Welcome to the first edition of the Tzu in Review. With so much activity in the world of digital, I realise how difficult it is to keep up. Each issue I’ll cover what we’ve found at Tzu & Co. to be the most important, ‘not-to-miss’ stories, articles and announcements. I’ll cover strategy, communication, platforms, trends, opinions and everything in-between.

Adapting to Complexity

As we move into 2015, we are entering an era of unprecedented complexity. This is filtering down into all levels of organisations and their customers. To kick off our In Review, I thought it would be interesting to explore this concept further, and how it affects digital strategy right now.
Firstly, have you heard of the ancient Chinese game of Go? This deceptively simple board game provides some great insights into complexity and contains interesting learnings for organisations today. Check out this great presentation from Stuart French that dives into the subject.

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How do organisations prepare for events they can’t foresee? The answer may lie in the science of complex systems. Bud Caddell in this Ted Talk outlines some thoughts on embracing uncertainty, and learning to look in the grey.

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Now that you have your head around complexity, you are probably wondering what this means as a more tangible set of rules for strategy. Noah Briar has a great post about rethinking the way you operate as an algorithm – a set of rules that help you to drive optimal outcomes and decisions. Check it out

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A robust sign of an organisations ability to manage complexity is their ability to be adaptive to their environment. Consultancy Undercurrent has released a list of the 20 Most Responsive Organisations of 2014. Check it out to see how some of these growing companies are rethinking the way they operate.

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The pace of technology means we may have to rethink the traditional ways in which we work. Virgin Unite have compiled an interesting deep dive into their predictions about the future, and the value in building a purpose-driven organisation.

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As we prepare for the tomorrow, there is a big risk we can fall victim to “narrative fallacy” by viewing things too stringently through the lens of the past. This HBR article outlines a simple set of exercises to get your team to think differently about the future, and kick start strategy conversation.

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Strategy & Marketing Inspiration

It’s all too easy to rely on communication and marketing tactics to push service and products, but how sustainable is that as a business model? Before ‘Digital Strategy’, comes ‘Human Strategy’, according to strategist, Umair Haque. Haque provides his top four mistakes (and how not to make them).

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Data, data, data! You can’t turn many places right now without hearing the dreaded “Big Data” buzzword. We think data will be a huge priority for businesses large and small this year to help drive their strategies, but we need baby steps before we can go big. Avinash Kaushik provides a great framework to help set up the right data analysis – insights you can genuinely act upon.

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If you are launching a new product, you can’t underestimate the need to build your audience before you launch. Tim Ferris outlines some of the strategies that helped shaving startup Harry’s build a 100,000 email list pre-launch. Remember, always get inspiration from these types of articles, but make sure you test and learn what works for you.

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General Interest

It was a massive year for apps in 2014. iOS developers earned more last year than Hollywood did from the box office in the US. It is interesting to see just how entertainment expectations are shifting.

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I hope you enjoyed our first edition. If  there’s something you’d like to know more about, feel free to contact me directly.

Regards,

Fabian Di Marco

Founder/Director of Strategy