How Your People are the Key to Sustaining Success

We have all heard it said that people are the most important asset your business has. In fact, it is said so much that now we have become somewhat numb to it!

Do we really believe this? Are people truly the key to your organization’s success? What about innovation or leadership or cashflow or customers?

Sustaining Success

According to Tom Peters in The Excellence Dividend there are seven steps to sustaining success. These seven steps start with taking care of your employees. If you can take care of them and treat them with excellence, they will address all the other components of an excellent business!

Ideas and Stuff Podcast!

Thinking Business

This week’s book summary is a podcast link. I was recently featured on the “Ideas and Stuff” podcast episode 50! We covered a lot of ground in about 30 minutes, including:

  • Vision, Mission, Values
  • BHAG
  • Strategy
  • Goals
  • Managing risk
  • Business failure
  • 15 Minute Business Blueprint
  • Mastermind Groups

Check it out here and let me know what you think in the comments below!

How to Be Urgent with the Tactic and Patient with the Strategy

I attended a “Jamie Clarke” keynote earlier this year and was struck by a number of things he said and how they apply to business.

Clarke is a fellow Calgarian who has summited Mt. Everest twice, climbed the Seven Summits, written a few books, and is the CEO of Live Out There Ltd. He was a very engaging speaker with a ton of life experience and wisdom.

Of the topics he covered in his keynote, there was one statement he made that every business leader needs to practice:

“Be urgent with the tactic and patient with the strategy”

It is really easy to get stuck on one side of this equation and forget about the other. Some people gravitate towards tactics and are always busy but never really “move the ball forward.” Other people are so focused on creating a legendary strategy that they don’t get anything practical done!

About 10 years ago, my son and I decided to build a remote-controlled submarine. We talked through some ideas, drew up a few conceptual plans but never really had a solid strategy in place before we went a bought a bunch of parts from Lowes. Once we had the parts, we went into full-on build mode.

We had a ton of fun while we created an amazing submarine prototype that ended up having so much buoyancy it probably could have floated a full-sized car! We were too focused on tactics and should have stepped back and built a solid design strategy!

In the end, after a lot of discussion and some quick Google searches, we discovered it was way cheaper to just buy a remote-controlled submarine online. However, we still have yards of white PVC pipe glued together somewhere in the shed as a reminder of our glaring failure!

We often hear that execution eats strategy for breakfast or that action without strategy pointless . . . So what is the answer?

How to Improve Your Projects with 25 Simple Questions

As I wrote in a post a few years ago, project management is not for the faint of heart! Projects can be very complex and stressful.

Besides managing scope, schedule, and budget, project managers need to manage relationships with staff, customers, contractors, vendors, community leaders, and many others. Much of this project management is now done virtually as the project team, contractors and customers can be spread in multiple locations over multiple time zones, cultures and languages.

This is a daunting task!

Even more daunting is the task of a person responsible for the oversight of multiple projects. How can one person possibly stay on top of all the details from multiple large projects?

The answer is that they cannot and they should not even try!

So, what can a leader who is responsible for oversight of multiple large projects do to ensure the projects are on track and delivered successfully?

How to Avoid a Marketing Apocalypse in Your Business

We have all heard of the “horsemen of the apocalypse” and the overwhelming devastation that they bring!

I recently attended a keynote by Wes Gay, marketing guru and regular contributor to Forbes, in which he painted a fairly scary picture of how our marketing communication looks to the general public. He was suggesting that poor communication in marketing campaigns is equivalent to unleashing the “horsemen of the apocalypse” on our businesses!

To his point, one does not have to look too far to find some massively destructive communication campaigns. Things like:

  1. Kenneth Cole and their 2011 Twitter message (in the midst of the Arab spring movement); “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” This message was retracted but there was damage done!
  2. The Coke fiasco around New Coke and Classic Coke back in the 1980’s. Did these new flavors mean that the old Coke was no good? This market communication fiasco was so monumental, we still talk about it today!
  3. How United Airlines responded by blaming the victim after social media showed smart phone video footage of a passenger being violently dragged off a flight. The public was stunned by United’s response and their stock price was impacted immediately.
  4. The Adidas’ tweet after the 2017 Boston Marathon “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” This was probably an innocent mistake and message was retracted quickly but not without brand damage.
  5. Dove airing a commercial that showed a black women turned white after using a Dove product. If you saw and understood the complete context of the advertisement it was probably fine. However, it was easily taken out of context and Dove was forced to pull the ad.

Wes Gay goes on to say there are four things that may seem innocuous at the time but can prove to be devasting to you and your organization. He calls these the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication

The 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication

He defines the 4 Horsemen of Marketing Communication as: