Driving home from a client last week, I was intrigued to hear on the radio that the BBC here in the UK are running a short series of programmes on computer languages.
Here’s a link to the first one, on Fortran:
Next up are COBOL, BASIC, then Java…
We’re all signed up for our local business event – the Huntingdonshire Business Fair – on 23rd April at Wood Green Animal Shelter, and look forward to meeting new and existing customers there.
We’ll be showing GoalStormer in action for those businesses who want to manage goals and achievement for their staff and clients.
We’ll be there to answer questions and tell you more about our consulting services, aimed at CIOs and their teams, for businesses from 40 to 4000 employees.
We’ve been working through Value Propositions this week; a very useful exercise that looks trivial until you try it and really challenge one another as to “so what does that actually mean…?”.
These work best in a group situation, but can be done on your own if you are willing to challenge your thinking and iterate.
You’ll need a whiteboard or a load of Post-Its…
There are several common approaches to value propositions, here are some of our favourites:
Start With Why
Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why?” on youtube.
The principle is that products that really matter to people start with “why” they exist, and “why” we as a business do what we do. The video is well worth watching, and explains more about starting with “why”, moving through “how” and finishing with “what” – the product and features.
Jobs To Be Done
The Innovators Toolkit. Again, the full article is worth reading. What Human need are you delivering against? Think of your (short) proposition in three parts:
Action verb – Object – Context
Create – a company strategy – in small chunks in your spare time
Value Positioning Statement
In his seminal book Crossing The Chasm Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers, Geoffrey Moore describes the Value Positioning Statement, the main parts of which are:
- For <customers>
- With <need/problem/dissatisfaction>
- Our Product is <product, category>
- Provides <benefits>.
- Unlike <competitor categories>
- We do <differentiators>.
Hope you find these useful in communicating the value of what it is you are doing.
In my days as a Service Delivery Manager, we occasionally faced situations where “the customer was down”, and before the advent of affordable modern monitoring systems like System Center, I’d often find this out when engineers came to me saying things like “we need to drop everything and fix X!”
Sometimes, you find, after throwing resource at a problem, that the root cause was not only nothing to do with us, but not even something over which we had any control.
However even in those situations; you don’t want to do the equivalent of standing in front of a customer with arms folded, saying “not our problem mate…” – we empathised with the customer, and wanted to get them to a potential solution as fast as they could, with our help.
So we created three ways to categorise the information we had to make decisions upon, right from the first call:
- Facts – supported by evidence – you can make decisions based on facts
- Assumptions – not proven, but based on our experience – a decision made on assumptions needs to be validated, fast
- Opinions – driven by feelings and fear – ideally don’t make decisions based on opinions, but do respect the emotions behind them when thinking and communicating
So, quickly, we could parcel up what we “knew” into three pots; facts to make decisions on, assumptions to explore and validate, and opinions to manage. Three tasks that can be delegated, owned and tracked.
Of course, there is still a human judgement to be made on when you have enough facts to start acting. This judgement itself is driven by a mixture of facts, assumptions and opinions of your own.
Agree, Write Down And Forget?
Setting big goals often means delegating out supporting goals across the team and wider staff. Performance reviews are a typical way to propagate the needs, targets and objectives out to staff, cascading through the management structure.
Too often though, we find, this approach is “agree, write and forget” until the next review comes around; so day-to-day priorities often win out in people’s minds, rather than making the big changes that deliver big changes, and big success.
Have a read about how our GoalStormer achievement ecosystem could help you with big goals and proactive objective setting and tracking:
A question beloved of toddlers everywhere. And with good reason – it is the ultimate learning tool. Continue reading
We’re please to announce that our new Vision2Action programme (V2A) is now available!
It’s a fast-tracked, concentrated shot of our customers’ favourite tools and processes. It’s designed to give busy business owners and directors a structure for turning their vision into a strategy with defined objectives, plans for delivering change, and the time and support to keep the momentum up.
The emphasis is on working with you to make the most of your time and knowledge, so we can create for you “actionable documents “- in other words, real documents, with content, decisions, guidance and information; which you can share with your people, refer back to yourself, or use with external suppliers.
Each fixed-price programme includes an initial, intensive set of activities to get things moving, and then quarterly review meetings, plus use of our online goal-tracking platform.
Bespoke versions of the programme are available for larger businesses, organisations or departments – please contact us for more information.
Wow! We are thrilled that GoalStormer has been named as a finalist again; this time in the Hunts Posts’ Huntingdonshire Business Awards 2014, especially as this historic little corner of Cambridgeshire is our “home patch”.
We’re up for the Website of the Year Award, and have our fingers and toes crossed that the judges like what they see with GoalStormer – a place for each of us to achieve our dreams, and a platform for those who coach us and support us.
We are tremendously excited to have been named as finalists in the 2014 UK Mobile & App Design Awards, with GoalStormer, our web-app designed to help people and businesses set goals, build momentum, and work together to achieve the things important to us.
Thanks to everyone who voted in support of GoalStormer – we were delighted to reach the final in such exalted company as ESPN, CompareTheMarket, Land Rover and Barnardos.
We are very pleased that the Beta of GoalStormer.com has been accepted onto the shortlist for the 2014 UK Mobile and App Design Awards!
You can see more by reading our entry at:
We’d love if you could take a few minutes to view and vote… 🙂
Voting closes on 16th June 2014.