of creativity and innovation is imminent. To help you wrap your mind around Knowledge Economy products, this post will recall what happened to mass media and entertainment industries.

Knowledge Economy products are conceived, designed, prototyped and fabricated in the Social Channel. Best practices in open source, Agile development, design and Web development will unleash continuous innovation at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. Knowledge and innovation will be free in the Knowledge Economy because all supporting processes will become an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Firms and brands that do not recognize and respond quickly enough will become irrelevant.

Most brands can […]

Bank Branch Disruption Enables Unusual Opportunity

Branch disruption enables unusual opportunity for bank executives who consider transforming their relationships with clients. More generally, retail banking provides an excellent example of an Industrial Economy industry whose services are facing commoditization and weakening profits due to the waning of the Productized Channel of Value. In 2013, bank branch networks are under intense scrutiny because they are expensive, and client visits have been falling steadily for several years as e-banking and m-banking adoption have accelerated. Astute banks will use branches to transform their client relationships by leveraging the Social Channel. Here’s how they will do it.

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Social Business in Insurance: State Farm's Chicago Coworking Space

social business in insurance: State Farm's Next Door taps The Social Channel to engage millennials/Gen YNext Door Chicago is a newish concept for State Farm Insurance that’s a great example of social business in insurance. It differentiates the firm by interacting in the Social Channel. The Lincoln Park/Lakeview community center and coworking space is notable because its DNA is empowering people to improve their lives through financial education. Next Door offers free coworking space and wifi, classes on financial management that are free of product pitches, free events (some financial, some art showings and other diverse events), free conference rooms and an energetic environment. Only the optional coffee bar is paid.

Next Door’s main online presence is oriented toward free membership. Members can book space, sign up for classes and hold events. Here’s IDEO’s case study on the concept and design process.

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The Enterprise Social Business Life Cycle

Social Business Life Cycle: StrategyWhen CSRA released the Social Network Roadmap in Q2 2008, we were a unique voice speaking at conferences about enterprise adoption. Due to my prior work helping enterprises adopt disruptive technologies like distributed computing, Web applications, service-oriented architecture and Web services, it was easy to see what enterprise adoption would look like, so I designed Social Network Roadmap several years before most of the market was ready to use it. Our client work has enabled us to test, tweak and expand the roadmap since then. As 2012 draws to a close, enterprises have experimented, adoption of social technologies (“social media”) among most stakeholders has set records, and executives wonder how they can coordinate social business across the enterprise. To realize “compounded” enterprise social business benefits it’s important to understand the social business life cycle, so here is a brief treatment.

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Social Business Policy: Boosting Legal Safety and Employee Engagement

Social Business Policy | social business management | best practiceSocial business policy (social media policy) engagements are some of the most interesting, revealing and critical engagements CSRA has done. Of course, organizations’ main motivation for creating social business policies is protecting themselves against possible legal threats caused by employee interactions online; however, a far greater threat is overemphasizing the legal threat and sabotaging employee engagement online. Well researched and crafted social business policy increases trust between the employer and employees—and among employees, leading to more appropriate online interactions, which burnish the firm’s reputation. Here, I’ll outline how you can use the process of creating the policy to manage legal exposure while increasing employees’ trust and productive social business activity.

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The Global Social Channel: How to Compete Globally

Social Channel Three: Using the Social Channel to Defend Native Markets and Penetrate Foreign Markets

The global Social Channel will reintroduce “home court advantage” to national brands because those that use social business to compete globally by collaborating with users will have the cultural advantage; “foreign” firms may have better product features for the money, but they will not match home brands’ cultural fluency. Personalized service and attention are culturally specific, and deep cultural fluency directly correlates to intimacy. However, brands can only develop the home court advantage by practicing social business at an advanced level. Most have a long way to go and, meanwhile, they will get hammered when they persist in competing on product features in the Productized Channel of Value.

The blade cuts both ways: the home court advantage will make exporting to emerging markets much more difficult in the years ahead. The Social Channel will raise the bar because users in all markets will increasingly expect brands to relate to them and to solicit their input and advice. Brands will have to invest significantly in developing in-market social business […]

The Social Channel of Value

Social Channel Two: Understanding the Social Channel of Value by Examining Its Precedents

The Social Channel of ValueMeet the Social Channel of Value, the new arena where brands compete for user (customer, client) attention and loyalty. Product features are losing their ability to differentiate because they are copied so easily. Moreover, the Social Channel of Value will transform human decision-making, organizations and institutions because it digitizes sociality, a core human trait, and its power will dwarf the power of the product and the brand. CEOs, CMOs and CPOs have a very rare social business opportunity to harness the Social Channel ahead of competitors and remake their markets. These are strong statements, but bear with me and I think you’ll appreciate why I’ve made them.

The Social Channel is the Knowledge Economy‘s analog to the Industrial Economy’s assembly line, which led to today’s brands and mass-produced products. Where the assembly line made fabrication ten times more efficient, digital social technologies will boost human communication and sociality by an order of magnitude. The “Social Channel of Value” shows how product and service features will lose […]

Building Post-Product Relationships in the Social Channel

Social Channel One: Building Post-Product Relationships with Customers is how to Build Brands

The Social Channel of ValuePioneering brands are building post-product customer relationships in the social channel because they realize that product features are copied easily and serve as weak differentiators, which leads to pervasive commoditization. Moreover, people’s preferences for individualized information dealt mass media a lethal blow, and products firms will have a similar fate. Here’s why products will become extinct and how to guide your brand in building post-product customer relationships and profits.

I have predicted for years that mass customization would be the fate of “products,” and social business is bearing this out in spades, so here I’ll delve into how impersonal “products” will be rejected by customers in 5-15 years. More important, CMOs and brand stewards who appreciate this transformation will enjoy unusual advantage, and smart ones will prepare for it now. Brands that don’t get it will simply perish, and no one will even notice except their producers and vendors. Just think about the local papers and TV stations you have known.

This is Part One of […]

Noodle IX: Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy

Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy shows how knowledge workers can no longer seek refuge in their core expertise, and how to branch out.

Upgrading the Expert Role for the Knowledge Economy

“Experts” are regarded as the foremost authorities in their fields, the glib guru versions notwithstanding. An oft quoted maxim shows why: according to Malcolm Gladwell, for one, it takes 10,000 hours [of study, work] for most people to become expert in something.* On a related front, Naveen Jain posits that experts will be less likely to solve today’s toughest problems because their expertise has become a box around them. All those degrees or promotions within the organization have focused their minds but also closed out creativity. While commenting on his post, I realized that redefining the expert would be necessary in the Knowledge Economy, so here I’ll offer some strategies and tactics for how to practice being an “expert” in the 21st century.

Notably, we can take lessons from experts and apply them to specialists, which are arguably less far along on the same vector—and more common.

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The Twitter-LinkedIn Breakup: How to Manage Your Ecosystem Better

The Twitter-LinkedIn Breakup: How to Manage Your Ecosystem BetterThis week Twitter and LinkedIn canceled their agreement for easy cross-posting, which begot numerous indignant comments from people who seemed to have forgotten that they were using free infrastructure. Social business platforms are built and managed by venture-backed firms that need to execute on evolving business models, so we can all expect sudden changes from any and all. However, with some foresight and preparation you and your firm can minimize disruptions, which we’ll cover here. Even better, the LinkedIn-Twitter dustup provides strategic insights into how to operate within the digital social ecosystem, and we’ll address those, too.

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