Design Thinking – Part 2

5 steps of design thinking

In my previous post I was theoretically talking about design thinking. But I thought that it would be interesting to share with you some concrete example I have working on for a client project:

1st step: Empathize

So in order to empathize it is important to define the target / personae. Let’s assume our target is 35 – 45 active professional woman. So the idea during Empathize step is to try to put our feet in her shoes. As working canvas I have been using an empathy map – see below an example that can be found easely googling


What would our personae thinks, says, feels, hears, listens, sees, what are their pain and what are her gains? The intent here is to try to identify the non-conscientious needs. One quote I love comes from Henry Ford : »If I had asked people what they wanted they would have answered faster horses « (in place of T type Ford). This step can be difficult depending on the personae you try to work with. Trust your instinct and if you don’t, get out, observe, discuss become an ethnologist and try to discover hidden needs.

2nd step: Define the issue, what is the challenge we try to solve ?

Time to challenge status quo and and pre-identified challenges using the multi « why » approach. Let’s take an example:

  • I am not working out.
  • Why ?
  • Because I am missing time.
  • Why do you miss time ?
  • Because I need to get to the Gym and it is far away.
  • Why do you need to get to the Gym ?
  • Because I need to meet a coach and have fun spinning classes and access workout machine.
  • So what if you don’t need to get to the Gym and remotely get access to a coach or have the coach coming to you in a near area ?
  • Etc.

It is critical to really identify the deep need from your customer not to miss your target.

 3rd Step: Ideate 

Fun is starting now. It is time to regroup. The idea here is to pick a limited number of people, picking the right people coming from different horizons. The intent is to be as much as possible creative. Quantity is Key at this stage. In order to be effective let’s figure out quantitative objectives as providing 25 ideas each in 10 minutes. No rules, every ideas count from the most crazy to the most grounded. When the exercise will be completed it will be time to filter and keep what would be aligned with the RPV (Resources, Processes and Values). Why because at the end of the process we need to build a Business Case and create value for both users / consumers and ourselves.

Step 4: Prototype

My best friends: Lego, cardboard, Tape markers and glue. The idea here is to go fast. Intent is not to build the ultimate product but to craft something that will be sufficiently realist to ask your consumers to discuss on – would this answer your need ? Assuming you build wire frames, will the functionalities support intent of your website ? at this point prototype is just a point of discussion to get feedback and to identify what should be the MVP (Minimum Valuable Product)

Step 5: Test

Time is due to use and leverage your prototype and get maximum feed backs – Be sure to manage expectations as your 1st delivery is a MVP – nothing is perfect there – this is only a first iteration. Collect a maximum of information in order to be sure to start a gain your wining creation cycle and be ready to deliver your next iteration.

[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

Innovation – Part 1

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « innovation »


Hello everyone,

In my previous posts, I was introducing Design Thinking and Agility. These two elements are, to my mind important factors to support innovation. But, first let’s define and talk about innovation

Innovation is complex and in order to bring success two elements should be considered:
1. Disruptive Innovation &
2. New Business model

1. So, what is disruptive innovation ?

Disruptive innovation consists in introduction of new product or service, totally different from existing. We can oppose disruptive innovation to incremental innovation where an organisation improve or provide new functionalities to existing products. As example we can compare the continuous improvement of car engine to reduce fuel consumption with disruptive Tesla’ s innovation car model where engine is fully electric and includes free power outlet network to empower their cars.

2. Disruptive innovation must always be supported by a business model.

New product or new service is not enough. Business Model is a key component. A business model is the way, for an organisation to create value for their customers and generate revenue. In order to build a valuable business model, the organisation should focus on the Customer needs (back to Design Thinking Approach) and consider organisational resources, processes and value (Back to Agile Culture and Approach)

The innovation becomes disruptive when the organisation develops a brand new business model. Let’s take the example of Nespresso where the new business model consists in targeting high-end customer selling a coffee machine at an attractive price with high margin capsules in their own boutiques and online property. Historically, Nestlé has been selling coffee in supermarkets to mass consumers, where Nespresso targets a customer niche (High-End customers). Traditionally Nestlé has been leveraging is own sales team to negotiate attractive pricing with resellers where with Nespresso, Nestlé sales is own coffee and machines directly to the end consumer, short cutting the traditional supermarket distribution channel. In order to achieve this approach, Nestlé has totally reviewed his business model to become a coffee maker, a machine maker (or partnering) and a retailer with new distribution channels (Nespresso boutiques and Instead of reusing existing process and products only (Coffee making), Nestlé had to be totally disruptive in other business aspects requiring new expertise in producing coffee machines, marketing and distribution.

Generally with disruptive innovation models, existing organisation tend to compete themselves. Nespresso is a good example where it competes with traditional distribution channels it continues to leverage.

Another great example is Kodak the CMOS patents.

Kodak invented the CMOS. But because Kodak was traditionally competing with Fujifilm on silver film market. Kodak didn’t invest sufficiently in developing this innovation. At that time Kodak was not equipped and should have massively invested to transform from a silver film supply  to a camera supply organisation. Other players as Canon or Nikkon where better positioned to leverage Kodak CMOS patents. Per that example what is a disruptive innovation for one can become an incremental innovation for some others.

In conclusion:

Disruptive Innovation and Business Models are intimately linked together to success in innovation. In order for an organisation to be able to change their processes / cultures, it needs to be Agile enough and implement Agile processes to evolve fast enough to deliver the value proposition expected by their customers.

In my next post on Innovation, I will deep dive the case of Kodak and why disruptive innovation implementation tends to fail in organisations.

[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

Design Thinking – Part 1

My previous post was on agile manifesto – A natural bridge is now to introduce Design Thinking a great approach I had the opportunity to test with my team on different projects in the past.

In a nutshell what is the design thinking ?

Design thinking is an approach that was developed by Tim Brown from IDEO.
This approach includes methodology, tool and sensitivity that are used by designers to innovate.

– OK, but what’s in it for me as I am not a designer but a manager?

As a manager this approach allows cross-functional teams to innovate, matching:
1. User expectations;
2. Technological feasibility;
3. Economical reality.

– So what ? 

It allows to innovate and create value for my organisation. Start to be interesting isn’t it? It eases disruptive innovation / incremental innovation

– OK another buzzword: disruptive innovation !

Let’s parking lot innovation term for a minute, we’ll get there.
The design thinking is a methodology of definition and transformation of opportunity in value creation. A user centric approach to answer real user needs. ie Steve jobs understood when creating the iPad that users didn’t need a keyboard.

–  What is the methodology ?

1. Empathize: In order to innovate the Designer needs to be emphatic. As a Designer let’s put yourself in client’s shoes. Watch client’s needs instead of asking him. By definition a client doesn’t know what he wants / needs until the solution or the product exists. User Experience is the heart of definition of Empathy.

2. Define: Based on user feed-backs and insight, the designer defines the issues or problem we need to solve on behalf of the customers. This is a critical moment as we don’t want to miss the target, this step will be used to fuel the next steps.

3. Ideate: The Manager / Designer seats with his team and start to brainstorm on possible answers to user needs. All ideas are valid until their are filtered. Time for creativity and craziness – no limits !

4. Prototype: The Designer prototypes in order to provide an early solution in hands of users (Does this ring a bell with my previous post – on Agility). 1st iteration of multiple deliveries. 

5. Test: Don’t talk but deliver real solution for testing.  The designer delivers a 1st iteration of is product. He collects user feed-backs to improve his solution. Back to square 1, The loop is complete, now he can start again with step 2 in order to improve his product solution.

Are you « Masigners » I(Manager + Designer)? Have been able to apply this approach in your organization ?

– Sounds Great ! But what about disruptive innovation ? 

This will be part of my next post – Stay Tune !

Design cheat sheet

Harvard Business Review – The Evolution of Design Thinking

[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

Agility – Part 1


Agile, Agility, Agile Methods ? What does it mean ? What is the origin ?Agile-Team-Professionals-Solutions-IQ1

The « agile » term was used for the first time in 2001 to name methods for software development

The agile manifesto includes 4 values and 12 principles. More than these values and principles the essence of agility consider a state of mind, a philosophy a culture

The agile manifesto put emphasis on individuals more than processes and tools, on software more than documentations, collaboration with customers more than negotiations, adaption to change more than planning.

The agile manifesto does not tend to eliminate former traditional methods. It still recognizes a lot o value to these methods but only privileged Agile values

Among the 12 agile principles we can count:
– Client satisfaction (as main principle) to deliver early and regularly solutions that match client needs.
– It also puts emphasis on managerial approaches promoting confidence, support, sustaining rhythms and auto-management of teams.
– The capabilities for agile teams for adaptation is also critical, How teams can quickly and wisely identify solutions to face issues and change their approach.
– Continuous improvement and the right to fail are also important principles.
– The capability to manage uncertainty and complexity by delivering iterative solution are also key elements of agile methodology.

Despite this agile manifesto was built for software development the agile method can be adapted to many different projects and initiative. In the past as Director of strategy I have applied this approach with the team and the organisation. Great approach and endeavor!

To your mind, is your organisational culture promote these values and principles ? Is your organisation Customer centric? Is your organisation support failure ? Is your management ready to let their employees to lead projects? And you, do you think you are an agile manager ?

[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

Welcome Back

Hello Everyone,

A long time no write. Based on few comments of my relatives and my need to share some ideas I hope you will find interesting I have decided to start again to re-activate my Blog. Hope you will be participating to the discussion tread

Cheers – Thomas


[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

Why advertising in Print Yellow Pages is still a great decision

Hello Everyone,

I was glad to read three recent articles published by Chris Silver Smith: Are Yellow Pages Toast? Four Years Later We Review Ad Value. by from Stephanie Hobbs : Four Key Reasons To Reconsider Today’s Yellow Pages For Local Marketing and from Amy Rybczynski Don’t Write that Obituary Just Yet…Print is Alive and Well! highlighting Yellow Pages publishers should still be considered as great suppliers for local businesses to generates leads and Value.

For the last 4 years, Yellow Pages publishers have been fighting the perception that print is already dead and that search engines are the only viable solution for the future. Wait a minute! Don’t throw in the towel too easily. This is not a black and white situation. We are definitively in a grey zone where multi variables should still be considered.

1. Coverage

Internet access or Mobile accesses are not available in every zone of Canada. Does it make sense for an advertiser to invest in Search Engine solution in rural areas where internet / 3G penetration is low ? Not sure it does but investing Yellow Pages print sure does.

2. Socio demographic considerations

Yellow Pages Print usage studies show better usage with the 40+ years audience, with fairly decent revenues and consumer habits. In Urban Market areas we have more 40s+ relying exclusively on print vs. online. Besides this age bracket has better revenue and stronger consumer habits than younger generations.

3. ROI

What is the most important for an advertiser ? The ROI he can get. Any $ invested that can generate more $ in revenue is a win.

I could argue that Yellow Pages Group in Canada delivers an average 14:1 (Canadian Usage Study 2011) ROI across all markets and categories. But how valuable a figure is for individual business owner. What is your business type?What is your industry ? How many competitors do you have? How well your name, your brand known? There are many elements to be considered.

We understand from past evaluations some headings are generating higher ROI than others. Insurance, Home renovations, Wedding, Lawyers, Dentist, etc.. used to be strong winners and…


The Original Search Engine

… are still strong winners. There is no doubt that ROI is lower than it was pre-digital days, but one of the strongest ROI of any media available local businesses  How many horror stories I may have heard from customers who decided to drop their advertisement from their print directories, only to face a drastic decrease in business and, when they were able to survive, decided to reinvest massively in print the following year.

An advertiser’s choice in choosing advertising media for his or her local business should be based on factual elements as ROI and not on false perceptions.

4. Yellow Pages directories have moved beyond print

It is true that Yellow Pages publishers have been investing a lot in transformation over the last few years. It is not because they threw in the towel, it is because of natural evolution of products and platforms.

When 40 years ago, we used to have one TV set with 3 channels – Advertisement platforms were limited. Today, media has been fragmented and consumers have changes the way they for information and businesses. It is Online, it is on Mobile, it is on TV, it on newspapers, it is on Print Yellow Pages, etc.  An advertiser can’t be focusing on one unique media and they now need to be on multiple platforms to reach their audience.

What Yellow Pages publishers have been trying doing over the last decade is to offer integrated solutions that would answer the majority of small business needs. Because a business owner has more to gain in running his business than saving in trying to understand what are the best media for his own advertisement needs. Yellow Pages Publishers are now offering an end-to-end solution. Yellow Pages Publishers have made their product evolve by offering by default online, mobile presence and content when advertisers buy print and building integrated media solution that could be tailored per business specific needs. This is what Yellow Pages Group proposes with his 360 Solution.

In conclusion:

Print is far from being dead, it still delivers incomparable value.
Print should be considered as an anchor in any media plan for SMB, the starting point before moving onto other platforms.
Advertisers should not disregard print based on perceptions and should assess the ROI print platform provide to them before taking a decision that could have heavy consequences on their business revenues.

[contact-form-7 id= »190″ title= »Formulaire de contact 1″]

How to monetize mobile properties (Part 2)


As introduced in my previous post « How to monetize mobile properties (Part 1)« , we have tried to respect three basic rules to make this product a hit:

1. Have a user friendly product

2. Generate a ROI for the advertiser

3. Ease product communication and pitch for our selling team


So, first, let’s talk about the user friendly aspect of the product

The mobile team has been working hardly to develop an ergonomic App that would respect user experience and expectations. Since the initial launch of mobile on iPhone, Blackberry and Mobile Web. My colleague Carolyne Moran has always defended the ergonomic aspect of the app. So we have had few interesting discussions with two different objectives – Defend advertiser ROI on my Hand, defend user experience on Carolyne’s hand. We have done our home works and tried to benchmark ourselves on what is done in the industry. Reviewed YP apps around the world, identify cool features and design from related apps, discussed design to respect brand equity to deliver a balanced app for User, YP and Advertiser Interests.

Concretely, initially the plan was to have two dedicated spots on the top of organic results to showcase our advertisers. Considering the newest aspect of monetization on mobile, considering this could have been intrusive for our users, then we have decided to limit advertising real estate to one unique spot only.

Second Item: Generate ROI for The Advertiser

Return On Investment (ROI)

Generating ROI from Mobile platform is the easiest part especially with a low entry price. This is the avenue we have decided to take. Concretely we wanted to have an attractive entry price point to sell the inventory as fast as possible to have a decent base to  measure the ROI we were delivering to our advertisers. With this approach we were able to have in our hands concrete data to be able to identify what would be the perfect pricing point to deliver a good value for both the advertiser and YPG. Win – Win relationship was our goal in order to create a long term relationship with our clients.

Third point: How to ease communication with Sales and make sure this product becomes a hit with our advertisers?

Key success factor: do not try to revolutionize what our Marketing Consultants have been selling in the past. So the idea was to stick as much as possible to existing products they have already been selling on other platforms as Print or Online. The Mobile Sponsored Placement is a simple extension of our products available on our other platforms. Double Full Page on Print or Guarantee Online Placement on

To conclude the alchemy was found:

1. An ergonomic product generating a value added for the Users – Find local businesses around you with great content

2. A revenue generator tool for the Advertiser – Generating businesses for our clients and great ROI.

3. A product simple to pitch and to sell – A product Anchored on existing product portfolio

Thomas Petyt

How to monetize mobile properties (Part 1)

MSPLet’s me introduce our 1st monetization product for Mobile:
MSP or Mobile Sponsored Placement 

What does it look like ?
In a nutshell this product offers 1st position for searches on mobile.

So, we offer opportunity to advertisers to capture the growing, exploding Mobile traffic which represents now more than 30% of all traffic.

Six rotating advertisers share the top priority in each market / heading intercept on mobile.

Thus, advertisers can showcase during a very contextual searches process: Users who are looking for immediate and specific needs in a specific geo-localized situation.

With a clear design and enhanced functionality, as click to call button on result pages, enriched information on merchant pages as Text caption, Logo and business hours, consumers can reach the advertiser fairly easily, then driving leads towards the advertisers.

So nothing revolutionary you will say, it looks like a sponsored placement as we can find on Majority of search engines or phone directory applications….

….and you are right !

This is exactly why we are delivering tremendous results.

This is only a question of Simplicity.

Why it works:
Because we wanted to stay close to the basics, we have not reinvented the wheel. We have just decided to adapt to Mobile an online product with proven results to deliver strong ROI to our advertisers. Then this product respects three basic rules – WIN – WIN – WIN


– Winner for the user as user friendly and satisfying user needs in search context;

– Winner for the Advertiser with a Proven ROI;

– Winner for the sales as it easy to understand and pitch;


Next post, I will share with you more in detail the details for each winning pieces

Thomas Petyt