Tag Archives for Brian Tolle
Jason Calacanis has it right: Amazon Prime is a cult, but it’s a highly efficient cult that is revamping how consumers get the job of retail therapy done.
We need to look at two things here. If we re-visit the blog post from yesterday that said Best Buy is not experiencing impending bankruptcy, we might have to revise our thesis — that Best Buy has a long way to go before the end of retail as we know it knocks them into retail’s version of urban blight.
Calcanis tells us why online retail works so much better. In addition to giving people 250 hours of their life back each year, it also gives them ease of ordering, and a slew of products that stuffy-nosed irascible retail guinea pigs prevent us from seeking.
“Let’s call it four to six hours of retail experiences a week, or 20 to 25 hours a month per household. Including holiday shopping you’re looking at 250 hours a year you’re inside a retail location experiencing some combination of time-regret, stress, boredom and/or annoyance.
Cult members understand there is not only no joy in traditional shopping, but that it’s filled with annoyance and wasted time.
Cult members understand there can be joy, and time savings, associated with intelligent consumption.
Prime gives you the joy of consumption without the pain of acquisition.”
The Pain of Acquisition?
I like this phrase. yes, there is pain there.
The pain comes when consumers, who kind of know what they want are assaulted visually and sensorily by a marauding salesperson disguised as a customer service teenager, or grousing middle-aged resentment-filled employee, who is not careful enough, doesn’t care enough, isn’t well trained enough, or not aware enough and maybe even not experienced enough to look at retail shopping as a optential relationship-building experience.
Of course, how could retail shopping be such a thing?
It’s different than a grocery store. Most people go to grocery stores regularly, they get to know the cashiers and the clerks.
Not in things like electronic goods retail. It’s an in-and-out experience. Drop in, get what you need, sortie back at the house. As Larry Downes showed us yesterday, there is a mismanagement of the customer experience in retail. People are not trained well to help consumer’s discover that which they didn’t know they seek.
Of course, as we also said yesterday, consumers don’t necessarily come into retail with the best of moods. Well, whatever, not much we can do about people’s pouty faces.
But if a cult exists, then that cult must be helping people get a job done — for Calcanis this is the easing of the pain of acquisition.
The problem is there is also a pain of retail trade-offs. If we move to Prime and follow that cult, somebody suffers. It’s not the managerial talent. It’s the retail masses, the people we should be training to be better at customer choice and consumer innovation.
Retail outlets and fast-moving consumer companies should be employing a “jobs to be done” framework to train their staff to be jsut as good in person as semantic search, SEO algorithms, and cataloging of products is on the web.
If not, there’s an economic cataclysm about to happen, much worse than a single Best Buy chain going out of business.
Now, the only downside to Prime’s ascendancy is that it’s going to wipe out tens of thousands of retail jobs that are currently filled by the least employable of our workforce.
It’s not a jump to say that many of these retail jobs are filled by folks who have *already* taken a huge career nosedive from the middle class to the just-above poverty level of retail workers.
They’re going to get fracked twice in 20 years: first getting knocked from the white collar or blue collar middle class to the retail working-class jobs, and then to no jobs.
I guess you can’t get massive efficiency like Amazon is building without wiping out massive amounts of jobs.
And I think Amazon’s massive growth will actually crater the real estate business as malls and main streets are faced with unfillable retail spaces. What do we do with the malls, turn them into office and loft spaces? university space?
Playing out the scenario, does this new flood of new office and living space put downward pressure on traditional office space?
The Re-Wired Group helps companies and, by extension, these employees, out of the rut of consumer choice gone unadressed.
Take a look at some of the writing from the Re-Wired Group, which could guide you through this kind of thinking. Also, remember Clayton Christensen, the father of this movement. His work on consumer innovation is eye-opening, to say the least.
Thanks to Pierre DeBois, who recently wrote a great review of Shortcut: Getting Through to People Who Slow You Down.
Despite the short length, I think Tolle picked a good subject for the ebook format. The personae are broad enough to make you think without being too stereotypical or casting a blind eye to your own failings. And the book’s list-like organization will help you decide whether the suggestions fit your situation.
You’ll have to weigh how the material in Shortcut fits for other situations, like dealing with people with disabilities or structuring teams. If you do not feel you “read” people well, you may also want to augment Tolle’s exercises with books about body language. Overall, however, Tolle offers advice that does not try to oversell or inflate a perception.
Shortcut: Getting Through to People Who Slow You Down is a new book published by Brian Tolle, a partner at the Re-Wired Group who focuses on leadership personalities in organizations striving for innovation.
Tolle is a partner at The Re-Wired Group, a business development consultancy that uses Demand-Side Innovation to drive the creation and commercialization of new products, services, brands and businesses. His work focuses on designing strategies to secure employee buy-in to organizational change as well as influencing consumer behavior through Re-Wired’s Jobs-to-be Done framework. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from The Catholic University of America and a graduate degree in organization development from Loyola University Chicago.
We asked him to tell us why he wrote the book and what it does for the people who read it:
Brian Tolle: In my coaching work with high driver leader types, it is painfully obvious the frustration they experience when they can’t get through to the people who they depend on for business execution. They speak of being in meetings, being as direct and specific as possible in laying out the strategy and game plan, only to see their managers with blank or confused looks on their faces. These leaders will joke that they must be speaking a secret, foreign language that no one else recognizes, so extreme is the miscommunication.
When I hear these stories, it is obvious to me that much of the issue lies in the clash of different styles, unbeknownst to either party. It’s the same frustration we feel when we travel to a foreign country and we don’t speak the local language – hand gestures only go so far, and sometimes those are completely at odds, culturally. We will only truly get through to the other person once I or they learn the other’s language. The same goes for the high driver leader types. But until I can break down the communication breakdown for them in these terms, they have no frame of reference to understand what is going on and what they can do to improve the situation.
So I wrote “Shortcut” with a high driver leader type expressly in mind – a short, to the point, and practical handbook they can read on a short flight and start applying immediately.
We encourage you to obtain a copy of the book, and to join the Shorcut Facebook page for timely discussions about leadership personality and personality management in organizations.