HR Section: #Great Bosses spur teamwork – Podcast

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A great boss is a person who creates and maintains a safe, inspiring work environment where talented, engaged employees THRIVE.

Great bosses create clear performance standards, clear values standards, and hold everyone (including themselves) accountable for both each day.

Listen here

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Data is useless unless marketers can make sense of it

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Wonderful interview with Ann Lewis CMO of Adobe Software and how the company has moved on from making tools for creative people to being a CMO focussed company. Since adding Web analytics provider Omniture and search platform Effective Frontier, Adobe is now positioned to bridge the gap between data and creativity.

Some of the highlights from the interview:

  1. This is a pivotal time for agencies. The traditional stuff we once looked to our agencies for is now being handled in-house. The role of the agency today is getting the big idea from the client, and then helping accelerate the shift to digital.
  2. In order for agencies to add value, they need to help the brands express their value propositions.
  3. Marketers don’t want data. They want the high-level picture in a visual format, and if they want to go deeper, they should be able to.
  4. Marketers need to aggregate [all the data] together and take an integrated approach to acting on all this data.
  5. In five years there’ll be a better connection between the creative and data worlds.

Read the full interview here 

Lead Lifecycle Mangement: 5 steps for managing cost and quality of leads

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Organizations target quality, but they don’t pay for it. That is one of the latest discoveries from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free 10-page excerpt at this link).

“It is impossible to determine a lead’s cost if you are not measuring where leads come from in the first place. And, this doesn’t just mean tracking paid search leads or online leads, but all leads, even those coming in on the phone,” said Jason Ferrara, VP of Marketing, Ifbyphone.

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How To Manage Thinkers, And Feelers, Effectively

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Flexing your style means being versatile in how you lead, communicate, and motivate. A tough approach propels one employee; mild-mannered encouragement inspires another. Being flexible requires proficiency in a range of techniques, to draw upon as needed.

This does not require disregarding your own temperament. It means maximizing rapport with others while maintaining your core of integrity.

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Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

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Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

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Facing obstacles? Think the Ponting way! – Bhavin Dalal

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You can often learn vital life lessons by listening to achievers. Their secret to success may be hard to emulate. But it can be the trigger you need to change your beliefs, says Prakash Iyer.

Here’s a little story about Ricky Ponting, arguably one of cricket’s all-time greats.

Ponting is one of only three cricketers to have scored over 13000 runs in test cricket. He has to his credit over 70 centuries in tests and one day internationals. And when it comes to placing the ball and finding the gaps in the field, Ponting was acknowledged as the complete master.

Someone once asked him the secret to his ability to find the gaps in the field. His answer was simple, yet revealing.

He said, “Every batsman surveys the field before taking strike, and usually the fielders get imprinted on his mind. They can almost see every fielder in their mind’s eye. But in my head, I don’t see the fielders. I only see the gaps!” And that — as his tally of runs shows — made all the difference.

We could all take a leaf out of Ponting’s book. Don’t focus on the obstacles.

Look instead for the opportunities. Because life — in many ways — is like a game of cricket. Your job is to score runs.

There will be fielders out there who will stop you from scoring those runs. There will be an opposing captain who will try his hardest to place the fielders in a manner that will make it difficult for you to score those runs. Your job is to find the gaps.

We all face problems in our lives. We encounter hurdles that seem to block our progress.

We get obsessed with the hurdle — and fail to observe the opportunities that may be opening up in front of us. We focus on the problem — rather than on the solutions. And as psychologists have proved, what your mind focuses on, tends to grow.

Focus on the problem, and it will look bigger and more difficult. Focus on your ability to solve the problem — and bingo! — you will feel more empowered to take on challenges. Has it happened to you that you accidentally hit your foot against a table — and hurt your little toe?

That little toe-niggle seems to be on your mind all the time. And more often than not — you will find yourself banging the same toe again — and again.

What you focus on — tends to grow! How often has it happened that someone told you, “Be careful, don’t drop the glass!” And — crash — you dropped it!

There’s a story that a former West Indian wicket-keeper likes to tell. He says it changed his approach to the game and life itself. Playing a test match, he hurt a finger rather badly while attempting a difficult catch.

He was in considerable pain, and went off the field to have it attended to. Meanwhile, the team had to make do with a make-shift wicket keeper — and that wasn’t helping the team’s cause. The coach wanted the injured wicket-keeper to get back to the field.

“I have a broken finger” the wicket-keeper protested. “Yes,” said the coach. “But you have nine good fingers, don’t you? Now get back with those nine good ones!”

In life, you cannot control where the fielders are placed. Nor can you do much about the little finger getting injured. But you can choose your response.

Train the mind to focus on the fielders — or on the gaps; on the one broken finger — or the nine good ones; on the obstacles — or the opportunities. The choice is yours!

Next time, you see a problem or an obstacle, think the Ponting way. And see the gaps!

10 Customer Experience Tips from Guy Kawasaki

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Ultimately, exceptional service happens when the needs of our customers become more important than the needs of individual performing the service. It’s that moment where what the customer wants is the focus, not the metric involved in the act of service.

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