Do You Have a Plan to Dominate or Are You Just Catching Up? – Distributors in the Digital Era

More than ever before, distributors have the opportunity to break free of the chains that bind them to meager margins and feeble brands. But, there is a problem. The prevailing distribution mindset is that the forces of disruption and digital transformation highlight the weaknesses in the distributor’s business model. Distribution is threatened, but distributors can … Read more

Is Storytelling the Missing Link for Leveraging Distributor Data? – Distributors in the Digital Era

Virtually every distributor I encounter understands that mastering data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) is essential if distributors are to survive and thrive in the digital age. However, very few leaders have a comprehensive game plan for turning their company into a data-driven business. The two most common approaches to mastering data, analytics and AI … Read more

Are Your Managers Managing Your Culture? – Distributors in the Digital Era

I’ve learned from many distributor leaders that a company’s culture is determined not only by its values, but by the particular employee behaviors that are most aligned with achieving its ideals. A positive, well-managed culture will drive productivity, reinforce customer experiences and enable innovations. A negative culture, however, can kill strategic initiatives and demolish returns … Read more

Will Virtual Platforms Enable a Real World Renaissance? (Article #4)

Hello Innovators! Our new article on Rebooting the Real World is about the future of real-world businesses as virtual platforms reach peak dominance. By virtual platforms, we mean companies including Alibaba and Amazon, Lyft and Uber, Flexe and Airbnb, and so on. Platform businesses are born in the virtual world, and their business models gravitate towards a massive global … Read more

Why Does Identifying as “B2B” or “B2C” Kill Innovation? (Article #5)

Hello Innovators! The terms B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) have been in use for some time but gained currency as the forces of disruption and e-commerce took hold. Seeking to expand their market share, technology vendors and platform businesses realized they could build on success with consumer goods by offering their solutions to companies that … Read more

Do Your Customer Relationships Advance the Human Condition? (Article #3)

Hello Innovators! We’re on a roll. This article is our third on Rebooting the Real World. Many readers have shared comments, and many others have reached out through InMail and phone calls. All are appreciated. Truly. If you are just finding us, our work is about exploring and encouraging human-centric innovations. Today, traditional businesses must compete … Read more

Does Your Business Compete on Human Values? (Article #2)

Hello Innovators! Thank you for checking out our second article on Rebooting the Real World. Our work is about exploring and encouraging human-centric innovations. Today, traditional businesses must compete in the virtual world, but the most potent and differentiated customer experiences will be about doing business as humans for humans. And I’m about to explain … Read more

Follow Mark Dancer’s Articles on Innovating Business for the Real World!

Hello reader! I’m taking the Network for Business Innovation (N4BI) on a new journey. This is the first of a series of LinkedIn articles that will chronicle our progress, share ideas, and tell stories. I invite you to follow our work. Let’s Reboot the Real World While researching my newest book, Innovate to Dominate: The 12th … Read more

Are You Innovating with One Arm Tied Behind Your Back? – Distributors in the Digital Era

As some distributor leaders drive their businesses to offer unique customer experiences, enabled by new operating models, they are finding that their company’s traditional knowledge and skills are coming up short. Leading-edge distributors already know this, and so they are competing on continual innovations and embracing the practice of building an innovation ecosystem, which consists … Read more

Are Distributors Learning from Retail’s E-Commerce Transformation?

As I’ve been watching changes in the retail industry, I’ve come across a podcast series, HBS Managing the Future of Work, which provides invaluable ideas and experiences for turbocharging innovation initiatives. One episode, “From Opt-In to Check-Out: How Digital Platforms Are Transforming Retail,” explains the evolution in the retail industry. Just as in distribution, the emergence of mega platforms, … Read more

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