There Are NO Other Words …

Sorry “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people […]
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Executive Development: We Need Our Next Generation of General Managers Now!

People First is delighted to share work that is relevant to our initiatives. Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker and management strategy advisor. His work has influenced the careers of many of us at People First and we are excited he granted us permission to share this particular article.
In this second article that Geoff has agreed to share through People First, it was “The ‘T’ for Talent” model caught our eye. While we in People First are not fans of the word “talent”, we recognize that corporations need to find the best and brightest people to spur them onto success. Geoff highlights the need as succinctly as ever.
This article on leadership and management was published on LinkedIn, August 10, 2017.

As technological innovation continues to disrupt industry after industry in waves of what Joseph Schumpeter taught us to call “creative destruction,” executive decision-making is being driven down in the organizational hierarchy, closer to the customer, nearer to the action. This in turn is putting pressure on the HR function to deliver programs to develop executive talent faster and better than ever before. They are going to need help.
All development programs are intended to change state, so as good program designers, it behooves us to answer two questions at the outset:

What is the current state a candidate needs to have achieved to qualify for entrance into the program?
What is the future state a candidate needs to achieve in order to graduate?

Here is a template for getting started:

The seminal idea behind these two sets is a “T for talent” model that values executives both for expertise in a specific function (the vertical bar of the T) and the ability to collaborate effectively across functions (the horizontal bar of the T). Much of the management literature I am exposed to undervalues the former and overvalues the latter. The truth is you need both, and in my experience, they are best developed sequentially.
The good news here is that every profession has excellent resources to help candidates achieve what we have labeled current state. These skills are specific to each discipline, and there is no substitute for mastering one such set. If you never become expert at anything, you can never really grasp the power of expertise nor understand its limits, so when you go to lead, you end up being naïve about both. That said, I think our current systems are clear and powerful when it comes to addressing this challenge. It is with the next one where they start to wobble a bit.
The first thing to say about what we have labeled future state is that it represents an and, not an or. We are creating a T, and that requires both a vertical and a horizontal stroke. Too many so-called leadership curricula dismiss management as pedestrian in their efforts to position leadership as equestrian. Or worse, they oppose leader to manager, making the former a hero, the latter a villain. This is not just a mistake, it is an invitation to a catastrophe. Under most circumstances, organizations are far better off with strong management and

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Are You Lost In The World Like Me?

Three Minutes and Fifteen Seconds Of ‘WOW’ My thanks to Adrian Gropper for the source that came to him via The Digital Collective – who are part of the People-First ecosystem ….. after a short back and forth in our discussion forum where I brought this article up …. When pressed for an example of […]
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Sometimes

The Chaps Do Wonder If Their English Abilities Are Up To It Have no fear, of course they are .. I don’t think that … districting for partisan advantage has no positive values. I would point you to, for instance, Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion in [2004’s Vieth v. Jubelirer] which has an extensive discussion of …

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The Second Coming

Couldn’t Resist “Mass customization, on-demand local manufacturing, and local sustainable power are trends that suggest that centralized hubs can, and hopefully will, disappear in the coming decades. It may be the second coming of the customer as king.” John Wunderlich Nailed. In a nutshell. If you will pardon the mixed metaphor. I for one hope […]
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Inspiration

Can Catch You Unawares Just spent a fascinating hour on a call with T. Rob, Bruce Simons-Morton, Britt Blaser and Louis Rawlins – key learning …”politics is not government”. After the call Britt shared these links … which I wanted to store away for posterity as I think. Ultimately, some of this might make its […]
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From Customer Service to Customer Success: Taking the Next Step

People First is delighted to share work that is relevant to our initiatives. Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker and management strategy advisor. His work has influenced the careers of many of us at People First and we are excited he granted us permission to share this particular article.
In the article, Geoff explores the transition that organizations must act on as we move deeper into the 21st century. Products have driven the enterprise—selling more to whoever will buy—when it is the customer experience where all eyes should be turned. Geoff believes this experience is not something you can expect a chatbot to deliver, and we agree.
This article on customer technology was published on LinkedIn, September 25, 2017.

In the Age of the Product, customer service ensured that the product lived up to its specifications. Everything after that was the customer’s responsibility, not the vendor’s. In the Age of the Customer, the bar has been raised. Now it is the outcome that must live up to the customer’s expectations, else it is the vendor who is left holding the bag. That requires a whole new function, what the SaaS sector has taught us to call customer success. Let’s take a closer look at what has to change.
First of all, we still need customer service. Products still break, implementations still go awry, and parts still wear out, and they all need to be attended to. The traditional CRM customer service model is admirably suited to the task. It is organized around a trouble ticket generating a case which is managed through to a resolution with the data captured in a knowledge base to better inform the next case. This is by design a product-centric model, putting a premium on accuracy of information and reduction of errors, with productivity being measured first and foremost by the number of cases closed and the time taken to close each one.
What this system does not measure well is the customer side of the equation. In a B2C world we call this the customer experience. In a B2B world, the critical variable is the customer outcome. In both cases it is the reason the customer bought the product in the first place. The problem with this variable is that it is, well, so variable. Experiences and outcomes are in the eye of the beholder, and there can be as many as you have beholders—even more if some of your customers tend toward schizophrenia as they so often seem to do. How in the world are you going to manage that?
For this you need more than data. Data will give you the facts, but as in any relationship, the facts are just part of the equation. You also need signals, the business equivalent of your spouse kicking you under the table. The good news is that our increasingly digital world abounds with such signals. The bad news is they are embedded in a whole lot of noise. Nonetheless, this is the path forward.

Specifically, we need to detect signals to feed a customer health model. In the B2C world these are likely to come from social media, as well as from the log files of users interacting with any connected

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