To find success, define success

A few weeks ago we established that “failure” is not a moment in time, an ending, or an event.  But what about success? Success, it turns out, is also not final.  It isn’t like a movie we are watching, with a defined endpoint, when success has been achieved, the music begins, and we fade off…

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The one question that will transform your performance reviews

You can throw company happy hours, host team dinners, buy pinball machines and eliminate job titles all you want.  But once you put an employee in a performance review, there is a strict hierarchy of who reports to whom.  And that hierarchy is what makes it challenging to get good feedback: the employee knows you…

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Fix your marketing: add your brand

Pretend, for a moment, that you are in the business of pens.  Now pretend that you are planning your marketing efforts for your pens.  And you come up with the message you want to get out there: We sell pens With that message, what makes somebody buy your pens rather than somebody else’s? Price, proximity,…

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How to pick the worst clients

If a strategy is about knowing what not to do, then client profiles are about knowing who not to target.  Much of this will happen as a process of exclusion as you build your Customer Profile.  But that is not enough. There are certain traits you want to look out for, that make universally bad…

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Your employees don’t know what to do

Job titles are great for algorithms in job search sites; job roles are better for managing your business.  Following my March article explaining this difference, I received some great feedback from people writing roles for their own business.  The next step is to instruct your team. Does everybody know what they should be doing? It’s…

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Why are you managing your business?

This blog talks about business management. Indeed my whole business is about the craft of business management.  And if the business is the idea, management is what turns the idea into action.  But what are you managing, exactly? How do you manage an “idea” into a “reality”? The best way to answer this question is…

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Are you making your brand work for you?

What’s in a brand?  More specifically: what is a brand?  The varied definitions you will find always describe how people know and recognize a company. Whether it is a logo, a slogan, or a design, the visual brand is a symbolic representation of your company.  But humans are complex beings, and to every symbol, we…

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Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

Is it worth doing? Then do it. In any way that you can.  Nike figured this out long ago. Want to get into better shape, want to learn a new sport, want to start a new fitness habit? Just do it. Buy the shoes and do it.  Because if it is worth doing, it is…

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Why your employees want to know your mission statement

How do your employees know why they do the things that do? How do you know why your employees do the things that they do? Are you giving them a good direction about where you want their work to take the business? Employees join a company to use their skills in a valuable way. But…

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Competitive Advantage: Know Thyself

This saying from ancient Greek, “know thyself”, is often used as a warning against boastfulness. That’s good advice when it comes to describing your competitive advantage.  You don’t want a value proposition that merely says you are better than the competition. Indeed, you don’t want a value proposition that talks about your competition at all. …

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