Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
In so doing, we do ourselves a disservice. Many situations are complex and need to be examined as such. People are not uni-dimensional. When we compress a complex situation into a 30 second sound-bite, we short-change ourselves.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
This illustrates how airlines continue to fail to connect with and understand their customers.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
How can we achieve change? Only by the most strenuous means possible - after all the survival of the human race and our children's children is at stake. Should we be genteel and moderate, or strident and demanding? I suppose it all depends on how urgent we think the problem is.
Some form of micro-payments system is inevitable as it cannot be financed by subscriptions in most cases and advertising is unlikely to be sufficient.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
On the other hand regulation of prices and capacity rarely benefits consumers. It transforms the regulators and legislators into the "target market" for the company. Price "collusion" becomes mandatory, and the law of unintended consequences leads companies to become inefficient as that is rewarded.
Each instance of regulation has to be evaluated and "quis custodiet custodies" will probably apply, in that regulators and legislators need to be supervised.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Now, increasingly, in a world where change is critical, LinkedIn seems static, and even boring,while FaceBook has acquired more adult users and allows them to have a window into the life of the people to whom they link. The acceptance of third party Widgets is allowing them to avoid the mistakes which others have made. No one company can develop all the cool widgets which people want, so by opening up the environment, it can ensure that it always stays at the leading edge.
It may not last, but FaceBook has the best strategy for now.
Monday, September 10, 2007
This is an important lesson for companies which want to make sure that they behave ethically. The detailed rules of behavior have to be laid out, not just a pious intent.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
One of the Principles of Mars, Inc., a company which is a passionate believer in ethics, is prompt payment of suppliers. In fact, it is also good business since other companies want to do business with such a company. Therefore, the manager who initiates a policy of slow payment is not only acting unethically, but is doing his or her company a disservice.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Similarly, most people judge the speed of their broadband connection by downstream speed. Few realize that in some situations, such as sending large files, or IP telephony, upstream speed is more important. As a result, few know the upstream speed of their connection, and few providers advertise it.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I suspect that doctors are still very much of a producer driven mentality. While they do want to serve patients, they believe that they are the experts on how to do that, not the patients. Also, most doctors are not completely comfortable with technology.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Lobbyists tend to not allow this to happen, entrenched interests and people with their minds already made up. This must change.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Overall, the experience has been unpleasant enough that I would hesitate about doing it again. I think that the charities should stress good manners more to their employees.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
- Fanatical focus on the customer - he really was interested in hearing what they had to say.
- Belief that if he gave the customer the best that he could, he would make money.
- Passionate conviction that however good the product, the consumer had to know about it.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Exhorting people to have respect for facts seems to make little difference. Few people seem to be prepared to put data over wishful thinking.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Another who was wonderful at this was Dave Allen, who also died in his sixties. Dave, at Marketing Corporation of America, was superb at getting people to work together to come up with the best solution. He avoided giving any shoot form the hip answers himself, but helped others to achieve their best.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
He used to do anything he could to divide and conquer. For example, he used to tell each manager that the others disliked them, and he was their only protector. As I discuss good bosses, I will also flag such dangerous behavior.
For every weak boss I have ever met, I have had several good ones, and a few great ones. I will go into more detail one by one in later posts.
Friday, March 30, 2007
As a result, schools in some areas, which also benefit from higher standards set by parents, outperform schools in the average area, and of course, many schools under-perform the average. This results in many being poorly educated and never reaching their full potential.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It is not so simple. In many cases, managers feel insecure about supervising someone who may be older or better qualified than they are even though perhaps their subordinate does not want their job. In other cases, hiring managers may feel that the person is only taking the job as a temporary step and will move on. In fact, older people tend to stay longer than younger ones. A few years ago, when pension plans were defined benefit, it cost more to hire an older person. so there are other reasons that age alone, even though there is a growing shortage of skilled and experienced people, is not the reason for turning someone down.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
While a tragedy for the animals and their owners, it will be interesting to see how the companies involved handle the situation. It will tell us a lot about them.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I could argue that it is the public company which is immoral in that it is a form of ownership which takes control away from the owners and gives it to a self-perpetuating group of managers. In the case of a private company, ownership and management are more closely linked - in some the same. Owners know all that they want to - often much more than shareholders in a public company. Those who are not involved do not need to know, and certainly competitors are kept in the dark more effectively.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Also, people in authority can become so removed from the real world that they do not even realize that they are getting special treatment. They may come to believe that everyone gets it. So when you see someone who declares that they did not ask for, nor expect something, they may be being truthful.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
It is clear that this will one day be Chrysler's fate.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I suspect that in a world where technology moves at a bewildering pace, it is important to have a psychological anchor. People need something to hold on to. If we want consumers and citizens to adopt new activities and concepts we have to allow them a stanchion to hold on to.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I am somewhat surprised that the press has not picked out very highly paid executives and staked them out to photograph their houses, their cars, their planes, and their spending. At some point, I am convinced it will happen, and that will be harmful to society.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
However, we see many examples of a boss proclaiming his or her responsibility, but then continue as though nothing had happened. This is a sad cultural reflection.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
The average age of the Iraq Study Group was 74, yet, most position specs will talk abut seeking people with 10-15 years experience (or 35-40 in the case of an executive). I have never seen a spec which calls for 30 years experience (a 55 year old), and would collapse if I saw one for someone with 40 years experience. Yet, why not? If today's 65 year old is like a 50 year old of a generation ago, companies should be eager to hire energetic, smart and very seasoned executives.
This habit leads people to not only seek, but to assume that everything can be measured by one number. Perhaps this is why the US News & World Reports ranking of Colleges and Universities, although criticized, is relied upon by many.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Many Americans believe that Americans are somehow more patriotic and love their country more than citizens of other countries. Yet, citizens of countries with even the most odious regimes do love their countries. This patriotism allows them to put up with a lot.
Nevertheless, ordinary citizens of other countries do have affection and respect for much in the US - it is simply not always what Americans expect. Citizens of other nations respect America's creativity, energy, economic freedom, as well as Hollywood movies, Levis and Coca Cola. However, they may not always admire the politicians, economists, and philosophers whom we do.
Many citizens of other democracies believe that the US' "first past the post" electoral system, and constant partisan gerrymandering of boundaries is far from democratic. Some other countries have charters of rights which are more modern than the US, which has one of the oldest constitutions in the world. Whether you agree with it or not, it is important to know it.
Friday, January 26, 2007
It would benefit the US immensely if there were a large pool of US citizens who have experienced other countries, languages and cultures through immersion rather than simply visits, however lengthy.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
For example, the Association of Executive Search Consultants recently recommended a firm to help people find jobs. This is so counter to the normal ethics of executive search, that I found it stunning. It represents a major conflict, and furthermore, most of these firms exploit desperate and frightened executives by over-promising and under-delivering.
As Chairman of the Marketing Executives Networking Group www.mengonline.com, I see this dynamic a lot. Ethics are in short supply so often.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
“He’s loud, volatile, insulting, doesn’t listen to the other perspective.” -- Scott Kirby, President, US Airways.
Do we need CEOs like that?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
- Global Warming threatens our quality of life and perhaps life itself.
- Continued and growing use of oil in the US hurts the US and finances its enemies.
- The Iraq war seems to be a quagmire with no easy solution.
- Islamic fundamentalism and other extremism is a threat to freedom.
- Religion continues to divide many in the US.
- Race is an ongoing issue. Not just black and white, but between other groups too - Hispanic and Asian.
- Wars and genocide across the globe do not seem to diminish. Even though fatalities in Iraq seem to be much lower than in Vietnam, much of this is due to improved medicine so that injured soldieers who once would have died, survive.
- Globally democracy is not making gains, and over the past few years has even retreated.
- The US Balance of payments stubbornly refuses to go down in spite of a declining $.
- The US Budget deficit is growing.
- 45 Million Americans are uninsured, even though the US spends twice as much per capita on health care as any other country in the world while getting poorer health care than many other Western countries. It hurtd global competitiveness.
- Income inequality in the US is increasing.
- Education in the US is failing - local funding and control hurts schools while Universities and Colleges are performing poorly although costs continue to climb faster than inflation.
- Illegal immigration is an issue in every Western democracy.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Wow! They may be some of the smartest financial people in the world, but do not understand that staium is extremely inefficient for brand equity building. I have been involved in this twice. Once, I succeeded in preventing the purchase of rights in Boston, and then I failed to stop the naming of Reliant stadium in Houston. It is almost always an ego-trip on the part of the CEO. It is inefficient in targetting the market, and the positioning it communicates is rarely appropriate unless you are in the sports business.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Other than the fact that well over $1 Billion has been spent building Cingular as a well-known and differentiated brand, does it make sense to go back to a brand whihc represented "Ma Bell," reliable, but resistant to change? Many argue that AT&T is a name which only means something to older people, whereas Cingular means much more to younger people. Cingular's "raising the bar," tagline is also going to go, as its its distinctive orange logo. I understand that much consumer resesrch has been done to verify that this makes sense. I would be fascinated to see that research.
I wonder if any of the research was used to calculate brand values and to perform a financial payout calculation. If so, it would be unusual. Few companies ever measure their brands on a $ basis. This is a missed opportunity.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
If, as the Tao says, the best leaders are unknown those they lead, how can we find and judge leaders?
Next best are leaders that are loved and praised,
then those that are feared.
The worst are hated and despised.
A.G. Laffley of Procter & Gamble may be one of the rare examples of a great leader. He does not thrust himself to the forefront. Colleagues and subordinates have said repeatedly that they do not know how he does it, but he always gets good results. I believe that had he left P&G and left his career to the power of self-promotion, he would not have been so successful. However, he spent his career in a company which carefully and accurately measures results. Most of the "great" leaders promoted by the business press are at best those in the 2nd category. People who are great leaders are likely to go unrecognized and unrewarded.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Also, be one of the people who is open and honest with those around you. Do not allow someone to make a poor decision because of lack of information.