Originally posted on Tennessean.com.
Nashville has seen a dizzying explosion in population and reputation. That has pros and cons. Continue Reading →
How New Balance Is Reinvigorating Its Brand to Move Away from Its Lifestyle Image
(Marketing Week, 13.10.15)
New Balance’s CEO Robert DeMartini admits the brand had unintentionally “become older” but says a renewed focus on its performance business will help it become more relevant to younger consumers and shake off its image as more of a lifestyle brand.
CMOs Don’t Have to Compromise Their Big Ideas
The last time we spoke with Kevin Akeroyd from Oracle Marketing Cloud the conversation turned to marketing myths. As Akeroyd pointed out, for all the hype we hear about the perfect journey, in reality consumer journeys aren’t linear and marketers can’t predict exactly what a consumer will do next.
The Worst Implementations of the 4 P’s of Marketing
Anyone who’s been in the marketing business for a while will probably be familiar with the four “P’s” of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion. Here are some of the most unfortunate examples of the four P’s gone wrong, and what you can learn from them.
Discover the Key Drivers of Growth in Today’s Marketing Landscape
(Marketing Week, 27.08.15)
A study has been launched that will seek to determine how successful marketers and brands drive growth in today’s constantly changing and customer-centric marketing world.
“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.” —Peter Drucker
[Originally posted by The Guardian.]
As every new year approaches, trendspotters go into hyperdrive. We look for what I like to call “future headlines” and marketer Seth Godin calls “idea viruses”—the new concepts that happen when large numbers of people are in close contact and things are changing fast. Today, that’s every single day.
The Secrets to Successful Networking from the Most Connected Women
(Fast Company, 20.11.14)
Ten successful women share how they’ve mastered the art of meaningful networking.
Measuring the Impact of Your Pro Bono Program
Just because this year’s Pro Bono Week is behind us doesn’t mean that corporate volunteer leaders should shift their attention from pro bono service. Indeed, this form of employee volunteering has become so effective and popular that, for the first time, a study is underway to standardize reporting and document the value of pro bono service to communities and companies.
Leadership in Liminal Times
(Harvard Business Review, 10.10.14)
Leaders have always shown their mettle in times of liminality. The term comes from Arnold van Gennep, the Belgian anthropologist who first outlined the common patterns in how cultures mark transitions from one human state to another (for example, from adolescence to adulthood). In his 1909 book The Rites of Passage he described three stages of separation from one world and entry into another. The liminal (or threshold) stage is central.
The Secret to an Engaged Workforce and a Gossip-Free Office
Disengagement has become an epidemic in the workplace. Caused by office politics, goal misalignment and managers who hobble employee growth rather than help, there’s no denying our people often struggle to stay engaged. In fact, a 2013 study by Gallup discovered 70 percent of the workforce is disengaged on the job.
“A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That’s where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It’s having backbone.” —Robert Kiyosaki
Create the Best Environment for Creative Employees with These 6 Principles
Business owners too commonly regard creative employees as a burden on the company’s financial performance. This focus overlooks the connection between properly managed creativity and the product inventions and innovations that drive sales and ultimately business success.
Would Steve Jobs or Ted Turner Succeed in These Big Data Obsessed Times?
Spurred by the data analytics revolution, corporations aim to collect and analyze reams of data. This data becomes the basis for modeling the future, which in turn can define growth strategies. This is what is meant by predictive and prescriptive analytics.
The Best Leaders ‘Talk the Walk’
(Harvard Business Review, 07.08.14)
One of the most ubiquitous aphorisms in business is that the best leaders understand the need to “walk the talk”—that is, their behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organization. But the more time I spend with game-changing innovators and high-performing companies, the more I appreciate the need for leaders to “talk the walk”—that is, to be able to explain, in language that is unique to their field and compelling to their colleagues and customers, why what they do matters and how they expect to win. The only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership. And leaders that think differently about their business invariably talk about it differently as well.
7 Traits Every Great Leader Has (But Doesn’t Talk About)
(The Muse, 07.07.14)
What does it take to be a great leader? Once upon a time, birth order and socioeconomic status were considered powerful determinants in who would successfully climb the ladder. Lately, though, the focus has shifted to personal qualities.
“I believe in innovation and that the way you get innovation is you fund research and you learn the facts.” —Bill Gates
7 Ways to Make Big Change Quick and Permanent
Big change can be disruptive yet beneficial and often necessary. Change expert Robert “Jake” Jacobs shares his tips on how to create real and lasting change.
Is Your Brand Being Nibbled to Death by Ducks?
Someone remarked recently that General Motors was not trounced by a single major competitor like Toyota or Ford. Instead, they were attacked on every front by Volkswagen, Hyundai, Honda, BMW, Mini Cooper, Chrysler, Subaru, Jeep, Volvo, Range Rover, Ford, and yes, Toyota. As someone else once said, they were nibbled to death by ducks. And if you think the automobile industry is alone in this, you’re all wrong.
Growth and Change Require Agile Leadership and Bedrock Values
Every year we see a new best seller or startup sensation promoting the latest and greatest formula for success. We eagerly study these books and download every TED talk, even knowing there is no definitive guide to success. The path to success lies in continuously evolving and optimizing your leadership strategy, a process I call “agile leadership.’”
3 Questions Executives Should Ask Front-Line Workers
(Harvard Business Review, 09.05.14)
The higher up you go in an organization, the harder it is to stay in touch with what’s really happening on the front lines. And the bad news—if you hear it at all—is presented only in the best possible light. How do you get the real truth about what’s happening out in the field? How do you stay connected to all corners of your organization? I have found that three simple questions, asked with the intent to learn, can help you stay in touch with reality and be a better leader.
“The heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation.” —Robert Iger
Don’t Abandon Innovation—Simplify It
(Harvard Business Review, 06.01.14)
My fellow HBR blogger Bill Taylor recently made a pitch for all of us to stop using the word “innovation” in 2014. Despite his plea, I suspect this word isn’t going anywhere. It’s too important as a driver of growth and renewal. What can be done, in the spirit of Bill’s admonishment, is to stop getting tangled up in all of the variations, nuances, tools, techniques, models, frameworks and paradigms of innovation. Somehow we’ve taken a simple concept—the idea of systematically finding, encouraging, and implementing new ideas for growth—and we’ve made it horribly complex. And of course, by complexifying innovation, we’ve probably started to kill it.
Why All-Hands Meetings Are Worth Every Penny
Depending on the size of your company, an all-hands meeting can cost tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. It is worth every penny.
Corporate Leadership: The Experts Pose Key Questions for Leading CEOs
(The Wall Street Journal, 27.11.13)
At The Wall Street Journal’s 2013 CEO Council Conference, leading corporate executives from a range of industries gathered to discuss some of today’s most pressing issues.
Chapter 12: The Art of Strategic Influence
(The Build Network, 02.08.13)
Your individual talents and abilities are a given. To perform at the highest level, you should also strengthen your ties to executive peers, coworkers, and external stakeholders. Nurture key relationships to the point where you have true strategic influence.
“Complacency is the enemy of progress.” —Dave Stutman
How to Apply PR Strategies to Improve Your Company’s SEO
(The Next Web, 06.10.13)
Public relations and SEO have always been destined to converge. PR is about building relationships with media professionals and key influencers to help increase a company or individual’s visibility and profile; SEO is an iteration of that relationship. The only difference is that we operate in the digital sphere, and we measure these relationships through links, social signals, and other trust indicators. In the past, many SEO strategists focused on building a high volume of low quality relationships to get their company’s names out to the Web. Times have changed.
The Millennial Male Is Not Who You Think He Is—Marketers Should Take Note
It’s the best time in the world to be a millennial man, to hear baby boomers tell it—let your parents or your girlfriend pay the rent, maybe start a useless tech company, watch marketers trip over themselves trying to reach you. But talk to guys in this highly desirable demo yourself and you might discover a disenfranchised group with little disposable income, a love of niche culture and an upbeat outlook that belies the economic hand they’ve been dealt (two-seven offsuit). They’re not opposed to advertising, but they also love being obscure—it’s the first generation that would starve trying to order a pizza (or deciding where to order a pizza from). Not your dream clientele? Well, get used to them—they’re the biggest generation in history, and if you can’t reach them, somebody else will.
5 Ways CMOs Can Expand Their Influence and Impact
The CMO’s average tenure has almost doubled during the past nine years. But it’s still much shorter than that of the CEO and CIO. Indeed, many CMOs come and go. Some decide to move on for greener pastures; others crash and burn. Don’t be the latter. Rather than fall prey to misplaced expectations and relentless change, break free by using your skills and talents to harness and direct the power of change. Let’s become change agents who drive profitable business growth, i.e., Chief Growth Officers.
There’s an App for That: How to Get the Most from Your Visual Content
(Social Media Today, 02.09.13)
Visual content for marketing isn’t new. Your first instinct for sharing a new video is probably to go to the gold standard, YouTube. Right? Founded in 2005, YouTube has since amassed more than 154 million monthly users in the United States alone. Marketers were quick to leverage the video sharing site to promote brands and businesses — in fact, 36 percent of U.S. businesses with more than 100 employees use YouTube for marketing. But YouTube isn’t the only channel available to content marketers for sharing visual content, and it’s not the only place to find your audience.
“Many things which cannot be overcome when they stand together yield themselves up when taken little by little.” —Plutarch