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Leadership Is What Leadership Means

Leadership Is What Leadership Means

Gianpiero Petriglieri is Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, a regular contributor to the HBR blog, and a prolific and insightful tweeter. Indeed, the title of this post is taken from one of his recent tweets promoting his latest piece on HBR, “There is no shortage of leaders.” Professor Petriglieri’s main point is that the methods and goals of leadership are misplaced.  He suggests that the current narrow view of leadership development and practice is falling short of what’s needed in today’s world. “There is no shortage of leadership at all.” “There are plenty of...
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Meaningful Leaders                                     Resolution #1 for 2015

Meaningful Leaders Resolution #1 for 2015

Lead by proudly, confidently and passionately proclaiming a new destination for your customers, your employees and your business. Going beyond profit, declare your intention to do well by doing good. Give everyone the answer to their burning question, “Why?”. Why does your business exist? Why is that good? Why does that matter? Interested in learning more about how to create your Purpose Beyond...
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The Purpose-Pivot

The Purpose-Pivot

Why smart brands are adding meaningful metrics We recently came across a Huffington Post article, “Meaning is the new money,” that posits the notion of the  purpose-pivot.  According to the author, Blanca Rothschild, the term is a combination of “pivot” (being capable of turning around fast based on new knowledge, from Eric Ries’s book “Lean Startup”), and “purpose” (working to an ambition that transcends the goal of making a profit). In summary, a purpose-pivot is an idea that is “applied in a multi-dimensional way across all stakeholders, and involves redesigning HOW we succeed to include...
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Brand Strategies That Change Capitalism for the Better

Brand Strategies That Change Capitalism for the Better

According to philosopher Alain de Botton, Facebook thrives because it taps into an overlooked and underserved human need: the desire to have better relationships. So says a TechCrunch article recapping a recent speech he gave on the virtues of modern business. TechCrunch correspondent Natasha Lomas summed up the Facebook story this way: “Whether Facebook is actually serving that need well is a whole other question, but the appetite it taps into is undeniable. And de Botton argues that other core human needs continue to be drastically underserved by the modern business community — providing a...
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Purpose-Driven Business

Purpose-Driven Business

McKinsey’s Vision of Businesses as Problem Solvers We recently came across an older and rather interesting article from McKinsey that speaks to the imperative of business to become increasingly purpose-driven. The article starts with the words, “Capitalism is under attack.” It then offers new definitions for prosperity, growth, government, and capitalism itself: a conscious capitalism. Then it goes on to explain what business needs to do: “We believe that a reorientation toward seeing businesses as society’s problem solvers rather than simply as vehicles for creating shareholder...
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Bridging the Meaning Gap

Bridging the Meaning Gap

A great post by Tom Fishburne talks about the risks of going too far in your efforts to matter to people. He cites the example of the “Dove Campaign For Real Beauty”, a notable example of a meaningful brand presence, which started as a concept many steps up the brand ladder. When those “too grandiose” ideas were shot down by real people (formerly known as consumers), the focus turned to building meaning from the product up. The lesson: in your pursuit to bridge the meaning gap, and to create more meaning around your business, product, service or brand (a smart thing...
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Gaining Customer Trust Through Both Experienced and Sensed Empathy

Gaining Customer Trust Through Both Experienced and Sensed Empathy

Barclay’s Bank wanted to create a more empathetic understanding of customers with mobility issues. In this video, a Barclay’s office manager is outfitted with a special suit designed to recreate the physical world of his own elderly Mother. The suit includes weights that make it hard for the manager to take steps, or to raise his hands. Goggles dim his vision and cast a yellow light over the scene. Headphones distort his hearing. Electric sensors make him feel the pain of arthritis in his joints. In this way, the manager literally “walks in the shoes” of his mother – and every other...
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Purpose-led Business Leaders Gain Competitive Advantage

Purpose-led Business Leaders Gain Competitive Advantage

We recently came across this Fast Company article about purpose-led business leaders who are changing the way business works by embracing purpose. Here we recap its main points, and add additional perspective. Generation Flux is a group defined less by age than by attitude. According to the article’s author, Robert Safian, Generation Flux “refers to the group of people best positioned to thrive in today’s era of high-velocity change.” Safian continues, “Fluxers are defined not by their chronological age but by their willingness and ability to adapt. These are the people who are...
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Winning Leaders Change the Conversation

Winning Leaders Change the Conversation

We recently came across an interview with Lee Clow, who has been responsible for a slew of famous ad campaigns, including the landmark 1984 Apple commercial. In the interview he talks about how he now describes his role: “Finding a voice as a tone for a brand is the art of what I do. I want to consider myself now as a media artist, not an advertising person, because advertising is kind of defined these days and has a negative stigma attached to it. But to be a media artist is to take a brand and find its voice and tell its story and make it interesting and likeable. I think brands are...
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Build a Stronger Business by Embracing Your Brand’s Hidden Truths

Build a Stronger Business by Embracing Your Brand’s Hidden Truths

Behind every brand there stands a set of as-yet realized or appreciated truths. These truths have the power to change the way you, and everyone vital to your brand’s success, think, feel, and act with respect to your brand. These truths emerge when the many things your brand does are seen in light of their meaningful outcomes. This means analyzing the actions, attitudes, and behavior of the organization. It also means assessing the organization’s policies and procedures. In each case, the search is for the positive and meaningful outcomes that result. Not only true, but...
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Win by Going Beyond Features and Benefits

Win by Going Beyond Features and Benefits

Convincing minds by capturing hearts: the new brand-building approach What comes first? The rational decision to take the next step on the path to purchase, or the emotional trigger that gets them started on that path? Aren’t we humans cool? We pride ourselves on our cognitive skills, our ability to weigh pros and cons, and our decision-making power. After all, these factors separate us from other life forms. We also prefer to emphasize our thoughts because we are able to talk about them, explain them, and defend them. However, what is clear is that we are emotional beings. We navigate...
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Brand Strategy: Why Are Purpose and Feelings so Important Now?

Brand Strategy: Why Are Purpose and Feelings so Important Now?

Brand Strategy: Why are purpose and feelings so important now? An emotive brand is the persona-driven presence and experience of an organization that has proactively decided to orient itself around a meaningful and purposeful promise. Such brands do so with the intent of emotionally connecting to people on a deep level, by addressing core human needs. Most significant, an emotive brand strives to forge these attitude and behavior changing connections both inside and outside their organizations. To summarize, an emotive brand is:  – Proactively meaningful across all its actions  –...
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How to Mindfully Lead Change

How to Mindfully Lead Change

Empathy in leadership In this thought-provoking video, KPCB* partner John Maeda reminds us of the importance of empathy in leadership. He suggests that leadership is a design problem, and notes that the best design comes from people who ask and listen before putting forward their ideas. Mindful leaders are, by nature, empathetic. They know that failing to listen first creates irrelevant communications and misunderstood gestures from leaders. As John Maeda says, “The people are there in the room, but nobody’s hearing what you say.” Connect more meaningfully To connect meaningfully to...
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Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand Strategy Without Brand Behavior = A Car Without an Engine

Brand strategy is step one. Defining the shifts to the brand required to live the new brand strategy is step two. We call that brand behavior. It’s becoming increasingly clear that brands need to run deep if they are to prevail in today’s world. This is because modern brands need to compete with not only each other, but also with an overwhelming number of ideas, considerations, and issues that flood the minds and hearts of the people important to any brand’s success. To cut through this noise, and to stand out in a meaningful way, brands need to exude a holistic and deeply...
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Human Friendly Brands

Human Friendly Brands

Should brands be more like humans? Or is the real goal to be “human-friendly” in form, behavior, and function? It’s something worth thinking about. Most of us in the advertising/marketing/branding biz tend to anthropomorphize brands. We think and write about them as if they were living, breathing people. However, in a thought-provoking piece, “The Human Paradox”, Gareth Kaye, Chief Strategy Officer of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, questions if that is the right approach: “I’ve come to believe that this failure of brands is down to us blindly believing that brands that are more human...
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