Friday, December 28, 2018

The global collaborators – Rebooting to be adoptive, adaptive, agile and inclusive

Hello to virtual workplaces with no hierarchical reporting but teams working together in tandem through social media collaboration and network without any inhibition in contributing to innovative ideas and thought processes through platforms that promote free brain storming. Leaders today are adapters, adopters and aligners keeping abreast with the dynamic technological environment that has considerably reduced face to face interaction and physical meetings but yielded higher levels of engagement and connect resulting in enhanced performances and recognition. Work is evolving and ever changing and the new age leaders are agile, responsive and collaborative. The cardinal principles of leadership and organization have seen a dramatic change as tasks have replaced work and products and services have to be made available on demand. With technology invading every sphere of activity supplementing and augmenting the knowledge quotient of the people at the helm but at the same time, the Damocles Sword of replacement hanging like an Albatross’s cross on these task and employee oriented leaders. Leadership style is inclusive as it has to accommodate a global workplace across different nationalities and cultures and must possess influencing abilities that move away from imposition towards sensitivity and the fine art of the power of persuasion backed by strong emotional intelligence quotient.  Building trust and credibility with the team has become the crux of effectiveness more than aggression and command and control. Leadership has become a two way process of unleashing innovativeness and behaving inclusive by drawing in the arguments, advice and feedback. The inputs from the team can never be ignored or brushed under the carpet and leaders have to be facilitators and artful negotiators. Risk taking and bold initiatives form the foundation along with communication in both real and virtual space as a key tool to success.
Key words: Agility, Collaborators, Communication, Virtual  
The competencies of leaders, today, in a domain which is witnessing a congruence of technology, intermingling of world cultures and collaboration have undergone a sea change and the market place is a witness to the exhibition of excellent interpersonal relationships aided by demonstration of traits and values. These core competencies have seamlessly been incorporated into the dynamic environment to create successful swift footed leaders who have made businesses to flourish. What is the magic wand wielded by the key leaders that have made them to be collaborators bringing value to the organization, creating teams, promoting self awareness and instant adaptability? This conceptual paper has made a concerted attempt to examine, analyse and outline the tell tale qualities of the contemporary collaborator. A deliberate pursuit in this research endeavour has resulted in the author replacing the word ‘leader ‘with “collaborator” as business today calls for a model that is networked and so the word leader has become redundant in this massive shift. The celebrated and remarkable people heading organizations apply and engage strategies with their uncanny ability to adopt, adapt, align and influence packed with the power punch of a fantastic vision for the future. They never stagnate and evolve with a shared approach that moves away from the traditional vertical style of leadership. This perspective of inclusiveness may mean multiplicity of leaders and not relate to a single formal leader which will encourage independent action alongside opportunity thinking, collaborative action that can be highly empowering. The single most measurement of effectiveness and leadership behaviour is undoubtedly the outcome, but the role of the members as individual small leaders cannot be underestimated and their contribution cannot be brushed aside. In today’s complex agile environment dictated by technology and collaborative models successful outcomes no longer rest on identifying the turbulence in the environment and then finding solutions in the form of core competencies of leaders but on the instinctive attitude and strategic thinking brought about by engagement, team inputs and adaption. Accommodating newer thoughts that have traversed over time from the conformist to the achiever to a resilient leader who can think in multi dimensions, mindsets and outlook has become the hallmark and it is time to embrace a new cult that is truly agile, adaptable and inclusive.
Purpose and objective:
The underlying aim of this non empirical paper is to study the traits and attributes of the new leadership style that is emerging in this technology driven era with the assumption that leadership is the pivot to an organization’s success.
This paper tries to understand the dynamics of collaborative leadership style attributed by four key terms – adoptive, adaptive, agility and inclusiveness.
An earnest attempt has also been made to analyse the mental and emotional characteristics that define contemporary styles of leadership.
The focus on the power of influence shaping the new realities of leadership’s results is also attempted to be examined and understood here.
Literature Review:

The discussions in this paper is based on research papers and observations on top leaders’ performances using key tactics that are an eclectic mix of experience, insights, intuitiveness and collaboration. The foundation study for this paper has been Daniel Goleman’s works on leadership that has always been path breaking and innovative. The book “Emotional Intelligence” written by him in 1996 has had a tremendous influence on the contents of this conceptual paper and the author has tried to link the behavioural aspects of self to the emerging leadership traits. A threadbare analysis of the components of the contemporary traits has been made possible with the help of reference material from Primal Leadership: Realizing the power of Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee in 2002.The bulk of the insights into the development of the paper owes its credit to the works of Daniel Goleman who is Co-Director of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University, co-author of Primal Leadership: Leading with Emotional Intelligence, and author of The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights, Leadership: Selected Writings, and A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World. His latest book is Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.


Inferences and Rationale

It has never been easy to define the qualities of a successful leader and time and again, this question has given numerous answers and among them hard work, problem solving and decision making have stood out as the most prominent attributes to good leadership. This paper is constructed on the beliefs that leaders are both task oriented as well as employee inclined and that they have evolved over time to suit the present scenarios of technology driven businesses on the fabric of a shared economy.
§  As this paper is an outcome of reports and observations, with varying perceptions, the implications of this study may be based on circumstances, situations, environment and culture.
§  The cornerstone of leadership attributes is assumed to be collaborative
§  The power of influence on the team which may or may not include followers is based on focus on self, spotlight on the team and at the core, the organization and its vision.
§  The thrust has been on four key components of qualities required for leading today’s organizations and the use of words have certain special significance.
§  The word “adoptive” is chosen to stress on the acts of commitment by the leaders to the extent that they tend to almost “parent” the organization. This is understood with real life examples of great strategic thinkers of the contemporary business world.
§  “Adaptive” denotes the flexibility and resilience to switch, change, modify and reboot to conform and suit appropriately.
§  The perception of the author about today’s leaders also includes the use of the phrase “agility” because it is believed and understood that newer business models to enhance business is a result of a threefold action that is directed from within, from outside and from the organization.
§  The convention thinking of authoritarian leadership which is vertical is replaced by “inclusiveness” as reports have suggested collaborative engagement to be the watch word for today.


Global Collaborators – Adoptive, adaptive, agile and inclusive
In the current context of global businesses propped up by technology, shared economy and virtual teams, collaboration is the buzz word that is not restricted to the confines of the organization but expands to the realm of customers, vendors, suppliers and the Government. A hyper charged environment that is ruled by connectivity and network and these new realities have dawned on the leaders who have swapped themselves from the command and control position to one of inclusiveness. Linking people, ideas and resources has become the pivotal responsibility of a leader and to strategically align with the societies is beyond doubt the consequential action. Developing crucial dyadic and networked relationships creates value addition in the form of creative and innovative ideas and alliances that could be beneficial for more than one player. The collaborative influence of leadership in behaviour and performance of group members leads to a multiplier effect that embraces different perspectives, brings an outward focus and a shared vision. The synergy of those who influence, those who are influenced and those that get the fruits of the influence is the consequence of artful manipulation, negotiation and appreciation. The shared power concept is indeed the new reality and is the soul of any organization. The fine art of persuasion and understanding of self and others, blend to take a decision whose outcome can be sweet. Researchers over 60 years have realized that convincing and consensus have yielded results to a very large extent that is intently backed by giving back what one may have received unexpectedly, using scarce tactics to increase the uniqueness and benefits, honesty, credibility and the knowledge quotient to a  greater degree. The crucible of persuasive leadership is filled with the share of one’s and other’s achievements and credentials, consistency and negotiation with smartness. [Robert Cialdini (2001)]

Four adjectives have been deliberately selected to describe the collaborators of modern era by the author and each of them is analysed to understand the impact and consequence of these traits, attributes, actions and ideas.
The dictionary meaning of Adoptive is a parent who has adopted a child or a parent who is caring and parenting and it may be understood that this word definitely signifies a parent and not the child. The primary duty, responsibility of any parent is to care, nurture, ensure all round growth with utmost dedication, passion and commitment, someone who is the fountainhead of everything and superimposing this beautiful term to a leader defines the new age leader. He is a person who may or may not be the founder or creator or progenitor but automatically becomes adoptive. A Tim Cook may not be the founder of Apple Inc but a collaborative leader who is adoptive or a Shantanu Narayan who may be at the helm of affairs at Adobe Systems or Harald Kruger of BMW or Sundar Pichai of Google Inc and the new world is full of such adoptive leaders who have carried on with the legacy of the founders and made carved a niche for themselves. The fine act of taking something as your own, embracing the system, the ideas, habits and culture with utmost commitment can best define adoptive in leadership theory. The all knowing superhero image of yesteryears has become obsolete; an image of a commanding officer who is authoritative is replaced by an adoptive collaborator in the 21st century dictated by globalization, digitization, transparency, faster and abundant flow of information. There is total involvement of the adoptive leader in a complex matrix with critical and timely thinking, collating and sharing data and information from the team members to anticipate hiccups or barriers that may impact the business. A kind of tracing the path of trajectory to rectify corrections and put the plan back on track, bringing down the gaps or deviations to reduce the friction. Working with cross cultures and diversities is the major role that an adoptive leader would be entrusted with and the differences can be enormous, particularly in the fields of biological, physical, functional, socio economic or ethnicity. It is often noticed that one is comfortable and very much compatible with similar and like minded people and can easily draw a common ground but this is no longer the ground reality of modern business or life even, as a successful leader can draw patterns from diversity and differences as in adoption. The elements of risk and uncertainties that exist in parenting a child whose background and ancestry is unknown is characteristic of daring initiatives that could be correlated to leadership; exploring unchartered seas and not doing the oft repeated successful acts of the past but simply daring to be different and not treading the road taken always and it is not often “treading” but “hopping”, “skipping” and “jumping” in the unknown path that eventually leads to the destination. These adopters do not rest on the laurels and the comfort zones but set up innovativeness to conquer the obscure.
They work from the inside out to accomplish with a shared relationship that marks out the very existence of the company, organization or Government, helping to realize the value and goodwill of the products, services, ideas or concepts that could easily turn the tide in their favour with enhanced customers. The societal reaction to these adopters who arrive early is also immense as public recognizes the dedication of the people with a clear and focussed vision. The belief of the society is entirely based on trust, loyalty and rational thinking. This is where the behavioural aspects come into play to follow the adopter like a Pied Piper; a person who has impacted lives even in small measures not with power and position but by acknowledging real ideas and expressing them at the right moment. This leader here is a giver more than a taker who does small favours that may be simple but the metric of measurement of success to this is huge.

Adaptive – Transformation of the self is always exciting as there is so much to look forward to, in terms of up scaling one’s intelligence, emotional and knowledge quotient but to keep pace with the transformation of the organization at accelerated speed and velocity is a daunting task that a leader has to keep pace with. This transformation is really exhausting and sometimes a leader cannot act unless in a crisis that makes situations more complex. There is always a tendency to look at the short term solutions and ignore the larger picture and eventually a leader may burn out in the process of change. The collaborator obviously looks at putting people first underlying the primary purpose of the organization that may push, increasing revenues as a secondary goal and the imperative maybe to deliver something inside out, that is starting from the inner core and working outward. Therefore, it matters to enable talents to be developed, enhance the capabilities to attune with the rapid changing times and habituate people to transform despite the adversities accompanying them. A right leader would use new tools, skills and techniques to overcome the barriers that may put the team on the back foot. Adaptability is to provide the required infrastructure, give the skills necessary to tackle problems arising because of the change and also to continue the collaborative process and imbibe the culture of learning. A good leader who is adaptive is beyond an iota of doubt able to take this change head on and make the environment conducive to learning. He has a road map that clearly defines where the organization will head with clear cut tasks that make the members accountable and responsible. Every milestone is reviewed and appreciated to initiate further change or revert to status quo.

Agility – In this age of radical thinking and algorithmic decision making with the interactions happening with the help of digital media and social networking, agility is synonymous with leadership. We are in an age competing not only with our rivals but there is this weird competition from computer and systems that can get more data and information, process information and take decisions at the blink of an eye without any emotions attached to it. The future of work is looming large in the horizon where machines are all set to replace humans who are supposedly more complex. How can this threat of speed and efficiency be countered? Of course, one can adapt as already stated but agility could also mean dexterity and alacrity to think differently say making the organization more human in the face of Artificial Intelligence by giving back to the society and the members or employees would be stunned at the out of the blue bounties. Next is creative agility that unsettles the conventional thinking on leadership styles such as innovation becoming the sole proprietorship of the leader. On the contrary, this agility can never come solo, it has to be a cohesive group effort backed by strong sense of advocacy for their thoughts. This means that one has to be quick footed to perceive in a new dimension and communicate this to the peer group.

Inclusive governance - Open debates and discussion that solicit opinions, suggestions, thoughts, feedback and expressions of strengths, flaws and inhibitions make up the most important criteria for testing the success of a leader in the new world order. Inclusive governance is the trademark badge that a leader would wear as even a dumb or a stupid suggestion or idea from anyone in the team could be the winning master stroke that tilts the organization towards victory. And the collaborator’s job does not end there, not definitely limited to accepting an idea openly but to implement it boldly and give due credit to the person for the favourable outcome. The strings of micro interactions in small measures with all ingenuity stamp a leader’s triumphs. The artificial barriers are broken down with the connectedness established and bonded. This inclusive behaviour is one of the secret recipes for deleting autocratic hierarchical ruling. Creative and innovative thinking comes when all voices are heard however small they are. Providing that vital space is the essence of great leadership, maybe a bottom up approach that could turn a triangle upside down and the incubators for new ideas could be there. 

Leaders are no longer directors but actors along with co performers on a stage that brings everybody on the same page and levels that are not dictated by power, position and place. The new breed cuts through hierarchy, culture, convention to create a space and domain not only for self but for all to bring out their latent talent and release their capabilities to bring glory to an enterprise. Leaders today are collaborative and make others to feel safe and secure albeit not in a comfort zone or cocooned shells but in total trust and belief. It is the strong foundation upon which the accomplishments of leaders rest because they believe that if they do it for others; other would reciprocate in equal measures. Sense of belongingness supported by the pillars of cooperation and collaborative community exemplifies futuristic leadership. In the era where dangers lurk in every corner in the form of recession, sudden and massive changes in technology, smart rivals catching the organization off guard or simply rivalry within the organization, leadership roles have assumed greater proportions of adoptability that has a general dose of commitment, adaptability which sees transformation which is not a one off affair but a continuous one, agility relating to transformation in every dimension that ranges from technology to creativity and inclusiveness, a trait that is unmatched and non pareil!
A leader needs to reboot to be an adoptive parent more than a biological parent as the former is bundled with a conscious effort to being committed, sacrificing, accommodative, adjusting and providing the right opportunities.
The world has undergone a paradigm shift in the use of technology to communicate, a leader boosts confidence, builds trust and faith, rectifies mistakes, takes charge and control all in a virtual paradise through video conferencing, chats, E mails and other tools all working towards a shared purpose. No direct face to face interaction with sympathetical looks and a hand on one’s shoulder to show rapport and with absolutely lesser amount of skill sets that his followers may have in the present era of digitization. This inversion of expertise makes the leader to face an uphill challenge to combat the ignorance and he may have to upgrade and upscale to the higher levels by learning from the lower order and this reverse osmosis of learning makes a collaborator. To be cumulative in action through inclusive behaviour is a rudimentary requirement for today’s leader who operates in a zone of greater autonomy with higher mastery and faster reaction and response time. The joy and success of leadership rests on enabling oneself and others as a football coach or a music conductor would, subtly, vociferously, adroitly and harmoniously – the perfect blend of leadership styles!    
Impediments to the conceptual study
The opinions, thoughts and perception are purely based on the understanding of the author and the inferences drawn are limited to the knowledge capacity of the researcher. Among the myriad variables that have a vital impact on contemporary leaderships, only four major components have been analysed in depth. As this is a conceptual study based on reports, books and essays, the hypothesis has not be proved with the help of an empirical analysis.
Yves L Doz and Miko Kosonen (2010) - Embedding Strategic Agility: A Leadership Agenda for Accelerating Business Model Renewal
William B. Joiner, Stephen A. Joseph (2007) - Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating
Jill Jameson, Gill Ferrell and others, (2006) -Building trust and shared knowledge in communities of e-learning practice: collaborative leadership in the JISC eLISA and CAMEL lifelong learning projects
David D Chrislip, (2002) -The Collaborative Leadership Fieldbook
Richard Hatcher, (2005) - The distribution of leadership
Erika Engel and Joan R Rentsch, (2010) - Shared Leadership in teams – a matter of distribution
Alma Harris, (2005) - Reflections on distributed leadership
Stephen J. Guastello, (1998) - Self-Organization in Leadership Emergence

John E. Barbuto &Mark E Burbach (2010) - The Emotional Intelligence of Transformational Leaders: A Field Study of Elected Officials
Ronald E.Riggio  and JoanneLee (2007) - Emotional and interpersonal competencies and leader development
Bruce J. Avolio , , Francis J. Yammarino,(2013) - Introduction to, and Overview of, Transformational and Charismatic Leadership
Dorwin Cartwright (1965) - Influence, Leadership, Control
Larry E. Greiner, (1972) - Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow
Barbara Lyons, Kenneth Henderson (2005) - Opinion leadership in a computer-mediated environment
Joan Gurvis, Allan Calarco (2011) - Adaptability: Responding Effectively to Change
Zaccaro, RJ Klimoski (2002) - The nature of organizational leadership: Understanding the performance imperatives confronting today's leaders
M Uhl-Bien, R Marion, B McKelvey (2007) - Complexity leadership theory: Shifting leadership from the industrial age to the knowledge era
CS Burke, SM Fiore, E Salas,(2003) -The role of shared cognition in enabling shared leadership and team adaptability  in the hows and whys of leadership
IM Nembhard, AC Edmondson, (2006) - Making it safe: The effects of leader inclusiveness and professional status on psychological safety and improvement efforts in health care teams
S Echols, (2009) - Transformational/servant leadership: A potential synergism for an inclusive leadership style
Harold DGrotevantAlbert YHLo (2017) - Adoptive parenting        
HD Grotevant, N Dunbar, JK Kohler, (2000) -Adoptive identity: How contexts within and beyond the family shape developmental pathways
Herminia Ibarra;Morten T. Hansen (2018) - Are You a Collaborative Leader? LEADERSHIP DIGITAL ARTICLE 
Warren G. Bennis; Robert J. Thomas (2018)- Crucibles of Leadership  LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE MAGAZINE ARTICLE 
Daniel Goleman (2018) - The Focused Leader LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE MAGAZINE ARTICLE 

Confronting the contemporary compelling customer- redeemed by Neuromarketing in organized retailing

The contemporary customer, up to the minute, tech saavy and updated – a powerful entity in the retail chain who needs to be tackled on an altogether different dimension in order to lure him to the product or service and keep him forever linked and affiliated is indeed an arduous task that requires lot of innovative practices. Customers who are connected, networked and whose expectations are more advanced and sophisticated with the rapid invasion of technology into their lives have become a force to reckon with and retailers have found out new ways and means to confront the new age user by positioning their marketing tactics that differentiate their product or service from the clutter of items mapped in the human brain by channelizing the thought process towards a realm which allows the customer inadvertently, almost sub consciously to identify and narrow down on the one product that will be shown allegiance to. The organized retail market consisting of an heterogeneous mix of segments varying from food, to fashion to consumer durables to leisure and entertainment to telecom among a motley mix of merchandise is one of the fastest growing industry with rivalry from hundreds of similar businesses and neuromarketing is the latest ploy adopted by businesses to stimulate the cognitive minds to elucidate effective positive reactions and responses. This application of neuroscience is extensively used with big data in modern day digital marketing by understanding consumer behaviour and social engagement patterns.
This conceptual paper is to understand the fine blend of psychology, marketing and neuro science, aided by technology, which has enabled marketers to perceive both conscious and underlying consumer behaviour and therefore predict their preferences and choices.
Key words: Consumer behaviour, Neuromarketing, Organized retailing, Stimuli
The human brain along with the spinal chord and the peripheral nervous system form the central nervous system which is the epicentre of all our activities, from breathing and blinking to rational and reasonable cognitive thinking. The higher part of this remarkable human organ called the cerebrum is that which allows us to think and act and neuroscience deals with the study of the brain and its cognitive function. In today’s complex world, the behavioural and cognitive components of neuroscience have impacted diverse multidisciplinary fields such as linguistics, psychology and engineering and the author through this theoretical and unapplied paper has made a collaborative effort to observe and comprehend the implications of these components on the marketing and retailing of goods and services. A cross section of companies through their retail stores is using this magnificent tool to connect with customers and establish a bond that translates into an ownership experience. This is where the word “clutter” comes to play; imagine a store that has umpteen number of products and brands from as many companies that vie for customer’s attention, the value and intensity of attention grabbing is done by that product that is packaged and priced desirably, has the right set of ingredients and nutritional aspects, but above all the effect of touch and hold psychology and the offers and paybacks that surround it. The retail stores brilliantly use this dimension of neuroscience and market their products and services through what is termed as neuromarketing! The sensory motor neurons are activated and stimulated to change their thinking strategy and focus on one that would be perceived as the most important one that they cannot live without! The focus today may not be shiny packages but neuro imaging that would make this product to stand out from the incredible clutter. A baby’s face may not be the crucial aspect in a baby product advertisement but his or her cute actions or gazes or expressions which would the appeal. Personalization and customization become the defining factors to tide over the decision making paralysis with too many choices at one’s disposal. The emotional response, connect and satisfaction that a customer derives is phenomenal and overwhelming with this trending customer engagement tactics wrapped in neuromarketing. The pain of letting go that favourite item of yours is beautifully prevented by marketers in this strong engagement activity with phrases such as “offer valid only till stocks last” or “limited period offer”. Another fascinating aspect is the fastening or hooked on effect wherein the purchaser or user who is in a very “undecided” mode finally takes the plunge towards a particular object due to the bounty attached to it. So if one had to make a choice on similar hotel rooms, the winner would be the one with a free breakfast coupon!   
The main objective of this paper is to understand whether the neuro mechanisms would trigger the choice button from among many options cluttered in the human brain.
To discuss the shift from traditional mindset of consumer where preferences were stratified into three – first to check the utility and quality of the goods, then to verify and compare the price and thirdly the decision factor towards purchase through neural mechanism backed consumer propensities.
The application of neuromarketing sciences in human behaviour with specific relation to marketing exchanges and transactions
An effort is made to understand the critical part played by emotion in influencing buyer behaviour through Robert Plutchik’s theory of colours.
The intersection of consumer behaviour and cognitive sciences is discussed with the implications of recent applications in the background of technological changes

Literature Review
«  Justin R. Garcia  and Gad Saad (2008) -Evolutionary neuromarketing: Darwinizing the neuroimaging paradigm for consumer behavior - Journal of Consumer Behaviour / Consumer Behav. 7: 397-414
«  Fugate DL (2007) - Neuromarketing: A Layman's Look at Neuroscience and its Potential Application to Marketing Practice. Journal of Consumer Marketing 24(7): 385-394. doi: 10.1108/07363760710834807
«  Christophe Morin - Neuromarketing: The New Science of Consumer Behavior
«  Ariely D, Berns G (2010)- Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11(4): 284-292. doi: 10.1038/nrn2795
«  Plassmann H, Kenning P, Ahlert D (2007) - Why Companies Should Make Their Customers Happy: The Neural Correlates of Customer Loyalty. Advances in Consumer Research 34: 735-739
«  Zurawicki L (2010) - Neuromarketing, Exploring the Brain of the Consumer. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg,
«  Dr. A. K. Pradeep, 2010 - The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind –Research Methodology
This discussion in this paper is based on random observations of consumers in retail outlets and stores and reports of theoretical nature and is purely a conceptual study on the reactions and responses of humans towards neuromarketing. The observations have been harmonized with the practices of purchase and the contemporary trends of organizations in marketing activities. Corporates today have jumped on the bandwagon to connect with the customers in a big way and maintain the emotional strings of attachment with them and this paper has tried to understand the tools of contemporary customer engagement.
Analysis, Inferences and Rationale
Predicting human behaviour, that too from a quantitative perspective is seemingly next to impossible and how such a research study would help to evaluate the successes of the marketing plan of a company in terms of sales and revenues depends entirely on the customer preferences and inclinations as a result of the strategic manoeuvres with respect to matching their products with people. Aiding and facilitating the thought and subsequently the choice process is a matter of high priority for organizations and they normally assume focus on individual surveys and some time market tests as the former may have more elements of prejudice. This study is based on many assumptions such as there is definitely a trade off between neuromarketing and consumer buying habits, and that this field of science is useful to unearth that crucial matter which is intentionally/unintentionally and inadvertently hidden in the labyrinth of the human central processing unit. Also, there is the duration or how long will a reward/incentive/payback driven initiative last in the run up to a purchase; value or utility at the time of decisions, during purchase and experiencing the utility post a buy. It has been observed by various researchers in this field that brain activity is not uniform and subject to lot of variations when treated differently. Activating the choice of buy button from among many in varied circumstances and environment becomes the key. Sustenance based on the purchase patterns which is no longer dependent on traditional foundation of consumer behaviour but on neuro activities becomes the pivotal point for marketing standards.
Rationale behind Neuromarketing
1)      As this paper is an outcome of reports and observations, with varying perceptions, the implications of this rapidly growing science backed by excellent results in sales and satisfaction, is immense even though the ramifications may not be direct. However, the marketing mix comprising of the vital ingredients has definitely been wedded to this cognitive activity yielding spectacular results.
2)      The fabric of neuro marketing rests on the cornerstones of customer and people engagement, customer effort and experience, the pivotal role of customer, and customer insight which is constantly being assessed by measuring the attention, interpreting the data and information and prolonging the attention for longer periods of time.4
3)      The power of influence brought about by emotions and sensory stimuli such as the impact of an eye gaze, the use of neuroimaging in packing, designing, can convert people to potential customers (Figure 2)
4)      The power of decision making rests on emotions and the purchase intention is boosted by engagement with high excitation levels with high precision tools such as eye tracking, facial expression analysis and EEG or electroencephalography.
5)      Consumer buying behaviour is undergoing a sea change – from simple purchases to buying enhance authentic experience
6)      Matching products with people is more effective using neuromarketing tools as studies have proven that a quantifiable result is possible which has not been the case with conventional marketing techniques such as feedback, questionnaires, surveys etc.
Neuromarketing and customer engagement
Activating the purchase decision is accomplished by the emotional activity levels of human beings and the trigger points ensure that the commodities are converted to goods and subsequently to services and finally to exhilarating experiences. The catalyst that transforms the customer into a happy one is the ‘marketing stimulus’ which sends highly energized brain waves to take that decision to buy. The power of persuasion to make the positive reaction and response is the biggest challenge of today and one is seeing more and more companies applying the tools of contemporary marketing that yields results in numbers and may eventually be cheaper. Modern practices envisage a relationship with the customer that has emotional engagement, profound retention of memory, the ability to convert awareness into acceptance with a sense of novelty and appeal that allows the good to stand out in a crowd as an experience.
The subconscious mind is kept captive and hostage by the companies of the world in a valiant effort to create brands through massive marketing campaigns, product design and packaging, in store experience and appeals. The customer today, is willing to pay that extra buck to get the feel of involvement, in an ideal ambiance with absolutely no pre made shopping lists. The spontaneous reaction of an activated brain is the target of the seller to tap that instantaneous choice – it is researched that human brain senses are taking in about 11 million bits of information every second through  eyes, hearing, touch, smell, taste, and spatial sensations. The conscious mind is assumed to process 40 bits of information per second and so the phenomenal and staggering 99.99 percent is achieved by the subconscious mind. All the rest is processed subconsciously. It is therefore little wonder that the marketers are resorting to neuroscience methodology to impact customers through products, packaging, pricing, advertising and retailing.1
Neuromarketing therefore is not an arbitrary trial and error tool but a systematic process that can compel a contemporary customer to look at that one single product which would pop out in the shelf of the retail shopping outlet or have an eye catching ad campaign that would make the prospective clients to sit up and notice. Measuring the attention and appeal backed by emotional engagement that is encoded by the brain decides emphatically on the buy button syndrome from among a million choices.
Robert Plutchik gave to the world an exciting model of eight primary emotions that included anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy. The psychology of marketing makes use of Plutchik’s theory of colours and plays a critical role in advertisements, brand logos, store environment, website designs, packaging and eventually the product itself. Perception and cognitive performances in retail stores are leveraged by the colour theory to a very large extent. Hyper stimulated purchases, spontaneity in decisions, the disposition to shop and not postpone and probably linger more in that kind of retail environment may all be attributed to the effects of colours.2 (Figure 1)
The EEG tool has been tested on persons for reaction to advertisements and the information so obtained has matched this emotional classification! The brain signals have helped advertisers to choose their concept, reinforce, repeal and repeat at appropriate times. Reactions to the ads, as tracked by the EEG second by second reveal highly visual heat map showing scarlet red for high excitement and deep blue for boredom! So the consumers could decide when to start and stop an advertisement!3
The language of the brain is universal and cuts across countries and cultures and neuromarketing provides a real competitive advantage in a crowded and cluttered marketplace with its application in every sphere and spectrum ranging from brands, products, packages, store ambience, advertising to digital marketing and E commerce retailing. There is an explosive trend to understand the complexities of the stimuli triggered by the human brain by the retailers and apply them in an organized and structured manner in marketing. The tools of neuromarketing have a worldwide use in consumer preferences, responses, reactions and decision making and the modern marketing psychology is inclined towards the application of this, with the support of technology in a large way, to understand the emotional connect. Marketers are awakening to the new order of retailing through neuromarketing techniques that reads the brain circuitry and ensures prompt and favourable decisions, a versatile application that links brain science to business. The understanding of the clarity of thought process has increased remarkably with this new approach and consumer behaviour is a measure of attitudes reflected by benefits, loyalty, usage frequency and has indeed moved away from the traditional behaviour segmentation based on demography and purchase history.
Though critics dismiss this as yet another marketing research gimmick, fad and hype of neuroscience, studies and researches have proved beyond doubt that Neuromarketing strategies are here to stay and have become an innovative, quantifiable and indispensable tool to improve marketability.
Citations & Refernces:
1 Evolutionary neuromarketing: Darwinizing the neuroimaging paradigm for consumer behavior Justin R. Garcia ^'^ and Gad Saad
2 Robert Plutchik (1927-2006) developed an evolutionary theory of emotions. He proposed that both animals and humans have evolved their emotions to adapt our organization to the environment.
Calvert GA, Thensen T (2004) Multisensory integration: methodological approaches and emerging principles in the human brain. Journal of Psychology Paris 98: 191-205. doi: 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2004.03.018
Falk EB, Rameson L, Berkman ET, Liao B, Kang Y, Inagaki TK, Lieberman MD (2009) The Neural Correlates of Persuasion: A Common Network across Cultures and Media. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 22(11): 2447-2459. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21363
Garcia JR, Saad G (2008) Evolutionary neuromarketing: Darwinizing the neuroimaging paradigm for consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7: 397-414. doi: 10.1002/cb.259
Johnson B, Christensen L (2008) Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications
Kenning P, Plassmann H (2005) NeuroEconomics: An Overview from an Economic Perspective. Brain Research Bulletin 67: 343-354. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2005.07.006
Laubrock J, Engbert R, Rolfs M, Kliegl R (2007) Microsaccades are an index of covert attention: Commentary on Horowitz, Fine, Fencsik, Yurgenson,, Wolfe. Psychological Science 18: 364-366 in Zurawicki L., (2010), Neuromarketing, Exploring the Brain of the Consumer, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg
Lee N, Senior C, Butler M, Fuchs R (2009) The Feasibility of Neuroimaging Methods in Marketing Research. Nature Proceedings posted 20 January 2009. hdl:10101/npre.2009.2836.1
Levy I, Lazzaro S, Rutledge RB, Glimcher PW (2011) Choice from Non-Choice: Predicting Consumer Preferences from Blood Oxygenation Level-Dependent Signals Obtained during Passive Viewing. The Journal of Neuroscience 31(1):118-125. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3214-10.2011
Lichtman M (2006) Qualitative research in education: A user’s guide. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.
Morris JD, Klahr NJ, Shen F, Villegas J, Wright P, He G, Liu Y (2009) Mapping a Multidimensional Emotion in Response to Television Commercials. Human Brain Mapping 30: 789-796. doi: 10.1002/hbm.20544
O'Connell B, Walden S, Pohlmann A (2011) Marketing and Neuroscience. What Drives Customer Decisions? American Marketing Association White Paper. doi:
Perrachione TK, Perrachione JR (2008) Brains and Brands: Developing Mutually Informative Research in Neuroscience and Marketing. Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7: 303-318. doi: 10.1002/cb.253
Plassmann H, O'Doherty J, Shiv B, Rangel A (2008) Marketing actions can modulate neural representations of experienced pleasantness. PNAS 105(3): 1050-1054
Plassmann H, Ramsøy TZ, Milosavljevic M (2011) Faculty and Research Working Paper: Branding the Brain - A Critical Review. INSEAD The Business School of the World 2011/15/MKT
Reimann M, Schilke O, Weber B, Neuhaus C, Zaichkowsky J (2011) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Consumer Research: A Review and Application. Psychology & Marketing Wiley Periodicals 28(6): 608-637. Available at:
Sellers R (1998) Qualitative versus Quantitative Research: Choosing the Right Approach. The NonProfit Times, 15th March 1998
Stoll M, Baecke S, Kenning P (2008) What they see is what they get? An fMRI-study on neural correlates of attractive packaging. Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7: 342-359. doi: 10.1002/cb.256
Thomas JW (2010) Qualitative Analytics. Decision Analyst. Available at:
Vechiatto G, De Vico Fallani F, Astolfi L, Toppi J, Cincotti F, Mattia D, Salinari S, Babiloni F (2010) The Issues of Multiple Univariate Comparisons in the Context of Neuroelectric Brain Mapping: An Application in a Neuromarketing Experiment. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 191: 283-289. doi:
Wang YJ, Minor MS (2008) Validity, Reliability and Applicability of Psychophysiolgical Techniques in Marketing Research. Psychology & Marketing 25(2): 197-232. doi: 10.1002/mar.20206
(Ariely & Berns, 2010)
Pradeep (2010)

Cutting edge, the need of the hour for the self starter - a clinical study on Uber cabs

Human brain, the incubator for ideas that make the new ventures stand out in a crowd, like a leader in a pack with products and services inspiring and creating awe. Concepts developed by start-ups that are intuitive, instinctive and inventive suiting the contemporary world rivalling and outclassing the big conglomerates and becoming huge success stories. Fringing the boulevard of ideas with a plethora of dimensions are the daring self starters who help themselves to come out of the corporate cubicle that remains a conundrum forever. The buzz word for today is ‘start up’ characterized by massive technological changes and the incursion of the information and communication technology into business in a very large way. We are living in a transition economy, in an ever changing dynamic environment it becomes imperative to grab at opportunities with both the hands and convert them into potential businesses that define not only the fine art of survival but aid in sustaining for life.
The author through this conceptual paper has tried to explore the elements of creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship with the help of a clinical study on Uber technologies Inc.. A business model that has wrapped itself around the customer requirements and linking these demands to real time supply thereby monetizing its revenues and letting the company drive the change in modern day transportation.
Key words: Creativity, innovation, start up, Uber cabs and business model
India is presently ranked 3rd among the global start-up ecosystem, the total funding in the year 2016 was a whopping 5 billion dollars which has seen a massive 125% increase from 2014, over 110 incubators in the country at this moment in time, which churn out brilliant innovative ideas and this number  is 40% more than the previous year and 28 years is the average age of the aspiring start-up founders and 4200 technology driven product start-ups which is a quantum leap in a matter of just 4 years (courtesy – NASSCOM’s study titled Start-up India – Momentous Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem)1. These imposing statistics reveal the grand picture of the entrepreneurial story that is inspired by an environment with digital technology, a one billion mobile using population marked by a high spectacular growth of investor ecosystem and immensely successful start up ventures that are epitomes for many to follow and emulate.
Entrepreneurial ventures are phenomenal Industry leaders today and companies such as Flipkart, Oyo, Grey Orange have become true icons for many who have quit the cosy corporate cubicle and headed towards creation and innovation. India is truly a mobile nation, trendy and ever changing transforming and adapting itself to a technology driven country that has seen a spurt in the E commerce business. A burst of activity in the small business enterprises scene galvanized by information and communication technology has further strengthened the hold on the market. This market is typically characterized by an explosion of smart phone users and an ambience which is fully loaded with Government initiatives that do a yeomen service in promoting bank financing for start-ups through Start-up India and this platform also promotes entrepreneurial businesses through sponsoring large number of events, giving away awards to the imminent industry houses, coverage platforms that help in recognition and networking apart from giving the necessary impetus to a vibrant science and technology resourceful people ready to take the plunge. (Exhibit #1)
Entrepreneurs of today are exposed to a never before experience in the form of visits to companies who have carved a niche for themselves, showcasing the products that have stolen the limelight through their innovative business models. Business models entail plans of action that are the core of any business activity such as scouting for a customer base which will necessarily include the past, the present and the potential buyers and users and scanning for the vital input in the form of sources of funding, undoubtedly the lifeblood of any organization. The foundations on which these models operate are accuracy, efficiency and rationale of the plan that creates operates and delivers on its desired objectives and goals. Customized business models have caught our attention and the entrepreneurs are the prime movers of such designs that are utilitarian and dynamic. Entrepreneurs analyze, investigate and survey the market mechanism to fine tune the vital ingredients of contemporary business viz. contact, connect and collaboration.b
The viability and feasibility of an entrepreneurial venture rests on an application that is pioneering, a first of a kind product or service that is ground breaking and avant garde. Through this paper, there has been a concerted attempt to observe and understand a mobile based application that is typically a new service which is pragmatic and constructive and leaning heavily towards cutting edge technology precisely customized for the customer. From the days of direct one on one interaction through field sales men which may have been to a certain extent effective and translated into revenues, but very time consuming, cumbersome and expensive thereby increasing the cost of customer acquisition, to the modern era of a drift towards sharing economy and collaborative consumption. This business model compensates and makes up for the acquisition cost as it is borne by a group of people and not by a single individual (Exhibit #2) 
Literature review:
«  The research study undertaken by Zinnov Research & Analysis for NASSCOM titled “Start-up India – Momentous Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem” has been the foundation and backbone of this paper. The impact of technology in innovative and creative products and services for start ups is the mainstay of the study that touches upon why India is the start up nation. India is a country with a huge rise in incubators that accelerates the economic development through job creation. The fact that our country has risen to the 3rd position in the number of start ups worldwide with huge potential for markets and support system is exhibited in this report. The connect that is established by these start ups with their respective industries due to networking and collaboration is demonstrated through this review and research. The  insights provided by Zinnov are extremely useful and actionable.
Research methodology:
The author through this conceptual paper has tried to explore the elements of creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship with the help of a clinical study on Uber cabs company. A business model that has wrapped itself around the customer requirements and linking these demands to real time supply thereby monetizing its revenues and letting the company drive the change in modern day transportation.
Objective of the research paper:
ü  An overall perspective of creativity and innovation in entrepreneurial ventures
ü  A brief study on shared and collaborative economy with the help of a clinical example
ü  Emphasis on the business model, is this the cutting edge that Uber has. 
ü  To understand whether rational thinking overrides efficiency and effectiveness
Introduction about the company
UBER,  the word has a very interesting connotation; it means a business model that offers services on demand through a network or connect between the customer and supplier established via mobile technology and UBER TECHNOLGIES INC. has cleverly adopted the name for its car transportation system worldwide.
How it all started....UBER - Finding the way - Creating possibilities for riders, drivers, and cities
Founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2010, when they failed to get a cab to reach their destination, a typical example of an invention arising out of necessity has travelled far and wide in a span of about 8 years. A simple tap and get a ride service that has bailed most of us out when stranded and securely reached us to our most favoured destinations with abundant use of technology. This app based collaborative customer model applies an adaptable and responsive user friendly interactive platform and the impact is threefold - For cities, the business bolsters the local economy; for people – there is increased and improved mobility with safer mode of travel and for commuters- no more hassles of driving in crowded and congested cities. (Exhibit #3)


With one billion connections across 630 odd cities and counting, Uber has created opportunities through a peer to peer economy comprehensively. A simple three step process is all what it takes to ride a cab and here’s how,

Ø  Request -Tap each ride option to see wait time, size, and price. Then enter pickup location and tap request—the cab arrives in minutes.
Ø  Ride – the drivers’s and the cab’s details are displayed in the app along with the rate depending on the distance and type of car chosen
Ø  Pay – digitally or through cash
Seamlessly woven into the app are other features such as “Send Status” that lets friends and family know where the rider is, that too in real time, “Split Fare”, a component that allows the cost of the ride to be shared with any contact who uses Uber and “Fare Estimate” which gives an almost precise idea as to how much the trip is going to cost that reinforces the dynamics of a collaborative gig economy.  
It has adroitly incorporated the “sharing economy” concept of pooling resources by transacting online with the skilful use of information and communication technology to bring closer, customers and other businesses in order to find better ways to move, work and thrive. Apart from the ease and convenience of getting a safe and cheap ride with the Expected time of arrival (ETA) feature blended through Google maps and navigation. There is also the added advantage of a business opportunity of becoming a driver with flexible timings and good earnings thereby generating employment opportunities which is a take away from an entrepreneurial venture. It also effortlessly fuses the speed, reach and connectivity aspects by locating the vehicle closest to the booking point. It has served the community well by influencing people not to drive when under the influence of alcohol and also infused the “pool” concept to curb excess traffic on roads. The rewards, discounts, gift cards, offers and pay backs on this business model has touched upon neuromarketing stimulating the brains to respond in a positive way, a rational thinking that surpasses any other marketing tactic.
  With a staggering 300 million smart phone users, Uber has a vice like grip on customer collaboration and brilliantly used the power of free to enhance and suck the potential customers to its fold spiking sale of services manifold. The invasion of technology along with the internet and the World Wide Web has simplified the process of finding users for resources that are drawn to a single point and the dissemination of costs over a wider target audience makes it more synergetic. (Exhibit #3)
 Kickstarting the start up...
·         Launched in the year 2010 in San Francisco, marketing was initially carried out through word of mouth through events among the tech community
·         Giving free rides to participate in such events
·         Later on spread through social networking sites worldwide
·         Discounts and other forms of promotions to customers for retention and expansion

The technology behind the app...
1.      Identifying a device’s location
§  The Uber app for iOS uses the CoreLocation framework to locate a user’s device.

§  Geolocation for the Android version of the Uber app was implemented using Google’s Location APIs
2.      Providing driving directions
§  To display point-to-point directions on a map within the app, developers of the Uber app for iOS used MapKit
§  Android routes and directions are made possible by the Google Maps Android API.
3.      Integrating with mapping software - implemented Google Maps for
§   iPhone
§  Android versions of their app

4.      Push Notifications and SMS

§  Uber text messages are powered by the Twilio telecommunications provider
§  push notifications in the iOS app -  Apple Push Notifications Service
§  For the Android app - Google Cloud Messaging (GCM)

5.      Payment integration

§  Uber uses a cashless system- debit or credit card, or a promo code.
§   This removes any human-to-human cash transfers from the equation, including tips.
§  Uber takes 25 percent of a driver’s fare, which makes for a rather profitable business model

6.      When accepting card payments, there are certain requirements that companies must comply with.
§  The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards  is a set of requirements designed to ensure    that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure e  environment. In effect, this applies to any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID).(Exhibit #4)
·         Design
·         Smart phone with 4G compatibility
·         iOS and Android native app development
·         Backend development
·         Web development
·         Project management
·         Quality assurance
·         Training for the drivers

Benefits of Uber
1)   High Quality Service
2)   Ultimate flexibility
3)   Fair Pricing System
4)   Easy to Use and Understand
5)   Meeting new people
6)   No boss overseeing
7)   Seeing new things
8)   Cost reduction
9)   Discounts, promotions and paybacks

1)   Like any job, uber driving has its ups and downs
2)   Work/fares can be slow when you want them to be busy
3)   An ineffective rating system
4)   Surge pricing
5)   No insurance claims
6)   Little recognition from the management/boss
Wear and tear on car
7)   Seeing how stupid drunk people are
The conceptual study in this paper has revealed that creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship is linked with the rampant and excessive use of technology in today’s world. Business model is the starting point of a successful venture and this is wrapped around the customers. The cutting edge for UBER is the technology that it has unleashed and the mind engineering to convert people to users is pragmatic thinking and neuromarketing in a collaborative economy. The dimension of creativity and innovation in entrepreneurship in contemporary business such as Uber is vividly brought out in the clinical study undertaken. The prudence and opportunism of neuromarketing is analyzed through this paper and it is observed that pragmatic thinking is here to stay.


a) - What do business models do?: Innovation devices in technology entrepreneurship by.LilianaDoganova and.MarieEyquem-Renault.


Internationalization, innovation and entrepreneurship: business models for new technology-

based firms Alberto Onetti, Antonella Zucchell maand Marian V.