The World's Funkiest Strategy Guru
Amid the madness and hyperbole surrounding the new economy, Kjell Nordstrom is a strategy guru of the new world of business.
The 2001 Thinkers 50, the world's first ranking of management thinkers, ranked Nordstrom and his partner Dr. Jonas Ridderstrale at number 17 (one place below Nicholas Negroponte and one ahead of Stephen Covey).
His dynamic style makes him a highly appreciated speaker and guru throughout the world. He has served as an advisor/consultant to several large multinationals.
Corporations are no longer in control. Modern companies are facing the prospects of a two-front war: held hostage by talent and under siege by consumers.
They need to find ways to manage and lead in this new world of karaoke capitalism where the individual rules and has ultimate choice. So says Kjell Nordstrom.
But Kjell Nordstrom is not your average business strategy guru.
He doesn't wear a suit; his ideas come in full colour; he stalks whatever stage he is on, dressed in black and presents his views with such dynamic delivery that he is one of the most sought after speakers in the world.
He is a rebel with a cause, whose unorthodox combination of academic rigor, forceful logic and funky free-thinking means he is at the forefront of the new generation of business gurus.
"If you loved Funky Business as much as I did, you'll love Karaoke Capitalism. Weird? Most certainly. Different? Most definitely. But, if you want to re-imagine your organization and your career, it's a thought-provoking place to start." Tom Peters, 2004
The World Of Karaoke Capitalism
In the Karaoke world, expressing your individuality and being different, lies at the heart of the modern enterprise and modern life. We are all individuals now.
Individualism means that more and more people throughout the world can shape their lives. Choice rules. Those with cash or competence have the freedom to know, go, do, and be whoever they want to be.
But, Kjell Nordstrom view is that, whilst the karaoke reality is a cosmopolitan club with endless individual choice, the trouble for business is that it is also home to institutionalized imitation.
Copycats abound. Business schools, benchmarking and best practice have transformed the entire world of commerce into a super-group of karaoke copying companies. And imitating someone else will never get you to the top - merely to the middle.
Forget about appealing to the average. Success is a question of exploring the extremes.
Innovation Inc: Imitate And You Will Die; Innovate And You May Succeed:
"The 'surplus society' has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with similar educational backgrounds, working in similar jobs, coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices and similar quality."
The profusion of markets, surplus supply, continuous commoditization plus inexpensive information has created perfect competition.
So, imitation can only mean parity at best and, in the survival of the fittest, parity is not good enough. Imitating someone else will never get you to the top - merely to the middle.
So, in a world of abnormality, deviance is good. Organizations which maximize competence are organized in innovative ways to do things - everything - differently. Find out how Kjell thinks the old rules of how to 'encourage creativity' will no longer work and what companies need to do now to unleash the power of innovation that is critical to successand survival in the new world.
All this provides companies with formidable challenges as they are held hostage by competent individuals - to thrive, they must learn to master the art of capitalizing on competencies.
But, to attract talent, you need a seductive story.
Stars will not settle for XM (extra medium) when they can get XL (extra large).
"To succeed, we need more, not fewer non-conformists ">
Additionally, though, companies need to seek out deviants who will forge new pathways and then it is up to the leaders to create the fertile ground where each individual's talents can be unleashed.
Moods Inc: Be Fit or 'Sexy'
In a world of economic Darwinism, survival is a question of being fit or sexy - competing on models and moods.
Fitness boils down to using market imperfections to your advantage. Being sexy needs a strategy of emotional innovation, bringing emotions into the economics of what you do and putting it at the heart of your customer propositions.
"Companies need to create emotional innovation in order to create moods that attract and addict customers"
So, the new corporate masters of mood will exploit the imperfections of man by seducing or sedating consumers; mood competitors will be providers of experiences. Hear how Kjell has come to this view and how he thinks companies can become 'fit' or 'sexy.
The Commandments of Karaoke Leadership
The concept of leadership is undergoing dramatic changes - leadership is no longer a position but a process and karaoke leaders inspire followers.
They know that you inherit subordinates, but you earn followers. Successful leaders live the values of the company and continually set the culture.
So, you need to be different to stand out in the minds of people amid the clamour of what Kjell calls 'the new global bazaar'.
Hear about the research Kjell has conducted into the leaders of the new world and what he thinks are absolute critical factors in being a successful leaders in the world of endless choice for customers and talented individuals.
Books By Kjell Nordstrom
Karaoke Capitalism: Management For Mankind
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