Saturday, February 28, 2015

Digital Master XXXXVIIII: How to Manage Intangible in Business

Leadership, culture, innovation, customer centricity, and brand, are all the key intangible elements in driving tangible business growth.

The life cycle of organizations is going to be shorter. This probably means that organizations are going to have to get not only the “hard numbers” right, but more importantly, how to manage the intangible elements in business from the beginning, and for the long-term business prosperity. So with organizations turning over, new organizations and new blood will be on-going - the longer an organization is in existence, it might grow a self-fulfilling prophecy about why they are successful and quite possibly the intangible elements perhaps does not come into the equation, but that perhaps the very reason which causes the mighty fail. So how to “harden” the soft and how to manage intangible in business right for growing into Digital Master?


Leadership: Leadership is methodical, but there is some magic in there. Leadership is intangible, but the quality of leadership can be measured in a certain level. Because effective leadership is methodical, it takes hard work and endurance, the tangible influence, and calculated effort, though it appears magical to the observing eye. Learning and practicing leadership is a methodical process that can be managed, measured and improved, not only via individual leader’ performance but measuring the effectiveness, learning agility and maturity of collective leadership which directly impacts corporate performance.  


Innovation: Quality of ideas is measured by how well your ideas satisfy customer’s desires and how much of the idea space your ideas cover. Some organizations introduce the Personal Innovation-index (PÏ). In relation to this index, the PÏ will indicate, top-down, the contributed economic value of each employee (executive/management, professional/expert) in relation to their innovative initiatives and personal activities, commitment, influences, impact, and contributions. Innovation performance could also be measured in terms of its ability to convert the ideas that enter the ‘Innovation Pipeline’ into the desired output, propositions, process improvement etc.


Culture: Culture is difficult to measure, because it’s multi-dimensional assessment, however,  there are tools and techniques which can help assess its impact:
1)     Statement of values. - You create a bespoke unique proposition for each of your talents that drives engagement, productivity and retention, the measurement will provide the proven link between all four of these unique personal employee value proposition= engagement = productivity = retention.
2)     Employee feedback. Holding Line management responsible for improving concern areas in the Employee Feedback.
3)     The degree of Process Transparency. What information is communicated and how frequently?
4)     Degree of Empowerment: How much delegation is permitted. What is the decision-making freedom at various levels of Hierarchy?
5)     Participation in Strategy and Innovation by Employees. Some organizations actively encourage everybody to comment, give inputs into these two areas in a secure fashion.


Customer-Centricity: The linkages between customer-centric capability and sustained business performance aren't understood by enough executives. If senior management doesn't believe there is an acceptable return on investment, the race never starts in earnest. However, what you measure depends on a few things - the time at which you are capturing feedback in the customer lifecycle, the trigger/basis you use for feedback and your goal. While NPS is an important measure, it is only a piece but not the entire whole and what it gives you is a great place to start. and it is better used as a lagging indicator of the overall customer relationship across time.


Brand: Customer experience and brand experience can mutually enforce with each other. A business brand can attempt to shape each and every potential Customer Experience (touch point/pain point/joy point) with its brand personality such that the firm provides customers with Brand Experiences that are unique to the brand, and on the other side, the delightful customer experience can enforce its business brand as well. The brand measurement shall also reflect the linkage between customer experience and brand experience, the unique business competency, and overall corporate maturity.  


So many companies and "managers" focus on the tangibles, but they lack the in-depth understanding of the intangible things; just getting them to consider the list of intangibles would be a breakthrough. In fact, leadership, culture, innovation, customer centricity and brand, all are the key intangible elements, or some call the “soft factors,” which can be “hardened” at the certain level, as better drivers of solid business results.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


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