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Tag Archive: Leadership

Find Your Purpose Before Life Kicks You In The Teeth

Funny how life has a way of changing a person. Looking back, I realize that we can be truly different people as we progress through life. The wisdom that comes with age or the experiences we face dramatically change our personalities, our beliefs, and the manner in which we engage with others.  A combination of those has made…

Business Strategy: Reinventing the Rules of the Game

I spent this past weekend in Chicago, Illinois, delivering a keynote presentation to the innovative folks attending the 3M Frontline Sales Conference. At most of these events, I try to sit in on presentations offered by others whom I admire. Such was the case this weekend when I sat in on a presentation made by Stephen Shapiro,…

How to Expand your Marketing Mind

We have all been taught that narrowing our choices is a good thing. In fact, we automatically seek a choice between campaign 1 or 2, target market X or Y. Narrowing our choices is part of our decision-making process but does this instinct aid us in marketing strategy? That tendency to narrow our choices has an unintended side-effect:…

Dinosaurs, Newspapers, and Public Relations

Last night, during my weekly #bizforum debate on Twitter, I introduced an issue that’s been brewing for a while: The role of public relations (PR) in the future enterprise.  The debate was passionate to say the least.   I challenged the “dinosaurs, newspapers, and public relations” argument offered by many but on this night, public sentiment was clearly…

Why corporate mission statements stink

Corporate mission statements typically stink. I mean they really stink. They are lacking any real meaning or depth. And most typically, they are totally ignoring the customer experience. Here are three phrases I’d like to eliminate from mission statements everywhere. “To be the best” Is there anything that falls flatter than this as a mission? It’s lacking…

The Business Pivot – The New Standard Operating Procedure

The “business pivot” is not a new dance craze doomed to live forever at  wedding receptions. Pivoting refers to a quick (and often unexpected) shift in a planned business model when the current model doesn’t successfully gain traction among shareholders or consumers. The term is derived from a basketball move where players keep one foot planted while…

Product Innovation, Game Changers, and Empire Building.

The ability to innovate may not be required to run a profitable business but it’s certainly a requirement for anyone who wishes to create an empire. Building businesses in the same league as a Ford, Amazon or Apple requires the ability to innovate beyond that which is imagined today.  And to be clear, striving to be the…

Social in the C-Suite: Five Core Observations

The numbers keep coming in. Slowly, very slowly, executives in the C-suite are recognizing, at least in principle, that social media has long since ceased to be a novelty of the rising generation and become a core driver of social life and therefore economic decision-making. The process is remarkably slow for those whose chief concern is to…

So You Think You Know Your Audience?

Knowledge and expertise are things we all seek. Whether it’s in our area of business, our golf game, a musical instrument, cooking, cleaning, raising kids…whatever our passion, we strive to become the “expert” in our fields. Many business leaders say they know their buyers. From sales and marketing to product development – we claim to know what…

Steering the Social Media Ship

The stories of revolutions are often brutal: someone gets marched to the guillotine, hoisted from their own petard, stood before the firing squad, or exiled to some desolate rock.  There is little doubt about it, the internet and social media have brought about a true revolution in business communications, the likes of which we haven’t experienced since…

Women-Owned Businesses on the Rise: How We’ll Change the World

A couple of weeks ago, Sam Fiorella wrote an interesting blog post called, “Under-Representation of Women in Corporate and Political Offices.” I won’t dissect the blog post; you likely have already read it. But he and I had a good debate in the comments about why it is women are underrepresented in the executive suite. One of the points I…

Under-Representation of Women in Corporate and Political Offices

Women comprise more than half the population in the US (157 million compared to 151.8 million men) according to 2010 Census data. Based on numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represent 46.6% of the US labor force. It stands to reason then, that women’s representation in executive roles across corporate and political offices should…

Only One Resolution: Accept Less Mediocrity

I don’t make resolutions. While committing yourself to some action or new behavior based on an event like the entry of a new calendar year seems logical, I find the concept flawed. Too much expectation and pressure, such as that placed on New Year’s resolutions, does not foster the right environment for change in one’s life. Often…

Yahoo’s Cowardly Retreat

I wish to congratulate Yahoo on selling its stake of Alibaba, a Chinese Internet company, for a reported $4.3 billion dollars. After all, this transaction fulfills many financial analysts’ predictions and recommendations for Yahoo’s success when it appointed Ms. Marisa Mayer CEO back in July of this year. “In the short term, just how much cash Yahoo…

Why Social Media Marketers Don’t Measure Up

I posted a short rant last week on my growing frustration with marketers fixated on social media metrics such as size of community, depth of reach, frequency of connections and sentiment while failing or refusing to measure how they impact the profitability of the business. It generated a healthy debate within the comments, which, in part, began…

Are CEOs Overrated?

Former Google executive Marissa Mayer started her new gig as Chief Executive Officer at Yahoo yesterday, a highly publicized move that Yahoo hopes will reverse its ailing fortunes. Yahoo has long been struggling with internal turmoil as it attempted – and failed – to compete with its rival: Google.  Hiring Ms. Mayer, the 20th employee at Google…

Should Corporations Fire Personal Brands?

  Earlier this week I posted When Personal and Corporate Brands Collide, in which I outlined a case study of corporate egotism rearing its ugly head in the face of an employee’s personal brand and public recognition. The “personal brand” phenomenon is quickly becoming problematic for c-suite executives, marketing, PR and human resource departments alike.  Neither the…

Social Scoring, Misdirection and HR Recruiting

You’re not active on Facebook? You may not be qualified to work as an Engineer. Not Tweeting? Sorry, you can’t be hired in the Travel & Tourism industry. No Pinterest board? You’re future as a Chef just hit a major roadblock. To rational people such statements will seem ridiculous but in reality they’re not far from becoming…

McDonald’s Choose Risk Mitigation Over Customer Development Innovation

  It was reported today (see here) that McDonald’s Corp voted down a proposal to assess its impact on public health, particularly childhood obesity. The proposal was brought by consumer watchdog group: Corporate Accountability International. The group requested that the McDonald’s board “issue a report within six months of the 2012 annual meeting assessing the company’s policy…

When Bold Isn’t BOLD Enough

Ok, so your business is no longer the industry leader. You’ve lost your market dominance. You’ve lost the support of your core audience and supporters. Your sales have plummeted beyond even the worst predictions. Your product has become a laughing stock. What do you do? Well, I can tell you what you don’t do. You DON’T Wake…

Will Data Usurp Big Judgment?

The next big thing or simply the next big catch phrase? Big Data is a term used to describe the increasing amount of business and consumer data being collected and stored by organizations that cannot be effectively data mined due to the limitations of commonly used software tools that capture, manage, or process the data. While first…

Stop Measuring Customer Service

  One of the benchmarks many businesses set and measure is the quality of their customer service. No doubt, it’s an important metric to a business but do the results (positive or negative) really enable game changing business strategies? In this series, I’ve been challenging business leaders to compete by changing the rules of the game instead…

The Courage of Passion Brands and Leaders

In my last post: Changing the Rules of Engagement, I challenged readers with the notion that business can no longer grow and thrive by simply being the best at their game as they once could. Today, winning requires the ability (and courage) to change the rules of the game completely. Innovation must be so radical that the…

Changing the Rules of Engagement

This post is inspired by the book: Practically Radical by former Harvard Business Review Editor and Fast Company co-founder William C. Taylor. The premise of his book is that for businesses, being good at everything isn’t good enough. Simply being good at anything isn’t enough for that matter. You have to be radically unique and innovative at…

Scale No Longer a Competitive Advantage for the Enterprise

Since 1776, when Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations, economists have been espousing the competitive advantages of “scale”, referencing to the almost guaranteed generation of revenue that enterprises enjoy when their sheer size provides a figurative barrier to a competitor’s innovation and price competitiveness. A business’ size has become a predictor of their scale advantage, especially…

Social Business. Enter the Matrix.

  You have a choice. Take the Blue Pill or the Red Pill. Take the Blue Pill and Run on the Corporate Wheel. Acme’s Sales Executive Ted has a conversation with a prospective customer about industry needs, which sparks an idea for an innovative product upgrade. He e-mails the idea to Susan his Sales Manager, who likes…

The 7 Deadly Sins of Market Leaders.

I responded to the recent news of the resignation of RIM’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis with mixed emotions. As a Blackberry user and fan, it signals a possible change in direction to what I saw as an arrogant disregard for my patronage and loyalty. On the other hand, after reading some of the comments from the…

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