Do you love blockchain, yet? You should!
Though still in its infancy, the blockchain system is the foundation underlying digital currency, like Bitcoin. While primarily used for cryptocurrency today, the potential application of blockchain technology goes far beyond finance. In the not so distant future, we can expect asset registries, smart contracts, quality assurance and many other types of blockchain usage to penetrate numerous industries.
After working with large construction companies, I became interested in how blockchain could help them bring major innovations into their industry. Why not!
With the advent of 3D printed housing units, demand for faster and faster construction services, and the shortage of labor that brings with it new robotic solutions, blockchain systems could fit right into the coming transformation of the entire construction industry.
The Future of the Construction Industry Looks Promising, and Perfect For Blockchain
With expenditures topping $1.2 billion in 2017, U.S. construction companies are looking for ways to invest in innovations that can sustain business in a rapidly changing business environment. Blockchain is one of those game-changers that is capable of transforming how construction companies do business.
Do you see what we see in the world of higher education? Is this the death of higher education institutions as we know them?
For the past 18 months, I have been blogging about higher education.
Part of our portfolio of assignments includes strategic work we have conducted for higher learning institutions. Challenging is the disconnect between the institution and the workplace. There appears to be a built-in bias against the needs of industry. This resistance has created a reluctance on the part of administrations and faculty to understand what their students will need to succeed after they leave the university. Why are colleges failing their students?
Our research among employers delivers a recurring theme: please, they say, you are sending us students with excellent technical skills but without the people skills that they need to communicate, coordinate, collaborate and creatively solve problems. Industry seems to be responsible for those softer skills that higher education should be instilling in their students.
A former client of ours in the construction industry contacted us recently, saying: “We’re stuck. Sales are flat, the competition is killing us, and my sales team doesn't know what to do. Can you help?”
As in so many cases after 2008’s Great Recession, this client's corporate division, once an industry leader, was experiencing zero growth, using the same outmoded tactics to keep factories running while wishing for the old world order to return.
Guess what? Like coal, the old days are not coming back. Our former client's business has now reached a dangerous tipping point that could put the company's entire future at risk. His only hope is to embrace change, and fast.
Why do businesses get “stuck?”
One of the main reasons why companies (or individuals, for that matter) get stuck is because they fear change. Driven by well-honed habits, they are more comfortable doing things the way they've always done them. They resist embracing the unknown. Think of it in terms of a play. People like performing the script they know; when given a different script with new roles to play and new lines to learn, they tend to balk.
In a recent post, I was sharing with you some thoughts about Nintendo's Blue Ocean Strategy of targeting girls, which opened up a huge untapped market of nonusers for that company. Similarly, Disney created its new MagicBand wristbands in hopes of growing their base of frequent users and attracting nonusers by making it easier to enjoy its theme parks.
For the second consecutive year, I attended the HubSpot Inbound 2015 conference in Boston last month. So why inbound? As you know if you’ve been reading our blogs, at Simon Associates we have been talking about inbound marketing for the last two years. And as you can probably tell, we feel it is absolutely critical to the success of your marketing program. We have initiated inbound marketing with all of our clients, showing them how providing content is the best way to attract and nurture customers. And it’s working!
We have recently been working with clients who are using our inbound marketing methods to capture prospective customers — whether these are students for a college, patients for a healthcare practice or buyers of consumer products. And one of the challenges that keeps arising is: How do inbound marketing and sales intersect in new ways as buyers rapidly change their habits?
Why do we often not see what is right in front us? Recently I've been working with several clients that could grow by leaps and bounds if only they could "see" the business opportunities that are right before them. All they need to do is open their eyes, open their minds, and re-define the way they and their people think about what they could offer consumers that they're not offering right now.
Having written two blogs explaining why Inbound Marketing is the proven methodology for the digital age by attracting interested buyers in an “inbound” rather than an “outbound” way, I’d now like to zero in on Step #3 in the buyers journey: Close.
Of the four inbound marketing actions, “Close” lands your business an actual customer
As a Guest Blogger for Simon Associates Management Consultants, I recently wrote about my experiences as an Enneagram Type 8, then found myself struggling with writing a second, follow-up blog. I finally realized that what I was experiencing was not typical writer’s block but the result of my Type 8’s natural defense mechanism: denial.
What is a defense mechanism?
A defense mechanism is a protective, psychological strategy whose function is to keep us within our own comfort zones. It is primarily triggered in uncomfortable or difficult situations in an attempt to reduce our anxiety or uncomfortable feelings.
The purpose of a defense mechanism is to maintain our self-image, and each Enneagram Type has a different one. In my case, my defense mechanism keeps alive my self-image of “I am strong and not weak.” Typically, our defense mechanisms operate automatically and unconsciously. Unless we are in observer mode, we aren't aware of when they are active.