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One busy evening at work when a colleague approached me to take a session for the executives of a food chain on customer centricity, I became curious! While it is not uncommon for me to receive such requests on most prevailing buzz words or marketing fades, the client specifically asking for ‘customer centricity’ and not ‘customer focus’ was enough to get me engaged.

After series of discussions among us and with the client; I got my module content ready for the class and what was most interesting for me is to learn how the participant executives viewed customer centricity. Most of them at first did not buy the idea of customer centricity! They had a valid argument to begin with; why a business that enjoys more demand than they could meet should go for this business philosophy? Sounds logical! and I am glad that they shared their concern. I had to understand their view point, from where they were coming to get the message across. Without this, I could never be sure of the training effectiveness, it remains a good to know kind information. And trust me! a set of sceptic participants give a facilitator tremendous opportunity to learn and facilitate learning. This blog is based on my learning through my sessions.

Just to put the formal understanding in place; the customer-centric marketing is defined as looking at a customer’s lifetime value and focusing your marketing efforts on the high-value customer segment in order to drive profits (Dr. Peter Fader, author of Customer Centricity).

How-the ‘execution’ part is what can make or break any good strategy. To get the execution right, the employees have to hold the philosophy, it has to be a part of organization culture much beyond the bullet points in ‘to do list’. Only the convinced and empowered executives can get the value delivered to your most valued customers. Why I emphasise on this, is until the employees who are the face of organization buy ‘a’ view point, their efforts will not be whole hearted. It is the critical element, if the time and efforts are not invested in transforming the employees towards this business philosophy, mere analytics and policies in place would not fetch any results to be called effective.

And how do you convince your employees? by letting them see the value of customer centricity for the business or for that matter any business philosophy; once they get it correct you will never have to command a control! In fact employees are going to get the ship sailing, getting new insights based on their interactions with customers and fine-tuning the policies to suit the customers.

Coming back to my sessions, as I already mentioned sceptic participants are a blessing in disguise! Once you get the message across you never have to worry about the effectiveness of your training session. An organization planning to bring in a significant change in strategy has to take care that it has not forgotten to educate its employees, getting them on board for finally the onus of effective execution is on them.

 

You can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , I would be happy to hear your comments and suggestions

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While all the malls, all the leading brands will go on sale on an average of 3 times a year, some of them sell, some of them won’t (at-least as much as they intended). Being a marketing disciple, I observe and I ask people their reasons to buy or not to buy. And here are some insights that some of you might find interesting.

Sale doesn’t sell

·         When Customer Value is not understood- the term ‘sale’ rings a typical bell in customer’s mind, certain expectations are formed to prepone a shopping, shop a product even when they don’t need it-just because it seems good value, even If they don’t want to shop-exploring the sale can be an option. Here’s marketer’s opportunity to demonstrate value to convert that footfall into sell. Many a times, prices are not dropped enough to show customer a value, sometimes prices are escalated and then dropped, customers are smart enough to find it all.

 

·         When presentation is poor- Especially if you are a high end retailer, your customers expect a certain level of presentation from you. Once a consumer has to choose from a shabby pile, the expected value of that product diminishes. And if at all he/she puts in that much effort, the product must be cheap. You can’t expect your regular high end customer who visits your sale to search from the pile only to find a price tag that doesn’t justify the value.

 

·         When Customer support is poor- It is understandable that higher footfalls will put in some pressures on your sales staff, however a significant low sales rep-customer ratio will put the customers down. She really liked a product after putting in a lot of effort only to realize that there’s no one to help her with the size availability is a turn off for any enthusiast shopper.

 

·         When billing counters look like a railway reservation counter- well thanks to irctc even the reservation counters are not as crowded as they used to be, a store’s inability to run enough billing counters to cater to an ongoing sale may lead to dropping off a shopping cart at last stage. And, there cannot be something worse than this. The customers’ efforts are wasted, store did not make any money, but the staff would have to put in significant effort in putting back the merchandise on place, overall a lose-lose situation.

 

·         When past failures are not analysed- sale has become a ritual, and once a retailer fails to realize why it didn’t sale enough last time the situation is not likely to change.

The last one is again a function of various factors or combination of factors mentioned above; retailer’s failure to understand customer value and provide a good customer experience can be blamed ‘why sale doesn’t sell’.

You can reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , I would be happy to hear your comments and suggestions

 

 

 

Tagged in: marketing
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Your induction programme for new hires is going well and new inductees are learning all about your organization and your ways of doing things. Congratulations! Now that they are part of your organization, how are you going to make them productive in a short period of time – how are you going to accelerate their learning?

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Communication Essentials for a Leader

"Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things". If you have heard of this phrase before, it wouldn?t be surprising. And if you are a Designated Leader?, God forbid, you might have even spoken of it on numerous occasions.

We all hear these phrases in our daily lives time and again, but sometimes fail to understand their real meaning. Time to question ourselves; are we doing the right? things?

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Communication Essentials for a Leader

"Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things". If you have heard of this phrase before, it wouldn?t be surprising. And if you are a Designated Leader?, God forbid, you might have even spoken of it on numerous occasions.

We all hear these phrases in our daily lives time and again, but sometimes fail to understand their real meaning. Time to question ourselves; are we doing the right? things?

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Posted by on in Strategy and Operations
Most managers accept that employers benefit from a diverse workforce, but the notion can be hard to prove or quantify, especially when it comes to measuring how diversity affects a firm’s ability to innovate.

But new research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

In this research, which rests on a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups and interviews, we scrutinized two kinds of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits you are born with, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity involves traits you gain from experience: Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts. We refer to companies whose leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as having two-dimensional diversity.
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Posted by on in Leadership & Organization
Most managers accept that employers benefit from a diverse workforce, but the notion can be hard to prove or quantify, especially when it comes to measuring how diversity affects a firm’s ability to innovate.

But new research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

In this research, which rests on a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups and interviews, we scrutinized two kinds of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits you are born with, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity involves traits you gain from experience: Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts. We refer to companies whose leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as having two-dimensional diversity.
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Posted by on in Marketing
Most managers accept that employers benefit from a diverse workforce, but the notion can be hard to prove or quantify, especially when it comes to measuring how diversity affects a firm’s ability to innovate.

But new research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

In this research, which rests on a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups and interviews, we scrutinized two kinds of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits you are born with, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity involves traits you gain from experience: Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts. We refer to companies whose leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as having two-dimensional diversity.
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Posted by on in Strategy and Operations
The search for new business ideas and new business models is hit-or-miss in most corporations, despite the extraordinary pressure on executives to grow their businesses. Management scholars have considered various reasons for this failure. One well-documented explanation: Managers who are skilled at executing clearly defined strategies are ill equipped for out-of-the-box thinking. In addition, when good ideas do emerge, they’re often doomed because the company is organized to support one way of doing business and doesn’t have the processes or metrics to support a new one. That explanation, too, is well supported. Without a doubt, if you tackle business innovation systematically—rather than hoping people will get creative during an “innovation jam” or a special offsite—you improve the odds of success (and decrease the chances you’ll be left staring at a blank sheet of paper). Traditional, tested ways of framing the search for ideas exist, of course. One is competency based: It asks, How can we build on the capabilities and assets that already make us distinctive to enter new businesses and markets? Another is customer focused: What does a close study of customers’ behavior tell us about their tacit, unmet needs? A third addresses changes in the business environment: If we follow “megatrends” or other shifts to their logical conclusion, what future business opportunities will become clear?
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This case revolves around the experiences of an MBA student at an Indian business school. The student is dynamic, capable and intent on high achievement, but his pursuit of recognition eventually hampers his and his team's learning and performance. The case is based on an event that happens within a course on organizational behaviour where the student makes a major mistake in his analysis of a case due to his need to demonstrate his competence and validate himself. This hurts his and his team's performance on an assigned task. After the event, the student and his team members reflect on the events that led to this mistake. They also take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation - Behavior (FIRO-B) assessments to determine their personality preferences and interpersonal needs that might have influenced the team's functioning.

Author Syed Salman Ahmad is affiliated with Copenhagen Business School. Authors Sheetanshu Mishra and Santosh Kumar are affiliated with the Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur
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Posted by on in Leadership & Organization
"This technical note explores leadership through the framework of choice theory. As human beings, we actively engage in four strongly interconnected domains of choice: our activities, our thinking, our feelings, and our physiology. Effective leaders understand the behaviors they are choosing and the potential consequences of those behaviors for others. Choice theory provides a framework for choosing behaviors that solve problems and create value. This note is used as a background reading in Darden's Leadership Learning Lab and in several Executive Education offerings."
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International Economics: Understanding the Forces of Globalization for Managers is a 6-chapter book published in 2013 by the Business Expert Press and written by Dr. Paul Torelli, chief economist at Quantitative Social Science. The author explains that, because of the impact of globalization, new technology, and international trade, business managers need more than ever to understand basic economic concepts to make well-rounded decisions. To that end, this book outlines the conceptual foundation of economic globalization. Starting with the important milestones in the history of global trade development, the author explores how global trade has developed, and how globalization has fostered growth, consumption, and higher standards of living. He explains the core models of economic theory relevant to managers and how these concepts provide a framework for interpreting the global economy. He also shares insight on using the book in management courses and suggests complementary readings including case studies. Chapter 4, Industrialization, Globalization, and Labor Markets (32 pages), considers the impact of a growing economy. The author looks at a country's transition from a service economy to a manufacturing economy through the framework of the Lewis Model of Development and also reviews criticisms of the model. He considers the factors of industrial policy, economic diversification, managerial capital, population growth, and wage levels. He looks specifically at the labor markets in America, Mexico, China, and India for empirical evidence on the impacts of globalization.
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The upheaval in the world of corporate finance brought on by the global financial crisis is transforming the role of the CFO, who is assuming bigger responsibilities to deal with the changes taking place inside and outside of companies. Based on a series of panel discussions held with the heads of finance from large global corporations representing various industries, the authors identify the new profiles and functions that are emerging for the new breed of CFO. No longer confined to CAPEX decisions, CFOs are becoming highly sought after for their advice on areas not traditionally considered to be part of their job description, including investor relations and building confidence with employees and other stakeholders. Having enlarged their remit, CFOs are the ones whom others go to for answers and guidance on matters beyond financial concerns. This article lists the greater competencies needed for CFOs to meet the new demands being placed on them.
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Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..", comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

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It’s always tempting at this time of year to try to make a definitive list of the best ideas from the past 12 months. But then we end up debating what counts as best — important? useful? original? all three? — and compiling extremely long lists, struggling to shorten them, and over-thinking it all, when the point really is just to gather some really good reading for you for any free time you happen to find over the holiday. So this year, instead, we thought about the pieces that most surprised us or provoked us to think differently about an intractable problem or perennial question in management, we reviewed the whole year of data to remind ourselves what our readers found most compelling, and we looked for patterns in the subjects our authors raised most frequently and independently of our editorial urging.  The result, I think, is a set of ideas that together are important, useful, and original, and that feel like quite an accurate account of the management concerns many of us shared in 2013.

Here’s the list.  See what you think:

1.  Leaning in will only get us so far.  If the workplace is going to work for women — and for families — men need to change, and so do our expectations of them.  Their tendency toward overconfidence is often mistaken for competence and rewarded with promotions, and their masculine identities require that they work too many hours and get too little sleep, putting extra pressure on women whose greater home- and kid-related responsibilities prevent them from competing on quantity.  The good news is that millennial men are changing the way they define leadership and demanding work that fits around their families.  And the seven policy changes Stew Friedman recommends would benefit all working Americans.  Note: the majority of the pieces below were written by men.

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