What are you arguing about?

 

 All firms have strategies and cultures. But sometimes the quickest and surest way to gain valuable insight into their fundamentals is by asking, “What’s the most important argument your organization is having right now?”

The more polite or politically correct might prefer “strategic conversation” over “argument.” But I’ve found the more aggressive framing most helpful in identifying the disagreements that matter most. Of course, there’s frequently more than one “most important argument.” And arguments about which arguments are most important are — sorry — important, as well. (If people insist there are no “most important arguments,” the organization clearly has even bigger unresolved issues.)

The real organizational and cultural insights — and payoffs — come not just from careful listening but recognizing that, as always, actions speak louder than words. What role is leadership playing here? How is the CEO listening to, leading, or facilitating the argument? Is disagreement viewed as dissent? Or is it treated as an opportunity to push for greater clarity and analytical rigor?

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What a great question:

What is the most important argument your organization is having right now?

Pricing As A Strategy To Build Customer Loyalty

Last week in The Creedy Commentary I began a 3 week series on how our old pricing model (cost-led-pricing) is not only outmoded but unsustainable.  In this brief video London Business School Assistant Professor Marco Bertini discusses a concept a brought out this week in my discussion of Price-Led-Costing, the alternative to our old unsustainable method: Fair Pricing.  He explores 5 principles that will help you humanize the way you make money and build customer loyalty… 

and answer the question: “What Does Your Pricing Say About You”

What Would I do:

As I tell you in the last two postings in The Creedy Commentary this is going to be a challenge and somewhat painful. So the first thing is to read the following Posts:

A Broken Business Model: Wringing More Money Out of Your Best Customers Is Not Sustainable

Building A Competitive Fortress Through Your Pricing Strategy

How To Stop Customers From Fixating On Price

Then wait for next Tuesday’s Commentary posting.  Oh, you might also come back here to the roundup monday for a sneak peak at next week’s feature video.  It will help you think about some of what you will be learning next week.

P.S. I know this is frustrating.  But you have to unlearn some things to learn new things.  Reinvention is not easy.

Today’s online world may force us to create business platforms in two dimensions.

To Aaron Shapiro, CEO of the digital agency Huge, online marketing means creating immersive environments where people go to get their problems solved.

I found this Interview with Booz and Company to be enlightening relative to how I think about websites and my digital presence.  The idea of having two businesses in the context of how I actually use the internet makes sense.  In particular the idea of creating a digital wrapper as opposed to the “brochure ware” so common among practitioners today.

S+B: What implications does this have for marketers?
SHAPIRO: Today, a company effectively needs two businesses to succeed: the core business it’s always been in, and a digital wrapper that meets user needs online. This means companies have to think of themselves as software businesses, competing in the digital sphere with Google and Amazon. They have to create a software layer around their whole company, where all their constituents and stakeholders will interact with them.

The best strategy is to be a filter.  Read More on Strategy + Business

What I would do:

If you have been following me for any period of time you have watched the iterative nature of my online presence.  The ideas in this article resonate with me as I successfully  create an online dialogue with the DeathCare profession.   My choice to engage on topics of interest to my readers rather than touting how wonderful I am causes my presence to grow and buzz to increase.  All the things outlined in this interview.  Of course I am wonderful but only my mother cares about that.

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How To Win By Being Second

The pace and complexity of change has accelerated to a level that it threatens to overwhelm us.  But, in a counterintuitive way it turns out that athletes, fighter pilots and businesses more often win by being a little slower and letting the opponent act first.

Speed is killing our decisions. The crush of technology forces us to snap react. We blink, when we should think. E-mail, social media, and 24-hour news are relentless. Our time cycle gets faster every day.

If every one else moves too quickly, we can win by going slow.…More at Act Fast, but Not Necessarily First – Frank Partnoy – Harvard

 

 

Here is what I would do:

Here is another 4 point discussion to have with my key managers.  What are we observing?  What is it telling us?  Where is the open water?  Then decide.  For many this will be the first time.  Decide.  Unlike a military encounter you probably won’t die.  Try some small things first.  Give them some time.  But kill them if they don’t work.  ACT on your decisions.  I will guarantee one thing.  Have one little success and you will want more.