Tracking Our Next Digital Steps

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It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since the launch of X. In the last two weeks, I’ve hosted conversations about the promise of experience design in London, Düsseldorf, Oslo, Sydney and Geelong.

Somewhere along the Atlantic, I was asked to answer a few questions ahead of my arrival in Geelong for the Pivot Summit by Courtney Crane of the Geelong Advertiser. Thanks to the magic (or curse) of inflight wifi, I was able to make her deadline. But it was more than a Q&A, it was the purpose of the conversation that stopped time to reflect on how this once bustling city is proactively investigating how to build upon its history to adapt for the future. … Read more


Offense and defense, a b2b insight

Selling change to organizations is difficult. One reason is that change represents a threat, a chance for things to go wrong. It’s no wonder that many people avoid anything that smells of change.

Another reason is that different people in the organization have different worldviews, different narratives.

Consider the difference between “offense” and “defense” when confronting a new idea.

OffenseDefenseThe person who is playing offense wants to get ahead. Grow market share. Get promoted. She wants to bring in new ideas, help more customers, teach the people around her. Change is an opportunity to further the agenda, change is a chance to reshuffle the deck.

The person who is playing defense, though, wants to be sure not to disappoint the boss. Not to drop a ball, break what’s working or be on the spot for something that didn’t happen.


Either posture, surprisingly, can lead to significant purchases and change.

Defensive purchases are things like a better insurance policy, or a more reliable auditor. Offensive purchases include sophisticated new data mining tools and a course in public speaking.

The defensive purchaser switches to a supplier that offers the same thing for less money. The offensive posture demands a better thing, even if it costs more.

Not only are people divided in their posture related to change, they’re also in different camps when it comes to going first. For some, buying something first is a thrill and an opportunity, for others, it’s merely a threat.

While we often associate defense with late adoption, that’s not always true. The military, for example, frequently pushes to buy things before ‘the bad guys’ do. For example, the internet was pioneered and supported by the defense establishment.

And while you can imagine that some people seeking to make change happen are eager geeks of whatever is new, it’s very common for a proven success (a titan) to wait until an idea is proven, then overinvest in putting it to use in order to continue to steamroll the competition. Trader Joe’s did this with laser scanners… They like change, as long as that change is proven to help them win even more than they already are.

Play with the graph a little bit and consider who you are contacting and what story you’re telling…

Seth Godin


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Entering Era of the Endless Store


Those in the know in online retail have been leveraging dropship vendors to create expanded ‘endless aisle’ assortments for a number of years now.

Through the ongoing development of the Matrix Retail approach it’s now become apparent a new reality is emerging best described simply as the ‘Endless Store.’

Just as an ‘endless aisle’ expands assortments well beyond the current store and retailer stocked web assortments, creating the ‘Endless Store’ connects and extends the bricks & mortar and virtual environments within which retailers operate. The potential for dramatically improved customer service and functional development of a unified retail customer experience is now within reach of every retailer. … Read more


The interim strategy

interimWe say we want to treat people fairly, build an institution that will contribute to the culture and embrace diversity. We say we want to do things right the first time, treat people as we would like to be treated and build something that matters.

But first… first we say we have to make our company work.

We say we intend to hire and train great people, but in the interim, we’ll have to settle for cheap and available. We say we’d like to give back, but of course, in the interim, first we have to get… … Read more


Start Building a Culture of Content Creation & Sharing


For the past several years social media has been a buzzword swamp with marketers chasing one shiny object after another like dogs chasing their tails. Social Listening, Advocacy, Content Marketing, Engagement and Social Marketing to name but a few.

More recently joining the CMO in the chase have been other c-suite executives lured by the promise of a brave new world empowered by social business and collaboration. Or maybe it’s just their fear of losing control and being left behind. … Read more


Great News in Canadian Retail Just Keeps on Coming!

Over the past year, like many others working within the Retail Industry in Canada, I’ve grown tired of hearing about all the bad news relative to retailers pulling out, closing down or shrinking their store counts here in Canada.

Other than one major ‘faux pas’ by a discount retailer which doesn’t need to be named yet again, the majority of recent store closures have actually been retailers dealing with unprofitable stores in their chain.  And although painful for the individuals and areas where these actions happen, these steps are often necessary to keep the overall chain healthy in the long term.

The great news, and what we should be focusing on instead of the ‘doom and gloom’ of negative reports, is the growing number of new retail entries into Canada and the ongoing industry extensions taking place over the last year. … Read more


Blah, Blah, Blah


Writing and speaking (essays, non-fiction, copywriting, direct interactions, speeches) can be easily sorted into two groups:

                  The expected                                                  The unexpected

We don’t remember what most people say when they greet us (at a party, or even a funeral) because it’s banal. Most college essays, tweets and advertising copy fit right into this category. The prose we consume every day gets instantly processed, filed away and ignored. … Read more


RFIDpalletTwo early pilots were facilitated by Supply Chain Network and carried out in 2003 and 2006 with both representing successful demonstrations of the potential supply chain benefits available through ‘Internet of Things’ implementations.

Key to both of these pilots were RFID enabled pallets and the first project was the SCN Grocery Pilot which was carried out utilizing RFID at the pallet level for automated Distribution Centre (DC) receiving.

For the second pilot in the Office Products Industry, a combination of both pallet level and case level RFID was utilized to deliver significant results for both automated Distribution Centre Receiving and automated Direct to Store Delivery receiving. … Read more


Seven Signs Your Retail Business Needs an Omni-channel Makeover

Are your retail customers finding you less attractive lately? Consider your position on the seven signs shared below and you may decide your retail business needs an omni-channel makeover!

This is not just an idle suggestion we’re making as the omni-channel retail buzz is quickly becoming a roar and with good reason.

Not since the advent of price tags, cash registers and the ubiquitous apparel hanger has there been a retail industry innovation poised to create such major change. … Read more


Reaching the Supply Chain Sustainability Tipping Point


Since the 1990’s I’ve been writing about sustainability, cap & trade and carbon footprints mainly in the realm of logistics and supply chain as that’s where I live.

Supply chains are incredibly important in this context as roughly 75% of most company’s carbon footprint emanates from their supply chain.

My mantra throughout this time has been ‘when not if’ these measures will be enacted and today I have to say we’re rapidly approaching the tipping point for supply chain sustainability. … Read more