- High capacity for learning new stuff and for applying new knowledge, constantly.
- Comfortable with the unknown and with making decisions based on limited information.
- Ability to fly with the eagles and crawl with the ants, meaning keeping the big perspective while getting deep into the engine room.
- Creative thinkers, able to problem-solve and to generate options.
- Driven and with a relatively high level of energy.
- Communication skills, open to and comfortable with a lot of feedback and dialogue.
- Why Marketing Does a Terrible Job of Marketing Itself - and why it's no longer about controlling the brand but about guiding it through its network of users, no longer about managing the marketing budget but about inspiring marketing excellence throughout the organization, and no longer about being a sales enabler but about being a value driver across the enterprise.
- Co-creation - inviting a number of specific users, often lead users, to create new products with the company's own designers. Example: LEGO Mindstorms.
- Customization - facilitating that the user can design his own product based on a number of features and material combinations that the company makes available. Example: Nike ID, LEGO Design By Me, Timbuk2.
- Crowdsourcing - outsourcing product design entirely to the users. Example: Threadless.
- For companies born as UDI based companies, like Threadless, this is less of an issue since their entire business is engineered towards facilitation of UDI - it simply is their business model.
- For established companies, like LEGO where I headed up the customization and co-creation business unit for a while, UDI represents issues pertaining to virtually all parts of the company. From sourcing policies, supply chain processes, IT systems, forecasting methodology, product quality standards, legal and IPR matters, corporate culture and HR, success criteria and KPI definition, to brand control policies, marketing principles and so on and so forth.
- Why the Boss Is a Great Boss - generating loyalty and commitment not so much with use of positional power and formal authority, but with authenticity, integrity, and creativity.
- The Role of the Conceiver in Organizations - they're difficult to deal with but figure it out and the returns will be plenty. Start by earning their respect.
Recently, the Danish music industry was granted 9.4 million kroner (1.26 million euros) by the Ministry of Commerce to develop music talent, export, insight, technology solutions, and new business models. As a business professional with a strong music association, I applaud this.
Indeed, one of the major challenges is bridging the gap between the music community and the business community. There is a lot of potential for brands and artists to use each other to develop their respective identities and relationship with their users (fans). So far, though, neither camp seem to understand the other particularly well.
Brands - and often their agencies - treat music as a tactical add-on at best. The artists - and often their record companies and managers - treat brands as a sponsor, rarely as a collaborator, and sometimes just as a wallet.
Brands need to learn how to leverage music strategically, as a powerful dimension and a path to a strong(er) emotional bond between them and their users. Artists need to learn what's on a busy marketing director's agenda, what s/he considers success criteria, and why music often simply isn't a priority. Both need to learn how to create great fits, and also recognize when there is no fit at all.
A coordinating body, Musikzonen (the Music Zone), has been established to manage the 9.4 million kroner from the Ministry of Commerce and facilitate the most effective use of this money. And today, they hosted a kick-off conference to introduce the Musikzonen initiative and provide some inspiration to cross-disciplinary and commercial partnerships. A great conference, and a great idea. Only, the audience was all music industry folks. Apart from one of the co-speakers and me, there was no one from the business community, no consumer experience manager, no brand director, no ad agency executive. The Musikzonen board informed that they'd received a lot of interest from the business community about the overall initiative. Excellent, but then why weren't they there?
And why wasn't one of the speakers a grumpy marketing manager with no interest whatsoever in music but with a desire to look good in front of senior management, hence thinking only of hard KPIs that prove ROI down to the penny? These are the folks that ultimately need to be influenced, if the aforementioned gap is to be bridged.
There's a lot to be said - and done - about the relationship between brands and bands (and fans). The relationship between culture and commerce, between mainstream and new stream. I look forward to the conversation.
Today, I went to a pole dancing class. I didn't actually know it was a dancing class, much less a pole dancing class. It was advertised at my fitness center as a "Steamy Windows" event - I guess I should have read the signs. Actually, I think it's called 'pole fitness'.
Anyway, there I was and why not get the most out of it. And it wasn't actually about throwing ourselves around a floor-to-ceiling pole, rather it was holding a 1.5 m long bar and then tossing it about and dancing around it.
It's worth mentioning that anyone who knows me will have a hard time imagining me doing any such things and those who can will have a laughing fit (but hey, glad to be of some entertainment value to y'all).
After a few steps left, right and center, striding around the bar (pole), and shifting it around I felt I was kind of getting the hang of it. The music was funky salsa, which helped give the whole thing a down-to-earth kind of vibe, not taking ourselves very seriously. I mean, we were doing Britney Spears-y hip thrusting and pole caressing and the music really needs to be fun, innocent and upbeat for these ridiculous movements to be about dancing and not about lame, carnal display.
Then the instructor changed the music. We went from fun salsa to macho poodle rock - and the whole vibe changed. WTF?? I suddenly felt like the dancing was about dancing not for my own delight but for putting on a sex show.
All of sudden, I just couldn't take the hip thrusting on our knees and slithering around with the bar as anything but clichés but worse, the fun had gone. The movements in conjunction with the testo guitar delirium and shrieks about 'tight action, rear traction' gave the whole thing a much darker edge and prompted thoughts about women as sex objects, putting themselves on crude display.
My point with all this isn't about our society's sexification of women, but rather about experiencing in an extraordinarily direct way how music can entirely change a vibe, atmosphere, perception and physical sentiment. It altered everything. And I'm not even that much of a salsa fan...