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So What? Business Process Re-engineering

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

airs every Thursday at 1 pm EST.

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In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on business process re-engineering. We walk through the basics of what business process re-engineering is and how to handle it in your organization. Catch the replay here:

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • What business process re-engineering is
  • What processes should be audited regularly
  • How to get started with re-engineering

Upcoming Episodes:

  • Tag Management 2/3/2022
  • Data Science(TBD)

Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:24
Well, hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to so what the marketing analytics and insights live show Happy Thursday, happy last Thursday of January of 2022, which is crazy that we’re already at the end of January, I started seeing end of month emails come into my inbox. And I was like, but isn’t it just January 3. So, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, I feel like I’m sort of stuck in this limbo matrix of time right now. So anywho on today’s episode, we are talking about business process reengineering, what it is, how to audit your processes regularly processes, and how to get started with reengineering those processes it processes or processes, processes, processes, processes, it’s a good thing. I’m not wearing a retainer profit. Anyway. So that’s where my head’s at. Chris, do you want to kick us off?

Christopher Penn 1:20
I had to deal with this a lot. In graduate school, I went to Boston University and one of the professors on staff was a guy by the name of Tom Davenport, who is a huge consulting big way, way back in the day in the 90s. And business process reengineering was his thing. That’s so much the point where like, if I had to hear about, you know, the Xerox internal process, reengineering, I was going to shoot somebody by the time I’ve finished my master’s degree. But the good news is we got beaten into our heads what this thing is, and why it matters. Fundamentally, there’s two ways that you can change business, right? There’s evolution, which is process improvement, you know, tuning, optimization, things like that. And then there’s revolution, we just take everything, fling it out the window, and build from the ground up, sort of the whole burn it down and build from the ground up. Business, process reengineering, is the ladder, it’s take everything, burn it down and start over. As opposed to something like TQM total quality management, which is evolutionary to say, it’ll take all the processes and tune them and adjust them over time. So you know, and make them as good as they can be. And business process reengineering is what you do when there is I’m gonna, again, this is another term that got beaten into our heads, when you have a paradigm shift in your industry, who you engage in business process reengineering, which, you know, to be fair, like the invention of the rollout of the smartphone, was a legitimate paradigm shift to the point where now, people fundamentally do business differently with these little mobile supercomputers that we all carry around in our pockets. The Internet itself, the web was a massive paradigm shift. There are a lot of companies that love to say that their product or service is the next big thing. And it never is. You know, Facebook’s going on about meta and the virtual reality universe, which like, like, yeah, Second Life did that 20 years ago, guys, get off your horse. But that’s what business process reengineering is you take everything that you’re doing right now, you basically fling it out the window, because the environment that you’re doing business in has changed so much, that all of your existing processes are handicap, right? They they’re holding you back there. That’s not the way business is done anymore. And so if you stick with what, you know, the tried and true, you’re gonna fall fall behind so far, so fast that you will never keep up. Artificial Intelligence, like commercial artificial intelligence is, I think, a legitimate early paradigm shift. It’s still super early, but it is one of those things where if you’re trying to compete against machines, for tasks that machines are better at, you’re going to get your butt handed to you.

Katie Robbert 4:05
So I have a couple of questions in terms of clarifying this. And let me see if I can sort of phrase them correctly. So what you’re what you’re describing is essentially what people consider those like, innovative or industry disruptors. And so it disrupts it to the point where everybody has to stop what they’re doing and completely sort of pivot. However, you also said that AI, which is not a new concept, people are just it’s still a buzz term. If you are following along with what AI is doing, and you are evolving your business processes along the way, then do you have to completely re engineer them? Or can you just continue to evolve them? I guess, maybe it depends on where in that innovation adoption curve you fall.

Christopher Penn 4:52
Exactly. And it depends on your kind of business. So like if you are a brick and mortar store, you can probably approach AI evolutionarily. Right, if you’re a digital business, you’re going to approach a revolutionary because everything you’ve been doing so far is just going to get his butt handed to it by a competitor that has the AI adventure has a massive advantage of data. You know, we actually are, I should have thought of this up front, we are actually currently in the middle of a massive paradigm shift. And what we are currently in is called a global pandemic, right? It is fundamentally changed how we work, how we buy things, how we interact with others. And even after you know, the the current situation tapers down, it, the world still cannot go back a lot of companies who said hey, you know, this whole not paying for real estate thing actually really kind of works out? Well for us. Let’s, let’s keep doing it where Hey, letting employees work from home. And you know, where they work best is actually seems like a sensible thing to do. And so that’s, that is a shift in in the fundamentals. And that’s, that’s what sets it apart for evolution revolution, AI is, is not at the point yet where it’s forcing, massive large scale change. But we are getting close to that point. In some ways, it already has like, like, the news that you consume is largely driven by AI now, right, what you see on social networks, and in search engines, the things the content you get is governed largely by AI, the things that you are told to buy, by recommendation engines told to watch by Netflix told to listen to by Spotify is all driven by AI, you no longer have a choice, you can’t go back. So those things have had a paradigm shift. And if you are a new entrant into those markets, and you also don’t have good as good or better AI, you’re going to get squashed.

Katie Robbert 6:40
So let’s take it down to a more practical, you know, application, something that a lot of marketers might be seeing in their own processes. And, you know, you can help me understand if this is evolutionary or revolutionary. So you’re talking about AI. So let’s take, you know, SEO, for example. And the way people, you know, search for things, so majority of people still open up a search engine and type in, you know, a couple of words. But there has been this shift of people who just yell at their, you know, smart home devices, they just yell at their phone, like, hey, Google, tell me where the nearest coffee shop is that has non dairy options, like, people don’t search when they’re typing that way. But when they’re speaking, it’s a different way. And so the way in which you’re approaching your SEO, your keywords, the phrases, the content, answering the questions, that has had to evolve, but both are still relevant. So help me understand where that falls in this.

Christopher Penn 7:48
You have you picked a great example. Because the front end of SEO, meaning that the what we as humans do that really has not changed. That’s an evolution how we ask questions. The revolution is the language models on the back end and how Google look at Google. In particular, I’m going to use Google as the headline example, how Google processes that data. They’ve there’s been one major paradigm shift the last three years and that is the BERT natural language engine that fundamentally change how Google understands your intent of what it is you’re asking. And this year, the multitask unified model is another major shift. It’s it’s a it is a revolution, of submit works of how Google understands your intent and what it gives you back because multitask unified model. Now, when it takes, you know, coffee shop near me that serves non dairy, it’s going to look across media types, it’s going to look at videos on YouTube and and the contents of images, the contents of podcasts, and understand that and return back the things that it thinks are best, regardless of media type. So from a marketer’s perspective, we have to look at that and go, Okay, so just tinkering with the h1 tag on our site will probably have little to no effect anymore. It’s not that really as had at one for very long. But if we are not publishing YouTube videos, if we are not publishing podcasts, if we are not putting up metadata, if we are not publishing images, if we are not doing the structured data on our websites, inside the unified model, Google will not favor us. And what’s critically different in about the unified model and this is the revolution part is that today, Google does crawl index, rank three stages, crawl the web, pulling all the stuff, index it trying to figure out what things belong where, and then rank in the Unified Model collapses crawling index into one stage. So it’s a so called index happen at the same time. And it’s, it’s AI enhanced. So Google has a Been doing this already. In some markets, there was a big piece about, you know, Lita Solis, his newsletter this weekend. But Google’s been starting to rewrite people’s content based on the intent of the searcher is changing headlines, changing page titles and things. So the unified models got to do much more of that. So from a marketers perspective, we’ve got to expect that our content is going to get rewritten, we’ve got to expect that we need to have multimedia. And we need to have stuff that is relevant and fits what the customer is searching for, we almost have to get rid of the idea of keywords. Right, which is the revolution part, we’ve been talking about SEO keywords for 25 years, we are now at a point where Google saying throw out the keyword, it doesn’t exist anymore, it’s not gonna be a relevant way to for people to get information, you must now focus solely on the concept and your best understanding of the concept.

Katie Robbert 10:53
So let me pose this question to you and John, so you guys have you know, a really popular podcast marketing over coffee. And so, so again, sort of this is me just trying to wrap my head around it. A lot of people might go to Marketing over, and then start to go through the different episodes. And so historically, you would have just had to make sure that the marketing over coffee website was optimized in a certain way with topics but now, people someone me might go, Hey, Google Play, the latest episode of marketing over coffee helped me understand as a marketer how, John how you how I would need to set myself up for success to make sure that if I open my smartphone and say, Hey, play the latest episode of market over coffee, that that’s the result that I get, like, what does John have to do? What do you have to do? And then what do I is the user have to set up on my side?

John Wall 11:58
Sorry, John, we got, I was just saying, you know, a lot of that, for us is managed on the back end, you know, part of the Libsyn hosting that we use is they do take care of a ton of that that’s and that’s the great part about working with a platform is that there’s that one point where once they figure out how to correctly enter you until those other indexes, and there’s there’s a service for Amazon music, there’s one for Apple. In fact, there’s over 20 different formats now, where when we post an episode, it actually updates 20 different services, and tells them that hey, there’s, you know, a new podcast available that you can get over there. But yeah, and then there’s some overlap, just, you know, the old SEO that you would do, you know, now you have to make sure you’re in Bing, so that you can get into some Google devices. And, you know, there’s, there’s partnerships and platform agreements that go together behind the scenes to automatically move that content over. But yeah, so that’s more of an evolutionary thing, you know, and that, like, we don’t have to worry about an entirely new posting format, we just tweaked the existing model and, you know, shows up in the new place.

Katie Robbert 13:05
So then I as this as the listener, do I have to be a subscriber of the podcast in order to say, so? Okay, Chris,

Christopher Penn 13:17
you are hitting on exactly the thing. Remember these, I do CDs, albums and stuff and how they used to be coherent works. And then streaming was a paradigm shift. It broke the model of the album. Now everything is playlists, and individual songs. And you as artists are judged on your merits for every single individual song and not the album as a whole. Right? That is that was a major paradigm shift that some artists really figured out and have succeeded wildly other artists have not. From a marketing perspective, what you’re talking about is the same shift, you are no longer judge on the album that is the web marketing over coffee website or the subscription. Now we are judged, and we are found by every individual atomized piece of content. So you’re exactly right. You don’t have to be subscribing to marketing over coffee. We are going to be found on an episode by episode level because somebody’s gonna say plenty of podcast about SEO, right, and it’ll pull multiple multitask unified model and even Google, today’s Google will pull up a basket of stuff. And we have to as marketers, as content producers, we have to knock it out of the park with every single piece of content, because it is our one and only app that the person will not go to the website and check out everything else. They will they will judge on that atomized piece of content alone. So our metadata has got to be good. Our branding has got to be good. You know, we have we have you know, thankfully, we have a really good audio branding like you know, you’re listening to marketing over coffee in the first three seconds based on those sort of introductory time notes and stuff but audio branding is huge is a huge thing. The same is true for everything. So people will not judge Trust Insights. by the Trust Insights, portfolio of our website, right and optimizing pages, they will find a white paper we’ve written or a case study or a, a thing. And that will be the brand to them for that experience, and then they have to go and figure out to see if like, if they like that expense, though, they’ll go and get more. And so it raises the bar for all of us as marketers to say, every piece of content we have to publish has to knock it out of the park, because there’s no room for mediocre content, if Google services a piece of mediocre content, and that’s the first and only chance we have that audience member, they’re gone. And we lose a chance we lose a jazz getting them back until they find some next random query. So that’s the revolution part is that we’ve got to get away from this idea of content model, it’s and accept that content is become like playlists, and your individual pieces are going to be pulled and sampled. When we upload this episode to YouTube. One of the things that YouTube asks in the upload thing is it says, you know, will you allow sampling of your content, you always check yes. And YouTube that will then allow someone else to sample like 60 seconds of of our show, for their own thing, right. And they don’t have to ask any, any more permissions. So it’s not even that, you know, we as a, as content producers have to think about, you know, this live stream episode, we have to almost think about always saying something smart or dumb every single minute, because that’s 60 seconds may find its way into another show, as someone doing a roundup. So I guess the big paradigm shift there. And and where you have to do a subsea serious business process reengineering on your content marketing is content has to be treated as atomic BS to us, you have to assume it’s going to get broken up, you have to assume it’s going to be seen out of context. And you have to assume that the user is gonna take just the pieces they need. So can you produce content for SEO for content for social, that meets those new criteria, and that may mean, this is the re engineering part, we have to throw away? Everything we think we know about creating content, you know, spend $10,000, to hire designers and do all this stuff, and say, No, we got to we have to change those processes. We can’t evolve the existing processes, they don’t work anymore.

Katie Robbert 17:16
So my head is now spinning, I’m a little overwhelmed. Um, you know, I mean, it makes sense. I mean, it’s definitely evolving with the way that we as humans behave online. Because our, you know, our, I can’t even think of the word our attention span is so short, that these things these, you basically have to have like, sound bites and things at all times for people to go on to to even know who you are. So I guess the second question, and the second bullet point that we wanted to go over in this episode is, what processes should be audited regularly? Now? That’s a broad question. So we can take it again, sort of back to this example of SEO and where AI is starting to evolve how SEO is done, or, you know, revolutionize or a paradigm shift, or, you know, whatever you want to call it. Basically, AI is changing how marketers have to think about SEO. So we know that there are standard processes processes for keyword research. Let’s just take that one. For example. How would you go about auditing the process for how you’re doing SEO, keyword research, and evolve it to change with how AI is impacting how people are finding things?

Christopher Penn 18:39
I would start by learning how machines process language, specifically how we know Google uses the BERT model for its query parsing for understanding English. So that would be my starting point is to say, Okay, well, how does it work? How does it understand language? You know, does it tokenize? Is it vectorized? What is the what are the underlying mathematical principles that make BERT work? And then, from there, say, Well, what from that? Can I learn that will help guide me for the things I need to create? So like, is is a key word. And we’ve said this for it. We’ve been saying this for well, the keyword and sort of semantics is kind of out the window, right? You know, the the old joke, an SEO expert walks into a bar pub tavern, you know, those, the those semantically related terms, that’s gone. In a lot of ways. The way the BERT model works now is we’re at the at the, the sentence, and paragraph and topic level. So what what we would have to do is start our planning with intent. Right? So what is the question that the person is asking what are the next three questions that person’s going to ask? And that’s going to require instead of sitting there with your SEO tool of choice or just typing in keyword combinations, Let’s actually require you to talk to customers, right? Listen to customers, see how they behave, ask them questions, you know, focus. This is where stuff like, you know, CX and DCX, digital customer experience really matter. Because you’ve got to have that qualitative input from customers to say, when I’m looking for a management consulting firm that focuses on on change management, I, I’m theoretically looking for change management, but I’m really actually looking for how do I stop my boss making dumb decisions? And that’s, you know, sort of an HR thing, or how do I hire people who aren’t dummies? Or how do I scale my business? And so we have to anticipate what those next questions are. And then we build our content around that. In some ways, you don’t actually need the keyword tool anymore, you now need a topic map of landscape of here’s how these different concepts all cluster together. And then we build that content from that. So for example, the topic of this week’s show was business process reengineering, because in a key word forecast, we picked that out because it is a it is going to be a high volume term, it’s going to peak in terms of search. But when we think about how we’ve approached the creation of this episode, we really focused on the implications. What are the next questions like you do this really well? Okay, when you put together the so what episodes is the concept? What is it? Why is it important? How does it work? So you’re already anticipating the next three questions that when somebody types in that query, and that’s how we need to change our thinking about SEO is not just you know, what keyword comes next is, what is the intent of the user? And how do we fulfill it? And then you have to layer on Google’s other stuff like signals about expertise, authority and trustworthiness that gets layered on next?

Katie Robbert 21:51
Yeah, definitely a little little bit ahead. spinny. You know, because it’s interesting, I did not anticipate you saying that the place to start is to do research on the development of the Google algorithm itself. And so I guess, John, you know, how, like, I have no words like, how are you feeling about this conversation? I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ll be honest.

John Wall 22:19
Yeah. Well, it’s, you know, if you’re trying to redesign SEO as your approach, I mean, that’s now left to the vendors. You know, I mean, really, that’s not the kind of thing now we’re frontline marketers gonna be like, Okay, let me see if I can outwit Google with my content here. You know, it’s really gone too far beyond that. I don’t know, for most organizations that are playing an SEO game like that, switching over to the customer experience side is usually the place to go of like, okay, how can we get, you know, more in the funnel at the top? Or how do we get them through the transaction? Faster, easier? Smoother? And I think, yeah, SEO, the SEO game is pretty much almost over, unless you’re a vendor, you know, like, the vendors are the only one that have the understanding the ability to, to kind of do that, for the frontline marketers just make excellent content. I mean, that’s really all that they can do. And, and hope that this gets through. I think there is a lot of opportunity, though, for, you know, any kind of web property to start looking at things like, Okay, do we look at other channels, like, you know, online payments, like Venmo, and things like more text messaging, as opposed to email, you know, do they redesign the customer experience all around those sections? But yeah, I think the SEO door is pretty much slam shut for, for just what you’re talking about. It’s like, you know, no, Director of Marketing is going to take two weeks off to try and back solve. How Google cracks and Gramps, you know, it’s just, it’s way too much to bite off.

Christopher Penn 23:51
And that’s what makes a business process reengineering. We’ve got to throw out everything that we’ve been doing on this because you can’t evolve. It’s like, you know, go back to a century ago. How do you if you were a horse and buggy manufacturer, you’re like, oh, how can I make my horses faster, you know, I can feed him you know, better, better hay and stuff. Meanwhile, you’ve got an automobile like, Okay, you have to throw out everything you’ve been doing because the world is no longer using horses the world is now using cars if you have not adapted to that you’re going out of business.

Katie Robbert 24:22
So let me ask you this question then. So in that example of the horse and buggy versus the automobile, so yes, majority of people moved to an automobile away from the horse and buggy however, couldn’t you argue that the horse and buggy market found new use cases for their current product?

Christopher Penn 24:46
Oh, for sure. And and they, they still exist, they’ve just very very tiny niche things now like you can still take a horse and buggy carriage ride around Boston, you know, pay 20 bucks for the tourist experience and stuff and have some guy yell at you about you know, attractions that You could just look up on your phone. But it’s sort of that experience. But the vast majority of people do not use horses and buggies.

Katie Robbert 25:08
But no, but my point is, so you’re talking about it purely for the use case of transportation. But automobiles aren’t necessarily the most efficient to pull things across farmland, for example, because it’s going to tear up the farmland. And so couldn’t use them make the argument that a horse and buggy or horse and cart is still a relevant thing. But the application of it has changed,

Christopher Penn 25:35
you could but traditionally, what typically happens is those businesses just go out of business, because they don’t evolve. And then somebody else buys the assets and figures out, there’s some other application that you can use them for. But for the most part, the big names, some do evolve, but a lot. Just don’t make it you know, just like ice carving companies, there still is there still are ice carving companies. There’s like this whole cottage industry of artisanal carved ice, you know, people chipping, chipping away glacial ice and stuff like that, and selling in like $12 ice cubes to bars. And, you know, there still is a calling for that. It’s just not a very large calling. And you know, it’s it’s very artisanal. But when you look at companies that successfully pivot, they successfully pivot, because they just fling everything out that out the window said, we’re not doing it that way anymore. You know, one of my favorite companies, Apple has managed to fling everything out the window several times, right? They’ve they, in the beginning was the personal computer. And then there was the graphical user interface, like, No, we’re not, we’re just throwing away the old computers, we’re not doing it that way anymore. And then came along the smartphone and the tablet, the smartwatch and things they were never first I didn’t do those things, right. They were never first, but they were the best at it. Because they reengineer the processes and said, We’re just not doing it that way, we’ve got a brand new way of doing it. Whereas you take a company that does it pivot as well. And apologies to them, because I’m a champion, but IBM has struggled for 30 years to pivot to new realities, and they’ve consistently been a little on the late side. And their offerings take a long time to get up to speed. And, you know, IBM should have been up there with Google and Amazon, you know, in being one of the dominant forces of the new economy, and they’re not.

John Wall 27:23
Yeah, but that creates an interesting question to add, I’d be interested in what you guys have seen with that, as far as re engineering, you know, not being able to be done by mainline mature businesses.

Christopher Penn 27:32
I mean, a lot of times I see that it’s, somebody does a spin off, you know, you either create another division, and oftentimes even put them in another building different chain of command, because it just can’t be pulled off by the existing business. Like they’re, they’re too caught in the weeds and invested in the current process, to be able to burn it down and start from scratch. That’s exactly what Apple did. Right? The Macintosh team was really the pirate team. They had their own building their own culture and everything. But the the thing that makes that made that work, and the reason why Apple has kind of stagnated a lot in the last few years, is because the Leadership isn’t the same, right? Tim Cook as a CEO is in a exceptional operations person, he is the, you know, business process evolution guy, he will fine tune the process and make it sing. He’s not Steve Jobs, he’s not f at all, let’s let’s burn it all down and do something completely new, you know, that was, you know, some of the brilliance behind why Steve Jobs did does things. And, you know, Katie, you should, you can speak to sure, but leadership is what drives that?

Katie Robbert 28:35
No, it’s true. And that’s where we always come back to it’s that change management process. It’s whether or not you can get people on board. And so we work with a few enter saw enterprise size organizations, and they’re the ones that have the hardest time with this revolutionary change, let alone any sort of evolutionary change, because an evolutionary change means that there’s a clear and existing process to start with. And a lot of times, like 10 times out of 10, that’s not the case, because everything is so siloed. And nobody knows who owns what. So you can’t even establish a process to start with, let alone evolve it. And then if you want to, you know, in the words of Chris, burn it down and start over? Well, that’s a top down initiative. That’s not a bottom up initiative, you probably have, you know, a lot of team members who are totally on board, but unless the stakeholders and decision makers are also comfortable with that, it’s not going to happen. We were talking about that in a smaller scale on the podcast this week about analytics, amnesty, which is essentially, you know, that sort of same idea of like, okay, as of this day you cut over and everything that happened in the past doesn’t matter. This is the new world order, and you’re either on board or you’re not and the thing that prevents that from happening Are the people, you can write all the process you want, you can have the latest and greatest cutting edge platforms. But unless you get the people on ironically, it’s my middle finger unless you get two people on board, not only on board, but also the consistency of the buy in that it’s never going to happen. It doesn’t matter. So, you know, Steve Jobs is an interesting, yet unicorn example of someone who had the authority to say, alright, you over here, you just sort of like keep doing what you’re doing, I’m just going to spin up this whole other thing over here and you to just like, once I get this going, this is going to stop over here. There’s not a lot of companies that feel comfortable with that level of risk, because there is a lot of risk involved, because it’s a big financial investment. And if it doesn’t work, then that’s all sunk costs.

Christopher Penn 30:54
Yep. And and there’s a lot, you know, if you do a, one of the reasons why consulting firms have something of a bad name is because if you do business process reengineering, if you really are going to do it, you’re going to end up giving a lot of people pink slips, because they’re not going to want to adapt to the new reality, like, No, this is what this is the direction we’re going and you don’t fit in anymore, you know, we don’t need your skills anymore. You know, you may be the best, you know, horse groomsmen in the entire company, but we’re not going to have horses anymore.

Katie Robbert 31:25
Well, and that’s why, you know, one of the things I know you, Chris talk about is always learning and growing and staying on top of what’s next. And so, you know, let’s say, you know, Chris, you came to me and said, Okay, Katie, you may be the best at grooming our horses, but we’re not going to have horses anymore. That’s my opportunity say to you, that’s okay. I just learned how to rebuild a car engine. So I’m still valuable. So yeah, I can let go of the horse grooming, because I’ve been staying on top of what’s going on. So I can still work for you and the direction that you’re moving in. And so just as much as it’s on leadership to make those decisions of where the company is going, they need to share that vision and transparency with with the rest of the company, the team, so that the employees are then responsible for professional development and making sure they’re keeping up with the direction so that, you know, they have their jobs.

Christopher Penn 32:26
And some of that is on the employees too. I mean, if I think back over my career, I started as an IT guy, and I threw that out, right, and I became a sort of a analytics person, I threw that out, became a marketing technology person threw that out became a data science person, right, and I don’t know what I’m gonna end up throwing out next. But each has been such a big pivot, that it’s no longer the same career, it’s all the same titles, and it’s not been a smooth evolution has been a lot of throw it out and do something different. It is incumbent upon each of us individually to look at our career paths and say, Is the world changing? And are we changing with it? Right, like you see, right now, artificial intelligence is a a big thing. It’s impacting every aspect of marketing. If it is not in some way infused in the work you’re doing, you’ve got a bull’s eye on your back, right? We see content optimization and multimedia content creation has, its has obviously been a thing for 10 years now. You know, anybody who’s got some gray hair remembers when Netflix was a company that shipped you discs in the mail, right. And that has not done that in a really long time. Because they they totally pivoted into into streaming video and original content. If you are a marketer, and you don’t have the ability to create video, or to create audio or do illustrations or something, you’ve got a bull’s eye on your back. And so as much as there is business process reengineering for the organization, there really is career re engineering for the individual. And not enough people are thinking about that.

Katie Robbert 33:58
So that is essentially the point that I was making is that the responsibility is on leadership, but also on the employees to be the ones keeping up to date. Now I can give you you know, you guys work with me every day and you know, that I am not, I’m technologically you know, I have the right aptitude. But I don’t use it all the time. And so I understand that I don’t necessarily use it. So like, you know, I was just sort of saying today, I signed on to discord for the first time and it’s an overwhelming experience and it’s gonna take a little while. You know, I signed on for Tiktok it’s an overwhelming experience. It’s going to take a little while but this is my dog is yelling in the background, but this is me taking responsibility trying to keep up with these things because I know if I don’t, I cannot effectively help lead the company in the right direction. And so that’s me taking my personal responsibility. I don’t want to do it, but I know that it’s necessary.

John Wall 35:01
Yeah, it’s crazy to because there’s been so much churn in that, you know, you’ll have 10 Things come down the pipe, and probably six of them, you really don’t need to worry about because they’re gonna be dead, you know, and before the next cycle is up. So it’s yeah, it’s kind of constantly a struggle to know what’s gonna be, you know, the next Facebook and what’s gonna be the next Beanie Babies.

Christopher Penn 35:24
Come on, John, you’re gonna roll in our Clubhouse channel,

John Wall 35:27
I’ve got clubhouse, it’s gonna be huge that I’ll be promoting it on Plurk. So you can

Katie Robbert 35:33
follow my MySpace, I have a Live Journal, now, we’ve

John Wall 35:38
got a lot of stuff going, it’s gonna be huge. And so pick up our NFT coin for this session today. It’s gonna be huge.

Katie Robbert 35:47
But I think you know, at that point, that’s sort of the thing, though. So we’re fortunate, Chris, that you are someone who is constantly curious about the next thing. And so I pay attention to the things that stay consistent, that you consistently talk about. And that’s where I know I need to start exploring what those things are. And that’s how I manage my expectations of how much technology I need to keep up with is, you know, you’re going to try everything, you’re going to look at everything that’s out there and try it at least once. But the things that stick around are the things that I will then start to pay attention to.

Christopher Penn 36:24
And I think that’s an important part of business process reengineering, conceptually both as you know, as a consulting firm, and as an organization is looking at people in the end the kind of roles they fill, you know, who are your early adopters who are your late early adopters, who are your buildpack, who your laggards and stuff like that. And if you diagram out the sort of the org chart of your organization, putting people on that axis, and you find it organization leans very heavily towards laggard or late adopter, you know, that you’re gonna have a big no change management problem, because everybody’s on the left hand side of the bell curve. If you’ve got a good distribution, then you can say, okay, from a consulting perspective, you’ll be able to make change, it’ll be tough, you’ll be able to make change, if you have a lot of people who are leaning on the right hand side that early adopter, you know, beta testers, stuff like that, it might be easier to, to get changed to go through because you have more people who are more accepting of change, because they’re constantly dealing with it, you know, they’re the the the beta testers like, oh, yeah, the button was over there yesterday. Now it’s over here. And you know, everything’s broken. They’re like, they’re the folks instead of yelling, Who Moved My Cheese, they’re like, playing the game, where’s my cheese today? If your organization is like that, you’re gonna have an easier time with change management. So it’s that concept of who is where in your your org chart on a bell curve, would be a real useful exercise for companies to go through when they approach business process reengineering? How, where do you lean on the bell curve of comfort with change?

Katie Robbert 37:53
I disagree with that slightly, because I feel like it’s very one dimensional. So for example, if you look, the three of us, I would say, Chris, you’re probably early adopter. John, I would probably put you squarely in the middle leaning more towards the early adopter. Whereas I’m definitely on the laggard side of the curve. However, I am open and so that then you have to factor in the emotional intelligence, I’m open to change. I just need a little bit more time to understand it and understand why. And so I’m not someone who’s necessarily going to dive in and start testing the new thing. I need to spend a little bit of time thinking about how would we use this? What is the application is there uh, so what here? And so I think that, yes, the adopt the adoption bell curve is important, but it’s one dimensional. So you need to factor in other pieces to that as well.

Christopher Penn 38:50
Stay tuned for the Trust Insights, adoption quiz on our website.

Katie Robbert 38:54
Alright, John, that’s your to do for this week.

John Wall 38:56
Yeah, right to run. But how do you guys feel about that? Because that is another thing. I have seen it done different ways. You know, on one side, there’s kind of the announcement that, yeah, we’re gonna do reengineering. And on the other, I’ve seen management, take a team and say, Okay, you guys go off and figure this out. But we’re not even going to tell the rest of the army that we’re looking or doing this project, until we know, either like there’s they’re there. Or, you know, we don’t want everybody to just get excited about losing their jobs, when we don’t even know if anything’s gonna happen is that? Have you guys seen that play out? And any tips on how to deal with that?

Katie Robbert 39:30
You know, it both both approaches can work. It’s just a matter of dealing with the consequences and the fallout. And so if you’re on the in the first scenario, where you’re like, hey, we’re going to do this thing, then the consequences of that are you’re going to have some people who get on board and some people who either walk away or are asked to walk away. And so as long as you’re okay with that, then that approach can absolutely work and that I’ve been at companies where that has been the approach and It is very painful. But you’re sort of in that mindset as the employee of like, okay, I can either get on board and do this and you know, go along for the ride, or I can just be like, This is not my jam. In the other scenario where you have, you know, like a tiger team of people who were trying to figure it out, and then roll it out to the company, those tend to, I mean, both both sides of the equation are painful, it’s just a matter of, you know, how much buy in do you want to get from people. So when you have a smaller committee, who then rolls it out, you tend to get a little bit more buy in, because it’s not so sudden. And it feels like more people can collaborate and get engaged versus just a top down, this is what we’re doing, get on board or walk.

Christopher Penn 40:45
It depends on the external forcing function to So back in, in 2008, early 2009, I was working in financial services at a company that did federal student loans. And that year, Brock Obama was elected to the presidency. And one of the things that was in his platform was bringing federal student loans back into the Department of Education, the company I worked for 85% of its revenue came from reselling federal student loans. And so we base got 65 days to cool, but with a completely new business model, or lose 85% of our revenue, just closed the doors forever. And so we had to pivot really, really, really fast. It was an all hands on deck, and we had no choice, we had zero vote in the matter, it was going to happen. And we did we successfully pivoted, we moved into a bunch of new product lines and things. And it was very, very painful as basically, you know, every night was a late night for two and a half months, we doing office systems, redoing all of our websites, changing what we marketed and things. And we survived, we were not nearly as profitable as we had been, arguably, there was it was morally better, because we were just you know, we stopped selling nearly as many people into debt as we were used to. But it was a wholesale, like you had no choice. Everybody had to get on board because the business would be to disappear otherwise.

Katie Robbert 42:04
So as we’re sort of we’ve been talking about this for almost 45 minutes. It sounds like there’s a few takeaways. You know, one is, you as an individual, one of your responsibilities is to within your industry stick, try your best to stay up to date on the latest and greatest technologies and innovations, you know, processes in which other companies that are competitor to you are doing things, and try to see how that will impact your daily life? And are there things you can learn from that and start to apply to your company? What are some of the other key takeaways, guys,

Christopher Penn 42:45
if you’re talking about business process, reengineering, you’re talking about revolution. So it is not iterative. It is not, you know, slow, slow and steady it is you are breaking stuff, and starting over. And so if you’re, if you’re working with any kind of consulting firms stuff, and they’re saying that they’re doing business, process reengineering, and things are not getting thrown out the window wholesale, they’re not doing business process reengineering, they’re doing something else. So just know what it is that you’ve bought. And I think Katie, the biggest point, though, is is what you were hinting at first, which is know what’s going on, outside of your, you know, your day to day know what the big changes are on the horizon, and be ready to adapt to it. Because sometimes change happens really slow. And sometimes change happens really, really fast. And if you’re not aware of what’s happening, and we see this all the time, we talked to people who are in marketing, like oh, yeah, you know, I don’t have time for professional development. Then you’re toast, because at some point, something’s gonna come along, it’s gonna sink your ship.

Katie Robbert 43:49
I would say to that even have your processes documented at all, so that you know what needs to change? John Woody?

John Wall 43:56
Yeah, I think the the big idea is understand that if you think there’s opportunity out there that you want to go grab, then when you re engineer it has to be a separate team. And if it’s something that the market is forcing upon you, then you can re engineer within the existing org. And you really kind of have to obey those because it doesn’t work the other way around, you know, if the market itself is taking a shift, and you create an outside team to do it that has no experience, they’re going to crash and burn. And if you’re going after something new, that’s huge and high risk, the existing artists going to have no interest in, you know, leaving the current safe bureaucracy. And so make sure you’ve got the right approach for how you put that to work or otherwise you’re gonna come up short.

Christopher Penn 44:41
Yep, I’ll work. I think that’s a good place to stop at. So if you got questions and stuff, pop on other tools. We’ll share our links to our Slack group and stuff in just a minute. But thanks for tuning in today, and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care

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