Why does marketing better agile?

3 min reading

What if you launch a great marketing campaign, very well planned, upon several media, engaging resources in and outside the company, producing lots of contents, dealing with the brand image then it fails? Unusual? Less than you can expect.

Marketing became increasingly complex by dealing with rising unpredictability in markets. And if project management in unpredictable environments shifted to Agile, why then marketing shouldn’t benefit by Agile methodologies dealing with unpredictability?

Actually in marketing the Agile trend is already up and running, the Agile Marketing Manifesto has been written in 2012, since then many marketers have joined the movement. Many, but not too many, marketing industry remain cold against Agile culture. Well, you can argue that management is not in love yet with Agile either. Point taken.

Yes, Agile is great, but is not yet a mainstream out of IT driven businesses and some other big brands. There it still a lot to do for agilists all over the world to empower organisations effectiveness via modern methods of management that are collected under the Agile umbrella.

Agile is based on few, strong principles and values with the purpose to shift the culture in organisational behaviour. Marketers who serve clients within an Agile framework report better outcomes by an effective improvement of collaboration. Why that can happen?

Several techniques that are kernel in the Agile framework are designed to nurture an open collaboration, lower the blame upon failures, focus on learning by continuous improvement and value outcomes that include enhanced positions of teams and companies, rather than just expect outputs.

Some marketers report how an Agile framework requires a shift in clients qualification, companies have to learn how to overcome fear of an open collaboration, especially with suppliers. The need to remain safe into your own shell, avoiding responsibility for failures, leads people to stay away from accountability.

When an organisation has already embraced Agile, then become easier to lead marketing projects implementing Agile techniques like build teams of multiple functions or run test upon options instead using HyPPO decision making.

Benefit of just few techniques implemented are evident even if not immediate.

The risk most reported are related to abandonment of agile methods, that turns into rotate people into each team or give up to follow team activities and just wait for updating, or lack in sponsorship. Factors that most probably cause these problems are reported as time pressure, resource scarcity and resistance to change. The first two can be more perceived than real, but the last one is more unlikely to be acknowledged.

What makes working into an Agile framework really different, no matter if you are developing an airplane or a marketing campaign, is the acceptance of failures. It doesn’t mean that Boeing can be forgiven as much as Bloomingdale can be forgotten. None of them are. But whilst Boeing is used to Agile framework and many of their project went successful, we have no idea what leaded Bloomingdale in launching a marketing campaign offending men and horrifying women.

In both cases something didn’t work as expected. Those were both mistakes, failures. But please do not think that Agile approach forgive that kind of mistakes, it is exactly the opposite: Agile, when executed properly, puts in place an environment where experimentation, with small failures then reviews, support the learning process, ends protecting teams from big failures that can be fatal to organisation. 

In marketing we probably have been used to experimentations by testing audiences and interviewing customer clusters in order to decide, much before Agile was born, but that doesn’t authorise marketer to look down to agilists. In marketing we often accepted to deal with unverified assumptions, lacking in challenging people upon ideas and opinions, and just accomplish what the payer wants.

Agile in marketing is not only a good match, but a continuity, a boost of a culture that already deals with unpredictability. We can learn a lot by Agile project management, no wonder why those marketers who are not afraid to change, engaged already with Agile.

Why did you write it there?

Less is more:  “I know that half of what I spend in Advertising is just wasted money. The problem is that I don’t know which of the two halves is the right one.”

Just landed at Malpensa airport eventually I saw an advertising that got my curiosity, but a question rose to my mind suddenly: “Why? Why did you feel it was the right place to place your message?” Then another one: “What damn did you write there??”

I think sometime people forget the adv pillars:

Less is more” –  Being focused, write a minimal message that keep user’s interest!

Unique Selling Proposition” – Only one, very good reason that creates distintive value.

Be Remarkable” – Think “out of the box” in order to be read.

Think like your client does” –  What does really make the difference in the client’s mind?

Continue reading “Why did you write it there?”

Theranos. A strange world where burglars win…

From 4.5 Billion to nothing …

Forbes admitted: we were wrong: “Our estimate of Holmes’ wealth was based entirely on her 50% stake in Theranos…

Is Elizabeth Holmes a hero or a thief?

Last year, Elizabeth Holmes topped the FORBES list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Today,  FORBES is lowering their estimate of her net worth  to nothing. Theranos had no comment.

 Forbes admitted: we were wrong. Any apologise, no sorry, just: “Our estimate of Holmes’ wealth was based entirely on her 50% stake in Theranos…” then  Theranos shares are not traded on any stock market (now); private investors purchased stakes in 2014 at a price that implied a $9 billion valuation for the company…” then “FORBES spoke to a dozen venture capitalists, analysts and industry experts and concluded that a more realistic value for Theranos is $800 million, rather than $9 billion” then  …It also represents a generous multiple of the company’s sales, which FORBES learned about from a person familiar with Theranos’ finances”.

 Here are three reasons FORBES lowered our estimated value of the blood testing company:

Too much is unknown. Everything but the $9 billion valuation is secret. Theranos said it would replace traditional blood tests, in which a needle is used to extract blood into a vial, with machines that could do dozens of tests on a drop of blood taken from a finger. But it has presented no data proving its systems work.

Theranos has not delivered. Holmes has been promising to publish data for six months, but hadn’t submitted a single paper as of April. She initially presented the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a single test for herpes virus as proof that her technology worked…

Theranos’ target market may not exist. Theranos, which charges less per test, would need to dramatically improve margins on its tests, as well as get many more people to take its blood tests. 

What world we are living in, where a 19 years old girl can fund a corporation, get millions from professional investors and before turn 32, get valued billions without a proper control on what she is really doing?

We can’t say here if she is guilty of fraud or what really happened there, we can only see how the world of finance has skyrocketed Holmes as an entrepreneurial hero without control. Now that controls are in place it seems that it was a fake. Yes, a whole fake, not only something missing or some mistakes, the technology that would have overcome the classical blood test method it seems that simply hasn’t been developed yet, probably is not possible and if also it could be, the business model won’t work. Does it look like another “Enron”? Is she another Jeffrey Skilling? Clearly it seems that America is the country of freedom that really allows pirates entrepreneurs gathering billions from private citizen like Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987) or Leonardo di Caprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2014).

Maybe people need to believe in someone good and successful to which rely and simply invest their money with no hassle. Elizabeth Holmes was perfect: a young pretty girl from a wealth family, no degree but a bright idea (no matter if that idea can really work), strong and brave and a very good communicator. 

The American Dream: be smart, get success and become rich. Meanwhile this dream glimmers for people, is not clear how it attracts also professional investors! How can it be that professional investors put their money into an enterprise without having enough control? $724 millions is not a tiny amount, and that investment has boosted the company to rise $9 billions of “value” on the stock market, gathering money form non aware citizens that rely on the finance world, the same financial world that has already created the “.com” bubble once at the end of 20th century and then the “real estate” bubble up to the 2008. That “financial industry” that now owns Preferred Shares of Theranos Inc.: if something is wrong venture capitalists won’t lose their money.

There are millions of young people out there that are attracted by the dream of developing their own business, many of them are honest and good guys and girls that simply rely on the opportunity to create their future. For the most of them it is pretty hard to find the money to support their ideas. What really helps, in getting investment into someone’s business today, is the ability to communicate and be persuasive more than anything else. The more you are able to persuade people, the more investors you will convince, the more money you will get. And persuasion, as Robert Cialdini taught us, is not based on real facts, the art of persuasion relies on the communicative ability not on the real elements that make you right. 

Venture capitalists seem have the Saint Graal of the knowledge about business, they seem judge properly ideas and business ventures in order to be safe about their investments. Now, if the charge to Elisabeth will be confirmed, the situation seems slightly dark: the venture capitalists didn’t know about the fraud? If so, the only reason could be that they are incompetents and the system doesn’t work – but we were already aware of it having watched those movies -. On the other hand if the venture capitalists were well aware about the big fraud, it means that they have got the advantage of keeping safe their investment and those money boosted Theranos’ shares value up to $9 billions.

Among all those millions of young who are building their future by developing honest businesses, there are some of them which are only focused on make money, no matter how. And, it seems, there is a system that make profits on them. No matter what they do. Is this the American Dream? Just make money not matter how?

Probably the bad and the good are hard to share properly: no system is perfect and there are around the world even worst systems in managing economies and citizen freedom, but we could learn by the failure of the american system and create a better environment in which freedom doesn’t go without control. Like an old Italian motto says: “Trust with no control is faith, and I don’t believe either in God.” Maybe Americans are too religious… 

Unfortunately America is going to vote for president nowadays and Donald Trump seems having possibilities to win, and this month United Kingdom is going to vote for leaving Europe: the Brexit. If those two results will be achieved probably we will see a dark time furthermore. Rumours say that Donald Trump is a shark in making money – do you believed he was a priest?- What values he will bring into politics and social issues it’s something that nobody knows, but some can already figured it out.

And what will be about the UK economy if this country won’t belong to Europe anymore? Who will buy property in London to sustain building industry and property value that made British so rich? How the financial market will work outside Europe?

Then yes, we should be able to invest supporting new ideas and rewarding innovators for their contribution to improve our lives, but our societies can’t allow any shortcut to become rich. More, be rich wouldn’t be the target of the life, have a life rich of love, emotions and happiness can be the life’s goal. That’s the change we have to nurture into people minds.

Cerco persone…

Looking for someone…

When we really look for someone to hire very often we struggle in searching the person who fit our requirement. It happens for almost any kind of job, level and wage. Why it happens? What are the skills that are so difficult to find? 



Cerco Persone in Gamba” I known the owner of this small bar in Italy. At that time he was struggling in find someone to hire, every day he had several interviews, he also hired several people but after a while they went away or he let them to go. “Finally they have ONLY to get clients’ orders and bring drinks to the tables…” he said. So the searching notice appeared on the high street: “I’m looking for SMART people” he wrote.  Many “people” later the bar owner left his business. 

My friend the British gentleman wouldn’t agree with me. Last Sunday we spent amazing time together with our families and in the very little time we talked about business he stated: “I struggle in finding good people, I receive CV almost every days, I do not read any of them, I have no time for it, I just read the presentation letter, if it catch me then I think to proceed, otherwise…

My friend is a real British gentleman and knowing him a little I can say he is a beautiful person. He is educated, skilled and proud of his work. His company near Nottingham employs some dozen of person who arrived there from many part of the world and they work happy in this good, almost centenarian, company. I can say he is a good person to work with.

The bar owner wasn’t so smart. He was well known in the town to be almost crap, bossy and not educated at all. He is the boss you won’t ever want to work with.

In some way neither the British gentleman nor the Italian bossy barman have really been able to find good people to work with. In the other hand how many employees we all known that struggle in finding a job? The situation is the same in that position too. 



To find the right people to get along is a tough matter, we can see it with the OnLine Dating industry that makes money on the need to “find the Soulmate” that very few of us really find. Or the Recruiting industry that makes millions just matching employer and employees. We can only say that sometime clarify the requirements and be able to build the relationship carefully can help, if not in finding the best people, it definitely helps in adapting people each other, to create a common sense and a reciprocal acceptation, the possibility to enter in the other’s shoes and life, to share deep intentions and beliefs, understand the person means to become able in seeing the beautiful that this person can bring on the table. This is not “the shortcut for solution” when things are so complicated the solution can only be reached with a more complicated process. 

Maybe to become aware that the “perfect Soulmate” doesn’t exist could help in creating a process that allow normal people to fit each other. In this way one idea arrives from the almost new movement Poliamory. This idea has been developed mainly over a big assumption: “Because the perfect soulmate doesn’t exist, I can develop a relationship with more persons in different fashions and intensities and for different reasons, but at the end no one partner will be so perfect to fulfil the whole of me”.  You can agree or not, but this movement takes things seriously. In my opinion we could find the soulmate, but if you just wait for he/she that appears into yours living room I’m afraid your dreams won’t become true.  

Obviously your “partner”, in life as well as in business, has to fit some (basic) requirements, but the more requirements we set the more difficult will be to match all of them. The result will be that even the potentially good ones won’t fit.

Instead to set many requirements in order to clarify what we want, become able to define clearly just fews important requirements that are fundamental would be a good method for the searching process. It will become important to be aware of what those basic pillars are and why and how over them we are able to build a win-win relationship that create value for both parties.

That’s not something that works one way only: both parties have to be able to set their own requirements patterns properly. Here the point: you couldn’t build a win-win relationship with a person who doesn’t know what he/she want.


It is what Peter Senge has called Personal Mastery: the ability to know ourselves and know how interact with others and the environment around us in order to achieve better results.

The Italian barista was the first who lack in Personal Mastery so he will find harder to get along with someone else properly, at least in his business. My British Gentleman friend has a good level of Personal Mastery and actually he is working with many people very well (and he has a wonderful wife and children too). His issue in finding good person to work with is more connected with the lack of Personal Mastery that he notice in many people in the job market. 

But this lacks in Personal Mastery is not just related to the countryside. Here, in the Greater London Area, a city of almost 15 millions of residents, the lack in Personal Mastery is even stronger. The high pressure of the stressed life and the high speed in doing things definitely affect the requirements’ pattern for both parties, workers and business manager as well. A lack in public education, a lack in training offered by companies, a huge amount of time just waste in commuting, the high pressure due to high life’s cost make the life of  anyone harder and harder. Only the good …survive!


Zygmunt Bauman in his “Liquid Modernity” shows how the investment in getting skills in advance has no more value because you don’t know if those competencies will really be useful in your life. Things change so fast in this liquid world that even good, valuable knowledges become soon out of date. This is a powerful disincentive in spending time, investing in building up great strong abilities BEFORE you are required to have them.

And the problem become bigger and bigger: if having the right skills in advance is not possible, what skills people must have to be able to get along each others properly? 

the fifth discipline

We won’t go into them now, any minimal list wouldn’t have sense without a proper explanation, but the meaning would be clear now: we have the solution to find right people: creating them. We have to invest in building the proper relationship working hard on its development starting by some good qualities: that Personal Mastery. As a society we have to set the possibility to anyone to develop his/hers own Personal Mastery as a standard, not only get knowledge.

A society that is able to help people in developing Personal Mastery is not an utopia, it’s something that Novo Nordisk , the company that has the best CEO in the world (HBR November 2015) is already doing.

The best environment that allow employee to growth properly and nurture their Personal Mastery is what Buurtzorg the Netherland based healthcare organisation is already creating day by day.  (Strategy + Business July 2015).

The Personal Mastery is something that my friend Jurgen Appelo with his “Management 3.0” is bringing into companies around the world pursuing the enhancement of the people management methodology that would allow people to become able to master themselves better and better. His collection of good practices in managing teams and persons is aimed to get better results; and better results depend by persons; and people achieve good results when they live and work better and smarter… When they become able to develop  their own Personal Mastery.

The Personal Mastery is what we have to enhance in people at any level, this is what our society should incentivate to nurture and develop in each person, this is what companies have to support has organisational effort to become real Learning Organisations. Personal Mastery will allow us to create relationships that work and through them get along each other much better in life as well as in work environment.

Inversione di Marcia

Franco Tagliente, un collega legato ai miei esordi nel marketing, 1986. Un’altra epoca. Franco  era un consulente affermato già allora, io iniziavo appena. Un suo scritto di allora mi fu di grande ispirazione: La Scoperta del Marketing.  ( in questo blog )

Oggi ci ritroviamo con Franco a discutere di Decrescita e di un Marketing completamente nuovo, un marketing etico.

Io e Franco abbiamo sempre operato eticamente ed oggi crediamo che questo non sia più una scelta, ma una necessità.

Qui il suo testo sulla opportunità di rivedere il marketing.

(mia è la grafica, mentre è sul set di “U-Turn” la foto di Sean Penn e Jennifer Lopez)

Grazie Franco.

Qui il testo Completo in pdf


Landing Project aimed to Italian companies

Non sempre gli atterraggi vanno lisci come si vorrebbe.

In termini di business, raramente un nuovo mercato si presenta come una pista ben asfaltata: una runaway liscia e senza ostacoli. Mentre un atterraggio di fortuna comporta molti rischi, uno adeguatamente pianificato permette di conoscere il “terreno” sul quale si intende scendere ed evita capovolgimenti.

Here the article in Italian: Landingprojects

Valuable or not valuable? This is the question…

How to design a better Value Proposition for the post consumerism economy? The paradigm is changing fast likewise the desire to own goods, even virtual ones; what then is the value that makes sense in our lives?

I’m just fed up with networking events’ proposals. If you would attend just at half of those organised every day in London City you can’t work; you merely attend events. Each organiser shows the great value you will get attending his event. From the “breakfast meeting” starting at 7.30am with just the food cost (£10) you will meet teens of entrepreneurs (all of them ready to do businesses…). Then the “mid morning meeting” just meet people, entrepreneurs and business men over a topic talking about businesses…


Get the whole article here



By driving you may reach your destination. But, how you proceed makes the difference!

When you drive a car or you lead an organisation you have to take hundreds of choices. The quality of each choice creates the quality of the journey and, at last, the quality of the lead.

I was travelling with a friend some days ago, he has driven thousands of miles in his life; he has had many experiences travelling for his job and, like many people, he is convinced of his driving ability. But, not  positioning his hands correctly on the steering-wheel to turn it caused him a bad feeling on car governor and he braked suddenly while turn so that the car behind us honked his horn loudly. It showed clearly he is not a good driver after all

Get the whole article here: Drive!


SOAR – Sales Organisational Advanced Reshape

The company in brief

The company’s business was in the food industry in Italy. The organisation was over 60 people and had a turnover of 20 million a year. In the last 30 years it has produced a consistent and, year after year, increased cash flow. The management has set the business procedures on their best way to meet the seasonal demands of the tourist areas and it allowed them to become the leading company in the market for the last 3 decades. The risk management strategy also led to several real estate investments.




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We know what we trust and we trust in what we know.

Could we turn into confidence about how life will be? 

It’s quite easy to trust in what we have learnt: how did Tiger Woods become confident in ball flight if not through learning it step by step? How do we become worthy in best practices if not by placing focus on learning? Learning means understanding how things work, practice, repeat, make experience.

But life is always a premiere rarely you can say: “Sorry, repeat please, the next one will come better….”.  Oh yes, we learn how to manage our life, and step by step we learn how to run decision making even if we could never keep all variables under control…

Get the whole article here


Have the rules been made to be broken?

Did you ever break a rule?
I do that (quite often) and for what I know, lots of successful people also do that.  Are we all bad people?

Being able to avoid troubles and reach the goal is an essential skill of the life know-how: the ability to visualise possible scenarios and make the right moves, one after another. In a business environment we can’t control all variables, and above that there are several rules to attend to. How can we be effective in achieving goals in a highly competitive, troubled environment?

Continue reading “Have the rules been made to be broken?”

The Future

 (with Kiran Kandade)

I was talking with a colleague who mentioned about a possible upcoming change initiative for a small town and we were exchanging ideas. The background of the town is not unlike that which many other towns and communities all over the world are facing. Weak economy, conflicts between various factions, and limited (if any) discussions on the visions and possibilities for the future. As jobs keep vanishing, the younger people are fleeing, leaving behind an ageing population facing extreme economic inequality. On the positive side, there is a lot of natural beauty in the form of a lake and a river that runs through the town, a rich heritage and history as well as a sense of belonging and community among those still there. The project will support people’s mind change by giving them tools for shifting their beliefs. And one analogy has popped up in our minds:

Kiran, I’d like to remind you a short story…

Get the whole article here

Why analysis is not enough

Why Analysis Is Not Enough And Passion Is So Important 

A Story From Henry Mintzberg by  Karl Moore (Mc Gill University)

In the Analytic module of our International Masters  In Practicing Management and our Advanced Leadership Program for executives, my colleague Henry Mintzberg likes to use this story to show how analysis can get in the way of really understanding an organization and its purpose.

“A young, enthusiastic MBA was finally given the opportunity to apply his learning. He was asked to carry out a survey of a group with which he was not normally familiar and submit recommendations as to how its efficiency could be increased. He selected as his target a symphony orchestra. Having read up on the tools of the trade, he attended his first concert and submitted the following analysis:

  1. For considerable periods, the four oboe players had nothing to do. The number of oboes should therefore be reduced, and the work spread more evenly over the whole concert program, thus eliminating the peaks and valleys of activity.
  1. All twenty violins were playing identical notes. This would seem to be an unnecessary duplication, so the staff of this section should be cut drastically.
  1. Obsolescence of equipment is another matter warranting further investigation. The program noted that the leading violinist’s instrument was several hundred years old. Now, if normal depreciation schedules had been applied, the value of this instrument would have been reduced to zero and the purchase of more modern equipment recommended long ago.
  1. Much effort was absorbed in the playing of demisemiquavers, which seems to be an unnecessary refinement. It is recommended that all notes be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver. If this were done, it would be possible to use trainees and lower-grade operatives more extensively.
  1. In many cases, the operators were using one hand to hold their instruments. The introduction of a fixture would free that hand for other work. Also, it was noted that excessive effort being used by the players of wind instruments whereas, one compressor could supply enough air for all the instruments – and under more accurately controlled conditions.
  1. Finally, there seemed to be too much repetition of some of the musical passages. Therefore, scores should be pruned to a considerable extent. No useful purpose is served by repeating on the horns something which has already been handled by the strings. It is estimated that, if all redundant passages were eliminated, the whole concert time of two hours could be reduced to twenty minutes and there would be no need for an intermission.”

(Published more or less as above in the mid 1950s in an American professor’s bulletin, a Canadian military journal, and Harper’s Magazine, based on an anonymous memorandum circulating in London and probably published originally in Her Majesty’s Treasury of the Courts). Thanks to Phil LeNir of Coachingourselves for reminding me that my colleague Henry Mintzberg often uses this in executive classes.

Karl Moore

I Asked Prof. Karl Moore to allow me to publish that amazing story on my website, I think there are great means in that short story, first is a mean which involve Leadership, then there is one which involve the System Thinking, finally there is the main one about the disconnection between the output evaluation and an Economics approach in which both, Henry Mintzberg and Karl Moore set correctly their focus. 

Do someone think that’s only a joke?  

Get the article

Arguing with a colleague

Positive approaches couldn’t be the same, but positive confrontation opens more opportunities to create new meaning, for both counterpart.

Kiran Kandade is an International Organisation Development Consultant based in Singapore. Her approach is deeply based on the improvement of Appreciative Inquiry to create organisational changes. Kiran is an appreciated colleague and a good friend. Recently we “argued” about life lessons: do they come to us just by successes or even by failures?

Get the whole article here

Liquid Modernity?

Zygmunt Bauman’s theory applied to organisational thinking.

Competition through innovation is realised by a sudden impact followed by an immediate obsolescence. Innovation as a continuous driver for improvement, implies a fast changing organisation not only in terms of products and services but also regard to ideas and culture. New ideas serve to overtake old, obsolete knowledge. We are always looking for new better knowledge so we can throw away the old one…

Get the whole article here

Focused Leader

Concentration, please!

The ability to concentrate, to focus one’s attention, has always been considered a key competence for executives. But what concentration are we talking about? How do we tell if something is worthy to make us focus or concentrate on it?

The Focused Leader, as the Harvard Business Review publishes this month, in an article by Daniel Goleman, raises the ideas of focusing and executives’ behaviors related to the concentration on their tasks…

Get the whole article here

Business Development

Business development and strategic planning

Evaluation of business models by market, resources, culture and strategic choices.

Strategy sets the business model backbone. To analyze markets, the main business model issues is defining a precise strategy for a coherent pattern of choices. The Vision & Mission definition process helps entrepreneurs to clarify their Brand Character.  When we know who we want to be, we can spell out the behavior we have to show, the performance to act out, and to move into business relations.


The content’s items:




4 P Marketing Model
SWOT analysis
Back to the Business Model
Value Proposition

Get the whole article here

About Bossy …

Leader’s behaviours which affect effectiveness.

How do we manage our own personal skills to become more effective in the crucial theme in this era, the Leadership?

Here not casual tips, not true for free, just some idea which come from experience and study, because to talk about leadership require we have acted good bossy.

The content’s items:

Personal Integrity and Credibility
Adapt you style at the New Economy environment.
Be able to give “Improving Feedback” to all around you
Focus your organisation outward
Criticise with care
Set a To-Do List that works
What people want from you!
Build better environment asking questions
Managing team conflicts
Exceed Clients’ Expectations
Creative leader is who:
Create your market on the rock
Improve Your Team’s Performance 
Asking better questions!
Focus on your core business
Important Vs Urgent 
Recover From Your Mistakes 

Get the whole article here

The ABC of Efficient Communication

A good rule for effective communication lies in the ability to create a message in an efficient way. Here we will see what efficient means in communication then work out a method to create value through messages.

Effectiveness and efficiency are not synonyms but they are connected. Effectiveness is the ability to achieve a goal, in communication is transferring the whole meaning through a message. Efficiency is to create the message with less resources: the best output using the least effort. By other hand, a complex message whereby object is overly clarified will be fully comprehensible, nevertheless many receivers could find such a message too heavy to assimilate. Time and effort to decode the message could seem futile if it requires too much of them. At the same time, the effort and time used to create a fully comprehensible, often redundant message, will have been vain, and no efficient. Such a message will be not efficient because it requires too many resources compared to its purpose. How can we understand which messages are redundant? How and why does the aim of clarity create the opposite effect?  When is a message redundant and when is it incisive?

Continue reading “The ABC of Efficient Communication”

Vision & Mission

Vision & Mission: Unknown or confused

Are we really sure it’s clear what they mean? As the strategic approach shows they are essential milestones in Leadership. As consultants we often see how they are misused by many companies, sometimes they are unclear or mistaken. Many people talk about Vision and Mission, do they know what they really are?

Just some weeks ago I was called into a client’s office for a consultation. Here they advised me about a consultancy they had had about their Vision and Mission statements. They then showed them. Here starting the matter, or the nightmare begins…

Get the whole article here


How to dismantle the sales machine

Is your sales management still leading by structured procedure? Does it work or are you experiencing business nightmares?

Most of us have set sales as a structured process in order to be more efficient, particularly when managing a wide number of sales reps or to get under control and make  predictable the most unpredictable stage of the business. All of us have set KPI criteria and metrics to foresee ahead and make our forecasts more reliable.

As Zygmunt Bauman has correctly pointed out, we are living in a “Liquid Modernity” and it affects many of our habits. We need to shift many process and structured procedures to create a new approach in a changed era.

Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon and Nicholas Toman figured out very well on Harvard Business Review (Nov. 2013) the real meaning of overpassing the sales process to embrace flexibility, judgment and focusing on results which are the main skills who works todays in sales…

Get the whole article here


Canada, Italian export

Perché esportare qui.

Le mie impressioni sul Canada, qualche idea per gli imprenditori italiani che cercano nuovi mercati.

Grazie a Paolo Pugni che ha posto queste domande stimolando una discussione che mi onoro di aprire a favore di tutti:

Paolo ha chiesto di spiegare, rispondendo alle sue domande, i motivi per scegliere un determinato paese per investire risorse in un progetto di Landing, cioè di atterraggio in un mercato di sbocco. Ovvio che si tratta di valutare il ROI del progetto e, quindi, prima di tutto del potenziale del mercato. Un mercato il cui costo di entrata elevato sia bilanciato da un elevato mercato potenziale può essere in equilibrio, quindi conoscere la domanda potenziale e i costi di Landing rappresenta lo scopo che ogni progetto di valutazione di opportunità deve riuscire a fornire con almeno una buona approssimazione…

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Le organizzazioni che apprendono

Le organizzazioni sono chiamate a ridurre al minimo la propria struttura ed a attuare la presa delle decisioni là dove occorre immediatamente. La conoscenza è divenuta la competenza distintiva fondamentale, l’apprendimento è la funzione che la alimenta.


La turbolenza nello scenario competitivo sta modificando rapidamente, sia le regole del gioco che le certezze di cui abbiamo vissuto finora. La globalizzazione, e attraverso questa, la concorrenza dei paesi emergenti, che sembrava essere la variabile più importante con cui confrontarci, è diventata uno dei fattori in grado di modificare pesantemente gli scenari. Altre variabili stanno entrando in gioco: il ruolo della finanza internazionale, l’invecchiamento della popolazione occidentale e il rapido cambio degli atteggiamenti dei consumatori.


Questi ed altri fattori stanno ponendo una forte pressione sulle aziende obbligandole a modificare i comportamenti ed a riallinearsi a una domanda sempre più esigente da parte dei mercati. Domanda che, grazie alla sempre maggiore trasparenza, permessa dall’accesso all’informazione, che le nuove tecnologie rendono disponibile, richiede prodotti sempre meno cari e servizi sempre più complessi. Tutte componenti che pongono l’attenzione sulla capacità di valorizzare la componente umana e il sistema delle competenze presenti nelle organizzazioni. Inoltre le aziende, per svolgere il proprio ruolo, divengono sempre più sistemi aperti con una catena del valore che passa da prodotti/servizi approvvigionati dai fornitori in tempo reale e che, dopo la trasformazione, vengono inviati a clienti giusto in tempo per le loro esigenze. Le nuove organizzazioni sono sempre più strutture complesse inserite in un sistema di cooperazione progettuale con partners, prima, dopo, ma anche al fianco della catena del valore.


I fornitori a monte della catena vengono integrati nella progettazione e nella produzione, mentre a valle, i clienti, intervengono  nel processo di definizione del prodotto. Altri partner intervengono anche al fianco della catena del valore creando prodotti/servizi che si integrano con il prodotto principale aumentandone il valore d’uso. Le nuove logiche pongono quindi l’accento sul fattore umano e sulla partecipazione dei saperi al sistema nel suo complesso. Vi sono poi due altre variabili che possono condizionare la competitività dell’impresa: la velocità con la quale si riesce a governare il cambiamento e la capacità di adattamento al nuovo contesto competitivo. Entrambi sono fattori che incidono sulle caratteristiche del patrimonio umano dell’impresa ed in particolare sulla capacità di far evolvere i saperi, le competenze e i comportamenti sia individuali che collettivi delle organizzazioni. In particolare il tempo è diventato un fattore competitivo primario e le abilità manageriali connesse alla gestione del tempo costituiscono una risorsa immateriale che si incorpora nei processi produttivi sotto forma di produzione di conoscenze formalizzate e trasmissibili.

Lo sviluppo delle tecnologie informatiche e comunicative comporta anche la possibilità e la necessità, di organizzare in modo diverso le relazioni tra i diversi nodi della rete di competenze e i processi. L’abbattimento delle distanze e la possibilità di utilizzare nuovi canali per condurre le transazioni di beni e servizi, hanno creato un panorama completamente nuovo, ricco di opportunità e di minacce, in cui il successo e il raggiungimento del vantaggio competitivo sono legati alla capacità di gestire al meglio le conoscenze create.


Tutto ciò evidenzia come la nuova impresa basi la propria competitività presente e futura sulla capacità di valorizzare la componente “knowledge“, sia individuando il valore del capitale umano esistente e, a volte, non del tutto conosciuto, sia gestendone lo sviluppo.


Spesso le organizzazioni conoscono solo in parte il valore del capitale umano presente che è articolato in diverse componenti: i saperi individuali, le conoscenze collettive, i brevetti, il valore delle relazioni con i clienti, con i fornitori, con i partners, il valore delle relazioni con i collaboratori, le capacità organizzative che si esplicitano anche con la padronanza delle tecnologie impiegate.


Oggi i saperi statici non sono più sufficienti per restare competitivi ed è sempre più necessario gestirne le dinamiche: le nuove tecnologie danno un contributo infrastrutturale alle imprese per gestire le interdipendenze dei saperi, il loro sviluppo e valorizzazione, ma occorre fare di più. È necessario cambiare le attitudini e i comportamenti delle persone, mettere in comune le conoscenze e le esperienze, migliorando le capacità di ascolto e di comunicazione sia verso l’interno che all’esterno delle aziende. Partire, in pratica, dalle conoscenze e dalle esperienze per consolidare le competenze delle persone.


Le organizzazioni stanno sempre più evolvendo, dapprima verso “Knowledge Organizations” e poi in “Learning Organizations” in modelli in cui anche i principali workflow aziendali possono essere ridefiniti.


Questo processo di cambiamento può veramente permettere la valorizzazione dello scambio di conoscenze e la creazione di esperienze adatte ad imparare dai propri errori, rendere  le migliori pratiche accessibili e riconosciute, avere accesso a saperi distribuiti anche distanti: imparare dai clienti, dai fornitori, dai partner esterni e dai concorrenti. Gli elementi differenzianti delle imprese sono sempre più legati alla capacità di gestire non solo le competenze individuali, ma anche i saperi collettivi e le loro dinamiche, superando le attitudini e i comportamenti, spesso settari e difensivi dei singoli e dei gruppi.


Lo scambio di conoscenze è una delle variabili  più importanti che fanno crescere il capitale delle imprese, ma è nella capacità di gestire la dinamica dello sviluppo di questo patrimonio in cui, oggi, risiede la chiave del successo. È dimostrato che le imprese di maggior successo hanno fatto leva sulla capacità di rompere alcune barriere culturali, sia interne che esterne, alleandosi o incorporando saperi totalmente esterni e nuovi (dalle biotecnologie alle nanotecnologie) o ripensando completamente i propri modelli di business. Occorre essere in grado di valorizzare alcuni drivers che sono determinanti per le logiche descritte: dal superamento delle chiusure individuali, all’evoluzione verso attitudini aperte e partecipative, dalla capacità di ascolto, al lavoro di gruppo con, al centro, lo scambio di conoscenze e di competenze, in questo modo le Learning Organizations saranno in condizioni di crescere nei nuovi scenari competitivi.

Le preferenze psicologiche di K.G. Jung


lo strumento di valutazione delle preferenze psicologiche più diffuso al mondo.

Le preferenze psicologiche sono caratteristiche dell’essere umano che determinano il comportamento agito. Vengono valutate secondo le due dimensioni principali della teoria originale di C. G. Jung: estroversione e razionalità.

La dimensione dell’estroversione è la dimensione di una tendenza più o meno accentuata a percepire come centro del proprio interesse il mondo esterno invece dell’io interiore: chi manifesta un riferimento esterno sarà maggiormente interessato agli eventi ed alle informazioni che il mondo circostante gli offre, chi invece predilige un riferimento interno tenderà ad essere più autonomo dagli stimoli esterni e nelle sue decisioni e scelte.

La dimensione della razionalità è anche essa una dimensione continua che, da un lato evidenzia una tendenza di distanza razionale e cognitiva dai fatti e dagli eventi, mentre dal l’altro indica una maggiore capacità di coinvolgimento nei confronti di ciò che accade.

Conoscere la miscela di ingredienti delle preferenze psicologiche di una persona, premette di comprendere meglio i suoi comportamenti ed i suoi valori.

Il modello DISC restituisce un profilo personale caratterizzato da 4 parametri Dominanza, Influenza, Stabilità, Cautela, le quattro principali caratteristiche delle preferenze psicologiche. Ogni parametro influisce sulla composizione delle preferenze della persona.

Quando comprendiamo meglio il nostro comportamento come insieme di tendenze naturali che possiamo rilevare, percepiamo i punti di forza così come delle aree di miglioramento. Possiamo diventare capaci di riconoscere questi parametri anche negli altri e comprendere i loro comportamenti relazionali preferiti.

L’incontro tra estroverso ed introverso può portare ad una difficoltà relazionale supera

bile se la differente preferenza è adeguatamente compresa. Anche quando le differenze sono ben più complesse il modello DISC fornisce una valida chiave di interpretazione.

I rapporti interpersonali di carattere economico vedono un “compratore” ed un “venditore”, la modalità relazionale è decisa dal compratore, il venditore può sviluppare una relazione migliore se ha la capacità di adeguare i suoi comportamenti alle preferenze del cliente.

Il modello DISC, permette di comprendere le preferenze psicologiche con oggettività, la comprensione del modello attraverso una restituzione ben strutturata del profilo assicura le fondamenta per un percorso di sviluppo delle competenze relazionali, che sono oggi sempre più strategiche nei comportamenti organizzativi.



Oggi ho tenuto un corso di comunicazione…

Quinta giornata, non male per una tipologia che di solito dura uno o due giorni al massimo. Public Speaking si definisce, oggi che non riusciamo a fare a meno della lingua inglese.

Biomedicale, azienda in forte sviluppo, tanti ragazzi giovani, quasi tutti ingegneri. Un percorso molto bello, abbiamo lavorato insieme per 5 sabati, loro hanno dedicato 5 sabati della loro vita di ragazzi giovani per imparare qualcosa da noi! Stupefacente! Spesso diamo per scontato che la gente venga ai nostri corsi, investa del tempo per ascoltarci, ma forse non sempre prestiamo adeguata attenzione al valore di queste loro scelte. Tanto più se riguardano giornate extralavorative. Il mio “socio” è dovuto andare via mentre io stavo ultimando gli incontri individuali di fine corso. Mi piace restituire un feedback individuale, personale e “intimo” e contemporaneamente raccogliere direttamente la loro impressione, il loro giudizio: stimola molto la mia energia gialla, il mio desiderio di conferma, di riconoscimento. Mi permette anche di capire come stanno le cose davvero, cosa è andato male. E’ bello sentirti dire che “io all’inizio non ci credevo, venivo ma ero convinta che non sarebbe servito a nulla…”. Valeria, dal tono duro e critico, non era stato difficile capire che non ci credeva, anzi, all’inizio ci guadava un pò come degli alieni. E Riccardo, “accidenti, davvero non pensavo che sarebbe stato così bello, grazie.”. Quando ho detto a Biancamaria che la sua prova finale era stata MMB -Molto Molto Buona- ed avevo avuto difficoltà ad individuare dei punti di miglioramento, lei mi ha guardato con due occhioni spalancati che erano la gioia fatta realtà. E come troppo spesso mi capita, l’emozione ha tracimato anche dai miei occhi. Possibile che debba sempre avere un Kleenex a portata di mano in questi momenti?? Ma la cosa che mi resterà dentro per sempre e per cui vale la pena di essere qui, a mezzanotte, su questa tastiera è ricordare Valeria. Si, Valeria quella che non ci credeva e ci trattava con sufficienza, quasi disprezzo; difficile carpirle un contributo, farla lavorare con motivazione. Potevamo darla per persa, o meglio mai arrivata. Alla prova finale un disastro, ha preso una cantonata dietro l’altra, mentre eseguiva la sua prova mi sono detto “non ce la può fare”.  Napoletana, giovane, piuttosto bella, un ingegnere biomedicale. Eppure, o proprio per questo, era li davanti a tutti a portare avanti una performance per la quale avrebbe poi desiderato sprofondare. Non ammetto che i feedback dell’aula riguardino aspetti di miglioramento: il feedback dei colleghi deve essere di rinforzo, quindi esclusivamente “Quello che mi è piaciuto….” Eppure a Valeria era difficile trovare qualcosa di positivo. Io stesso avrei voluto dirle “.. Valeria, ma che hai fatto???” L’immediato feedback del coordinatore “… meglio che per un po’ non esci sul campo e che rivediamo i contenuti… … Hai detto una quantità di … “inesattezze”…”.Devastante. Ho fermato il feedback cambiando discorso, noi non siamo qui per i contenuti ma per la forma, e siamo andati oltre.

Il viso di Valeria per tutta la giornata sembrava attraversato da cirrocumuli carichi di pioggia. Nonostante Napoli nel cuore, non si scorgeva allegria in quella ragazza. Stava assorbendo il colpo. Man mano che andavamo avanti mi sono ricordato le parole di un mio carissimo amico, sindacalista prima, politico dopo, amministratore ora. Una delle menti più eccelse (termine che limito a pochissimi) che io conosca.

“La scuola deve essere inclusiva, non può essere selettiva..” mi diceva, “ … La funzione di insegnamento non deve selezionare chi sa e chi non sa, chi può andare avanti e chi no. L’insegnamento deve essere offerto a tutti e lasciato fruire da ognuno secondo le proprie possibilità, le proprie capacità, solo così potranno schiudersi le opportunità per ognuno, noi dobbiamo dare a tutti il supporto che occorre per avviare un percorso di crescita senza pretendere che ci arrivino nei tempi che abbiamo stabilito noi. La scuola deve essere comprendente non selettiva…” Tante volte ho riflettuto su queste parole, credevo di averle comprese. Oggi, di fronte a Valeria ho finalmente capito. Valeria non poteva essere giudicata né da me né da nessuno, Valeria possiede gli strumenti per capire e spiegarle che ha sbagliato non serve a nulla,Valeria ha sofferto in silenzio rendendosi conto del reale valore della sua prova, Valeria ha visto i colleghi portare a termine prove anche brillanti, o prove mediocri dalle quali ha imparato, se vogliamo, ancor di più. Ha imparato a vedere i limiti degli altri e riconoscerli come propri, ha visto gli errori che lei stessa ha fatto, ed ha sentito la bellezza e la “facile” fluidità di una prova brillante. Valeria ora ha gli strumenti per valutare e valutarsi. “La scuola deve essere comprendente…” Andrea accidenti a te, sento il suono della tua voce arrochita dal toscano mentre spieghi a me o ad una platea, con la stessa forza e convinzione il perché non si deve lasciare indietro nessuno.         Valeria mi chiede il perché di un feedback a tu per tu, è evidentemente preoccupata di ciò che potrà sentirsi dire. La tranquillizzo sugli scopi. Un attimo di pausa. “Valeria come è andata?” Pausa. Gli occhi neri e grandi, il viso largo, mi guarda con stupore ed attenzione. Napoli è sentimento.  Si scioglie, “Male…” quasi in lacrime. Niente pausa: “Come male? A me è piaciuto questo e quest’altro, avevi una buona presenza fisica, e quando ti rivolgevi all’aula, nei momenti in cui lo facevi, si sentiva che eri vera, eri tu, eri aperta e intessevi un rapporto, una relazione con il tuo pubblico…!!”

Sguardo dubbioso. Un lieve sorriso. “Si, e poi c’è questo e quest’altro, si capiva e si vedeva che tu …”


Il sorriso si allarga. Abbozza delle giustificazioni, fornisce la sua “versione dei fatti”, individua le cause del disastro. Mette in fila tutti i motivi che hanno prodotto il risultato, con chiarezza e precisione, sa cosa avrebbe dovuto fare e perché non lo ha fatto, si è resa conto di ogni cosa con una chiarezza e una logica che stupisce. Si lascia andare, parla, via via rinvigorita e consapevole di essere stata “accolta” di essere compresa. Le dico quello che ho visto io e del perché mi sembra sia accaduto, conferma, annuisce, rincalza, aggiunge dettagli e fornisce una prospettiva. La vedo come rinascere nelle mie mani, si riprende, ora mi sembra perfino più bella, più alta. Le passo un braccio attorno alle spalle, la stringo in un abbraccio fraterno e complice, la scuoto lievemente come per farla riprendere da un brutto sogno, i suoi occhi grandi e tondi mi trasmettono gratitudine, comprensione, motivazione e la percezione di potercela ancora fare. Ora va per la sua strada e salutando i colleghi è più fiera, sa di essersi messa in gioco e di esserne uscita con le ossa rotte, ma ha avuto il coraggio di farlo e di subirne le conseguenze, di comprendere e di immaginare una prospettiva di miglioramento. No, Valeria non ha nulla da invidiare ai suoi colleghi, lei dall’inizio non ci aveva creduto, il fatto che oggi sia qui e inizi ora il suo vero percorso di crescita vuol dire che la sua esperienza sarà diversa, magari per certi aspetti più ricca dei suoi colleghi, anche di quelli che hanno fatto tutto giusto alla prima, che poi quanti ne abbiamo visti, iniziare così e poi perdersi per strada o diventare insopportabili primedonne? Valeria non corre il rischio di pensarsi come la perfetta di Amy Lee in Everybody‘s Fool, non sarà mai una primadonna se si porterà dentro con consapevolezza le cicatrici delle sue cadute. Ho voluto bene a tutti quei ragazzi intelligenti e svegli, che si sono impegnati dandoci soddisfazione, alcuni veramente molto bravi, alcuni particolarmente attenti e capaci di imparare in fretta. Ma per lei ho un pensiero in più. Valeria potrà comprendere meglio chi dovesse fallire, chi dovesse non farcela, chi avrà difficoltà e dovesse rimanere indietro. Valeria è una ragazza intelligente quanto tutti gli altri, forse più di altri; la sua prospettiva, la sua esperienza è e sarà diversa, ma non meno di valore delle altre. Anzi, forse con un valore perfino più ampio, più comprendente.


Addio Valeria e grazie.