Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Cartoon of the week

 Anne says: Hugh McLeod and the team from Gaping Void always manage to find a way to capture moods and memes.

It’s hard to avoid COVID-19 articles, cartoons, memes and images – I promised myself not to share one on that topic. But then GapingVoid released this one!

For me, it’s multi-dimensional. While we are all being exposed to disruptions to our daily routines, from lockdowns to working remotely, it’s the distractions that are hard to ignore. For me, we’ve had announcements all day about pending shutdowns of services, so the distractions to ensure we’re prepared seems to have dominated everything today. Tomorrow, may be different.  Then as more and more businesses are evoking a work from home policy, there are the distractions of how to manage that.

Meanwhile – the image really does represent lots of little coronavirus beasties moving around amongst us, causing disruption, distractions and at worst severe illness.

The team from GapingVoid explain the image:

…pretty much everyone we know has had their business affected by it and as we watch what is unfolding in the media, on social media, at conferences (yes we are attending conferences) the shift in behaviors; people not shaking hands, newly aware of microbes that have always been there, we realize that we are are in the midst of a huge culture shift.

Behaviors are changing, mindsets are changing, beliefs are being challenged. There will be long-lasting changes. It will be fascinating to see how it all unfolds. The Virus is a two-fold phenomenon. The biological virus, which may or may not be an existential threat to the global status quo, and then the Ideavirus, which might end up causing more economic damage than the actual biological version. We wonder: if this was pre-internet days, would it be more than ‘something is going around’, or jeez, it’s a ‘bad flu season’.

There’s also a link embedded there to Seth Godin’s Unleashing the Idea Virus – it’s another distraction, but probably a valuable one right now.

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Preparing for loyalty’s next frontier: Ecosystems

Anne says: This week’s article is all about ecosystems and loyalty programs. It’s got nothing to do with coronavirus… or maybe it has?

The opening paragraph sets the scene:

Today’s consumers are the ultimate surfers, hopping between channels, devices, and sites as they shop. Loyalty programs are static by comparison, relying on increasingly outdated rewards and the redemption strategies of the past.

I think this perfectly describes current behaviours – and it could be applied in so many contexts, not just loyalty programs! So many traditional programs don’t recognise how people are navigating (or subverting) the systems. To address this, they describe a fluid system of companies working together, partnerships, new ways of competing while unifying customer value.

The phases outlined sound distinctly like phases in digital transformation or designing intranet programs (Phase 2: from siloed programs to connect offerings – recognise it?). They illustrate an ecosystem that is relevant to the customer – same as we outline internal platforms that provide employees with relevant information – in fact, you could almost use the seven design principles as a methodology for internal workplace design. For example, shared mindsets; seamless experience; diversity of products and services; commitment; governance; and data.

To close the loop – the authors wrap up with the assertion:

Ecosystems are here to stay. It’s time for all consumer brands to start thinking about how they can participate in one. Ecosystem-centric loyalty is a start.

Now – what’s this got to do with COVID-19? Ecosystems – that’s what. At the moment in Europe, we are struggling to curb the spread. Lockdowns are being applied across cities and countries. But if we could understand the ecosystems of how people are interacting, what the channels are, where they’re coming into contact with each other, we could design an ecosystem of containment instead of relying on static application of restrictions for movement. But… that would have required a deep understanding of behaviours and right now, there’s no time to explore that, so we revert to traditional strategies.

Stay safe everyone, wash your hands, use social distancing, and be prepared for a period of disruption.

PS. Even the image selected by McKinsey looks like a virus to me!


The Florence Innovation Project

Christoph says: Today, I don’t have an article I want to share with you. Instead, I wanted to share one of my key resources when I design workshops or innovation formats. Engaging stakeholders, employees, and customers to discuss, align and decide on relevant matters is a very important skill. Now, you also need the right tools for it. Enter FLIP – The Florence Innovation Project. The project includes 565 methods in six languages.

The key question the project wants to help you with: How do I find the best method for my current innovation challenge without having to read many different books each time? You need to sign-up to search the database of innovation methods. The free version should suffice in most cases. There is a free search but also search paths according to different aspects of the innovation challenge. That means you can search for methods according to innovation phases, innovation types, generated outcome and others. Once you go into a particular method you are presented with lots of information about it. Not all are available when using the free version, but the most important ones are.


The Goop effect: why online pseudoscience is so seductive

Jakkii says: Pseudoscience. An important topic on any given day; particularly pertinent whilst we’re in the midst of a pandemic.

There are some great insights in this short read on why we fall for pseudoscience, like this one:

There are many reasons why we find pseudoscience persuasive, according to Dr Micah Goldwater, a cognitive scientist at the University of Sydney.

It is often simpler for us to add knowledge than subtract it, he said.

“It’s actually much easier to add things to your mental model of how things work than to take things away.”

The author discusses three key themes:

  • The power of the anecdote;
  • We like an explanation; and
  • To avoid being tricked, slow down.

Dr Goldwater said we must also be willing to interrogate our own beliefs and why we came to conclusions.

Such a critical skill, one we certainly don’t all apply, and one we undoubtedly don’t always get right when we do. But, we must keep challenging ourselves and our beliefs in order to mitigate and overcome our biases wherever we can – and to avoid falling for junk and pseudoscience.


This is cool: Don’t touch your face!


Jakkii says: Aside from washing your hands (wash your hands!), another major piece of advice to minimise the risk of infection is to stop touching your face.

But how easy is that, really, when we touch our faces some crazy number of times a day? (You may have seen that a study from 2015 found med students touched their faces on average 23 times an hour). If you’re not sure how to stop touching your face, then this website might just be for you. It takes a video of you not touching your face, and a video of you touching your face, to “teach” an algorithm to recognise the difference between the two. You keep it running in the background, and when you start absently touching your face, it will – in theory – tell you to stop, including with sound and visual notifications. I can’t vouch for it being 100% accurate, but it’s still pretty cool – and it just might help you out, too.

STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE! (And also, wash your hands. Properly.)

Check it out

 Novel coronavirus Friday Five

Work Friday Five

Tech Friday Five

Social Media Friday Five

Sydney Business Insights – The Future This Week Podcast

This week: gender pay gap Groundhog Day, and the tyranny of niceness. Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

Our guest this week: Professor Rae Cooper.

The stories this week

00:45 International Women’s Day: Groundhog Day for the gender pay gap

16:15 Why we need difficult women: fighting the tyranny of niceness

Other stories we bring up

Our previous TFTW episode with Rae Cooper

Our discussion with Rae Cooper about The University of Sydney’s landmark study into what women want at work

Girl Scouts launch gender equity certification for businesses

How sexist will the media’s treatment of female candidates be? Rule out ‘not at all.’

Fighting the tyranny of ‘niceness’: why we need difficult women

What’s Really Holding Women Back?

Hello, Please Stop Man-Bashing My Husband As A Conversation Starter


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