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We blog about Human Behaviour | Business Process Design | Strategy | Branding | Creative

the thing no one wants to be and everybody is:

No one wants to be a cost.  We become costs before we are even born.  Then we begin consuming.  Food.  Data.  Knowledge.  The beginning of a life of consumption.  Our consumption has begun to bump up against nature, and from some perspectives nature is fighting back.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods and radical changes to animal populations.  Catastrophe quite profitable for some, for others a huge series of costs.

"So, mostly we ignore the fact that we are costs as we generate cost."

This is where we become burden shifters.  The type of person that is happy to let others pay kind of burden shifting.  Some are tricky about this, and maliciously take advantage.  Others are simply oblivious to the possibility that they shift burden, the cost and upset they leave in their wake absolutely invisible to them.  Focused.  Turned inward to focus on our own consumption.  Our own objectives.  Our own need to get things done.

Look Differently, See Different Things:  The Cost of Mail for example.

"The paper and plastic crap they just keep sticking in your mailbox!"

This is tradition dying a hard death.  Because you have an address, others have the right to burden you with things, which then produces cost to throw away, which then produces a whole chain of event costs in the garbage industry.  The garbage industry producing even more costs through contracts, exclusivity and exclusion.  Why?

"Can't we find what we need on the internet?"

No.  We really can't.  Not in the ad based cost structure that has emerged out of the likes of Google.  Search has become an ad based, neatly siloed dog-pile of marginal information.  Getting what we need literally hidden in the ad based jungle.  The probability of getting what we don't need, that which will quite likely wind up in a landfill, quite high.  Because our emotions are being played.

That's what happens when we advertise, we play on the emotions of others.  That is fact.  And, there can be a huge cost to that.  I'm pointing it out.  Perhaps not well, though that is what begins to happen when we begin to look differently.  We see different things, then we work to describe them.  We explore the possibility that others are able to see the same things.  We wrestle with differences, distinctions.

I am pointing to the unseen cost of physical mail.  I am pointing to the unseen cost of online search.  There are many unseen costs surrounding us, just as we don't necessarily see the costs that we are.

The importance of this whole perspective is that without seeing cost, the costs that we are and the costs that surround us, then it is very, very difficult to assess what everyone wants to focus on.  Value.  Value assessments are not complete without clear costs.

Application: September 1, 2018 finds us still talking about the death of Senator John McCain.  A friend in the social layer memorialized him as a champion of cross aisle politics, and was using him as an example and call for people to work together.

The cost of this approach massive in terms of the effect/affect we hold as the future.

By some reports, McCain, was neither respected by those around him in the military, nor known for his ethics in politics, and responsible by vote for the death of many, the suffering of more, and the destruction of other governments, lands and the planet.

By painting the man as both a hero and someone we should respect only makes sense in a world where we have lost our minds.

What is the cost of memorializing half truths and lies by omission?  One cost is that by doing this, by obscuring fact we encourage these very same behaviors.  We need to challenge such costs, not blindly eat them!

EXPLORATION: Where can you see that you are a cost to others?  Where can you see that others are a cost to you?  Where can you see that you and others can work together to reduce cost for both yourself and others?...

Case Example ~ Situation | Solution | Result:

Situation > N/A

Solution > N/A

Result > N/A

Distinctions: Cost, Burden Shift, Cost Structure, Ethics, 

Relation To Core: Acknowledgement, Observational Frameworks, Navigational Capacity, Bridging Realities, Human Interactivity's Ones & Zeros, The Language Of Coordination, Turning Business To Enterprise, Reciprocally Transactional Loops, 

The invisible, lurking foe of enterprise:

What costs do we see?  The ones we count.  Accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs will tell you where things go in a financial package.  This is quite different than running an operational engine where coordination and interaction are key.  Running the spreadsheets about what happened, or is projected to happen.  Running the operational engine about the day to day, hourly human to human coordination that surrounds.

"Move that machine into place, so we can fix this other machine."  Things.  Locations.  Humans, particularly in business orient around two components. Things.  And, the various location of those things.  We don't really count the surrounding interactions.  The mishaps and misunderstandings.  The omissions and misdirections.  The [Coordination Waste] in the [Conversational Layer] that surrounds our focus on things and their locations.  Coordination waste costs today - mostly invisible - certainly unseen in the everyday business income statement and balance sheets.  Some suggest that as much as 80% of our current productivity is waste.  Waste whose removal could turn directly into profit on an enterprise's bottom line.

Look Differently, See Different Things:  We talk about productivity, and we talk about collaboration.  Though, we don't talk openly, outside of the typical backchannel snot circles about the elephant in the room.

"The number of extraordinarily unnecessary conversations we are in."

The seemingly endless, point missing dialogs about things their location and the people that put them there.  Exchanges when we are rushing or assuming shared background.  Assuming shared care.  None of this means we don't have to have conversation.  It means we should beware of and avoid pointless conversation. 

Meaningful conversation being about concerns, offers, requests, specification of satisfaction, acknowledgement of fulfillment, recalibration, and even apology.  Not people's attributes.

On vacation once I found myself in the middle of a custom cabinet install.  Let's say it was the cost of passage.  Three beautiful cabinets literally filling the bed of a small pickup.  On arrival we looked at the install location and delivery path.  All clear.  The first two boxes went in with just a little effort.  The third wouldn't.  We went outside, three, or four of us talking about the situation.  And after about 15 minutes one says, "I've figured it out."

We then went back in and the solution was described.  The choice was made to heft the third box into a particular sequence of positions.  Sure enough, it fit.  They all fit.  Casework installed.  Done.

No tangents.  No finger pointing.  No posturing.  Just coordinated effort.

It is when we add the psychology of our being to conversation that things become real, personalized messes.  Such costs buried deep amongst our common interpretation of productivity, direct labor costs, and the peanut butter cost spread of indirect labor, administration.  The sick days.  The missed meetings.  The aversion to follow through.  The propensity for confusion, disengagement.

Note: A very large, old company [ g a l l u p ] is building a business around coordination waste.  They just don't know it.  Nor do I think they see the value and simplicity of speech acts, and particularly The Language Of Coordination as a solution.

The Language Of Coordination.  Flores' speech acts and simple distinctions allow us to think and begin to move differently in and around coordination waste costs.  Once we begin to see these new types of waste, costs really, only then can we can consider mitigating them and work to remove them from the equation.

EXPLORATION: When we start thinking about costs differently what can we see?  What different types of cost can you see?  How would you categorize them?

Misconnection costs.  Transition costs.  Psychology costs.  Lost productivity costs.  Lost opportunity costs.  All meta buckets for rich exploration in terms of defining what coordination waste is in specific circumstance.

Case Example ~ Situation | Solution | Result:

Situation > The Business That Has A Thin Understanding Of Marketing.

These businesses have limited choice.  The value they are to their customers unclear.  Often, exactly who their customers are unclear.  These businesses often compromising to get projects, or compromising too much to keep projects.  Costs often felt in relationship strain, though not expressed, or not expressed well.

Solution > Increase Possibility, Extend The Network, Increase Conversations.

Positioning/Repositioning: People buy solutions to their concerns.  Sometimes concerns are simple and known.  Commodity offers.  Sometimes concerns more complex need to be highlighted.  Often concerns are invisible and become visible through repositioning and socialization, sharing.  Invented relationship by relationship in reciprocal, recurrent dialog.

Increasing possibility can be as simple as launching an effort.  Often it is not.

To increase possibility we must increase focus on concerns.  Mutual concerns.  We must be clear about value.  We must be clear about who the customer is that values us and why. 

We also have to have readily available assets to produce the offers we make.  We must be at the ready to fulfill.

Inbound, outbound, internal, external our job is to create, to cultivate a particular listening in others for the value of the offers we make.  Preparing them for acceptance.  If our offers address concerns, that's value. 

Value production needs to be full circle.  Reciprocal in multiple directions.

Positioning, and particularly repositioning an offer successfully takes great willingness.  Willingness to shift, to adapt.

Receptivity and resonance to the offer directly connected to perceived complexity and lack of clarity.  When concerns are listened and value is created by design, there is much more clarity, receptivity and resonance.  Models and modeling skills, very valuable here.

With value resonance comes increased possibilities, more choice, and typically larger fractional ownership of outcome.

Result > Hat Tip To Operations, Guided Fulfillment and Cranking Up The Engine.

Here We Row Together: Sensibility to role, culture and style differences, as well as keen sensibility to the difference between offer and request critical.  Whose capacity is being expended?  Whose concerns are being addressed?

Here we are building an engine of asset inputs, asset outputs.  We are building the capacity to harness those assets for future outcomes.

Distinctions: Cost, Conversational Layer, Speech Acts, Positioning, Concerns, Value, Offers, Requests, Engines, Assets, 

Relation To Core: Acknowledgement, Observational Frameworks, Navigational Capacity, Bridging Realities, Human Interactivity's Ones & Zeros, The Language Of Coordination, Turning Business To Enterprise, Reciprocally Transactional Loops, 

decision makers with power:

We say the word ecosystem, though few seem to grasp what that really means.  Personas in the equation.  The sphere of influencers surrounding your product/service offer.  We tend to figure out we missed a critical someone when it's too late.

Every offer has both a supply and demand chain: We need others to help us fulfill the offers we make, just as others need us to fulfill on the offers we make them.  Commitment based logistics once we get the order.  Though, what about the time period leading up order receipt?  This is where the characters in your sales story need to be identified and understood.

"Pain; Loosing agreement because a 'mystery' person was the decision maker."

Who are all the character actors in your play?  

This requires energy, skill and some hard work.  Persistence.  The scope of your project might lead to extended effort.  Big deals could take years to accurately map requisite territory.  This is why the term gorilla marketing was invented.  How can we be resourceful in our activities in a way that maximizes desired outcome?  This is different than money is no object advertising.

Twitter: The company that could have owned philanthropy.  They don't because they've never understood their ecosystem.  Ever.

Get outside yourself: Understanding the ecosystems we operate in requires our ability to look past our own selfish interests.  We have to engage with each character role in a mode of seeking to understand.  We must understand what these characters in their roles care about.  Make no mistake.  What they care about is probably neither you, nor what you offer.  That's where narrative comes in.

"You can't tell a compelling story if you don't listen to your audience."

Step.  By.  Step.

Listen to your audience, the characters you want to listen to you.  Forget features, forget benefits, forget overcoming objections  Forget negotiating tactics.  Forget all that crap, and simply listen.

Who are these people?   Have you missed any important roles?  What do these people care about relative to their job?  Who are these people outside their jobs?  When they interact with you; what do they say, what don't they say; what do they do, what don't they do?  These are questions to 'hang out with,' not identify as fast as you can.  Rushing to misjudgment and/or omission.  

Mapping the territory we are selling into is a basic element of success.  Being lazy only leads to false start and inappropriate expectations in terms of what is going to happen next.

Case Example ~ Situation | Solution | Result:

Situation > n/a

Solution > n/a

Result > n/a

Distinctions: Ecosystem, Power, Choice, Timing, Supply Chain, Demand Chain, Perspective, Observation, 

Relation To Core: Acknowledgement, Observational Frameworks, Navigational Capacity, Bridging Realities, Human Interactivity's Ones & Zeros, The Language Of Coordination, Turning Business To Enterprise, Reciprocally Transactional Loops,