Tips and Articles

Category: Internal Brand Published on Aug 30 2016

When I assist companies to identify their company values, one of the most popular choices is “Do what it takes.” Unfortunately, this value is dysfunctional as it encourages people to do whatever it takes to succeed – and for many, this means crossing the line into approaches that are iffy at best and illegal at worst.


Category: Strategy Published on Aug 24 2016

Failure is painful; failure is embarrassing; and failure is an opportunity. Yes, you read that correctly – failure is an opportunity. An opportunity that is easy to miss because all we really want to do is forget about it and move on.


But, when we fail to address and discuss those activities, projects, and events that did not work out well, we miss a strategic opportunity to learn from the experience. Our most spectacular failures, our most painful experiences are wasted if we don’t take the time to talk about them, take them apart piece by piece, figure out why they happened, and look for ways to do things differently in the future.


Why don’t we want to talk about our failures?


Category: Newsletters Published on Aug 24 2016



I have an incredible staff. They are bright, ethical, and hard working. My biggest challenge is to keep the excitement up and the momentum rolling. Can you give me some ideas?


Amy, PA


Category: Strategy Published on Aug 16 2016

When installing a fence, does the installer


A – Dig one hole to the desired depth before moving to the next?




B – Move around, digging out a little bit in each hole, adding depth a little at a time?


Category: Bottom Line Published on Aug 09 2016

Stop! Before you buy that must-have gadget or supply for your office I challenge you to pause and decide whether it is an expense or an investment. It makes no difference whether you are about to purchase a new mini-iPad, hire a company to upgrade your website, or renew your newspaper subscription. The size or cost of the purchase is immaterial; the tangibility of the acquisition is irrelevant. What matters is that you are about to spend money and you have no idea whether it is an expense or an investment.


What is the difference between an expense and an investment? At a very basic level the answer is:


Category: Internal Brand Published on Aug 02 2016

“The Starbucks culture is singular. I haven’t experienced it anywhere else. What’s happening is a slow extinction of that culture.”

Jaime Prater


Once again, Starbucks is at a crossroads. In the early to mid 2000’s Starbucks concentrated all of its energy on expansion. During this period, the company culture and internal branding was virtually ignored. The result: Sales were down, market share was decreasing, and Howard Schultz decided it was time to return as CEO.


Mr. Schultz’s turnaround strategy was simple: return to basics.


Category: Strategy Published on Jul 27 2016

Efficiency and effectiveness are important for all profitable businesses. Ideally, companies are achieving both. However, in any situation where a company must choose it’s more important to be effective than to be efficient.


This may sound backwards to you. And yet, it is a true statement. Here is why.


Category: Newsletters Published on Jul 21 2016



The temptation of social media, internet, and texting limits the productivity of some people. How can I keep people centered and concentrating on their work and not their personal matters?


Marty, PA


Category: People Published on Jul 19 2016

I remember my first day of work at Warner Amex. Apparently, no one was expecting me. A woman showed me to an empty cubicle and asked me to wait. A short time later, she returned with an engineering book on how cable worked and offered it to me. Fortunately, I am an avid reader so I was puzzled but content to sit and read. And then noon arrived…I had no idea when my lunch was, or how it worked at this company. Worse, when I looked around I could not find a single person to ask.


Overall, on that first day, I felt invisible and unimportant. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that this initial feeling was later reinforced by how I was treated. For example, at the holiday luncheon I overheard the controller asking my supervisor: “Who is she? Is she in our department?”


The initial days and weeks of employment are important in 2 ways:


Category: Strategy Published on Jul 13 2016

I attended an interesting Association for Talent Development (ATD) meeting on brainstorming. As part of the presentation, we were asked to participate in a mini brainstorming session around the subject of topics that would draw members and prospective members. We were instructed to write a question that if we answered it would really hammer home the objective.