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Naming things is not easy. It's a science, and an art. We need to think about the meaning of the word and the sound, what it evokes and how it rolls out. At the same time, we factor in the business objective, the nature of the challenge (e.g., do we want to stand out in a competitive, noisy market? Or blend in a network that needs us?), and cultural assumptions (e.g., are we global or local?) It's your baby Naming a business is sometimes more challenging than naming our own child–I know the feeling, the business is your baby. In...
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Mini book read. New email subscribers will receive with the weekly digest. Twelve years ago, Leigh introduced me to her research and observations about operational styles in a conversation about fitting in at work. She was developing this concept to figure out where she fit. But as it's often the case, when we set out to solve a problem we have, we end up addressing something many others are facing. The problem is the reason we take dozens of assessments over the course of our career. You've been probably weighed and measured in mutiple ways—personality traits, selling approaches, aptitudes, teaming...
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This post is part of a new series on conversations worthy of attention. New email subscribers will receive it as part of the weekly digest. Sara Blakely has had quite an interesting career and story#. She founded Spanx in her late 20s. The company made $4 million in sales in its first year (2000) and $10 million the following year (2001). In 2012, Forbes named Blakely the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the world. That's a span of more than ten years. A lot happens in ten years. Imagine staying with an idea and working to develop it for that...
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New email subscribers receive articles first thing, with additional resources. We may not know what's real today, but we surely know how to spot a fake – the result of a mediated, manipulated, and focus-group-tested effort. Take for example customer conversations. So much work goes into cramming all sorts of meaning into scripts, that at the time of delivery they sounds hollow and insincere, if not a little robotic. If you watched Bicentennial Man#, you may be inclined to believe that robots want to have more heart. You pick up the phone to call a company's customer service line, already...
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Mini book read. New email subscribers will receive with the weekly digest. Ask any person, and they'll tell you they avoid being sold to by anyone—even on behalf of the brands they love. We may enjoy buying things, but on our own terms. To vet products or services we rely on ratings and reviews, word of mouth, and the opinion of the people we know. Flip the situation and now we're the ones selling—even if it's only an idea. How do we convince the other person or party to hear what we have to say? Are we comfortable communicating the...
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This post is part of a new series on conversations worthy of attention. New email subscribers will receive it as part of the weekly digest. Human behavior is a fascinating and never-ending source of learning. If you work in marketing, communications, brand strategy, public relations, advertising, and in general in trying to persuade people to do something — a fairly accurate definition of business in search of results — this is where you keep coming back. Economists have figured it out as well. There is no such thing as rational behavior — we rationalize after the fact. But we forget...
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New email subscribers receive articles first thing, with additional resources. A recent social media snafu that made the Italian news involves communication between a government organization and citizens. Thousands of people poured into a Facebook page created to answer questions about social security benefits, generating a chaos that put a strain on the social media managers who run the community. The social media manager for “Inps for the family,” whose page was flooded with comments, requests, accusations and in many cases insults succumbed to the temptation to blast#, that is to “expose the stupidity of the other to the public.”...
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Mini book read. New email subscribers will receive it as part of the weekly digest. When we meet a challenge with a response that is equal to it, we're successful. But when the challenge is on a higher level, we cannot meet it with the same response and expect the same results. This type of challenge has changed our lives. Everything moves faster. Technology had made some things exponentially different, including our stress levels. If technology changes, humans don't — certainly not at the same pace. We inch our way forward, and our responses — especially the lack of response...
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This post is part of a new series on conversations worthy of attention. New email subscribers will receive it as part of the weekly digest. When we say “done is better than perfect,” we're not saying forget testing. Steve Woods, CTO of Nudge.ai, put the philosophy to the test# recently. He got into a sales meeting, and when he came out the phones were ringing off the hook—hundreds of people had received repeated invite/cancellation/invites messages to a webinar. Nick Haughton, growth engineering at Nudge says, “I moved into this role 2 weeks ago, and we already had this webinar in...
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New email subscribers receive articles first thing, with additional resources. When we study the work of great inventors and innovators, we find that there are plenty people who got things egregiously wrong in their first try. If you put an idea out there, others can contribute to fixing it — or you can fix it if you try new approaches. Many ideas get better as people use them, over time. Yet so many of us spend more time trying to find the perfect idea. Hit those slopes, avoid “Idea Debt” Artist Kazu Kibuishi# says we create “Idea Debt” when we...
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