Play By the Rules But Be Ferocious

“Play by the rules but be ferocious” is the advice given by Phil Knight, co-founder and past chairman of Nike. I believe that all of us need to take this to heart and make some adjustments in how we lead and run our businesses!

There is no need to be ruthless, dishonest, nefarious, or unscrupulous in any way. However, if we want to grow our businesses we need a “fire in our belly” . . . we need to be ferocious!

Can you imagine if your favorite professional sports team was not driven to succeed? I know we always complain about the overall performance of our teams (like the Calgary Flames!) but when you watch them play, they do play the game ferociously. Anything less would be pathetic!

What if this season they decide they are going to play a non-contact style of hockey? Or what if their leadership fails to create and communicate a strategic plan for the season? What if they fail to assign team members to positions or to clearly define the roles each team member is to play? What if they don’t build a sales and marketing plan and fail to reach the sales targets they need to remain viable?

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 Create A Powerful Newsletter And Why You Should Care

If your business does not issue a monthly newsletter, you are missing out on one of the easiest and most powerful ways to communicate to your employees!

A properly written newsletter can deliver timely and valuable information to employees in a consistent way that is hard to match with other types of media.

I have seen many examples of company newsletters over the years, from large oil companies to small engineering firms . . . from simple one pagers to monstrous 20+ pagers!

My favorite newsletter was one I received at a small employee owned organization. Although this one was not monthly, it did provide a great update on the company health, the money we were making, and where the business leaders thought we were headed.

What does a great newsletter look like and what are the benefits?

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:

Can You Complete the 15 Minute Business Challenge?

If you cannot write out the plan for where you are taking your business in 15 minutes or less, chances are, you do not have a plan!

If you don’t have a plan then you and your business are just floating through time and you are at the whim of the marketplace and all of your competitors! Basically, if you cannot articulate what you are building or why you are building it then how do you know what you are doing or where you are going?

For those that regularly read my posts, you know that Thinking Business has a very detailed business blueprint that you can download (from our Business Tools) and apply to your business. We call it the Thinking Business Blueprint. It takes you through all aspects of your business to ensure that your business model and strategy are defined clearly at all levels.

However, I was recently challenged by a client to come up with a simple, high level, tool that would allow a business leader to summarize their business and their strategy in one simple page. This one-page tool must be simple to implement yet powerful enough to capture the very essence of an organization. A leader must then be able to take the completed tool and easily communicate it to any and all of it’s stakeholders.

To meet this challenge, I have come up with the “15 Minute” Business Blueprint described below.