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Showing posts from March, 2013

Is There a Process to Choose a Good Consultant?

Have you wondered about the value of bringing in a consultant to help with organizational challenges? Have you thought that these outsiders might not understand the challenges to your organization as well as you do and that the learning curve for the consultant would cost more than any benefit you would gain? As business life would have it, there will be times you will be faced with difficult challenges for which you will need the benefit of advice from someone with experience dealing with similar challenges. Clearly, when the time arises to choose a consultant it will be important to choose wisely. There will be many consultants to choose from. They will come from large and small consulting firms and they will all have unique sets of bias and experience. To help choose a consultant we have developed the following checklist: 1)Define the challenge. Can you articulate the challenge well enough to begin the search for outside guidance? Clearly if the goal is to get the right consultant and …

Thoughts on America’s Ability to Innovate and Compete

" The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith."
                                               Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I have heard a lot of discussion lately about the U.S. losing its competitive edge and falling behind on its ability to stimulate the development of game changing innovations. I think some look at rapid growth in new technological developments from China, India and South Korea and are concerned that economic power will shift to those countries at the expense of U.S. economic growth. Some may look at the ranking of education systems and feel that without improvements the U.S. will fall woefully behind other industrialized nations in the ability to produce a workforce for the new technological age. Still others believe that management focus on short-term profit prevents companies from investing in innovations for the long term. Clearly, there is truth in all of the above points of view…

Six Steps for Promoting an Idea or Business

Build a Cohesive Promotion Campaign If you have a new product or business, what is a good way of getting the word out? Advertising is always a good idea but without having a supporting promotion program advertising dollars can be wasted. If money is in short supply it is even more important to develop a promotion infrastructure that can build your business. Here are some steps that can put your business in the forefront of your customers’ minds: Create a “Bumper Sticker” statement or “Elevator Speech”. This is a simple phrase that explains what you do in a manner that sets you apart from the competition. This phrase is not only to make it easier to tell your customers what your business or product does, it provides a mantra for your employees, suppliers and business associates to use. If done properly it unifies the business and marketing strategies. IKEA for example, in 1982 stated as its purpose, “To promote and support innovation in the field of architectural and interior design”. Co…

Six Steps for Promoting an Idea or Business

If you have a new product or business, what is a good way of getting the word out? 

Advertising is always a good idea but without having a supporting promotion program advertising dollars can be wasted. If money is in short supply it is even more important to develop a promotion infrastructure that can build your business. Here are six steps that can put your business in the forefront of your customers’ minds:     Create a “Bumper Sticker” statement or “Elevator Speech”. This is a simple phrase that explains what you do in a manner that sets you apart from the competition. This phrase is not only to make it easier to tell your customers what your business or product does, it provides a mantra for your employees, suppliers and business associates to use. If done properly it unifies the business and marketing strategies. IKEA for example, in 1982 stated as its purpose, “To promote and support innovation in the field of architectural and interior design”. Coca Cola’s mission is to “refresh …

What Is A Responsible Leader?

Responsible Leadership Requires the Long Term View
I recently read a number of articles on leadership traits. Each article pointed out traits that seemed appropriate such as tough mindedness, empathy, charisma and so on. On a recent LinkedIn discussion traits discussed included being a visionary, having humility and the ability to build trust and confidence.
A couple of the articles pointed out that leaders are not born but are created by situations and positions in which they are placed. A leader then could probably be described as someone having the traits necessary to move an organization toward its desired goals effectively. I think there are those who thought Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were great leaders before the downfall of Enron. For a time I am certain that Bernard Ebbers was considered a good leader at Worldcom. What is missing from most descriptions of leaders, leadership traits and leadership in general is the impact leaders have on the larger universe. If you consider most of…