Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and Loose
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Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and Loose



Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and one of the pioneers of integrated brand and communications planning as a specialist marketing discipline, has just published his latest book, “Loose”. We ...

Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and one of the pioneers of integrated brand and communications planning as a specialist marketing discipline, has just published his latest book, “Loose”. We invited him to the office to share his words of wisdom - here's his presentation.



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Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and Loose Martin Thomas, author of Crowd Surfing and Loose Presentation Transcript

  • Loose: The Future of Business is Letting Go Martin Thomas @crowdsurfing
  • What’s Wrong With These Pictures?
  • Loose Drivers
    • Chaos, complexity & need for speed
    • Emergence of new, informal organisational models
    • New generations emerging at top and bottom of corporate hierarchy
    • New technology
    • Failure of tight
  • 1.Chaos, Complexity & Need for Speed
    • Macro-economic meltdown
    • Socio political upheaval
    • New patterns of consumer behaviour
    • New expectations
    • New technology
    • Defies rational analysis & neat, simple solutions
  • 2. Emergence of new, informal organisational models
    • Capable of delivering political, social or commercial change … without structure or formal leadership
    • Underlines deficiencies of tight, bureaucratic structures that have to deal with them
    * McKinsey 2010
  • 3. New Generations
    • Emerging at top and bottom of corporate hierarchy
      • Gen X in the Boardroom with a post-Boomer mindset
      • Gen Y entering the workplace with new expectations
    • Demanding new ways of working
  • 4. New Technology
    • Social media driving new behaviours & expectations
    • Dramatizing institutions’ structural, operational & cultural weaknesses
    • The Connected Consumer meets the Disconnected Corporation
  • 5. Failure of Tight
    • Illusion of control
    • Growth of auditing, risk assessment, compliance, consulting, reporting, planning & forecasting
      • Delusion of control
      • Distortion of priorities
      • Huge bureaucratic & cost burden
      • Inability to respond to real world
  • Emergence of Looser Ways of Thinking
    • Economists discover Behavioural Economics
    • Business Schools embrace critical & creative thinking
    • Politicians talk of “a post bureaucratic age” & introduce Big Society
    • Conventional political parties challenged by informal movements e.g. The Tea Party
  • Thriving by Loosening Up
    • Five simple operational & cultural traits of successful organisations
      • Trusting
      • Open
      • Agile
      • Informal
      • Collaborative
  • Tight Thinkers Need Not Apply
    • Organisations & people that struggle with this new world
      • Hierarchical
      • Bureaucratic
      • Process oriented
      • Distrustful
  • Trusting
    • Bedrock of strong internal culture
    • Allows shared responsibility & real time decision making
    • The best company rulebook ever written?
  • Trusting
    • No scripts
    • No time limits
    • Devolved decision-making
  • Open
    • Transparency & honesty non negotiable
    • Capable of transforming reputations
  • Openness for Commercial Advantage “ Empower consumers” “ Open culture” “ Creative collaboration”
  • Agile
    • Ability to improvise & operate in close to real time
    • Limitations of excessive faith in longer-term planning
    • Speed more important than absolute accuracy
  • Why most institutions struggle
    • Not configured to work in real time, in terms of resources, structure or culture
    One hour Ten Minutes * Critical response time for responding to negative comments
  • Informal
    • NPD: Living life in Beta
    • Design: Messy vitality
    • Creativity: Authenticity more important than production values
  • Informal Creativity
  • Informality in the Workplace
    • Emphasis on freedom & trust
    • Encouragement of creativity & individual responsibility
    “ We’re giving people the latitude to go off & do their own thing. We trust them to do their regular jobs & to experiment, innovate & have fun” Microsoft Snr Mgr, quoted in Business Strategy Review
  • Collaborative
    • Tapping into spirit of collective self expression
    • Opening up new business models
  • Community Commerce
    • Self-sustaining creative community
      • Members submit designs => 80,000+ submissions
      • Opportunity to pre test beta versions
      • Community votes => 800+ designs
      • Designers receive $2,500 + marketing advice + retain IP
    • No professional designers, no salesforce, no distribution, no market research, no advertising => $30m revenues … high margins
  • Community Commerce
    • People-powered mobile network (from O2)
      • Members receive points for recruiting new people, making suggestions & solving problems => converted into cash
        • 20% actively involved
        • Aim that 25% of members will get half of cost of calls returned to them for contribution to community
      • Plans to involve community in pricing & marketing decisions
    • Not reliant on call centres, expensive marketing & product support
  • Formula for Collaborative Success
    • Ensuring strategic focus
      • Publicity as bi-product not sole objective
    • Planning – who, what & how?
      • Obama’s 100
    • Devolving control to community
      • Continuous feedback loops
    • Anticipating subversion
      • Bieber in North Korea
    • Managing IP rights
  • Why PR People Should Thrive in This New World
    • Used to operating in close to real time
    • Strategically & creatively flexible
    • Comfortable exercising judgement
    • Benefit from removal of financial barriers to entry
      • Creative production
      • (Technology based) planning & evaluation
  • @crowdsurfing