Countdown to Captiva: Reinventing the organization

Aaahhh…I can almost feel the warm tropical breezes of Captiva. We’re getting very close to the Search Insider Summit and, as promised, I wanted to preview some of the sessions we have lined up for the agenda.

As a quick reminder, the theme is RE:Invention. I’m particularly looking forward to a number of sessions we have scheduled that will explore the reinvention of the organization.

I spend a good part of my time talking to marketers within organizations that are challenged with guiding traditional organizations through the massive transformations required to compete in a digital marketplace with totally new rules. It’s a topic that’s particularly fascinating to me. Most of the brands we know today were built in a marketplace that favored size and scale. The ability to have a presence in as many locations as possible was key, so complex market distribution networks quickly sprung up.

But today, thanks to a digital paradigm shift, the marketplace is defined differently. Physical fulfillment is being outsourced, allowing the smallest E-Bay vendor to sell globally and the importance of physical “shelf-space” in a brick and mortar store is being challenged by new virtual shelves (i.e. search listings, e-commerce sites and other online destinations). Also, manufacturers, who, because of scale and the complexity of their distribution networks, found themselves further and further away from the end consumer, are suddenly rediscovering a new intimacy with these customers.

These challenges will be explored in a trio of presentations at the Search Insider Summit:

IBM and the Agile Revolution

Massive scale and nimbleness tend to make odd bedfellows. But that’s exactly the balance required at many organizations to compete in a new real time marketplace. Ben Edwards, VP of Digital Strategy at IBM, will look at how new “agile” methods have begun to spread from the software development industry to other forms of white-collar work, bringing with them work rituals and artifacts that are able to negotiate accelerated market change and uncertainty.

The Power of Design

I remember Amy Curtis-McIntyre, who has stick handled the marketing efforts of JetBlue, Hyatt Hotels and, most recently, Old Navy, saying that good design was a necessity, not a luxury. That’s where Lance Loveday of Closed Loop Marketing picks up for his presentation on the Search Insider stage. Lance believes that good design can be the essential difference between success and failure (or, even worse, mediocrity). He’ll follow the rather large design footsteps of Apple, Virgin and IDEO. What is really different about companies built around good design and what are some ways you can discover your own inner Steve Jobs?

3M: Back to the Digital Smokestack.

In the 109 year history of 3M, they’ve had to reinvent themselves several times, but one thing has remained constant – the DNA of 3M springs from innovation in the workplace. By mixing and matching their core technologies (numbering 40, including adhesives, abrasives, coatings and moldings) 3M has been providing industrial solutions since they first glued sand on paper. Internally, this innovative intimacy is called “back to the smokestack” and Interactive Marketing Group Manager David Reynolds-Gooch will share how 3M is now looking at how to leverage digital technology to make these collaborations faster and more effective than ever.

Originally published in Mediapost’s Search Insider April 21. 2011