Time Management: Social Media Un-Productivity: How to Avoid Addiction

Time Management: Social Media Un-Productivity: How to Avoid Addiction
Laura Stack, CSP

I’ve coined the term Obsessive Compulsive Social Media Disorder. Do you have it?

Many people confess, “Facebook is my secret addiction. I’m obsessed! I don’t really know how to cure it, but I spend hours every day on Facebook, plus LinkedIn, Twitter, and all my other social media sites. I’ve not yet been able to monetize the results of this activity and am not really sure whether I am getting any business off of it.”

It’s a common complaint. You absolutely need to have a presence in social media and spend time doing it; however, it can be a huge productivity drain if you are not careful.
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Branding – What Works and What Doesn’t

Branding – What Works and What Doesn’t
Libby Gill

No matter what your brand is, in every case – with the brand messages that work and those that don’t – authenticity is a huge factor. We believe that FedEx really will get our package there overnight. We BELIEVE that we (meaning men) should spend a pretty good chunk of change on diamond rings. We believe that Juan Valdez is hard-working and reliable, that he’s authentic.

Conversely, when brands fall short or contradict themselves, consumers feel deceived – as in the case of “New Coke” and the Edsel.
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Inside a Family Business: Maybe This Isn’t the Best Place for Everyone

Inside a Family Business: Maybe This Isn’t the Best Place for Everyone
Jay Goltz

In my first post about Consolidated Printing, I described a family business that is long on family – seven family members to be exact – and short on infrastructure.

My first meeting with the company’s founder, Marilyn Jones, and her son-in-law, Shane, gave me a good picture of the inner workings of the company, and my observations during the meeting gave me enough insight to understand some of the problems. From running my own business and observing many others, I have learned that companies have their strengths and weaknesses and the strengths often feed the weaknesses. It is much easier to see this from the outside. People tend to do what they are good at doing and what they like doing. That does not necessarily mean they are doing what is best for the company.
Continue reading Inside a Family Business: Maybe This Isn’t the Best Place for Everyone

The 10 Most Important Innovation-Themed Rock Documentaries of All Time!

The 10 Most Important Innovation-Themed Rock Documentaries of All Time!
Jim Carroll, CSP

With all the keynotes I do, I spend a huge amount of time on airplanes – and often end up going through a lot of video. As of late, I’ve seen a number of rock documentaries, and was struck by some of the unique innovation stories in these films. And so I’ve put this list together!


#10 Woodstock: 3 days of peace, music…and love

They figured out the HP InkJet business model, long before we even had personal computers

Innovation is all about risk, and Woodstock Ventures Inc. was all about risk. Everything went wrong – problems with ticket sales, the decision that the concert would have to be free, last minute problems that forced a change in concert location which drove up costs. They lost a ton of money on the concert – but made it up in spades with the film and album. Which is an innovation model that many would follow years later, with companies giving away printers for free, and making gazillions off the ink they would later sell you!

Key innovation lessons:

  • Not every business model is certain: and sometimes, the success you achieve won’t be from what you anticipated
  • Stephen Stills on fear: “This is the second time we’ve ever played in front of people, man, we’re scared shitless.” Most innovators are!

Continue reading The 10 Most Important Innovation-Themed Rock Documentaries of All Time!

What Are Retailers Worried About? Consumer Interaction and Location!

What Are Retailers Worried About? Consumer Interaction and Location!
Jim Carroll, CSP

I just came from giving a keynote for the annual conference of a major customer loyalty organization, with the talk focused on some of key trends impacting the world of retail today.

There’s certainly a lot going on and a lot to think about. Extremely rapid business model change, the emergence of new competitors, ongoing consumer confidence volatility, rapid product turnover and faster product life-cycles.

So what are they really, really worried about? Let’s put in context the people I had in the room – senior VP’s and managers in major retailers representing several billions in revenue in a wide variety of markets, including pharmaceutical, grocery, consumer goods and electronics. Not to mention quite a few bankers, responsible for credit card portfolios, loyalty programs and other customer oriented programs and infrastructure.
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Two Top Strategies to Capture the Mindshare so the Market Share Will Follow

Two Top Strategies to Capture the Mindshare so the Market Share Will Follow
Libby Gill

Can you guess how many entries you get when you Google branding. More than 30 million. With 30 million separate entries, no wonder we all get so confused about branding. For today’s TGIF message, I want to demystify branding and give you a context for creating YOUR mindshare brand. Your mindshare brand starts with your unique value, delivered in your distinctive style. A brand sums up who you and what you offer.

A unique, distinctive, value-rich mindshare brand delivers a message, confirms your credibility, connects emotionally, motivates the buyer, and creates consumer habits. Because you want to keep them coming back for more right? YES.
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The Masters in Business Imagination Degree!

The Masters in Business Imagination Degree!
Jim Carroll, CSP

With a lot of university graduations and commencements, it might be a good moment and pause to think about a degree that colleges and universities should be offering their students. That’s why I opined a number of years ago that we needed to prepare people for a fast paced future by letting them enroll in a Masters of Business Imagination Degree.

Masters of Business Imagination
Grab the PDF to the right, and share it around. Here’s how it reads.

In a time of rapid, disruptive change can be a death sentence – not only for organizations, but for the careers and skills of those who work there! It’s time to abandon the thinking that has had you anchored firmly to the past – and to shift your focus to the future, with enthusiasm, motivation and imagination.
Continue reading The Masters in Business Imagination Degree!

There Is Nothing More Pitiful

There Is Nothing More Pitiful
by Darren Hardy

My mentor Jim Rohn emphasized that one of the first things everyone should work on is their physical health. He said, “How terrible would it be if the mind said, ‘let’s go conquer the world’ and the body said, ‘I can’t even get out of bed’?” It takes your healthy body to carry around your head full of ideas and your heart’s desires.

There is nothing more pitiful than a ready and willing mind but an incapable body.
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6 Steps on Maintaining Constant Gratitude

6 Steps on Maintaining Constant Gratitude
Libby Gill

One of the most important things we can remember and embody every day is maintaining a constant state of gratefulness, despite whatever circumstances we may be in. Why? Because it turns out that living in a state of appreciation has some unexpected benefits. Throughout my book “You Unstuck” I cite the work of sought-after experts in the emerging field of “positive psychology,” which is now widely recognized as the scientific study of human wellness, happiness, and well-being. A departure from the traditional focus on negative life aspects, such as addiction, trauma, or depression, researchers in this field provide insight on how we can make our lives more purposeful and fulfilling.
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How To Say No Without Saying No: Refusing Requests with Tact and Grace

Time Management: How to Say No Without Saying NO
How To Say No Without Saying No: Refusing Requests with Tact and Grace

Laura Stack, CSP

  1. Try to negotiate.
    When someone asks us to do something, when do we assume they mean they need it? We assume they mean now. But that’s not always the case. Instead of doing a task immediately, try to negotiate. Can you extend the deadline a bit? Just ask, “Do you need that today? Or would Monday be okay?” You will often be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Simplify.
    Can you reduce the scope of the task? Asking, “At what level of detail does this need to be done? Does it need to be to the second decimal place or can I just round a little bit?” Find out in advance.
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