Blog | November 2010

Business Ethics and the Bottomline

November 24, 2010

Steve Tennant posted an interesting tweet yesterday, "SAP must pay $1.3B in TomorrowNow damages. Add $160M legal costs, that's a -14,700% ROI on your $10M acquisition." His tweet got me thinking.

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Will my product sell?

November 23, 2010

I have been engaged in a email exchange with a young entrepreneur over the past couple of weeks. I met him at the C100 Accelerate TO event. Like any good CEO, he was trying to get exposure for his company by pitching it to senior execs and investors in attendance. I gave him some coaching which he followed up with an email. He recently pitched a new product concept by email and asked for my opinion. After responding, I thought it may be valuable to others so here it is:

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How are you hiring today?

November 19, 2010

How are you hiring talent today? Still using job boards? Stll using the traditional recruiter that is paid on success fees when you hire someone? How is that working for you? What about social media? Do you post status updates to your LinkedIn profile?  Do you use Linked In job postings or ads? Do you try Twittering or posting to your Facebook corporate page?

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Being Competitively Different

November 12, 2010

On Monday morning,  I attended a presentation by Professor Youngme Moon on how companies differentiate themselves from their competitors.    Similar to her colleague, Clayton Christensen, Moon points out the danger of listening too much to your customers.  Her point is that doing so will lead competitors to move towards a point where they look like each other and become part of a "herd".  According to Moon, Volvo, known for its safety features but boring styling, creates advertisements aimed at presenting their vehicles as exciting to drive. Audi, know for exciting cars to drive, creates advertisements aimed at presenting their products as safe. The result is the two manufacturers moving towards each other and into a "herd" of indistinguishable competitors.
In her presentation, she talks about "flocking" and how competitors move to prevent each other from  gaining a lead in any direction (even if it is the wrong direction). In her book, Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, she tells the story of a programmer who is interested in how birds flock. In order to better understand flocking phenomena, he built a simulation to explain this behavior. For the simulation, he developed three simple rules:

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Why is the start-up world different? (or How to choose your advisors and employees)

November 10, 2010

I recently had coffee with a colleague who spent many years with large global consulting firms, specializing in large complex projects involving strategy, restructuring, governance and project management. He now has his own consulting firm which focuses on strategy, and primarily works with medium to large organizations.

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How email damages your Personal Brand

November 6, 2010

I recently asked a favour of a business acquaintance to provide me a referral. We traded a few emails and he was very willing to go out of this way to help me. A few weeks later, having arrived at an outcome as a result of his referral, I sent him a quick note to close the loop and let him know what had transpired. This is something that I do religiously, regardless of the outcome, because I hate being on the opposite side of this transaction and never receiving the courtesy of any feedback.

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Change Management in SME

November 3, 2010

This is the last installment in my series on Change Management: 
Chapter 1: Leading Change - Part 1 of a Series
Chapter 2: Leading Change - The Art of Change Management
Chapter 3: Leading Change in a Perfect Storm
Chapter 4: Leading Change - The Need for Speed
Chapter 5: Leading Change - Putting it all Together

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Hiring Senior Talent - Part II

November 1, 2010

In my last post, I asked "are you ready to make your next senior hire?" and promised some tips on how to land great people.

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