Culture changeMarketing 3.0Strategy

Developing internal leadership talent

So long as destinations 3.0 intend to expand by leveraging the human potential of the local community, developing leadership talent is an essential success factor. The development of the future leaders should begin at present. As a part of the vision and duty of Creative leaders, the development of young leaders is a must have requirement to ensure the models’ sustainability and adaptation to the environment’s changes.

Organizations have to change their leadership talent sourcing strategy, by focusing their efforts on developing talent within the organization rather than head hunting in the market.  This can be done through the deployment of leadership development programs, which have proved to bring in many advantages:

Boost of the employee engagement. According to 90% of leaders, employee engagement has a positive influence on business success, but 75% of the organizations have no engagement plan or strategy. Development programs provide the employees the opportunity to leap forward to a better version of themselves and find a more meaningful and fulfilling professional life. Make sure to appropriately define the program goals.

Increase of the employee performance. As it happens with all professional development programs, they prepare employees to bring more value to the organization and therefore increase their performance. Investing in the human resources development is also very likely to favor their retention, so long as they feel that they are in an organization where they can grow professionally and develop their potential.

Ensure the business sustainability. Developing internal talent is not only more profitable than sourcing it outside, but it also ensures that only those professionals that share the organization values will be its future leaders. Further, the availability of many prepared leaders facilitates a natural selection for the best leaders to thrive and take the top leadership positions. Therefore, it is not only an investment to boost profitability, but also to reduce risk.

This article is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, written by Jordi Pera, Founder and CEO at Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Ltd. You may download for free the full Whitepaper at www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers

Business trendsIntelligenceMarketing 3.0StrategyTourism marketing

Key Takeaways from #SoMeT13US, the Social Media Tourism Symposium

When I moved to Huntsville, Alabama, as a surly teenager in the mid-90s, I never thought I’d be returning 17 years later to attend a professional conference on social media and tourism. Mainly because there was no such thing as social media then and I was largely consumed by door slamming, journal writing, and comic books. And, to be honest, I thought Huntsville was a drag.

Things have changed. Huntsville’s CVB proved that Rocket City USA has legitimate tourism cred and serious social media chops.

The Social Media Tourism Symposium, referred to as #SoMeT in both Twitter and spoken parlance (soh-mee-tee), is an annual conference hosted by Think! Social Media that brings together the best and brightest tourism marketers. Each year, the conference’s location is crowd sourced online. The perspective attendees vote in a bracket-style competition for which destination is best suited to host the pack of social media nerds and tourism geeks. Huntsville triumphed over much larger and more convention-y places like Indianapolis, Cleveland, and St. Pete’s.

Huntsville’s process to win #SoMeT13US became a case study used throughout #SoMeT13US to highlight new trends at the intersection of social media and tourism. It was really inspiring. Here are a couple themes that emerged from #SoMeT13US and Huntsville’s selection as host that were especially relevant.

1. The DMO is dead. All hail the DMO.

Destination marketing alone is not enough. Comprehensive destination management is what’s needed. Hey this sounds familiar! (I’m looking at you DMAI).

As Fred Ranger of Tourisme Montreal put it, “destination marketing has been about brand expression. Destination management is focused on the brand experience.” The visitor’s online experience during their dreaming and planning phase is just as important as their offline experience when they arrive – and the DMO/CVB has a critical role to play. In Huntsville’s quest to land #SoMeT13US they blasted their social networks with calls-to-action. But it was their offline work that pushed them over the finish line: they deployed street teams to educate and engage locals and visitors and posted signs in highly-trafficked areas. The campaign might have been born on Facebook and Twitter, but it lived and thrived with real-life people-to-people contact. This took work and planning and investment and it wasn’t easy, but it was successful.

2. Less Volume, Better Engagement

We’ve come to a beautiful time as social media marketers where we can focus on quality not quantity.

I presented a case study of our work in Namibia where we realized very quickly that our destination was highly specialized and creating a huge online community was not in the cards. And that was okay. Because, the people that are attracted to Namibia are the super-enthusiastic people that are social media dreams. The online community growth has started to slow, but the level of engagement continues to get deeper and deeper. We’re able to get to know our community and give them the kind of content that they’re looking for – the kind of content they want to own and share with their networks. We also know that these folks are the ones who return time and time again to Namibia and try to get their friends to come along. We can use our social platforms to communicate directly to the dune hikers, the rhino lovers, the extreme photographers. We’re not trying to create campaigns for Johnny McCarnivalCruise or Sarah O’AllInclusive. We want to speak directly to Namibia’s biggest fans and give them every possible reason to book a trip.

Mack Collier thinks you should probably be more like Taylor Swift. Or Johnny Cash. Or Lady Gaga. Basically, any kind of “rock star” – because they understand the importance of developing real connection with their fans. Incentives for the “superfans” doubles down on engagement and creates newsworthy opportunities to re-connect with casual participants.

Fred Ranger also spoke about how typical ROI should be replaced with RQE – return on the quality of engagement. Reporting on the number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, are good… but are you actually creating brand interest and  attracting visitors to your destination? Measuring this is easier said then done, but it’s getting better. And if social media wants to start justifying the same kind of cash that traditional tourism marketing is pulling – then we need to think about conversions.

3. If Content is King, then… this Metaphor is Hard. Be Smart with Your Content.

So, how dow we create conversions? My delicate vocabulary sensibilities were assaulted when Tom Martin threw “propinquity” at me all willy-nilly. If you consult your SAT vocabulary flash cards, you’ll be reminded that propinquity means proximity and similarity. As tourism marketers, we can get lost in inspiration. The idea is that your main content piece – be it a video or blog post – should be complimented with actionable, related content. Someone is really digging a post on your new bike trails? Give them a call-to-action to book a bike tour.

This idea isn’t new: think the popup boxes on YouTube or Amazon’s “You Might Also Like” feature. This inbound marketing strategy is an important component of successful tourism websites and new flexible website designs means there’s no excuse to turn your destination site into an opportunity for sales.

Inbound marketing is content driven. Many of us create content calendars that include hundreds of individual posts – all with an active shelf life of a couple of days. We come up with ideas and then distribute them. Tom waves his finger at us. Tsk Tsk.  “Every content piece should be re-purposed at least three times.” Invert your content creation strategy: think first about all the places the content live (affinity blogs, media placements, newsletters) and then build your content from the ground up. Once the main piece has been create, disassemble and distribute.

4. This isn’t Easy.

Peppered throughout the successes, were plenty of stories of failures. Sometimes ideas that are hammered out in a conference room, that seem perfectly logical, fall flat. Social media is people driven and people – jeez – they can be fickle. Platforms can change on a dime (I’m looking at you Foursquare badges), what you ask your community to do can be two clicks too onerous, and sometimes – something more shiny pops up somewhere else. Playing it safe doesn’t work – it’s important to take risks and try something new.

As two novice spacemen from MMGY remind us, “Proceed and Be Bold.”

Check this video in Youtube    https://youtu.be/K9ZPHrnoBXc

Article reposted with permission from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Social%20Media%20Marketing

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

How leadership makes the culture change

When starting to work on developing a destination up to a 3.0 model, most executives are likely to have a Reactive mindset. Reactive leaders are programmed to perpetuate the current reality, thriving within the established system in accordance with the established rules to meet the standardized expectations of the cultural environment. This mindset is obviously not prepared to drive change. In their transition to the Creative mind, they start to think by themselves, feeling free to decide and depict their own vision and purpose. This creative capacity is what empowers them to lead the change. In the transition from the Creative towards the Integral mind, the leader develops the capacity to make the organization capable of integrating all the stakeholders, caring for the sustainability and common good to the largest extent.

According to the Leadership Circle Profile, the Change leader should follow a servant leadership approach, listening, understanding and caring for the organisation’s members’ personal and professional development. The culture change process consists mainly on shifting the focus on problems, threats and reactions –Reactive- towards a focus on vision, passion, purpose and action inspired from the Creative mind. This is implemented by identifying the main Reactive features to reduce (Controlling, Protecting, and Complying) and developing Creative competencies (Relating, Self-Awareness, Authenticity, Systems Awareness, and Achieving).

This new focus consists of building relationships and making the others realize that we have to work as a team and rely on each other to overcome the coming challenges. During the leader’s transition from the Reactive to the Creative mind, the team members can observe this progression and get inspired to follow the same process. At the moment when there is a critical mass of people who have experienced this transformation, it can be taken for certain that the changes can be sustained and the Creative stage is consolidated.

On the McKinsey Quarterly issue about Developing Better Change Leaders, there are highlighted a series of important change leadership practices:

Tie change leadership to business goals. There is no better challenge than a high-priority business initiative for executives to develop new change leadership skills. This is a way to develop both the leaders’ and the organisation’s capabilities at the same time.

Master personal behavior change. It is necessary for leaders to understand how their mindset and behaviors can propel or hinder the culture change process. Their mindset and behavior are essential to influencing the organization members.

Show highly visible sponsorship. Most of the successful organizational transformations have had sponsors who were highly active and visible in their role to build alignment among other leaders on the change effort and support them along the journey.

Create networks of change agents. This is to gather a representative share of all types of stakeholders that are affected by the change process, in order to obtain insights from all players and engage them in the process, to make it more comprehensive.

Involve employees in the transformation journey. Team members’ engagement has to be achieved first through the emotional appeal to effectively arouse their will. Only then the intellectual arguments that appeal to their rationality can be assumed.

This article is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, written by Jordi Pera, Founder and CEO at Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Ltd. You can download for free the full Whitepaper at http://www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers

Environmental sustainabilityIntelligenceIntelligence methodsSustainabilityTourism trends

Environmental Indicators in Measuring Tourism Impacts

The task of measuring tourism impacts is often conducted by identifying certain economic indicators, such as the contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the overall employment, and measuring their base before tourism, after a tourism project begins, and monitoring them as the project progresses. Here is an example infographic from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC):

wttc

Source: WTTC

With sustainable tourism development, we aim to manage the consequences of tourism in such a way to maintain a balance between its economic, environmental, and socio-cultural impacts. Therefore, it is important to identify environmental and socio-cultural indicators to measure as well.

Throughout the coming paragraphs there is a list of possible indicators that you can use in evaluating and measuring tourism impacts particularly environmental ones. Although this list is not comprehensive, these indicators are the most commonly used and can guide you in your initial tourism planning.

Effect on Air, Water, and Soil Quality

Tourism relies heavily on natural resources, so its impact on the environment is crucial when measuring tourism impacts. Ideally, tourism should be able to improve the quality of air, water, and soil in a destination. Some example questions to consider when measuring this indicator:

  • Has tourism been able to maintain the quality of water in the destination?
  • In places that promote pristine and endless strips of beaches, how clear is the water from coliform bacteria contamination?
  • Is there sufficient drinking water for the communities in the destination?

Sometimes, tourism businesses use up most of the water in a local area because of the needs of the tourists, such as providing showers in hotels. This transfers resources from the locals to the tourists and sustainable tourism developers should be wary of this.

Effect on Conservation Goals

When measuring tourism impacts on conservation, use these guide questions to help you:

  • Is tourism helping in protecting wildlife and other environmental resources?
  • Has the number of endangered species increased or decreased?
  • Does tourism support forest regeneration and marine conservation?

Effect on Waste

Many tourist establishments generate a relatively higher volume of waste compared to the locals’ waste. Well-implemented waste management strategies are crucial to prevent negative impacts on the environment such as high levels of dangerous bacteria. Consider:

  • How much solid waste is generated by tourism?
  • Is there a proper waste management system to prevent negative environmental impacts?
  • What is the ratio of the tourism establishments waste compared to the locals?

Measuring tourism impacts using these environmental indicators is helpful in sustainable tourism planning as a guide in designing strategies to achieve the positive side of these indicators. Of course, your indicators will need to be customized to your destination.

This blog post is from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Measuring%20Tourism%20Impacts

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Leadership development process for culture change

Revamping destinations up to a 3.0 model entails, among other challenges, upgrading the leadership level of their executives. As it has been explained in previous blog posts, The Leadership Circle Profile is a methodological framework to assess Leadership Quality and orientate leadership development for those who want to leap forward from one stage to another, creating awareness of the need for the leaders’ transformation as a first step towards culture change.

The method for leadership quality assessment and development combines peer to peer analysis and development sessions focused on specific topics, in a way that the leader’s peers and subordinates analyze his evolution and needs for improvement. This requires a great deal of confidence, sincerity and commitment, along with humility on the side of the leader, to listen to his peers and subordinates criticism on his leadership style and effectiveness. The involvement of peers is not only to obtain a more comprehensive and realistic assessment, but also to develop their awareness and commitment on this issue, so long as leadership is not only the leaders’ job, but everybody’s co-responsibility in their role in order to improve the collective leadership and the organizational culture.

At the end of every session, the leaders commit to improve a certain aspect of their leadership, and at the following session they analyze the improvements achieved. This usually consists of reducing a specific Reactive behavior, developing a Creative competence and also a leadership improvement goal. All these have to be measurable to track progress, and the goals should be also quantified to measure the level of success in each one. This method manages also to create a culture of trust and support, so long as peers talk openly about themselves and their coworkers, their fears, weaknesses and questions. This way, the forces constraining cooperation and self-development are reduced to leave room for further empowerment and development of synergies within the organization. These sessions are usually carried out every few months for a period of about two years.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Marketing 3.0Strategy

Welcome to the Experience Economy

The digital world is all about experiences. Combining web content with video and mobile applications (and even large screen and interactive print), organizations have to provide an experience with their brand and content that is compelling enough for users. Although an organization may be selling a product or service, they are first selling an experience with their brand through content (text, images, video, games). The cost of that experience? Attention.

People only have so much attention (just like money in the bank). So they try to spend it wisely and feel cheated when the experience doesn’t live up to the cost.

But when the experience is worth the cost? People get something in return: a relationship. The experience transcends just the screen. It strikes at the heart of who we are and our need to connect. Which is why people gravitate towards experiences that are personalized, dynamic, relevant, and contextual. They want an experience that seems like it was built for them…or will shape to whom they are the more they interact with it.

Ultimately, this is why relationships are the currency of the experience economy. Businesses who can develop, cultivate, and stockpile relationships through engaging and interactive digital experiences will have a larger pool from which to draw repeat (and new) customers while everyone else is trying their hardest to get consumers to spend their attention.

You Can’t Have a Relationship With a Number…or a System.

As marketing has embraced digital (or maybe it’s as consumers have embraced digital and marketers have reacted to it) technology has becoming increasingly important. In many cases, marketers are caught up in the systems they use to generate the leads that drive the business. But that is just as dehumanizing as referring to people as leads or prospects in the first place. Which, of course, jeopardizes developing the relationships that are needed to succeed in the experience economy. Because with that focus on graphs and analytics, marketers stop thinking about the people to whom they are delivering their content. They only think of leads and growth and pipeline.

They ignore that most fundamental aspect of developing a relationship: engagement.

Is It Really That Bad?

Some marketers would say that it’s not. Their job, they would say, is to drive business growth. I would argue that they are no more than robots if that’s the case. Connecting with people through an organization’s brand is the greatest opportunity afforded to marketers by digital. For the first time they can really form one-to-one relationships with existing customers and people who are interested in becoming customers. It’s a global version of the corner store or the water cooler. People expose information about themselves in digital forums that they would never speak about face-to-face. And yet little is done to cultivate that.

Developing relationships with people can be an uncomfortable business. Marketers need to get uncomfortable.

Why Are Relationships So Important?

In a world full of noise, marketers must do something to separate themselves and their brand. Sometimes that may be a catchy marketing gimmick. Sometimes that may be an accidental campaign gone viral. But for the most part it will be something that fundamentally touches the core of what makes us human: connection. As humans we want to be a part of something. A neighborhood. A political party. A family. And that is no less in the digital world. In fact, digital exacerbates it by making connectivity easier. In all that noise and clutter that is becoming online, to whom will people turn when they are looking to make a purchase or subscribe to a service? To the marketer with the catchy jingle? Or to the marketer that is connecting and engaging with them through Facebook, blogs, email, and more?

In the experience economy, relationships are the new currency. At the heart of relationships is engagement. Engagement is personal.

The First Step to Humanizing Marketing

I admit this is a bit of a fluffy post. But it’s been weighing on me. Marketers have this great opportunity to actually talk with people through their digital marketing and yet, instead, they focus on programs and campaigns and a lot of that “broadcast marketing” mentality.

So the first step to humanizing marketing? Stop thinking about leads and pipeline and acquisition and start thinking about engagement. Talk with people through posts and tweets. Send personalized email. Develop trust and credibility by providing content that is helpful (not product focused). This is why persona-based marketing is so important. When you see your targets not as targets but as people (which is possible when you “put yourself in their shoes”) you have a much greater appreciation of

A New Way to Measure?

There have been a lot of services hitting the marketing industry offering to help manage social engagement. Of course, social is only one way to engage with people. But they bring with them the beginnings of a new paradigm: measuring engagement. Of course, the beginning is just that. And the offerings are shallow. What marketers need is a way to quantify the value of a relationship:

  • how deep is the person’s network?
  • how often do they talk about my brand to their network?
  • through what content do they engage with me most?
  • what was my last engagement with them?
  • what kind of conversations do they want to have?

When the marketing industry can develop software to help quantify the value of a relationship, we can take the second step towards humanizing marketing.

The Second Step to Humanizing Marketing

Where the first step is pretty easy (if not time-consuming), the second step is hard. We have to convince a global economy that relationships with people are the best long-term strategy for continued growth and success. That’s right. It’s not short-term pipeline that will make the company succeed. It’s the trust, credibility, and customization provided by a humanized approach to marketing that will build the business of the future. It’s people.

Doing this will require educating executives that short-term leads are counter-productive to long-term growth. The pipeline will fill. The leads will generate. But it has to be done naturally, through establishing a relationship, or it comes off as just a clinical activity involving systems and spreadsheets.

The Middle Ground?

Okay, so I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that there is a place for lead-generation marketing activity. Let’s face it, some people don’t want a relationship. They just want to get in and get out. Marketing, then, should be about building a layered approach. For those that just need the facts, that just want the information so they can decide themselves, that just want to buy, treat them like they want to be treated. Like a number. One could argue that by giving them what they want marketers are actually establishing a relationship with them as well (albeit utilitarian).

But this approach can’t be the dominate layer. Again, long-term business success in the experience economy is all about establishing relationships and connecting with people so that you become the place where they spend their attention. But a combination of tactics actually enables marketers to satisfy existing business requirements (i.e., lead generation, conversion, and pipeline growth) while practicing the humanization of their craft…and demonstrating how deep, intimate relationships with online users can actually generate much more success than focusing just on the numbers.

Go Forth…and Humanize!

Okay, in addition to being a little fluffy, this post (and my position) is a bit Utopian. But successful marketers are already changing. Just look at the trend towards storytelling (the foundation of any good experience).

Marketing is going to change. Do marketers all need to get around a campfire and sing Kumbaya? No. But if marketers fail to understand that they must treat their audience as people who want to have some kind of relationship (and not be considered just a number) they will get lost in the noise.

This blog post is from  http://www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/10/22/humanizing-marketing/

Culture changeMarketing 3.0

Harvard’s tips about culture change

Beyond the BCG and Kotter’s approaches that have been explained in previous posts, Harvard Business Review provides a long list of tips to complement the aforementioned methodologies, and also to understand all the factors that should be taken into account, so long as they influence the process of culture change and its chances of success. These are the following:

Readiness to change is about arousing a sincere want for change. A leader’s admission of vulnerability is rather likely to help others recognize and address their failings. You can’t force people to change. You can only help them want to.

It is essential to replace negative habits with positive ones. Linking old to new habits is far more effective than approaching them separately. Doing A instead of B simplifies the change, rather than stopping the B habit without clear instructions of what to do instead.

Peer support and pressure foster change. One of the best ways to change human behavior is to gather people with similar problems. Bringing employees together to discuss initiatives creates accountability, mutual generosity, a judgment-free attitude, and increased pressure.

Sponsorship deepens commitment and sparks results. Identifying and rewarding early adopters of the new behaviors is likely to create positive contagion. For the slower adopters of the new behaviors it is much better to pair them with early adopters than external coaches.

Community without hierarchy is a catalyst for change. Confidence and trust tends to be higher in the closest relationships with peers rather than formal leaders, and so the informal relationships should be leveraged to move change forward, beyond the hierarchical leaders.

It pays to acknowledge small wins. Change management system should find ways for employees to show and celebrate incremental achievements. Failing to create short term wins is likely to lead the process to failure. Change effort needs to be often refilled with new energy.

Match strategy and culture. Too often executives underestimate to what extent culture alignment is a key success factor for strategy’s effectiveness, and actually is being an obstacle to strategy implementation. Culture, strategy and goals have to be closely interconnected.

Focus on a few critical shifts in behavior. Implementing culture change, as for any strategy challenge, is essential to set priorities. In this case, it is convenient to identify the key behaviors to change, prioritize them and focus only on the top priorities at first.

Honor the strengths of your existing culture. Instead of focusing only on the negative behaviors to be changed, it is recommendable to acknowledge the cultural assets of the organization that do not need change, and make the change feel more like a shared evolution.

Integrate formal and informal interventions. When promoting behavior changes it is necessary to appeal first to the emotional level (values, pride, integrity, etc.) and then to the rational self-interest (incentives, promotion, etc.) using both formal and informal interventions.

Care about professional development. Employee commitment is more likely to be achieved when these feel that the organization is investing in their future by providing training and caring for their professional development. Then they are more eager to buy into the change.

Assign clear accountabilities. Every member, starting with the executive team, should know what change goals and initiatives he or she is responsible for. The accountabilities should be cascaded accordingly from the leadership level to the bottom level of the organization.

Measure and monitor cultural evolution. As well as any other aspect related to strategy implementation, culture change progress has to be monitored, in order to identify misalignments or need for strategic reorientation. Executives should focus on four areas:

  • Business performance. Progression of the KPIs, assessing both outperformers and underperformers, and analyzing the underlying causes of the measured results.
  • Critical behaviors. The extent to which the members of the organization have changed their behaviors according to the established priorities.
  • Milestones. Level of accomplishment of the intermediate goals established in the implementation plan, considering the priority level of each goal.

When designing cultural metrics, it is better to focus on a few critical indicators than to create a complex system, which actually takes a great effort to develop and manage. In accordance with the metrics system, there has to be an incentive system to reward successes and give recognition to the best performers. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset, as it has the potential to change performance by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Marketing 3.0storytelling

A Glimpse Into the Future of Storytelling

For storytellers, digital is the biggest candy shop ever created. It enables stories to be told in fantastic new ways that combine a variety of media including written word, images, video, and even games…all at the same time. Of course, it took a while for the technology to get to a point where that was possible (i.e., HTML 5, javascript, parallax and responsive design, etc.) but we are finally beginning to see what the future of storytelling might become.

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek is an immersive story experience using a variety of different media simultaneously to provide a multi-sensory digital experience.

This is a different approach than Transmedia Storytelling. Rather than spreading story elements (in different media/experiences) across platforms, this approach combines them all into a single experience which is, by nature, cross platform.

You can experience the story for yourself at: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

This blogpost is from   www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/10/08/a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-storytelling/

Culture change

BCG model of culture change (II)

Following with the explanation in the previous blog post, hereby are explained the last two points of the BCG model of culture change.

What aspects of organizational context should we change?

Many people believe that there are too many factors and their inter-relationships and relationship with the culture are too complex, in order to know how and where to intervene.

The reality is that learning what to change is a logical and feasible process. Actually, so long as you understand the organizational context and the inter-relation among its constituent elements, you can effectively change culture. By applying techniques drawn from social and behavioral psychology you can create a set of interventions that move multiple “context levers” in the right combination.

Designing the interventions. Leaders have a plethora of context levers at their disposal to align employee behavior with strategy –and close the gap between their current and target culture. These levers represent a mix of hard and soft approaches that separately and in combination shape behavior. They enable organizations not only to understand the forces shaping their current culture but also to determine what needs to be changed.

BCG has identified 7 organizational-context levers that influence behavior and shape culture:

  • Leadership: leaders’ role-modeling behaviors; their manner of communication, especially in reinforcing desired behaviors; how they spend their time, manage their priorities, and interact with direct reports (do they micromanage or manage by principle?).
  • People and development: the kind of employees who are recruited; opportunities for meaningful work and the kind of career paths the organization enables; how talent is promoted and retained; the provided coaching; learning and development programs.
  • Performance management: the KPIs that the organization uses to define and track performance drivers, its policies and practices regarding compensation, benefits, reviews, promotions, rewards, penalties, and consequences of undesirable behavior.
  • Informal interactions: networks, the nature of peer-to-peer interactions, gatherings, etc.
  • Organization design: organizational structure, processes and roles, decision rights, and collaboration processes; units’ relationship to headquarters, office layout and design.
  • Resources and tools: the projects that are funded, access to human resources, management systems, and analytical tools
  • Values: the collective beliefs, ideals, and norms that guide people’s conduct and help them adhere to priorities, especially when facing a business dilemma.

For each gap uncovered in the context analysis, organizations must choose the right levers, design the right interventions, and determine when to apply them. Some interventions, such as setting a recognition system, generate quick wins, while others, such as a reorganization, take longer. Finally, it’s important to prioritize them according to their estimated impact.

How do we make change happen?

There is also the myth that changing behavior and culture is a gamble, so long as the complexity of the process makes culture change unpredictable.

The reality is that behavior and culture change is a predictable process and can be orchestrated to achieve the intended results. If you have carried out a sound diagnostic and identified, designed, and implemented the appropriate interventions, you can get fairly predictable results in the foreseeable period of time. However, doing so requires an active, practical and systematic approach, as well as considerable attention to change management.

Implementing culture change. A handful of practices can ensure that the interventions you choose will have the best chance of achieving the intended results.

  • Find and support change champions in the organization. In every organization there are people who have already adopted the new behaviors and are enthusiastic about attracting others to the new culture. These should have been involved in the intervention design and are committed to the proposed changes. It is also preferable to train these champions in leading change and ensure that they are rewarded for taking on that role.
  • Run pilot programs and roll out interventions. It is crucial to test a set of interventions through pilot programs. Once tested, there has to be a clear sequence and timetable to roll out the levers and interventions in accordance with the strategy. It is necessary to establish a metrics system to monitor the change progress.
  • Ensure frequent, precise, and transparent communication. Communication is critical in any change program, and it is even more important in culture change. The goal of a communications program is to make culture as tangible as possible, emphasizing what it means for the individuals who will be affected.
  • Monitor progress to adjust and refine interventions. Culture change is predictable, but it is also inevitably messy. Changing organizational context in the right ways will certainly reinforce the desired behaviors. Then it is crucial to monitor progress to determine if the desired results are actually being attained. If not, you have to adjust the interventions.

This blog post is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation”, freely downloadable in this weblog. You may check the Whitepaper’s references to know the sources used for its elaboration.

Marketing 3.0storytellingTourism marketing

The 9 “C”s of Awesome Storytelling

You want to tell stories to your digital audiences. No, really, I’m telling you that you want to. In fact, you have to. There’s just too much noise out there to continue broadcasting your message. You’ve got to get intimate with your audience. Digital enables you to form powerful one-on-one relationships with your audience, and the best way to do that is through stories.

I recently gave a presentation at the Content2Conversion conference in New York in April that explored not only why this is important, but how to also make your own stories more impactful, meaningful, and ultimately, more engaging by adhering to 9 best practices. Click on the video to watch a recorded broadcast of the presentation. I’ve also included some bullet points that capture the high level points communicated as part of the presentation and will be posting the slides from Slideshare soon.

And here are the high-level points in that presentation (in case you’ve already watched and just want those 9 Cs again; I’ve even bolded them):

  1. Stories are important
  2. Stories are containers for ideas that are easier to communicate when they are framed as a story. Example: traveling by yourself in the forest as a young child (which is a metaphor for the world) without parents or help can be dangerous because there are a lot of “wolves” out there. AKA, Little Red Riding Hood.
  3. Stories evoke emotion. They make us laugh. They make us cry. They move us to action.
  4. Movies are great examples of stories.
  5. Digital changes everything by enabling stories with videos and images. By extending stories into cross-channel/multi-channel experiences (i.e., transmedia).
  6. Digital supercharges stories to engage and improve intimacy
  7. What makes a good story digitally for business?
  8. #1: Connected. Stories have to connect us to other people. They have to involve us in a “shared” experience (no matter how much Facebook wants us to think we are the center of the digital universe, we really aren’t)
  9. #2: Committed. Embracing storytelling isn’t a “one-and-done” mentality. Coca Cola has committed tens of millions of dollars to reshaping the way they engage and interact with audiences through content. It has to be a life-long change.
  10. #3: Customer. The story has to be about the customer. Period. It can’t be about your product or your company.
  11. #4: Character. The story has to have a character. That’s with whom the audience forms an emotional bond. They have to be in conflict. They have to have something to lose.
  12. #5: Crescendo. The story has to have an ending. It has to wrap up somehow. You can’t leave audiences hanging.
  13. #6: aCountable. The story has to be driven by numbers. If there’s no way to see where users disengage, no way to measure how effective the story is, then it doesn’t really serve any business purpose.
  14. #7: Consistent. Users are on multiple devices every day. The story has to not only be available on all of them but has to be consistent across it. You can’t tell one story to one device and a different one to another. Branding, look and feel, style, tone. The experience has to be consistent.
  15. #8: Conversion. The story ultimately has to convert audience members to customers. Otherwise, you are just wasting your breath.
  16. #9. cEmotional. Stories have to be emotional. They have to elicit a reaction from the audience. Laughter. Crying. Shaking a fist. If the story fails to connect with an audience emotionally, they will forget it, and all your storytelling hard work will be for naught.
  17. Stories are strung together with a narrative arc. That’s what drives emotion. When a character has something to lose, there’s a conflict to not lose it, and then there’s a resolution (either losing it or not losing it).
  18. Stories evoke emotions. Biologically when our brains encounter a narrative arc (and we follow it) endorphins are released. There is a biological and chemical reaction that humans have to storytelling. That’s powerful.
  19. Stories help us engage with audiences. Ultimately, they help us become more intimate with our audiences.
  20. There’s a way to speed that up, though. It’s video.
  21. There’s a “level of relationship” pyramid.
    1. At the bottom is awareness. Your audience knows who you are, but they don’t even think about you. I know who Starbucks is, but I don’t go into their stores.
    2. Next is acquaintance. Maybe I would go into Starbucks if I was wandering down the street, suddenly wanted coffee, and that happened to be the only coffee shop in 10 miles.
    3. After that is friend. When I think coffee, I think Starbucks usually. I’ll branch out, just based on convenience (there’s a Dunkin Donuts right down the road, but Starbucks is a mile past that; yeah, I’m not traveling the extra mile). I do appreciate Starbucks product and their company. In fact, I like their Facebook page and sometimes check out their website for new stuff.
    4. After friend is confidante. If I am a confidante, I’m sharing info with Starbucks who is trying to personalize my experience. Maybe it’s through their reward card. I actively seek them out for my coffee fix. I might even walk a little further down the road to get to one. When I’m on Google maps, I don’t search for “coffee shops” I search for “Starbucks.”
    5. Finally, there is BFF. Every marketer wants every one of their audience to be BFFs. If I was Starbucks’ BFF I would get into fist fights with people who dared to say that Dunkin Donuts’ coffee was better. I wear Starbucks apparel. I am active in their Facebook conversations. I share my Starbucks experiences with them. I am a loyal reward member and have provided lots of information to Starbucks that they use to make my experience with their digital presence and retail locations more personalized.
  22. Video gets you to BFF faster because it helps accelerate engagement. When it’s combined with storytelling that means faster emotional connection.

– Jason Thibeault, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy. You can connect with Jason on Twitter @_jasonthibeault.

This blog post is from www.rethinkeverythingblog.com/2017/10/16/the-9-cs-of-awesome-storytelling/