Category Archives: business

A client’s a people

On the thirteenth of June I was sitting alone
Just sitting, not working, I was watching my phone
Waiting, and dreading, the direst of things
For I knew what it meant when the telephone rings
I’d heard of a beast much more dreadful than most
Who comes in the day (just after the post)
A Client they’d called it, and you know what is more?
A Client would find me, alone on the floor
No-one there with me to answer the phone
Poor little me, just here on my own
I tried to avoid it, I was tempted to leave
To run off to China, but my parents would grieve
So I sat there alone, looking down at my phone
Awaiting the moment I would let out a moan
I was worried, it’s true. I was out of my head
Awaiting the Client who filled me with dread
I was chewing my fingers, right down to the bone
Looking, no, staring, at my desk, at the phone
I bit down too hard, bit my nail to the quick
I looked at the blood and it made me feel sick
And it happened, the phone I’d been watching all day
It started to ring, and I just have to say
That I didn’t think, ‘cause my fingers were sore
I picked up that telephone, and what is more
I started to speak, and I said “Holy Cow!
Don’t you know that I’m busy? Really, what now?”
It wasn’t the finest of starts I admit
But it did make that nasty old Client laugh a bit
And they said with a giggle “why, is this a bad
Time to be ringing, would you rather I had
Waited until you’d called me instead?”
I sat there a while, thoughts filling my head
Would I be fired? Would anyone know
If I put the phone down, slunk away, really slow?
“Client, is that you?” I said, full of fear
Desperately thinking of covering my rear
“Yes, it is me, are you sure you’re ok?
Didn’t mean to disturb you.” And I have to say
That nasty old Client actually sounded concerned
And one of the few things in life that I’ve learned
Is it’s hard to be scared when someone really cares
Or when someone you know comes right out and shares
A thought or a feeling to which you relate
And right then I realised; I’m glad not too late
The simplest of things which stopped all my bother
A Client’s a People, they must have a mother!
And if that’s the case, then surely they must
Have a Father as well and surely, well just
They might even have to have gone off to schools
And lived all their lives under somebody’s rules
Perhaps they were only a People like me?
There was one way to check, to test it and see
I said to that Client, “I’m sorry I just
Bit my finger too hard and I think that I must
Admit I’m a fool, that I did something wrong.”
Said the Client, “No worries, I knew all along
Something wasn’t right. I bite my fingers too
Same as lots of fine People I know tend to do”
And there, there it was, the Client’s a People
I needn’t be scared, I needn’t be fearful
I could just be myself, I could be who I am
That was easy enough, no more living a sham
I could share what intrigued me
What excited and pleased me
My worries all gone I asked how they were doing
How their business was faring with all of this hooing
About the economy, worries and woes
Will it grow or stagnate? Seems nobody knows
We talked most an hour, well mostly I listened
’til not one single bead of sweat on my brow glistened
I’d made a connection and next time I knew
Next time we spoke, I knew just what to do
I’d make sure I’d called them, or paid them a visit
Because Peoples are People, and really, who isn’t?

A client's a people
With love and apologies to Dr Seuss.

Rapid prototyping within Innovation

Rapid Protoyping session in progress

As we grow up we are all taught to create a finished piece of work which we then hand over for marking. This continues through school, higher education and into our work places.

This is not, however, the optimal way of working.

The theory behind Rapid Prototyping in Innovation is to create the simplest, cheapest model that demonstrates your idea. This is then shared with a group of people who are able to provide feedback which is then incorporated into the next iteration.

By sharing early and often the product created is more likely to meet the needs of the users and better solve the problem you were addressing.

Through co-creation via iterations we ensure that if the product or idea is going to fail we identify this early before large amounts of money and resources are wasted. Perhaps more importantly it allows us to quickly understand and address the reasons that the product would fail and these can be avoided in any future products.

To allow people to experience the benefits of iterative design firsthand Deloitte Australia developed the Serious Gaming Workshop. In the workshop teams are given 15 minutes to design a board game from a collection of children’s toys; dice, cards, play doh, tokens, sticks etc.

After the 15 minutes the games are played by other members of the workshop who provide feedback to the designers and steal any elements that could be incorporated into their own game. The teams then have a further ten minutes to refine their games before they are play tested again. The final rounds see the teams developing a sales pitch for their games; they are each given one minute to “sell” their game design to the rest of the attendees and a winner is chosen.

The workshop relies on high energy, fast iterations and tight time constraints to ensure that the attendees have never finished their products before they are required to share them. The deadlines focus the mind on the task and the repeated collection of feedback ensures that the games quickly progress in their designs.

The use of board games and familiar pieces allows the attendees a degree of comfort as these are items they have been aware of all their lives. The creation of a game itself allows for a very simple testing mechanism to show if the design is working; is it fun to play?

The elements of the workshop combine to teach some valuable lessons which can be taken into any innovation project:
•  share early and often
•  borrow with pride and steal shamelessly
•  impose strict time constraints
•  the power of iterations
•  the need to be able to explain your product quickly

These elements can be used as the basis of any new product or service design to ensure that you are getting the best outcome quickly.

Yes we can

Yes we can

Three words that captured a nation and echoed around the world. What a phrase.

Why? Because it’s simple, affirming and generates commitment.

Why does the internal networking tool Yammer work so well within Deloitte Australia?

There are a few reasons* but overall it’s because it’s simple, affirming and generates commitment.
And, most of all, people believe that it is worthwhile.

Can we use social media effectively within a business environment?
Yes we can.

The belief in this allowed the executive level to get on board and encourage its use. They understood that social media ( … must … fight …  urge to be pedantic … rising … ) will make a big difference to the way people operate and didn’t slam the door on it when it became apparent that people were already using it more or less internally. They didn’t stop and ask they were going to control it, they let it go. They didn’t ask what the value was upfront, they waited to see what would fall out. Now, with two years of solid use behind it  I can dump the data and slice it a thousand ways to show various insights into the company.

Can we find value in cognitive analysis of conversations? Can we find value in knowing which people generate the most conversations? Can we find value in determining the trending topics over time?

Sure. Why not? Oops, I mean;  Yes we can.

*ok so there are lots of reasons. Here are a few you may not have heard in easy to digest listular format!

  • We’re a networky bunch of people. Our business is based on it.
  • We caught the interest of a large group of people
  • We use it to solve business problems for ourselves and our clients
  • We share social and business information alongside each other
  • It’s a sticky tool
  • We have hooked it up to our enterprise search to ensure the knowledge is reusable
  • We use it to share and develop ideas
  • People use it to listen, not just to talk
  • People are allowed to be themselves while using it