THINK Week in Review: Dow Jones Edition

Twenty-three years ago the Dow Jones hit a record high of 3,612.13. Today the Dow Jones hovers around 18,000. When we explore Fortune 500 firms in 1955 versus 2014, 88 percent are gone and the speed of creative destruction is exponentially increasing. However, this doesn’t mean we should accelerate frantically. Mastering the clock of business is about choosing when to be fast and when to be slow. Take these few moments to slow down and enjoy the best stories of this week. Must-read of the week: Bank of one. Providing contextual, personalized financial services. "To avoid the perceived fate of incumbent banks – saddled with time - 19 consuming, ruinously expensive projects whenever they want to make a change to their digital offerings – the themes of flexibility and agility came out strongly from the panel’s discussion about the technology underpinnings of contextual services. “Number one is that you have to come up with a platform and an architecture that is to the extent possible future proofed and adaptable, and that people can plug into,” said Devlin. “A second aspect is to be very thoughtful about what is actually going to make the customer experience better versus what is just going to be annoying. Facial recognition sounds very exciting, but does it work, is it practical, is investing in this a good use of your money?” The battle lines for the consumer have been drawn. "So, whether you partner with disruptors or collaborators to offer products that are difficult to offer yourself, or you work with enablers to give you the digital capabilities you need rather than trying to build them, partnerships are key to success. And if those partnerships aren't helping you acquire and retain customers, you're looking at the wrong types of partners." The 30 things customers really value. "Products and services deliver fundamental elements of value that address four kinds of needs: functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact. In general, the more elements provided, the greater customers' loyalty and the higher the company's sustained revenue growth." Customer experience is the next battlefields for brands. "The only survivors in this new landscape are brands that are able to deliver truly authentic and meaningful, frictionless and delightful brand experiences. And those that do will find it is in fact incredibly profitable. Eighty five percent of consumers said they would pay up to 25 percent more to ensure a superior customer experience." Paying it forward: Communication tips that I've learned from others. "I hope that one day the conversations around diversity, man vs. woman, aren't happening. That we won't need women in networking and diversity events. That we'll just have networking events to share ideas and meet other in our industries. That we'll be just working together, engaged and and respectful no matter our age, gender, or anything else that makes each one of us unique."