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Daily Dialogues with Tech Sheiks

Almost daily, I am asked to entertain an emerging technology or service offering through an existing partnership or a potential one. Occasionally there is some appeal and I listen through what is usually a two-pronged message. The presenter attempts to deliver a high impact message with the hopes that Katalyst will be persuaded into adding their product to our existing portfolio. Through these incantations, I hear all sorts of pitches that usually include things like “increasing our top line revenue" and “differentiating ourselves from our competition."

These Tech-Sheiks (as I refer to them) occasionally make an oblique reference to the impact on our customers. In many instances they begin talking about market share, how great the solution is, how others have introduced it without overlap, all while grossly missing the entire essence of why Katalyst exists. In the last quarter alone, I’ve thought to myself, “I hope we aren’t taking this approach with our own clients."

Insight before oversight– I understand urgency and can appreciate the need to captivate, but if you are starting your message with a mouth dropping assertion or a contrarian point that doesn’t impact your target customer's customer, go back to the drawing board. As difficult as it can be, we all should be focused on defining what the problem is before we attempt to solve. This is where insight before oversight is critical. Too many times I’ve been offered solutions to problems that I don’t have. Frustrating to say the least. I guess when you're hammer, everything really is a nail…

Stop, Think & Value Chain – When considering what I should add to our own portfolio at Katalyst, I reference my own strategic plan and consult with experts in said area. This validates that before we invest resources into a new offering, we make sure that market demand exists, understand the competitive landscape and apply the test before you jump to methodology. Clearly any product we bring to market should exponentially impact our customer’s customer. Similarly, any organization should take a like-minded approach when investing in technology. This should focus on how said investment will help avoid disruptions, enhance visibility and quite importantly, improve their ability to respond to their own customer’s needs.

So, the next time you find yourself speaking to your own tech sheik, lead the conversation into making sure you are prepared to ask these two critical questions:

  1. How does this solution improve my customer’s experience?

  2. Does this solution compliment and align to my overall vision?

Starting here will prevent you from being sucked into your own technology vortex. I’ve seen it countless times; it just spins and spins and spins, eventually pulling your own customer’s experience down with it.

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