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Management

Consumerization

by Randall Craig on December 23, 2016

Filed in: Associations, Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management

Tagged as: ,

Wikipedia defines consumerization as the reorientation of product and service designs to focus on (and market to) the end user as an individual consumer, vs an earlier era of organization-oriented offerings.  It speaks to growing markets by looking for a completely different category of buyer, who may also be an influencer for the organizational purchase.

Of greater relevance, however, is looking at consumerization from the buyer’s perspective.  Consider:

  • “consumerized” members of an association may no longer see membership as a great investment: they may compare membership with alternatives, and decide that something – or anything – is a better use of their funds: impacts membership.
  • “consumerized” staff may prefer their own computers (and smartphones) over the “clunky” official tech gear: impacts IT planning, IT security, and brand.
  • “consumerized” clients may suddenly look elsewhere for answers to their problems… including Google, LinkedIn groups, and your competitors:  impacts both marketing strategy, and revenue.
  • “consumerized” learners may prefer to learn at a time of their choosing using Lynda.com (now part of Microsoft/LinkedIn), instead of attending your “official” professional development offerings: impacts training strategy (and training providers!)

If the internet (and Amazon) has taught us anything, it is that we are fast approaching a time with almost perfect access, both to information and capability.  It takes merely seconds to find an answer on Google, and mere minutes to set up a server on the Amazon cloud.

This week’s action plan:  Imagine a time, five years in the future, when you are competing in a completely consumerized market.  While it is a significant analytical exercise to imagine what this looks like, this week’s action plan is more practical:  what is your organization doing, right now, that you don’t think measures up to consumer choice?  Then either up your game and choose to compete with this, or give it up and redeploy your resources to an activity that has consumer “legs”.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site

www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and design
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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In the olden days, external advisors would be called in whenever there is a problem to be solved.  Proposals would be reviewed, contracts negotiated, references checked, and the engagement would begin. The consulting team would show up, diagnose the source of the problem, and help the management team focus exclusively on getting rid of the bad.  Then the real problems would begin.

The problem with this traditional problem-solving model is that the focus on the bad means that the everyday good is ignored. And while the “bad” problem may be solved, inevitably new issues come up because less “good” is being done.

Enter Appreciative enquiry, an alternative facilitation process.  This approach focuses on what’s good – what’s right – and seeks to do more of it. In this way, the bad is “pushed” out. As someone who has facilitated groups using both traditional and appreciate enquiry processes, there is a huge difference in the minds of the participants.

  • When the focus is on dissecting the problem – when the focus is on the bad… everyone feels bad. The problem looms large.
  • When the focus is on the good… everyone feels good. They feel that they can take on the world.  And they do.

While this description is necessarily simplified, the concept is a powerful one – and illustrates how a simple change in methodology can have a dramatic influence on the outcome.

This week’s action plan:  If you were managing a team, which would you prefer – a group that felt beaten up, or a group that felt they could accomplish anything? This week, before jumping to the solution to your next problem, consider how an appreciative enquiry process might be used.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register. 

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site

www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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