Welcome to the second edition of the Tzu & Co 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. This issue, we focus primarily on the art of making better decisions and what that means for your strategy…

Fabian Sky Business

SKY BUSINESS INTERVIEW – UNBIASED APPROACH TO SOLVING PROBLEMS

I spoke on Sky Business News Live about Tzu & Co’s approach to solving strategic business problems through digital.  I’ll share a link to the video when we get a copy.

The interview more so focused on our solution-agnostic business model at Tzu. I wanted to talk more about digital business problems we’re seeing (which we only touched on in the 3-minute interview. I would’ve liked to have gone in more depth, but next time).

The main points I wanted to make are:

  1. Businesses need to transform from businesses that do digital, to digital businesses, if they want to grow in the modern digital world. There is a major difference.
  2. Remove biases in your analysis process, be cautious of affect heuristics for example.
  3. Improve the decision-making process. Remove cognitive biases.
  4. Question your analyst or agencies recommendation and reporting integrity for their own biases.

With this in mind, I have curated some interesting topics that expand on these problems, and provide great frameworks to solve them.

STRATEGY & DECISION-MAKING: A GUIDE TO MAKING WINNING DECISIONS

“Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.

Of course, it’s easier to copy a model than to make something new. Doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.”

-Peter Thiel, Zero to One.

In Zero to One, Peter Thiel, billionaire Venture Capitalist and co-founder of PayPal outlines his thesis on the need for entrepreneurs and business leaders to focus on building new things, creating new markets and disrupting their own models to meet the bigger challenges we are facing.

This focus on the evolution of business strategy has its roots in the Blue Ocean Strategy model created W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The concept of 1 to n is a Red Ocean strategy – increasing competition in existing markets that creates eventual commoditised products and a race to the bottom that turns the ocean bloody. 0 to 1 is our Blue Ocean – new markets and brand equity that last for decades.

I always recommend starting from the beginning on topics, so check out the original essay to get a deeper understanding of the definition, a framework to structure thinking, and some great real world examples.

Read it here

Blue Ocean strategy is not just a new way of thinking about organizational strategy and design. Business Owners are now applying these principles to the ways they lead organisations, engage talent and drive profitable growth with new opportunity.

Check out this informative webinar that describes the next evolution of Blue Ocean – applying this thinking to your leadership approach.

View here

Now you have a solid understanding of the theory of Blue Ocean strategy, what does this look like in a contemporary sense right now? Fast Company have just released their Most Innovative Companies of 2015 list, a veritable boot camp on Blue Ocean strategy from some of the most interesting organisations around the world.

I highly recommend taking a look at the full list of case studies – not only does it show new startups making bold leaps, it shows how large, entrenched organisations are disrupting their own businesses to create new value.

Read here

Embarking on any new strategy or change process often requires confronting our ingrained mental models and inherent bias. The process of developing a strategy can uncover some hard truths we need to challenge and overcome, and unless we keep an open mind and question what we believe to be true, we could be creating a recipe for failure.

This article does a great job of introducing the concept of cognitive bias, and provides a 12 step checklist to run through on any large strategic decisions to ensure you are adding discipline and rigour to the process.

Read here

Interested in more examples of Cognitive Bias? Daniel Kahneman runs through some of the key examples and how to overcome them in these short series of videos.

Watch here

When creating and executing strategies, what we need is purpose, not passion. An interesting article from Ryan Holiday on why being too passionate may be your ego getting in the way, and how you should be thinking to get great stuff done.

Read here

GENERAL INTEREST

People don’t buy products, they buy the experience of using a product. For this reason, rituals and sensory experiences are powerful triggers that can be leveraged to drive purchase decisions. In this article, Paul Milone dives into the Science of Sensory Marketing, and how you need to think about the subtle ways customers engage with your products and services.

 Read Article

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