ARTICLES

Featured articles

Great by Choice Book Review

Author: Jim Collins | March 5th 2012 | Risk Management, Strategy

Book review by Hazel Jackson, CEO of biz-group

This was a long awaited book for me as a huge fan of Collins and his strategy classic Good to Great and more recently a book I loved How the Mighty Fall.  It took me a few days to get over my initial disappointment though.  He had set the research time frame around from 1972 – 2002.  Why exclude the incredible changes and chaos from the last 5 years?  The research project was 9 years in duration and was true to Collins nature rigorous and detailed.  Once I got past the first chapter I was instantly engrossed by what they found and how applicable it was despite the time frame studied.

Read more

Latest articles

5 ways to healthier employees

Author: Verne Harnish | March 22nd 2012 | Gazelles Growth Tools, Leadership, Managing a Business, People, Small Business - General, Strategy

Getting your staff on the wellness track is good for them and good for your business. In this article Verne Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc. gives you 5 ideas that companies are already using.

Read more

Six Key Trends That Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity

Author: Halley Bock | March 1st 2012 | Leadership, People

A recent survey of over 1,400 executives and educators across multiple industries was conducted by Fierce Inc, a front runner in global leadership development and training.
Results reveal that limited conversation skills are not unique to any one industry and are not influence greatly by the position held within an organisation. Communication approaches and interactions, whether they are effective or ineffective, impact all levels and functions within every sector.

Read more

Talent Acquisition

Author: Verne Harnish | February 28th 2012 | Gazelles Growth Tools, Growth, Strategy

Companies I talk to around the world are back to hiring aggressively.  However, it’s always taxing to find enough quality candidates to fill the pipeline, especially after the hiring drought many companies have experienced the past couple years; seems everyone is either out of practice and/or their referral networks have dried up.  And without a large enough pool of quality candidates, the likelihood of hiring “A” players drops dramatically.

 

Read more

Book Summary: Great by Choice

Author: Jim Collins | February 14th 2012 | Leadership, Strategy

The nine-year research project behind this book started in 2002 around a simple question: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? When buffeted by tumultuous events, when hit by big, fast-moving forces that we can neither predict nor control, what distinguishes those who perform exceptionally well from those who underperform or worse?

The research method rests upon having a comparison set. The critical question is not “What did great companies share in common?” The critical question is “What did great companies share in common that distinguished them from their direct comparisons?”

Comparisons are companies that were in the same industry with the same or very similar opportunities during the same era as the 10X companies, yet they did not produce great performance.

10Xers (“ten-EX-ers”) - companies that didn’t merely get by or just become successful. They truly thrived. Every 10X beat its industry index by at least 10 times.

Read more

Strategic Thinking vs. Execution Planning

Author: Verne Harnish | February 9th 2012 | Growth, Managing a Business

It’s time to break apart a 50-year-old business tradition – strategic planning – and think about it in terms of two distinct activities:  strategic thinking and execution planning. 

I’m not sure why the two words, strategy and planning, were ever lumped together.  And I’ve been as guilty as anyone for spreading this term among growth firms around the globe with our One-Page Strategic Planning document. 

In reality, effective strategic planning requires two very different ongoing processes and teams if you’re going to generate the kinds of results worthy of the effort that goes into a serious planning process.  It’s even more critical if you want to ignite growth. 

Read more

More Sales

Author: Verne Harnish | February 8th 2012 | Growth

Dave Clark, founder of a leading manufacturer of industrial blinds and awnings, had always sold through a dedicated network of distribution representatives.  However, his son, who had recently joined the firm, was hearing from some of their best customers that they would prefer to buy direct.  Not only did the customers hope to save money, but many felt they were more knowledgeable about what they wanted than Clark’s manufacturing representatives.

Channel conflict!  More and more business leaders are facing similarly difficult decisions about sales and marketing channels like Clark, whose name I changed because he didn’t want to risk upsetting his distributors.  If he doesn’t provide a direct channel for customers that want it, they’ll find someone who will.  And if he does open a direct channel, he risks losing the active support of his best representatives.

So what should he do?

Read more

The Power of Blogging for Business

Author: David Meerman Scott | November 14th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

Blogs are a terrific way to get any organization to tell its story. Blogs also allow you to take content in different directions that will appeal to specific target demographics without negatively impacting the strategy and content of your primary Web site. As a way to experiment, to test new ideas, or to reach narrow niche markets, smart marketers use highly focused blogs. If your experiment fails, you can simply shut down the blog with little or no negative effect on your main site. 

With all the political blog hype during the 2004 election cycle, many observers missed the quieter emergence of blogs in the business world. My guess is that we're just getting going here and that business blogs will grow rapidly in numbers and importance. I'd predict that before long blogs will be recognized as communication tools used by organizations to reach external audiences.

Why? Well for one thing, blogging is so darned easy. Companies large and small appreciate the rapid set-up and easy-to-use features of blogs to reach both external and internal constituents. There’s enough evidence in the form of both interesting examples and excitement from users to suggest that we're on the cusp of a phenomenon.

Read more

Beyond Open-Book Management

Author: Jack Stack | October 1st 2011 | Growth, Managing a Business, People, Strategy

Now, years and years later, companies are still debating the merits of opening their books to employees and vendors alike. Many tout the benefits, such as improved bottom-line results and employee retention. Still others warn of open-book pitfalls, such as employees using their newfound knowledge against the owners.

To help you learn more about the pros and cons, here is a 45 minutes webinar relate to open-book management to help you better understand the meaning of open-book management and how it is critical to your business growth. 

Read more

The Need for 100% Solution

Author: Verne Harnish | September 30th 2011 | Growth, Managing a Business, Strategy

The failure of many growth firms is in not pushing through the pain to achieve this 100% whole product solution.  They work hard to provide a solution to a critical need, only to get about 80% of the way before getting bored and moving onto another product line, distribution channel, or market segment.  This leaves the door open for a much more focused competitor to sneak in and take away the business with a more complete solution. 

Before learning how La Hipotecaria rationalized their final decision, let’s dive into a specific example that highlights the power of Moore’s ideas.

Read more

Top 10 ideas to implement The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Author: David Meerman Scott | September 25th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

Every week David Meerman Scott encounters people working for large organizations with huge marketing and PR budgets who are resistant to the ideas of The New Rules of Marketing & PR or there might be an individual who wants to jump into new marketing, but the bosses are resistant. Or the PR department is scared of "losing control of the message." Or they simply just don't understand what 'good' does social media bring to their businesses.

This article is written by world's renowed marketing strategist - David Meerman Scott in respond to a comment received from Matt Gentile - Director of Public Relations & Brand Communications from Century 21 Real Estate LLC. David Meerman Scott will share his top 10 ideas with organizations like yours on how to dive slowly and beautifully into social media marketing and learn to be good to experimenting new trends that will drive results that is measurable and profitable for your business

Read more

How the best leaders make everyone smarter

Author: Liz Wiseman | September 25th 2011 | Leadership

Take a step back and think about the people you have once worked under…Who inspired you and why? Who motivated you to want to work better and harder? What was it about these leaders that made you want to be the employee of the month?

Read more

Diversity Matters: 'Fix the Women' and 'Fix the Manager'

Author: Avivah Wittenberg Cox | September 25th 2011 | Leadership

From Arkansas to Abu Dhabi, the majority of university graduates are women: 60 percent in the U.S. and Europe, 60 percent in Iran and 70 percent in the United Arab Emirates. Yet, many organizations still treat them as one minority among many, missing the opportunity to leverage women as a potent economic force. The 20th-century question on gender in business was: What's wrong with women? The more pressing 21st-century question is: What's wrong with your company? Achieving gender balance isn't just a nice thing to do. The future may depend on it. It's time we look at ways to fix the women and managers to achieve a gender balance business that will profit your organization in the long run.

Read more

Marketing ROI and what you should measure

Author: David Meerman Scott | September 25th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

The Web gives us a tremendous opportunity to reach people and engage them in new and different ways. Now we can earn attention by creating and publishing online for free something interesting and valuable: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an e-book, a Facebook page.

But how should we measure the success of this new kind of marketing?

The answer is that we need new metrics.

1980s-style measurement is ineffective

If you're applying old forms of offline measurement to online marketing, it's time to make a change! David Meerman Scott said: "The negative aspects of using squeeze pages in front of content like white papers (you will get way fewer downloads and virtually no inbound links) far outweighs the benefit (getting some email addresses)".

There are many ways to track progress such as how people participate in your social networking sites, how many people are reading and downloading your work, and how many are making inquiries about or buying your products and services.

Here are some things you can measure:

Read more

The Social Media Alarm You Hear in Australia is FEAR

Author: David Meerman Scott | September 25th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

People are naturally scared of that which they do not understand. David Meerman Scott would like to give you a sense of what he heard during his Australia tour, considering the Sydney Morning Herald story titled: Reputation wrecking: social media alarm sounds as an example, and contrast that fear with how GM Holden has embraced social media as a fantastic way to reach customers.

Read more

Diversity matters: Why Business Needs Balance?

Author: Avivah Wittenberg Cox | September 25th 2011 | Leadership

The most progressive companies are realising that women represent a critical, and still largely untapped, source of talent for current and future generations of leadership. Demographics and skill shortages are starting to worry other companies to the point where they are compelled to take gender more seriously. Women are not only the majority of the talent pool. They also comprise most of the market for many companies. A handful of forward-thinking corporations, mostly in America understood the enormous potential that lies in better understanding the ocean of opportunity in selling to women, and that gender balance lead to more innovation, better business performance and corporate governance. It is time for the rest of the world to catch up.

Read more

Nine steps to building your dream team

Author: Keith Ferrazzi | September 25th 2011 | Growth, People

By opening up to the possibility of adding new people to your inner circle and deepening your relationship with some key people in your life, who were giving you the feedback you needed, you should now become a better manager and CEO, and for business owners...your company should now be growing like never before. If not...probably it's time to redefine your goals? Here are  nine steps of how to find and work with a trusted group of lifeline relationships, who will help you break through - even shatter - your own glass ceiling, whatever may be holding you back, just as it helped me recognize and bust through my own limitations...

Read more

7 steps to launching an effective gender strategy

Author: Avivah Wittenberg Cox | September 25th 2011 | Leadership

Becoming bilingual begins with a shift in perspective. It depends on recognising that responsibiltiy for better gender balance lies with all managers, not just with women. It focuses its efforts on teaching the current majority to become bilingual, fluent in the language and culture of both men and women. Only once all managers understand that the methods and messages used to recruit, manage and evaluate men do not necessarily work for women will women's talents stand a chance of being accurately recognised and optimised. Here are seven steps to launching an effective gender strategy, one that is inclusive of both men and women. 

Read more

5 Ways To Get Your Business Strategy Right

Author: Verne Harnish | September 25th 2011 | Growth, Strategy

Fired up about your company's strategic plan? Great, but before you commit the rest of the year to executing it, make sure you pass these five litmus tests. If not, head back to the drawing board with your management team. There's still time to polish it so that you can make the most of 2011! The Growth Guy - Verne Harnish - latest Fortune "Venture" column is out on the newsstands (April 11 edition) and online. See how Randy Cohen, TicketCity; Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts; Doug Schukar, USA Mortgage; and Tony Petrucciani, Single Source Systems; avoided five strategic mistakes companies make. There are still 3 quarters left in 2011 to course correct! Please take three minutes to read their valuable lessons - and review at your next weekly or monthly meeting. Play to Win!

Read more

How to bring out the best in your boss?

Author: Liz Wiseman | September 25th 2011 | Leadership

Most corporate managers are multipliers "down" to their direct reports and staff, but not out to their peers or up to their bosses. Yet, my research has shown that people can serve as multipliers from any direction, even to a diminisher. Here's why: Diminishers want to be valued for their intelligence and ideas; in fact, many are overly fixated on this. Multipliers find other people's genius and engage it.

Read more

Turning Potential into Performance

Author: Jack Daly | September 25th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

We've learned the basics.  We've set goals, delegated, communicated, evaluated, and rewarded. We've managed by objective, quality circled, used the seven habits, searched for excellence, thrived on chaos, and managed in a minute. Yet for some of us, getting top performance from each individual we manage remains an elusive goal. We can do it sometimes, with some folks, but have not been able to build a sustainable culture of success.

Read more

Leaders, are you an accidental Diminisher

Author: Liz Wiseman | September 25th 2011 | Leadership, People

Liz Wiseman presented at the National Growth Summit in February and illustrated the resoundingly positive and profitable effect Multipliers have on organisations - how they get more done with fewer resources, develop and attract talent, and cultivate new ideas and energy to drive organisational change and innovation. Check our her key messages in the videos here

Read more

Improving Marketing: 5 Techniques

Author: Verne Harnish | September 15th 2011 | Growth, Sales, Marketing & Communication

With the recession weakening or eliminating competitors while competition outside the country has increased, it’s time to crank up a well-oiled marketing function.  Yet, the single biggest weakness I find in many growth firms is the lack of a separate and well-functioning marketing function. 

If it exists at all, it’s seen as a simple sales support function tasked with making sure the website is updated and the sales people have presentation packs.  Instead, it should be a vital function headed up by the CEO and/or reporting directly to the CEO.

In the spirit that it takes a “village of gurus” to help a growth firm, I recommend several books and techniques, which when woven together, will give your marketing function plenty to do to help drive growth.

Read more

Hiring the Right #2: Avoiding the Biggest Talent Mistake

Author: Verne Harnish | September 13th 2011 | Managing a Business

The single most important decision most entrepreneurs and CEOs make is who is going to be their right #2; who will play the insider role so the CEO can stay focused on market-facing activities; who will make stuff happen after the CEO tosses a new idea over the transom; and who will act as the shock absorber between the crazed entrepreneur and the rest of the team.

Read more

Is “Going East” in your 2010 Plans?

Author: Verne Harnish | September 12th 2011 | Growth, Managing a Business

One of India’s wealthiest business leaders, Anil Ambani, invests $325 million in Steven Spielberg’s movie studio DreamWorks – something unimaginable just five years ago. In turn, Warren Buffett invests $230 million for a 10% stake in Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD, the same investor who shunned technology investments earlier this decade. It’s obvious the top entrepreneurs and investors understand that India and China are the future of our global economy. Do you?

Read more

Words of Wisdom From Strong Women

Author: Marcus Buckingham | September 12th 2011 | Growth

In the course of our research for Find Your Strongest Life, we interviewed many women who had been extraordinarily successful, and had created a fulfilling, satisfying life. These interviews were wide-ranging, vivid and punchy. Here are four of the most distinctive pieces of advice that were shared.

Read more

Hiring the Right #2

Author: Verne Harnish | September 12th 2011 | Growth, Leadership, Managing a Business, People

The single most important decision most entrepreneurs and CEOs make is who is going to be their right #2; who will play the insider role so the CEO can stay focused on market-facing activities; who will make stuff happen after the CEO tosses a new idea over the transom; and who will act as the shock absorber between the crazed entrepreneur and the rest of the team. Sadly, it’s a decision most CEOs blow.

Read more

Stop Doing Things that Kill Your Business, Focus on Profitable Growth

Author: Verne Harnish | September 12th 2011 | Growth, Leadership, Managing a Business, Mastering the Rockefeller Habit

Stop all those activities that drain energy out of your company and focus on the work that will actually produce profitable growth. Here are five ways you can cut that endless to-do list...

Read more

Mastering Organizational Alignment and Focus

Author: Verne Harnish | August 25th 2011 | Growth, Managing a Business, Mastering the Rockefeller Habit, People

The old saw is true: The organization with too many priorities has no priorities. This article will emphasize the need for management to clearly articulale to employees the five most important priorities that must be addressed or achieved to move the company to the next level. It's then critical that everyone in the organization determine his or her own Top 5 priorities, aliging them with the company's, and creating the clarity that's crucial for top performance. A Management Accountability Plan (MAP) aligns the specific activities with those priorities. In addition, this article will emphasize the need for additional clarity around the Top 1 of 5 - the number-one priority that supersedes all others. A set of guidelines at the end of this article will help challenge you to determine your true Top 1 priority.

Read more

Competitive Advantage: Juggling Six Balls

Author: Verne Harnish | August 15th 2011 | Growth, Strategy, Wealth Creation

Four times the revenue growth, twelve times the stock performance, and over 700 times the profit growth over an eleven year period.

What competitive advantage led to this huge margin in performance of one group of companies over another in similar industries?

Read more

12 Ways to Reduce your cash cycle

Author: Verne Harnish | August 8th 2011 | Gazelles Growth Tools, Growth, People, Strategy

12 Ways to Defy the Entreprenuerial Law of Gravity! Get rid of your bank lines – Bill Ritchie, CEO of ThinkFun, and his team, focused on cash and reduced what had become a permanent $1.5 million bank line down to zero in 2003. Reduce your cash cycle days – PPR Travel changed the color of their invoice to blue and reduced their cash cycle days by 15. Get customers to help fund your growth – Wild Birds Unlimited accomplished this through an innovative Free Birdseed Storage program.

Read more

Four Keys to Recession - Proofing Your Business

Author: Verne Harnish | August 2nd 2011 | Growth, Strategy, Wealth Creation

Recession or not, during these volatile economic times it's worth taking a look at the playbook of turnaround specialists. And for many growth firms, who face the normal challenges of managing constant change, it can feel like a perpetual turnaround situation even during boom times.

Read more

Strategies of the Fastest Growing Firms: Power of the One-Phrase Strategy

Author: Verne Harnish | July 9th 2011 | Growth

Every year, since it launched in 1984, pundits have been predicting the
demise of RIM, the famous makers of the Blackberry – most recently given the
success of the iPhone. Yet for all the attention Apple and the iPhone receive,
the Blackberry Curve is the best selling smart phone in the U.S. in 2009 – and
RIM, the famous maker of the Blackberry line of mobile devices, has 56% market
share, up 15% over last year while Apple has lost 10%. This Canadian firm is
also the fastest growing public company in the U.S. according to Fortune
Magazine’s recent list, with Apple a distant #39. What is behind this crushing
success? A profoundly simple strategy...

Read more

Developing a Real-Time Attitude, Real-Time Mind-Set

Author: David Meerman Scott | June 15th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

What sorts of attitudes and behaviors does it take to move up the ladder in your organization? If you work for a large company, chances are upward momentum favors steady qualities like compliance, caution, and consensus over speedy traits like imagination, initiative, and improvisation. That's the nature of the beast. Big business is designed to move forward according to plan, at a measured and deliberate pace. 

Read more

8 Tips to Develop Real-Time Communications Guidelines

Author: David Meerman Scott | June 15th 2011 | Customer Service, Growth, On-line Strategies, People, Sales, Marketing & Communication

Transform Your Organization to Function in Real-Time and Grow Your Business now! The process starts with your people. Encourage everyone on the team to actively communicate. Give them confidence by giving each individual leeway within clear guidelines. Once your people are on board, transform your online interface – web site, blogs, and other tools – into a real-time machine.

Above all, this is about a mind-set that has to start at the top. If your leaders get the need for real-time speed, they must give explicit permission and proactively advocate cultural change at all levels.

Let them communicate…now! All these new communications tools are so disruptive and unsettling. They make those busybodies in every workplace who take it upon themselves to look over the shoulders of others feel like – gasp! – they’re losing control. That’s why a debate is in progress at companies worldwide.

What types of communications should people be allowed or perhaps encouraged to do at work?

Read more

The Resilient Executive: A Better Way to Work

Author: Verne Harnish | June 15th 2011 | Growth, Innovation, Managing a Business, People, Strategy

How many of you are exhausted by the demands of your business? And the demands are increasing as technology makes us accessible 24/7, rarely giving us a break, even in the car or over lunch, from the minute-to-minute grind of growing a company. Extreme burn-out and ever diminishing results are the after-effect.

So how does an executive get it all done and remain resilient to the pressures that come with building a successful business? I spent an hour with Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project and author of his latest bestseller entitled Be Excellent At Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live.

Though better time management can help, the problem with “time” is that it’s finite – limited by the same 168 hours per week everyone else has. And as you put in more time your mental capacity tends to diminish, leading to more mistakes, less creativity, and even less patience with other people.

Read more

The Resilient Executive: A Better Way to Work

Author: Verne Harnish | June 7th 2011 | Growth, Small Business - General, Strategy, Wealth Creation

How many of you are exhausted by the demands of your business? And the demands are increasing as technology makes us accessible 24/7, rarely giving us a break, even in the car or over lunch, from the minute-to-minute grind of growing a company. Extreme burn-out and ever diminishing results are the after-effect

Read more

8 Tips to Develop Real-Time Communications Guidelines

Author: David Meerman Scott | June 6th 2011 | Sales, Marketing & Communication

Transform Your Organization to Function in Real-Time and Grow Your Business now! The process starts with your people. Encourage everyone on the team to actively communicate. Give them confidence by giving each individual leeway within clear guidelines. Once your people are on board, transform your online interface – web site, blogs, and other tools – into a real-time machine.

Read more

BECOMING WORLD-CLASS IS NOT AN EVENT, IT’S A CULTURAL EVOLUTION

Author: John Di Julius | June 3rd 2011 | Leadership, People

Without execution, systems in manuals are nothing more than ideas on paper. This is where most companies fail – the execution of these systems.

Read more

Simplifying Your People Systems

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2011 | Growth

In building Verifone from $30 million to $600 million to dominate the global market of
clearing credit card transactions, Hatim Tyabji said his key leadership/management tool
was a small booklet that explained in eight languages the eight core values at the heart of
Verifone’s success. “I essentially spent the last six years repeating myself,” noted Tyabji.
What are your rules? Below are eight ways to bring these core values alive and a
recommended process for “discovering” your true values if you’ve never committed them
to writing. In essence, replace all the random “people” lists (hiring guidelines,
performance appraisal criteria, recognition awards, etc.) with a coherent single list and
simplify that part of your company.

Read more

Daily “Adrenaline” Meeting

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2011 | Growth

There is one indispensable routine; one absolute essential habit more important than any
other I can teach an executive team; one discipline that is non-negotiable – and that is an
effective daily meeting rhythm.

Read more

Control the Ink in Your Industry Part II

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2011 | Growth

“Without a doubt, the blog we started (www.communitysecurity.blogspot.com) has been
met with the most incredible reaction from our clients,” exclaims Mike Jagger, President
of Vancouver-based Provident Security.

Read more

Nine steps to building your dream team

Author: Keith Ferrazzi | May 24th 2011 | Customer Service, Leadership, People

By opening up to the possibility of adding new people to your inner circle and deepening your relationship with some key people in your life, who were giving you the feedback you needed, you should now become a better manager and CEO, and for business owners…your company should now be growing like never before. If not…probably it’s time to redefine your goals? Here are nine steps of how to find and work with a trusted group of lifeline relationships, who will help you break through – even shatter – your own glass ceiling, whatever may be holding you back, just as it helped me recognize and bust through my own limitations…

Read more

5 Ways To Get Your Business Strategy Right

Author: Verne Harnish | May 10th 2011 | Gazelles Growth Tools, Growth, Innovation, People

Fired up about your company’s strategic plan? Great, but before you commit the rest of the year to executing it, make sure you pass these five litmus tests. If not, head back to the drawing board with your management team. There’s still time to polish it so that you can make the most of 2011! The Growth Guy – Verne Harnish – latest Fortune “Venture” column is out on the newsstands (April 11 edition) and online. See how Randy Cohen, TicketCity; Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts; Doug Schukar, USA Mortgage; and Tony Petrucciani, Single Source Systems; avoided five strategic mistakes companies make. There are still 3 quarters left in 2011 to course correct! Please take three minutes to read their valuable lessons – and review at your next weekly or monthly meeting. Play to Win!

Read more

Culture Club – By John DiJulius

Author: John Di Julius | April 19th 2011 | Customer Service

Culture Club – By John DiJulius Having a service vision for your company is only the first step of developing a top-flight, service-oriented business. Even the most visionary organizations can t pull off top service if they don t have a world-class internal culture. That is accomplished only by attracting, hiring and retaining only those ...

Read more

Summer Blues? Not Necessarily

Author: Keith Ferrazzi | April 12th 2011 | Customer Service, Sales, Marketing & Communication

It happens every summer or when another public holiday is just around the corner: you call someone’s office, but you can’t reach her because she’s on vacation. Pretty barren time for building a relationship, isn’t it? In this article, Keith Ferrazzi is not suggesting that you should elbow your way into a corporate president’s foursome, it’s about making you realise that vacation time doesn’t have to be down time. It can be relationship time!

Read more

Top 10 ideas to implement The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Author: David Meerman Scott | February 24th 2011 | Customer Service, Sales, Marketing & Communication

Every week David Meerman Scott encounters people working for large organizations with huge marketing and PR budgets who are resistant to the ideas of The New Rules of Marketing & PR or there might be an individual who wants to jump into new marketing, but the bosses are resistant. Or the PR department is scared of “losing control of the message.” Or they simply just don’t understand what ‘good’ does social media bring to their businesses. This article is written by world’s renowed marketing strategist – David Meerman Scott in respond to a comment received from Matt Gentile – Director of Public Relations & Brand Communications from Century 21 Real Estate LLC. David Meerman Scott will share his top 10 ideas with organizations like yours on how to dive slowly and beautifully into social media marketing and learn to be good to experimenting new trends that will drive results that is measurable and profitable for your business

Read more

Bringing out the best in your people

Author: Liz Wiseman | February 10th 2011 | Leadership

Consider the senior vice president of marketing who, week after week, suggests new targets and campaigns for your team—forcing you to scurry to keep up with her thinking rather than think for yourself and contribute your own ideas. Leaders with this behaviour, we call them “diminishers”—underutilize people and leave creativity and talent on the table.

Read more

Sharpen your customer focus : 3 mistakes to avoid

Author: Verne Harnish | January 24th 2011 | Customer Service

Like many CEOs, Larry Weinberg thought he knew his customer base – and was marketing to it correctly. His award-winning company, BOWA, which for 22 years has built and remodeled luxury homes in the Washington, D.C. area, considered its main customer the architects who were doing design work on a home and needed a builder’s ...

Read more

Say NO! to squeezing your buyers

Author: David Meerman Scott | November 29th 2010 | On-line Strategies

The debate about getting valuable content (such as e-books, white papers, research reports and the like) behind a registration requirement comes up again and again!

Read more

Plan to Survive and Thrive

Author: Tom Mckaskill | October 6th 2010 | Growth, Managing a Business

Don’t be hostage to the negative environment, simply reacting to changes
going on around your business. Plan now to survive – and follow through, on all
levels of your organisation, to thrive.

Read more

The 10 Commandments

Author: John Di Julius | March 30th 2010 | Customer Service

The 10 Commandments There are 10 principles that all world-class customer service organizations have in common. Those 10 commandments are listed below in the precise sequence necessary for any organization to provide a world-class customer experience. Service vision Every organization that provides superior service has a strong service vision that creates a clear direction for ...

Read more

Three Ways To Sustain Innovation

Author: Kaihan Krippendorff | March 26th 2010 |

Ground Your Innovation
In my research following the paths of successful innovations, I repeatedly see that the strategy that gets you there is not the strategy that keeps you there. It was Wal-Mart's focus on rural markets that got it to become the largest retailer in the U.S., but it was its economies of scale that enabled it to maintain this advantage. While Dell's "go direct" strategy pushed it above HP and IBM, it was its efficient, customizable supply chain with which it maintained its top position for so many years.

Read more

Exit Strategies Category

Author: Tom Mckaskill | March 17th 2010 | Exit Strategies, Growth, Managing a Business, Selling your Business, Small Business - General, Wealth Creation

Build future value for your organisation I am continually amazed at how little entrepreneurs know about building value in their business as part of a process of selling their business. Not that I should be that surprised, having spent many years now educating business owners on how to best prepare their businesses for sale and ...

Read more

Build Future Value for your Organisation

Author: Tom Mckaskill | March 17th 2010 | Managing a Business

The value of any investment is derived from a future stream of income.

Read more

Hiring the Right #2: Avoiding the Biggest Talent Mistake

Author: Verne Harnish | January 20th 2010 | Leadership

The single most important decision most entrepreneurs and CEOs make is who is going to be their right #2; who will play the insider role so the CEO can stay focused on market-facing activities; who will make stuff happen after the CEO tosses a new idea over the transom; and who will act as the shock absorber between the crazed entrepreneur and the rest of the team.

Read more

Is "Going East" in your 2010 plans?

Author: Verne Harnish | November 5th 2009 | Leadership

With over 1 billion people moving into the middle class, effectively increasing the global market for products and services by 50% over the next decade, can your firm afford to ignore the single largest market opportunity in the history of business?   It’s time you consider “going east” as part of your 2010 strategic plan.  And it’s as critical for small to mid-size firms to make the move as it is for top investors and large corporations.

Read more

Focus on China

Author: Verne Harnish | October 26th 2009 | Export/Import/Trade, Growth, Leadership, Managing a Business, Strategy

China is Coming with Quality – Hermann Simon, author of Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, just returned from a visit to China last week.  He brought news that Chinese firms are focused on building competing quality products that will challenge even Germany’s lead in many export areas – and that they are building factories ...

Read more

Focus on China

Author: Verne Harnish | October 26th 2009 | Leadership

China is Coming with Quality – Hermann Simon, author of Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, just returned from a visit to China last week.  He brought news that Chinese firms are focused on building competing quality products that will challenge even Germany’s lead in many export areas – and that they are building factories in Germany and the U.S. and other parts of the world. They want to get “in our backyards” before we get in theirs! With over $2 trillion in surplus cash (vs. the U.S. $9 trillion deficit), they have the financial muscle to do it.

Read more

Lean -The Most Important Tool of the 21st Century

Author: Verne Harnish | October 22nd 2009 | Growth

John Stepleton realised a 28% productivity improvement in his call centers
within a week; Jeff Booth was able to dramatically speed up the time it takes to
get a vendor up on his building materials website; Mike Jagger saved $60,000 in
IT costs from his first session; and Ken Sims was able to handle a 100% increase
in business in 2008 without adding any headquarters staff. These CEOs and many
other mid-market leaders are embracing the Toyota Production System referred to
as LEAN. Often misunderstood as a tool exclusively for manufacturers, Toyota’s
methodology for eliminating waste is having a huge impact on large and small
companies in all sectors of the economy.

Read more

How Your CFO Can Most Help

Author: Verne Harnish | October 6th 2009 | Growth

Businesses often under invest on the accounting side of their business,
seeing it as pure overhead meant to be kept to a minimum. And given a marginal
dollar, most business owners will opt to either spend it on acquiring more
resources or making more sales.

Read more

Plan to Survive and Thrive

Author: Tom Mckaskill | October 6th 2009 | Leadership

Don’t be hostage to the negative environment, simply reacting to changes going on around your business. Plan now to survive – and follow through, on all levels of your organisation, to thrive.

Read more

Is “Going East” in your 2010 plans?

Author: Verne Harnish | May 11th 2009 | Export/Import/Trade, Growth, Leadership, Legal, Managing a Business, Strategy

Is “Going East” in your 2010 Plans? By Verne Harnish “Growth Guy” One of India’s wealthiest business leaders, Anil Ambani, invests $325 million in Steven Spielberg’s movie studio DreamWorks – something unimaginable just five years ago. In turn, Warren Buffett invests $230 million for a 10% stake in Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD, the same ...

Read more

Great News – Dream On!

Author: Verne Harnish | February 9th 2009 | Growth

20 times return on investment in less than a year; record retention of
customers in a commodity business during a severe downturn; highest morale in
the history of the company; and the best two quarters, ever, in terms of
profitability. The key? An initiative called “Dream On.” “You’re either a giver
or taker,” explains John Ratliff, founder and CEO AppleTree Answering Service, a
350 employee inbound call center company based in Wilmington, Delaware with call
centers in 12 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. “Givers tend to get
stuff back while takers fight for every last nickel and they are always the
ones, in the end, who are struggling – they never have abundance.”

Read more

To all Australian business leaders hungry for growth

Author: Robert Bloom | January 19th 2009 | Growth

If your business is growth-challenged, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to join other entrepreneurs, executives and managers in my all-day workshop at the National Growth Summit in Sydney. After a long, hard day of working together, you will leave this session confident that you know how to grow your business.

Read more

BHAG – A Company’s Most Important Long Term Decision

Author: Verne Harnish | January 13th 2009 | Growth

A BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) serves as a North Star (or Southern Cross
if you’re down under) for you and your team as you continue to drive the
business forward on a day to day business. It provides a vector along which all
other decisions will be tested, helping everyone make the critical “yes/no”
decisions that drive strategy.

Read more

Four Decisions: People, Strategy, Execution, Cash

Author: Verne Harnish | December 16th 2008 | Mastering the Rockefeller Habit

The leaders of these growth firms must do their job and continue to grow in these turbulent times, so here are my thoughts for the leaders of these Future 50 firms.

Read more

Four Decisions: People, Strategy, Execution, Cash

Author: Verne Harnish | December 12th 2008 | Export/Import/Trade, Leadership, Mastering the Rockefeller Habit

Congratulations to the Future 50 fastest growing firms in the DC area – they are the “gazelles” that make our local economy vibrant and are the job generators that will do the most to get our national economy back on track in 2009 and beyond. I hope our new administration recognizes the importance of these ...

Read more

Going Global - The Single Biggest Opportunity

Author: Verne Harnish | November 10th 2008 | Growth

Five years ago Eric Zuziak made a few minor changes to his website to be more
visible to potential clients in other countries.  After landing an architectural
job in Beijing, leading to another in Dubai, today 50% of JZMK Partners’ $11
million in revenue comes from international projects.  More importantly, it
helped him source capabilities, like 3D CAD designers in China, which make him
much more competitive in his domestic market.  And given the dramatic cutbacks
in construction projects in the U.S. he doubts he would have survived without
his international clients.

Read more

Aligning Middle Management: The Power of a Monthly Meeting

Author: Verne Harnish | November 10th 2008 | Growth

The only viable solution for developing an outstanding middle management and
supervisory team is pulling them ALL together and spending four to eight hours
each month collectively focused on the priorities and challenges of the
business.

Read more

Winter of Sequels – Four Must Read Books

Author: Verne Harnish | June 11th 2008 | Growth

As I sit down to write this column post Memorial Day, the fourth Indian Jones sequel has just raked in over $311 million its debut weekend at the box-office – hitting #1 in 62 countries and giving Steven Spielberg his biggest global opening ever!  Here’s to the power of sequels.

Similarly, there are some important business book sequels that are worth reading this winter:

Read more

Most Brains Wins

Author: Verne Harnish | April 8th 2008 | Growth

What do Google, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, eBay and Wikipedia have in common?  Besides being six of the fastest growing organizations in history and making several of their founders billionaires in less than a decade, they all utilize a new reality of the information age – whoever leverages the most brains wins!  Figure out how to do this better than your competition and you win big.

Read more

Bulletproof Process for Recruiting and Hiring A Players

Author: Verne Harnish | November 3rd 2007 | People

“We got our man!” exclaims Michael Mahoney, CEO of Reston, VA-based Brittenford Systems, Inc., a firm providing systems for accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and business intelligence. “By applying more rigors to the hiring process we not only attracted over 250 quality resumes for our latest position (Mahoney’s #2 to help run the company), we have found everyone is more confident throughout the process and our hiring success rate has improved dramatically.”

Read more

Revenge of the Customer: Just Respond and Say Yes

Author: Verne Harnish | October 24th 2006 | Customer Service

"The answer’s yes…now what’s the question?" Customer service doesn’t get any more basic than this, unless answering the phone (and responding) is a challenge! It’s been a long time since I’ve ranted and raved about customer service. And just when I thought I should refrain, echo’s of management guru Tom Peters’ admonishments that it’s our patriotic duty to ...

Read more

One Page Stragetic Plan & Theme

Author: Verne Harnish | May 29th 2006 | Growth

Virtual Technology Corporation exceeded their sales goal by $1.4 million; Dial One
Printing added five points to their gross margin; Capital Recovery Group increased sales
on a new service offering by 2000%; and ICC/Decision Services saved 160 hrs per week
of work among fourteen employees allowing them to take on additional business without
adding to headcount. All of these firms kicked off a previous year with a single-minded
focus and theme. Rather than enter the year with a random of list of 75 things to do, they
picked one overarching focus around which to drive their employees’ activities and
results.

Read more

Control the Ink in Your Industry

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2006 | Growth

“Writing a book has provided the single greatest return on investment than any other
business decision I have ever made in the history of the company,” exclaims Todd
Hopkins, CEO of Indianapolis-based Office Pride and author of Five Wisdoms for
Entrepreneurial Survival.

Read more

Cash Flow

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2006 | Growth

Get rid of your bank lines – Bill Ritchie, CEO of ThinkFun, and his team, focused on cash and reduced what had become a permanent $1.5 million bank line down to zero in 2003. Reduce your cash cycle days – PPR Travel changed the color of their invoice to blue and reduced their cash cycle days by 15. Get customers to help fund your growth – Wild Birds Unlimited accomplished this through an innovative Free Birdseed Storage program.

Read more

The Brand Promise

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2006 | Growth

Motek promises to make their customers “Heroes.” Advanced Circuits guarantees the
“Quick Turnaround” of custom printed circuit boards. Rackspace promises to deliver
“Fanatical Support.” FedEx is promising “peace of mind.” Southwest Airlines has been
delivering “low fares” from the very beginning. McDonalds has gone back to “speed.”
What is the promise you’re making to your customers that both really matters to them
and makes you different from your competitors? Would it be obvious if I went to your
website or looked at your marketing materials? This Brand Promise decision is at the
heart of an effective strategy to differentiate your firm from the competition. And your
devotion to delivering on the promise must be maniacal and complete or the promise
becomes an empty slogan.

Read more

Advisory Boards

Author: Verne Harnish | May 24th 2006 | Growth

Karen Usher credits her advisory board for driving 85% growth in revenue in 2002 and
an additional 35% in 2003. Frank Holt believes he would have avoided three costly
mistakes if he had consulted an advisory board, so he formed one last May. Every major
business decision I’ve made has been shaped by my board of advisors. Running a
business is simply easier if you have some help and advice from a group of trusted
individuals dedicated to seeing you succeed

Read more

ARTICLE CATEGORIES