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Leadership


The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Journey Is the Destination When I was studying fiction at San Francisco State University, I had a professor that used to say, “If you know exactly what you want to write about, then why are you writing it?” It was a soft-ball criticism aimed at a particular kind of writer. Those that came in overconfident, inflexible, and usually with their entire story already mapped out beat for beat. In their rigid defense of what they thought the story should be, they missed the opportunity to truly discover what it is or what it could be. If there’s no journey of discovery, no unanswered questions...
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Mission, Vision, and Values: But First, Executive Alignment

Mission, Vision, and Values: But First, Executive Alignment

Start with Executive Alignment Vision, mission, and values give a company direction. They describe what a company stands for and what it doesn’t. Solid mission, vision, and values statements give guidelines for a brand’s behavior, help distinguish a company from its peers, and serve as a foundation for the brand’s ultimate personality. Without them, a company is rudderless. So when’s the right time to write these statements? Some companies don’t launch before they have a mission, vision, and values. Others develop them when time allows. Though timing varies, the most important element in...
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The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

The Power of Debate in Meetings to Drive Business Forward

Meetings: Valuable or Valueless? What’s more frustrating than sitting through endless meetings and coming out on the other end asking: What was the point of those? As technology introduces even more ways to communicate offline, you would think we’d see the quantity of meetings decreasing. However, the opposite has been shown. Research shows meetings increasing in length and frequency. In the 1960s, executives spent less than 10 hours in meetings. Now, executives spend about 23 hours a week in them. And although no one loves a day jam-packed with meetings, what’s really at the heart of the...
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The Business Case for Trust: How Leaders Can Unlock the Full Power of Trust

The Business Case for Trust: How Leaders Can Unlock the Full Power of Trust

Trust Pays Off The business case for trust is straightforward and continues to grow. Each year, the data shows that companies with a culture of trust are more profitable than those without it. A culture of trust is not just a “nice-to-have.” It’s good business. Trust culture companies have outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of three, and high-trust companies “are more than 2½ times more likely to be high performing revenue organizations” than lower-trust companies. Why? It turns out we come with an evolutionary hard-wired attraction to people we can trust and a visceral aversion to...
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Business Transformation: How to Drive Successful Change

Business Transformation: How to Drive Successful Change

The Need for Change Management There are many reasons why an organization might come face to face with the need for a business transformation. Increasing competition, new seemingly unattainable prospects, large growth goals, or not meeting the expected return on investment are among many of the most common we see. These reasons and warning signs are by no means mutually exclusive. A business transformation generally involves large shifts that dictate change at every level of the business and brand – small and large scale. And managing a change of this scale is no easy task for businesses or...
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5 Things Executives Need to Know When Embarking on Brand Strategy

5 Things Executives Need to Know When Embarking on Brand Strategy

Investing in brand strategy is a big decision for executives to make today.  Plunging into an ocean of the emotional, strategic, and intellectual dimensions and depths of your brand is not what executives often want to spend time and budget on. Preconceived notions about ROI, doubts about the actual value of it, and the more obvious budget concerns to evaluate brand strategy are hugely challenging. Many companies don’t even make it to this place – the place where they accept and understand they actually do need to invest in the brand to address their business problems. But for those that do,...
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