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About admin

Braden Kelley is a Human-Centered Experience, Innovation and Transformation consultant at HCL Technologies, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of the Human-Centered Change™ methodology. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden is a US Navy veteran and earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of July 2022

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of July 2022Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. We also publish a weekly Top 5 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are July’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. What Latest Research Reveals About Innovation Management Software — by Jesse Nieminen
  2. Top Five Reasons Customers Don’t Return — by Shep Hyken
  3. Five Myths That Kill Change and Transformation — by Greg Satell
  4. How the Customer in 9C Saved Continental Airlines from Bankruptcy — by Howard Tiersky
  5. Changing Your Innovator’s DNA — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  6. Why Stupid Questions Are Important to Innovation — by Greg Satell
  7. We Must Rethink the Future of Technology — by Greg Satell
  8. Creating Employee Connection Innovations in the HR, People & Culture Space — by Chris Rollins
  9. Sickcare AI Field Notes — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  10. Cultivate Innovation by Managing with Empathy — by Douglas Ferguson

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in June that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last two years:

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

TODAY ONLY – Change Planning Toolkit – Fourth of July Special

TODAY ONLY - Change Planning Toolkit - Fourth of July SpecialHappy Fourth of July!

For all of my American friends in celebration of Independence Day, I have a special offer for you.

If you live in the United States of America, TODAY ONLY, if you purchase a copy of:

The Change Planning Toolkit from the Human-Centered Change methodology …

You can get one of the two following deals if you are one of the first ten (10) people to purchase the deal and ENTER A UNITED STATES MAILING ADDRESS:

OPTION ONE: Free copy of Charting Change (a $49.99 value) when you buy a $99.99 one-year Change Planning Toolkit license (a $1,200 value)

OPTION TWO: Save 40% and get a free copy of Charting Change (a $49.99 value) when you buy a $999.99 Change Planning Toolkit lifetime license (a $120,000 value) and use coupon code lifetime4th

Thank you to all of our servicemen and servicewomen for protecting our freedom, and to everyone else please keep your fingers and toes safe with any celebration fireworks, and …

Keep innovating!

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of June 2022

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of June 2022Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. We also publish a weekly Top 5 as part of our FREE email newsletter. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are June’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. An Innovation Action Plan for the New CTO — by Steve Blank
  2. The Lost Tribe of Medicine — by Arlen Meyers, M.D.
  3. What Can Leaders Do to Have More Innovative Teams? — by Diana Porumboiu
  4. Transformation Insights — by Bruce Fairley
  5. Selling To Generation Z – This is What They Want — by Shep Hyken
  6. It is Easier to Change People than to Change People — by Annette Franz
  7. Leading a Culture of Innovation from Any Seat — by Patricia Salamone
  8. Harnessing the Dragons of your Imagination for Innovation — by Braden Kelley
  9. Successful Asynchronous Collaboration — by Douglas Ferguson
  10. Four Reasons the Big Quit Exists — by Braden Kelley

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in May:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

Have something to contribute?

Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last two years:

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Voting Closed – Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021

Vote for Top 40 Innovation BloggersFor more than a decade I’ve devoted myself to making innovation insights accessible for the greater good, because I truly believe that the better our organizations get at delivering value to their stakeholders the less waste of natural resources and human resources there will be.

As a result we are eternally grateful to all of you out there who take the time to create and share great innovation articles, presentations, white papers, and videos with Braden Kelley and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation team. As a small thank you to those of you who follow along, we like to make a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers available each year!

Our lists from the ten previous years have been tremendously popular, including:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2015
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2016
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2017
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2018
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2019
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020

Do you just have someone that you like to read that writes about innovation, or some of the important adjacencies – trends, consumer psychology, change, leadership, strategy, behavioral economics, collaboration, or design thinking?

Human-Centered Change and Innovation is now looking to recognize the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021.

It is time to vote and help us narrow things down.

The deadline for submitting votes is December 31, 2021 at midnight GMT.

Build a Common Language of Innovation on your team

The ranking will be done by me with influence from votes and nominations. The quality and quantity of contributions to this web site by an author will be a BIG contributing factor (through the end of the voting period).

You can vote in any of these three ways (and each earns points for them, so please feel free to vote all three ways):

  1. Sending us the name of the blogger by @reply on twitter to @innovate
  2. Adding the name of the blogger as a comment to this article’s posting on Facebook
  3. Adding the name of the blogger as a comment to this article’s posting on our Linkedin Page (Be sure and follow us)

The official Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021 will then be announced here in early January 2022.

Here are the people who received nominations this year along with some carryover recommendations (in alphabetical order):

Adi Gaskell – @adigaskell
Alex Goryachev
Andy Heikkila – @AndyO_TheHammer
Arlen Meyers – @sopeofficial
Braden Kelley – @innovate
Chad McAllister – @ChadMcAllister
Chris Beswick
Dan Blacharski – @Dan_Blacharski
Daniel Burrus – @DanielBurrus
Daniel Lock
Dr. Detlef Reis
David Burkus
Douglas Ferguson
Drew Boyd – @DrewBoyd
Frank Mattes – @FrankMattes
Gregg Fraley – @greggfraley
Greg Satell – @Digitaltonto
Janet Sernack – @JanetSernack
Jeffrey Baumgartner – @creativejeffrey
Jeff Freedman – @SmallArmyAgency
Jeffrey Phillips – @ovoinnovation
Jesse Nieminen – @nieminenjesse
Jorge Barba – @JorgeBarba
Julian Birkinshaw – @JBirkinshaw
Julie Anixter – @julieanixter
Kate Hammer – @Kate_Hammer
Kevin McFarthing – @InnovationFixer
Lou Killeffer – @LKilleffer

Accelerate your change and transformation success

Mari Anixter- @MariAnixter
Maria Paula Oliveira – @mpaulaoliveira
Matthew E May – @MatthewEMay
Michael Graber – @SouthernGrowth
Mike Brown – @Brainzooming
Mike Shipulski – @MikeShipulski
Mukesh Gupta
Nick Partridge – @KnewNewNeu
Nicolas Bry – @NicoBry
Pamela Soin
Paul Hobcraft – @Paul4innovating
Paul Sloane – @paulsloane
Pete Foley – @foley_pete
Ralph Christian Ohr – @ralph_ohr
Richard Haasnoot – @Innovate2Grow
Robert B Tucker – @RobertBTucker
Saul Kaplan – @skap5
Scott Anthony – @ScottDAnthony
Scott Bowden – @scottbowden51
Shelly Greenway – @ChiefDistiller
Soren Kaplan – @SorenKaplan
Stefan Lindegaard – @Lindegaard
Stephen Shapiro – @stephenshapiro
Steven Forth – @StevenForth
Tamara Kleinberg – @LaunchStreet
Tim Stroh
Tom Koulopoulos – @TKspeaks
Yoram Solomon – @yoram

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

We’re curious to see who you think is worth reading!

Nominations Closed – Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021

Nominations Open for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021Human-Centered Change and Innovation loves making innovation insights accessible for the greater good, because we truly believe that the better our organizations get at delivering value to their stakeholders the less waste of natural resources and human resources there will be.

As a result we are eternally grateful to all of you out there who take the time to create and share great innovation articles, presentations, white papers, and videos with Braden Kelley and the Human-Centered Change and Innovation team. As a small thank you to those of you who follow along, we like to make a list of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers available each year!

Our lists from the ten previous years have been tremendously popular, including:

Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2015
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2016
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2017
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2018
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2019
Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2020

Do you just have someone that you like to read that writes about innovation, or some of the important adjacencies – trends, consumer psychology, change, leadership, strategy, behavioral economics, collaboration, or design thinking?

Human-Centered Change and Innovation is now looking for the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021.

The deadline for submitting nominations is December 24, 2021 at midnight GMT.

You can submit a nomination either of these two ways:

  1. Sending us the name of the blogger and the url of their blog by @reply on twitter to @innovate
  2. Sending the name of the blogger and the url of their blog and your e-mail address using our contact form

(Note: HUGE bonus points for being a contributing author)

So, think about who you like to read and let us know by midnight GMT on December 24, 2021.

We will then compile a voting list of all the nominations, and publish it on December 25, 2021.

Voting will then be open from December 25, 2021 – January 1, 2022 via comments and twitter @replies to @innovate.

The ranking will be done by me with influence from votes and nominations. The quality and quantity of contributions by an author to this web site will be a contributing factor.

Contact me with writing samples if you’d like to self-publish on our platform!

The official Top 40 Innovation Bloggers of 2021 will then be announced on here in early January 2022.

We’re curious to see who you think is worth reading!

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Announcing Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly

Human-Centered Change and Innovation Weekly Newsletter

We’re about two months into the re-birth and re-branding of Blogging Innovation as Human-Centered Change and Innovation.

At the same time I brought my multiple author blog back to life, I also created a weekly newsletter to bring all of this great content to your inbox every Tuesday.

Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly brings four or five great articles as an email to you from myself and a growing roster of talented and insightful contributing authors, including:

Robert B. Tucker, Janet Sernack, Greg Satell, Linda Naiman, Howard Tiersky, Paul Sloane, Rachel Audige, Arlen Meyers, John Bessant, Phil Buckley, Jesse Nieminen, Anthony Mills, Nicolas Bry and your host Braden Kelley.

You can sign up for the newsletter here:


I would be interested to know whether you prefer:

  1. Tuesday
  2. Sunday

And, if you’ve missed out on previous issues and would like to explore them, you’ll find the links below:

Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly

Finally, if you know a globally recognized human-centered design, change, innovation, transformation or customer experience author that should be contributing guest articles to the blog and newsletter, have them contact us.

I hope you continue to find value in everyone’s contributions to the conversations around human-centered change, innovation, transformation and experience design!

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Creating a Movement that Drives Transformational Change

Creating a Movement that Drives Transformational Change

A while ago I had the opportunity to interview Greg Satell, author of the new book Cascades: How to Create a Movement that Drives Transformational Change.

Greg Satell is a bestselling author, speaker and adviser, who frequently contributes here to my blog Human-Centered Change and Innovation, Harvard Business Review, Inc. and other A-list publications. His first book, MAPPING INNOVATION, was chosen as one of the best business books of 2017 by 800-CEO-READ. His latest book, CASCADES, was recently published by McGraw-Hill Education.

Today, he helps leading businesses overcome disruption through impactful programs and powerful tools he developed researching the world’s best innovators and most effective changemakers.

Without further ado, here is the transcript of that interview:

1. People love to tell the story of Netflix disrupting Blockbuster. What do they get wrong?

It’s funny. People so easily assume that Blockbuster just completely ignored the Netflix threat, when actually nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the leadership came up with an effective strategy to meet that threat, executed it well and began to surpass Netflix in adding new subscribers.

The real reason that Blockbuster failed was that the leadership failed to manage internal networks—particularly franchisees and investors—and the stock price crashed. That attracted the corporate raider Carl Icahn, who had a heavy handed style. Eventually, things came to a head and he initiated a compensation dispute with the CEO, John Antioco., who left in frustration. The new CEO came in and reversed the strategy. Three years later, Blockbuster went bankrupt.

One of the most interesting parts of the story came out when I interviewed Antioco, who was—and is—something of a retail genius. He told me that, throughout his career, anytime he wanted to do something innovative, he always met resistance. He had always succeeded by pushing through that resistance. This time though, it got the better of him.

We tend to think that if we have the right idea and execute it well, we’ll be successful. The real lesson of Blockbuster is that isn’t always true. We also need to manage stakeholder networks.

2. To be efficient at scale, businesses introduce hierarchies as they grow. What weaknesses does this introduce and how should companies manage these?

To be honest, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with hierarchies. They’ve been put in place because they are effective at executing processes efficiently. Every organization needs that. However, hierarchies tend to be rigid and slow to adapt. That can be a real problem when the marketplace changes.

So what I think leaders need to focus on is building strong informal networks to supplement the formal organization. Chris Fussell calls this a “hybrid organization.” That’s what’s really key, to have the formal organization and the informal organization working hand-in-hand.

Unfortunately, there’s been so much emphasis on “breaking down silos,” that business leaders often miss that silos can be very positive things. They are essentially “centers of capability.” So you don’t want to break them up. What you do want to do is to connect silos so that they can adapt and collaborate.

3. Some would say that hierarchies are created to cascade information. How does information cascade differently within networks? How is better?

Well, hierarchies are essentially vertical networks, so information tends to move up and down fairly well, but not so good side to side, which makes it hard for an organization to adapt laterally. The types of networks I write about in Cascades are horizontal, so are much better set up to transfer information between disparate groups.

Clearly, you need both. The problem is that we tend to ignore the informal networks, which is why organizations over time become vertically driven and rigid.

Greg Satell - Digital Tonto4. What causes some movements to grow and others to be sidelined at the periphery?

That’s a great and complicated question (in fact, I wrote a whole book about it!). The truth is that, much as Tolstoy said about families, successful movements tend to look very much alike, while unsuccessful movements fail in their own way.

However, if there is one key thing that makes the difference it is to always connect out. Research has shown that the key metric that best determines success is participation. That may seem obvious, but many movements get caught up in idealogical purity and shut out potential allies. If you want to kill a change movement quickly, that’s probably the best way to do it. It’s not the fervor of zealots that brings change about, but when you get everybody else to join in that a true revolution can take place.

A great example of this kind of failure is the Occupy Movement. At first, they gained a lot of sympathy for their “99% vs. the 1%” message. However they were so extreme, and so intent on demonizing anyone who didn’t believe 100% what they believed, that they turned many people off. At one point, the legendary civil rights leader John Lewis asked to speak at a rally and was refused. I mean, John Lewis! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

The same is true in the business context. Think about VHS vs. Betamax. Betamax was the better technology, but VHS was more inclusive. VHS won.

Another great example is the Ignaz Semmelweis story. Semmelweis had discovered that hand washing in hospitals greatly reduced infection rates. It was a major discovery. However, rather than working to build a movement around his idea, he railed against anyone who didn’t agree with him. It would take another 20 years for antiseptic practices to gain traction and millions of people died needlessly because of it.

More recently, Jim Allison had a similar challenge with cancer immunotherapy. Pharmaceutical companies didn’t believe it would work and refused to invest in it. I still remember the sound of despair in his voice when he told me the story—and this was 20 years after it happened! But Jim kept pounding the pavement, kept working to bring others in and thousands upon thousands of people are alive today because of Jim.

So again, you have to constantly be connecting out and bringing people in. That’s why Jim Allison won the Nobel Prize last fall instead of dying in an insane asylum like Ignaz Semmelweis.

5. Why do successful movements or revolutions seem to need rules?

I think it’s better to say that movements need values. Values play two important roles: First, they provide constraints and, second, they provide rules for adaptation.

For example, during the Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was accused of being an anarchist, a communist and worse. When asked about his beliefs though, he always pointed to the Freedom Charter, which was written way back in 1955. So he could point to something concrete that outlined his values and that of his movement. That commitment to values was crucial for getting support from institutions outside of South Africa and it was the support from those institutions that enabled Mandela and his movement to succeed.

When he got into power those constraints became even more important. Because one of the core values spelled out in the Freedom Charter was that all national groups should have equal rights, he couldn’t infringe upon the rights of white people, even though many urged him to do so. It is because of those self-imposed constraints that we remember Nelson Mandela as a hero and not some tin-pot dictator.

A similar dynamic played out in the “Gerstner Revolution” at IBM in the 1990s. Gerstner famously said that the last thing IBM needed at the time was a vision. But he was very clear that he wanted to shift values, to make IBM more customer focused and more collaborative. That sent important signals to customers, partners and investors and played a big part in Gerstner’s success.

Perhaps even more importantly, the focus on values helped IBM prosper long after he left the company. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, one of Gerstner’s key lieutenants, told me that if the Gerstner Revolution had merely been about strategy and technology, it wouldn’t have survived. But because it was rooted in values, IBM was able to adapt as technology and the marketplace continued to evolve.

Clearly, IBM has had its challenges since Gerstner left in 2002, but it’s still a highly profitable company that continues to be on the forefront of many cutting edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and quantum computing, just to name a few. It’s hard to see how that could have happened if the company was still stuck in a strategy developed in the 90s. That’s the role that values play.

6. How would you contrast the theory behind Cascades with W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s Tipping Point Leadership?

I think on the surface they are somewhat similar ideas. However, there are important differences “under the hood.”

First, while “Tipping Point Leadership” implicitly refers to the importance of networks, Cascades is deeply and explicitly rooted in network science. In fact, Duncan Watts and Steven Strogatz, who pioneered modern network theory, have both endorsed the book (although Strogatz has done so more informally). I believe that scientific approach really helps provide a stronger framework to understand how change occurs.

Another important difference is that while Kim and Mauborgne basically built their framework from scratch, Cascades is more of a synthesis of ideas that have already been proven successful in social, political and business contexts.

There has been a lot great thinking about this stuff for a long time, so I saw no reason to try and reinvent the wheel. Rather, I tried to shape already powerful ideas—some of which have been battle-tested for decades—into a coherent framework that people can put to good use. In that way, Cascades is very similar to my previous book, Mapping Innovation.

Of course I’m biased on this point, but I believe the result is a much richer, detailed and useful framework for driving change. When you are driving change in the real world, details matter.

7. What is wrong with the theory of influentials being central to successful change?

Well, first it’s wrong because it’s empirically been shown not to be true. Scientific research has clearly shown, across multiple studies, that you don’t need “influentials” to create a viral cascade or, as Gladwell puts it, a “social epidemic.” I reference many of these studies in the book, so that readers can go check for themselves.

Conceptually, the influentials hypothesis breaks down because you need large chains of influence to create a viral cascade. Somebody may be influential because they are a connector, a maven, or whatever, but unless the people they influence pass on their ideas to others who pass them on to others still, the movement will die out. As I write in the book, it is small groups, loosely connected, but united by a shared purpose that drives transformational change.

The one exception is celebrities like Oprah Winfrey. They can really move the needle if they choose to promote an idea, but not because they have any “rare social gifts.” It’s because what they say is broadcasted by mass media. So there’s nothing really mysterious about it.

Cascades by Greg Satell8. What are some of the critical raw materials for fueling a cascade?

The three most important elements are small groups, loose connections and shared purpose.

Small groups engender strong bonds and that’s super important. Creating change is hard. So it’s important to build deep trustful relationships that lead to effective collaboration. That’s at the root of any successful movement. For example, the Otpor Movement in Serbia started with just 11 founders.

However, a small group can’t do much on its own. So it’s important for small groups to connect to other small groups. It’s that continuous linking that creates the conditions upon which a cascade can arise. That’s how Otpor eventually grew to 70,000 members and took down the dictator, Slobodan Milošević. As I explain the book, organizational change movements, such as those in the US Army and at companies like Experian and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, play out in very much the same way.

Lastly, you need a sense of shared purpose. That’s what ties everything together. It’s also why effective leadership is so important. You need leaders to provide that purpose. As I write in the book, the role of leaders is no longer merely to plan and direct action, but to inspire and empower belief.

9. What’s your view on the phases of a successful change

Generally speaking, change movements have three phases: planning, mobilization and the victory phase.

In the planning phase, you need to formulate your Vision of Tomorrow and your values and also map out the specific constituencies you want to mobilize and the institutions you will need to influence. It’s important to not mobilize too soon, because every revolution inspires a counterrevolution. So by mobilizing too early you run the risk of inspiring opposition as much as you do supporters. This is a very common mistake.

Mobilization is largely about planning and executing tactics and there are a couple of important points to keep in mind. First, you are always mobilizing specific constituencies to influence particular institutions. You are always mobilizing somebody to influence something. You’re never mobilizing just for the sake of mobilizing or to “raise awareness” or anything like that. Everything you do needs to have a strategy in mind.

Another point is that you always want to be mobilizing out and bringing people in. And when you recruit new people you want to immediately train them and get them to act, even if the action is small. It is through action that people take ownership of change, so getting people to act is incredibly important. One of the cases I researched was Experian’s digital transformation. They really focused on this aspect and had enormous success.

The last phase is the victory phase and it’s often the most dangerous. For example, in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, which I took part in and inspired me to write the book, we thought we had won. As it turned out, we hadn’t and soon the country descended back into chaos, which resulted in a second revolution, the Euromaidan protests in 2013 and 2014.

We’ve seen the same thing happen more recently in Egypt, where they overthrew Mubarak and ended up with el-Sisi, who is very much the same. It’s also common in startups and in corporate transformation, an early surge and then things go awry.

So you need to plan to “survive victory” ahead of time. You do that by focusing on shared values, rather than specific personalities or objectives. You never want to make a change movement about yourself or your organization. It always needs to be about values.

There is a fourth phase and it’s one you want to avoid. It is the failure phase. Almost every movement I researched had a massive early failure. In most cases, it arose from a failure to prepare and build the movement methodically. The successful movements learned from those failures and continued to evolve. The unsuccessful ones didn’t.

10. When it comes to participation and mobilization, what should people keep in mind to accelerate both?

Again, you just want to keep building out and networking the movement. Keep building links. Eventually, you will build critical mass and the movement will accelerate by itself. That’s what a cascade is, when your movement goes viral.

However, before that happens, you want to prepare as much as possible or your movement can spin out of control, if you haven’t invested in building values, training, etc. We’ve seen that happen with Occupy, Black Lives Matter and, to some extent, the modern women’s movement. Values always need to be upfront.

Perhaps most of all, you need to keep in mind that change is always possible. If you looked at Serbia in 1999, what you would have seen was a country ruled by a ruthless dictator with no effective opposition. Occupy only had a few hundred members at the time. A year later, Occupy had grown to 70,000 members and Milošević was out of office. A few years after that, he died in his cell at The Hague.

Very few change efforts have to overcome those kinds of odds, but using the same principle—those that I write about in Cascades—you can bring real change about, whether that change is in your organization, your industry, your community or throughout society as a whole.

FREE BONUS

If you’ve read this far you deserve a free bonus!

Click here to download a FREE excerpt from Greg’s latest book CASCADES

 

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Digital Consulting Jobs at HCL – August 2021

HCL Digital Consulting Jobs

Change Management, Recruiting, Training and Development Jobs

As many of you already know, recently I joined HCL Digital Consulting to help clients with Customer Experience (CX) Strategy, Organizational Change & Transformation, Futurism & Foresight, and Innovation.

Our group is growing and there are four new job postings at HCL Digital Consulting in our Organizational Agility group that I’d like to share with you:

HCL Digital Consulting Jobs on Linkedin

Click the links to apply on LinkedIn, or if we know each other, feel free to contact me and I might be able to do an employee referral.

And as always, be sure and sign-up for my newsletter to stay in touch!

p.s. Be sure and check out my latest article on the HCL Blog


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Unlock Marketing Innovation with a WGAS Focus

Unlock Marketing Innovation with a WGAS FocusBack in 2011 when election season was fast approaching, one thing that you heard repeatedly during election coverage was analysts talking about the importance of the undecided vote. Often in an election it is the undecided who swing the vote for one candidate over another. As a result, there is an incredible amount of focus placed on understanding why people are still undecided between two major candidates (think Obama vs. Romney) and so as a result campaign strategists and speech writers are obsessed with capturing the imagination of the undecided. But, there is a lot of complexity in those undecided numbers, as they include:

  • People that are truly undecided
  • People that don’t want either candidate to win
  • People that didn’t even know there was an election going on
  • People that feel the whole system is corrupt
  • People that can’t tell the difference between the two candidates
  • And so on

So if the undecided are so important in politics, why shouldn’t they be in business?

If we are the Coca Cola company, do we really think that an advertisement or a marketing campaign is going to turn a loyal Pepsi drinker into a Coke drinker? Are we going to be able to turn Red Bull or milk drinkers into Coke drinkers?

People prefer to drink a lot of other things over something thick and syrupy like Coke and Pepsi most of the time, and while a lot of people may drink Coke either regularly or occasionally, a lot of people don’t and won’t. So if we are the Coca Cola company we are advertising to:

  • Remind Coke drinkers how great Coke is
  • Make occasional Coke drinkers think about having one again soon
  • Convince people that aren’t sure about Coke that they should really try it

This reminds me of the old saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” (John Wanamaker)

Personally, I believe the percentage of waste is much, much higher than fifty percent because:

  • Probably less than fifty percent even see the advertisement
  • Twenty percent or more will never buy the product no matter what you do
  • Twenty percent or less already buy the product
  • Leaving MAYBE ten percent of the people exposed to the advertisement to be swayed by it

The above are just my intuitive estimates. I’m sure someone out there probably has done the research on this and could share a more precise number, and if that’s you, please share in the comments!

A lot of this waste comes from the fact that we as marketers focus on the volume of exposure we can achieve for a product or service, even if we’re using complicated segmentations, personas, and/or behavioral targeting. No matter what, we always end up coming back to the volume of exposure we are able to achieve, because it is something we can measure. We try to segment the market and target our chosen segments with a carefully crafted message and creative, but ultimately most marketers attack the problem by asking this question:

  • What do the people who buy my product look like?

When we should all be asking the question:

  • Who gives a @*!%?

I like to call this WGAS marketing.

The premise behind it is that there is only a very small, diverse subset of people out there who have any interest in what it is that you’re selling. And so, by trying to talk to everyone that looks like that subset – by age, gender, race, tax bracket or whatever other segmentation parameters you might select to target based on, then you’re still wasting a huge amount of time – and money. Instead, we should be looking at creative ways to expose only those people who have a need (or maybe a want) that we can satisfy with what we’re selling.

Jobs-to-be-Done Isn’t Just for Innovation

We talk about identifying unmet needs and jobs-to-be-done when it comes to innovation, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t keep that line of thinking in mind when it comes to our marketing of a potential innovation (or any product or service). Thinking about the jobs-to-be-done or the needs that the customer is trying to satisfy instead of the commonalities of prospective customers from a targeting/segmentation might change the kind of marketing strategy and execution that you come up with.

You might think in different ways about what success looks like, or consider marketing methods you might otherwise skip. For example, while doing in-store demos of a new food or beverage may cost more per potentially engaged person than traditional advertising, you are much more likely to turn the people you do engage with into customers, and to have a conversation with them, so is it really more expensive?

Or you might do something like what Safeway has started doing, as shown in this New York Times article. Safeway is using its vast amounts of shopper data to engage in WGAS Marketing by offering variable pricing – offering different prices to different customers on the same product. But unlike, the variable pricing of airlines that is based on availability and timing, Safeway is varying the price based on individual shopper behavior.

Done properly, pull marketing can use content as a WGAS Marketing strategy. The key of course if to create content that your WGAS audience will find value in and that will cause them to either take action or to develop a stronger affinity for your brand so that when they are ready to take action that you are either the only brand that they will consider, or firmly planted at the heart of their consideration set.

Another way of engaging in WGAS Marketing is to engage in activities that your WGAS audience will engage with. Companies like Red Bull and Life is Good use events very successfully as a WGAS Marketing strategy mixed together with a traditional segmentation and targeting approach. Red Bull focuses so much on their WGAS audience that their product isn’t even featured on their home page.

For better or worse Camel cigarettes and McDonald’s identified kids as the ‘undecided’ potential customers in their markets and chose to target them as a way of increasing their current and future sales. Larry Popelka in his book Moneyball Marketing talked about how Clorox identified new mothers as a group of ‘undecided’ potential bleach buyers who had something that they wanted really white (diapers) that Clorox could target and grow into long-term profitable customers.

So, as you can see, one of the keys of WGAS Marketing is to not just identify what your current customers look like and to try and attract more of them, but to identify the underlying reasons why someone may have a need to consider your solution (think jobs-to-be-done), or become open to a new solution such as yours because their life circumstances have changed.

So, WGAS about your product or service? Or WGAS about the problem that your solution addresses (if it is something new or innovative)?

Finding the answer to one or both of these questions is the key you need to unlock a source of tremendous new revenue and profits for your business. Are you ready to look for the things that will cause people to care? Are you open to considering alternative marketing approaches that will help you reach the people WGAS?

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False Advertising?

McDonalds Sausage Burrito AdMcDonalds Sausage Burrito Reality

I came across an interesting web site the other day that made me wonder if someone shouldn’t start a class action lawsuit against the fast food companies for false advertising.

How many times a day are people snookered into going into McDonalds or Taco Bell or Kentucky Fried Chicken by an enticing food picture, only to receive a microwaved, smashed indigestible piece of junk?

The site has wonderful side-by-side pictorial examples of the promise versus the reality.

What would you do if you bought a new car based on the model you saw in a brochure and the dealer drove a discolored, dented vehicle with cracked windows and half-flat tires around front for you to take home?

So why is it okay for fast food companies to treat their customers in the same manner?

People wouldn’t take this kind of bait and switch from a sit-down restaurant. They would send the food back.

So why shouldn’t we rise up and fight back against a “fast food” restaurant in the same way?

What do you think?

Image credits: thewvsr.com

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