Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do you like contact with prospects?

Most companies have (on their site) a contact page. Usually it mentions a physical address and an email. A phone number is not mentioned very often – ‘don’t call us, we call you’.
The email looks like this info@.........

So far that looks rather logical. The main failure is that I have never received an answer from mails send to these info@ …. addresses. However,  most of my inquiries were related to where I could buy their products!

Apparently they are not really interested in having new customers. I would suggest to seriously respond to these questions or to skip the contacts page.

Are you responding to customer inquiries?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

Featured in Alltop

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The co-……. hype

You can’t read any article without finding the co-word.   New ones are defined every day. Here are some examples:
-        co-authoring
-        co-branding
-        co-creation
-        co-designing
-        co-owning
-        co-parenting
-        co-producer
-        co-……. etcetera

In essence, this is what co means:                                                  
co- |kəʊ|
1 (forming nouns) joint; mutual; common: coeducation.
2 (forming adjectives) jointly; mutually: coequal.
3 (forming verbs) together with another or others: coproduce | co-own.

While most challenges clearly do need a team approach, adding the co-word is not a magic recipe for success.

Working together (from two to n- people) is in itself not easy. Especially when you bring a group of freelancers or entrepreneurs together. They are all their own bosses and have their own agendas. This is a bit easier when you build teams of employees.

There is a huge amount of literature about how to build great performing teams and what the various roles should be.
What is missing is that (as a condition sine qua non) you need to make sure that the proposed team members share the same motivation, priorities and ambition. In other words, why are you willing to be part of this team, how important is this teamwork to you and what goals do you have? If you don’t align these requirements upfront, you will always face a lot of wasteful difficulties in the team.

What are you doing to effectively co-work with each other?

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

Featured in Alltop

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Be open to changing the rules (i.e. the system)

Last week, I did attend the Open Innovation Festival in my city, Amersfoort. It was a nice event, but I really don’t understand why they called it “open”. There was nothing being discussed where ideas were sourced from the community. There were no initiatives to truly engage the local community. It was more about what innovation is. Well, the way it looks to the local government.

The mayor and general council gave a presentation about what innovation is. That was really shocking as the content was really poor and missing the point. They did exclude disruptive innovation from the menu! They said that they were only interested in incremental innovations.

At the same time cities are confronted with a lot of challenges and a more demanding population. A consulting agency did share that they are experiencing huge problems in aligning all stakeholders (citizens, public servants, management, council and board).

If you stick to the old rules and are not open to fundamentally change the system, then it will be very hard (even impossible) to get good results. You have to be open to changing the rules. A simple example from field hockey does illustrate this. When the FIH (international hockey board) skipped the rule of ‘offside’, the game became much more attractive. Also the number of goals scored did increase a lot. Scores like 5-4 or 7-3 are normal sores now and the public loves it.

So, if you really want to align all stakeholders then you (corporations, governments, NGO’s) have to be open to changing the rules of the game!

Enthusiasm drives Excellence!

Featured in Alltop