Trendspotting. Coolhunting.

While you might not think that businesses outside the trendy, youth-focused fashion and music markets would have much to learn from the practice of “coolhunting”, there are some key product life cycle principles common to both. Coolhunting is market research aimed at discovering, in their infancy, new trends in youth markets, catching them in the process of becoming ‘cool’, and then capitalizing on that knowledge by being first on the scene to take advantage of it. Coolhunting typically involves on-the-street interviews or focus groups, and there are numerous firms that specialize in providing this service, as well as other retailers and manufacturers that have taken this capability in house. The seamier side of coolhunting involves planting / infiltrating your people and products directly into the market, or paying certain key influencers in order to have them use and tout your product as if it was their own idea.

Riddle: How is Finance Like a Magic Act?

Magic is a very technical profession - you’ve got to learn all that sleight of hand stuff and it’s got to be very accurate. It attracts geeks who enjoy that sort of thing who practice by themselves for hours on end, often in their bedroom from a young age. Polishing the act to get it just right.

Yet to be a big success you’ve got to learn strong people skills. How to engage an audience, how to draw them into your story, how to entertain them, not just show off how clever you are at the magic.

It’s the Customer, Stupid

EPM Channel recently interviewed Janne Ohtonen about focusing on the customer when doing process improvement. Janne Ohtonen is a Business Process and Customer Experience Management trainer, consultant, speaker, expert & coach with over ten years of international experience.

Find out his thoughts on customer experience, tolerating failure (!), the importance of goals and metrics.

Social BPM: The Watercooler Just Got Cooler

I never quite got social BPM. “It’s like facebook but for corporations” the BPMS marketing departments screamed! “It will change the way we do business” they cried!

The success of social media is primarily that it’s fun and easy. We get a laugh out of sharing our catbearding photos (well I do…) and having innane conversations with people on the other side of the world that we haven’t seen for years. It’s an escape from the day-to-day humrum. So what is social BPM given that it’s focus IS the day-to-day humrum?

Can Do!

The Right Time…
Like most good things, there is a right time and place for challenging the troops to reach beyond what they believe possible. The right time is after the decision is made. Once the course is charted, charging up the troops to give it their all is crucial.

Churchill’s speech occurred after his decision to continue resisting the fascist onslaught. He wasn’t asking the people whether they could face the challenge ahead – he already knew they must. He was preparing them for that challenge.

…And The Wrong Time
The wrong time to motivate the troops to take on stretch goals is before the decision is made.

Two Moves Ahead

Anticipating Your Competitors’ Response In any extended conversation with and airline executive I’ll inevitably hear complaints about frequent flier programs.  They lament: Lost revenue High operating costs Customer dissatisfaction over error and restrictions (particularly angerous with today’s social media) And just what do airlines get in return from their loyalty programs? Woefully little loyalty. Schedule…