Topics

Subscribe

Blog


You May Call it a Business Strategy But, Delivered Correctly, your People Will Call it a Gift.

You May Call it a Business Strategy But, Delivered Correctly, your People Will Call it a Gift.

As business leaders, we often use words we’d never say to our loved ones. For example, we’d never ask someone we love to “implement a three-point strategy”, or to “capture insights, view them through the right lens, and cascade them to the rest of the family.” We know that if we talked that way to the people we really care about, they would stare at us with baffled looks, smile blandly, and ignore us for the rest of the day. Yet, all too often, that’s how we talk to our employees when we seek to “engage” them. And they look at us with...
Read more >

Connected TVs: What Do They Allow People to Do?

Connected TVs: What Do They Allow People to Do?

Connected TVs In our first post, we introduced you to revolution with two dimensions. First, technology is changing what TVs can do. Second, people are changing their behavior with respect to TV. Here, we continue to explore how this revolution challenges brand managers. Today’s applications and services on internet-connected TVs are what we can call “first generation.” By first generation we mean standalone services, which are accessed by the television viewer through a menu of “internet services.” In some cases, the manufacturer has provided a dedicated button on the remote control for...
Read more >

Leadership in a Time of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity

Leadership in a Time of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity

We’ve often referred to Stowe Boyd and his musings. Awhile back, we referenced the implications of social business networking based on Stowe Boyd’s presentation on “Postnormal Business”. Let’s now explore the four drivers of the Postnormal era: the VUCA syndrome. Volatility – Things are moving, evolving, changing, and disappearing faster and faster all the time. Uncertainty – It’s harder to predict what is coming, what to do, and what the results will be. Complexity – The business world is becoming far more complex, media is highly...
Read more >

Meaningful Businesses Use Meaningful Language

Meaningful Businesses Use Meaningful Language

As the cartoonist Hugh McLeod puts it, “I don’t get it: People who hope to be successful by offering the same crap as everybody else, who hope to be successful by offering the SAME LANGUAGE as everybody else.” All too often, all the companies competing in a category use the same language to describe their products and the benefits they offer. That is, until one company stands out and starts striving to matter to people by approaching them on a meaningful level. A key part of our consulting service is providing clients with ways to behave in order to become more meaningful to...
Read more >

Business as Iguanas – Further Support For the Widening Meaning Gap

Business as Iguanas – Further Support For the Widening Meaning Gap

In our paper, “The Meaning Gap – What It Means to Your Business”, we contend that business and people are moving in opposite directions. We are halfway through Dev Patnaik’s brilliant book, “Wired to Care”, and have enjoyed learning more about how our brains work with respect to feeling empathy for others. He describes how our reptilian brain gets us to do stuff, like turn the page of his book. The neocortex, 80% of the human brain, gives us the power of high-level thinking, so we can figure out what Dev is talking about. In between these two is the limbic...
Read more >

Are You Brave Enough to Take a Leap That Matters?

Are You Brave Enough to Take a Leap That Matters?

As a business leader, you’ve demonstrated that you possess many valuable skills. But how do you rank on the bravery scale? For example, how willing are you to… …let go of “business as usual”? …be an industry pioneer? …take a leap of faith? At the same time, how eager are you to… …run a company that does well by doing good? …be seen as a leader who matters? …establish yourself as a leader people follow willfully? We’re in the business of helping our clients take a very brave step. This is an important step toward…...
Read more >

Meaning Conference 2012: Seven Key Insights for Businesses That Matter

Meaning Conference 2012: Seven Key Insights for Businesses That Matter

Our Director of Meaningful Insights, Jerry Holtaway, attended “Meaning Conference 2012: Better Business in the 21st Century” in Brighton, UK on October 1. Here, he shares his most significant takeaways from the day’s session. “The word ‘business’ is toxic, and business practice in the main is toxic.” Will McInnes, MD of NixonMcInness and host of the conference, started off the session boldly declaring the trouble business finds itself in as we move into the 21st Century. And while your business may not be clearly “toxic”, it nonetheless depends on people who...
Read more >

Meaning Has a Direct Impact on Business

Meaning Has a Direct Impact on Business

If your business isn’t doing as well as you think it could – and should – then it’s time to consider the reasons why. Why aren’t people doing all the things you need them to do? Why are they resisting your attempts to change the way they think and act? What are people looking for that you aren’t supplying? There’s a sea of change in the way people feel about the decisions they make. They no longer simply act out of greed, capriciousness, and the need for thrills. They pause. They reflect. They consider. They ask themselves: “What is the impact...
Read more >

Ever Look at Your Business’s Performance and Wonder What’s the Matter?

Ever Look at Your Business’s Performance and Wonder What’s the Matter?

There’s something standing between your business’s current performance and its long-term success. It’s the will of the people vital to your enterprise’s success. It’s their desire to help you succeed, their willingness to work harder and smarter on your behalf, and their passion to be part of what you do. The problem is, there’s too little desire, willingness, and passion at work. As a result, your business suffers. Your organization is sluggish, sales are plateauing, important partners are shying away, vital suppliers are being lax, investors are...
Read more >

How Many of Your Employees Have Already Checked Out

How Many of Your Employees Have Already Checked Out

David Hieatt posted a series of photos showing pages from a book that never made it to the printers. It’s a fascinating insight into a powerful work-in-progress that we hope he’ll soon get published. The photo above struck us as particularly relevant to business leaders today. In our paper, “The Meaning Gap”, we explore how the interests of businesses, and the people formerly known as employees, are going in separate directions. We also explore the consequences for businesses. Why are employees checking out emotionally? There are many reasons why a specific employee...
Read more >

Branding 101: How Avis Has Thrown the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Branding 101: How Avis Has Thrown the Baby Out With the Bath Water

The controversial decision to drop the 50-year-old Avis tagline of “We Try Harder” has made us wonder why people give up valuable ideas in the pursuit of new marketing strategies. There are what we call “meaningful truths” about companies. These are characteristics, beliefs, and methodologies that are true and actively alive within a business. Often, these are valuable gems that are operating below the surface, which, when seen in the light of day, show how the business can truly matter to people. Avis had such an idea in “We Try Harder”, which has become...
Read more >

In the Age of Meaning, Owning Becomes Passé

In the Age of Meaning, Owning Becomes Passé

According The Atlantic, young Americans aren’t buying cars. The horror! As the auto industry goes into a tailspin, every other industry needs to pay attention. Values and behaviors are changing in ways that challenge traditional business models, marketing approaches, and the ways in which you deal with customers and employees. So, what do people want these days, if they don’t want to own stuff? In a fascinating Fast Company post, “Why Millennials Don’t Want to Buy Stuff”, consultant Josh Allan Dykstra explains: “Humanity is experiencing an evolution in...
Read more >

Blanding 101: How Not To Matter

Blanding 101: How Not To Matter

We came across this superb graphic in an old Fast Company post on the debacle at Best Buy. After considerable effort, the management of the troubled retailer announced a new tagline: “Making technology work for you.” Ho-hum. The post’s author, David Brier, quotes David Ogilvy: “You can’t bore people into buying your product.” Being bland is easy, but damaging to your business, product, and/or service (aka “brand”). Mattering to people isn’t that hard, and makes what you do emotionally meaningful. When what you do is emotionally meaningful...
Read more >

3 Drivers For A Meaningful Workplace Conversation

3 Drivers For A Meaningful Workplace Conversation

In our published paper, “How to Talk to Employees in Turbulent Times”, we encourage CEOs to establish a new dialog with their employees and offer key drivers to have a meaningful workplace conversation. The recent economic climate has been enough to unsettle any employee. Even if they are working for an apparently stable and growing company, employees are nonetheless influenced by the world around them. They are naturally concerned about what effect the turbulent environment will eventually have on their lives. In the past, it has been normal for CEOs to issue high-level reports...
Read more >

White Paper: How to Talk with Your Employees in Turbulent Times

White Paper: How to Talk with Your Employees in Turbulent Times

Employees can easily become rattled and worried when things shift in shifts in down cycles. As a result, CEOs looking to keep their people in focus and motivated, need a new way of reaching out to their employees. In our White Paper, “How to Talk to Employees in Turbulent Times”, we offer CEOs practical tips on how to create a meaningful conversation in the workplace that reduces anxieties, instils hope and helps employees feel they are doing work that truly matters. Emotive Brand is a brand strategy and design...
Read more >