Success?

Your organization builds products.

A product is, simply stated, any source of value for your customers. It can be a service, a phone, a candy, a Cloud Platform for B2B apps.

Value means providing benefits to your customers

Your organization has the following :

A new great idea, a vision for a new Product
A solid strategy in place
Ridicolously smart people
An inspiring, principle-centered, strong management team
A great infrastructure in place
An hard-working, dedicated team
A robust yet very feasible plan
A very welll working and well managed Agile methodology, since 2003

Then you ship the product.

Your customers don’t like it. They don’t buy it.

Outcome:

Your dream organization  has been successfully, faithfully rigorously executing a plan to achieve failure (Eric Reis, The Lean Startup)

This is why I spend every day of my week helping organizations to make sure they know their customers, their buyers, the problems they have and that we can help with our current and future products.

Changing things for the Better

Despite what our leaders say [….] studies show that our organizationsd are much less productive that they once were ang going out of business faster and faster

  • Jurgen Appelo, How to change the World
  • Stephen Denning, author of “The Leader’s guide to Radical Management”

The same authors say that what was working 20 years ago no longer works today, including the way you changing things. I see two areas in today’s business where a big change is needed. Why is needed? For better results and happier workers.

1. The way we build solutions to problems (e.g. Products, Services)

  • As an example, the Agile Manifesto/Movement has made a huge impact in the world of software development in just a few years. Jurgen Appelo is changing the way managers influence their organizations.

2. The way we build and market solutions to problems  (e.g. Telling our Buyers how good our products are)

  • As an example, the “world’s most popular product management and marketing training company”, pragmaticmarketing.com and virtually every single marketing leader say that it is the market, the buyers that drive winning products, not a bunch of smart people in a meeting room, regardless of how smart they are (if you think of Steve Jobs here, that allegedly “did not do market research” remember that he knew his buyers like nobody one else including the buyers themselves)

These two areas need change. As for the first one, I recommend reading the small book mentioned above, “how to change the world”. It’s 1.5 Euros on Lulu.  It is only a starter of course. Nobody things any book can do any change. People do. Inspired and motivated people do. So this book helps you to start the right tway.

As for the second one, no secret recipe here either. It’s hard. It’s complicate. The shift from telling/pushing products  to listening to buyer’s problems, adapting to their purchase habits, and modeling a complex reality with a few but very helpful models and methodologies (along the lines of the market-driven approach, the Buyer Personas profiling) is a hard and complex task.

Of course they are complex. It is the way you deal with complexity that makes a difference!

See http://www.slideshare.net/jurgenappelo/complexity-thinking

If you don’t aknowledge complexity (and the ways to deal with it) and  use shortcuts instead (such as solely listening to what your salespeople or vocal customers say) then the risk of failures increases. It is under your control really. Why shouldn’t you build a repeatable way to do business that brings the results you want? Stop for a moment and think about it.

 

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