Kunden i fokus – på riktigt

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Försäljning / Sales, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 30th, 2016 by admin

Alla vet vikten av att ha kunden i fokus vid det här laget. Men hur gör man för att bli kundcentrerad – på riktigt? Det vet Oke Eleazu, grundare av Think outside in.

ceEn tydlig trend inom de allra flesta branscher är att erbjudandena blir alltmer likriktade. Det medför att det inte går att förlita sig på företagets produkter eller tjänster för att nå framgång. Istället blir det olika aspekter av kundupplevelsen som väger in.

Detta konstaterar Oke Eleazu, grundare av den kundupplevelsefokuserade konsultfirman Think outside in!, och nu aktuell med boken The Cult of Service Excellence.
– Till och med inom resebranschen har trenden blivit tydlig. När Ryanair inte längre kunde vara säkra på att alltid erbjuda det lägsta priset, så satsade de på att förbättra sin kundservice – och såg direkt hur vinsten ökade, säger Oke Eleazu.

Större makt åt kunden

Allt fler får upp ögonen för att kunden faktiskt är kung, menar han.
– Starkt bidragande faktor till att kunden har fått en allt större makt är teknikutvecklingen.

Först gjorde jämförelsetjänster att det blev en total transparens när det gäller priserna, och nu har sociala medier gjort samma sak när det gäller kundupplevelser.
– Enstaka missnöjda individer kan definitivt skapa stora problem för ett företag – och det går snabbt, speciellt nu när allt större del av kommunikationen sker via mobilen.

Vill signalera smart konsument
Å andra sidan kan tekniken användas för att förstärka kundupplevelsen, till exempel med hjälp av en egen app. Fast då är det tre kriterier som är viktiga att hålla koll på, enligt Oke Eleazu:
– För det första måste det vara enkelt. Sedan ska man vara medveten om att kunden är ombytlig, och bejaka det genom att exempelvis – som Amazon – komma med rekommendationer om alternativ eller komplement. Till sist gäller det att kunden känner att tjänsterna eller produkterna är prisvärda.

– I Storbritannien ser man allt fler kassar från lågpriskedjan Aldi på stan. Inte nödvändigtvis för att fler handlar där, utan för att det är ett sätt att signalera att man är en ”smart” konsument som ser till att få mycket värde för pengarna.

Det har skett olika förskjutningar när det gäller vad kunderna värdesätter, och nya faktorer spelar in.
– Tidigare har en bra kundupplevelse varit synonymt med att man har medarbetare som är vänliga mot kunderna. Det räcker inte längre. Nu förväntar sig kunden också att företaget och transaktionen ska vara optimalt användarvänlig och effektiv. I annat fall vänder sig han eller hon med några klick till en konkurrent.

Locka fram naturliga leenden
En nyckel till kundnöjdheten är dock fortfarande medarbetarna, och enligt Oke Eleazu handlar det i förlängningen om hur ledningen agerar.
– Det är alltid bra att utbilda personalen, men det går inte att skapa medarbetare som bidrar till goda kundupplevelser. Det måste genomsyra hela kulturen, så att medarbetarna blir engagerade och agerar på bästa sätt för att de gillar det, säger han och tillägger:

– Det är en sak att säga till medarbetarna att de ska le mot kunderna, men något helt annat att bygga upp en kultur där medarbetarna ler naturligt – alltså för att de är glada!

Källa:Telia.se, 30 november 2016
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HR can’t change company culture by itself

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on November 29th, 2016 by admin

A strong culture is vital for organizational success – as evidenced by the relationship between culture and leadership, employee commitment, customer satisfaction, and innovation. But “strong” doesn’t mean fixed. As the organizational goals and strategy change over time, so too should culture intentionally be changed. The best leaders ask, “Who do we need to be (culture) in order to achieve what we’re trying to do (strategic goals)?” But there’s one barrier that holds many organizations back from genuine and successful culture change: ownership. The first question to ask when culture change is on the horizon should not be, “How do we go about this?” but rather, “Who owns this?”

The answer is, too often, HR. Recently, I spent time with one of the world’s largest financial institutions, in the process of changing their culture. They have a significant call to change, an official remit to do it, yet one major challenge of ownership. And as with most medium-to-large organizations, official responsibility for shifting organizational culture lies in the hands of senior HR executives and their team.

While culture change can be an important and exciting project for HR, making it HR’s sole responsibility doesn’t work out as anyone had hoped. Too often, it devolves into a transactional “box-ticking” exercise. In this financial institution, for instance, it is often unjustly regarded as “just more to do from HR.” This isn’t through bad intention or lack of belief that the culture change matters. It’s usually because of competing priorities. So unless it’s the official responsibility of business unit leaders, it’s hard to move culture change to the top of their agenda when there are so many other formal responsibilities. Particularly when they know that HR, who tend to have greater skills and expertise in this area, is supposed to be leading the charge.

True culture change means altering the way the organization lives and breathes. It shapes the way people make decisions, get their work done, what they prioritize, and how they interact with colleagues, clients, and customers. It is really only successful and powerful when business leaders see it as their responsibility, and see HR as a resource for helping them achieve it. Consider a recently published longitudinal study by Anthony Boyce and colleagues that found culture “comes first” in predicting sales, as mediated by customer satisfaction. Surely creating that culture is just as much of a sales concern as an HR priority.

That’s why culture change has to be a collaborative project. HR leaders can help business executives successfully execute culture change by doing four things:

Facilitate the research phase.
To move from A (existing culture) to B (desired, future culture) we often spend a lot of time and facilitate conversation and consultation deciding on B, but not enough time having a tangible, meaningful understanding of A. What do we look like now, at all levels — values, behaviors, processes, policies, artifacts? The larger the organization, the more variety we’ll get in what A really looks like across the firm. Business leaders need to know, and HR can be a huge resource in facilitating this process.
cc
Convince leaders culture can change…
So many senior leaders I meet are, in reality, very skeptical that culture really can change. And rightly so. Most have only seen culture change when drastic internal or market circumstances have forced it upon the organization. This skepticism is justified, as there are many examples of culture change not transpiring despite all the “talk” or of the change not turning out well. HR can help by sharing examples of how organizations have, in line with their long-term strategic objectives, proactively and positively driven culture change.

…Then teach them how to change it.
We can’t assume business leaders will know what to do to influence culture. Some may have the expertise already, while others may find that it comes somewhat instinctively. But for others, even the most senior leaders, it can be a new and uncertain path. Few will have been involved in leading culture change before. It is not enough to engage business unit leaders to get their input on what needs to change and their buy-in to the initiatives. Only when we equip business leaders with the skills to drive culture change can we then give them ownership and hold them accountable for its success.

Have a formal “handoff” where the project is handed over to the business.
As soon as the time comes to shift from A to B and start making changes to facilitate the new culture, the message to business leaders should be clear from the very, very top: “This is not an HR project, it’s yours.” HR is there to support, help, and facilitate the change — much as an outside firm of experts would be. But ownership of making these changes does not lie with them; it lies with the business unit leaders themselves.
We need to be clear that in the life cycle of an organization, culture can and should change. And this change is best led from the very top, driven through equipped, accountable business unit leaders, working collaboratively alongside HR.

Source:Harvard Business Review
By: Rebbeca Newton
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Ta kommandot över din arbetsdag

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 23rd, 2016 by admin

Stressigt på jobbet? Lite mycket som ska hinnas med innan semestern? Psykologiforskaren Alexander Rozental hjälper dig att hantera stressen och arbeta effektivt i sju steg.

Arbetsuppgifterna hopar sig till högar på skrivbordet, telefonen plingar till stup i kvarten och inkorgen svämmar över av e-post. Om du känner igen scenen är du är inte ensam. Forskning visar nämligen att en vanlig kontorsanställd blir avbruten i jobbet ungefär var tolfte minut. Att det för varje avbrott dessutom tar uppemot en kvart att återgå till sin ursprungliga arbetstakt gör det svårt att någonsin prestera på topp. Utöver avbrotten äts allt mer av vår tid upp av att vi tvingas hantera stora mängder inkommande information, förväntas vara tillgängliga dygnet runt och sysselsätta oss med flera uppgifter parallellt. Men genom att själv återta kontrollen över din agenda så kan du göra din moderna arbetsdag mindre hektisk. Med hjälp av följande tips kan du lättare hantera stressen på jobbet – och få mer gjort på mindre tid.

1. Arbeta när du är på topp.
Anpassa dina dagar efter din biologiska klocka. En stor del av befolkningen är morgonmänniskor, till följd av biologiska, sociala och kulturella faktorer. Andra av oss fungerar däremot bättre senare på dygnet. Forskning visar dock att morgon- och kvällsmänniskor presterar lika bra, så länge de får jobba när de själva fungerar som bäst. Kontorstiderna kan vi kanske inte rå över, men däremot hur vi förlägger våra uppgifter. Komplexa och krävande saker bör utföras när vi är som piggast, medan mer rutinartade åtaganden hellre bör förläggas då vi börjar känna oss trötta.

2. Ta regelbundna pauser.
De flesta av oss går ut alltför hårt när vi ska ta itu med en uppgift. I stället för att ta regelbundna pauser lurar vi oss själva att tro att det är bättre att fortsätta tills vi är helt klara. Efter ungefär 90 minuter orkar dock inte vår hjärna att behålla fokus längre, och risken är då stor att vi gör mindre arbete på mer tid. Precis som en muskel vi tränar på gymmet behöver hjärnan återhämtning. Det kan således vara en god idé att sträcka på benen emellanåt och ägna sig åt något annat än enbart arbete, till exempel att ta en frukt, fylla på med kaffe eller prata med en kollega. Ju svårare uppgifter vi ägnar oss åt desto fler pauser behöver vi. Därför kan det vara smart att ha som regel att vila i några minuter varje timme.
stressad
3. Jobba i fokuserade arbetspass.
Få saker har en sådan positiv inverkan på vår produktivitet som att vara helt och hållet koncentrerad på något. I dagens informationstäta samhälle blir vi dock ständigt avbrutna av saker som vi upplever att vi behöver ta itu med. Facebook, e-post och Instagram stjäl vår uppmärksamhet och gör att vi får allt mindre gjort under arbetstid. Genom att ta bort alla distraktioner, be om att få jobba ostört samt sätta en timer blir det lättare att bibehålla fokus och fullfölja sina uppgifter. Ett annat namn för denna strategi är Pomodoro-tekniken, uppkallad efter en tomatformad äggklocka (pomodoro = tomat på italienska). Exakt hur långt ett arbetspass bör vara är däremot individuellt och beror på vad som ska göras. En bra riktlinje är att arbeta en halvtimme i taget, varefter det kan vara smart att ta en kort paus innan det är dags för nästa fokuserade arbetspass.

4. Använd dig av utvalda arbetsplatser.
Rutiner gör susen för vår produktivitet tack vare att det ökar förutsägbarheten i vardagen. Genom att lära hjärnan att associera vissa situationer med en viss aktivitet blir det enklare att komma igång med rätt sak på rätt plats, samtidigt som det minskar utrymmet för ursäkter och undanflykter. Om du vet med dig att du fungerar bäst vid ditt skrivbord är det förmodligen där du ska ta itu med dina arbetsuppgifter. Om du däremot är mest kreativ på ett kafé eller bibliotek kan du utnyttja dessa platser för att komma på dina bästa idéer. Särskilt utvalda arbetsplatser kan även göra susen för dig som studerar, jobbar hemifrån eller ofta tar med arbetet hem – försök i så stor utsträckning som möjligt att hålla hemmet fritt från saker som påminner om jobbet eller din utbildning. Det gör det lättare för kroppen att varva ner när du kommer hem.

5. Stäng av din smartphone.
Ett enkelt och effektivt knep för att bli mer produktiv på jobbet handlar om att stänga av sin smartphone. Få saker får oss att behålla vår koncentration så bra som att strypa inflödet av information. Att sätta egna gränser för när du är anträffbar innebär dock inte att du måste gå miste om saker som händer eller ge upp den moderna teknikens fördelar. Däremot blir det lättare att sätta din egen agenda och hantera din tid. Forskning visar att personer som själva väljer när och hur de går att nå inte bara presterar bättre och är mer produktiva, de mår dessutom bättre psykiskt. Orsaken stavas återhämtning eftersom de blir mindre stressade av notiser och själva kan reglera var jobbet slutar och fritiden börjar. Om det känns alltför drastiskt att stänga av din smartphone i perioder – varför inte börja med att stänga av alla notiser och sätta telefonen på ljudlöst medan du jobbar?

6. Gör en sak i taget.
Multitasking, parallellarbete och att ha många bollar i luften – de flesta av oss har någon gång ägnat oss åt det, och ofta tror vi att vi får mer gjort om vi har mycket på gång samtidigt. Problemet är bara att vår hjärna inte är skapad för att dela sin uppmärksamhet mellan två eller flera komplicerade uppgifter. Att prata i telefonen och stryka en skjorta kan gå an (även om det kan vara nog så svårt!), men så fort vi ska utföra flera saker som kräver stor koncentration går det ofta åt skogen – antingen blir den ena eller båda av våra uppgifter lidande. Därför är det alltid bättre att göra en sak i taget. Om du har många olika saker som behöver slutföras kan det därmed vara en god idé att utnyttja dina fokuserade arbetspass för en uppgift i taget. Dessutom gör detta att vi mår bättre och slipper känna oss tomma i huvudet efter en arbetsdag.

7. Sätt rätt mål.
De flesta människor kan sätta upp mål för sig själva, men få kan göra det på rätt sätt. Mål som är vaga eller abstrakta tenderar att skjutas på framtiden, vilket leder till mer stress och mindre arbete. Mål ska vara så specifika som möjligt för att minska vårt handlingsutrymme – ju tydligare de är desto svårare att slinka undan. Mål får inte heller vara för stora eftersom det hämmar vår problemlösningsförmåga och gör oss handlingsförlamade. Börja därför alltid med att skapa konkreta mål som du sedan bryter ner i mindre delar. Det gör det enklare att ta sig an varje enskild del och i slutänden får du mer gjort än om du enbart hade haft ett enda mål att jobba mot.

Källa: Modernpsykologi.se
Av: Alexander Rozenthal
Om författaren: Alexander Rozental är legitimerad psykolog och doktorand i psykologi vid Stockholms universitet. Han är medförfattare till boken Dansa på deadline: Uppskjutandets psykologi (Natur & Kultur 2014).
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What it takes to understand your customers today

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Customer care / Kundvård, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete on November 19th, 2016 by admin

Companies that know how and when to use the wide array of research tools available today have a big competitive advantage in generating insights that lead to new organic growth.

What do Unilever, Philips, Amazon, and Netflix have in common? At first sight, nothing much. They compete in very different industries, and while Unilever and Philips are firmly rooted in the 19th century, Amazon and Netflix are unthinkable without the Internet.

What they have in common, though, is that they drive growth by meeting consumer needs better than their competitors do. Core to this consumer focus is a strong belief in insights, and in the active use of a diverse mix of insight tools—new and old, qualitative and quantitative, digital and analog—to get better answers.

Unilever, for example, has successfully engaged in consumer cocreation to launch TRESemmé, a fast-growing dry-shampoo brand that is now one of the best-selling mass hair-care products in the US. Philips has achieved major market-share gains in highly contested home-appliance categories through city-level growth analysis. Thanks to its data-driven recommendation engine, Amazon attributes more than one third of its revenue to cross-selling,
and Netflix saw its subscribers triple between 2011 and 2015, largely because of its ability to develop hit shows such as House of Cards, based on advanced analysis of subscribers’ past viewing behavior.

images-1Developing a better understanding of customers is increasingly a strategic necessity, because fast-moving markets, new technologies, and new business models are changing what customers want and how they shop. Yet many companies still spend the bulk of their research budget on traditional techniques (e.g., focus groups, interviews, and surveys), or treat insights as an afterthought, which leaves them with a limited and often incorrect view of what customers want. That is a recipe for obsolescence in today’s economy.

Market research has traditionally been a linear and sometimes slow process. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for attitudinal research to take three months and innovation investigation as long as year. This is changing rapidly in response to demands to keep up with the accelerating pace of business and thanks to digitally enabled techniques, which are bringing greater flexibility, effectiveness, and speed.

Consumers have ongoing digital interactions with brands and about brands, which can be observed continuously. Online focus groups can be assembled in 10 minutes. Mobile ethnographies can be completed in a weekend. Rapid quantitative surveys can be fielded and analyzed in days or weeks, rather than months. These developments are allowing marketers to create more targeted and relevant insights programs, tailoring the technique and questions to the right consumers at the right time.

Such speed and targeting has made insights generation both faster and cheaper, allowing marketers to get to “good enough” insights before moving to real-time testing and iterating in their marketing pilots and campaigns.

While there is a vast array of marketing analytics and insights capabilities, this article focuses on those tools, techniques, and approaches that specifically lead to new commercial growth, i.e., new products, services, or markets. (An insight is defined as the discovery of a fundamental consumer need that companies can use to create value for the customer and the business.)
A new approach to insights

Getting to a level of understanding about what customers really want requires the ability to understand what motivates consumers, as well as how they shop and make decisions. Based on our work with leading companies and innovative insights vendors, as well as proprietary research, we have identified five research approaches that are best suited for generating the kinds of insights that lead to new growth opportunities.

1. Observe consumers ‘in the field’
Observing consumers as they shop or use a product is often deeply revealing about their behaviors and motivations. This kind of research is closely tied to behavioral economics, a school of thought that seeks to understand the way consumers actually make decisions. It’s also a pillar of design thinking, which puts the customer at the center of a system of interactions with the brand.

As business leaders think about developing an insight engine for their organization, we recommend reflecting on five questions:
• What modern insight technologies and sources have you invested in and developed over the past 24 months?
•ƒƒ What are the primary blockers that slow down the delivery of a relevant and actionable insight to the right decision maker?
• ƒƒWhat percentage of your insights are counterintuitive and lead to different decisions from those made in the past?
• ƒƒWhich business leaders, both inside and outside of marketing, are actively using customer insights to make better decisions?
•ƒƒ Which insights developed in the last 12 months have been used to accelerate growth and make efficiency gains?

John Kearon, the founder of UK-based agency BrainJuicer, a two-time winner of Esomar’s Best Methodology award and a leading provider of observational and ethnographic research, believes that “anything based on observation of what people really do is massively more accurate than what people say they do—or the reasons they give for saying it.”

One international food company, for example, was seeking to introduce European markets to a new product: a dip that could also be spread on bread. The CEO believed that countries like France or Italy would be ideal pilot markets, given the countries’ obsession with good food. To test this hypothesis, a team of ethnographic researchers conducted “dine-alongs,” where they joined subjects in five countries both in restaurants and in private homes.

Through observation and casual conversation, the team found that consumers in two other countries were actually more open than those in France and Italy to international cuisines and new flavors, and would be more receptive to the company’s product. Based on this research, the company changed their market-entry priorities and increased their launch targets to more than a 10 percent share in the category, which unlocked additional sales of more than $10 million annually.

2. Digitize the daily diary
While consumer diaries—literally a written record someone creates to track their daily decisions and purchases—have been around for some time, digital advances and mobile devices have made this kind of research much more versatile, accurate, and accessible. Typical applications include video recording, photographs, and blog posting of food or beverage consumption, media usage, patient journeys, or compliance with medical prescriptions and therapies. What’s more, the results are available within days, if not in real time, rather than after weeks or months.

In a pioneering case, a maker of pharmaceuticals and medical devices used digital diaries to better understand how arthritis patients self-administered injections several times a day. Participating patients used mobile devices to film themselves performing these tasks. Additionally, researchers observed patients at home. The research revealed that some patients skip injections because of the discomfort and pain they cause or the anxiety patients feel. Not all patients, however, admit such qualms to their physicians, who then will frequently prescribe higher dosages of pain medication. A member of the observation team said, “Until now, we have never seen how patients live in their day-to-day lives.”

To address this issue and increase patients’ compliance with the prescription regimen, the company is working on a needle-free drug delivery system as well as other ideas for new products and services that would make the life of arthritis patients a lot easier. The total opportunity has been valued at almost $100 million in incremental revenue.

3. Use advanced analytics to get much more granular insights
Today, the mass of data about consumer behavior allows marketers to get past broad and often deceptive averages to dive into much more granular levels of insight that can unlock new opportunities. Those who invest in big data and advanced analytics often achieve up to 10 percent sales growth, up to 5 percent higher return on sales, and a margin uplift of 1 to 2 percent.
A next-generation car-rental company with ambitious growth plans, for example, used advanced data-mining techniques to target new customers more effectively. It started by analyzing its database of driver profiles and trips to identify distinct groups of customer archetypes. The team then pulled in external data from a variety of sources to build a scoring model to identify drivers in a given city or neighborhood who fit one of the ten archetypes the business had developed. They then tailored offers and communications to each of those segments. Within one year, the company grew its customer base by more than 10 percent and increased its revenues by almost 20 percent.

Philips US applied advanced analytics to simulate the market potential for various combinations of price tiers, channels, and product portfolios—not at a country or even regional level, but city by city in dynamic markets.

With that information in hand, the marketing team created offers that targeted the most promising segments in each city. The market share in relevant product categories increased from 15 percent to 19 percent, and the EBIT for the company’s consumer lifestyle division jumped from 8 percent to 14 percent. Says Pieter Nota, CEO for Philips Consumer Lifestyle: “Based on the global growth analysis, we devised a plan to double revenues over the course of less than a decade without compromising profit margins, partly driven by product innovation in two highly dynamic categories.”

4. Better listening and learning with social media

Social media allows companies to listen in on unfiltered conversations consumers are having about their preferences, experiences, and habits. Many services exist, such as Hyve, Winkle, BrandWatch, Synthesio, or Google Analytics, to unlock insights from analysis of online discussions, consumer reviews, topical blogs, and keyword-driven trend analysis. Active listening enables companies to detect relevant buzz early on (be it positive, neutral, or negative), react swiftly, and unearth clues that can lead to innovations.

imagesBeiersdorf, the personal-care company and owner of the Nivea brand, tapped into an ongoing social-media conversation to develop a completely new product line. Using Hyve’s Netnography Insights software, the company found that consumers were complaining in multiple online forums such as beautyjunkies.de that deodorant leaves stains on textiles. Further analysis revealed that the issue was widely discussed and that users shared advice on how to remove various types of stains.

In response, the company developed a new type of deodorant that prevented yellow stains on white clothes. To test the concept, Beiersdorf turned to almost 2,000 dedicated followers of the Nivea brand. It turned out that consumers were not only concerned about yellow stains on white clothes but also about white stains on dark-colored clothes. Beiersdorf refined the concept and marketed it as “Nivea invisible for black & white,” stressing that “white stays white and black stays black.”

Ansgar Hölscher, in charge of consumer insights for the Nivea brand, says, “Thanks to social listening and online consumer cocreation, Nivea Black & White became the most successful product launch for Beiersdorf in ten years.”

5. Cocreate with consumers on digital platforms
Manufacturers of consumer products are inviting their customers to generate new ideas to advance their product development and gather feedback on new products, even before launch. This goes beyond just listening to customer preferences and bringing them into the creative and development process. When done well, cocreation can reduce market-research costs, increase customer loyalty, and develop the products and services that customers want. Leading vendors in this field include CrowdWorx, Innocentive, Synthetron, noo F/X, and Lunar, the award-winning design firm recently acquired by McKinsey. Procter & Gamble became a high-profile proponent of this approach when it launched its Connect+Develop program, which aimed to leverage external idea generation for future product development. One of the innovations that originated from this program was the Swiffer range of cleaning products that collectively contribute about a billion dollars in annual sales.
More recently, Unilever made headlines when it created a new hair-care range, TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, with the help of consumers. It learned that half of US women do not wash their hair every day, even though many of them feel insecure on the days when they don’t.

To learn more, Unilever engaged with women in My Beauty Café, an online community dedicated to hair care and beauty regimens. Community members contributed to every step of product development, from initial ideation and concept refinement to sample testing, packaging, and advertising. Launched in 2010, the new range generated first-year sales of almost $8 million. Subsequently, Unilever’s share of the US mass hair-care market jumped from 9 to almost 16 percent. Today, Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is one of the ten best-selling products in the overall styling category in the US mass market. Generating insights is a vital, iterative process. Testing and learning, adding innovative methodologies to your tool kit, and discarding techniques that no longer add value have become core insights disciplines. While reengineering how companies generate insights is crucial to finding new growth, how effective it is relies on an approach that is as dynamic as the market itself.

Source: McKinsey.com, November 2016
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Authors: Jonathan Gordon, Volker Grüntges , Vicki Smith and Yvonne Staack
About the authors: Jonathan Gordon is a partner in McKinsey’s New York office, Volker Grüntges is a senior partner in the Munich office, Vicki Smith is a senior expert in the Chicago office, and Yvonne Staack is a senior expert in the Hamburg office.

Making reorganization routine

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 16th, 2016 by admin

With the US consumer sector changing at an unprecedented pace, retailers and consumer-goods manufacturers are actively reshaping their business and strengthening their presence in new and fast-growing markets and channels. To help fund their efforts in these new growth areas, companies are on a seemingly constant quest to cut selling, general, and administrative costs—and many of these cost-cutting programs involve reorganization. Indeed, according to our analysis, approximately 60 percent of companies in the S&P 500 have launched large-scale cost-reduction and reorganization initiatives within the past five years.

Yet our research shows that only 26 percent of those companies have successfully prevented costs from creeping back up. Worse, many consumer companies are failing to reallocate resources even as their strategies change: their budgets remain skewed toward mature, low-growth brands rather than newer, high-potential brands, or they continue to invest heavily in traditional capabilities such as retail real estate while underinvesting in newer capabilities such as digital marketing and data analytics.

reorg2How can companies capture—and sustain—the impact of their cost-cutting and restructuring efforts? We believe part of the answer lies in jettisoning widespread but outdated beliefs about organizational redesign. Our extensive work with leading retailers and consumer-goods companies has shown us that, in many cases, companies would be better off doing the opposite of what conventional wisdom tells them to do. In this article, we outline five new rules of organizational redesign. By following these rules, companies can simultaneously cut costs and drive growth—and do so for the long term.

Rule one: Shake up the core of the organization.
When embarking on cost-cutting programs, many consumer companies adopt a hands-off posture toward what they consider strategic functions—those they see as core to the business, such as marketing and merchandising—and focus instead on finding back-office efficiencies. Companies have repeatedly searched for savings in their cost centers and support functions by implementing lean techniques as well as through more transformative changes such as automation and outsourcing. The core functions, on the other hand, remain full of unexplored opportunities. For example, even companies that have shifted a considerable portion of their media budget from print to digital media continue to retain their print-marketing infrastructure.

The entire organization—no exceptions—should be in scope when contemplating a cost-reduction effort. In our experience, when companies assess the savings potential in all their departments, they identify twice as much savings in the core functions as they do in back-office functions.

Looking at interactions across departments can surface even greater savings potential. Many companies—particularly those that have been in belt-tightening mode for several years—have already tapped into the most obvious savings opportunities within departments or business units, but they’ve yet to examine inefficiencies in cross-functional, cross-channel, or cross-regional activities and processes. One example of a cross-cutting activity is retail promotions, which typically involve the marketing, sales, and merchandising departments and require coordination across channels (stores, catalogs, and online).

A global beverage manufacturer had been hesitant to even consider trimming its market-research budget, as the company had always viewed market research as central to its success. But, as part of a broad cost-cutting effort, the company decided to review market-research spending line by line: who had commissioned each piece of research, for what purposes, which suppliers conducted the research, and how the results were used across the organization. The company found that its market-research spending was more than twice the industry average and that its supplier base was highly fragmented, consisting of more than 50 providers. Based on its findings, the company made several changes: it redesigned and simplified cross-functional work flows, consolidated its vendor relationships, and created rate cards for standard research types. These changes lowered the company’s market-research costs by 20 percent without adversely affecting revenues.

As this example suggests, a cost-cutting program—which companies sometimes view as a necessary evil—can actually help a company become more effective and more agile. Reducing costs, especially in core functions, can be a catalyst for creating a leaner, faster, and ultimately healthier organization.

Rule two: Play favorites.
Every part of the business must be fair game for cost cutting, but that doesn’t mean that every part of the business should have identical cost-reduction targets. When it comes to budgets, management would be smart to play favorites.

An equitable mandate—for instance, “All business units must cut costs by 10 percent”—may sound sensible and wise; after all, it’s much easier to get buy-in from across the organization whenreorg1 everyone sees that the burden is shared equally. But such an approach misses the point of a reorganization. Setting across-the-board targets is counterproductive if the goal is to reallocate resources from low-growth to high-growth areas.

Some companies already play favorites, but in a way that doesn’t support their strategic priorities. For example, at a global specialty retailer, the bulk of the merchandising department’s staff and budget was dedicated to mature brands as opposed to newer, high-growth brands. This situation persisted even though the company’s strategic plan had called for greater investment in the newer brands. We’ve seen the same kind of misalignment at several other consumer organizations, from food manufacturers to household-products companies.

A better approach is to set different cost-reduction targets and investment levels based on a business unit’s growth and efficiency potential. Leaders should also define the capabilities that are critical to growth and invest in those capabilities while “leaning out” other areas to free up funding.1

For example, a global retailer reduced head count in its copywriting team by having copywriters work in both print and digital media instead of exclusively in one media channel. This consolidation helped fund new positions in digital analytics.

Rule three: Ask for bad ideas.
An ambitious cost-reduction initiative will have the best chances of success if people in the organization are empowered to think creatively and to make bold—even outlandish—suggestions. Role modeling by senior leaders goes a long way here: when leaders aren’t shy about offering up ideas that could be controversial or unpopular, they embolden others to do the same.

One hindrance to idea generation is a territorial profit-and-loss (P&L) owner. Conventional wisdom prescribes that the person with P&L responsibility also take charge of a cost-cutting program, because that person will be the most motivated to make it successful. The flip side is that the P&L owner has largely brought about the current state of affairs and therefore may not have an objective view. He or she may find it difficult—even impossible—to envision different ways to structure the work or different roles for individuals he or she hired. The P&L owner might concede to incremental moves but resist a fundamental rethinking of the organization, which in some cases is what’s needed.

One proven approach for ensuring objectivity is to form a steering committee comprising the functional leaders and at least two C-level executives. The steering committee’s role is to make decisions for the benefit of the entire company rather than just one business area.

Committee members should regularly challenge the status quo and push for a “no sacred cows” mentality—for instance, spurring the business unit to consider options that it may have previously viewed as off-limits (such as automation and the use of third-party providers). What might seem a terrible idea to the P&L owner could be an intriguing idea to committee members. Even rejected ideas shouldn’t be permanently discarded, but instead kept on a running list to be revisited in the future.

At a US multicategory retailer, the steering committee asked to be informed of all cost-reduction ideas—even those that the business unit had considered and rejected. One such idea was to do away with the gift boxes given to shoppers during the holidays. The business unit felt the move was too radical and would annoy customers who had come to expect retailers to provide free boxes for their holiday-gift purchases. The steering committee implemented it anyway, and the result was $2 million in annual savings. The retailer’s chief competitors soon followed suit, eliminating their own practice of giving customers free gift boxes.

Another way to ensure the objective evaluation of ideas is to appoint a neutral “cost-category owner” who can ask tough questions and bring a fresh perspective. At a packaged-goods company, the head of supply chain served as the category owner for marketing co-op funds. This executive was able to discover maverick spending that marketing executives hadn’t been aware of.

Rule four: Move beyond benchmarks.
Managers either love or hate benchmarks. Those in the former camp see benchmarks as valuable metrics for understanding the competitive landscape and for triggering important internal discussions; they believe companies should strive to meet or exceed benchmarks. Those in the latter camp argue that every company is unique and that it’s therefore unhelpful and illogical to compare one company’s decisions, structure, and head count to another’s.

Both camps are right, to some extent. Organizational benchmarks can tell a company, for example, the average number of employees its competitors have in each department. But that information is meaningless without deeper insights into what those employees actually do. Thoughtful leaders use benchmarks not as default targets, but rather as indicators that shed light on areas in which a company’s investment differs markedly from competitors, and then as a starting point to generate ideas for how to operate more efficiently.

Leading companies complement benchmarks with a thorough diagnostic, encompassing internal quantitative and qualitative analyses (such as time-allocation surveys that highlight the activities to which employees devote most of their workdays). Done right, a diagnostic will surface what should change: Where are the bottlenecks in core processes? Are employees using cutting-edge tools, or are manual processes limiting their productivity? Are they spending too much time on low-impact tasks?

Through benchmarking, a retailer saw that its marketing team was 45 percent larger than the marketing teams of several competitors. Instead of reflexively cutting head count, the retailer dug deeper and discovered that its marketing team produced more than twice the number of catalogs as comparable retailers did. These findings led to data-driven discussions about the retailer’s marketing investments. It decided to discontinue its least profitable catalogs, reduce the number of in-store events, and consolidate all marketing-analytics functions—previously dispersed across the company—into centers of excellence. These moves helped shave 15 percent off the company’s baseline marketing spend.

Rule five: Skip meetings and stop writing reports.
A reduction in force won’t necessarily lead to a reduction in work. Leaders must spell out exactly which activities should cease, which ones should change, and which should continue. Otherwise, those critical decisions will be left up to lower-level employees, and costs will quickly creep back up.

We’ve found that, in many companies, certain activities take up an inordinate amount of time but yield little benefit. One example is the often dreaded meeting. In general, meetings occur too reorg3frequently, last too long, involve too many people, and often don’t end with clear next steps. When a US apparel retailer administered time-allocation surveys among members of its product-development team, it found that designers were spending an astounding 70 percent of their week either preparing for or attending meetings. The survey results were an eye-opener and became a powerful case for change. The retailer reduced the number and frequency of meetings as well as the number of meeting attendees, in part by allowing team members to give certain approvals via email or online instead of in person.

Another way to reduce work is to examine a company’s decision-making processes. Many companies find that they can halve the number of people involved in making certain strategic decisions. Typically, after an organizational redesign, about 80 percent of decision rights are obvious; only 20 percent—we call them “pinch points”—are murky (in many cases due to shared responsibility) and thus need senior-leadership attention. As part of an effort to increase organizational effectiveness and agility, a global retailer identified its “high-value, high-pain” pinch points—cross-functional decisions that had far-reaching financial or strategic implications but that were widely perceived as slow and painful. A clean-sheet redesign of three pinch points led to faster, simpler decision making. In each of the pinch points, up to 20 percent of process steps were eliminated, and the duration of one monthly process was reduced from ten days to five days.

Like meetings, business reports can be time wasters. At a global food-and-beverage company, the finance function was constantly churning out financial reports. After close investigation of who was requesting the reports and how frequently, how long they took to prepare, and how they were being used, the company eliminated the laborious but low-impact reports. In total, the finance staff stopped producing 25 percent of the reports, thereby freeing up time for more-valuable activities such as deeper financial analysis.

There may be other activities, beyond meetings and reports, that companies can either de-emphasize or stop doing entirely. Leaders could come up with a list of such activities by asking questions such as, “What tasks are being done purely because the company has always done them? What tasks are employees constantly complaining about as not being worth the time and effort? Are there operations that we could shut down without major repercussions?” The answers may prove surprising.

An organizational redesign won’t “stick” without thoughtful change management.One aspect of change management can be compared to a marketing campaign, aimed at making the case for change and inspiring and motivating the organization—perhaps through frequent CEO missives and heartfelt testimonials from leadership. Another is more like a military campaign, concerned with adjusting budgets, establishing checks and balances, and monitoring progress. Retailers and consumer-goods companies that pay close attention to both these hard and soft aspects of change management—while keeping in mind the five rules outlined above—will be well on their way toward building an organization that can continually control costs while also, crucially, building new muscle for growth.

Source: McKinsey.com, November 2016
Authors: Camilo Becdach, Shannon Hennessy and Lauren Ratner
About the authors: Camilo Becdach is an associate principal in McKinsey’s Southern California office; Shannon Hennessy is a principal in the Dallas office, where Lauren Ratner is a specialist.
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Målsättningens betydelse för framgång

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 14th, 2016 by admin

Vad är skillnaden mellan succé och fiasko? I många fall bara en tydlig målsättning.

Har du lyckats hålla dina nyårslöften? Om svaret är ja har du sannolikt gått in i processen med en tydlig målsättning.

Ett tydligt och nåbart mål är nämligen den stora skillnaden mellan att lyckas och att misslyckas. Det gäller oavsett om det handlar om nyårslöften, idrottsliga prestationer eller försäljning.
goal-1
Ekvationen är egentligen ganska enkel: utan mål, ingen mening och utan mening, ingen drivkraft.
Succé eller fiasko – valet är ditt
Om du vill nå framgång i din yrkesroll ska du staka ut din egen väg framåt. Sätt ett tydligt mål och låt delmål på vägen hjälpa dig att hålla riktningen.

Tre viktiga punkter är skillnaden mellan att lyckas och att inte lyckas:
1. Mål
För att nå framgång krävs tydliga och mätbara mål. Bestäm dig för hur många kunder du ska träffa varje vecka, hur många samtal du ska ringa eller hur många enheter du ska sälja.
2. Plan
Utan en rimlig plan blir vägen till målet betydligt krokigare och svårare. Gör en planering och dra upp riktlinjer för hur du ska gå tillväga för att nå ditt mål.
3. Mening
Du behöver en stark drivkraft för att följa din plan och nå ditt mål. Kanske är viljan att nå målet en tillräckligt stark drivkraft. Om inte ska du hitta andra värden som ökar viljan att lyckas.

Källa: HRnytt.se/ledarskap, oktober 2016
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Läs mer om HRnytt här.

Improving leadership one conversation at a time

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Leadership / Ledarskap on November 10th, 2016 by admin

Executive coach Madeleine Blanchard held the phone to her ear, listening attentively as her newest client explained the problem she was having communicating with her direct reports.

“They say that I’m not a good listener. I’m trying to connect, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. Any suggestions?”
Blanchard thought for a moment and replied, “Well, I can hear you typing right now, so I suspect you are actually answering emails while we talk. Do you do that when you are with your people? What would it be like if you actually gave each person your undivided attention?”

In her 27 years working with executives at all levels in organizations, Blanchard has seen it all in terms of bad communication habits that prevent leaders from having the types of conversations that bring out the best in people.
“I had another client, a very smart and successful chief financial officer, who rolled his eyes whenever he talked with people. I could literally hear him rolling his eyes over the phone when he talked about his people. So I asked him, ‘Do you think your people don’t know you are rolling your eyes at them even when they can’t see you?’ Boy, he got mad, but it was because he knew it was true.”leadership
As the head of the Coaching Services division of The Ken Blanchard Companies, Blanchard oversees 120 coaches. Identifying and addressing poor communication habits keeps them busy.
“We’ve worked with more than 15,000 leaders since we opened the Coaching Services division back in 2000. Much of our work deals with helping people first understand the impact of their natural tendencies and habits and then sharpen their communication skills.”
Blanchard keeps the focus on the basics as a starting point, recommending that leaders begin by working on their goal setting, listening, and feedback skills.

“Most leaders aren’t as good at setting goals as they think they are. It seems so obvious and simple, but it actually takes a lot of imagination and creative brain power. Leaders often think direct reports should already know what they need to do and should be able to set their own goals, but unless people are taught how to do it and given some solid support, it just doesn’t happen. Very few people have their goals written down and chunked into deliverables, with specific timelines.”

Listening is another area where leaders fall short, in Blanchard’s experience.
“Many leaders think that the most senior person should do most of the talking, when it really is the other way around. When employees are free to express themselves they ultimately learn more, become more innovative, and get better at problem solving. I have a big red stop sign in my office with the word WAIT printed on it in big letters—it stands for Why Am I Talking?” Because when I am talking, I am not listening—and as a coach and a leader, listening is what I need to be doing.
Feedback is a continual trouble spot for leaders. Blanchard recommends that leaders ask themselves a key question before deciding to address the issue.

“Try this. Before providing feedback on performance, ask yourself this question: Am I delivering this feedback because it is something my direct report needs to hear—or is this just something I feel I need to say? If it is something you feel you need to say because you have a strong opinion or because you just want to vent, do it—but not with your direct report. Share it with your own boss or with your coach, spouse, or therapist. It’s your issue—not your employee’s.”

Blanchard cautions that this doesn’t mean leaders should be talking about an employee’s issue with others. She makes it clear that feedback on performance needs to be delivered directly to the person involved.
“I am very upfront with my people. I promise that any feedback I have for them will be shared only with them. That’s a fundamental coaching ethic. I’m also clear that I expect the same in return. If they have an issue with me, I insist they discuss it directly with me. If either of us is discussing feedback issues with others, we are gossiping—and that is damaging to our relationship and to the organization.”

A final area that needs to be addressed, according to Blanchard, is accountability and review. She is a big proponent of weekly one-on-one meetings where problems can be discussed while they are small and manageable.
“We have to increase the frequency and quality of our conversations. The idea of a formal yearly review conversation to discuss performance and provide feedback makes no sense. That’s why so many organizations are rethinking their process. Leaders need to be talking with their people much more often than once a year about performance.”
For Blanchard, that means a focus on frequent communication.
“The universe rewards clarity, specificity, and action. As a leader, you have a responsibility to develop skills that help people focus on what is important, make course corrections as necessary, and connect their contributions to the organization’s overall goals. This way, everyone is constantly focused on the right things—and all efforts are well leveraged.”

Source: Kenblanchard.com, 10 November 2016
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Varningssignaler vid utbrändhet. Ligger du i farozonen?

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt on November 3rd, 2016 by admin

Hon var utbränd under åtta år och orkade knappt ta hand om sin lilla dotter. Men Jea Jensen har med järnvilja tagit sig tillbaka till en heltidstjänst igen. Här berättar hon sin historia och listar vilka varningssignaler man ska se upp med.

Vid 34-års ålder, i december 2002, tog det tvärstopp. Jea Jensen i Malmö gick rakt in i väggen och blev utbränd. Hon tvingades lämna sitt heltidsjobb och var hemma under åtta långa år. De första av de åren har hon inga minnesbilder av.
– Jag minns inte mycket av min dotters uppväxt. Det känns jäkligt jobbigt idag, säger hon.

Jea Jensen förklarar att det var flera saker som sammantaget ledde fram till smällen. En del handlade om jobbiga saker som hade hänt burned-out-2under uppväxten, viket hon först för tre år sedan förstod hängde ihop med den bipolära diagnos som hon då fick.

Hon hade även haft anorexia under 15 år, vilket hade tärt på kroppen, och hon hade jobbat väldigt mycket. Dessutom hade hon en liten dotter som hon tagit hand om helt själv sedan födseln.

– Det blev bara för mycket. Det var det klassiska som hände – att man inte vet var man befinner sig, att man tittar på en dataskärm men inte vet vad man gör längre. Man glömmer bort allt. Jag visste inte vad jag hette, mitt personnummer och jag glömde bort att jag skulle hämta min dotter på dagis.

2002 var utbrändhet inte så välkänt och Jea Jensen fick bara antidepressiva utskrivet. “Du är bara lite trött och deppig”, tyckte läkaren.

– Jag fick en kur på 28 dagar, vilket var helt galet. Sätter man in sådan medicin måste man ju börja i väldigt låg dos och ha full koll, eftersom man ofta mår mycket sämre i början, berättar hon.
– Jag mådde så dåligt i början så jag kände att det var lika bra att hoppa ut från balkongen.

Som tur var fick hon efter ett tag kontakt med en annan läkare.
– Han är specialist inom området och visste tack och lov vad det här med utbrändhet handlar om. Jag träffar fortfarande honom i perioder.

Tror du med den erfarenhet du har idag att det ofta är mer än för mycket jobb som ligger bakom utbrändhet?
– Ja, det tror jag. För livet är inte bara jobbet. Man ska hålla balansen mellan både privatliv och arbetsliv. Det är svårt att stänga av om privatlivet inte fungerar. Därför är det så viktigt att chefer vårdar sina anställda och ger dem lov att våga berätta om saker som kanske är jobbiga för tillfället, utan att man ska vara rädd för att förlora jobbet. Det tror jag alla har att vinna på, för vi har inte bara ett liv som pekar rakt uppåt.

– Min läkare brukade säga att om man kunde sätta dig i en låda och ta bort livet i övrigt och bara låta dig återhämta dig så hade det gått så mycket snabbare. Men livet är allting runtomkring.

Hur lyckades du ta hand om din dotter när du var utbränd?
– Jag hade inget val. Jag låg i princip bara hemma och sov och fick sätta klockan och ha lappar med tidpunkter och var jag skulle hämta henne. När man sedan gör det så går det på någon form av rutin. Sedan var vissa dagar bättre och andra sämre.

Vad hade du mer för symptom än extrem trötthet?
– Svårt att koncentrera mig, kort stubin, lättirriterad, sådana bitar. Ingenting är speciellt roligt, vilket man också får dåligt samvete för. För man bör ju tycka det är jätteroligt att ha barn. Det har tagit lång tid att förstå varför och säga öppet att jag inte kände lycka utan bara var nollställd hela tiden.

Hon hade bara varit på sitt jobb i några månader när hon blev utbränd, men där blev det droppen som fick bägaren att rinna över.
– Jag kunde inte gå i närheten av det företaget på flera år, för kroppen reagerade så starkt, berättar hon.burned-out

När Jea Jensen ser tillbaka inser hon att hon hade symptom på utbrändhet långt tidigare.
– Redan 1995-96 såg jag bara halva ansiktet ibland på morgonen, det blixtrade och synen försvann, och jag kunde prata konstigt.

Tog du ut dig på dina jobb?
– Ja, jag har alltid varit den högpresterande individen som har höga krav på mig själv, som under uppväxten presterat väldigt mycket i tron att man måste göra det för att bli älskad. Det är den typen av person som hamnar i anorexi och som bränner ut sig. Just för att du begär så otroligt mycket av dig själv. Man är i princip aldrig nöjd, man kan alltid göra lite till.

Var det ingen runtomkring dig som sa att du körde på för hårt?
– Nej, det var det inte. Jag tror inte jag hade lyssnat på det heller. För man tänker: “Det händer inte mig. Jag har koll. Jag vilar lite.”

Vad fick dig att långsamt komma upp på fötter igen?
– Jag tror att det har varit mycket vilja och den fantastiska kontakten jag fick med min läkare. Han fick mig att slappna av lite och han blev någon form av trygghet för mig. Han visade att det inte var något fel på mig, att jag inte var dum i huvudet. Alla känslor jag hade var okej och det skulle ordna sig. Han har gett mig verktyg hur jag ska hantera min stress. Jag var tvungen att fokusera på det som var viktigt för mig och det var att komma tillbaka till arbetslivet, för jag älskar att jobba. Men även att ta hand om mig själv och finnas till för min dotter. Det är de tre parametrarna som är viktiga i mitt liv. Istället rök vänner längs med vägen för det fanns ingen energi och ork att lägga på det.

De sista åren av utbrändheten började Jea Jensen att arbetsträna i långsam takt, men på en annan arbetsplats än den hon hade lämnat. Hon beskriver återkomsten till arbetslivet som “jätteskönt”.
– Samtidigt vet jag att jag är en person som bara har gas. Jag behöver fortfarande hjälp med att bromsa. Men jag tänker mycket klarare idag och jag lyssnar mycket mer på kroppen, och inte på huvudet, därför att jag vet att jag inte har någon stoppsträcka. Det gör att jag kan ta bort saker som jag inte har energi för, till exempel en planerad fest som jag skulle gått på. Det blir visserligen ganska tråkigt, men jag måste hela tiden balansera läget.

Hur mycket jobbar du nu?
– Sedan sex år tillbaka har jag lärt mig att hantera min situation med olika verktyg, så jag klarar att jobba 100 procent. När jag började jobba gjordes det en massa utredningar av Försäkringskassan och de visade att jag har 50 procents arbetskapacitet av en heltid. Men det var inget som jag kunde acceptera.

Varför inte?
– Därför att jag vill mer än det. Jag vill jobba med något som jag tycker är roligt. Jag har börjat förlika mig med tanken på att ha semester och tycka det är okej och skönt att vara ledig. Men de första åren var ledighet förknippat med sjukdom. Jag har varit hemma så många år så jag ville inte vara det.

Hur ser du på framtiden?
– Jag har lite olika saker på gång. Det lär förmodligen bli någonting inom event eller projektledning – jobb som är lite friare. Det är så man måste tänka tror jag, att landa i vilken typ av jobb som funkar. Det behöver inte vara det du trodde för tio år sedan att du skulle jobba med. Det kan vara något helt annat. Det är en viktig insikt att förstå – man är aldrig samma människa som man var innan en utbrändhet, och man kommer aldrig att bli det igen. Det är inte heller önskvärt, konstaterar Jea Jensen avslutningsvis.

Jea Jensen listar 5 varningssignaler på utbrändhet
1. Man blir ofta disträ.
2. Man kommer inte ihåg saker. Minnet sviker.
3. Man blir lättirriterad.
4. Man sover dåligt.
5. Man kan plötsligt börja gråta eller känna sig nedstämd.

Källa: Realtid.se, november 2016
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Customer relationship automation is the new CRM

Posted in Aktuellt, Försäljning / Sales, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on November 1st, 2016 by admin

Our digital universe is vast and growing exponentially, expected to swell to 44 zettabytes of data by 2020. (For reference, one zettabyte is 1,000,000,000,000 gigabytes.)

Companies have attempted to use this tremendous amount of data in ways that make our lives better. In the consumer world, retailers analyze and apply data in real time for a number of uses: to predict purchasing behaviors and optimize which products get shown on a page as someone scrolls; to allow financial institutions to pinpoint and stop fraudulent transactions in a fraction of a millisecond; and to help health care companies more effectively diagnose and treat patients, to name just a few examples.

But in the enterprise world, data has traditionally been siloed, unwieldy, and manually entered into database systems such as customer relationship management software, or CRM. And other than moving from on-site to the cloud, CRM has not changed much since its inception in the 1990s.

How robotics and machine learning are changing business.
I run an enterprise technology company, and we’ve seen just how consistently data can be used to help improve sales. But for all its good intentions to provide sales managers with a way to monitor pipeline and sales activity, we all know that CRM is still hugely inefficient. Reps are required to spend time manually entering data, and then spend more time searching through it. While senior management clearly values the ability to monitor reps through CRM, the vast majority of salespeople dislike the extra work and overhead it creates and internet-salesgenerally use CRM begrudgingly — and rarely to its full potential. This administrative work becomes more significant when you consider that, on average, reps spend only 11% of their time actively selling.

This, of course, seems horrendously outdated, given that we live in an era of Amazon recommendations and Siri. What if enterprise workflows were as smart and easy to use as Siri? What if sales reps benefited from suggested next actions, the way that drivers and shoppers do? What if CRM as we’ve known it is dead?

Just as Amazon proactively suggests to someone who has purchased a stroller that they may also want to buy the coordinating car seat, enterprise apps should proactively advise enterprise users on what the highest-value or most-urgent tasks are so they can prioritize them. Artificial intelligence and decision-support algorithms that can offer data-driven suggestions will unleash a new level of productivity among workers, allowing everyone to focus on what matters and to continually help one another improve.

Turning this into reality may be closer than you think, thanks to machine learning and predictive data engines.

For the majority of sales reps, their most frequent tasks right now aren’t necessarily their most important and they waste too much time calling the wrong people with messages that don’t resonate. Harnessing the power of machines to recommend actions and approaches allows every salesperson to become data driven, freeing their time to focus on the human trust and relationship aspects of closing business.

As interactions between reps and customers become more digital – whether it’s an exchange via Facebook, email, or text or a website visit — data analytics is beginning to demystify and delineate what successful sales reps are doing that others aren’t, what’s effective, and how to get others in the sales organization behaving in these same ways.

The profound limitations of traditional CRM are laid bare in today’s automated, predictive world. The days of using CRM merely as a sales tracking tool are over. The future of CRM, and of all software, is in suggested next actions powered by predictive analytics and a deep knowledge of a specific industry and business function’s workflows.

CRM isn’t dead (yet), but reps will cease to use it unless it can get smart and save them time, rather than burden them with time-intensive data entry and lookup. The future of CRM is harnessing predictive data to become a proactive system. Sales reps who are able to leverage robot assistants are the ones who will thrive in this new world.

Source: HBR.org, October 28, 2016
By: Clara Shih. Clara Shih is the CEO and founder of Hearsay, an enterprise technology company serving the financial services industry, and is a board member of Starbucks Corporation.
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