Discussion topic week 3

I would like to discuss a financial product (Auto Loan to be precise) offered by DCU or Digital Federation Credit union. DCU is for profit credit union based out of Marlborough, Massachusetts, offering financial products to retail users, such as savings account, checking account, credit card, insurance and different loans. The Auto loan offered by DCU has the best rate and it is very popular in the New England region of the east coast of United States.

DCU competes against big names such as Bank of America, Chase. And yet DCU manages to get the lowest rate on the auto loan to its 500000 + members (Muckian, 2014). But, the reason DCU Auto loan is most popular in the region because even the members with bad credits get a good rate. And the difference usually is huge. Like one user Tracy Williams was being charged 24.29% by big banks, DCU charged her only 5.9% despite her bad credit score. (Williams, 2018).  Now that we are a little bit familiar with the brand and its product, we can switch our focus to the strategy that has helped DC gain this success.

Here are few of the DCU strategies –

Create a Brand Identity – DCU is a member only, not for profit credit union and its vision is “All Members Achieve Their Financial Goals” (http://dcu.org). DCU wants to help its members achieve their financial goals without cutting the corners. DCU has successfully differentiated itself from other big banks with their value proposition and their no-fee products (i.e. checking account/saving account) and low APR loan products.

Be Consistent over time – DCU was established in the year 1979 and ever since they have stood by their value proposition. They are consistent over time to offer low rate loans and no fee banking accounts to its members.

Track the Equity – Tracking equity of DCU brand is easy. Because DCU members who have bad credit can get a great rate on a Credit card or auto loan. And since they have a loyal member base, most of the members get referred by word of mouth. So potential customers are made aware of the brand by other members that show the brand equity is pretty great.

Brand Development activities – DCU center has been built in New England region as a premier arena and convention complex (https://www.dcucenter.com/) which does a good job in increasing brand awareness in the region.

Investing in the Brand – DCU entered with a partnership with the city of Worchester and built DCU arena in the year 2004 and DCU sponsors the area to build the brand equity since the year 2004.

These are few ways DCU has taken to build brand awareness in New England region of United States. But the best part is, of course, the products offered by DCU to retail users, such as no-fee checking and savings account or low APR Credit card and auto loans even for people with bad credit score, which help people to get back on their feet fast.

References

William, T. (2018, January). Digital Federal Credit Union

. Retrieved from https://wallethub.com/profile/digital-federal-credit-union-13311008i/

Muckian, M. (2014, October). Top 20 Credit Unions. Retrieved from http://www.cutimes.com/2014/10/07/top-20-credit-unions?page=9&slreturn=1518823453

Retrieved on February 16, 2018, from  https://www.dcu.org/

Retrieved on February 16, 2018, from  https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4276489

Retrieved on February 16, 2018, from  https://www.dcucenter.com/

Retrieved on February 16, 2018, from  https://www.dcucenter.com/about-dcu-center/dcu-digital-federal-credit-union/

Model of Buyer Behavior

Abstract

We would discuss about Google Project Fi. This service is just like mobile phone service from Verizon or AT&T in USA, the apparent difference is not many people are aware about this service from Google. Cheaper monthly service plans are the best attraction of Project Fi. Unlimited calls in North American plus national and international texts costs $20 a month. 1 GB high speed data costs $10 and any amount of data above 6GB is basically free. Hence few of the attributes of the service would be (https://fi.google.com) –

  1. It is inexpensive ,
  2. User get to save money on data in case they don’t need it
  3. Latest Android phones on discount in case you switch to the plan
  4. Free unlimited international text
  5. Data costs same overseas
  6. Easy to use internationally ( I have taken the connection to middle east and India)
  7. Great customer support, available on email, live chat
  8. It offers family plan too, add another person to your plan for $15 a month

We are going to create model buyer behavior for this service in this paper and will create a model for an organizational buyer vs individual consumer.

 

 

 

 

 

Model of Buyer Behavior

Who are the customers of Google Project Fi?

Anyone in the USA who usage a smartphone would be a potential Google Project Fi customer. But project Fi works on only android phones, so consumers who do not want to leave apple won’t be able to use project Fi.

Why would consumers buy google Project Fi?

Someone who does not want to pay for unused data and lower their phone bill could use project Fi. Many people pay a lot for their current phone service plan, they can switch to project fi to save on monthly phone bill.

How do consumers make a purchase decision?

Any mobile phone user who is in the market for alternative or first-time buyers who do not want to spend too much on other providers plans and do not use too much data will be interested. Moreover, Project Fi is backed by a strong brand name like Google. Once interested the potential buyer will make some research, to find out more about the quality of the service, so if the potential buyer finds any friend or relative who can influence him or he can go on the web to find out reviews. If the quality, brand are convincing another point of consideration would be the price. If the potential customer is okay with the price then they will go ahead with the purchasing decision.

Where do consumers buy?

Project Fi is exclusively available on Google web store, so the consumer cannot find this in any retail stores. So consumers who are used to making purchases on the web an visit google project Fi web store and make a purchase.

When do consumers buy?

I would assume the consumer can switch in to project Fi any day, any month of any year. But during holidays the sales may go up if Google has some great offers on, that might influence the consumer and make him/her make the purchasing decision.

 

 

Model of Organizational Buyer Behavior

Organizations can switch to Project Fi too. Please note, Google Project Fi is currently in beta stage and available for individual use only, so there is no corporate plan available. I am not aware if Google employees usage the project Fi network. But let us explore if any organizational buyers decide to switch to Project Fi then what are questions it will go through.

 

 

Why does organizational buyer buy?

When we consider an organizational buyer we need to remember since Project Fi is available only on Android phones. The organization has to be okay with using the phone. Many companies might have some security concern on using Android, or their company app might not be available on an android platform. If the organization is okay with the android, then the most probable reason to buy or switch into project Fi would be to save cost, because project Fi provides inexpensive plans.

 

How do customers make purchase decisions?

The administration in the organization might decide to save cost on corporate phone plans, and they can look for alternatives. Once they find out Project Fi, the organization has to be okay with Android and Google brand name. The most critical decision might be the price. Because if they currently use blackberry or iPhone then there will be an extra cost for the mobile phone. But if the organization, to be specific the influencer thinks in long run the organization can save money if they switch to android and project Fi then he/she can propose the switch. And the final decision maker can make the final decision to purchase the phones and switch to Project Fi. If the number of users is high, they might reach out to Google and negotiate a better rate.

 

Where do organizational buyers buy?

The organization can reach out to Googles marketing or sales team to negotiate a better rate. But since Project Fi does not have any retail presence, they have to reach google be it to purchase or to negotiate via the web store.

 

When does organizational buyer buy?

An organizational buyer might decide to switch current provider because of the current cost of a service provider or a bad experience with the current provider. And then I believe if Google offers a good price may be on plan or on a device or even better if, on both, the organization might decide to buy Project Fi connections for their employees. Since organization takes any purchasing decision based on cost and budget allocation. So the budget or availability of the money to finance the cost will play a role. Since I expect an organization to switch to Project Fi to save cost even if the company is not expecting much growth they can still go for this long-term cost-saving way.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Like consumer purchases, industrial consumers purchasing decisions are benefit driven (Winer, R., & Dhar, R., 2011). Organization and an individual buyer can initiate the search of the alternative for the same reason, like the bad experience with a current service provider or intending to save cost, but an organization might have an extra reservation on switching, as the preferred device has to be android. And getting the device for everyone might cost a significant amount based on the employee strength. So the price would be more critical for the organization than the individual buyer. But then if an organization can negotiate a good deal with Google they can mitigate the challenge. Unlike an individual customer for an organization, I expect finance to do the cost accounting and admin or HR to initiate and evaluate the service. And the IT or security team will play the vital role to evaluate the Android device and service too.

If the customers are it the individual customer or the organization customer are in some lease agreement with the current service provider, both of them cannot switch without paying the current provider. As Google does not cover any lease breakage cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                            References

Retrieved February 12, 2018, from https://fi.google.com

Winer, R., & Dhar, R.(2011). Marketing management (4th ed.). Boston; Prentice Hall.

Are there ways in which you want to improve your own consumer behavior?

Using what you have learned in Units 1 & 2, consider your own behavior as a buyer.   Think about the kinds of things that move you to make purchases, large and small.  Before making a major purchase, what types of data do you gather?  What types of data is most compelling to you? Do you buy impulsively?  If so, what type of products do you buy impulsively?   Are there ways in which you want to improve your own consumer behavior?

Going by my purchasing habit I would like to differentiate large and small by price. A Large purchase would be anything more than $200 and anything below that price range is more or less small purchase that I do not think about much.

When I making any large purchasing decision the primary mover would be “need”. Be it a mobile phone or flight ticket or a suit. First I think thoroughly if I absolutely need it. I guess the price is a big trigger for the question.

But for small purchases such as appeals or shoes I do not focus on the question “Do I really need it?” so much, I guess it is more of self – actualization.

 Before making a major purchase, what types of data do you gather?

Before making any large purchases there are few data points I try to gather. First is obviously “review” of the product or service, especially in case I do not have any prior experience with the service or product. The reviews on Amazon or yelp really helps to get a feel for what other users think of the product or service. Best example would be when I buy a laptop, I usually check the reviews on Amazon.

Secondly, I look for alternatives, in case I get a better price for similar or better service. But then the price is secondary in some cases like there are budget airlines those offer very cheap fare but infamous for almost always being late or getting flights canceled, I would never consider their service just because the price is low, so the quality of service is more important than the price.

Then there are certain brands I will consider because I have experience or my friends or family have experience with them, for example, while I am shopping for a car. Where safety and service are very important. I would not go for a brand because it is recommended by the car salesperson, I would look for someone who has experience with that brand.

In some cases brand alone is enough for me though, such as when I switched from T mobile to Project Fi, it was enough for me that Google was providing the service, I trusted Google to do a good job.

Location and availability is a critical factor when I am hunting for a place to leave. I consider how far the grocery store or the public transport is.

One last thing and probably most important, can I really afford it. Be it rent or car or a really expensive laptop, I try to be mindful of my finance too.

What types of data is most compelling to you?

             For any large purchases, the most compelling data is what kind reputation the brand has for their product or service and if I have prior experience with the brand that counts most otherwise the reviews and recommendations from previous users. The reason is before spending the amount of money, I like to make sure I am spending it well and going to get the value for my money, a good quality, and service.

Do you buy impulsively?  If so, what type of products do you buy impulsively?  

             I do buy impulsively. Mostly when I go to grocery shopping I buy foods impulsively. I do not stick to any list and end up buying way more than I should have. Sometimes it causes waste, if not waste it makes me fat.

             Another product category would be apparels, I buy way too many apparels than I need.

Are there ways in which you want to improve your own consumer behavior?

             Yes, my purchasing habit was way too worse before. I used to purchase books, mobile or electronics on impulse. I try to wait 1 day before purchasing, it gives me time to think if I really need it.

To stop making impulse apparel purchases, I have limited going to malls.

To improve my grocery shopping habit I can use a list and then stick to it. I have tried it few times and it worked. But, I am not very rigid on this because I like trying out different things and the price is not that much.

Week 2 – Discussion topic

Select a product or service. Write down a list of its characteristics/attributes. Take each characteristic and indicate what benefits it provides to a customer. How would an advertisement reflect this information? Also, which benefit or benefits do you think are most likely to differentiate it from the competition (think back to the value proposition in Unit 1). Be prepared to provide your list to your discussion group for their feedback.

 

I would like to talk about Google Project Fi. This service is just like mobile phone service from Verizon or AT&T, the apparent difference is not many people are aware of this service from Google.  It is not popular like the most popular ones but it has all the attributes to be.

Cheaper monthly service plans are the best attraction of Project Fi. You get unlimited calls in North American plus national and international texts for USD 20 a month. You have to spend $10 per 1 GB high speed data and any amount of data above 6GB is basically free. Hence few of the attributes of the service would be –

  1. it is inexpensive ,
  2. user get to save money on data in case they don’t need it
  3. latest android phones on discount in case you switch to the plan
  4. Free unlimited international text
  5. Data costs same overseas
  6. Easy to use internationally ( I have taken the connection to middle east and India)
  7. Great customer support, available on email, live chat
  8. It offers family plan too, add another person to your plan for $15 a month

The benefits were pretty evident to me when I switched from a different carrier to Project Fi the day it was launched. I was paying a ton of money on monthly plan to the provider I switched from. Yes, I was getting unlimited data which I did not really need, I have wifi access all the time. I travel overseas, so inexpensive data, easy roaming and free texts are just perfect fit for my travels. And when I have a problem I can drop an email or chat live with a support person, so quick solutions to my questions are great too. On top of that I have unlimited call and text when I am in USA.

Project Fi does not have the stores or any presence in any shopping mall, it is selling their service and phones on their website, hence they can keep the costs low, provide the same service for the cheaper price.

An advertisement to reflect the benefits Project Fi provides should focus on simplicity of plan. It should focus on users who need an unlimited call and text plan with great coverage and need high-speed data occasionally. The ad could highlight hassle-free data roaming and inexpensive international calls too. So, in the ad, they can show busy professionals who need a phone on the go, who travels overseas and calls overseas and do not want to spend a ton of money doing all those.

The simple inexpensive plan that allows the user to make unlimited call, text and lets the user roam the globe for the same price of data and make cheap international calls, yet does not charge for unused datasets Google Project Fi apart from its competition.

Value Proposition for BJs Wholesale Club

Abstract

BJ’s Wholesale Club is a member’s only warehouse store, just like Costco or Sam’s club. This company started in 1984. They operate mainly in the east coast of the United States and Ohio. Fortunately, I have one store in my neighborhood. That gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with Bj’s. I have an idea about the “4 Ps”, (Price, place, promotion, and product). In this paper, I intend to construct a value proposition for the warehouse club. Just to be precise, I will work with the information based on the fact I reside in Boston suburbs and the BJ’s wholesale club we have here. And of course, we receive some promotional materials often times.

Keywords: value proposition, BJ’s Whole Sale club

 

 

Value Proposition for BJs Wholesale Club

BJ’s Wholesale is membership-only warehouse club. To get the 1-year membership you need to pay $45 and you can add someone from your household along with your membership. In the store, you will get TV and other electronics, furniture and any other grocery item you can think of. They offer travel services too along with auto parts. And my favorite is if you have BJ’s membership, you get a discount from Auto insurance.

I signed up because I got a promotional offer with my credit card. Sign up with the credit card brand, you pay only $25 for the yearly membership and a $20 store gift card. So essentially I signed up for only $5. And their promotional material did not stop there. They have in store rack of coupons. Even if you do not carry the coupon book they send you every month, you can still grab some coupons in store, and yes, they send you a coupon book every month. You can combine these coupons with any other coupon you get for the brand you want to purchase. So you can imagine they flood the customers with promotional materials. Now that I am not a member anymore, I still receive a promotional join back offer, I can go back to their store with $25 yearly membership fee that comes along with the coupon book. And trust me it tempts me to re-join.

Now that we have talked about the “promotion” let us talk about the “price” which is very important too. BJ’s claim that on average customers save 25% on their purchases. I will be conservative and say it might not be 25% but it is more than 5% and if you can use those coupons wisely you save even more. So, I will say, BJ’s offer great price than its competitors those are mostly the supermarkets and   Walmart.  BJ’s has a gas station too and it offers gasoline for a discount price to the members. So, the membership gets you discount grocery and gasoline for your vehicle.

Now that we got the idea of “Price” and “Promotion”, let us discuss the “place”. Like I mentioned before BJ’s operate mainly on the east coast of the United States and Ohio. But I will be specific to the store I have in my neighborhood. This store is situated near an exit from the busiest highway in the state of Massachusetts. And I am aware of another BJ’s store that is placed the same way, near an exit of the busiest highway. How it benefits the store is interesting. We live near Boston, and when people return from work they can quickly take the exit, do their shopping and take the route back to the home in suburbs. I think the stores are very strategically placed to capture suburban customers.

BJ’s is a warehouse club and you get pretty much everything here, but the catch is it is a wholesale store. So there is no small box. Everything comes in wholesale size, so if you have a bigger family you will be happy about the big boxes and small prices. If you are single and live by yourself, maybe BJ’s does not have the right size for you. But the cheaper price, plenty of coupons make it worthwhile to find good deals on what you need and can use. I would recommend visiting their website to check out their complete product catalog. My favorite section was definitely the organic produce section in the store. And apparently it is really popular, to quote Chris Baldwin, the CEO of BJ’s “We sell groceries at 25 percent less than grocery stores on average in our markets and we validate that every week”.

 

Value Proposition -Now let us work on the value proposition. As Ken Krogue mentions “Price and quality are obvious, but in the age of mobile and the Internet, the speed of service may be the new secret sauce.” With so many great promotions BJ’s is already doing great on price. And with much organic produce in the produce aisle and great selections and brands in another product category, I am sure BJ’s scores good in product segment. During my research and from my experience I know BJ’s checkout lines take a lot of time. So that is one area “Speed” they need to work on. But, our value proposition can focus on what works best for now and can exclude the areas which need improvement and let the respective departments take care of those. Before I present my proposition, I wanted to mention BJ’s own tagline “Live Generously”. BJ’s run those radio ads locally, those mainly tells that “your dollar goes a long way in BJ’s”. They do not really talk about quality or convenient locations they have. Here is the value proposition –

For suburban families, BJ’s Whole Sale Club, is more than just another member’s only wholesale club, because BJ’s has the better selection of organic produce, great selection of groceries than supermarkets for less than 25% of the price and the cheapest gasoline for members and BJ’s credit card holders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Krogue, K. (2015, March). What Is Value? The Costco Value Proposition

. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2015/03/26/what-is-value-the-costco-value-proposition

Troy, M. (2017, May). In Focus: BJ’s Wholesale Club

. Retrieved from https://retailleader.com/focus-bjs-wholesale-club

 

Week 1 Discussion Assignment

Assume that you inherited a company that makes and sells packaged ice. Traditionally, the company has sold to commercial users such as restaurants, supermarkets, or food distributors. You have decided to expand your customer base to include consumers. Develop a statement of your target market(s), competitor targets, and a value proposition. Be prepared to discuss and defend your strategic decisions with your classmates.

 

In order to sell packaged ice directly to customers, first, we need to find a customer group. In my opinion, we need to try to sell somewhere where the weather is kind of tropical, people are active – hence often thirsty and where they spend few hours. To reduce the competition we need to make sure we are away from any casual or fast food restaurants just to avoid competition from those fountain drinks.

So, we should sell near beaches, stadiums during matches and people going to hikes or other outdoor activities can be good potential customers. So, the statement would be “We are committed to the customers to bring the ice to them wherever and whenever they need it the most”.

As I see the selling ice directly to the consumer will face a headwind from fast food chains, restaurants, food courts wherever consumer gets ice with their beverages. In this case, supermarkets are competitors too because they are selling ice too. To keep the competition to a minimum we need to be specific about geographic locations and target consumer. Why geography is critical is because people do not go to the beach during winter. Or any place on earth where the winter lasts for 4 – 5 months, people won’t go out so much, even if they do, chances are less than they would need ice. So we should stick to the hot place, where people are physically active (so there would be an age range too, say 15 – 35 men and women) and where people spend few hours. So, sporting events, beaches and outdoor activities such as fishing or hiking can give us perfect opportunity to sell our product to a customer who wants a cold beverage.

Value proposition is going to be – For men and women who love outdoors, our packaged ice is perfect, unlike going restaurant or stores for a cold drink, our packaged high-quality ice gives you a cold drink wherever you want and whenever you want and for a price that would cost you less than the gas you would need to drive to store.

Which of the work roles do you primarily take on a team?  

Which of the work roles do you primarily take on a team?  

My primary role in the team is being a “Teal Lead” that is very close to “Task Leader”. As my responsibilities include making sure other team members are being able to do their assigned task without impediments. And I need to be hands on as well with everything as a team we are supposed to deliver.

 

Are there any circumstances in which you tend take on a different role?

In my last project I have taken role of an “expeditor” often. Especially when we were meeting to decide what needs to be done and development team took the discussion to “how” it needs to be done. We had to break the discussion in the interest of time and request them to meet offline and discuss or set up a separate meeting.

In IT team we all play role of “information seeker” at times. As we ask more question to understand user needs and challenges, so that we can find a work around or implement a better solution.

One might often find me playing role of a supporter. Being part of a team, we often hear about someone son or daughter falling sick, I try to note and check on them. I think it helps me build a better relationship with that person.

On the negative side, I had played role of “Withdrawer” too. When things did not go the way I intended them to go or when I did not like one or more of my team members, I tried to remove myself from team outing and such team building activities. I am definitely not proud of my behavior now.

 

How difficult or easy do you think it would be for you to take on a role different from your primary role?

It will not be difficult. When I say that I do not include roles like “monopolize”, “Self-confessor” or any sort of negative roles. Essentially any team works together towards achieving one goal or implementing solution, and problem solving attitude is essential to obtain success. And I have already experienced different sorts of roles in teams I have been part of. I have seen tension releasers, recorder (I have been recorder few times, couple of years back), gatekeeper etc. Although I might not be a tension releaser, I might not have a wit and I would not risk any joke that might offend someone else in team.  But, playing role of a recorder, gatekeeper information provider harmonizer or social emotional leader would not be a problem for me.

 

Explain your thoughts on the differences between a group and a team.

I define a team a group of people working together towards achieving same goal. And this group of people might have different sets of required skills to achieve the goal.

My example would be a soccer (European football) team. The team is formed with defenders, mid field, forwards and goal keeper. So group of people with different skill sets working together to win the match.

A group of people is different than a team in a way that they might work together or separately to achieve different or same goals

A political party can be an example for a group. Where each member might have same or different agenda and each on might work for same or different goals. And they do not necessarily have to work together.

Do you think you would feel more comfortable if you’d been with the company 10-years vs. 6 month

Portfolio Activity

 

Imagine you are part of a team involved in brainstorming name ideas for a new product. . You have been with the company for 6 months. This meeting consists of people of various ages, various internal departments and various levels of seniority and authority within the company. The branding team has been brainstorming for the last 2 hours, filling up pages and pages of the flip chart with innovative, imaginative names. The session consists of team members who are loudly, quickly, and assertively shouting out suggestions. In your estimation everyone else is generating many good ideas for this new product name.

What Do You Think?

  1. Given this atmosphere, would you feel comfortable jumping in and shouting out ideas? Why or Why not?
  2. If you were leading this team and saw a member not participating, what would you do? Is a lack of participation on the part of a member ethical and fair? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think you would feel more comfortable if you’d been with the company 10-years vs. 6 month

 

 

Given this atmosphere, would you feel comfortable jumping in and shouting out ideas? Why or Why not?

It is obvious that the meeting has a recorder and someone is taking down the ideas. But it is not very clear if there is a task leader. Now what I do in this scenario would depend on 2 factors –

If there is a mechanism to select the best name (by popular votes or something), if my role / designation is senior enough and if I have a good suggestion, I would not hold back. Sharing a good idea in an environment where people are throwing out ideas to be selected, should not be difficult.

The second factor would be my designation. If I were a trainee or analyst and if very senior people are discussing, I would probably not say anything. As an analyst or trainee, I would not be sure if my suggestion would be well received in a forum where different seniority levels are present. And when I would not be sure about the outcome, it is better not to do anything.

 

If you were leading this team and saw a member not participating, what would you do? Is a lack of participation on the part of a member ethical and fair? Why or why not?

If I were leading the team, then I would definitely ask the person if he has any ideas, I would be mindful that I don’t put him on the spot.

I would not conclude it to be unethical if a member is part of the team and he does not have to contribute. The person genuinely might not have any unique suggestion. Or he might be upset with his personal loss or something. As a leader I have a responsibility to find out if he is mourning a loss or if he is upset with something else. But this applies only if he is withdrawn. If he is withdrawn or genuinely out of ideas that need to be found out. And asking him, or talking to him in person is a good way to find out, what is going on with him. If he does not have any original idea, then it should be fine, if possible, the leader can give him some ideas or guide him about how he can get some ideas. Or if the leader finds out he is withdrawn due to some reason the leader should address that too.

Although if the leader finds out that the person did not speak up in the meeting because he is upset with another coworker or any other work related issues, then I would say it is not fair and may not be ethical for the person to hold back due to some conflict or issues.

 

 

Do you think you would feel more comfortable if you’d been with the company 10-years vs. 6 month

I think I would be more familiar with the work culture and the members in the meeting. I would know what they like or dislike better. So I would be way more comfortable in that situation. It is not only being familiar with people I work with, or understating the organization culture but about my own experience too. I would understand better about the expectation, and given I have an idea, I would not hold back due to seniority of others.

 

 

How could an organization capitalize on or overcome their employees’ perceptions?

  1. I am surprised by most of the responses and by the range of the given answers.
  2. Regarding the first question about price of the expensive car – the average is $85,455 and my answer was $35000

Average answer says around 13 people are in line, my answer was 20 people were in line

Overwhelming ballot measure means ~ approximately 82.1% votes, but my answer was 70%

Older boss would be 57.63 years old per the average, my response was 56 years old

According to the average ‘recently’ means 4.54 days, my answer was 15 days

 

  1. The answers were based on many factors such as age, economic and social background. But, for each question different thought processes or factors played role.

 

For the question “My neighbor just bought an expensive car. How much did it cost?” the answers ranged from $30000 to $500000. Here many factor might have played role, such as frugality, financial situation, neighborhood the person lives in etc. Say, if someone is really frugal, he/ she can consider a price to be expensive that might not be that high for a car enthusiast.

If someone is coming from a lower middle class background or not that much financially affluent, he/she might consider an amount to be expensive that is not a huge deal for affluent people

On the other hand if someone is coming from an affluent background and who owns a luxury car, might consider a car to be expensive only if it costs significantly more than his / her own car.

There might be one more scenario, for a real car enthusiast who might be ready to pay high / any price for a car he / she likes, in that case his / her definition of expensive might be really high for others.

For the second question “Several people were in line for the movie. How many people were in line?” the answers varied from 3 to 40. Again, another wide range. I would say, the factor is mainly “patience”, how long he / she is willing to spend in line to get movie ticket. Another possible reason could be where the person lives, if he / she is from a big crowded city he /she would be familiar with a longer line that a person coming from a small town or rural area.

For the third question “The ballot measure was approved overwhelmingly. What percentage of votes did the measure receive?” the answers varied – 70% to 95%. The possible reason might be experience of the individual with votes and how he defines “overwhelmingly”.

The fourth question was “My boss is an older man. How old is he?” and the answers were 40 to 70. For this one the classmates own age and the boss’s age he / she has or had, played a big role. But mostly his / her own age would impact how he / she defines “older man”.

Fifth and the last question was “I recently saw an article in the paper. How long ago did I see it?” and the answers anywhere between 1 to 15 days. My answer was 15 which is the maximum number of days mentioned. I believe it depends on the person’s memory. How well he / she can recall the article and if he / she can recall the date or day or week he / she read it. Another reason might be the person reads a lot and may lose track of from where and when, focusing on “what” more.

 

Given the information above what part could individual perception play in an organization’s culture and their ability to promote change?

Individual perception can play a huge role in an organization’s culture. Given a position in administrative or in finance department, a person who is not frugal or does not value money that much can be wasteful or promote a wasteful culture. As HRs the people might not promote any environment friendly company policy such as carpooling or incentive to buy electric vehicle and so on. On the other hand, a person who values money, can focus on cost cutting and may promote environment friendly policies that do not cost the organization any money, such as cutting down on paper mails and usage of emails or phone calls or cutting down on color print outs or offering employee discount on electric vehicles

Someone with no or very limited patience might not feel comfortable in a bureaucratic environment. Or even worse, might not be a good fit in team. On a positive note, might not promote bureaucracy and promote team or flat organization structure. And that should be a positive change given the organization have or had bureaucratic culture and everything takes too much time.

Someone who respects an older boss for having more experience might act bit differently than someone who thinks old people are irrelevant. And having someone in team or organization who values experience is always better. For the older boss, having someone with fresh ideas could be beneficial. For example, someone with fresh ideas and background can promote the way employees work. For example in a digital or internet company remote working or work from home culture can be promoted by someone with fresh ideas, which might appear to be odd for someone who never experienced such way of working and might not be sure about the productivity. But promoting working remote or work from home may boost employee productivity by cutting down on commute time or avoiding bad weather days etc.

Someone with bad memory may not be a great asset. In my opinion any customer facing role would be challenging for a person with bad memory. But, there could be another angle of looking at the fact that a person who read a news article and cannot recall exactly when. The person is up to date and have a habit of reading. For a lawyer or doctor reading about a latest Supreme Court verdict or a recent medical discovery could be really critical and it won’t matter on which date he or she had read it. So habit of reading or being in the know should be promoted organization wide.

 

How could an organization capitalize on or overcome their employees’ perceptions?

Capitalizing on employees perception is easier and cost effective that overcoming perceptions. Say in a country the general perception is that the working hours should be 10hrs, in that case the employer can easily capitalize on that perception without any resistance.

But based on faster growth rate a company or employer might have promoted employees every year, and based on that employees might have a perception that every year they should get promoted. Changing the promotion would take an effort by company management, explanation and reaching out to each employee would be necessary and assuring them that their performance won’t go unnoticed and would be rewarded, otherwise due to unchanged perception employees might leave. So employees must be made aware and their concerns and questions should be heard and answered by management, so that they remain motivated with current path.

Another example would be a person who works in cash counter of a grocery store should be mindful about how many people are in line to provide a great in store experience to customers. If too many customers line up due to slow check out speed that experience might not bring the customer back to store. In that case, the store manager has to train and explain the situation to the employees to make sure that employees working at checkout work really hard so customer wait time goes down. A better performance should be awarded too. So management should keep an open eye to employee performance and promote the expected behavior , train employees if required and reward the performers

 

 

 

 

Can new employees change a company’s culture? If so, how?

  Can new employees change a company’s culture? If so, how?

 

Yes a new employee can trigger change. New employee cannot implement change by himself but it is possible to introduce new idea. If the new employee joins higher management or joins as analyst still they will need to understand the existing culture. Identify the areas of improvement, present those ideas to management and brainstorm. If everyone agrees that the idea of change in company culture is required and possible to implement then, the change has to be initiated.

Since we are discussing specifically about new employee, we need to understand that the organization should have an existing culture of encouraging each employee including new employee to bring in fresh ideas, including any idea to change the organization culture. So there should be a proper communication channel to present ideas and during onboarding new employees should be trained regarding this culture, so that if someone has any idea he / she presents that idea to management or supervisor. And supervisor can help him / her take the idea forward.

 

  Are there conditions under which change is not possible? If so, what would such conditions be?

Change might not be easy, but it should be possible. Change is the only constant, if any organization resist change it is bound to seize to exist. But, even if an organization that resist change may exist. Most probably an organization with a founder who introduced culture of no change. Founder’s traits are amplified among the employees, in that case the organization won’t accept any change (Hansen, 2012). Although in my opinion this type of organization will seize to exist.

 

 

 how can leaders take steps to enrich and more effectively leverage their culture to affect organizational change?

The leaders of the organization should first have a culture to embrace change. Encourage ideas and culture of openness, so that everyone can brings ideas to table and any good idea could be adopted. This culture of openness will help employees to come up with ideas and embrace change. But implementing change is never easy and it has to be done with care.

As Simon Sinek has said “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it”.       Leaders can share their vision and mission with employees in the organization.  Letting each and every employee know “Why” the change is required is most critical, as it will tell them how the change will improve their lives. And if they do not understand why the change is required, then the change will stress them out and most probably demoralize them.

Next steps should be engaging the team. The higher the number of engagement, the easier it would be to implement the change. Employees would be resistant to change, management should involve with employees, understand them and engage with them to implement the change. Employees understand the reason for change would be willing participant in the change.

Final and most importantly the management should introduce the change gradually giving the employees enough space and time to learn and adopt to new environment.

References

Hansen, D. (2012, February). Two Reasons Why Companies Resist Change. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2012/02/19/two-reasons-why-companies-resist-change/#270cb5ee536c

Markidan, L. (2015, March). How to Make Company Culture Changes That Stick. . Retrieved from https://www.groovehq.com/support/company-culture-change