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Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway caused ructions in healthcare insurance markets recently following the announcement of their intention to work together to launch a not-for-profit health insurance company for their U.S. employees. Whilst concrete details of the collaboration have yet to be released, the markets illustrated their concerns at the entry of a new potentially powerful competitor with shares in CVS dropping 4%, United Health dropping 11% and Cigna dropping 7% following the announcement.
By Jesse Celso
Today, most organizations are faced with industries that are rapidly evolving. In order to adapt to increasing business demands they have numerous concurrent projects underway of varying complexity, while also struggling to keep up with day-to-day business operations. Sound familiar?
Managing multiple initiatives involving implementation of new technologies and multiple stakeholder groups with differing priorities can prove to be difficult even for the most mature organizations. A governance program provides the framework for effectively managing this organizational change.
By Rod Collins
Whether we’re ready to acknowledge it or not, Digital Transformation—the fundamental socioeconomic architectural shift from top-down hierarchies to peer-to-peer networks—is dramatically disrupting all the rules for how the world works. At the heart of what many call digital disruption is this unsettling reality: most of our beliefs about how things work become rapidly obsolete once an institution is fully disrupted.
Things are getting DAM interesting. It's about time, and it's good for us all.
"Change brings opportunity." - Nido Qubien
Change is rumbling through the processes and technology in which we operate in business, elevating DAM along with it. Now it's not just digital asset management - it's a critical component of the content ecosystem.
Look at the seismic shifts in the industry: The recent acquisition of WebDAM by Bynder. MediaBeacon, being acquired first by NorthPlains and Xinet, and then Esko. And most recently, the acquisition of ADAM software by Aprimo.
This activity is evidence that DAM not only holds the critical position in an organizational content ecosystem, it's maturing, receiving its due praise and being accepted by a wider audience. DAM vendors - large and small, open source, on-premises and cloud - are listening to their users and developing the necessary functionality for the future.
By Rod Collins
Over three days from February 14 – 16, 2011, the American public was introduced to the amazing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) during the telecast of the Jeopardy! IBM Challenge, when IBM’s Watson faced off against Ken Jennings, the holder of the record for the game show’s longest winning streak, and Brad Rutter, Jeopardy!’s all-time money winner. This much-publicized human-versus-machine competition turned out to be no contest at all, as Watson easily beat its human challengers with a score of $77, 147 to Jennings’s $24,000 and Rutter’s $21,600.
With this remarkable victory, the public learned what was once considered science fiction was suddenly scientific reality: computers could interact with humans in intelligent conversation. Watson wasn’t a linear program following a series of pre-planned fixed steps, like a dishwasher. It was an intelligent machine that could absorb spontaneous human communication and could respond sensibly. And what was most impressive is that it could do so far smarter and faster than the long-running game show’s two greatest champions.
By Chris Rossi
Your company is putting in a new digital asset management (DAM) system. It comes with training materials and documentation from the vendor.
These resources cover basic functionality and the unique features of the system. If users have questions, they should be able to find the answers they need. And since the training docs show users how it all works, you should be good to go, right?
Adoption rates for a new DAM can be miserable and customizations to improve on this can cost in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands in some cases with larger enterprises.
No one wants to invest in a DAM only to have it ignored by a wide swath of users.
Fortunately, it’s not that tough to get people to use — and even love — their new DAM. The key is to make sure the DAM’s training materials are tailor-made to your users’ level of understanding and working knowledge.
For the past 20 years, consumer brand companies have invested in a tremendous ability for their manufacturing and supply chain operations to support agile development and to produce variety.
But in so doing, they’ve accidentally created a bottleneck — their own marketing departments, whose overworked and stressed-out managers are barely able to keep up with the flood of new SKUs.
Fortunately, some senior management teams are waking up and smelling the burn-out.
These enlightened firms are optimizing tools and automation with the goal of increasing marketing’s ability to meet demand without linearly increasing marketing’s cost.
By Rod Collins
“May you live in interesting times,” is an old English expression whose enigmatic meaning can make people wonder whether they’ve been offered a blessing or a curse. Regardless of the apparent well-wisher’s intentions, interesting times are oftentimes a blessing for some and a curse for others. The difference depends upon how capable and how fast people are in recognizing and embracing new ideas and new opportunities.
What do consumers want? In a word, more.
More products. More varieties. More formats. More channels. And they want more of everything NOW.
Between multiplying product versions, increasing product line extensions, more varied retail formats and your need to competitively innovate, the number of SKUs you have to support is getting out of control.
And now you suddenly require more branding assets, more creative development and more packaging. Then there’s the need to create brand stories for new specialty markets, such as healthy eating trends (farm-to-table, anyone?), socially responsible business practices and sustainable production in nearly all CPG segments.
Combine the increasing SKUs, the brand story creation — oh, and let’s not forget a changing regulatory environment related to product information transparency — and it’s a hot mess. Don’t even get me started on local market adaptation…
By Rod Collins
Morning Star is not your usual company. That’s because the 400-person California-based agribusiness has no supervisors. Rather than relying on the intelligence of an elite few, Morning Star is a highly successful self-managing peer-to-peer network that has skillfully leveraged the “power of many” to sustain its position as the world’s largest tomato processor.
By Rod Collins
One of Peter Drucker’s most popular and enduring business quotes is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” This advice has never been truer than it is today as the technologies of digital transformation are changing all the rules for how the world works by displacing top-down hierarchies that amplify the “power of one” with more powerful peer-to-peer networks that enable the “power of many.”
by Rod Collins
In 2006, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams described in their book Wikinomics how a new phenomenon they called mass collaboration was going to change everything. They recognized that this unprecedented capacity for self-organization would give rise to powerful new models of production based on distributed peer-to-peer networks rather than centralized top-down hierarchies. Tapscott and Williams envisioned a world where this new way of organizing would eventually displace traditional corporate structures as the economy’s dominant engine for wealth creation. At the time, many critics dismissed the two authors as being carried away by breathless hype and overstating the impact of the digital revolution. While these critics acknowledged the obvious reality of fast-paced technological innovation, they scoffed at the notion that new technologies would radically change the fundamental dynamics for how our social structures work.
The science fiction writer William Gibson once astutely observed, “The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” As described in last month’s blog, our future is a digitally transformed world that will usher in an entirely new human epoch where the dominant top-down hierarchical structures of the first 10,000 years of human civilization will rapidly give way to the far more powerful peer-to-peer network architecture that is now possible, practical, and increasingly more pervasive thanks to the proliferation of digital technology. However, despite the increasing evidence of the ascendance of hyper-connectivity, our rapid transformation to a fully networked world remains hidden in plain sight. Although we use our connected iPhones to do Google searches as we step into an Uber car on our way to close a deal we made on eBay, we are in many ways oblivious as to just how radically the world is changing around us.
In his recently published book, The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks, Joshua Cooper Ramo relates the story of one the most closely guarded secrets during the early years of the Cold War: If the Soviet Union had engaged in a nuclear first strike, it was highly likely the United States would have been unable to respond. That’s because the American field officers and their commanders in Washington would have had no way to communicate with each other. Consistent with the technology at the time, the American radio and telephone systems were highly centralized, which made them also highly vulnerable. One of the key structural problems of centralized systems is that each regional center has the potential to become a single point of failure that can disrupt the entire system, as often happens when air traffic across a nation is snarled because of unexpected weather at a major hub.
By Rod Collins
One of the deepest beliefs of command-and-control management is the assumption that the smartest organization is the one with the smartest individuals. This belief is as old as scientific management itself. According to this way of thinking, just as there is a right way to perform every activity, there are right individuals who are essential for defining what are the right things and for making sure that things are done right. Thus, traditional organizations have long held that the key to the successful achievement of the corporation’s two basic accountabilities of strategy and execution is to hire the smartest individual managers and the brightest functional experts.
By Rod Collins
The recent outrage over the violent removal of a boarded paying customer to make room for a commuting employee clearly caught United Airlines by surprise. As the facts of this troubling situation unfolded, it appears that the airline’s customer service representatives and its executives were initially convinced that the only real problem that happened during the boarding process of Flight 3411 was a passenger’s refusal to accept the airline’s re-accommodation policy. Within 24 hours of the incident, United’s CEO praised his employees in an internal memo for their adherence to company policy, reinforcing his commitment to stand behind them in their proper handling of a “belligerent” customer who refused to give up his seat in deference to corporate wishes. It appears from the memo that the CEO was certain the airline did everything right and that the passenger did everything wrong.
By Emily Quan
For a lot of DAM managers, the phase right after the rollout of a new or improved DAM system can be a bit nebulous. How do you measure user adoption? How do you ensure user adoption?
There’s a high chance that the DAM is competing for your users’ attention alongside other systems that have a bigger impact on the bottom line. Balancing competing priorities and adapting to new technologies can be confusing or simply frustrating for individuals, posing significant risks to user adoption. A comprehensive and analytics-driven view of asset use and value, user activity trends, and user experience (UX) improvement opportunities will be key to the program’s success. This blog outlines approaches to applying asset metadata audits and dashboard reporting, to encourage user adoption, and appropriately assess and demonstrate DAM ROI.
By Rod Collins
Early in my career, I discovered I was a borderline extravert when I completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as part of a management training class. The tool measures psychological preferences among four sets of dichotomies: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. While my results showed that I had very dominant preferences in three of the categories, I had only a slight preference for extraversion. I was not surprised to learn that I go back and forth when it comes to being an extravert or an introvert.
By Rod Collins
For more than a century, Kodak was one of America’s top-rated brands. Founded in 1890, the pioneering technology company became one of the great innovators of its time, transforming the photography industry from the purview of an elite few professionals and hobbyists into a market for the masses. Through a product progression of easy-to-use, affordable cameras, Kodak made taking pictures as effortless as the push of a button. Employing a simple and effective strategy—sell inexpensive cameras and make large margins on film and film processing—the photography innovator became a consistently profitable American icon. By 1976, Kodak had corralled a remarkable 90 percent of film sales and 85 percent of camera sales.
By Rod Collins
While the technology revolution continues to transform daily living at a remarkable clip, we are suddenly becoming aware of possibilities that few of us could have imagined even a few years ago. Driverless cars, 3D printers, sophisticated robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are all early stage applications that seem destined to alter the world of work as we have known it. There are some futurists who portend that the current arc of technology is highly likely to rapidly eliminate many, if not most, jobs far more rapidly than any of us are prepared for. For example, as the founders of Google continue to make progress in developing driverless cars, we can envision a world where bus and taxi drivers will become as anachronistic as the long-gone elevator operators.