Category Archives: Thoughts

The Core Incompetencies of the Corporation

Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure. First, they are inertial. They are frequently caught out by the future and seldom change in the absence of a crisis. Deep change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team. Absent the bloodshed, the dynamics of change in the world’s largest companies aren’t much different from what one sees in a poorly-governed, authoritarian regime – and for the same reason: there are few, if any, mechanisms that facilitate proactive bottom-up renewal.

Second, large organizations are incremental. Despite their resource advantages, incumbents are seldom the authors of game-changing innovation. It’s not that veteran CEOs discount the value of innovation; rather, they’ve inherited organizational structures and processes that are inherently toxic to break-out thinking and relentless experimentation. Strangely, most CEOs seem resigned to this fact, since few, if any, have tackled the challenge of innovation with the sort of zeal and persistence they’ve devoted to the pursuit of operational efficiency. Their preferred strategy seems to be to acquire young companies that haven’t yet lost their own innovation mojo (but upon acquisition most likely will).

And finally, large organizations are emotionally insipid. Managers know how to command obedience and diligence, but most are clueless when it comes to galvanizing the sort of volunteerism that animates life on the social web. Initiative, imagination, and passion can’t be commanded—they’re gifts. Every day, employees choose whether to bring those gifts to work or not, and the evidence suggests they usually leave them at home. In Gallup’s latest 142-country survey on the State of the Global Workplace, only 13% of employees were truly engaged in their work. Imagine, if you will, a car engine so woefully inefficient that only 13% of the gas it consumes actually combusts. That’s the sort of waste we’re talking about. Large organizations squander more human capability than they use.

3 Funny Communication Videos – Share at Your Next Staff Meeting

3 Funny Communication Videos – Share at Your Next Staff Meeting post image

Effective communication in the workplace isn’t always that easy. Here are three hilarious communication videos that you can share at your next team meeting. Each short video highlights how communication at work can go so bad at times.

Effective Workplace Communication Video #1

Does your business create raving customers?

Originally posted on Leadership Cafe:
This past week I had the opportunity to welcome back one of our most loyal customers .Mr. Young has been staying at our property for almost three years on and off. He traveled internationally for business and came back after several months of conducting business outside the US. When he…
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Plasticity

Can you change?

Are you stuck with your habits, your knowledge, your weight, your fitness, your interpersonal skills? Is your future a slightly different rerun of your past?

We spend an enormous amount of time and money seeking to reinvent and upgrade ourselves, working to give up something, start something, build something or change something about who we are and what we do.

And we usually fail.

It’s tempting to say, “this is who I am, habits are hardwired, it’s in my DNA, I’m going to live with it.” Tempting, and an easy way out. 

Put the “and” Back in “Sales and Marketing”

Nowhere else in the executive suite of a typical corporation are two functions as closely intertwined as sales and marketing. Yet for all the shared responsibility, the marketing and sales relationship has often been a contentious and lopsided one, with sales dominating in B2B sectors while marketing leads in B2C ones.

The joint challenge today for CMOs and heads of sales (or CSOs – Chief Sales Officers) is how they can work together to discover insights that matter, design the right offers and customer experiences based on those insights, and then deliver them effectively to the right people across multiple channels to drive growth. McKinsey research shows that companies with advanced marketing and sales capabilities tend to grow their revenue two to three times more than the average company within their sector.

But to get to that top tier, marketing and sales executives can no longer afford the inefficient silos that have long characterized the relationship. Here are three important elements of the CMO-CSO partnership to get right:

Let’s Kill off our Best Employees!

Organizations don’t always do a good job when it comes to nurturing, developing, rewarding, and retaining their high potential employees. In fact, it often seems like they are going out of their way to sabotage their best employees.

Read my latest over at About.com Management and Leadership to learn more:

Live. Die. Repeat. 10 Ways to Kill Your Best Employees

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