Archive | May, 2009

Work on the stuff that matters

From the sage, Tim O’Reilly:

“I spent a lot of last year urging people to work on stuff that matters. This led to many questions about what that “stuff” might be. I’ve been a bit reluctant to answer those questions, because the list is different for everyone. I thought I’d do better to start the new year with some ideas about how to think about this for yourself.

First off, though, I want to make clear that “work on stuff that matters” does not mean focusing on non-profit work, “causes, or any other form of “do-goodism.” Non-profit projects often do matter a great deal, and people with tech skills can make important contributions, but it’s essential to get beyond that narrow box. I’m a strong believer in the social value of business done right. We need to build an economy in which the important things are paid for in self-sustaining ways rather than as charities to be funded out of the goodness of our hearts. “

His three key points:

  • Work on something that matters to you more than money.
  • Create more value than you capture
  • Take the long view

Have a read here.

Whilt these are more individual objectives or goals, they can of course be applied to your organisation.

  • Are you doing something that matters to your customers or people, or that you believe is right?
  • Are you creating more value than you capure? Not just about revenue generation at the expense of customer experience?
  • Are you creating long term value, not just a series of quick wins and bandaids?
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Shopping or Banking

Ok so its been a while between posts. Maybe for some of you, its an indication of just how busy life is for all of us at the moment, or perhaps more appropriately, how much of my precious procrastination time has been consumed with my continued quest to become the worlds most prolific and powerful yet reluctant powerpoint creator ever. Strategy roles seem to be more about creating comms than actually thinking and planning, but thems the breaks.

And don’t think that I just live in the twittersphere either – whilst its a great way to find interesting, relevant and brain bending information (from Guy Kawasaki no less … Guy I expected more), its also content that simply comes and goes. Twittering has certainly changed the way I access information and peers.

No – I’ve been working on this big thing at work, and juggling life with a six month old. And those of you with an equally blessed experience with your little ones will know life now consists of 3 places – home, work and … no not the gym – the mall. A place to buy clothes, eat fries, test EAs new games and … do your banking.

Yes Bankwest’s well publicised push into the shopping trolleys of Australians in the eastern states is continuing it seems, despite CommBanks recent purchase. The branch above has videos and games for the kids, the obligatory (rubbish) coffee machine, and even business books for sale. More mobile phone shop (Orange surely you’re not happy) than bank, this ‘store’ employs young floor staff, seemingly from more traditional retail environments stuffed into suits (“”Banking experience is not necessarily required as these roles need to be filled by fresh, energetic and passionate Victorians who may have gained experience in other fields such as sales, retail or customer service to join our team,” Mr Corfield said. “).

If traffic is anything to by, the store is perhaps struggling, but like a car dealer, perhaps it just takes 1-2 sales per day to make sense. I liken bank branches less to a retail experience, due to the immediate nature of retailing – you walk in to most stores, buy an item, walk out – and banking – you walk into a branch, buy an item, walk out … then wait for the mail. I wonder if there are different purposes there.

Bankwests approach – “Bankwest chief executive of retail Ian Corfield said the new outlets would redefine how customers viewed banking. “Victorians are looking for a change and our new bankwest stores make banking easier for our customers,” he said. “How a bank looks and feels will change fairly radically over the next five years and we are showing this by blurring the line between banking and retailing.”

Whilst a bank is a place for calm, sensible conversations, where trust and security clash with sales and branding, this place screams electro finance.

Not sure if this is really what Victorians meant.
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