A few weeks back I came across a campaign report. Over 40 slides full of charts, assets and feedback, and dedicated insights for each section.
Usually, it’s just bullet points describing what you can already see by looking at the charts — and you’re left on your own to figure out what any of it really means.
And unfortunately, this time was no different.
And it got me wondering; how many marketers does it take to change a light bulb?
JK! But I do wonder if marketers realise when they’re presenting observations vs. insights.
And more, how many leaders…
The answer: bubbles.
And have you ever wondered how trends are like bubbles?
They form, expand and then pop, giving way to something new.
And by the time that latest trend makes its way into a report, it’s already going mainstream and everybody’s already jumping on the bandwagon.
That’s why everything on Instagram looks the same, and why everyone on LinkedIn is perpetually interested in anything that’s trending at the time.
Different logos. Same message.
Of course, there is safety in following a well-trodden path. But playing it safe doesn’t earn you a space in someones’ mind. Not in a…
The capacity of a system to make its own structure more complex is self-organisation.
Evolution is the self-organisation of a vast system.
Self-organisation is often sacrificed for gaining short term productivity and stability. Self-organisation encourages creativity and experimentation, it allows systems to come up with whole new solutions and whole new systems.
But self-organising systems often go against the grain of bureaucracy, control and predictability.
Systems often have the capacity to self organise, even those that start from following simple rules.
When a system works well there’s harmony in the way it behaves.
There are three common traits shared by all systems that work well.
Resistance allows the system to survive even as the environment around it is changed.
Resilience is built by feedback loops that can restore the stock of the system.
Dynamic feedback loops that are characteristic of resilient systems should be able to learn, create, design and evolve ever more restorative feedback systems.
Natural systems such as ecosystems are remarkably resilient. Other resilient systems such as communities have the possibility to learn…
All systems are designed to produce output by taking input and processing it. And every system with finite resources has to deal with limiting factors.
Limiting factors inhibit the growth and functioning of a system and can change how the system evolves.
Limiting factors can be self-imposed by design or created as a result of a process. No system working with finite resources can grow beyond its limiting factors.
No system analysis can be completed unless you take the time to understand the Limiting Factors such as incentives, disincentives, information flows, and bound rationality (short term thinking) that exist in a system.
Systems are the building blocks of the world around us.
All systems are made up of three things.
(The process but is also known as the Stock. In other words, a system stocks the input before it's turned into output.)
Outputs are often the most visible parts of a system. Outputs are also what we pay the most attention to.
And if we have a hair trigger reaction to jumping into problem solving mode, outputs is where we start and quickly jump into fixing processes.
System Thinking is a holistic approach to understanding the way things really work.
All systems have three parts.
Input: Resources and information is being fed into the system.
Stock: Input being processed or stored in the system.
Output: The end goal of the system.
In Systems Thinking you view every output as a result of the interactions between the various elements of a system.
The most effective way to understand a system is to pay attention to the output.
Keep in mind that systems are often made if several interacting subsystems with each sub-system producing its own output.
Many major brands are undertaking reviews of logos, packaging design, and marketing messages in the light of the Black Lives Matter protests and the broader debate over racial equality.
Big brands, such as Amazon, H&M, and McDonald's have all come out in support of Black Lives Matter.
And other businesses are renewing their brands to better reflect changing consumer demand. What they want, is to get rid of product names and packaging designs that seem racist and stereotypical.
Aunt Jemima has been under fire and Quaker Foods has promised to drop the name and logo as its “origins are based…
Growth for the sake of growth is one of the basic business tenets of today.
We’ve all felt the effects of it. If not directly through our own employers, then most recently through the financial crash of 2008.
The roots of this obsession go back to the invention of modern accounting in the 1890s.
But it was Milton Friedman who introduced the age of shareholder primacy in 1970. And since then companies have existed to maximize shareholder value.
This blind pursuit has devolved into managing earnings expectations for investors.
Many managers know this. Yet few behave as if they do.
People get promoted into leadership positions usually by virtue of their experience on the job.
And we expect them to have answers. Or to readily come up with them when their team members don’t know what to do.
Often, the leader is the person who had the most knowledge about the job their direct reports perform.
And that was seen as the basis of their authority and reason for promotion to a managing position.
But don’t be fooled.
Just because someone else mistakes your on-the-job experience as the basis for authority, you shouldn’t.
Doing the job and managing the people…