Social Media is Missing the Point

When you don’t know what to measure, you should know you’re in trouble. Many in the social media world might be wise to consider themselves in trouble. Not long ago I interviewed the head of marketing for a $20 billion company. “Our communication people are worried about the wrong things,” he told me. “I explain… Read more

Connecting the Workplace to the Marketplace

Many organizations could improve results if their external and internal communication worked together to improve the customer experience. For this to work, internal communication would need to broaden its role. Some are doing that. I recently addressed a conference of business communication professionals on the role of a trusted advisor, a term used by David… Read more

The Nobler Cause of a Purposeful Organization

“I don’t put plates on tables. I make people happy.” That’s Victor, talking to my wife and me at Taller de Tapas restaurant in Barcelona during our recent trip through Spain. Because he’s right about making people happy, we came back three times and used that tapas restaurant as our benchmark when we moved on… Read more

Learning the Value of “No”

I’m currently advising a large company that typifies almost every company I know, in one respect.  Everyone is busier than hell. Last week a 30-something woman framed it perfectly, “We spend most of our days in back-to-back and sometimes double and triple-booked meetings. Then we go home at night or on weekends and try to… Read more

Dooming Culture Change to Fail – 5 Common Mistakes

If I didn’t know better I’d be firmly convinced that many leaders get up in the morning and deliberately try to confuse the hell out of their employees. I’ve been guiding business leaders through major and minor change processes for more than 30 years. Some target the whole company; others focus on improving branch operations,… Read more

Time Is Currency

It hasn’t taken me 30 years to realize that great companies and great people manage time well, among other things. I initially heard “time is currency” when I was working at Microsoft. Referring to Bill Gates’ obsession with time management, my host told me they refer to his time as “Bill capital.” “It’s a strategic… Read more

Darden—Great Company

I think environment says everything about a company. I don’t care what industry you’re operating in, the parking lot tells your first story. That’s followed by the front door and the first person you meet inside that door. Everything that comes after is merely repetition. Not long ago, I spoke at Darden, the big full-service… Read more

Leaders: Ask What’s Important

Are you asking questions that communicate that you want new ideas to help customers and the company? In my book The Leadership Solution, I discussed how leaders can use questions to signal their priorities. If you want to improve speed to market, ask about speed to market issues. If you want to focus on customers,… Read more

Lean Gone Too Hard

Many businesses have adopted aspects of what’s commonly referred to as lean. Lean is an overarching way of creating and sustaining an organization that’s waste free. Waste is loosely defined as any process or activity–like overproduction, scrap, rework, excessive movement, inventory–that a customer isn’t willing to pay for.  In some businesses, these efforts are creating… Read more

Congratulations to ITT for Winning Platinum

PR News announced that our client, ITT Corporation, won the 2010 Platinum Award for Internal Communication. The award recognizes the work we did in the company’s Texas Turbine Operation in Lubbock, Texas.  Courtney Reynolds led the effort for ITT. The project was focused on integrating the so-called hard and soft sides of lean to improve… Read more