The Frontier Project is a strategic consultancy home to a portfolio of ventures delivering growth in a way that benefits shareholders, employees and society (yes, it can be done). Engage Thinking is a log of what we're thinking about, what we're discussing, where we've been and where we're going.

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Contextualising Threat

There are times we see tools that we kick ourselves that we didn’t think of first.  The obligation is then to give them a big shout out.  EbolaNear.Me is an attempt to have the public contextualise the real threats and risks of the virus and to push back on emerging mania.

FrontierHealth is deploying these types of tools in healthcare environments to increase patient engagement with real issues around health.  How do we have  people take something as mundane as hand washing seriously?  Or flu shots?  

We’ll may use this as a case study in FrontierAcademy’s Effective Communications workshop.  Click through the site.  Learn something.  And show the developers it was worthwhile.

Source: PSFK

Frontier Co-ordinates - Week of October 13

We’re not going as far as Frankfurt this week; instead our team is busy proving that there are no flyover states. TT is with a client in Kansas City. SW and BC are in Dallas for a few heartbeats. NW and KG are making their way up to NYC where our Frontier Live team is headquartered. And our CEO RLW and KL are in Phoenix, attending the Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony, where The Frontier Project made its debut this year at #2961. Let us know if you want to cross paths any time soon. We’re probably going to be closer than you think.

[HOLD FOR FUTURE PROVOCATIVE PHOTO OF AUTHOR GROUP PICKETING IN LIGHT SNOWFALL]

Amazon will open its first physical shop this holiday season, in an iconic location, with no doubt an extravaganza of brilliant bundles: buying and shipping + physical and digital + credit card and Prime sign-up. As we explore the future of retail with some of the biggest consumer product companies in the world, we’ll watch Amazon’s brick-and-mortar play with interest and amusement. But we’ll also watch for the response from suppliers, such as the publishers and authors on which Amazon’s retail success was founded (many of whom are a bit dissatisfied). One great thing about being a digital retailer: no physical footprint your enemies can graffiti. Amazon’s entry into storefronts will be a huge success, we’re sure. But it will also be an invitation to hold a handmade sign in front of one of the most recognizable brands in the world. 

Create Your Own Competitive Advantage

Yesterday morning I took the stage at the Frankfurt Book Fair, surrounded by fellow book enthusiasts, to talk about marketing books in an increasingly fragmented media landscape. A few hours later one of my favorite clients took the stage in Las Vegas, presenting a deck and script we built together, in front of a crowd of fairgoers interested in products of another kind. Connecting our two presentations, half a world apart from one another, is a concept that’s undergoing serious revision: the idea of competitive advantage. A phrase that once suggested a long-term sustainable edge, you can’t use it in that context with a straight face these days. Competitive advantage must now be a way of doing strategy: Thinking about your product development plan and marketing playbook as agile realities, in a state of constant revision and refinement. My client knows this, and was presenting a suite of modular tools that will allow her to adjust easily to new market realities. Meanwhile, I was publicly exploring a particular case study: a traditional publisher supporting “intrapreneurship” in order to create solutions and uncover new opportunities while protecting their core business. However you’re doing strategy planning these days, I hope you’re doing it this way. If you are, tell us how it’s going. If you’re not, call us in. We’ll go halfway ‘round the world for you.

Do We Have Any Former Drug Dealers in Class?

By placing our HQ in a lower-cost second tier city, we have the cost capacity to invest more in pro-bono and volunteer work.  This week, we deployed Stevie, one our most popular facilitators to teach a Change Management class to an incredible group of men proudly rehabilitating themselves from addiction and varying degrees of related criminality.

We live in the real world, where real skills are in demand.  Those skills may have been developed in a past that we’re moving away from.  But as we exit the darker history to a lighter new world, we’re keeping those skills developed in the shadows.  The question becomes valid.

Hiring like Thomas Edison

We tend to do things unconventionally — not for the sake of novelty, but because sometimes the most common or popular process doesn’t lead to the best result. As Thomas Edison says: “There’s a better way to do it. Find it.” We’re always looking, Tom. 

That includes our hiring model. The normal way: have an opening, put out the call, sort through resumes, interview, cull, hire. Our way: when the most passionate, driven, and talented person crosses your path, start a conversation. Keep it going. And when it becomes clear how you can use their skills to take them and your team to the next level, hire away. 

So even if we don’t have a job posting, we’re still interested in hearing from dynamic individuals who get excited by big questions and unsolved problems. Our Associates are people who can work in a fast-paced environment. Who enjoy walking that fine line between taking initiative and taking direction. Oh, and who understand the impact of optimal vs. perfect.

If you think you might be a fit for The Frontier Project, send your resume and cover letter to jerwin@thefrontierproject.com. (That’s Jess, who got hired in exactly this way.)