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DR.
NANI
LI
A
Selected Thoughts
by: Ali Anani phd
Dr. Ali Anani - Managing Partner
Dr. Ali Anani : As General Manager, Dr. Ali Anani heads and supervises a team of
talented...
Managing Partner
Phenomena Communications
DR.
NANI
LI
A
Index
1- 6 Approaches to Storytelling 1
2- The Iceberg of Habits and Storytelling 4
3- Saddening Educational and Societal ...
Stories attract attention in proportion to the conflict embedded in them. I have
written many presentations on this subject...
Use of Story Attractors
You need to understand the attractors to which your readers, customers, business
partners or prosp...
Maximizing Pain before Maximizing Delight
You want your story to be moving? One way of doing that is maximizing pain first
...
Understanding habits is of paramount importance in marketing, storytelling and
almost any researched field of human activit...
I pondered on habits and wondered if habits
have more "revealing" values.
My thinking leads me to think of an Iceberg of H...
Cobweb of smoking
This leads me to the Spanish proverb that says: Habits are first cobwebs and then
cables… If cobweb indee...
We learn a lot from sports. In a penalty shoot out to determine the soccer cup
winner the score was equal. Team B had the ...
A great observation is the starting point to success. The opposite is true also. Lack
of observation could lead us astray....
Educational systems tend to focus on assumption. The longer we have held those
assumptions, the more we tend to hold them....
It is amazing how doing business in inward-outward fashion may give different
results than doing it in reverse: that is out...
I like to expand the questions to emotions as it relates to Emotional Marketing.
Would you start with the what emotions by...
egoism. It is much more purposeful if I write to communicate my experiences to
others, to try to make the world better, to...
There were two friends who shared many things with misery of poverty standing
out. They were poorer than clayey soil that ...
Upon focusing on the rich man's face he was surprised to find out that he was his
"poor" friend". He rushed to him asking h...
I dedicate this post to a dear and thoughtful friend- Dr. Vincenzo de Florio.
Just have a look at a social network structu...
As good as self-organizing
structures are, they are bound
to suffer from the loss of their
rigidity. This throws the idea
t...
Today, the big soccer match between Norwich City and Middlesbrough ended in
Norwich winning the game, the prize of promoti...
First it was self-belief that didn't wreck the nerves of the underdog as Norwich lost
their last two games to the same com...
Are influencers special type of people that have a particular structure that makes
them act like magnets attracting people ...
takes food and the other eats it (exemplary of ionic bonding). If one friend takes
food and the other doesn't eat all, but...
The receding discussions indicate that true influencers must have:
• Unmet needs themselves. They aren't fully satisfied or ...
Paints disengage from their substrates. Leaves, skin and branches disengage from
trees. Are these disengagements similar? ...
Is that strange to organizations? We may expect that in hierarchical organizations
that when the top managerial level drie...
Employees who are dampened by the management and kept in the darkness of not
knowing may tend to spot the organization wit...
O.T.H.E.R.
Loop Magic and Applications
DR.
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Rod King, PhD published recently a brilliant post about using O.T.H.E...
DR.
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The starting of the loop with Observe is remarkable. By Observe we mean
drumming all our senses to really se...
DR.
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The ball-like water drops do not flow on the leaves like water does on a wooden
surface. Why is that? How com...
DR.
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I call for open-air classrooms in inspiring places with the aim of generating
observations, some of which mi...
How to Think Differently and
Shine?
DR.
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It is teatime to visit the T habit of the O.T.H.E.R five habits loop that...
DR.
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In the age of uncertainty, short-lived products, crowdedness of products and
services conventional thinking ...
DR.
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Yellow hat symbolizing brightness and optimism.
White hat symbolizes information gaps
Black hat symbolizes j...
Raise Your H High
DR.
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It is time move on to discuss the H of O.T.H. E.R. H stands for hypothesize
having covered...
DR.
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Hypothesizing means making an assumption that can be validated through
experimentation and observation. Here...
DR.
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I started a discussion on linkedin that has relevance to this post. Hypothesizing is
greatly assisted by the...
Experiment and Experience
the Hypothesis
DR.
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It is now about time to visit the E of Rod King's O.T.H.E.R. E stan...
DR.
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Your business makes a Value Hypothesis for its customers. Now, the time is ripe
to test your guess of the va...
DR.
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that it was mostly young women aged between 25-18 who bought the so drink.
Surveys later showed that they bo...
The OTHER Side of Doing
Business
DR.
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It is not the Other Side of Midnight; it is the final episode of O.T.H.E.R. ...
DR.
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Startups may enjoy freshness, lean processes and fresh beginnings, but they may
become dark. Is it because o...
Paint Your Organization with
Durable Success
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Out of nowhere a metaphor popped up in my mind for the building...
DR.
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• Purpose of the painted room (purpose of the organization). You don't want a
striking color for a bedroom. ...
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What you plan to paint?
What are the specific requirement of the site?
How to ensure the correct application ...
Tension Marketing
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I wish to thank Russ Klein for alerting me to the value of tension marketing.
I fail to fin...
DR.
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As much as it is surprising that people are the real ones who generate revenue,
surprisingly this component ...
DR.
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The idea is not to stop at making customers tensioned. Stopping there would
infuriate customers. They are bu...
4 Metaphors for leadership-
Is it more of Same?
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We learn, develop, adapt and may accordingly
experience chan...
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3. The Reaction Vessel Metaphor
As molecules must be oriented correctly to react so are humans. It is the ro...
How to Benefit from Marketing
Using Emotions Gaps?
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Everyone of us experienced buying a product that excited ...
DR.
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Added: Five minutes post to publishing this post the sentiment changed in
the wrong direction:
People decide...
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he donated the car to his municipality on condition that the car shall only
be used for collecting garbage. ...
Toxic Employees and Toxic
Chemicals
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Toxic employees share many commonalities with toxic chemicals. Yet; I ad...
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There is an apparent acceptance of the notion of toxic employees. As chemicals
have a wide range of toxicity...
The Habits Footage and
Applications
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It is amazing to what extent sports may stretch our strategic thinking. ...
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If the defender is indeed a risk-taker this habit should spill-over to his driving style.
May be he drives f...
It is not Employee Profile as
much as it is Employee Habits
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Habits are like imprisonment. We have some habit...
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need people with the correct habits. People who listen and don't have the habit of
imposing opinions. We nee...
Collaboration beneath the
Surface
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Collaboration has become a great source of interest, lately. Through colla...
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This is a great example of collaboration. We may learn the following lessons from
it:
1. There must be a gre...
When the Best Decision Isn't to
Make One?
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It is a viral story that opens up the door for different views, ima...
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We tend to add values to colors. Red color means life for some cultures and death
for other cultures. We see...
Managing Partner
Phenomena Communications
DR.
NANI
LI
A
DR.
NANI
LI
A
Selected thoughts
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Selected thoughts

A collection of modern business ideas and their applications using creative metaphors

Selected thoughts

  1. 1. DR. NANI LI A Selected Thoughts by: Ali Anani phd
  2. 2. Dr. Ali Anani - Managing Partner Dr. Ali Anani : As General Manager, Dr. Ali Anani heads and supervises a team of talented young professionals, and manages the overall brand strategy - ensuring the cohesiveness and creative parts of each campaign for all Agency clients. Dr. Ali Anani holds a PhD from the UK (1972). He has a wide experience in many fields. His accomplishments include the writing of more than eighty publications in international journals, the writer of three printed books in Arabic and one E-book in English. He has written widely for the media and presented a TV program and many radio programs. Dr. Anani main credit is his creativity thinking where he scored among the top %5 creative people worldwide. Dr. Anani is an invited lecturer for more than fi y international conferences and an author of many business slogans. Moreover, he has travelled to more than fi y countries as an invited speaker and consultant and has consulted for many international agencies including UNIDO, Atomic Energy Agency, UNDP, ESCWA, private businesses and governmental agencies.
  3. 3. Managing Partner Phenomena Communications DR. NANI LI A
  4. 4. Index 1- 6 Approaches to Storytelling 1 2- The Iceberg of Habits and Storytelling 4 3- Saddening Educational and Societal Observations 7 4- The Reverse Golden Circle and its Business Implications 10 5- The Story of Two Friends- which is yours? 13 6- Social network Structures and Polymers Network Structures- Great Managerial Analogies 15 7- Turning of Days 17 8- Who are the Influencers? A New Perspective 19 9- Creative and Challenging Perspectives on Employees' Disengagement 22 10- O.T.H.E.R. 25 11- How to Think Differently and Shine? 29 12- Raise Your H High 32 13- Experiment and Experience the Hypothesis 35 14- The OTHER Side of Doing Business 38 15- Paint Your Organization with Durable Success 40 16- Tension Marketing 43 17- 4 Metaphors for leadership- Is it more of Same? 46 18- How to Benefit from Marketing Using Emotions Gaps? 48 19- Toxic Employees and Toxic Chemicals 51 20- The Habits Footage and Applications 53 21- It is not Employee Profile as much as it is Employee Habits 55 22- Collaboration beneath the Surface 57 23- When the Best Decision Isn't to Make One? 59
  5. 5. Stories attract attention in proportion to the conflict embedded in them. I have written many presentations on this subject that I feel it worthy to summarize my main approaches. Storytelling Is like a Chemical Reaction You want to convert your readers to become new persons, to buy your product, to adopt a view or whatever your purpose is. Like a chemical reaction it needs to reach an exited state before converting to a product, so is your story. It needs to excite the reader to convert to a new person. Avoid side stories in your story as they are like undesired byproducts. Focus to excite. Orient your readers to your story to react like molecules that shall not react unless they have the right orientation. DR. NANI LI A 6 Approaches to 1
  6. 6. Use of Story Attractors You need to understand the attractors to which your readers, customers, business partners or prospects have fallen into overtime. People develop repeated pattern of behavior. Your story may build on this to create conflict between what your customers are habitual to and the new status you want to convert them to. The emotional attractors are diamond-like in shape. Move the negative feelings till they reach the bottom of the diamond. The deeper the diamond is, the greater the conflict is. Then your story is the hello that moves the sufferers from grudge to hope. It is like an earthquake where if you show how kids are "melting" from the hot lava and you are the rescuer- all hearts shall attach to whatever you offer. Story Turbulences In using the story attractants discussed above, you need to avoid the overdose use of "emotional turbulences". No one likes air turbulences and the same applies to frequent and strong drops of emotions. The Visual Storytelling Approach You want to fuel the hearts of your readers and kindle their emotion then you need to tell them a great story. Having a conflict in your story is a sure way to grab hearts. The greater the acuteness of the conflict, the greater your story is. Consistency is a must if you want to write a convincing story. All the elements of a story using a unified scale are shown in the diagram below. Remember that thoughts and values give beliefs, which form attitudes that shape up behavior. The more you are on the opposite ends of any scale the greater the conflict is. DR. NANI LI A 2
  7. 7. Maximizing Pain before Maximizing Delight You want your story to be moving? One way of doing that is maximizing pain first and then delight shall look great. It is the illusion effect. Add pain to a pain till you reach the climax. Now show the delight of your story. When people are tense and your story is the happy end then people shall remember it for long times to come. Maslow's Pyramid for Storytelling Maslow's Pyramid for storytelling has barely been studied. In fact, this pyramid provides a great opportunity for writing thrilling stories. Suppose a man knows a girl to satisfy his ego of attracting girls. The girl genuinely galls in love with him. Having his ego satisfied the man turn his back to her. He starts to phone less, sees less of her and so on. The conflict starts. Imagine now if you have a products that comforts the lady and it works. I strongly feel this use of Maslow's Pyramid needs more attention. I hope these presentations help you in writing your story. DR. NANI LI A 3
  8. 8. Understanding habits is of paramount importance in marketing, storytelling and almost any researched field of human activities. Habit Marketing relates to understanding habitual behaviors so that we market products that don't negate habits; instead reinforce them. I like very much the quote of Mahatma Gandhi “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” The Iceberg of Habits and Storytelling DR. NANI LI A 4
  9. 9. I pondered on habits and wondered if habits have more "revealing" values. My thinking leads me to think of an Iceberg of Habits. What we see on the surface may have its roots below the surface. Let us take one example. We see a smoker and we may notice upon observation the following sub-habits: throwing cigarette ash carelessly changing cigarette brand frequently Smoking cigarettes half way and then extinguishing them Puffing off smoke angrily Extinguishing cigarettes violently Are these sub-habits related or interconnected? Do they form what we call the Cobweb of Habits? If so, how would these habits affect the value and hence the destiny of a smoker? Extinguishing a cigarette careless may reflect that the smoker is a risky person who might not care for the safety of others or their feelings (the smoker smokes half of a cigarette reflecting he goes half way with his/her friends and then quits them). Not only that as this person end the friendship violently as he/she does with the cigarette having finished smoking it. The person changes cigarette brands easily and it is the same to change friends. Loyalty has a low profile. DR. NANI LI A 5
  10. 10. Cobweb of smoking This leads me to the Spanish proverb that says: Habits are first cobwebs and then cables… If cobweb indeed, then do habits grow like we see in the logistic equation that ends up in a cobweb formation? Is there a limited human capacity to hold habits? Is there cannibalism in habits where one habit is a prey and another is a predator? To form cobwebs then the answer would be yes to all previous questions. Storytellers may draw the cobweb of habits to shape up their characters. Having visual cobwebs of all characters will help in observing the conflicts of habits, which in turn may lead to different conflicting values and identities. This makes the story more logical and more factual. I invite authors to try this approach. It also allows authors not to see the surface of the Iceberg of Habits; more to dive deep and study the deep and hidden habits of their characters. I dedicate this post to the great thinker and man of great habits DR. NANI LI A Dr. Milos Djukic 6
  11. 11. We learn a lot from sports. In a penalty shoot out to determine the soccer cup winner the score was equal. Team B had the last shoot and if they scored they would be the winners. The goalkeeper managed to stop the ball and his team won the cup. A correspondent asked the goalkeeper post the match how he managed to predict the direction of the goal and thwart the opponent famous striker from scoring. The goal keeper said that all previous penalty shooters shot the ball from near distance. Being so close to the goal it made it difficult to observe their body movement and hence their intentions to where to direct the ball. However; the last striker decided to move away from the penalty spot. Focusing my eye on his feet and distance from the people he reached a short distance in which it was difficult for him to change his direction. I predicted he would shoot the ball to my le and he did. I quickly oriented myself to throw my body to the le and that was it. Saddening Educational and Societal Observations DR. NANI LI A 7
  12. 12. A great observation is the starting point to success. The opposite is true also. Lack of observation could lead us astray. How Generations a er generations have seen the tree leaves and that they are not regular engineering shapes. Generations have glanced tree branches and that they are mostly copies of each other. Generations have glanced tree branches that tilt at an angle of about 107 degrees from the stem. Glancing is something; observing is another. To observe means to question why you see what you see. To ponder on it, to hypothesize it, to experiment the validity of a hypothesis and reflect on what you experiment. The more I think, the more valuable I find the O.T.H.E.R. Loop of Rod King, Ph.D is. Rightly, he commented on one of my previous posts that Reflect may seem the least important; in reality it is not. I suggest a metaphor for Reflection. It is BOTH the forward and backward mirrors in a car. The backward mirror allows you to see the past and learn from it. The forward mirror allows you to see the future and prepare for it. You may not be able to extend the past to the future, but you may learn from it to least hypothesize why the future is not an extension of the past. It is this reflection that warrants great attention. Our educational systems teach history. It is the backward camera without reflecting on the lessons learnt. Forecasting techniques focus on the forward-looking mirror without great attention to the past. DR. NANI LI A 8
  13. 13. Educational systems tend to focus on assumption. The longer we have held those assumptions, the more we tend to hold them. Disruptive observations that negate long-held assumptions are discarded. It is when we need to discard assumptions that we find resistance to challenging those assumptions. How long did it take us to accept that air is not one material and that it has many gaseous components. How much resistance Copernicus faced when he said the earth rotates? These are the lessons we should learn from looking backwards and yet we still keep making the same mistakes. Worse still is our tendency to draw straight lines from one point! If an Arab commits a crime then all Arabs are criminals!!! If a Moslem makes a blatant mistake then are Moslems are the same. We still make assumptions based on scattered incidents and we tend to believe them. This reminds me of a story and real one too. Few of us were gathering in a friend's flat before leaving to the airport on a trip back home. It was an early morning flight. We decided to play cards to pass time. One of us went inside. During his absence we decided to play a game on him. We agreed to turn off the light soon a er he returns. We resumed playing cards and one of us extended his hand to the light switch and turned the lights off. It was very dark. We continued playing as if we could see. Poor man as soon he started shouting I am blind…I see nothing…and he went into a hysterical phase. How many societies lead individuals to blindness? DR. NANI LI A 9
  14. 14. It is amazing how doing business in inward-outward fashion may give different results than doing it in reverse: that is outward-inward fashion. A great example is the Golden Rule as shown in the image below. Should we start with what to analyze what we do to reach why and what purpose it satisfies? Or, should we start with why and move outwards to what? Does that make any difference? If yes, what implications on businesses our approach will have? Do we experience what I coin The Golden Circle Hysteresis, as I shall explain later? The Reverse Golden Circle and its Business Implications DR. NANI LI A 10
  15. 15. I like to expand the questions to emotions as it relates to Emotional Marketing. Would you start with the what emotions by analyzing and then what emotions to use to address customers? Or, is it better to start with the why questions? People shall gather around a magnetic purpose- a grand one that appeals to all employees. The greater the purpose is, the greater is the willingness of people to pool around. Likewise; the greater the purpose is, the more appealing shall customers find it. This is also true for politicians in spite of short-sightedness of some politicians. People want a product, a political speech, an advertisement or whatever you offer them that they know why it helps them and not what it does for them.. Why signifies the purpose and this purpose should be appealing to the masses. This s the hot spot that triggers attention. Starting from what and going back to why means deferring knowing the purpose. This is like putting the cart before the horse and "tailoring" purpose to suit the what. Most likely, this shall end up in a mini-scale purpose or a purpose that is egoist. Egoism in purpose defining may lead to conflicts. Water issues may lead to conflicts as is the case in the Middle East and Africa. When a country builds a dam to collect water and deprive other countries from it this leads to the development of voids of differing sizes. Whenever such voids form the system weakens for all countries. The strength of a material is determined by the largest voids in it and the strength of a region is determined by the biggest voids in neighboring countries. Building strength in one country while weakening that of a neighboring one will eventually weaken both of them. The same it goes for writers and including me. So I write to attract views? This is DR. NANI LI A 11
  16. 16. egoism. It is much more purposeful if I write to communicate my experiences to others, to try to make the world better, to enlighten people about certain issues and the like. Make the purpose useful to the masses and not yourself. Jonathan's Seagull didn't learn to fly higher for himself, but to teach other birds to fly. Business is not different and it should always start with why to derive a big purpose for the enterprise. Having a purpose of "killing" a competitor doesn't match a purpose of beautifying peoples' life. Businesses have to remember having purpose based on hot negative emotions that cool a erwards may have different paths than starting with "cool" emotions that warm up the emotions of customers later on. Going the route from why how what and then what how why may lead to what I call The Golden Circle Hysteresis. Like some materials do and financial systems do by exhibiting hysteresis so I expect the same to apply to the Golden Circle. In financial systems When some negative shock reduces employment in a company or industry, there are fewer employed workers le . As usually the employed workers have the power to set wages, their reduced number prompts them to negotiate for even higher wages when the economy improves instead of letting the wage be at the equilibrium wage level, where the supply and demand of workers would match. This causes hysteresis: the unemployment becomes permanently higher a er negative shocks. Negative shocks or negative emotional shocks in the stock market, in expectations, in approaching businesses and in advertising there a ermath might be higher a er their negative shocks. That is my expectation. The Hysteresis of the Golden Circle There is one sure way: to start from the Why Acknowledgement: The great comment of Rod King, Ph.D on my previous post on The Story of Two Friends inspired the idea of this post. DR. NANI LI A 12
  17. 17. There were two friends who shared many things with misery of poverty standing out. They were poorer than clayey soil that was deprived of water for long times. Like clay fractures when dry, so were the two friends. So, they decided that the only way out of poverty is leaving to promising lands separately. They believed they negatively affected each other's good fortune and the best way for them was to migrate to two different places. They did. One of them started working in trade and his business turned into smiles. The other one continued with his misery. He struggled for years and then decided to go back home. Poverty made him look much older than he really was and wrinkles on his face looked liked very fractured clay. One day as he was walking down town the poor man saw people gathering around a rich man. He went and found the rich man distributing parcels of food to the poor. The Story of Two Friends- which is yours? DR. NANI LI A 13
  18. 18. Upon focusing on the rich man's face he was surprised to find out that he was his "poor" friend". He rushed to him asking him by name how good was he doing? But who are you, asked the now rich friend? In tears, the poor friend replied "do you remember those miserable days in which you always said if death was offered for sale, you would buy it"?. That moment the rich man realized that this was his old friend. He embraced him and took great care of him. I remembered this story because when I look at views on LinkedIn posts I find great disparity between what I get here and what I get on SlideShare. I have views exceeding half a million on SlideShare and few thousands on LinkedIn. I am rich on one platform and poor on the other. But what is richness on social platforms? Is it the number of views? Is it the number of comments? Is it the number of likes? Is it the number of shares? Or, is it all these together? Is LinkedIn my misery land and I should consider migrating to other platforms? If I do would I end up more miserable, or shall I find a fertile land even though the clay has dried up? DR. NANI LI A Is richness in numbers? We live in the age of long-tail distribution wherein few shall find the fertile land and mostly will end up in the wrinkles of misery Dear Dr. Vincenzo de Florio shall know why I wrote this post. 14
  19. 19. I dedicate this post to a dear and thoughtful friend- Dr. Vincenzo de Florio. Just have a look at a social network structure and a polymer network structure- your eyes may depict some similarities between them. Both structures have weak and strong ties and varying graph densities, just to give two examples. This finding is not surprising as both are built by accumulation. Things that develop their organization by new parts being added to existing ones, develop accumulative designs that become harder to change over time. We discuss polymer hardness, which The effect on the properties of increasing the length of a polymer chain. This results in decreased flexibility and increased rigidity of the polymer. Branching the same polymer makes it less crystalline and more rigid. Social networks that have many branches may eventually lose their flexibility. They become rigid, less tolerant to changes. They are like the roots of trees where their entanglement reduces their mobility and increases their rigidity. Social network Structures and Polymers Network Structures- Great Managerial Analogies DR. NANI LI A 15
  20. 20. As good as self-organizing structures are, they are bound to suffer from the loss of their rigidity. This throws the idea that should we always think of applying some control on self-organizing teams so that they may stay flexible? Should we talk about self-organizing systems with some enforced boundaries? There is always the danger of exceeding a limit whereby the undesired result start to take more control Is too much of self-organizing a recipe for chaos? Is there a sweet control as there is a sweet stress? Is there a social network rigidity as much as there is polymer network rigidity? There are many more analogies such as the weak and strong ties in social networks and weak and strong bonds in polymers. Are the strength of both determined by the weakest tie (bond). If so, polymers network structures might have many more lessons to learn from. Take two trees one with long added branches and another tree with less packing and shorter branches. You shall see visually that as branches add the tree becomes less resilient and its flexibility decreases. Likewise; snowflakes eventually shall lose their flexibility the more snowflakes are added to the snowflake fractal. Fractals are the classic example of increasing additions to a system in a regular fashion. Tres and snowflakes are examples of fractals. They keep increasing their size by repeating the addition of a the same moiety. In the trees picture below the tree with high density branches and elongated one is less flexible than the tree with less density of branches and with shorter ones. DR. NANI LI A 16
  21. 21. Today, the big soccer match between Norwich City and Middlesbrough ended in Norwich winning the game, the prize of promotion and financial gains that are reported worthy more than (130) million Sterling Pounds. I found myself writing the losers' name as Middlesb-rough as it was rough indeed for the loser.On a personal level I am delighted. I graduated from the University of East Anglia in Norwich where I still keep great memories of my times there. If we could extrapolate previous results to predict the future then Norwich should have lost. Norwich lost their two last games to the competitor.So, what happened that changes the expectations? Turning of Days DR. NANI LI A 17
  22. 22. First it was self-belief that didn't wreck the nerves of the underdog as Norwich lost their last two games to the same competitor. Norwich learnt from their previous mistakes and built a formidable defense. Second is having a manager who not only gained the players' trust, but also genuinely planted his trust in the players. Mutual trust is a great ingredient of success. Third is the support of the crowd. Like flying birds make encouraging sounds to the leader, so did the crowd who believed the job can be done. Fourth early successes are crucial. Norwich managed to score two early goals and that relaxed the nerves of all. Fi h is balancing the play as Norwich players kept the balance between defensive and offensive play. They developed the game without ignoring the reflections they got from their opponents. Sixth is luck as the opponent could have scored and early goal, but the crossbar prevented it. However; luck may come to those who deserve it. There are other factors that led to Norwich victory. However; I am asking here if these factors aren't the same that make a business a winner? I send my congratulations to Norwich city fans while reminding them that the forthcoming challenges are hard shells. I wish also they would remember that Nowrich fans' joy is the source of sadness and grief for the competitors' fans. Live the joy, but be considerate of other people's feelings. I wonder if this post would suggest a practical definition of emotional intelligence! If you emerge as a winner how considerate you are to the loser reflects the intensity of your emotional intelligence. DR. NANI LI A 18
  23. 23. Are influencers special type of people that have a particular structure that makes them act like magnets attracting people to them? If so, is their magnetism kind of paramagnetic or ferromagnetic? By that I mean do influencers become magnetic only if placed in a magnetic field (paramagnetic), or they have a lasting magnetism because the way they are. What makes influencers special type of people in social networks? How do they attract people around them? I thank Luc STENGER for it is the exchange of comments with him that inspired the idea of this post. Let me take a chemical metaphor. Individuals vary in their character. Some people are extremely introvert and difficult to bond with others. They have their own space. Other people are on the extreme opposite as they bond freely with others and they occupy large spaces. In between there are people who bond with others in new ways. Like elements in the Periodic Table that show different bonding behaviors depending on where they are on the Table. To make the discussion easier for the reader let me give a general description of bonding. Let us assume two friends go on a trip together. One possibility is that one Who are the Influencers? A New Perspective DR. NANI LI A 19
  24. 24. takes food and the other eats it (exemplary of ionic bonding). If one friend takes food and the other doesn't eat all, but shares it with his/her friend then we have a coordinate bond. If both friends take food and share it then we have a covalent bond. The question is what type of bonding influencers make and how? The bonding type determines the eventual structure of molecules; likewise they determine the network structure of influencers. What elements attract other elements or molecules to them? Most likely these are transition metals with a magnetic character that makes other molecules firmly attach to them (chelate in scientific language). What is special on their atomic structure? Are these related to influencers to make them special type of people? Transition metals have different energy levels. Electrons occupy those energy levels in a specific order. The higher energy levels are, the more specified number of electrons they may accommodate. No way we may locate the exact position of the electrons, but with some certainty we may identify the orbital (space cloud) they may occupy. More important is that these metals shall be magnetic because they have unpaired electrons. This is the magnetism they have to attract other molecules to pair their electrons of the transition metal. Coordinate bonding is highly welcome because both the metals and the attaching molecules benefit. The more unpaired electrons the transition metal has, the more attaching molecules it may attract. Do influencers have unpaired needs? Needs that are magnetic and are thirsty for pairing? If we compare the structure of chelates and that of influencers chelating structure we may notice the similarity between them. DR. NANI LI A 20
  25. 25. The receding discussions indicate that true influencers must have: • Unmet needs themselves. They aren't fully satisfied or in a state of not wanting others. It is built in their "structure". I wonder if the LinkedIn influencers would agree to this! I think this ideas need further exploration. • Influencers have a natural tendency to build levels of contacts. Like transition metals, influencers make their unpaired need available for others to satisfy them. Influencers have built-in drive to do that and claw to them. • The greater the influencer spreads, the greater that he/she exposes his/her needs. They influence because others are willing to pair their needs with those of the influencers. • Transition metals have unpaired electrons at different energy levels. Influencers also may have of varying energies to increase their potential to claw their followers. I believe there is a need to redefine who are influencers and the source of their magnetism that allow them to make strong bonding with their followers. What are these "magnet needs" that attract people to them. Are these needs derived from the Maslow's Pyramid of Needs, or are they more subtle ones? If the needs are common then these influencers shall be similar to others and forming Claws Clouds shall not be possible. DR. NANI LI A 21
  26. 26. Paints disengage from their substrates. Leaves, skin and branches disengage from trees. Are these disengagements similar? And are they extensible for human disengagement, or at least would provide early indicators that employees' disengagement is nearing? As for the possible similarities of disengagement in paints and trees pictures speak louder than words. Paint Wrinkling and Paints Wrinkling Winkles for when the top layer dries faster than the bottom layer or when top layer is applied on a contaminated surface. Creative and Challenging Perspectives on Employees' Disengagement DR. NANI LI A 22
  27. 27. Is that strange to organizations? We may expect that in hierarchical organizations that when the top managerial level dries fast of ideas, resources or information that "managerial wrinkles" would form and disengagement of employees follows. Paint Cracking and Tree Cracking Paint Cracking and Tree Tracking is a common property between paints and trees. Mud Cracking is a sign of cracks that resemble cracked mud. One of the main reasons that paints show this phenomenon is that paint applied too thickly, to improve inherent poor coverage of a lower quality paint. DR. NANI LI A In organizations that attempt to cover low-quality work or customer service by applying cosmetic measures shall suffer from having Organizational Cracks leading to lowered spirits of employees and hence their disengagement. Paints Foaming and Trees Foaming Both paints and tress exhibit foaming under certain conditions. Foam formation may be attributed to the use of low quality paint or to incorrect application of the paint by using excessive rolling of the paint. Exposing employees to Excessive Rolling may do the same and may lead to make them volatile, less-resistant to rolling and thus foaming their disengagement. Paints Spots and Tree Spots Paints Spots and Tree Spots is again a shared phenomena. Black, gray or brown spots or areas on the surface of paint. Trees show similar spots. The presence of spots indicates that most o en the presence of damp areas that are not exposed to enough sunlight. 23
  28. 28. Employees who are dampened by the management and kept in the darkness of not knowing may tend to spot the organization with spots of disengagement. Paint Flaking and Tree Flaking Paint Flaking and Tree Flaking is a common a shared attribute between paints and trees. The formation of flakes is a sign of aging. What starts as a hairline crack develops into flakes. DR. NANI LI A Organization age in their thinking, staff and leaders, resources and equipment. Some employees shall be flaking and not only disengage, but also shall peel off. Paint Print Resistance and Tree Print Resistance Paint Print Resistance and Tree Print Resistance reflect the inability of a paint or tree to take the shape of an object that is placed on it. Employees who take the shape of their bosses and color issues and opinion to the taste of their bosses have no engaging roots. Beware of employees who say yes to their bosses all the time. I could go on and give more examples. However; my intension here is to draw managerial lessons from nature and to reflect on disengagement in a broader scope. Like paints disengage from their objects and leaves disengage from their tree so are employees. The reasons vary, but nature is a genuine teacher. 24
  29. 29. O.T.H.E.R. Loop Magic and Applications DR. NANI LI A Rod King, PhD published recently a brilliant post about using O.T.H.E.R. for Loop-producing creative ideas that stand the test of time. I am still so absorbed with this loop that I decided to spotlight it in this post. The figure below shows the components of this loop. These are Observe, Think, Hypothesize, Experiment and Reflect. 25
  30. 30. DR. NANI LI A The starting of the loop with Observe is remarkable. By Observe we mean drumming all our senses to really see, feel, taste, smell, and touch the world around us so that we are so immersed that we become part of it. It is very unfortunate that we teach in closed classrooms. We teach students how to think, but we don't expose them to observing. If we wish students to be part of nature and observe its astonishing creativity then we need to change the schooling model. In part, some classes should be held in different rich natures so that the students may develop the habit of observing. Observation is more than just seeing and hearing as it includes all our senses. How would a student smell flowers or notice the fractal arrangement of trees or thrill on the view of flying birds in V-form when they are trapped in closed classrooms? Scientific discoveries that were based on observation from nature are too many to count. Let me start with an example. I show below an image of drops of water covering leaves. What do we observe about these drops? What is striking to the eye What our senses tell us? Are the water droplets distributed evenly? The leaves look pure- amazingly pure. 26
  31. 31. DR. NANI LI A The ball-like water drops do not flow on the leaves like water does on a wooden surface. Why is that? How come the water drops magnify the surface beneath them? Is there a waxy material that make water from droplets? Or, is it a thorny or needle-like substructure in the leaves that make them repel water and forcing it to make droplets? In business, observing customers reveal unique uses of products. Whirlpool washing machines in India was studying the market for the Whirl products in Northern India where most people consume buttermilk made out of curd. To company managers' surprise, many families used their washing machine for stirring curd and making buttermilk! The reason was simple: washing machines were cheaper than stirrers and more suitable. Observation is not limited to nature, but also to actual users of products. We know of many products that were sold for one use, but customers found other uses for them and even more profitable for the owner company. Starch is one example. Observe more and you shall succeed more. Encourage students and employees to observe. I have a suggestion here. Instead of asking employees to come up with a creative ideas ask them to come up with unusual observations. If the first step is right then we have covered more than %50 of the road to reaching new products. 27
  32. 32. DR. NANI LI A I call for open-air classrooms in inspiring places with the aim of generating observations, some of which might be extremely valuable. I also call for new management tool: asking every employee to come up with one observation every month or whatever agreed times. Observation needs nurturing to shape up. We all have senses, but we need to put them to effective use. In a forthcoming post I shall give a full example of the use of O.T.H.E.R Loop. I stop here to ask Dr. Rod King, Ph.D where he would accommodate imagination? Post to Publishing:The comment of Rod King, Ph.D is so rich and thoughtful prompted me to make a Mind Map of it and is shown below. 28
  33. 33. How to Think Differently and Shine? DR. NANI LI A It is teatime to visit the T habit of the O.T.H.E.R five habits loop that serves to building great organizations as suggested by Rod King, Ph.D. In my previous post I covered the Observe habit. 29
  34. 34. DR. NANI LI A In the age of uncertainty, short-lived products, crowdedness of products and services conventional thinking may be hazardous to business health. Thinking differently is more than just a mind setup. It means approaching problems in new, innovative ways. conceptualizing problems differently and understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in new ways. Whatever issue you may have to deal with it has a prerequisite: approaching it passionately. passions help your mind relax and think creatively. You observe something curious and it grabs your passions to find out more about what you observe. This inner drive that turns curious observations into passion shall help your juicy creative ideas to flow. Benjamin Franklin said "If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins". Let your passion fuel you to think differently. Thinking creatively means thinking differently. Let me explain by example. If you can't measure it then you can't manage it. It is equal discard with it because it is not measurable. A thinking mind will express it differently such as if you can't measure it then it might have different and amazing behavior. Passionately say to yourself that you have new horizons to discover, new knowledge to acquire and knowledge to add. Mandelbrot noticed that the length of the coast of Britain can't be measured precisely and that led to his great contributions on what he coined fractals. Thinking differently entails passion for knowing more and diving into the unknown waters. Observation of unfamiliar behavior, shape or whatever if kindles passion then imagination will also open new possibilities. Thinking about new possibilities means thinking differently and outside the known. This way we go into places that we haven't been to and the discovery journey starts. Imagination needs distancing ourselves from the familiar land. You see problems in a different light. You want to solve a mystery with passion coupled with imagination. Thinking differently means asking more questions than giving answers. The problem is knowing what to ask before jumping into answers. Using the six-hats is a great way of doing that. This method, which was originated by Edward De Bono, allows for mentally wearing and switching hats so that new thinking may appear. 30
  35. 35. DR. NANI LI A Yellow hat symbolizing brightness and optimism. White hat symbolizes information gaps Black hat symbolizes judgment. It is the devil that questions findings or ideas Red hat symbolizes feelings. It is sharing the emotions about the thinking ideas. Green hat symbolizes creative ideas, perceptions and concepts. Blue hat symbolizes the management of the thinking process. Like we mix colors to end up with different colors, so is mixing the hats. The possibilities are great indeed. In his recent book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman points out that we have two thought process on the go. One is slow burn, expertise-building that allows us to organize and access a body of evidence about our lives and reality. The other style of thinking is the rapid decision making that we might have to do when we’re forced to recognize new patterns. Our mind oscillates between the two thinking patterns. However; the rapidity of change and the complexity of our world are pushing more towards rapid thinking and decision making. This is an important issue as we need to gain experience, but the rapidity of change having to make decisions may rob us of the experience accumulation. We need to think differently, but pressures don't allow for that. We need to think faster in different directions, but then we need to converge our directions. As trees grow with limits and they branch out with self-imposed limitations, we need to branch out our ideas with the realization that the tree metaphor is kept in mind. 31
  36. 36. Raise Your H High DR. NANI LI A It is time move on to discuss the H of O.T.H. E.R. H stands for hypothesize having covered in the previous two posts the Observe and Think differently. 32
  37. 37. DR. NANI LI A Hypothesizing means making an assumption that can be validated through experimentation and observation. Here we note the Observation (O in O.T.H.E.R.) showing up again. Observation is use is further expanded to include the possible validation of hypothesis. Observation plays two key roles one in generating ideas and one in validating them. Great care must be exercised to separate the two roles of ideas generation and ideas validation. Equally important is the realization of the difference between asking questions and making a hypothesis. A hypothesis differs from a research question; it is more specific and makes a prediction. It is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. Is there any special value to hypothesizing in business? Successful business create value for customers. The greater the delight is and the less pain is, the greater he value is. Rod King, Ph.D is the one who proposed the Delight/Pain ratio as a thermometer of the warmth of this ratio. I elaborated in my SlideShare presentation: The King and I the value of this ratio. The King here is Rod King. Do you think that the value created is tempting enough for the customer? This question may be turned into a hypothesis such as: The introduction of this attribute shall increase sales by %10 as observed by the rapid disappearance of the product from the shelf. You need now to validate if this hypothesis of %10 is validated or not. It is important to notice here the specific value of %10 to make the hypothesis valid. Saying the sales will increase significantly doesn't mean anything as significantly can't be measured. There is a great risk in making assumptions that may obsess us to the extent that we may believe in them without validation. When we say… the best value for customers…. and keep repeating that then this belief turns into a habit. If this belief is wrong it becomes like a snake under our skin. The snake is hiding, but who knows when it shall bite us? I discussed this issue in my presentation on Snaky Habits, which you may refer to for a greater detail. Creative hypothesizing is an interesting area where one would ask question that turn into different hypothesis. It is an area where expansive imagination increases the possibilities and later to able to narrow them down. A good guide might be Constructive Hypothesizing. Constructive hypothesizing is described as a process in which there is a movement back and forth between knowing and not knowing. Imagination has a fertile land this way. It is in the sweet spot of their interaction that imagination may flourish. Or, it is at the edge between knowing and not knowing. 33
  38. 38. DR. NANI LI A I started a discussion on linkedin that has relevance to this post. Hypothesizing is greatly assisted by the use of creative metaphors to help in visualizing, asking creative questions that may be turned into creative hypothesis. Imagine a huge tree planted in a pot. Sooner or later the tree shall outgrow the pot. What should we consider before selecting the pot and the tree? What precautions we should take? If this was a lean startup system what would you consider? The tree represents fast-growing "things" such as information and technology. The pot represent our restricting factors such as time, capacity, financial capability, resilience and others. What do we learn from the natural tree-pot system? How may we maximize our social capital? What the accumulated experience of startups would teach us? 34
  39. 39. Experiment and Experience the Hypothesis DR. NANI LI A It is now about time to visit the E of Rod King's O.T.H.E.R. E stands for Experimentation. 35
  40. 40. DR. NANI LI A Your business makes a Value Hypothesis for its customers. Now, the time is ripe to test your guess of the value you offer by experimentation and observing. Remember the value you offer reflects your opinion and not necessarily that of the customer. Experimentation serves two purposes: Let me share this story to elaborate more on this vital point. Solar cookers were suggested as a great product for the over 300,000 Indian villages. Indian women usually spend considerable time daily to collect wood for cooking. Saving them this time seemed of a great value for them. It was decided to give random families with a free solar cooker each to test the hypothesized value proposition. Two months later the manufacturer found that all solar cookers were down. Was it a technical problem? No and it turned to be a multi-facetted one. Indian love spicy food and solar cookers didn't mix the spices to the desired level. One notable cause for rejecting the solar cooker was its deviation of the social habits of Indian men. The fact that wives didn't have to go searching for wood disrupted the normal life of men. Capturing on the fact that spices didn't taste as before, they grumbled about the solar cookers hiding their real concern of a technology that interfered with their social habits. The proposed value proved false. The pain of men offset the delight of women. The previous story highlights an important point. In proposing value remember that the pain of one side might be the delight of another side. This polarity of value might lead to a total failure of the offered value of your offer. The value of strawberry-flavored so drink had a different fate. The value of the so drink as refresher from the sun heat during summer proved false. All sales were done surprisingly in winter for this particular product. My research showed 36
  41. 41. DR. NANI LI A that it was mostly young women aged between 25-18 who bought the so drink. Surveys later showed that they bought it as a cheap substitute to lipsticks. As universities were open during winter girls bought the strawberry-flavored drink in winter and its value subdued during summer with no male students around. The value for the so drink was negative for men, but extremely positively high for females. This time women won. Doubling the concentration of the strawberry increased demand for the so drink even at much higher prices. Rod King, Ph.D highlighted the value of maximizing the Delight/Pain ratio. He is absolutely correct. However; this ratio has its validity range. I wrote a presentation on this issue titled The King and I. I gave an example of a lady wearing a long-heel shoes. The feeling of being fashionable (Delight) exceeds the discomfort of the long heels (Pain). However, if you fill the shoes with broken glass the pain escalates and shall make the Delight/Pain ratio unprofitable. If we go back to the solar cooker example it shall reveal a great lesson for startups. The question is should we produce solar cookers? Or, can we market solar cookers? Assuming that we have a salable product can be the biggest trap for any business. I have just experimented with a Hypothesis Value. I tested a new website -making idea. I sent the link to all my e-mail subscribers assuming they would love the idea of creating fancy and functional website in few seconds. So far, I have received 15 thanking e-mails applauding the idea and 1 e-mail objecting the irrelevance of the idea. See my website here http://bit.ly/1I4TLTz. It is amazing how new ideas may be tested now. I may coin the term CROWDTESTING, in emulation of crowdfunding. 37
  42. 42. The OTHER Side of Doing Business DR. NANI LI A It is not the Other Side of Midnight; it is the final episode of O.T.H.E.R. Loop suggested by Rod King, Ph.D. I have previously covered Observe, Think, Hypothesize and Experiment. Today I complete the Loop by discussing Reflect. As I was looking images of immature currants I Observed that the fruits darken and lose their maturity as they ripen. WOW as I am back to Observe. This Observation made me Think of the possibility that some organizations start transparent and then turn dark. I am hypothesizing that maturity leads to less transparency. Less transparency means less Reflection. If so, why plants lose their transparency and whether similar reasoning may extend to organizations? 38
  43. 43. DR. NANI LI A Startups may enjoy freshness, lean processes and fresh beginnings, but they may become dark. Is it because of the stress of he competition they encounter by not tailoring products and services that delight the customers while minimizing their pain? Is it because they get engaged in matters that have no relevance to the customers? Is it because initial difficulties lead to fear and mistrust? What are the Observable Reflections from such a work culture? Most likely, these are initial reflections focusing on internal issues and are hardly relevant to the customers. Internal work environment for the some startups may be "injured" by the knives of mistrust, leading to reflecting less and absorbing more. They are like an apple as soon as you cut it it turns brown. Are dark colors Reflecting "injured work environments" as well? A fruit that is Reflective turns into a dark one as it matures. The same fruit may turn dark when you cut it. Same are startups if they turn dark from the outside and inside. They either reflect, or if they do they send wrong reflections. For that not to happen, these firms must keep repeating the O.T.H.E.R. loop. The frequency and magnitude of the waves of this loop shall determine to a good extent the freshness of their fruits (products, services, ideas,…). Apples, pears, bananas, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables turn brown when they are cut or damaged. Like different fruits show a similar behavior upon cutting, do different firms have common behaviors that poison them? More importantly, are there simple measures to prevent the unwanted coloring of organizations as we do for fruits by simply coating them with generous amounts of lemon juice? Asking Reflective questions will help a lot in identifying many businesses issues. The What, How and the Why questions to start with. It is important to realize that assumptions may be a poison to a business. This post is filled with assumptions based on my initial observations. To believe I am right without Thinking, Hypothesizing, Experimenting and Reflecting is a sure way to disaster. That is why I am grateful to Rod King, Ph.D for stirring my posts on O.T.H.E,R. One sure thing and I am not hypothesizing is that the O.T.H.E.R. Loop is a sure way of storytelling. Your hero observes something (whether internal or external issue). He/she then thinks about the issue and makes a hypothesis. He/she experiments different tactics and fails. He/she reflects on the failures and learns from them to finally succeed. It is not only the stories of startups; it is our stories as well. 39
  44. 44. Paint Your Organization with Durable Success DR. NANI LI A Out of nowhere a metaphor popped up in my mind for the building of successful organizations. It is the paint metaphor. The questions that apply to the selection of a paint are extensible for organizations. The selection of a paint is not a simple exercise. Color, finish, gloss, cost, technology employed, quality, nature of object to be painted, intended use, ambient conditions and taste are among the important factors in paint selection. It is understanding the process of choosing a paint and applying it correctly that helps in painting your organization with the right image that stands the test of time. For a paint to meet its usage requirements manufacturers add several additives to upgrade the application and serviceability of the paint. For example, additives include gloss enhancers, mildew resistance enhancers, improved paint washability and toughness. Don't organization have same requirements? No paint job, including the image of your organization, shall be successful without answering the following questions: 40
  45. 45. DR. NANI LI A • Purpose of the painted room (purpose of the organization). You don't want a striking color for a bedroom. no organization shall succeed without knowing its purpose. • Location- sun-exposed rooms may require different paints than less sun-exposed ones. If your organization is exposed to too much sunlight is different if it is still a modestly exposed one. • Longevity- if you are planning to stay for a long time in the dwelling it makes more sense to use expensive, but durable paints. • Nature of the surface to be painted- applying paint to a wood will be different from applying it to aluminum. You need to understand how the paint shall bond to the substrate. Organizations are not different and their bonding with clients may have different requirements. • Technology employed- how will the paint be applied by brush, paint gun or spaying are issues for consideration. Organizations need to consider different technologies and their appropriateness to customers. • Who shall paint the wagon? It is crucial that the correct paint needs the correct painter. Organizations need not only to sell the correct paint, but also must ensure the painters (employees) are trained and experienced in performing the required jobs. • Environmental impact. Some paints peel off after sometime and fail the test of usage. Likewise, organizations that paint a false image shall fail the test of time. • Watch for unseen events. Like an eye color may vary as an instance of structural color, which varies with varying lighting conditions, so watch for the color of your organization and how people eye it. Painting save a metaphor for the complexity of organizations. The flow of questions for selecting the correct paint may extend easily to organizations. The interactions of factors influencing the selection of paints may extend to the study of interactions and feedback in painting a true image of organizations. 41
  46. 46. DR. NANI LI A What you plan to paint? What are the specific requirement of the site? How to ensure the correct application of the paint? How to monitor the performance of the paint? What lessons do we learn? How may we avoid the recurrence of the same mistakes? How do we pass the learning and information acquired to the whole paint industry? How to deal with harsh environmental conditions? For organizations this could be harsh economic conditions, to give one example. These are interconnected questions. The selection of the wrong painter (employee) will affect the performance of the paint (work) and shall dim the image of any organization. That each question is asked separately doesn't mean that questions are working in isolation. Like the paint industry learns from its mistakes and upgrades itself to a new identity so are all organizations. 42
  47. 47. Tension Marketing DR. NANI LI A I wish to thank Russ Klein for alerting me to the value of tension marketing. I fail to find the right words to thank him enough. I dedicate this post to him with the hope that it reflects a small part of my gratitude to him. Amazing is the disruption of the marketing landscape. The 4Ps of marketing involved 3 strategic components (promotion, Place, Product) and one tactical component that is price. Price is the only component that generates revenue for a business. 43
  48. 48. DR. NANI LI A As much as it is surprising that people are the real ones who generate revenue, surprisingly this component was added later to turn the 4Ps into 5Ps. Later it progressed to 7Ps to cater for Process and Physical evidence. Marketing strategy developed accordingly. Emotional laddering has been introduced recently to highlight that we need to trigger emotions to market successfully. Habit marketing was later introduced to use habits as trigger for wanting a product. Very recently, Russ Klein commented on one of by posts by saying " I began research in 1997 on "Tension-Based Communication". Whether it's a press release, a novel, long form content, or a :30 second TV commercial...I have identified an irrefutable correlation between so-called effective communication and tension. This led me to develop a proprietary tension-based briefing process that inspired the long running Gatorade "Is It In You" campaign. That comment and a subsequent one opened my appetite to dive more in the sea of Tension marketing. Is Habit Marketing different from Tension Marketing? A recent study that involved a lady who kept biting her nails that the trigger for biting was her feeling bored. That feeling arose tension in her fingers and led her to build the habit of biting her nails. Habits are then based on tensional triggers. It is then very helpful to delve into tension marketing. The thinking of Russ Klein is elevating. Not all emotions may trigger tension high enough to build habits. However; feelings of tense, shaky, panicky, restless, uneasy, anxious and nervous are among the strongest feelings that lead to tension. 44
  49. 49. DR. NANI LI A The idea is not to stop at making customers tensioned. Stopping there would infuriate customers. They are buying solutions and not nervousness. So, once you take the customer to the peak of his/her tension show how your product relaxes the tension. The bigger the tension is, the more valuable the product is. You need to take the customer to the edge of his/her discomfort before Aladdin lamp appears. Of great importance here is to understand the attributes of your customers and what makes them tense. O en, tensions have their iceberg. For example, heavy eaters may be in state of high tension. people who love luxury cars may be worried about having a "luxurious" social status. They have the tension of needing to feel their individuality. Offer a message that intensifies this worry and then Aladdin Lamp shall lighten up his/her worries with your product. The Golden Rule is then Build the Tension and soon a er release it. Tension on the edge will "condition" customers to accept your offer. The works of Russ Klein provide great example of possibilities. Creative tension is the path to follow. Social media has offered great opportunities for visualizing tension and its trend direction. That shall be the theme of a forthcoming post. 45
  50. 50. 4 Metaphors for leadership- Is it more of Same? DR. NANI LI A We learn, develop, adapt and may accordingly experience change of beliefs. Authors are on the same boat as they write on what they experience and believe. A good way to discuss this topic is having written on same topic over time. For example, I have come up with four different metaphors to study leadership and its main attributes. Have I been consistent? Did the metaphors lead me in different directions/ What are the commonalities of attributes generated by the four metaphors? I decided to find out. 1.The Divers Metaphor As divers dive into the unknown, have ability to take risk, knowledge of planning for their lives before planning for others, knowing where and when to dive and self-confidence to dive.A driver knows the purpose of his/her dive if it is commercial, recreational or scientific. Knowing the purpose helps in planning the dive. Drive timing is equally important whether it is day or night and the prevailing conditions during the dive. Aren't these the attributes of great leaders as well? ttp://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/diving-into-leadership 2. The Perfume Bottle Metaphor What kind of perfume you fill the bottle and to what occasion? A dragonfly may be attracted to fill the bottle. A dragonfly can see from six directions. Are leaders any different?Having a transparent bottle lets you see what is inside. So are great leaders as followers see and trust their transparency. Filling a luxurious perfume bottle with low-quality perfume shall not make the perfume better. Leaders know that they should fill themselves with high quality values and emotions if they are to be truly good. http://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/leadership-in-the-perfume-bottle 46
  51. 51. DR. NANI LI A 3. The Reaction Vessel Metaphor As molecules must be oriented correctly to react so are humans. It is the role of a leader to ensure that his reacting "agents" are oriented correctly.Great readers are aware that conflicts and including culture conflicts mean disorientation leading to low productivity of the organization. Not all molecular collisions lead to products because molecules must have enough energy when collide to convert. Likewise; oriented employees must have the energy stemmed from their engagement, happiness and growth potential to effect change. Impure reactants lead to impure products? Leaders make sure to have clean minds and hearts of their followers to give the right production. http://www.slideshare.net/hudali15/leadership-in-the-reaction-vessel 4.The Driving Cars Metaphor Safe car drivers are not hesitant to decide for if they do they may cause accidents. Leaders who drive their organizations must have this attribute as well. Stressed car drivers may cause accidents. So are stressed leaders who don't live a balanced life. Many times a car driver may have to use intuition which direction to go when at crossroads with no directional signals. The rapidity of change puts leaders on similar crossroads and they must have the intuition to decide where to go. A good driver has alternative routes just in case of emergencies. Are great leaders any different? I may conclude that I don't find myself trapped in presenting conflicting attributes of leaders. Yet; I dare say that not a single metaphor presented the complete spectrum of leaders' attributes. To rely on one metaphor is relying on seeing part of the image with no assurance that the unseen part of it is less important. 47
  52. 52. How to Benefit from Marketing Using Emotions Gaps? DR. NANI LI A Everyone of us experienced buying a product that excited him/her at first. Soon the excitement disappeared and our initial joy turned into varying degrees of disappointment. This disappointment is proportional to the gap between the drop in the level between our initial joy and subsequent disappointment. That is to say to the emotional gap that formed. You may measure sentiments using Twitter. Quite o en you measure sentiments at different time intervals and you end up with different sentiment results. If you notice a drop in the percentage of positive sentiments then you have an opportunity to fill the emotional gap. I show for illustration the general sentiments towards telecommunications. Repeating this measurement shall reveal if positive sentiments increase or decrease. 48
  53. 53. DR. NANI LI A Added: Five minutes post to publishing this post the sentiment changed in the wrong direction: People decide by their emotions. I believe that emotions are involved in each decision we take. Some emotional changes are abrupt. Political polls testify to what I say. Polls show highly positive sentiments to a politician and then due to a slip of the tongue, for example, the positive sentiments turn into sour ones. People have their expectations and they wish to fulfill them. When they buy a product or a service they want or need they are joyful. The trouble starts when the purchased product or service fail to perform as desired. We all have bought cars, mobile phones and laptops and we were initially delighted. Soon, of these products failed to work properly. The delight turns into pain. If this pain persists then the emotional gap deepens and may lead us to do unexpected actions. I read recently a tweet showing a grieved customer who got fed up with the performance of his new car. To revenge, 49
  54. 54. DR. NANI LI A he donated the car to his municipality on condition that the car shall only be used for collecting garbage. The result was that the car manufacturer lost huge sales and it was too late to correct for the damage. As I am writing this post a bitter tweet arrived about telecommunications. I extract this part of it… still no service and now you lie. I dare say that companies which create such emotional gaps shall go bankrupt. It is not only disappointing the customer; it is making the customer feel cheated and unimportant. Nobody likes such feelings. If prolonged, bad feelings turn to revenge that make customers act in unpredictable ways. Writers of posts are on the same boat. If they writes a post with promising and attractive titles, the readers would rush to read the posts. Soon, they find the posts only value were sugar-coated titles. No wonder they start to make very harsh comments. Emotional gaps are both an opportunity and a threat. Filling them with the right product is a way to success. However; creating them in the wrong direction will make any business phase out. Attract people with emotions. The challenge is moving those emotions in the right direction. 50
  55. 55. Toxic Employees and Toxic Chemicals DR. NANI LI A Toxic employees share many commonalities with toxic chemicals. Yet; I admit having hot discussions with some great thinkers who refute the idea of toxic employees have inspired the theme of this post. Opponents of toxic employees are even opposed to firing them. Their logic if you remove one somebody else shall turn into one. How then to deal with them? Well, by bringing them back to the "herd". Having thought about this topic I have some new thoughts on toxic employees that I would like to share them with you. I find that toxic employees are not toxic for a good reason. How? Toxicity is not limited to human behaviors as plants and animals alike produce toxic chemicals for their protection. The idea that clouds my mind if employees "produce" toxic behavior for self protection as well! Plants can't move to avoid their predators and so they depend on varying ways to protect themselves. Some plants have thorns, but most of them depend on chemical-based defense. So many are the toxic chemicals produce for protection with varying effects on humans. Toxic effects may include skin, mouth and throat irritation, resulting in swelling, burning pain, breathing difficulties and stomach upset. One of the most common causes of plant poisoning. The seeds of some plants are so fatal such that the ingesting a single seed may cause death. 51
  56. 56. DR. NANI LI A There is an apparent acceptance of the notion of toxic employees. As chemicals have a wide range of toxicity, so are employees. Not all toxic chemicals are the same. I may say that not all employees are toxic for no reason. Like plants producing toxic chemicals for their survival, some managers "freeze" employees and restrict their movement to extremes that make those employees feel they can't move? Will such feeling make the only survival option for them is excreting toxic news, rumors, actions and behaviors? The behaviors of some managers in tightening the grip on employees may lead to this phenomena. Toxic employees are then the product of the organization. Removing the toxic employees in these case shall be fruitless because whoever replaces them shall mostly turn into toxic employees with varying degrees. Removing toxic employees shall not remove the cause of toxicity and the organization shall only produce more of them. There are important lessons to derive from the toxic plants metaphor: -1 Toxicity is mostly for self-defense. When employees become toxic this may reflect their states of fear. Without removing fear, toxicity shall increase. -2 The degree of toxicity shall increase with the increased intensity of fear. Managers who plant fear are in actuality creating the climate that plants the seeds of fear among employees. Some employees shall then become toxic. -3 The ill-effects of bad managers are not limited to the organization, but extends beyond its boundary. If an employee develops the habit of producing toxic actions to defend himself/herself then most likely he/she shall carry the habit to where he goes such as a new job, for example. -4 Removing or eliminating toxic employees shall only aggravate the situation if the cause of the problem is freezing the employees and making them "motionless". These employees become fearful of losing their jobs and may turn to be toxic for survival. Handling toxic employees or isolating them shall never be rewarding. The cost of bad management that instills fear are far greater than we know of. People aren't toxic unless we control their movement. Is there a tendency for employees if tied up to become toxic? 52
  57. 57. The Habits Footage and Applications DR. NANI LI A It is amazing to what extent sports may stretch our strategic thinking. In a previous post on habits several commenters made the point that habits are difficult to spot. As important as habits are for marketing and employment using habit-based approaches, the difficulty in recognizing habits have precluded great advancement in this field. As I was steering on an image of the footprints or movement map (heat Map, if you wish) of a football player the idea of this post occurred to me. The footprints point to where the defender starts defending. He looks more of a mid-fielder than he is a defender. He is risk-taker. 53
  58. 58. DR. NANI LI A If the defender is indeed a risk-taker this habit should spill-over to his driving style. May be he drives fast or drives for a while before locking in the driver seat-belt. The spill-over effect of habits may serve as a great way to divulge other habits. I find this an interesting idea. Let me explain more with examples. If a smoker (I know it is a bad example, but helps) doesn't care where to throw the ashes of the cigarette then may have the habit of not caring. If he puffs the smoke out of his mouth with roughness then he may be a hard person who developed the habits of one. How he deals with the cigarette when he finishes smoking is also telling. If he throws it on the floor and extinguishes it with his foot then you may think this smoker ends his relations violently. Watch-out for possible violent habits with his family or peers. My late father asked an interviewee to write a page on any subject he desired. He did and immediately a er reading his page my father said to him "you don't have sisters, do you"? The answer was no. I asked my father why did you ask him that question? He said "because his language was very dry. The job requires dealing with kids and he is simply unfit for the job". Roughness has spill-over effects. If is prolonged for long times it then affects behavior and behaviors turn into habits. You want to hook customers? Well, Hooked is a great book to read and benefit from. Source: Nir Eyal, "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products" More at: www.NirAndFar.com Like in sports we have the footprints of players, analogously we may have the footprints of customers. If sports people can do it, so we can. Figuring out habits might be a hard task, but for businesses who do they are surely successful. Habits reflect and reflections have stories to tell. That is the subject of a forthcoming post. 54
  59. 59. It is not Employee Profile as much as it is Employee Habits DR. NANI LI A Habits are like imprisonment. We have some habits that we may change in a short time. They are like short imprisonment; other habits are like long-term imprisonment and it takes long times to get rid of. It is not a sweet jail when the habit is bad or repulsive. Unfortunately; many people are imprisoned in their bad habits. Let me give an . Few days back I was in a meeting when one person expressed a different opinion than his manager. The latter got infuriated and started addressing his subordinate with insulting words such as "if you were ever to understand". The junior employee responded by asking for the opinion of the attendees. Almost everybody supported the opinion of the employee. I could see his boss' eyes traveling sideways fast. This indicated another bad habit: he was not listening; his eyes movement told everybody that he expected everyone to pause and listen to him. One bad habit leads to another. It occurred to me that when we employ we should consider the habits of the applicants. We call for building of "antifragile" teams we 55
  60. 60. DR. NANI LI A need people with the correct habits. People who listen and don't have the habit of imposing opinions. We need people who are resilient and may cope with change. These people must have the correct habits to be resilient and good communicators. Organizations are living bodies. Like we discuss human wellness, so we need to study organizational wellness. The spirit, body, mind and emotions must be in good health and balanced if we may be moving towards wellness. These four elements don't work in isolation and feed each other. If you are stressed then your body start producing chemicals that may affect your body and make you more susceptible to stress, just to give one example. But what does this have to do with habits. Well, the following diagram will make it easier to see the relationship. Being angry (emotion) might affect your body and generate a behavior.I know of some people who start breaking glass to vent out their anger. If these people keep doing that repeatedly then their actions become a behavior. If this behavior is repeated frequently then it turns into a habit. As we see habits form over periods of time and if we imprisoned in them for long spans they shall be difficult to change. Consider these questions: - would you employ a candidate with proven academic record, but with very strong bad habits? - what are the costs of bad habits on your firm? - How tolerant would other employees be to these bad habits? - What conflicts will these bad habits generate in your firm? - What are the bad habits they are most repulsive to you and how likely those habits would change? May be it is time to add habits as a determining criteria in selecting candidates. Do you agree? I hope we all have the habit of giving feedback. 56
  61. 61. Collaboration beneath the Surface DR. NANI LI A Collaboration has become a great source of interest, lately. Through collaboration we may reach our goals faster; in doing so repeatedly, collaboration may become a habit. I have seen collaboration in fish, dolphins, ants, and now—through great video— whales. This form of collaboration is mystifying. Whales need to feed and they have a strategy for doing that. They know that their collaboration is a key factor in their hunt for huge quantities of fish. Here’s how it works: a few whales synchronize their dive into water to form a circle around the fish. The whales keep flashing their fins to contain the fish within the water. Another whale dives below the surrounded fish and makes a frightening, thunderous sound. The fish try to escape by going upwards, but they are trapped by a net of bubbles created by another whale. The whales then feed. 57
  62. 62. DR. NANI LI A This is a great example of collaboration. We may learn the following lessons from it: 1. There must be a great goal for members to collaborate. In the case of whales, it is survival through nourishment. 2. Synchronization of effort: not all members move at the same time, but follow each other to achieve sub-goals. In the case of fish, it is circulating the herrings. Subsequently, a whale goes under the fish, and another above the fish, at synchronized times. 3. Understanding prey and its reaction. Whales is frighten fish with a thunderous sound and use that reaction to trap them in a bubble net. Nature has given us examples to use as guides in collaborative strategy and movement. Do enjoy the great video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxC7a3KQKpw&feature=youtu.be 58
  63. 63. When the Best Decision Isn't to Make One? DR. NANI LI A It is a viral story that opens up the door for different views, imaginations and lessons. The dress in the picture above spurred viral debates whether the dress is blue and black or gold with white. A simple question that led to curiosity, which in turn made the dress story a global one. Who is right? As beauty is in the eye of beholder, it turns out the color is in the eye of the beholder. Is consensus possible? No, and this is a case in which consensus is misleading. It is an amazing case. Opinions might have different "colors" to the viewers and not necessarily any one color would represent the whole truth. An elimination approach is wrong in these cases and should be avoided. If we go by majority, and say the majority sees the dress blue and black then we ignore the fact the the other side seeing the dress golden and white is correct to. The majority doesn't make the minority wrong. Is the best decision not to make a decision? 59
  64. 64. DR. NANI LI A We tend to add values to colors. Red color means life for some cultures and death for other cultures. We see cultures in different colors and some of them are favorable for some people and even horrifying for other cultures. Appearances might be misleading and the real "color" of people may not be found. Judging people from what we see is risky. It is like seeing a fish in a water pool. We see the fish in one place, but in actuality it is in another place. Appearances may lead us to put a candidate in one place where in reality he is somewhere else. For those eyes that saw the dress in gold color I say "remember not all that glitters is gold". Gold that isn't. How ladies who saw the dress in gold would wear shoes that match gold, but for friends they saw the dress in blue! Dress for success. What would happen if somebody dresses for an interview and then it shows in unacceptable color in the interview? Here we make people pay for faults that they didn't make. The dress story merits pondering on as it offers many lessons to reconsider our thinking. How o en we turn the right anomaly into a wrong decision? 60
  65. 65. Managing Partner Phenomena Communications DR. NANI LI A
  66. 66. DR. NANI LI A

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A collection of modern business ideas and their applications using creative metaphors

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