The purpose of any organization is to provide maximum value to customers and/or other stakeholders. The people who do that are employees. If we need to prioritize at all, we might put the employee as the top priority, because if we inspire employees, they will inspire customers—and, of course, everyone else.
Therefore, the employee is the new customer. This is how Virgin, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, The Boston Beer Company, The Container Store, EllisDon, HCLTechnologies, New Belgium Brewing and others, have become extraordinarily successful. Southwest Airlines even extends this ranking: employees first, customers second, shareholders third. Ritz-Carlton refers to its employees as “Ladies and Gentlemen” and the company’s motto is “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Continue reading
Welcome to the age of increasing complexity, volatility, interdependence, diversity, ambiguity, flux and more. Bring it on…
Affected by many conflicting yet interdependent factors that demand constant adaptation and speed of response, organizations of all sizes are being required to deal with what are now very complex decision making environments. Companies are being challenged by unexpected competitors, attacked by cyber-criminals, and talked about by unpredictable customers constantly. Are most structures set up to deal with such a barrage? Continue reading
Once upon a time, the most successful business models were conceived to exploit clear gaps in established, stable commercial markets. Why take a risk in new, undeveloped areas when existing ones were rich with opportunity?
But something happened on the way to the corporate future: Startup enterprises began unlocking value at extraordinary levels, and established systems were shaken by disruption. Technological and social transformations set in motion a different kind of economy — an innovation economy — defined by constant and accelerating change. Continue reading
What is risk? What compels most of us to avoid it while others run straight into the fire? Is risk a necessary component of progress? And more importantly, can risk ever really be eliminated? If so, how?
In the insurance industry, risk is all about math. Premiums are based on complicated actuarial tables, the cost of medical care, survival rates, the demographics and mix of participants, and so on. Similarly, in times of war, military leaders also rely on statistical analysis to assess risk. Continue reading
It’s easy to see why anyone could have trepidation when it comes to dealing with today’s speed of change. Keynote speaker Robert Safian said the chaos is neither good nor bad, but it is real and must be acknowledged and dealt with. “The world is changing. It’s changing at a pace that we haven’t seen before, and we’re not really trained for it, and we have to retrain ourselves to be able to make the most of it,” Safian told Alabama NewsCenter. “The opportunities with all of this change are spectacular, but you have to open yourself up to those ideas.”
I have been around the speaking world since the mid-80s and have seen a radical transformation in the industry; Catalogs gave way to websites…VHS cassettes gave way to YouTube videos…faxes and mail gave way to email and Dropbox. The digital era continues to change the rules, yet many bureaus and agents are missing how important some of these rules have become. These “blindspots” are costing them lost sales and marketshare. And all of these can be fixed.
To wrap up the 2018 VM Summit, Robert Safian, founder of Flux Group and former editor-in-chief of Fast Company engaged the audience through four lessons and seven questions. His aim was to showcase the kind of tactics that define the modern company. These lessons and questions that Safian went through explored office and organization culture and the need for businesses to focus on “missions.”
By Kim Mikus, originally posted on the Daily Herald
Speed matters, as does a willingness to embrace new tactics and change in the workplace in order to grow as a company, award-winning national journalist Robert Safian told more than 500 business leaders Friday.
Safian has interviewed the most innovative CEOs in the country and shared what he has learned from stories he has written about them for Fast Company, Fortune, Time and other magazines. He was the keynote speaker at the annual Big Event breakfast at Marriott Lincolnshire held by Lake County Partners, celebrating its 20th anniversary.
GE’s Chairman and CEO, John Flannery, and Flux Group founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, Robert Safian, discuss the future of additive manufacturing and its potential to transform the world of industrial manufacturing at Industry in 3D. This is a fascinating dive into the thinking of the leadership of a major company that is navigating it’s way thru a quickly changing business landscape.
I got my first glimpse of Apple’s newest product as the sun was coming up. It was just after 7 a.m. on a Wednesday in January, two days after Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook, began moving into Apple Park, the company’s new spaceship-like headquarters in Cupertino. As I was escorted around the gleaming structure, it occurred to me that it embodied everything Apple’s products represent: a glimpse of the future, and yet also something familiar—not science fiction, but a tangible vision made real.