You’re a leading food retailer.
You customers save on their ticket by using your plastic card.
You make sure to print out the $ amount saved on the ticket and ask your cashiers to highlight that amount.
But what if the customer saved only 18 cents on a $17 ticket and you highlight it?
The low discount in itself might go unnoticed but if your cashier is stupid enough to highlight it, you just shot yourself in the foot.
Q: What’s the greatest single problem with IT today?
A: Simplifying the way companies use information technology. Most of the cost of IT isn’t in the hardware any longer — it’s in the maintaining and servicing of IT. Harsh as it sounds, the industry runs its business by making it complicated for customers.
The result of this complexity is that most companies spend 70 percent or more of their IT budgets maintaining their IT systems, leaving little money to invest in creating ways for IT to help grow and expand their businesses. Companies are caught up in this complexity trap that the industry has forced upon them.
It’s not just about getting out of the box. Its about getting out, finding the right box and then getting into that box.
Take a sheet of paper and write down everything you can think of that’s white. You have 15 seconds, go. Done? Good, now take 15 seconds and write down everything that is or could be in your refrigerator that’s white. Finished? Raise your hand if had better luck with the second list.
Dan Heath, who co-authored the book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die with his brother Chip, started his talk at BIF-3 this afternoon by asking the audience to complete the exercise I described above. A good number (perhaps nearly half) of audience members were able to name more white things the second time around. But that’s an odd outcome, said Heath, because there are more white things that exist in the universe than in your refrigerator. The constraint, however, helped focus your thinking and made the task of identifying objects easier because of the stricter perameters.
A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”
The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be an engineer,” said the balloonist.
“I am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?”
“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”
The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”
“I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”