"G.D.P. vs J.D.V.", an original explanation of the Resonating focus

by Didier Marlier on Sunday November 28th, 2010

Heartfelt thank you, once again, to Doug Dean a Strategic Marketing Guru (whom I met when we both did our MBA in IMD, now based in Hong-Kong), for sharing another inspiring speech he watched on TED.com.

It shows Chip Conley, owner of a Motel chain interestingly called “Joie De Vivre” (J.D.V.) Chip is an obvious enthusiastic and, in the strictly limited amount of time devoted to TED conference speakers he unearths several “Golden Nuggets”, each of them worth a deeper and solid reflection:

  • The touching anecdote about Vivian, a Vietnamese refugee in the US who managed to create by herself and for herself, “the conditions to do and be her best” in the rather unattractive job she was as a toilet cleaner. I found a strong connection to the Sense of Purpose elaborated on in some recent posts[1].
  • The always useful reminder of Abraham Maslow’s “pyramid of needs” but more interesting, the simplification Chip makes of the model, touches a theme some of my partners and I still “work-in-progress” on: The “Resonating Focus”: Jean Pierre Clamadieu (Rhodia’s CEO) was touching it in a recent conversation by explaining that “Strategic Marketing is far more than tools and processes. There is also a relational, an emotional connection to it”. The Resonating Focus is this implicit, unconscious link to clients or customers emotions. It goes beyond the rational. It is exactly what Chip Conley shortly implies, when referring to such intangible assets as brand or customers’ loyalty, at the top of his pyramid.
  • He then questions us: why are we measuring mundane and less impactful assets when the intangible are certainly more fundamental to our success? People such as Edgar Brandt[2] (ex-managing partner of Arthur Andersen for Switzerland) or Carmen Migueles and Marco Tulio in Brazil[3] are dedicating heavy resources exploring around that theme. Chip shares a well publicized attempt to measure such intangibles at country level: Bhutan’s famous Gross Domestic Happiness index.

For once, I did not edit the video as I didn’t want to choose the topics of interest at your place. It is therefore longer than usual (22’) but worth watching and reflecting on.

I would be most grateful if you all could start, as Duncan Stirling, Ben Clayton-Jolly, Michael Newman, Gerd Leonhard, Mo Beyad, Marvin Faure, Beat Blaesi, Nick Mc Roberts, Stephen Okunowo, Tritia Neeb or Doug Dean did, to suggest links of clips  or articles that you feel should be shared here. Generosity and active sharing are two characteristics of the emerging “Open Economy”!

Just landed in São-Paulo for quite a fascinating (as always in Brazil) and busy (breakfasts and dinners fully booked) week and back home on Saturday.

Have a great and… HAPPY week all


[1] http://blog.enablersnetwork.com/2010/10/03/%E2%80%9Cautonomy-mastery-and-purpose%E2%80%9D/

[2] www.eb-advisory.ch

[3] Both professors at Fundação Dom Cabral www.fdc.org.br

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3 Responses to “"G.D.P. vs J.D.V.", an original explanation of the Resonating focus”

  1. The point about measurement resonated strongly with me. I often design 360 degree feedback programmes, as well as team or cultural diagnostics. In the design phase I often get asked; “Can we get a measure of this or that variable across the population?” Normally, unless the factor is particularly esoteric, the answer is yes. However my favourite response is the open question; “Yes we can, but what are you going to do with the information once we have collated it?” The reply is typically a blank look and silence, which prompts a rich conversation about spending time and money measuring things that are ‘nice to know’ but do not lead to any action or decision. Nowadays with technology, we can measure so much, but rarely spend enough time challenging ourselves about the value of what we measure.

  2. Dear Didier,
    As usual, your message magically comes at the right time. As I sit her here in a hotel in Paris, trying to develop the perfect speach to open our annual process improvement conference. What can I possibly say to the 50 top process improvement people (read: our expert counters of tangible things!) to inspire them to stretch their comprehension just a little bit over the next few days.
    Our brand position is based on being ‘easier’, while not as enriching as ‘happiness’, it is nevertheless intangible. How do you count being easier?
    I think this alternative measure of success question comes down to simple faith – either you believe that having an intangible like happiness is a path to tangible success, or not.
    Thanks again, and enjoy Brazil!


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