Monday, February 18, 2008

*You* are the brand

Picked this up of Seth Godin's blog the other day where he talks about the posture of a communicator.

What's helpful is to realize that you have a choice when you communicate.
You can design your products to be easy to use. You can write so your audience
hears you. You can present in a place and in a way that guarantees that the
people you want to listen will hear you. Most of all, you get to choose who will
understand (and who won't).

And I've tied it to another quote that I really like

“A customer-aware company gets bonus points for its intentions and rhetoric, but
negative points for doing little or nothing to build processes and structures
that allow the organization to deliver consistently and transparently for the

A customer-centric company matches intention and attention. It
does the hard work of threading enterprise-wide customer experience initiatives
across the silos and specialized functions, through the processes, and down to
and through the technologies and human factors in order to deliver for the
customer and the organization.” (Kevin Hoffberg)

Whether you know it or not, you have a brand promise that you make your customers. And everything you do during your day will impact on how your customers perceive you delivering to that promise. Even more, things you don't do will all impact customer perception.You need to know what your brand promise is and how what you do impacts on that.

Just today I have

- designed some identity frameworks

- completed a weekly report

- reviewed my planning structure

- had team meeting

- completed my expenses

- had a conversation about how we could collaborate better

- had 4 conversations about how we can improve delivering a new business

-overheard 3 people discuss how they feel we are heading for a bad result and don't know what to do about it

-debated whether we are a process centric or customer centric organisation (they are the same !)

-met my family for coffee

- Written this entry

Based on delivering the brand promise, I've hit about 40 - 50% of things that are important to deliver on the brand promise and 50 - 60% of things that are necessary (but not important). I think it should be more like 80/20.

What's your day been like?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Necessity is the mother of invention

Or maybe it's this

"Financial security is the greatest inhibitor of creativity that mankind has ever known"

I'm not sure if its the 'greatest inhibitor of creativity' but I'd have to say that it's up there. In previous conversations with HP and Sun on how they manage innovation, their biggest barriers have been internal - people with existing revenue streams who see a new product as a threat to that security.

I've got about 9 weeks left of employment left at Telecom. I can calculate with some degree of accuracy what I will be paid in that period. After that it is, at this point, wide open. I can say, without doubt, that I have had the biggest run of ideas so far in my life. Not all of them are my own - it would be fair to say that I am listening much closer to what people say for triggers for ideas. Not many of them have got to the point where I could say that they are a viable business. I am getting closer though.

Makes me think there are a bunch of people out there who are financially secure who have a bucket of ideas everyday and just keep going. What do you think they are thinking ? It's not how to get the next buck - it must be some kind of internal drive that keeps generating ideas independent of their needs for food and shelter. Maybe its what Maslow meant by self-actualisation ?

Thanks to Simon for the lead to the quote and the audio clip it comes from.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I gave at the Office 2

I started writing this a week or so ago - when I published today it got lost in my previous published stuff.

Any idea how to change this in Blogger?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Unusual pop culture / nature reserve mash-up

You probably have to be over 30 for this to have any relevance at all. No idea where it even is...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Plugged In

I just got back from Baa Camp in Auckland and now feel very plugged into New Zealand's web and entrepreneurial communities.

The link to the site doesn't do this gathering justice, but that is because it is a private gathering - but what is clear is that this is *the* place to trade ideas and learn from a fantastic cross-section of NZ's thought and business leaders. People who think nothing is impossible.

A major characteristic of the Baa Camp is that the entire agenda is user created - at the start everyone lists out topics that they want to talk about and see how those develop over the weekend. Hardly any power point in sight - only used to help illustrate the conversations.

Apparently last year's Baa Camp delivered a lot of the industry input into shaping the thinking of David Cunliffe in his regulatory approach for broadband. I'd expect to start seeing some coherent industry activity on

1. Independent web advertising networks
2. Policy input for Fair Use of Digital Content

Personally, I got a heap out of it
- Met some fantastic people with the most diverse range of backgrounds, skills and thinking
- Got majorly inspired about the prospect of setting up my own business in this space
- Participated in a very impromptu (and high quality) single malt sharing session
- had some great conversations about the power of brand promise and customer experience and how to get that to stick
- Played my first game of werewolf and got nailed completely - but dead keen to have another go
- Uncovered a few business opportunities that I'm keen to have a good look at.

Next step for me is to have a crack at setting one of these up in Telecom before I disappear in mid- April. It is by far the most effective way that I have seen to get up to speed with a number of different topic areas and the best networking event I have had the privilege of attending.

Big thanks to Nat for the invite and making it happen. Tips to to Rod,  Mauricio and Russell who made the recommendations for me to attend.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mobile Commerce replacing bank branches in Australia?

I read this article from stuff this morning. The implication in the lead-in was stunning...
"Australians are fast deserting bank branches and soon won't even need a computer to transact, now that the country's major banks are rolling out mobile phone banking services."

It's stunning because it's wrong. You'd think that you'd soon be able to walk down the main streets of Sydney and not see any bank branches and that we'll all be using our mobiles to transact.

A visit to Australia recently demonstrated that banks are re-opening branches in suburban areas, and are extending opening hours for existing branches into the weekend and after 'normal' working hours. The same trend has been occurring in NZ.

Leads to to 2 questions - one on this topic and one broader.

1. Why are branches important for banks ?

Branches are important for banks as they provide a direct and personal link to their customer. When it comes to high complexity and high value transactions, customers will want to understand the impacts - they won't get this on their mobile, they'll get this by talking to a knowledgable bank employee. Sure banks will continually look for more efficient and more convenient ways to manage high volume, low complexity transactions. That becomes part of the portfolio of choices they offer to customers. It makes sense for banks to offer a multitude of ways - not just one way - to serve their customers. ANZ's Brian Hartzer makes this point in the article. That is the real headline.

2. Why does a belief exist that a new type of technology will totally supercede any existing means?

Maybe it generates headlines - I'd love to know from anyone who has been in the journalist or social marketing fields why it is necessary to be so black and white about this type of thing. Experience says that these changes are slow in coming and you never really know where they land - it is very rare to have one mode totally replaced by another. In this particular case there is no further detail in any of the article that Australians are fast deserting branches - yet the journalist or editor in question seems to think that it's important to know in this article. It isn't and it just seems naive.

Finally, it is good to see that something which has been around for around 5 years in New Zealand is seen to be a big thing about to happen in Australia . A great example of using NZ as a test market before moving to larger markets - best of luck to the M-Com team as they break into a larger population base. They've done a lot of hard work here building a business model and ecosystem - maybe payoff for the hard work is just around the corner....