Written by ZOOZ consulting and training | (972)-9-9585085 | [email protected] |

  | Issue 01 |


We are glad to send you the first issue of LaZOOZ.
The newsletter is sent as a free service to thousands of senior executives in the Israeli market. It will be published every other month, and will not include advertisements.

In the newsletter you will find short articles on a variety of subjects, including: an interview with a senior executive, tips on strategy and effeciency, book review, descriptions and examples of innovation tools, the logic of advertising and more.

We tried to keep it short, assuming that your time is precious and the work is plentiful.
Those who wish to learn more, will find links to articles and relevant information sources.
We hope that you will find the newsletter useful. We will be glad to read any comments and suggetsions.

Pleasant reading!
Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ


An interview with a senior executive

Yosi Yarkoni

Yosi Yarkoni, Head of Marketing, Advertising and BD, Mizrachi Bank

  • Number of employees in firm: 3,000
  • Number of employees under my direct responsibility : 21
  • We provide: Banking services
  • I'm on the job for: Seven months. I worked at Bank Hapoalim before that.
  • I like on the job: Everything, absolutely everything - from developing differnet things, such as database marketing; through marketing strategy; business development of markets, areas and activities; and even fasicinated by the sales issue.
  • Most difficult on the job: The change of marketing point-of-view. Banks in general, and Mizrachi in particular, are not at the leading edge of marketing action. Untill recently their all held the productive (or product focus) approach. Only in the past 5 years the client has gained focus, and there is a long road ahead. I believe that within five years or sooner, banks will take the lead in advanced marketing. Already today we see the first evidences for it. For instance, Bank Hapoalim is the 8th largest advertiser in Israel, compared to much smaller advertising in the past.
  • Goals I set for myself: On the job - I want to realize the existing plans, and lead the advanced marketing in the bank in an banking in general; to be a role model in marketing work processes, and their execution (it is just as important). In life - I wish to continue to be challanged, to get up each morning and be sorry for the time I take to commute - because work is so fascinating.
  • Our vision: To be the third largest bank in Israel, and to lead Israeli banking despite of the (small) size. We already lead in percentage of return on capital for our clients, and in new products. We arrived at this vision because we provide all the variety of services provided by Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim, and are required, like they are, to apply to requirements of regulation, personnal services, etc - and in order to fulfill these a certain critical mass is required. The gap between us and the first and second largest banks is huge, so third place seemed suitable. As for leading in banking - in order to grow and breakthrough we need to do things better than others.
  • Origianl product in our market: With all the public discussion of bank commissions, and the not-so-positive image of banks - an innovative idea of Mizrachi bank is a no-interest overdraft approach. When an account is positive for half of the month, and negative for the other half, we do not charge interest. We should charge it - it is basic fairness. This is an innovative product, which has not been imitated for four and a half years, and that has won us new clients and the loyalty of existing clients. Only Bank Hapoalim has done something similar, with the idea of commission schemes, but it concern pre-fixed commisions, rather than interest-less overdraft.
  • Sources of innovation: We used to have a unit for product development. Later, each product department made its own developments, and today we are re-building the bank's product development unit. Me Too is a major source for ideas in banking. another source is responding to client needs. For example, when the inflation rate drops, we respond to the unatractiveness of the interest with various structure programs.
  • Book recommendation: Good to Great, by Jim Collins, (see details in this newsletter).
  • Send comments to: [email protected]
  • Would you like to be interviewed? : contact us


On strategic development in practice

A strategy of value-innovation

When people work on the development of a stategic plan, they usually focus on the forces operating in their market (competitors, suppliers, clients...); on achieving a competitive advantage through cost leadership, differentiation or focus; in short - following Michael Porter's model. Is there a real alternative to this approcah? Can it produce better results? Apparently yes.

A comparative study conducted by two INSEAD professors over 5 years in 30 companies, lead to the conclusion that in order to grow in income and profits well above the average of a given market, companies have to change the rules of the strategic ball-game: to redesign the market (instead of follow its dictations); to ignore the competitors (which follow the exisiting market rules); to focus on what most clients want (instaed of adjusting to various market segments); to ignore existing assets and abilities (instead of of trying to use them); and to develop an unusual solution for the clients (even if it is well above the customary product or service in the market). Working along these lines, while creating a major breakthrough (in the product, service or supply) which provides extraordinary value to most of the clients in the market, was termed by the researchers a strategy of value-innovation.


A follow-up research examined 100 new firms from various markets, demonstrated that a company that made true value-innovation, achieved in average 4 times more income and 10 times more profits than ones that didn't do so. The researchers describe their findings in a detailed article published in HBR, and list a relatively quick and simple process for forming a value-innovation strategy:

1. Identify an interesting and attractive market

2. Find out what most clients in the market want more than anything

3. Build an innovative mix that answers the need you identified:
    Cancel or minimize customary elements which do not serve this need, and
    Add or enhance necessary elements, even if they are well above the market norm.

  • The article is published in the book: Kim and Mauborgne,Value Innovation, HBR on Breakthrough Thinking; pp. 189-217, Harvard Business School Press 1999
  • To buy it in Amazon (PDF file) : click here
  • For information on an in-house value-innovation workshopcontact us


A must-read book for managers

Good to Great

Good to Great / Jim Collins / HarperCollins

Jim Collins' first book Built to last, dealt with the issue of what conserves the competitive advantage of #1 firms in their market, and has become a classic for some time now. Pofesssor Collin's second book, Good to Great, tackles a much more relevant question (for most managers): what should a firm do in order to become the leader in its field. This book, like its predecessor, is based on a an in-depth five year research, producing suprising and illustrative conclusions.

Read this book in order to understand what it takes in order to make a good company into a great one, including: recruiting the right people (according to the vision and direction), a modest (yet stubborn) CEO, many small changes (rather than a single dramatic change). These insights and more, exposed for the first time in this book, have created quite a storm when presented two years ago, and are now considered vital and up-to-date approaches in management.



Methods and tools for managing innovation processes

Adjustment to the Environment

The Adjustment to the Environment thinking tool allows for the rapid development of ideas for product or service improvement. It is an extremely worthwhile tool, forcing users to think "externally" - about the clients and the environment.

The stages of using Adjustment to the Environment are:

1. Choose an existing product or service

2. List elements in its natural environment

3. Try to make the product/service better adjusted to each element


Example 1:

  • Existing product: baby pacifier
  • Environmental elements: mouth, teeth, lips, face, nose, eyes, shirt...
  • Improvements that have already been made:
    • Orthodontic pacifier (adjustment to teeth)
    • Clip-on pacifier (adjustment to shirt)
  • Improvements that have not been made (as far as we know):
    • A fragrant pacifier (adjustment to nose)
    • A pacifier that is resistant to teeth wear and tear (adjustment to teeth)

Example 2:

  • Existing service: university
  • Environmental elements: students, cars, community, other universities...
  • Improvements that have already been made:
    • Paid car park (adjustment to cars)
    • Student exchange (adjustment to other universities)
  • Improvements that have not yet been made (as far as we know):
    • University car mechanic - for students (adjustment to cars)
    • A library shared with other universities (adjustment to other universities)
  • A detailed description of Adjustment to the Environment may be found in this article


An innovation which surprised the world market and competitors

Electra Nature Air-conditioners - with a humidity control system

For the first issue of LaZooz, we have chosen to present a "homemade" Israeli idea.

In June-July 1997 Electra had a series of innovation workshops for managers of different departments, in order to come up with good ideas for air-conditioning innovation. Out of the 73 ideas that were produced, the most highly rated by the participants was an air-conditioner that would "distribute humidity in winter, while heating". An attempt was made to develop such a product, and the appropriate budget allocated.

In january of 2002, following many hours of R&D, Electra proudly presented Nature, the world's first and only humidity-control system air-conditioner. It is a central conditioning unit which preserves 35%-50% humidity in all rooms, thus preventing the feeling of dryness and suffication, and giving inhabitants a comfortable and pleasant feeling. Indeed a refreshing innovation.



Innovation ideas not yet realized

Innovation ideas for cars

The following ideas were developed using various thinking tools, and do not exist at present (to the best of our knowledge):

1. Tail warning lights that light up when a car gets to close (with an appropriate sensor)

2. A seat/compartment/safety strap for dogs/cats

3. A built-in mechanism that automaticaly prevents travelling in red lights

4. A car with a see-through floor (for seeing obstacles/flat tyres, for ease of parking...)

5. A deatchable trunk - turning into a suitcase



What's new at ZOOZ


SCAMPER is a method for producing ideas using seven different tools (Substitute, Combine, Adjust, Modify, Put to new use, Eliminate and Reorganize). It allows for an accelarated development of creative ideas, in order to improve processes, products or services.


ZOOZ now offers a full day workshop in which participants learn the seven SCAMPER thinking tools, apply them to a relevant field, rate the ideas and discuss several ideas in depth. The workshop was given to managers in Coca Cola and again at Staruss Icecreams.



A tip on effective management

Anti-Spam Software

If you and others in your organization get a lot of "junk email" (Spam), at office or at home, you'd surely be happy to get rid of the hassle and save yourselves time and aggravation. MS-Office does offer a screening system, but we find it clumsy and inefficient. Therefore, we recommend using a designated Anti-Spam software, out of the numerous softwares available (some free of charge and others for a fee). A good anti-spam software should automatically screen 99% of your junk email, and yet leave 99.9% of your legitimate mails untouched.

SpamBully, for instance, is the one we use on our computers. It marks every contact on your Outlook Address Book as a legitimate sender, as well as people to whom you send emails. At the same time, it automatically screens any emails from senders which you mark as spammers (a process called "learning" or "training"), or anyone listed in an updated online database of known spammers. Screened emails are placed in a "Spam" folder, which may be checked for a faulty screening of a legitimate email.



A creative advertisement and its logic



















An ordinary adverisement the promise to the client is of the form: If you do X you will get Y". In an Inversion logic, the formula is different: "If you don't do X, you'll get a very, very bad result". In other words, instead of showing the benefit, one presents the problem the client has, taken to the extreme. In the above example, an advertisement for a weight-lose institute, the headline reads: "Overweight?"...

Somewhat more interesting, challenging, and appropriate for advertising products or service which are abstract or non-photogenic.


  • Source: Overweight?; Cristalle de Paris; Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore;  Gregory  Yeo,  Justin  Lim, Eric Seow
  • For information on creative advertising work is on page 5 of  our training description (Hebrew, PDF file)

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