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Attack, or defend?

In our last lesson, we looked at how the strategic thinker needs to be seeing and sensing their environment to identify strengths, weaknesses, pick out opportunities and pick out threats.

Clearly, we’ve spotted that there are opportunities that we’ve got to go and exploit, and there are threats and weaknesses that we have to mitigate. And if we only focus on one or the other, we run the risk of being blindsided.

If we place too much focus on the opportunities it might cause us to lose the painstakingly won market share that’s been built up through time as we ignore our existing client base. Too much focus on threats might make us miss new opportunities and avoid jumping on a new bandwagon that’s about to take off. We’ve got to do both. And at Cognopia, we call that ambidextrous data strategy. Let’s take a look.

These grid lines here are here to represent the below the line thinking and above the line thinking. Below the line is defensive, fixing problems. Above the line is offensive, creating delight and new opportunity.

We must think about customer satisfaction and expectations (and customers don’t have to be your actual physical customers, they can be your data consumers, they can be your management, they can be any stakeholder in your organisation that’s consuming information and expects it to have a certain quality). 

You can see below that when we’re not fulfilling our customer expectations, it leads to customer dissatisfaction.

They’re not happy with the data that they’ve got in the organisation, or you’ve got some inefficiencies that you need to go and resolve before people can do their job. And when we try to solve this, we can only ever really get somebody slightly satisfied.

This is defensive. Its problem led data innovation. But remember, from the Six Easy Steps course that if we get rid of customer complaints, that’s got more value than making people delighted.

On the other side of the line, we’ve got a customer who’s still not too delighted, they haven’t got anything to be particularly pleased about, their customer expectations are just fulfilled.

But when we sense opportunities to put something in their hands that’s really going to delight them, then that’s our offensive data strategy. See below:

That’s the opportunity led data innovation. This is work that’s really going to change the game and make those people thrilled to see what we’ve got and to work with us. And that’s what we mean when we talk about ambidextrous data strategy at Cognopia.

It’s a mixture of solving existing problems, taking away complaints and making people’s lives easier, but then delighting consumers, delighting data stakeholders and delighting your business with a fantastic way of exploiting an opportunity that they haven’t got their hands on today.