Unleash Your Talent’s Limitless Potential


What if you could automate data collection of employee behavioral, qualitative and performance in real time?  Imagine the impact on employee satisfaction, best practice sharing and productivity. This is not the future—you can do this today. The possibilities are limited only by your organization’s willingness to embrace a new competitive paradigm.

The Decoded CompanyThe Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers (February 2014, Penguin Group) masterfully lays out a roadmap towards this vision. Through first-hand experience and case studies, authors Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman and Rahaf Harfoush, demonstrate how data is currently being leveraged to achieve better outcomes. Think Big Data meets decision support inside your organization.

At the core of the book is the belief that talent is not only our greatest asset but also our greatest competitive advantage. This makes a ton of sense, especially in our dynamic healthcare industry where the market and competitors are unpredictable a few years down the road. Still, growth targets demand we must control what we can and optimize every single resource to reach our objectives. Remarkably, in our search for outcomes and results, we often overlook the most obvious and potentially best investment—our people.

The Decoded Company lays out a framework to structure our approach:

Technology as a Coach: Transform technology to engage, motivate, and train your people. Think hyper-personalization, from the training you really need, to the style of training that you learn best from, to sharing best practices as you’re facing similar issues in real time.

Data as a Sixth Sense: The ability to pair analytics with instincts to gain a perspective that’s grounded in data but tempered by experience. Remove personal bias, blind spots and knowledge gaps by providing contextual analytics in real time, yet at the same time, allowing the person to make the final, now well-informed decision.

Engineered Ecosystems: Provide quantitative feedback about behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and values that currently exist in your company. The opportunity for culture is to supercharge speed: Quantify, evaluate, correct or support, and monitor. Culture is treated as a living organism that can be leveraged for competitiveness.

location_basedI have to admit—at first pass this smelled like “Big Brother.” But as I read on, I was reminded that companies already have most, if not all, of our digital footprint. This data is not limited to digital communications—it’s tied to our credit cards, cameras and provided through our social networks. Clearly, laws protect our identities, but in a corporate environment where you use proprietary assets or leverage proprietary networks, you are creating valuable data that can be used to improve your organization’s competitiveness.

The book simply and smartly notes that these same technologies can be used positively to make our people and organizations better and provide a competitive edge.

This article was published in PM360.

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Marketing 3.0 by Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaha and Iwan Setiawan


Looking for big ideas to take your marketing to the next level?  Marketing 3.0 proposes a fundamental evolution to our marketing strategies.  It seeks to move our focus from product and customer models to a human-centric model.  It challenges us to evolve from pushing products to solving real world socio-cultural issues, while concurrently creating relevant value propositions that ultimately lead to higher profits.

To better understand the theory behind Marketing 3.0 it helps to place it in some context.  Marketing 1.0 was developed in the Industrial Age, a “product-centric” era focused on mass selling products through functional value propositions.  Marketing 2.0 was developed during the Information Age and adopted emotional value propositions.  The authors of Marketing 3.0 propose that we are now at the dawn of the “values-driven” era, characterized by consumers who want to satisfy functional, emotional and spiritual needs.  Marketing 3.0 seeks to satisfy the whole person – mind, body and soul.

Human CentricWhy this evolution to human-centric value propositions?  The authors point to three trends that are shaping the future of marketing.

The first trend is mass participation/ collaborative marketing.  Social media has tapped into natural human desires for connectivity and interactivity.  People not only consume media, news and entertainment, but also seek to produce its content (via blogs, FB, twitter, YouTube, etc.).  This move from consumer to “prosumer” is not simply reserved for the individual, but also enables mass to mass collaboration (think Wikipedia, Craigslist, InnoCentive).  As influencers have gained power and status, companies should seek collaborative marketing strategies; co-creation of products and services, with consumers, employees, channel partners and other firms with similar goals and values.

The second trend is global paradox. Ease of travel and technology advances have created truly “global citizens” who still want to be considered individuals.  Marketing that addresses both local and global communities will succeed. For example, marketers should seek to create micro-communities that serve the interest of its members.

The third trend is the rise of a creative society and human spirit marketing. The authors suggest that the influence and status of creative people – who generally tend to innovate, collaborate and express themselves more than others – is on the rise because the creative class pursue self-actualization and place the same demands on the products and services they consume. Marketers wishing to capitalize on this trend should focus on communicating credibility and supplying meaning to its consumers.

So how does a marketer function in Marketing 3.0?  Borrowing from Ries and Trout, the authors suggest that marketing 3.0 should be redefined as a triangle of brand, positioning and differentiation, but then build on this formula by introducing their own “3i” model, which they feel completes the connections in the Ries/Trout model.

In the Marketing 3.0 model, the 3is stand for Identity, Image and Integrity.:

  1. Identity is the relationship between positioning and brand and seeks to address the rational portion of the value proposition. In Marketing 3.0, the key here is how you address the mind, the consumer’s rational thoughts about the brand.
  2. Image lies at the juncture of differentiation and brand, and strives to capture the emotions of the target audience. Here the key here is how you address the consumer’s heart – what they feel about the brand, themselves, the category, etc.
  3. Integrity is the intersection of positioning and differentiation and aims to authentically fulfill the brand promise and foster trust. This is the “newest” of the three “I”s, and speaks to such issues as authenticity and soul – of the consumer and the product.

At first glance Marketing 3.0 appears overly ambitious. The idea of addressing the whole person – and doing so on a global scale –  is difficult to grasp from a segmentation perspective.  However, the book provides strong evidence and references to human-centric marketing currently underway.  And I can personally vouch for the practicality of their thesis as I find myself attempting to solve both human and global concerns via our strategic alignment and collaboration with key constituents.

My only criticism of the book is the 3i model.  The section is underdeveloped and its theory is ambiguous.  Had they made this more of a “how to” chapter, explaining step-by-step how marketers could implement it, their thinking would have been much more useful.

Marketing is evolving and the stakes are higher.  If you want to differentiate, you cannot do so through tactics, you must choose a different strategy.  Marketing 3.0 can raise your thinking to the next level.

Good marketing!

This book review was published in PM360.