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People First

Happy New Year

If you asked me for my New Years Resolution, it would be to find out who I am - Cyril Cusack

Best wishes to each and everyone of you. We hope you make 2018 what you want it to be.

Our apologies for the apparent silence over the past three months. To the casual observer, this might seem like a quiet place but it belies the frantic activity running under the surface. We plan to make out work public in the next few months, so watch this space.

Until then, take the sentiments of Cyril to heart.

If you don’t know who you are, there is little you can do to improve the lives of others. You have to make your own way and help yourself before you can help others, as we seek to help others at People First.

Don’t forget that you can follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest activities.

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People First

Executive Development: We Need Our Next Generation of General Managers Now!

Geoff Moore

People First is delighted to share work that is relevant to our initiatives. Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker and management strategy advisor. His work has influenced the careers of many of us at People First and we are excited he granted us permission to share this particular article.

In this second article that Geoff has agreed to share through People First, it was “The ‘T’ for Talent” model caught our eye. While we in People First are not fans of the word “talent”, we recognize that corporations need to find the best and brightest people to spur them onto success. Geoff highlights the need as succinctly as ever.

This article on leadership and management was published on LinkedIn, August 10, 2017.

As technological innovation continues to disrupt industry after industry in waves of what Joseph Schumpeter taught us to call “creative destruction,” executive decision-making is being driven down in the organizational hierarchy, closer to the customer, nearer to the action. This in turn is putting pressure on the HR function to deliver programs to develop executive talent faster and better than ever before. They are going to need help.

All development programs are intended to change state, so as good program designers, it behooves us to answer two questions at the outset:

  1. What is the current state a candidate needs to have achieved to qualify for entrance into the program?
  2. What is the future state a candidate needs to achieve in order to graduate?

Here is a template for getting started:

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People First

From Customer Service to Customer Success: Taking the Next Step

Geoff Moore

People First is delighted to share work that is relevant to our initiatives. Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker and management strategy advisor. His work has influenced the careers of many of us at People First and we are excited he granted us permission to share this particular article.

In the article, Geoff explores the transition that organizations must act on as we move deeper into the 21st century. Products have driven the enterprise—selling more to whoever will buy—when it is the customer experience where all eyes should be turned. Geoff believes this experience is not something you can expect a chatbot to deliver, and we agree.

This article on customer technology was published on LinkedIn, September 25, 2017.

In the Age of the Product, customer service ensured that the product lived up to its specifications. Everything after that was the customer’s responsibility, not the vendor’s. In the Age of the Customer, the bar has been raised. Now it is the outcome that must live up to the customer’s expectations, else it is the vendor who is left holding the bag. That requires a whole new function, what the SaaS sector has taught us to call customer success. Let’s take a closer look at what has to change.

First of all, we still need customer service. Products still break, implementations still go awry, and parts still wear out, and they all need to be attended to. The traditional CRM customer service model is admirably suited to the task. It is organized around a trouble ticket generating a case which is managed through to a resolution with the data captured in a knowledge base to better inform the next case. This is by design a product-centric model, putting a premium on accuracy of information and reduction of errors, with productivity being measured first and foremost by the number of cases closed and the time taken to close each one.

What this system does not measure well is the customer side of the equation.

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People First

Can the Digital Economy Ever Be Sustainable?

World Economic Forum

People First is delighted to share work that is relevant to our initiatives. Mei-Lin Fung is a member of the People Centered Internet and an active, founding member of People First.

Read this article at The World Economic Forum as published on September 19, 2017.

Hurricane Harvey dropped 52 inches of rain and 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana. And a new kind of “All-hands-on-deck” response emerged.

Glenn Reynolds, author of An Army of Davids, writes: “But the real difference isn’t citizens getting involved, it’s the willingness of responsible officials to see that involvement as a plus rather than a potential problem … the excellent record of civilian volunteer responders in the post-9/11 record is behind that willingness.”

The Cajun Navy flotilla of private boat owners demonstrated the value of government, the private sector and regular people working together. The value of such cooperation in earlier disasters like Katrina and Sandy increased the ability to coordinate when Harvey struck.

Traditional global governance is failing. Yet the need for effective collaboration, delivering good performance in the face of new challenges has never been greater.

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People First

And Neither Are People

Do you remember The Prisoner?

If you are old enough and you were living in the UK in the 60s, I am sure the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

I am well aware the TV series was also shown in Canada and the US, but I think it’s one of those peculiarly English productions that didn’t translate too well. For those of you not old enough (most of you I am guessing), this is a key line from the show that always struck me: “I am not a number—I am a free man!”

Prescient, when you realize, to quote Wikipedia that …

a major theme of the series is individualism, as represented by Number Six, versus collectivism, as represented by Number Two…. McGoohan [the co-creator of the show], stated that the series aimed to demonstrate a balance between the two points.

Now if that is not a “discussion for our times,” I’m not sure what is! And as you can see, this debate has been occupying me for some time. Then, along comes Gaping Void to point out something similar.

innovation is not a number

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People First

People Last

You probably know that we publish articles to the People First Publication on Medium. We just published an article on politics and venture capital funding.

People First is not a politically driven group, but in modern America, it is increasingly hard to keep politics out of business as the two seem to get rammed against each other over and over again.

This article falls into three parts, the first referencing a politically oriented post, the second from a venture capitalist and the third my thoughts about the connection between the two.

Continue reading…

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People First

Start Up Culture

Dan Lyons - Author Of 'Start Up Culture'

Dan Lyons shared a video about working in the new tech start-up bubble on his blog.

This made me smile…