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What To Write, What To Say, Where To Start?

The following appears on the Sword-Ciboodle – UndertheC blog. I am jazzed to start writing again!

Since this is my first post since joining Sword-Ciboodle, I feel a bit of pressure to make a statement, put a stake in the ground (or snow, which seems more relevant) or say something with staying power. Unfortunately, that is not my style – I tend to talk about topics of interest, those that stir some debate; with a purpose, solving a problem. I have been blogging for just about two years now, interestingly this past 2 months is the quietest I have been since that time. For those of you who know me “quiet” is not likely a term you might think of, when my name comes up. You might not describe me as “reserved” either, it is possible that “opinionated” might just come to mind though. For those of you new to my writing, I appreciate your time!

The title of my personal blog is “A title would limit my thoughts”, which has served me well, and I will keep it that way. I will maintain the personal blog, and I am not sure what topics I will write about. This is a corporate blog, thus I will be sure to tow the party line, straight and narrow, all business – not likely (apologies in advance to management). I did not do it before, and I am not going to start now. This brings me to a personal pet peeve. I find that way too many people attempt to limit their own ‘personal liability’ with statements like “My Tweets are my own” or on a blog “The opinions represented here are my own, and do not represent those of my employer”. Really?! Thanks for the heads-up. (only caveat is that some SM policies within larger enterprises require such language) In any case, I will be writing here, writing there and being me. I am who I am and you can decide if it is corporate BS. If I start sounding all ‘corporate like’ call me out on it, please!

Moving On

Aside from the tremendous opportunity in front of me, great people, great product, Ciboodle started off 2011 with some nice shout-outs from Paul Greenberg through his Watchlist, 2011 Edition. Starting the day after his kind words had been published, is a great day to start! There is a particular section of his post which I want to focus on, as it is very important to me personally.  This goes beyond Ciboodle, and actually speaks to one of the reasons I joined. The lead-in to the quote is a complex, but important topic called Service Dominant logic and I would also add Design Thinking – more on that in a minute:

…the value of something in the business environment is how well it helps people do their jobs (which means literally that – not how well it helps the company do its job but how well it helps the individual employees do the jobs that concern them – their own), the approach that should be taken in marketing is not – here’s a list of features and functions, but here’s what jobs it helps you do.

The simple fact that we have been recognized for focusing on jobs to be done and business value, is simply awesome. This is not only the message that is important to me, but it is something I will work very hard to help our clients understand. The solution we provide to our clients needs to help their customers get the most value from the Service provided. As friend Wim Rampen points out, ‘Service’ represents (paraphrasing) the sum of experiences, through interactions and touch points with the products and services of that company. (Wim goes on to add, social interactions as well as a discussion of value.)

The important message here is that increasingly what you purchase, whether for business or pleasure, whether you think of it as product or a service, is actually an experience. Therefore, the transaction, the exchange of funds (value exchange) is really only one part of of the process, usually somewhere in the middle too. If you think of the transaction as the beginning, you will have a tough time finding customers, if you think of the transaction as the end, then you will not have customers for long.

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