Revolutionary Coffee Cup

Coffee Cup

Photo by Eva

By Tero, Eva, Pingshan, Outi and Mari

This is going to be an unusual day for you! Because you don’t start checking your emails or Facebook, or logging into your Skype, MSN or whatever instant communication system you use at work. But look over the edge of your coffee cup and dare to discover the possibilities in your daily routines.

You Are More Than Just You

Sometimes even the smallest matter can make a difference in your work or in your organization. Take the distance to see what your habits are, and then unlearn the bad habits. Easier said than done, but try to identify what you could do differently. This way you have more space to learn new things and new point of views. You are probably reachable online all your work day. But what if you change all that and take a small piece of the day and be offline. Take the time and fine tune the mindset. Think why you are working as you are? Why weren’t you part of the meeting, handling tasks which produce the upcoming tasks for you? Surely there could’ve been some input to be said. Maybe you have some new thoughts about the existing service offering? Be brave and act with courage. Who other than you and specifically why not you should stand out?

Now you are probably thinking how on earth this could be done. Write down what could be done differently, how and to whom it affects, how it would and why it could work. With even the smallest manifesto, it is possible to keep your goal achievable. You might even be surprised that there are others in your organization that share your thoughts. If someone turns you down ask grounds for it. Rationalize what it is for the organization or company in the long run. And remember to be persistent and change the approach level and target unit. There is more in you than the eye can see and if you would like to plunder yourself to the world of more thought raising point of views,  Gary Hamel’s Leading the Revolution is a book for you.

Opportunities for Your Organization

Are you familiar with your organization’s strategy? Maybe you are. Do you feel that you have influence over it? Maybe you don’t. You know your operational environment for sure:  speed of change is fast and changes are complex by nature. Should not the company strategy be agile in order to stay in the game or rather: to be far-sighted and successful?  You are the one that can make the strategy agile! The more people are involved in strategy creation process, the more a company will learn about its environment and the more business opportunities occur. New innovations are created by your involvement, so have an impact and be recognized for it! If you want to learn about fast and agile strategies, this is the book for you: Fast Strategy, How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game by Yves Doz and Mikko Kosonen (2008).

Open Up, It Is Worth It

You are surely aware of protecting your company’s privacy and intellectual property because you know that this is essential. But do you also know where to open up and make room for interference? Do you know how to create a platform that nourishes your customers ideas, wishes and needs? Are these factors already a part of your company’s innovation process? Does tacit knowledge enrich your strategies? Are you alert to how your customers actually use your services and is this information carefully documented so it can be used for future innovation?

Especially borderline situations, that can evoke in every personal career and every size enterprise
have oftentimes been the source of new value creation and led to essential competitive advantages. Get inspired by Henry Chesbrough’s Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era.

Have Your Customers Involved in Competition?

Ok, let’s now take a closer look at your customers. Do you know them well? Do you know how different they are from each other? Do you co-create value with them? In the book The future of competition by Prahalad & Ramaswamy (summary as PDF), the authors described abundance of better ways for companies to compete by joining with their customers to co-create value using the latest technical and social advancements. In today’s business, manager should not only look at their businesses as the center of the universe. If they want to succeed, they need to experience their businesses as consumers do, they also need to know their consumers well. The old fashion of which is trying to sell something to the customer does not generate any profit in today’s business, and that would just make you to fail eventually. Get connected with your customers and listen to what they tell you is the beginning phase when your value is co-created.

Change the Way You Think about Competition

What about competition, then. There is some, always has been, and always will be. Successful business is all about beating your competition, and you’re constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of your competitors. But does it have to be like that? Have you ever thought what it would be like, if you didn’t have to compete in a crowded marketplace? What if you could essentially create your own market?

The Blue Ocean Strategy is about getting out of established market boundaries to leave competition behind. It is a market-creating strategy, which helps companies to systematically break out of the red ocean of bloody competition and make competition irrelevant. Take a look at how they do it and challenge everything you thought you knew about competing in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.

Does your morning coffee taste a bit different today? Do you feel you are going to do something different now? Today is a great opportunity for you. Just go ahead to make changes with the people around you, say NO to your old habits and reform your way of thinking. The resources for strategic mindset originally came from these five books listed below. We wish you a good start into your day by reading a couple of pages while forgetting about your morning coffee and getting inspired…


This blog post was created as an assignment in SID course Strategic service innovations and changing business models.

Book references:

  • Chan, Kim, W.  & Mauborgne, Renée (2005): Blue ocean strategy: how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Boston, Harvard Business School Press.
  • Chesbrough, Henry (2011): Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era. Jossey-Bass.
  • Doz, Yves and Kosonen, Mikko (2008): Fast Strategy, How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game.
  • Hamel, Gary (2000): Leading the revolution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Prahalad & Ramaswamy (2004). The future of competition: the co-creating of unique value with customers. Harvard Business School Press.

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