Archives For Strategy

Innovation is the catalyst to growth. Innovation means doing something different, smarter or better that will make a positive difference.  Innovation applies to every aspect of your business – you can be innovative with products, services, methods or business processes.   Innovation is free and unlimited – if you actively tap into it as a leader.

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Incorporating innovation into your business can help you save time and money, and give you the competitive advantage to grow and adapt your business in the marketplace.  Because innovation refers to making things better, it can significantly increase the likelihood of your business succeeding. Research (and real life examples) have shown that businesses that innovate create more efficient work processes and have better motivation, productivity and performance overall.

We all know, without a shadow of a doubt, that without customers there simply is no business – you will cease to exist (from an organizational perspective, of course!). The customer is King, but believe it or not, clients aren’t as hard to win over as you might think… if you put customer service in context.

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What most companies don’t realize (or acknowledge) is that Customer Service is the best, most economical marketing they will ever get. Despite this fact, it is a consistently under-recognized, underutilized asset for 99% of the organizations out there. Much to most organizations’ dismay, they consistently lose revenue due to poor customer encounters and never understand why.

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Every organization is comprised of people with different worldviews. It is inescapable – recent statistics indicate upwards of 90% of business’ have a culturally diverse workforce. What does this mean for you as a leader? It means… You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide. It means… if you want to succeed, Cultural Integration should become a critical component of your business strategy.

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We all have different worldviews based on our various life experiences. In today’s business environment, bringing people from different backgrounds together and appreciating the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives in a cohesive way becomes very complex. Cultural Integration is really, in its simplest form, about bringing those diverse people together to leverage the unique strengths of the individual parts to create a stronger, more competitive whole.

So what can you do to build Cultural Integration into your organization?

For better or worse… we are all extensions of the networks we have built – or the lack thereof. Those who are devoted to the intensive cultivation of the vine will prosper and grow, while those who do not, well, you can guess the outcome…

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Ask any senior executive (or successful salesperson) which single skill has helped them to accelerate their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one simple word… Networking.

We all know what makes the corporate world continue to expand and grow. It’s a giant social vine, with people dynamically interdependent upon one another for success.  Whether we like it (or care to acknowledge it) or not – we are dependent upon one another. Continue Reading…

The Innovation Inhibitor

December 12, 2013 — 1 Comment

This week, after challenging a client to take a different perspective on organizational change, I was reflecting on a commentary I heard from Gary Hamel on how Leadership has not fundamentally changed in over 100 years.  In short, he is absolutely right. We may move things around, make them look a little different, or phrase them in a different way – but there has been little actual innovation in leadership theory and practice in a very long time. Think about it. When was the last time you did something truly innovative for your business?

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It occurs to me how critical it is that, we, as leaders, begin to think and act  differently. We have the capacity, as leaders, to see business from a completely different perspective, yet we are often hesitant to really leverage the inherent power that is within us to influence meaningful change.  The reality is that in order to move forward, we have to start – we must begin to take steps forward in the right direction. One absolutely essential way that we can move toward bringing innovation back to the forefront is to actively engage the sources that are available to us in order to facilitate new ideas and concepts coming to fruition. Continue Reading…

Recently I was at the World Business Forum. As I listened to what some of the world’s top business leaders considered our most significant leadership challenges, one sentiment stood out for me above all others – Jack Welch made the statement that, “the rhythm of business hasn’t changed in 40 years.” That’s profound… and true.

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Ladies and gentlemen, that was not a compliment! Worse, it was not the first (or second) time I’ve heard that commentary from a top business leader… What is actually so depressing about that statement is the fact that little is actually ever done about it. People love to tell us what our problems are… and even share high-level academic theories and pointless observations – but where is the down and dirty “how” to make things better?

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