Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 21, 2014


To Encourage Innovation, Make It a Competition
(Harvard Business Review, 19.11.14)

The competition format has fueled major successes in business. Fortune 500 companies like AT&T and American Express often sponsor online creativity contests to inspire innovation among their customers, while Kickstarter and other crowdfund platforms have ideas compete to win funding. And organizations can also use competitions to drive innovation within their own workforces.


How to Make Transparency Part of Organizational Culture
(Forbes, 13.11.14)

Organizational culture can make or break business success. A viable product is only as good as the people who possess the aspiration and drive to make it better—for the company and for the customers. Without a workforce giving it their all, organizational culture can quickly morph into more of a social toxin than a social treasure.


The Anatomy of a Corporate Content Team: 5 Models Your Brand Can Follow
(HubSpot, 29.10.14)

Every organization is in the media business now, which means there’s a growing number of corporations that are building out full-blown newsrooms. By producing original journalism, these organizations establish themselves as industry thought leaders, supplement income with an advertising revenue stream, and get discovered by the people who will eventually become customers.


Why You Should Hire People Toughened by Failure, Not Those Coddled by Success
(Entrepreneur, 07.08.14)

When Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, launched its grocery delivery service AmazonFresh, he chose a surprising team to lead it. He didn’t choose successful supermarket or delivery executives. He chose the people who had failed at the very business he was launching.


“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —Norman Vincent Peale


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 20, 2014


Leading in Adversity: A Tech CEO on What Leadership Means in an Age of Uncertainty
(Forbes, 11.11.14)

If there’s one thing that is scary to many companies, it’s change. Dealing with change requires leadership at all levels if that company is to survive the turbulent wave of uncertainty and misdirection that change brings. Leading in adversity amidst constant change requires focus, commitment, and a well-tuned internal and moral compass to know which way is “right.”


5 Techniques to Make Teamwork More Manageable
(Fast Company, 27.10.14)

When people come together to work, things can get messy. Here’s how to survive a team project.


Ask a CMO: Answers and Insight from the Top
(The Allies Blog, 22.10.14)

As a sneak preview to the CMO panel session at LeadLove Boston 2014 on Monday, October 27, we asked our distinguished marketing experts six questions about content marketing, digital marketing technology, 2015 predictions and more. With almost 20 years of high-tech experience, Meagen Eisenberg is currently the VP of Customer Marketing at DocuSign.


How Big Data Will Change Everything About Managing Employees
(Entrepreneur, 07.08.14)

It is no secret that today’s employees are being driven to distraction by technology. With the beckoning ding of a new tweet, email or instant message, we may be prone to abandoning a particular task—but obvious forms of distraction are not solely to blame for competing demands on our time.


“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.” —Helen Keller


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 19, 2014


Building Innovation into Sustainability: Keep Ahead of Your Competitors
(Forbes, 03.11.14)

Gary Lawrence is Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for AECOM Technology Corporation (NYSE: ACM), an $8-billion global provider of professional technical and management support services. AECOM’s 45,000 employees—including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management professionals—serve clients in more than 130 countries around the world. In this role, Mr. Lawrence leads AECOM’s sustainability efforts by managing AECOM’s extensive resources and skills in sustainability for projects across the enterprise. He is also an AECOM spokesperson and thought leader on sustainability issues. During his 30-year-plus career in public and private policy and management, his leadership skills have contributed to various global initiatives engaging in research and practice to mitigate climate change and adaptation strategies.


Why There Are Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Innovation
(Fast Company, 27.10.14)

Over the years this country has seen a steep rise in job title inflation. It seems there is a “chief” of everything you can possibly think of. From Chief Creative Officers to Chief Strategy Officers to Chief Finance Officers to Chief Marketing Officers to Chief Innovation Officers. But what do all these chiefs do?


‘Customer Journey Is Like Marriage’ Says Cisco CMO at ANA
(CMO.com, 16.10.14)

Cisco went through a significant transformation to enable its customers as they prepare for the “Internet of everything,” said Blair Christie, SVP and CMO at Cisco, to more than 2,000 marketers today at the ANA’s Masters Of Marketing conference, in Orlando, Fla.


More Diverse Corporate Boards Leads to Less Risk Taking
(Entrepreneur, 29.08.14)

Corporations with more diverse boards of directors are less prone to take risks and more likely to pay dividends to stockholders than firms whose boards are more homogenous.


“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” —Tony Robbins


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 18, 2014


How Effective Leaders ‘Communic8’
(Forbes, 17.11.14)

For a country that prides itself on savoir-faire and style, on manners and being well-dressed, France is sorely lacking in leadership communications directives. You will find few management books written originally in French and virtually NO books on effective communications with the media.


Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice
(The New York Times, 13.11.14)

Four chief executives describe the importance of taking stands, and of making sure they’re heard.


The Face of Customer Engagement: Generation ‘Me’
(CMO.com, 07.11.14)

Today’s modern consumer connects with brands how they want, when they want, and via the channel that is most relevant and convenient for them. Recent McKinsey data indicates as much as 70 percent of a customer’s buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated. Simply stated, advocacy is being built and traded in a matter of seconds.


New Gen Y Leaders Can Carry the X Factor for Success
(Entrepreneur, 29.08.14)

The backlash for first-time business leaders, namely those from Gen Y who were born between roughly 1982 and 1994, is at the watercooler, at the company happy hour and even in the carpool home.


“A key ingredient in innovation is the ability to challenge authority and break rules.” —Vivek Wadhwa


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 17, 2014


Four Simple Steps for Defining Your Company’s Innovation Vision
(Forbes, 07.11.14)

Organizations spend a staggering amount of time, energy, and money on innovation programs that lack vision or strategy. Announcing a quota for innovation initiatives without communicating why or how it will be achieved is a recipe for failure. In the absence of a galvanizing vision, teams spin their wheels in conflicting directions and lose momentum quickly. Innovation goals become reality only when leaders develop a clear vision, formalize their strategy, and communicate it across the organization.


Big Changes May Not Be Driven by Big Consultancies
(CMO.com, 27.10.14)

Many business leaders are now asking whether their business is equipped to plan and enact the changes that are undoubtedly required to respond to both the potential disruptions and the opportunities offered by digital. Many are coming to the conclusion that they are not. This extends to how businesses develop their strategy and plans for change.


Mad Men vs. Math Men: 6 CMO Imperatives in the Age of Anti-Advertising
(Business2Community, 17.10.14)

In this digital era, the buyer’s journey has changed. Most CMOs are aware of this and are taking steps to adjust their strategies accordingly. But last week, EVP and CMO of CDW, Neal Campbell, sat on a panel with BMA Chicago and asserted that the task CMOs are faced with is more than a little tweaking here and there. In the age of anti-advertising—an age where 90 percent of consumers don’t trust advertising while 70 percent do trust what their peers have to say about a service or product—CMOs must undergo a major transformation, and if they want their businesses to succeed, there are six CMO imperatives they must meet head-on.


What Athletes Can Teach About the Characteristics of Great Leaders
(Entrepreneur, 29.08.14)

Through my 44 years of coaching basketball (at the high school and college levels), I came to believe that the lessons learned in athletics can be valuable for leaders in any organization.


“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” —Eleanor Roosevelt


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 14, 2014


Why Purpose-Driven Innovation Trumps All
(Forbes, 03.11.14)

Innovation that sticks is purposed-driven—led by someone on a mission to do good for others. It doesn’t matter if the innovation succeeds on its own or leads to another innovation by someone else that does succeed. What matters is that the innovator is committed to a cause and is compelled to innovate to overcome a barrier keeping people from realizing their purpose.


Think You Can’t Find Anyone but White Men to Speak at Your Conference? Look Here
(Fast Company, 27.10.14)

Most conferences feature a seemingly endless array of white men. There are the white men who have written bestselling books. There are the white men who are CEOs. There are the white men who have mastered the academic world. Every few months, an article or a social media post points out the egregiousness of the white male overload at a specific event, and the organizers come back with a familiar defense: They simply couldn’t find anyone to speak who wasn’t a white guy. That’s usually not a lie; people just often fail to look beyond their immediate networks and the usual white male speakers that make the conference rounds.


How the C-Suite Can Ace Their Social Media Presence
(CMO.com, 31.10.14)

Social media is playing an ever-expanding role in nearly all business areas. As a result, the importance of a social media presence extends far beyond the role of the social media manager. People look to companies on social media to connect with the human side of a brand, and who better to embody the corporate image than the executive leaders?


Today’s Most Satisfied Employees Demand These 4 Things
(Entrepreneur, 02.09.14)

The employee landscape is changing, and with it has come new needs, desires and areas of importance for employees. This means employee development is no longer just about career development, but also goal alignment, non-monetary offerings, and simply, opportunities to prove themselves.


“There are no dreams too large, no innovation unimaginable and no frontiers beyond our reach.” —John S. Herrington


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 13, 2014


How to Spice Up Your PR When Your Business Isn’t Sexy
(Fast Company, 29.10.14)

When BeyondCore CEO Arijit Sengupta took an intro dance class at Stanford in 1995, he didn’t know it would transform his view of business.


How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader
(Harvard Business Review, 19.09.14)

The goal of most executive coaching and leadership development is behavior change—help the individual identify and change the behaviors that are getting in the way of, and reinforce the behaviors associated with, effective leadership. But what about the beliefs and values that drive behavior?


Girl Guides: Mondelez CMO Dana Anderson on How to Be Fearless
(The Drum, 11.04.14)

In her new role of chief marketing officer, Dana Anderson oversees Mondelez’s global portfolio of advertising, media and marketing—the conduit between internal brand teams and agencies as they shape the public image of brands including Cadbury, Oreo and Toblerone. As part of the Drum’s series championing female role models, she tells Jen Faull why the agency/client relationship is like a Shakespearean play with lots of misunderstanding, which both sides can overcome with bravery and honesty.


Sincere Appreciation Is the Magic Ingredient for Good Morale
(Entrepreneur, 03.09.14)

Staff turnover is one of the most non-productive business expenses. The loss of productivity, relational damage with customers and vendors, negative impact on staff morale and additional training time all create significant costs for companies.


“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” —Steve Jobs


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 12, 2014


5 Questions You Must Be Able to Answer About Your Business
(Fast Company, 21.10.14)

One of the key opportunities for a business to grow is when leaders recognize the need to revisit, refresh, or redefine the key building blocks that drive their business. When the CEO or CMO realizes it’s time to reinvigorate and reposition their brand, it oftentimes highlights the need to refine or redefine their overall business strategy.


Work-Life Balance Is Having a Moment but for the Wrong Reasons
(Time, 11.10.14)

Work-life balance is having a moment, but for the wrong reasons. Although scholars have been researching work-life fit for more than 50 years, the 2008 recession changed the nature of the beast: Lacking job security, workers became afraid to take advantage of company flexible working options, instead seeking to show hardcore commitment to hang on to a job.


The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Learners
(Harvard Business Review, 05.09.14)

Nearly a quarter century ago, at a gathering in Phoenix, Arizona, John W. Gardner delivered a speech that may be one of the most quietly influential speeches in the history of American business — a text that has been photocopied, passed along, underlined, and linked to by senior executives in some of the most important companies and organizations in the world. I wonder, though, how many of these leaders (and the business world more broadly) have truly embraced the lessons he shared that day.


Bosses Who Pick on One Employee Ruin Everyone’s Productivity, Study Shows
(Entrepreneur, 04.09.14)

You shouldn’t call people names. You shouldn’t yell, or belittle others. These are lessons we’re supposed to learn as children, but unfortunately, such behaviors persist long after we’ve left the playground: Workplace bullying is sadly commonplace.


“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” —Kalu Ndukwe Kalu


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 11, 2014


This CEO Spent His Stanford Years Taking Dance Classes—and They’re Key to His Success
(Fast Company, 29.10.14)

When BeyondCore CEO Arijit Sengupta took an intro dance class at Stanford in 1995, he didn’t know it would transform his view of business.


Keys to Avoiding the Brand Graveyard
(Branding Strategy Insider, 26.10.14)

It’s been said on too many occasions that actions speak louder than words. Said so often in fact, that many brands today seem to have a disregard that borders on disdain for taking the time to really think through what could make them outstandingly competitive.


Beware of ‘Silent Killer’ at Your Company
(The Globe and Mail, 12.10.14)

Have you ever had your idea killed? If the response you got sounded somewhat like “It won’t work around here,” or “We’ve always done it this way,” odds are it wasn’t necessarily because your idea was bad, it likely didn’t align with the cultural norms of your organization. As the world changes quickly and companies seek to reinvent their products, services, and business models, the “silent killer” often appears. It isn’t for lack of great ideas, fierce competition or shortage of resources. It is the very culture that lurks within the walls of your company.


Keep a Fresh, Startup-Like Culture Alive with These 4 Strategies
(Entrepreneur, 05.09.14)

Talent is everything. It is the defining element of your brand, since having the right people both emboldens and personifies the vision and values that your company stands for. But without the right environment, even the best talent can falter.


“My attitude is that if you push me toward something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” —Michael Jordan


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 10, 2014


How to Create a Culture of Productivity
(Fast Company, 29.10.14)

Being a productive employee isn’t always on the individual. The whole company has to be supportive.


Five Things to Know About Alibaba’s Leadership
(The Washington Post, 18.09.14)

On Friday morning, Jack Ma, the charismatic and already super-wealthy founder of Alibaba Group, is expected to ring the bell of the New York Stock Exchange. It will mark the much-anticipated debut of shares of the Chinese company, and could become the world’s largest initial public offering ever. Here are some key points you should know about the people leading this e-commerce giant.


7 Tips for Wooing Your Employees into Loving Their Jobs Again
(Entrepreneur, 29.08.14)

Although many employers like to think their employees come to work every day with a smile, the reality is, 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged at work, according to Gallup. Employee engagement is a challenge confronting many bosses and managers.


Don Draper Is Replaceable; Joan Holloway Is Not
(Harvard Business Review, 12.08.14)

In season three of “Mad Men,” Sterling Cooper’s rainmakers—including Don Draper and Roger Sterling—are planning to leave the ad agency and to take as many clients as possible with them. They’re in the firm’s Manhattan offices on a Sunday morning, plotting their exit, when the knowledge dawns: they don’t know where the client files are. They stare at each other, aghast. Fans everywhere screamed, “Joan! Get Joan!!” And indeed, the hyper-competent office manager, Joan Holloway, joins the men in the next scene, finds the files, and later recreates Sterling Cooper’s smooth-running routines in a new agency.


“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” —J.K. Rowling


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 7, 2014


Building an Obsession-Based Brand
(Branding Strategy Insider, 27.10.14)

When you apply the concept of provenance to brands, it becomes a concept centered on systematically and competitively ‘localizing’ what you’re about rather than diversifying to try and meet the generalized needs of the wider world.


The Management Principles that Help D’Artagnan Bring Magic to Your Mouth
(Fast Company, 22.10.14)

Ariane Daguin, CEO of gourmet meat purveyor D’Artagnan, explains the Dumas-ian philosophy behind her company’s success.


The Chief Innovation Officer’s 100-Day Plan
(Harvard Business Review, 17.09.14)

Congratulations! Your energy and track record of successfully launching high-impact initiatives scored you a plum role heading up innovation. Expectations are high, but some skeptics in the organization feel that innovation is an overhyped buzzword that doesn’t justify being a separate function. So, what can you do in your first 100 days to set things off on the right track?


How Fortune 500 Leaders Spend Every Minute of the Day (Infographic)
(Entrepreneur, 28.08.14)

How do top business leaders spend their time? Being fascinated by this topic, I collaborated with Chris Stowell, vice president of the International Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness in Sandy, Utah, to survey 267 C-level executives (all at the vice president level or higher) at Fortune 500 companies.


“Innovation accelerates and compounds. Each point in front of you is bigger than anything that ever happened.” —Marc Andreessen


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 6, 2014


How to Be a More Authentic and Confident Leader
(Fast Company, 22.10.14)

Confidence can feel like an act when we’re not feeling up to a task. Here’s how to be true to yourself, and project strength.


Great Strategy Begins with a CEO on the Frontlines
(Harvard Business Review, 07.10.14)

Building a winning strategy begins with recognizing that strategy is too important to be delegated to a strategy department. It can certainly be valuable to have the help of strategy officers or teams on refining and implementing strategy, but the strategy itself needs to be conceived and owned by the CEO (or equivalent for a division). Otherwise, strategy often becomes a diffuse product of group thinking and compromises among multiple stakeholders in the organization.


8 Mistakes New Leaders Make—and How to Avoid Them
(Forbes, 29.09.14)

It’s not uncommon for new leaders to make mistakes, but I argue that some of these can be avoided. Below are 8 of those mistakes and how to avoid them.


A Day-by-Day Program for Achieving Your Leadership Aspirations
(Entrepreneur, 27.08.14)

Ask most executives and managers if they are great leaders and you’ll hear, “No, but I have every intention of becoming one!” Aligning time, skills and effort to the intention to build leadership skill and capacity is not easy, but it is more important than ever.


“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” —Steve Jobs


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 5, 2014


Brand Experience in a Post Advertising World
(Branding Strategy Insider, 22.10.14)

Customers are intimately familiar with how brand excitement or brand dislike is communicated: word of mouth, written recommendations, ratings, reviews, etc. Everyone can access information about a brand’s stuff—the good, bad, and ugly.


How to Discover Your Individual Communication Style
(Fast Company, 21.10.14)

The secret to bringing out the best in yourself and others is in recognizing communication strength and learning styles.


Examining Columbus’s Complicated Leadership
(Harvard Business Review, 13.10.14)

Last spring I began offering a seminar for undergraduate business majors entitled “Mutiny and Entrepreneurship.” How to overthrow a leader, shift an authority structure, or (from an opposing perspective) quell a menacing mutiny, are among its principal topics. Coordinated defiance of power is almost natural in today’s entrepreneurial sector, but the way in which we study its dynamics is unique. We learn about mutiny by studying voluminous primary source accounts from members of seafaring ventures hundreds of years ago during the Age of Discovery.


Ask Your Employees These 4 Simple Questions to Elicit Productive Feedback
(Entrepreneur, 27.08.14)

As an entrepreneur or executive, you often get caught up in the “bigger picture” and the intricacies of your leadership role. But by doing so, it is possible to become disconnected from the day-to-day operations of your business, particularly your impact on employees, customers and suppliers.


“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” —Mother Teresa


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 4, 2014


5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Oscar de la Renta
(Entrepreneur, 25.10.14)

Here are five inspirational quotes and jewels of wisdom from the couture designer that entrepreneurs can learn from at a time when many are honoring his work and reflecting on his considerable impact on the fashion industry and beyond.


6 Steps to Building a Purpose-Driven Business
(Fast Company, 21.10.14)

Consumers and investors want to back businesses with social good in mind. But sometimes a well-meaning mission is easier said than done.


Crafting Your Verbal Brand
(Branding Strategy Insider, 03.10.14)

At a time when communication is increasingly hailed as shorter and more visual, the way brands choose and use language (the Verbal Brand) continues to hugely influence a plethora of channels, from social media to search engines to advertising, public relations, website content, direct marketing and more.


How to Fix Virtual Team Challenges Before They Happen
(Forbes, 29.09.14)

Sales and customer service teams are changing. Rather than having people sit in cubicles for eight hours a day making calls, companies are now taking advantage of the latest cloud-computing technology to create virtual teams whose members are distributed across the globe, speaking with prospective and current clients in their individual locations.


“I don’t think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great.” —Charlie Day


Corporate Branding Digest, Nov. 3, 2014


How to Be the Best Boss (Infographic)
(Entrepreneur, 22.10.14)

Being a great boss means keeping your employees happy. The rest is gravy. Maintaining their happiness isn’t just important for morale—it’s important for your bottom line. Happy employees result in a more productive work environment, more satisfied customers and fewer workplace mistakes.


‘You Have to Walk the Talk’: Hiro Takeuchi
(Fast Company, 14.10.14)

The Harvard professor riffs on why your belief system is fundamental to your business.


Brand Cultures Are Built on Language
(Branding Strategy Insider, 25.09.14)

Unless you’ve been in a cave since August 1, you know that August marks the centennial anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Not an auspicious occasion for any of the countries involved.


Bring Out the Best in Your Employees, Based on Their Brain Type
(Entrepreneur, 25.08.14)

When managing others, one size does not fit all. Tailoring your leadership style to complement different brain types and respecting the individual differences of those you’re managing will bring out the best in them.


“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” —Steve Maraboli


Corporate Branding Digest, Oct. 31, 2014


‘You Have to Walk the Talk’: Hiro Takeuchi
(Fast Company, 14.10.14)

The Harvard professor riffs on why your belief system is fundamental to your business.


5 Ways to Boost Your Leadership Impact from Afar
(Forbes, 16.09.14)

In the ever-growing global market where a personal connection with employees grows more and more challenging every day, the ability for leaders to influence others becomes more challenging. With greater geographic dispersion comes a natural impediment to leadership effectiveness, which is manifested by leaders spending less time with their people due to other “business priorities.”


Trusting Your Gut Is Never More Important than When Picking Your Team
(Entrepreneur, 25.08.14)

Entrepreneurs, invested in hiring the right team, spend a lot of time interviewing prospective candidates. I have hiring managers facilitating a ten-step screening process that successful candidates must pass but I insist the final interview is the “CEO heart-to-heart.”


Don Draper Is Replaceable; Joan Holloway Is Not
(Harvard Business Review, 12.08.14)

In season three of Mad Men, Sterling Cooper’s rainmakers—including Don Draper and Roger Sterling—are planning to leave the ad agency and to take as many clients as possible with them. They’re in the firm’s Manhattan offices on a Sunday morning, plotting their exit, when the knowledge dawns: they don’t know where the client files are. They stare at each other, aghast. Fans everywhere screamed, “Joan! Get Joan!!” And indeed, the hyper-competent office manager, Joan Holloway, joins the men in the next scene, finds the files, and later recreates Sterling Cooper’s smooth-running routines in a new agency.


“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” —Steve Jobs