How to lead your organization in 2014?

This post is written for, a young startup to disrupt intermediaries in knowledge transfer.


Will your business life still be full of merely scheduling new brand concepts, new services and products? Often based on old concepts and sometimes – does management not imply risk taking? – an emerging novelty as the 2014 WOW-factor.

Take a moment to reflect on your leadership activities of the last decade before the end of the Great Financial Depression! Can you agree with my claim that we are living in a transition phase?
Not just because of the massive use of technology by customers, professionals, peers, competitors and even – if you are a married (male) reader – your mother in law. In the past your leadership’s goal was achieving improvements. But such an approach does not matter in this era in which business results can only be realized in a fundamental different way.

May i quote the American counter-cultural poet Tuli Kupberberg:  “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge”.

As a business leader, you know that success in the business world does not come that easily.78aa0-6a00d8351b44f853ef0192aca10dbe970d-320wi Especially in an era of massive shifts when your business has to adapt to changing circumstances. I do no believe that adapting to emerging technology is the decisive factor for creating business success. Although technology will disrupt institutions, organizations and professionals with a low degree of creativity.

And it is here that design thinking comes in.

To start with: design thinking is a mental state to solve problems.

Behave like a designer

Let’s reflect on how as a leader you acted in the old world. My working assumption is that your corporate, entrepreneurial and professional success was dependent on the extent that you were able – applying technology- to code emerging algorithms (coding into fixed business rules) into business rules.

So far, that good.

But how to make any real progress in your new world? An environment in which that algorithm-ization is probably no longer effective? Do you still believe that more and more merely technology will create that substantial business success?

I believe that to be successful customer leadership needs more to think like designers in the forthcoming years. For me, a designer is not a master in coding rules.

A designer is able to deal with complexity and ambiguity, creating fundamental value for corporations and institutions. It’s not sufficient to understand designers: you have to embed their thinking into your leadership style. You have to be able and willing to think inside the box and outside the box simultaneously, appreciating the old world and emerging new world and applying parallel diverging and converging thinking.

Can that be done?

Sometimes, customer leadership is easy. You can act like a role model and embed design thinking-elements in your leadership style. Start working on complex problems in short-lived projects with an attitude of yes, we can. Using constraints to create additional insights, focused energy and action. Start design thinking, lead your organization in that way and it will help you to make sense in these seemingly chaotic times.

Getting insights for your customer

Getting close the customer will become your next frontier. In the past – at least in my experience – tumblr_m7hrdriO1C1rqwtvlo1_1280gaining true knowledge from customers was vague art. To create value for your customers now implies insights in the heart (and more and more) the brains of your customers.

Design thinking revolutionizes your understanding of the needs of your customers and leads. It (and also neuromarketing and service design tools) enables you to connect the dots and lay-out road-maps for creating insights. Bear in mind: it all starts with empathy as the key element for your commercial benefits.

A new business imperative

Design thinking is one of the new business imperatives for the customer experience leaders in the next years. Understanding and applying of these concepts into customer experience management should not be underestimated. It is a tough challenge to get a grip on emerging patters and to translate them into contexts that enables you and your organization to thrive in the era of the customer.

Be challenged, have fun and achieve outcomes in 2014.

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Lifetime Customer Value Case Study: Starbucks [Infographic] – Business 2 Community

How much is a customer worth to Starbucks? $14,099 #customer #leadership #retail #starbucks #cex #custserv #cx #cem

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How not getting crushed: a book review of Mark Ingwer’s Empathetic Marketing

I’m a regular reader of marketing books.

For the sake of  my professional and personal development; and because books – in any form – are fun reading. Having spent some effort into service design,  i was looking for ways to better understand what drives empathy, a primary building stone in service design.  And how  to enhance a successful application.

Over the last decades, many great theories about how to empathize have become available. The finest example for me is David Rock’s Your brain at work which empowers managers to use neuroscience insights to improve professionally and personally. And now an equivalent is available for marketeers and service designers,

Empathetic Marketing: How to Satisfy the 6 Core Emotional Needs of Your Customers

Mark Ingwer

Palgrave Macmillan (2012)

I’ m thrilled that someone combine insights from several quite different concepts and writes a book such as this one. 

As a service designer one tries to fulfill a clients functional and emotional needs. Often explicit and sometimes implict. I consider the book as a  guide to a better understanding of the emotional needs of any customer and client. The essence according to Mark is personal growth, with a foundation into self actualization and relatedness.

There are separate chapters to each of the six “core emotional needs” (i.e. control, self-expression, growth, recognition, belonging, and care)  with  some fine examples from corporate sources or from Mark’s own practice.

Some of his top insights:

o  The frequently hidden (or at least unrecognized) human needs that drive clients and customers are often hidden or not recognized
o  What is a Needs Continuum is and why it should be coordinated with a psychological perspective
o  How best to empathize with consumers’ core needs for control, self-expression, growth, recognition, belonging, and care
o  A few core guidelines how to take an empathetic approach to marketing with a focus on personal growth, relatedness and self actualization.

I mentioned before David Rock’s book. I notice consistency in the concepts they use for either marketing (Mark Ingwer) or management (David Rock).  Using both approaches in one field might create a lot of synergy and exciting energy

About the author

Mark Ingwer, PhD, is a consumer psychologist and the managing partner of Insight Consulting Group, a global marketing and strategy consultancy specializing in market research and consumer insights. He has 25 years experience applying his blend of psychology, marketing, and industry acumen to helping companies optimize their brand and marketing strategy based on an in-depth understanding of their customers. He is the author of the book “Empathetic Marketing” published by Palgrave, May 2012.

The core

This synopsis was found on

In today’s competitive and global marketplace, it is becoming increasingly essential for companies and brands to understand patrickdavidutah:Start of a perfect day… coffee and watching it snow.why customers buy—or don’t buy—their products and services. Only by understanding the “whys” can companies grow their business and develop loyal customers. In Empathetic Marketing, Dr. Mark Ingwer presents a groundbreaking approach to understanding consumers’ core emotional needs. This innovative book provides both the psychological theory underlying consumers’ emotional needs, as well as concrete business examples that demonstrate the incredible effectiveness of unleashing the power of deeper needs and emotions for success in the marketplace.

Empathetic Marketing shows how brands like NPR, Universal Studios, Nivea, and Google perform in-depth analyses of their customers’ emotional reactions and harness the power of deep psychological insights to optimize their marketing and brand strategy.

As the founding partner at Insight Consulting Group, a global marketing and strategy consultancy, Mark Ingwer has conducted and analyzed countless in-depth studies of customers, from neurological data to in-field observational studies. Through his extensive experience he has identified six basic emotional needs that every company must consider to fully impact and motivate the customer. Empathetic Marketing provides readers with a deeper understanding of customers’ core emotional needs, and a framework for incorporating these concepts into their business to optimize customer engagement and achieve a significant return on this investment. The strategies provided will not only lead to a better immediate connection between the customer and the company, but also to deeper and longer-term satisfaction for both customers and business leaders.

My rating

4,5 stars on a scale 0-5.

Lots of  cases that inspires one, presented simply.  

I really loved  in particular the discovery of the  six elements. As a professional and as person one of my 2014 resolutions is working with these  on  a daily basis and make sure it creates success on the professional and personal level!

This book is a recommended reading for anyone who is interested in understanding empathy and using the insights in the business world. It is now up to you how that knowledge and information will be applied by you  to achieve business, professional or personal success. And avoiding getting crushed in these changing timea by not using state of the art insights.

Photocredits coffee:

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Boosting Creativity Through Constraints

asteriodscollide:  (by brianwferry)

See on Scoop.itDesigning design thinking driven operations

Constraints can move you toward clarity of purpose. Beautiful, brutal clarity is your goal. (#noteworthy #mgmt Boosting Creativity Through Constraints – Constraints can move you toward clarity of purpose.

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(by brianwferry)

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Use your brains to design your work/life balance

Cover of "Your Brain at Work: Strategies ...I just read about Emily and Paul in David Rock’s Your Brain at Work. Parents of two children in their struggle for an ideal work-life balance. Emily just got promoted in a large corporation; Paul runs his own business as a software consultant.
The pressure in their lives, just like yours and mine, is filled with a bewildering blizzard of friction, tension, ambition, execution in the midst of emails,
phone calls, conference calls, meetings, projects, proposals, and plans. Yeah, the kids are also an essential part in the lives of Paul and Emily.

Indeed, very recognizable!

Staying ahead of the storm becomes a seemingly insurmountable task provided we do not acknowledge how our brain works.
In David Rock’s book, we lean how Emily and Paul’s brains work as they attempt to sort the vast quantities of information they’re presented with, figure out how to prioritize it, organize it and act on it. The author is aware of how a the brain works—and more specifically, how it can perform in an optimal way in a work setting. We learn getting things done and feel comfortable at the end of the day with your beloved spouse and kids.

The core

YOUR BRAIN AT WORK explores issues such as:
  • why our brains feel so taxed, and how to maximize our mental resources
  • why it’s so hard to focus, and how to better manage distractions
  • how to maximize your chance of finding insights that can solve seemingly insurmountable 
  • how to keep your cool in any situation, so that you can make the best decisions possible
  • how to collaborate more effectively with others
  • why providing feedback is so difficult, and how to make it easier
  • how to be more effective at changing other people’s behavior

    My rating


    4,5 stars on a scale 0-5.

     millie clinton.David Rock really rocks, bringing neuroscience studies and insights to the battlefield of work/life balance and even more important for  management and leadership.
    The author provides easy access to the insights of complex studies and even more important constructs these into doable concepts. For me the real eye-opener was the introduction of the Scarf-concept as a valuable elaboration of change leadership concepts. Cecil Dijoux recently wrote about the concept in his post a must read with excellent references.

David Rock also contributes to transforming one personal work styles through doable principles. This is an  invaluable contribution for me creating – indeed – a better work/life balance and acting as a better change leader.

This book is recommended reading for anyone who is interested in designing a better work/life balance and for those connecting to a changing context in the business world. It is then up to you how that knowledge and information will be applied by you  to meet business, professional or personal success.


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