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“Goals produce results, not activities.”

Our last posting talked about consistency.  We talked about identifying “critical success factors” . . . operating principles that, when applied consistently, are at the core of a company’s success.  But operating principles are only half the equation.  They are the front end, the input side of things.  They […] Continue Reading…

 
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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”

In his outstanding book, Great by Choice, Jim Collins relates the story of Howard Putnam, a former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Putnam institutionalized the Southwest Airlines’ “recipe” for success. His “recipe” was not a strategic plan or a vision or a mission statement, but a carefully thought-out list of […] Continue Reading…

 
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“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

Many companies that survive an economic downturn do it by cutting everything that doesn’t keep the lights on and the doors open.  In that condition, they are treading water.  They may avoid catastrophe, but they’re not going anywhere.  The company is set on “idle.” 
Allowing the company to idle […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101e

So far in this series on marketing, we’ve discussed three fundamental marketing questions:
–          What product or service do we want to sell?
–          What “competitive advantage” separates us from our competitors?
–          Who is uniquely suited to buy from us (who is our “prime prospect”)?
Now, to conclude this series on marketing, […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101d

This is the fourth installment in a series of basic marketing concepts.  First we described what marketing is, and what it is not.  Then we talked about the problem your service or product will solve, the need it will fill, or the want it will satisfy.  Next we talked […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101c

Maybe you remember the old Jim Croce song that goes, “You don’t spit into the wind, you don’t tug on Superman’s cape . . . “ etc.  The idea is that there are some things in life you just don’t do.  Case in point.  Last time I wrote (Marketing […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101b

This is the second installment of a series on marketing.  The first installment set the groundwork by defining what marketing is . . . and what it is not.  Now we’ll dig a little deeper into some of the major components of marketing.
The foundational question for marketing is, “What […] Continue Reading…

 
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Marketing 101a

This begins a series on marketing.  I’ll dispense with the quotes I usually use because I couldn’t find any that I thought were appropriate for this discussion.  If you consider yourself to be a pretty savvy marketer, this may be too elementary for you, but for everyone else, please […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Give up trying to grow the bottom line. Grow your people and your people will grow the bottom line.”

I was in a conversation recently with a guy who works for a technology company, and during the course of the conversation, the subject of “training” came up.  He said that his company has a training budget for their technicians, but not for their managers.  He said he knows […] Continue Reading…

 
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Now, Discover Your Strengths

In his excellent book, “Now Discover Your Strengths,” author Marcus Buckingham and co-author Donald Clifton discuss the work they did for The Gallup Organization to find out what makes successful people successful.  What do those successful people have in common that makes them high achievers?
So they sifted through over […] Continue Reading…

 
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