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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...
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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...
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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...
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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…...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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