An attitude adjustment is often the pivot point for changing an organization's behaviors and relationships in order to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing industry. I recently spoke with BlueSnap CEO Ralph Dangelmaier, who is currently shifting his company's attitudes by rethinking the organization's strategy, posture and approach.
BlueSnap is an e-commerce and mobile solutions provider that provides payment processing capabilities to software publishers (applications), Web hosting companies and online retailers. In this interview, Dangelmaier discusses the e-commerce shift, mobile buying experience and how his organization has transformed over the years.
Why does the change to mobile buying matter?
Dangelmaier made it clear that e-commerce is a big deal. He said that $1.2 trillion will be spent online this year. Furthermore, he says, the portion of that taking place on phones/mobile devices is going to grow from six percent to 20 percent over the next couple of years.
As he put it, "People buy differently on a phone than they do on a PC. The winners of the mobile buying war will be those who optimize their buying experience for phones." The game is about capturing the relatively limited real estate on the phone in terms of both branded apps and space on the screen.
What does mobile buying success looks like?
Dangelmaier suggests five critical components of a successful mobile buying experience:
- Ease of buying for the purchaser
- Notification of what was bought to the purchaser
- Coupon and promotional offers integrated into the experience
- Safe transactions for all involved
- Clarity of payments for all involved
Not surprisingly, BlueSnap is working on all of these. They integrate everything into a flexible "Buy Now Button," simplify purchase notification, and run all coupon and promotional offers through one system. They leverage GPS data to know where purchasers are for extra security and they have the flexibility to deal with all sorts of payment methods and wallets, well beyond Visa, MasterCard, Discover and PayPal.
How has BlueSnap evolved over the years?
Like a lot of organizations evolving their culture, Dangelmaier is pivoting off attitude. (See my earlier article on defining the organization's attitude). BlueSnap has always been about innovation. Its core capabilities have rested with its extraordinarily intelligent designers, who have had a good feel for entrepreneurs.
Now, BlueSnap needs to build on that base by adding more discipline around the use of metrics, while growing out its marketing and sales functions. It's still going to win by designing for the future, while servicing its customers' customers. So how will BlueSnap get there?
- Strategy: Design strengths (primary); marketing, sales and service (secondary)
- Posture: Proactive around design
- Approach: Driving innovation
The expectation is that behavior and relationship changes will follow the attitude changes.
How can you apply this?
According to True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann, changing a corporate culture is a five year effort. He also said that it doesn't seem to work well to attack behaviors or relationships head on. It's very hard to evolve values quickly, and generally speaking it is expensive to change the environment. That leaves attitude.
We've seen a number of examples of leaders, like Heidemann, successfully pivoting off attitude to evolve the culture. Here are the core steps
- Start with the cause, the why. Get all aligned around your purpose. Make sure all believe in its import and are committed to a common vision
- Reconfirm where to play choices, within the ever-changing environmental context
- Reconfirm the organization's core values, trying to change them only if absolutely necessary
- Then adjust your attitude, relooking at strategic priorities, posture, culture and how they sync
- Once everyone understands the attitudinal choices, relook at relationships and behaviors through that lens, evolving them as dictated by the new attitude
We're all new leaders all the time. So remember all the time that leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose. With that in mind, BRAVE leaders pay attention to their Behaviors, Relationships, Attitude, Values, and Environment - all the time.
The New Leader's Playbook includes the 10 steps that executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis uses to help new leaders and their teams get done in 100-days what would normally take six to twelve months. George Bradt is PrimeGenesis' managing director, and co-author of The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 3rd edition 2011) and the freemium iPad app New Leader Smart Tools. Follow him at @georgebradt or on YouTube.