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Passion is Central to The Future of Work

I discovered Somewhere yesterday, a new platform (only requesting invitations at this stage) that aims to help people “show the world what they do and how they work.”

“In the new way of working, work isn’t a place you go, it’s a thing you do. It is you. We are — to a great extent — shaped and defined by how we choose to spend our time, the work we take on because we are called to it.” – Gigaom


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New platforms are required to communicate ‘what we do’ to prospective employers – with more and more people taking on passion projects and collaborating with people outside of their company’s walls, the standard resume format we have been accustomed to manicuring no longer captures the scope of our work.

#newnew work is defined by passion, interests, and people more than roles and company affiliation.


Who Designs Your Customer Experience Model?

If customers and constituents primarily connect with your brand through owned and non-owned digital channels, and create content that influences the purchasing behavior of their friends, then how can your organization still drive the experience those people have with your brand?

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Photo Credit — Google Zero Moment of Truth

#newnew organizations create a new model that impacts the customer with the right type of media, messaging, imagery, and call to action across all channels. They also have a deep understanding of where their target customers spend the most time, and have prioritized their campaigns, resources, and advertising budgets accordingly. Data is captured and leveraged to drive both strategy and refine marketing tactics.

“The requirements for CMOs have been shifting from “chief creative megaphone holder” to customer experience champion, building meaningful engagement, and driving increased loyalty and advocacy. These new priorities require intimate understanding of the customer, and the operational excellence to respond with relevant communications, content, and co-created products and services.” – How the Digitization of Everything is forcing CMOs and CIOs to evolve

 #newnew is not about being omnipresent on digital – it’s about creating a meaningful experience for customers that drives revenue.

Good Flows Between The Public and Private #newnew

“In our collaborative society, private donors will give money to local parks, state schools and even our highway system if that’s what it takes.” – What Will Branding Look Like in 2014? Forbes

Good is no longer confined to a system, organization, process, or methodology. #newnew organizations such as TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker are changing the way people give back and think about charitable donations. It’s about investing in good much more than giving to charity.

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Mark Zuckerberg’s gift of 18 million Facebook speaks to the infusion of generosity happening in individuals and organizations:

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation serves as a gatekeeper to a number of different charitable causes. Donors provide the financial capital, and the foundation assists them in making sure their gift is presented to the appropriate charities. In 2013, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation awarded more than 10,000 grants to over 29 different countries, according to its website. — Mashable

Nonprofits that align their brand experience across channels, product and resource lines will rocket ahead of those that rest on past performance or assume that their donors will follow them across the digital chasm.

Commercial entities that empower internal champions to lead CSR initiatives, volunteer activities, or company wide philanthropy initiatives will continue to find increased brand loyalty, engagement, and advocacy among current customers.

Zappos moves to a porous, collaborative org structure

Zappos, which already has many elements of a #newnew organization, added another one – a Holacracy.

“The company will be made up of different circles—there will be around 400 circles at Zappos once the rollout is complete in December 2014—and employees can have any number of roles within those circles. This way, there’s no hiding under titles; radical transparency is the goal.” – Quartz

The holacracy positions Zappos to be nimble and adaptive throughout the organization — especially as customer demand continues to move toward personalized and high touch service experiences.

Dave Gray remarks on this challenge in Podular:

How do you build a company that can identify and capitalize on opportunities, navigate around risks and other challenges, and respond quickly to changes in the environment? How do you embed that kind of agility into the DNA of your company?

The answer is to distribute control in such a way that decisions can be made as quickly and as close to customers as possible. There is no way for people to respond and adapt quickly if they have to get permission before they can do anything.

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#newnew companies prioritize autonomy and flexibility over efficiency — more and more companies will continue to explore organizational structures such as holacracies that allow more porous collaboration among employees.

ETSY’s Chad Dickerson on People Powered Commerce

“The person-to-person interaction at the core of Etsy goes beyond a simple transaction. It is a meaningful experience that you rarely find elsewhere, and that matters more than ever today.” – Chad Dickerson, ETSY CEO

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#newnew organizations understand that commerce is about interactions between people; the back end technology and front end interface enhances these interactions.

A #newnew approach to work

Digital and social media have impacted how organizations function, create meaning for their employees, and deliver value to their customers.

These impacts are not limited to commercial entities – nonprofits, associations, foundations, even religious institutions are having to respond to changes that are happening faster than their current strategies, business processes, and resources can handle.

With the guidance and insights from a variety of colleagues, mentors, and industry leaders, I have endeavored to develop a framework for executives to identify revenue growth opportunities that involve multiple departments, competing management philosophies, diverse stakeholders, and enterprise technology.


I conceived this framework by researching the key trends in enterprise technology, and mapping their impact to these organizational elements:

  • Organizational Structure
  • Revenue Drivers
  • Brand Philosophy
  • Brand Building
  • C-Suite Functions
  • Enterprise Technology Approach & Systems
  • Products and Pricing Models
  • Customer Segments

Organizations that have adopted a social or open mindset and are utilizing technology to drive this mindset are #newnew — companies such as Airbnb, Zappos, and Uber that are truly leveraging social and digital to connect people and deliver value in new ways. The digital infrastructure your organization employs will determine whether you succeed or fail in this world of increasingly #newnew organizations:

“To serve these customers, you will have to move from systems of record to systems of engagement. Apps are just a small part of that equation. Instead, we’re talking about re-engineering your entire company to deliver great digital experiences. Your brands will compete against Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Amazon for setting the bar for great customer experiences. What It Means: In the future, every company will be a software company. Software is the new business currency more important than financial capital.Your Opportunity in the Age of the Customer, Forrester

I am on a quest in 2014 to build out this framework and look forward to involving as many people as possible in the process of sorting out these complicated changes in a manner that helps executives pinpoint the technological changes that either are currently happening or need to happen in order to continue to deliver exceptional value to their customers.

Thoughts? Let me know on Twitter!

Have You Thought About the Donor’s Experience?

Philanthropy is alive and well, it’s fundraising that needs to evolve.

With the amount of charitable giving options multiplying it’s easier than ever to see your fundraising efforts become lost in the pile.

Donors expect more than an anonymous communication every once in a while, or the same information shared on Facebook, Twitter, email, direct mail, etc.

The Donor Experience Newsletter will feature interviews, case studies, and insights to help fundraisers provide a better experience to the people that invest in them, and to help impact investors find causes that will allow them to co-create value around their interests.

Sign up here.

How Does Facebook Mobile Make You Feel When You Use it?

“We started looking at how people would understand the interactions if we changed the gestures. Certain gestures were preferable to others, because they were easier to understand, or because they were more effective in navigating the content. Our focus is not necessarily on the performance of the gestures, but more on the experience they provide whether they’re clear or not–whether people felt comfortable using them, whether they conveyed the right action or whether they were associated to the right action, and whether words were used in general or not.”–via FastCo.Labs

This insights reminds me that while individual features or services can be powerful, the total experience of all the pieces determines a lasting impression.


Facebook Moves Beyond an App

A recent NY Times article described and reacted to Facebook Home:

For example, for most people, the entire purpose of a Home screen is displaying app icons. But there are no icons on Facebook’s Home screens; Facebook thinks you’d rather use that space for reading Facebook updates.

The only icon that appears is your own profile photo. You can drag it to the left to open the Facebook Messaging app, to the right to open the last open app — or upward to open a grid of app icons on a gray background. Ah, here are the apps. But it’s awfully sparse; where are the rest?

In removing the app-launching function from the Home screen, Facebook has wound up having to reinvent the way you open programs on your phone, and the result feels like a hack.

The evolution of Facebook from an application to an operating system mirrors the evolution happening in social or connected organizations. Progressive organizations make “social” part of every department while integrating as much data as possible from channels, apps, and sites.