Tag Archives: technology

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of April 2023

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of April 2023Drum 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. Did your favorite make the cut?

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

  1. Rethinking Customer Journeys — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  2. What Have We Learned About Digital Transformation Thus Far? — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  3. Design Thinking Facilitator Guide — by Douglas Ferguson
  4. Building A Positive Team Culture — by David Burkus
  5. Questions Are More Powerful Than We Think — by Greg Satell
  6. 3 Examples of Why Innovation is a Leadership Problem — by Robyn Bolton
  7. How Has Innovation Changed Since the Pandemic? — by Robyn Bolton
  8. 5 Questions to Answer Before Spending $1 on Innovation — by Robyn Bolton
  9. Customers Care About the Destination Not the Journey — by Shep Hyken
  10. Get Ready for the Age of Acceleration — by Robert B. Tucker

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in March 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 three years:

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Five Steps to Digital Transformation Success

Five Steps to Digital Transformation Success

GUEST POST from Art Inteligencia

Digital transformation is increasingly becoming an integral part of businesses in the modern age, as companies seek to leverage technology to gain a competitive edge. But, while the potential benefits of digital transformation are tantalizing, it’s not always easy to make the transition. To ensure a successful digital transformation, here are five key steps you should consider.

1. Understand Your Goals

Before you begin your digital transformation, it’s important to understand your goals. What do you want to achieve with your digital transformation? Do you want to improve customer service, create a more efficient process for managing data, or something else entirely? Being clear on your goals will help you to focus your efforts and ensure you’re making the most of your digital transformation.

2. Develop a Strategy

Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll need to develop a strategy for achieving them. What technologies and processes will you need to implement? What resources and personnel will you need to make it happen? Having a clear strategy will help to ensure success, as you’ll have a roadmap for getting from A to B.

3. Focus on the Customer Experience

Digital transformation should always be focused on the customer experience. How will the changes you’re making improve the customer experience? Will they make it easier to purchase products or services? Will they make it faster to access customer service? By focusing on the customer experience, you can ensure your digital transformation is successful.

4. Invest in Technology and Resources

Digital transformation is an investment, and you’ll need to invest in the right technologies and resources to make it successful. This could include investing in new software, hardware, personnel, and training. While these investments may be costly, they’re necessary in order to ensure the success of your digital transformation.

5. Plan for Change

Finally, it’s important to plan for change. Digital transformation can be disruptive to your business, so it’s important to plan for the changes and prepare your team for the transition. This could involve training staff on new technologies, creating a communication plan to keep everyone in the loop, and establishing processes for dealing with any issues that may arise.

Digital transformation can be a daunting process, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. By following these five key steps, you can ensure your digital transformation is successful and that your business can reap the rewards.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Transformation Insights – Part Two

Transformation Insights - Part Two

“The world needs stories and characters that unite us rather than tear us apart.”~ Gale Anne Hurd, Producer of Aliens and The Terminator

GUEST POST from Bruce Fairley

In my early years I was fortunate to spend some time on film sets. Unlike how the entertainment industry is portrayed in the Netflix series, The Movies that Made Us, I did not come to blows with any of my directors as Eddie Murphy apparently did with John Landis during the making of Coming to America. Nor did I witness an entire crew mutiny, as James Cameron did on Aliens. Instead, I often saw the same dynamic I’ve witnessed in the tech sector from the first moment I stepped off set and into I.T.

People coming together.

Skilled, diverse, passionate people hard at work fighting against miscommunication, technical issues, and time constraints – coming together to achieve something significant. I referred to this in my previous Transformation Insights post, The Future Always Wins as:

Collaboration Between Complementary Influencers.

This dynamic is as true of a film set as it is of a firm engaged in digital transformation. In both cases, expertise in various areas is required to create a successful whole, with C-Suite leaders in the corporate sphere tasked with providing the articulated vision at the helm. Of course, the success of any endeavor comes down to human-powered action and decision making at every level of execution. And while the challenges of a digital transformation project may not be as bone-breaking dangerous as the stunts in an action film, getting to greatness requires a similar fusion of mind and machine – of talent and technology.

If that sounds like The Terminator, consider that its box office success speaks to the fusion of mind and machine as an unstoppable trajectory – but those who deepen their humanity rather than succumb to machine rule are the heroes that triumph. This was mirrored in the making of the film, which was nearly shut down when the crew put down their tools. Addressing their humanity and acknowledging the value of their contribution changed the story from disaster to blockbuster.

Humans lead – technology serves. Not the other way around.

When that is reversed, dystopia ensues whether on screen or in the boardroom. Having witnessed many occasions in which technology was expediently obtained before its value to the user could be established, I am convinced we have lost the plot in telling a wider, corporate story. Technology was supposed to liberate not enslave. Instead, how many times have you attended a Zoom meeting or prepared weeks for a presentation only to discover the sound not working, the slide deck freezing, or even a hidden ‘on’ button? These may be simple examples, but they rob the intrepid hero of the corporate journey; the chance to shine and advance their creative talent much like the crew of Aliens putting down their tools. Now multiply that by the large scale digital transformation projects I’ve spearheaded, and it becomes clear how a broken axis between human-powered decision making and technology can break the bottom line.

Optimism and momentum towards a more positive, successful outcome hinges on more than technological expertise. It requires an understanding of the whole story – and how the team, tech, leadership, and consumers each play a role. The story you wish to tell about your corporate journey requires buy-in at every level of service – human and tech. Obstacles are not indictments, they are merely obstacles. But they do often require a third-party complementary collaborator that understands how to transform pitfalls into profits.

When I launched the Narrative Group I wanted to amplify the genius of C-Suite executives through the optimization of the business-tech relationship. Similarly to how I observed the inner workings of a set and how all the pieces had to fit together to create a screen success, I spent years observing digital transformation from the inside. Across continents and boardrooms, I learned, led, and transformed as well. This only increased my commitment to helping talented leaders tell their story successfully.

If you’re a C-Suite leader that would like to storyboard the trajectory of your corporate success, please feel free to reach out and continue the conversation at:


Image Credit: The Narrative Group

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Creating Innovation with Hardcore Soft Skills

Creating Innovation with Hardcore Soft Skills

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Yadira Caro on the Hardcore Soft Skills Podcast.

In the episode I define what innovation really is, how people, process and technology come together to create innovation and where people go wrong.

The conversation includes a discussion of how to craft successful innovation teams because it’s such a crucial factor for successful innovation.

I also speak about the peril of idea fragments and the importance of respecting your employees by putting funding and execution capabilities in place BEFORE you ask your employees for even a single idea.

We talk about top-down innovation…

We talk about bottom-up or middle-out innovation…

And, we also speak about many different innovation misconceptions.

So, I encourage you to check out the episode!

You can listen to the embedded podcast above or click this link to go to the podcast page.

Image credit: Pixabay

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The ABCDEs of Technology Adoption

The ABCDEs of Technology Adoption

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Every day, doctors have to make daily decisions about whether or not to adopt a new technology and add it their clinical armamentarium, either replacing or supplementing what they do. In doing so, they run the risk of making a Type 1 or a Type 2 adoption error.

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy generally concerned with the nature of knowledge. It asks questions such as ‘How do we know?’ and ‘What is meaningful knowledge?’. Understanding what it means to have knowledge in a particular area—and the contexts and warrants that shape knowledge—has been a fundamental quest for centuries.

Data Information Knowledge Wisdom Pyramid

In Plato’s Theaetetus, knowledge is defined as the intersection of truth and belief, where knowledge cannot be claimed if something is true but not believed or believed but not true. Using an example from neonatal intensive care, this paper adapts Plato’s definition of the concept ‘knowledge’ and applies it to the field of quality improvement in order to explore and understand where current tensions may lie for both practitioners and decision makers. To increase the uptake of effective interventions, not only does there need to be scientific evidence, there also needs to be an understanding of how people’s beliefs are changed in order to increase adoption more rapidly.

Only 18% of clinical recommendations are evidence based. There are significant variations in care from one doctor to the next. Physicians practicing in the same geographic area (and even health system) often provide vastly different levels of care during identical clinical situations, including some concerning variations, according to a new analysis.

Clinical and policy experts assessed care strategies used by more than 8,500 doctors across five municipal areas in the U.S., keying in on whether they utilized well-established, evidence-backed guidelines. They found significant differences between physicians, including some working in the same specialty and hospital.

The study results were published Jan. 28 in JAMA Health Forum.

One practice difference the authors found surprising was in arthroscopic knee surgery rates. In these cases, the top 20% of surgeons performed surgery on 2%-3% of their patients, while the bottom 20% chose this invasive option for 26%-31% of patients with the same condition being treated in the same city.

The question is why?

There’s an old joke that there are two ways everyone sees the world: those that see it as a 2×2 matrix and those that don’t.

Type 1 Type 2 Errors Kris Martin

A type 1 error occurs when they make a “false positive” error and use or do something that is not justified by the evidence. Type 2 errors, on the other hand are “false negatives” where the practitioner rejects or does not do something that represents best evidence practice.

The most recent example is the campaign to get doctors to stop prescribing low value interventions and tests. The Choosing Wisely campaign, which launched five years ago, hasn’t curbed the widespread use of low-value services even as physicians and health systems make big investments in the effort, a new report found.

The analysis, released  in Health Affairs, said a decrease in unnecessary healthcare services “appear to be slow in moving” since the campaign was formed in 2012. The report found that recent research shows only small decreases in care for certain low-value services and even increases for some low-value services.

The reasons why American doctors keep doing expensive procedures that don’t work are many. The proportion of medical procedures unsupported by evidence may be nearly half. In addition, misuse of cannabis, supplements, neutriceuticals and vitamins are rampant.

Evidence-based practice is held as the gold standard in patient care, yet research suggests it takes hospitals and clinics about 17 years to adopt a practice or treatment after the first systematic evidence shows it helps patients. Here are some ways to speed the adoption of evidence based care.

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why there are barriers to adoption and penetration of new technologies that can result in these errors. I call them the ABCDEs of technology adoption:

Attitudes: While the evidence may point one way, there is an attitude about whether the evidence pertains to a particular patient or is a reflection of a general bias against “cook book medicine”

Biased Behavior: We’re all creatures of habit and they are hard to change. Particularly for surgeons, the switching costs of adopting a new technology and running the risk of exposure to complications, lawsuits and hassles simply isn’t worth the effort. Doctors suffer from conformation bias, thinking that what they do works, so why change?

Here are the most common psychological biasesHere are many more.

Why do you use or buy what you do? Here is a introduction to behavioral economics.

Cognition: Doctors may be unaware of a changing standard, guideline or recommendation, given the enormous amount of information produced on a daily basis, or might have an incomplete understanding of the literature. Some may simply feel the guidelines are wrong or do not apply to a particular patient or clinical situation and just reject them outright. In addition, cognitive biases and personality traits (aversion to risk or ambiguity) may lead to diagnostic inaccuracies and medical errors resulting in mismanagement or inadequate utilization of resources. Overconfidence, the anchoring effect, information and availability bias, and tolerance to risk may be associated with diagnostic inaccuracies or suboptimal management.

In addition,  there is a critical misunderstanding of what information randomized trials provide us and how health care providers should respond to the important information that these trials contain.

  • Has this trend been studied?
  • If so, who conducted the study?
  • Was it somebody who may make money based on study results?
  • Did the study include a control group?
  • What population did they use to test this trend?

Do you know how to read the medical literature?

Denial: Doctors sometimes deny that their results are suboptimal and in need of improvement, based on “the last case”. More commonly, they are unwilling or unable to track short term and long term outcomes to see if their results conform to standards.

Emotions: Perhaps the strongest motivator, fear of reprisals or malpractice suits, greed driving the use of inappropriate technologies that drive revenue, the need for peer acceptance to “do what everyone else is doing” or ego driving the opposite need to be on the cutting edge and winning the medical technology arms race or create a perceived marketing competitive advantage. In other words, peer pressure and social contagion is present in medicine as much as anywhere else. “Let’s do this test, just in case” is a frequent refrain from both patients and doctors, when in fact, the results of the treatment or test will have little or no impact on the outcome. It is driven by a combination of fear, the moral hazard and bias.

Here are some common customer fears when it comes to adopting a new product or technology and how to overcome them.

 Although investment in start-ups is significant, complex barriers to implementing change and innovation remain.

These “unnecessary” barriers, which vary from complicated funding structure to emotional attitudes towards healthcare, have resulted in the uneven advancement of medical technologies – to the detriment of patients in different sectors.

Economics: What is the opportunity cost of my time and expertise and what is the best way for me to optimize it? What are the incentive to change what I’m doing?

Here are three insights as to why physicians are still skeptical about using wearable technology to monitor patients’ health:

  1. Data access. Clinicians aren’t interested in using wearables if data from the devices isn’t connected to their organization’s EHR. Only 10 percent of physicians said they have integrated data from patient wearables, leaving clinicians unable to access the data or having to enter it manually.
  2. Data accuracy. Some physicians do not trust data from consumer wearable devices; for example, the FDA and other global regulators have cleared a smartwatch application that can alert patients who have already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation when they are experiencing episodes. However, the capability is less useful as a mass screening tool and has generated many false positive results.
  3. User error and anxiety. If a wearable device is not worn correctly, it may generate inaccurate results. Some who use wearables to monitor their health can also become too focused on vitals such as heart rhythm and pulse rate, which can cause anxiety-induced physical reactions that mimic conditions such as atrial fibrillation.

The past 600 years of human history help explain why humans often oppose new technologies and why that pattern of opposition continues to this day. Calestous Juma, a professor in Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, explores this phenomenon in his latest book, “Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies.”

Here are the key takeaways.

Research indicates that doctors make these kinds errors frequently(http://ecp.acponline.org/sepoct01/pilson.pdf). Moreover, we are witnessing the development of digital health technologies like medical mobile apps, most of which are not clinically validated. So, how should a clinician decide when to adopt new technology? How much evidence is sufficient for an unsophisticated physician to begin adopting or applying a technological innovation for patient care? How do you strike a balance between innovation and evidence from a patient safety and quality standpoint?

Changing patient behavior has been described as the “next frontier”. To make that happen, we will need to change doctor behavior as well.Some interventions work but passive interventions don’t.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Recognize, that like most customers, surgeons buy emotionally and justify rationally.
  2. Surgeons should be introspective about how and when they adopt new technologies and try to minimize Type 1 and Type 2 errors
  3. While an initial step is to be sure that surgeons are aware of new information that might drive an adoption decision, research indicates that simply presenting them with that information does not change behavior.
  4. Doctors should be skeptical about digital health technologies that might be technically and commercially validated, but not clinically validated.
  5. Doctors will have to resolve the conflict between best evidence and personalized medicine. We face the opportunity to individualize care yet are faced with the challenges of delivering mass customized care when it is becoming increasingly commoditized.
  6. Technology adoption, diffusion and sustainability vary depending on the product offering like drugs, devices, digital health products, care delivery innovation or business process innnovation.
  7. Doctors often have nothing to do with choosing which technology is adopted or, more importantly, paid for by a third party.
  8. Doctors, particularly those that are employed, have to concern themselves more and more with making the numbers, which involves implicitly or covertly rationing care, as irrational as it may be.
  9. Conflicts of interest hide, in some instances, the motivation for technology adoption.
  10. Doctors have high switching costs when it comes to including something new in their therapeutic armamentarium.
  11. In most instances, dissemination and implementation has more to do with leading change than the technology. Consequently it is best to get buy in from clinicians early, define a clear unmet need, have internal champions and leadership from the C-suite.
  12. Adoption and penetration happens in organizations when there is a match between the values and skills of intrapreneurs and organizational innovation readiness as demonstrated by teams that are willing to pull the oars in the same direction.
  13. Here are some ways to to change doctor prescribing habits to conform to evidence based medicine

The job doctors want virtual care technologists to do is that they want you to give them a QWILT: quality, workflow efficiencies,income, protection from liability and giving them more time spend with patients (face to face, since, in most instances, that’s how they get paid) Increasingly, they also want to spend more time “off the clock”, instead of being overburdened with EMR pajama time and answering non-urgent emails or patient portal messages.

While monetary incentives and behavioral “nudges” both have their strengths, neither of them is sufficient to reliably change clinician behavior and improve the quality of their care. Sometimes nudging helps. Organizational culture, while diverse and complex, provides another important lens to understand why clinicians are practicing in a certain way and to put forth more comprehensive, long-term solutions.

The public shares some culpability. Americans often seem to prefer more care than less. But a lot of it still comes from physicians, and from our inability to stop when the evidence tells us to. Professional organizations and others that issue such guidelines also seem better at telling physicians about new practices than about abandoning old ones.

Medicine has a lot to learn from the consumer products industry when it comes to using the power of brands to change behavior. Some are using personal information technologies to give bespoke information to individual patients, much like Amazon suggesting what books to buy based your preferences. We need to do the same thing for doctors.

Like most consumer electronics customers, doctors will almost always get more joy from technology the longer they wait for it to mature. Cutting-edge gadgets can invoke awe and temptation, but being an early adopter involves risk, and the downsides usually outweigh the benefits.

There are many barriers to the adoption and penetration of medical technologies. The history of medicine is full of examples, like the stethoscope, that took decades before they were widely adopted. Hopefully, with additional insights and data, it won’t take us that long.

Image credits: Pixabay, ResearchGate.net, Kris Martin

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Why so much medical technoskepticism?

Why so much medical technoskepticism?

Guest Post from Arlen Meyers

Medicine has transitioned from high touch to high tech to low trust. The explosion of post COVID technology “innovations” is leaving a wake of skepticism from the healing class.

As noted, Covid-19 let virtual medicine out of the bottle. Now it’s time to tame it. If we don’t, there is a danger that it will stealthily become a mainstay of our medical care. Deploying it too widely or too quickly risks poorer care, inequities and even more outrageous charges in a system already infamous for big bills.

Medical technoscepticism is driven by:

  1. Unresolved conflicts between the ethics of medicine and the ethics of business
  2. False promises and marketing hype
  3. Resistance to change
  4. Faulty thinking leading to technology adoption errors
  5. The halo from BIG TECH shenanigans and the resulting distrust
  6. Social media misinformation and infodemics
  7. Not addressing the needs of end user healthcare professionals and what they value
  8. Rules, legislation and administrative mandates and that interfere with dissemination and implementation and the resulting unintended consequences
  9. Inequitable access and lack of clinical validation to solutions
  10. Inadequate professional and patient education and training about present and future medical technologies and their value
  11. Fear about artificial intelligence and its effect on society
  12. Security, privacy and confidentiality concerns

The pandemic resulted in an increase in virtual care.  But its place and value in the post-pandemic world is up in the air. To help policymakers, payers, providers assess the  various ways in which virtual care programs could have a positive impact for patients, clinicians, payers, and society going forward, the American Medical Association and Manatt Health developed a framework. It can be used by care providers to develop and evaluate new digitally-enabled-care models, by payers to inform coverage and payment decisions, and by policymakers to establish regulations.

Much like addressing vaccine skepticism, technoskepticism will require a multipronged approach. . Maybe you should just take all those worthless vitamins and supplements and forget about all the technology snake oil.

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What is digital transformation? – EPISODE THREE – Ask the Consultant

Live from the Innovation Studio comes EPISODE THREE of a new ‘Ask the Consultant’ series of short form videos. EPISODE THREE aims to answer a question that many people struggle to answer or accurately discuss:

“What is digital transformation?”

Digital transformation is a complicated topic for people to speak intelligently about and to explore in depth because there is so much misinformation and confusion about what a digital transformation actually is – a lot of it espoused by technology vendors.

Together in this episode we’ll explore what digital transformation is by looking at two definitions that show what digital transformation is not.

1. Wikipedia’s bad definition of Digital Transformation

“Digital Transformation (DT or DX) is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.”

— Wikipedia

2. This Definition of Digital Transformation Gets Closer But Still Isn’t Right

“Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment, and get comfortable with failure.”

— EnterprisersProject

So, let’s dig into what Digital Transformation really is …

A digital transformation is the journey between a company’s current business operations to a reimagined version of itself from the perspective of how a digital native would build the same business operations leveraging the latest technology and scientific understandings of management science, leadership, decision science, business and process architecture, design, customer experience, etc.

A digital transformation can only be successfully achieved if you put customers and employees at the center to create a human-centered data model and explore the intersection between what’s needed and what’s possible to simplify processes, reduce complexity, and to design elegant experiences.

The key thing to remember is that technology comes at the end, not the beginning, starts by making strategic choices, and focuses on identifying and building the needed capabilities to execute the new strategy.

Here is a quick review list of ten things to keep in mind for a successful digital transformation:

  1. Reimagine your business from a digital native perspective
  2. A Human-Centered Data Model (customers & employees)
  3. Put your customers and employees at the center
  4. Identify intersection of what’s needed & what’s possible
  5. Simplify processes
  6. Reduce complexity
  7. Design elegant experiences
  8. Technology comes at the END – not the beginning
  9. Start by making strategic choices
  10. Build capabilities needed to achieve your transformation

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Help Shape the Next ‘Ask the Consultant’ Episode

  1. Grab a great deal on Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire on Amazon while they last!
  2. Get a copy of my latest book Charting Change on Amazon
  3. Contact me with your question for the next video episode of “Ask the Consultant” live from my innovation studio

Below are the previous episodes of ‘Ask the Consultant’:

  1. EPISODE ONE – What is innovation?
  2. EPISODE TWO – How do I create continuous innovation in my organization?
  3. All other episodes of Ask the Consultant

Accelerate your change and transformation success

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What It Takes to be a Successful Digital Disruptor

What It Takes to be a Successful Digital Disruptor

GUEST POST from Chateau G Pato

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, innovation is the key to success. With technology continually reshaping industries, companies must embrace digital disruption to remain competitive. Digital disruptors are those forward-thinking individuals and organizations that actively challenge traditional business models, transforming industries and creating new opportunities. In this article, we explore two case studies to understand what it takes to be a successful digital disruptor.

Case Study 1: Uber – Revolutionizing the Transportation Industry

Uber, founded in 2009, has disrupted the traditional taxi industry by leveraging technology and creating a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform. By simply connecting drivers with passengers through a user-friendly mobile app, Uber has revolutionized the way people commute.

One of the key factors behind Uber’s success is the integration of technology into their business model. They capitalized on the widespread adoption of smartphones and built an app that provides ease of access and convenience to users. Additionally, Uber’s use of GPS technology enabled them to optimize ride routes, resulting in quicker and more efficient trips, which became a significant competitive advantage.

Moreover, Uber’s disruption of the industry was driven by its ability to identify pain points. By recognizing the challenges faced by commuters, such as long queues, unreliable service, and lack of affordability, Uber was able to provide a seamless and cost-effective alternative. They turned a fragmented and highly regulated industry into a user-centric service that offered reliable transportation at the tap of a button.

Case Study 2: Netflix – Transforming the Entertainment Industry

Netflix, founded in 1997 as a DVD rental-by-mail service, disrupted the traditional video rental industry and eventually transformed the entertainment landscape. Recognizing the potential of streaming technology, Netflix transitioned from mailing DVDs to offering an online streaming platform, which has now become a household name.

The success of Netflix can be attributed to its innovative approach to content delivery. By capitalizing on technological advancements and increasing internet speeds, they facilitated on-demand access to a vast library of movies and TV shows. This not only eliminated the need for physical stores but also provided subscribers with the freedom to watch what they want, when they want.

Furthermore, Netflix’s disruptive nature can be seen in its investment in original content. By leveraging data analytics and user preferences, they have been able to create highly engaging and binge-worthy series like “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards.” This strategic move has allowed them to not only compete with traditional media giants but also establish themselves as a major player in the entertainment industry.

What it Takes to be a Successful Digital Disruptor?

Both Uber and Netflix exemplify the characteristics required to be a successful digital disruptor. Here are some key takeaways:

1. Technological Integration: Embrace technology and leverage it to create innovative products and solutions. Digital disruptors constantly seek ways to utilize technology to improve user experience, increase efficiency, and disrupt existing markets.

2. Customer Focus: Identify pain points and seek ways to address them. Successful disruptors prioritize the user experience, understanding the needs and desires of their target audience to create seamless and user-centric solutions.

3. Agility and Adaptability: Disruption requires the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and market conditions. Successful digital disruptors remain agile, constantly innovating and evolving their business strategies and models.

4. Data-Driven Decision Making: Utilize data analytics to understand user behavior, preferences, and market trends. Data-driven insights enable disruptors to make informed decisions and drive innovation in their respective industries.

The digital disruption landscape is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. By embracing technology, focusing on customer needs, remaining agile, and leveraging data, upcoming disruptors have the potential to reshape industries and create remarkable opportunities.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Transform Your Business with a Change Success Manager

Transform Your Business with a Change Success Manager

“Stealing the role of customer success manager from the world of SaaS is the key to making your digital transformation efforts a success.”

I was speaking with a headhunter recently about some of the roles she was recruiting for and there was one that captured my attention. It was a posting she had for a customer success manager at one of your favorite three letter software companies. And, as she extolled the merits of the role I found myself thinking that the management practice of organizational change is still so immature. There are still so many missing tools and mindsets in the organizational behavior area of management science.

What I found so captivating about the responsibilities of a customer success manager, is that the kinds of tasks she described are exactly the kinds of activities that need to be performed as part of any organizational change effort. The difference is that software companies have recognized that they need to have people dedicated, ideally from the very beginning of the process, to help connect the cross-functional dots for the customer behind the scenes, actively manage expectations and outcomes, ensure a mutual understanding of what success looks like, and to make sure that it is ultimately achieved.

Technology companies everywhere seem to be racing to embrace the role of customer success manager as a new member of their army of service professionals. And, the customer success manager, above all else, strives to ensure that every customer moves beyond purchase, beyond installation, beyond first use, to productive use, deepening engagement, and the holy grail of retention and referral.

And retention is key in SaaS businesses because the churn rate (13% per year on adverage) is higher than other subscription type businesses (6-8% per year according to Recurly Research), but lower than the churn rate for some wireless carriers (which averages between 1-3% per month). Churn rate is a statistic measuring those customers who choose not to renew their service, or to switch their service to another subscription provider. A churned customer doesn’t write you a check for next year, or future years either.

The main reason SaaS customers churn, especially after their first year, is that the perceived value of the subscription is insufficient relative to the price to justify renewing it. They may have bought the software but didn’t install it, installed it but never really got up and running with it, or just found it too hard to get the value out of the software that they were promised. The old technology sales model didn’t care about these situations. Tech companies just focused on closing the sale, recognizing the revenue and moving on to close the next prospect. With the SaaS model, sales are no longer king, adoption and engagement are king. If the customer doesn’t adopt, engage and expand their footprint with your SaaS offering then it is easy for them to switch to an offering of a competitor.

So, if customer success managers are so instrumental to the success of technology companies in the era of the cloud, why shouldn’t they also be considered instrumental inside of our organizations as the key to successful change?

The problem is that too many organizations are still stuck in an upside-down paradigm where change management is seen as a bolt on to project management, instead of truly architecting our organizations for successful change.

Companies that want to be successful over the long term understand that change is not an event but a constant. They strategically select those capabilities and competencies needed for the next phase of their evolution, plan a portfolio of change initiatives that executes upon their strategy, and understand that change saturation and change readiness must always be considered. Companies that succeed in this era of unending change will constantly manage the expectations of their people around each change initiative and how the process will work and what the technology can and can’t do.

It is not surprising that companies would first embrace a role that adds tremendous value on the revenue generating side of the business first. Technology companies have determined customer success managers are critical to helping customer organizations adopt changes imposed by new technologies while ultimately increasing the lifetime value of each new customer. But for similar reasons internal to the organization, companies must also now embrace the need for a role I’d like to call the change success manager.

A change success manager is a change manager on steroids. However, in today’s business climate most people think of a change manager as the person a project manager brings in near the end of a software implementation project that does the training or communications. That may be how companies are doing the so-called people side of change today, but it is wrong!

This new role of change success manager is intended to lead each change initiative inside the organization from beginning to end. A change success manager is brought in at the beginning of the process to reach across the organization and identify a cross functional team specific to the needs of each change initiative for the purposes of convene as part of a change planning workshop. This change planning team will facilitate each change planning workshop using tools like the Change Planning Toolkit™ to identify the change leadership team that will take decisions and remove roadblocks for the change management team that will facilitate the actions necessary to advance the change initiative to its desired outcomes.

And, unlike the current model of change that many organizations follow, a change success manager will have one or more project managers on their change management team to identify the appropriate pace for the project, and the right size for the work packages, in order to maintain momentum across the entire duration of the change initiative and increase the adoption of internal change – just like a customer success manager increases the adoption of external changes!

This article originally appeared on CIO.com

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