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Learn More from Your Proposals

I found this article of great interest and value. Having studied at Harvard’s PON and negotiated global business deals, this article will provide some very interesting and valuable insight into creating value and mutual gains outcomes when working on complex international business deals. If you conduct, participate in or plan and execute complex business deals, this will be of interest to you. Check it out!

-DF

Learn More from Your Proposals

Adapted from “Lessons from Abroad: When Culture Affects Negotiating Style,” by Jeanne M. Brett (professor, Northwestern University) and Michele J. Gelfand (professor, University of Maryland), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2005.Harvard Law School – PON.

Imagine that you have identified a great opportunity to expand your business by negotiating a joint venture with another company. You need to get information about this company’s needs and priorities. Which of the following options would you prefer?

A. Ask the other side about their priorities and give them only a little information about your own.
B. Do not ask direct questions; instead, be indirect and try to deduce what the other side’s priorities are by listening to their reactions to your proposals.

Around the world, negotiators understand the need to find wise tradeoffs that improve outcomes for all. But how do you get the other party to reveal the information you need about preferences and priorities?

Research shows that Western negotiators typically share information by asking questions about each other’s preferences and priorities—assuming the other party is trustworthy and answering truthfully—and giving information to reinforce the exchange. This direct approach can be used to identify tradeoffs that can be accumulated into a final, multi-issue proposal. It reflects the American preference for explicit, context-free communications.

Now consider how managers in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Russia glean information about one another’s preferences and priorities. Research conducted by Wendi Adair of Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, Tetsushi Okumura of Shiga University in Japan, and Jeanne M. Brett of Northwestern University found that Japanese managers made many more proposals than did U.S. managers.

Subsequent research by Adair and Brett indicates that, beginning in the first quarter of their negotiation, non-Western negotiators were using proposals significantly more frequently than were Western negotiators. This difference was sustained until the last quarter of the negotiation, when Westerners’ proposal rate rose to match that of non-Westerners.

Gathering information about relative preferences and priorities from proposals requires highly developed inferential skills and a “big picture” approach. Doing so is common in collective cultures, where context matters and indirect communication is the norm. When proposals include all the issues in a negotiation, Western negotiators should be able to work effectively in this environment. But consider that Asian negotiators do not limit themselves to multi-issue proposals; they also make more single-issue proposals than Western negotiators.

Drawing inferences from a pattern of single-issue proposals requires a heavy focus on context. Imagine a two-issue negotiation over price and delivery. The other side offers a delivery date that you don’t explicitly reject; you then offer a price. Now it’s the other side’s turn to build toward a settlement based on his delivery date and your price. Suppose the other party makes an alternative offer on price, keeping in mind its prior offer on delivery. If your counterpart tracks your reaction to these alternative proposals, he can start deducing your priorities.

Westerners can do this cognitive work, of course—it is just a matter of preference regarding how to exchange information during negotiation. The message from Asian cultures: there is more than one way to get information in a negotiation. When negotiators are reluctant to share information directly, try proposals and look for the pattern of preferences revealed by changes in the proposals over time.

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Written by David Frederick

May 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM

New Podcasts and Articles posted!

Hi Folks,

Just posted some new podcasts and articles to the http://www.instituteair.org and iairconsulting.com websites. Check it out!

-DF

Written by David Frederick

September 2, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Posted in General, iAIR

David Frederick Live on SalesSense Radio

I will be interviewed live on Mike Krause’s  SalesSense Radio Program on September 15 at 12:00. You can tune in at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/salessense

During this interview we will be talking about strategic sales and marketing topics. Hope to see you then!

-DF

Written by David Frederick

August 31, 2010 at 4:15 PM

The New Faster Face of Innovation

Here is a great article from MIT Sloan Prof.’s Erik Bynjolfsson and Michael Schrage. Its a great article that discusses the role technology is playing in innovation and aligns perfectly with what I consult my clients on. The only area that I have an issue with here and in the real world is execution. Conceptually, hypothetically, etc. I am 100% agreement with Erik and Michael’s position and article. But…. the biggest challenge here is getting clients and organizations to fully invest across the board with resources, time, effort, etc. to execute.

Most companies today talk a good game when it comes to innovation. They all want to do it or think they already do. But the reality is much different. In most cases, where practical innovation falls down is in the execution. Why? Because most organizations large and small dont have the time, risk acceptence, or resources to do the things Michael and Erik point out. They are to busy and frantically trying to close business, deliver product and services, meet customer demands. market expectations, etc. They can’t or are unwilling to experiment and potentially risk their business even though they know they need to innovate. So what they do is punt. The pretend to innovate by motivating people to think outside of the box, but in actuality really dont execute.

In some cases, the larger Fortune 500 companies or really small niche firms can afford to experiment. This is usually when they own the supply chain, distribution channel and market share. They can afford to tinker with ideas on segmented brands, products, services, isle placement, features, pricing models, even experiment in the store think Wal-Mart. But what about the rest of the world?

This is the crux of the matter with innovation. There are so many ways to distract your efforts under the guise of innovation. Real innovation is ultimately a discipline that requires experimentation, results and KPI definition and measurement, creativity, etc.. All of Erik and Michael’s points are valid, important and effective. But bridging the gap between conceptual and executional will always be the real challenge when trying to innovate.

Take a read of this article. I think it will be well worth your time. Also think about how to plan and execute the things discussed for your own business.

-DF

The New, Faster Face of Innovation
By Erik Brynjolfsson and Michael Schrage

Thanks to technology, change has never been so easy—or so cheap

CALL IT INNOVATION on steroids. Or innovation at warp speed. Or just the innovation of rapid innovation.

But the essential point remains: Technology is transforming innovation at its core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds—and prices—that were unimaginable even a decade ago. They can stick features on Web sites and tell within hours how customers respond. They can see results from in-store promotions, or efforts to boost process productivity, almost as quickly.

The result? Innovation initiatives that used to take months and megabucks to coordinate and launch can often be started in seconds for cents.
And that makes innovation, the lifeblood of growth, more efficient and cheaper. Companies are able to get a much better idea of how their customers behave and what they want. This gives new offerings and marketing efforts a better shot at success.

THE SPEED OF CHANGE

The Evolution: Technology is allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds—and prices—that were unimaginable even a decade ago.
The Effect: Innovation, the lifeblood of growth, is growing more efficient and cheaper.

What’s Ahead: Innovative companies will shift away from traditional research-and-development methods. Managers will change the way they solicit ideas. And much, much more.

Companies will also be willing to try new things, because the price of failure is so much lower. That will bring big changes for corporate culture—making it easier to challenge accepted wisdom, for instance, and forcing managers to give more employees a say in the innovation process.
There will be even better payoffs for customers: Their likes and dislikes will have much more impact on companies’ decisions. In globally competitive markets, they will ultimately end up getting products and services better tailored to their needs.
Already, this powerful new capability is changing the way some of the biggest companies in the world do business, inspiring new strategies and revolutionizing the research-and-development process.

“In the U.S., we do the vast majority of our concept testing online, which has created truly substantial savings in money and time,” says Joan Lewis, global consumer and market knowledge officer at Procter & Gamble Co.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW

Written by David Frederick

October 22, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Posted in iAIR, Innovation

How to Manage Virtual Teams

You know, I have had a lot of experience in managing disparate virtual teams in multiple competencies. In fact, when I pioneered the first electronic digital musical instrument (keyboard) solely built on a Windows operating system with COTS parts, it was with a team based throughout the U.S., Europe and Taiwan. Bringing software developers, manufacturing, sourcing, marketing, sales, R&D, components, etc. together as a multi-disciplined team working toward a common goal I think was enhanced by the fact that we were virtual. It forced us to communicate regularly, effectivly and clearly. Also, remember this was before all the cool stuff we have now on the web and Web 2.0 collaboration solutions.

But early on and before this time, one of my more infamous motto’s was; “You can manage remotely, but you can’t lead remotely”. Over time and experience, I have come to think differently. Not only can disparate virtual teams be effective, but they can be led by strong leaders to accomplish enormous tasks productively and effectively. I have seen this both on a regional/national and global scale.

In today’s “connected” market and work place, there is no excuse for lack of productivity and success if you have a strong leader, clear communications and buy in from all constituents. Remember, some people need to have social “live in- person to person” interaction on a daily basis. They do not make good virtual team mates. Regardless, I read this article and found it to be spot on and very relevant in today’s connected market. Hope you enjoy it!

-DF

How to Manage Virtual Teams
By Frank Siebdrat, Martin Hoegl and Holger Ernst
July 1, 2009
Dispersed teams can actually outperform groups that are co-located. To succeed, however, virtual collaboration must be managed in specific ways.

TEAMS ARE THE typical building blocks of an organization: They provide companies with the means to combine the various skills, talents and perspectives of a group of individuals to achieve corporate goals. In the past, managers used to co-locate team members because of the high levels of interdependencies that are inherent in group work. Recently, though, more and more companies are beginning to organize projects over distance, with teams increasingly consisting of people who are based in dispersed geographical locations, come from different cultural backgrounds, speak different languages and were raised in different countries with different value systems.

Over the past 10 years, various studies have investigated the differences in performance of colocated and dispersed teams, quietly assuming that members of the latter never meet in person and members of the former work together in the same office throughout a project. But dispersion is not only a matter of degree; it is also a matter of kind. Most teams are dispersed on some level. They can be spatially separated (from “across the hall” to “scattered worldwide”), temporally separated (spanning different time zones), configurationally uneven (for example, five members in one location and two in another) and culturally diverse. And as past research has repeatedly shown, even the smallest degrees of dispersion, such as working on different floors in the same building, can greatly affect the quality of collaboration.1 In our own study, we have investigated the performance of 80 software development teams with varying levels of dispersion, including those with members in different cities, countries or continents. Such geographically distributed teams have commonly been referred to as “virtual” teams,2 but that label is something of a misnomer, because these groups are very real with respect to the work they can accomplish.

We found that virtual teams offer tremendous opportunities despite their greater managerial challenges. In fact, with the appropriate processes in place, dispersed teams can significantly outperform their co-located counterparts.

TO READ MORE FROM THIS ARTICLE PLEASE CLICK THE MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW LINK

: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/articles/2009/summer/50412/how-to-manage-virtual-teams/

Written by David Frederick

September 29, 2009 at 7:08 PM

Nanoparticles could pose threat to humans: scientists

I recently came across this article on PHYSORG.com and found it actually compelling. Why is the strange? Well for one, I am a big believer in nano-technology and the future it holds. My team is also working on a nano project around the reduction of thermal challenges in high performance processors. So I am totally cool with nano-tech (pun intended! 😉 )

But why I thought this subject was interesting was because it reminded me of the issues with food safety i.e. irradiation, antibiotics, nut allergies (not the allergy where your allergic to crazy people, but peanuts,etc.) You see, the key point here is this and nicely articulated by Susanne Stark, of the Consumer Information Association. She recently told a seminar in the Austrian city of Salzburg that companies should be forced to indicate on labels whether a product contains the tiny particles. “There are more questions than answers on the effects of nanoparticles” on human health, the chemist said.

Cosmetic and food products should indicate whether their products contain nanoparticles by 2012, she said. Why, because more and more consumer goods are including nano technology. From foods, to cosmetics, to pants! I even have a pair of those pants that are designed to be wrinkle free. Yes, they work pretty well.

But while we are spending all this time on developing very cool stuff, who is looking at the impact on humans i.e. when used in cosmetics, are they biodegradable or do they simply absorb into the skin? Then what? If used in food, how do they absorb or pass through? Or do they stay in your body? Then what? How does the human body process a foreign object like that? Will it cause cancer or other diseases? Do the nano particles stay embedded with the food so when the food breaks down and pass through your body, do they go along? How does the body’s digestive system handle these things? What effect if any do they have on major organs like your liver and kidney’s and the brain?

Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of nano tech. But who is asking the post development/implementation questions? Safety, efficacy?
Nano tech is revolutionizing almost everything we do and make. They can make fabric resistant to stains, improve the taste of food and help drug research, but nanoparticles could also pose a danger to human health at worst and best, we simply dont know what effect they have…. yet.

Its also not easy to figure out the impact. You see, nanoparticles, measure no more than 100 nanometres. Thats really really really small. 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Nanoparticles can enter the body through the mouth and nose, the digestive system or the skin, and spread inside the body through blood vessels, said Hans Peter Hutter, a doctor specialized in environmental hygiene in Vienna. “These tiny particles could without a doubt go all the way to the placenta,” he said. But he warned that little was known about their behavior inside human tissue.

With nano tech already being used in numerous products, from medical bandages to golf clubs and paints, Edinburgh University Professor Anthony Seaton, one of Britain’s leading environmental health experts, says concerns that tiny particles from the products might cause respiratory, cardiac and immune problems had not been properly assessed. Speaking with a newspaper ahead of a presentation he gave Tuesday at the Nanoparticles for European Industry conference in London, Seaton said that recommended nano testing “simply hasn’t happened.”

A recent report from a U.S. science watchdog suggested there are already 200 products containing nanoparticles on the marketplace, with hundreds more to be introduced during the coming year.n Nano critics point to asbestos — a nanoparticle already linked with cancer — and the high rate of heart failure in dense pollution areas, as early warnings of nanoparticles’ potential hazards when inhaled.

So what does this mean. Well, in my opinion, we have an incredible opportunity to improve the world through nana technology. No question. I love it and believe in it use across a broad spectrum of applications but, what I think may be needed is some strong research into the post development/implementation impacts of such technology. We simply need to know, what effects this technology will have post use.

Its simply a matter of intellectual honesty, responsibility and good science. If for no other reason, wouldn’t it make sense to see what happens after consumption and usage? This way you could “tweak” the secret sauce to be even better OR make adjustments to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and safety. Again, good, solid, practical science and product development practices. I am all for research on post development/implementation and even labeling. I could create a very strong and creative marketing position around the use of nano tech, so don’t let that be an excuse i.e. people wont buy it if the products labeled with nano-tech. BS. Its very cool and hip.

What do you think? I would really like to know.

-DF

Written by David Frederick

September 18, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Innovation – Where To Start

I recently had a client ask me about injecting innovation into their business and product strategy. The basic question asked was, how do I get started. I explained that innovation was not a thing you could simply inject. It starts with questions. Asking the right questions. I prefer to use my Aristotelian Framework for Innovation – AIF, to get the ball rolling.

You can also use the 5W2H approach. Not familiar with the 5W2H approach? I bet you are. It is simply asking various questions about the current process, product, service, etc. and how it can be improved. The 5H2W refers to “Why, When, Who, Where, What, How to do, and How not to do”.

Pretty simple right? Not so fast. These questions are deceptively difficult to answer. This is because focusing is never easy. Especially if there are other people involved. Trying to get everyone to align on the answers to the 5H2W or AIF can be a project in and of itself. But if you want to innovative you must start with questions.

Not only do questions help with setting the stage for how and what to innovate, but they start to help you carve our Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in which to measure the success of your efforts, in this case, innovation. But what about the creative side of innovation? the vision, the imagination, etc.? It has its place. A big place. But like many things, innovation is both art and science. It takes creativity, discipline, measurement, and execution.

So back to my client’s original questions, where to start. Start with questions. Questions lead to ideas. Ideas lead to action. Action leads to results. Result lead to more questions and the circle of innovation continues. Innovation is a dynamic process that feeds itself. The fuel for this cycle is questions.

Keep thinking and keep asking questions. That will get you started down the road to innovation. Like most things in life, it all starts with a simple question. In this case, 5W2H or AIF.

-DF

Written by David Frederick

September 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM