Showing posts with label continuous improvement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label continuous improvement. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Celebrate Success With A Reboot

Success! We all crave it and love to celebrate it. But after the party ends, perhaps that's an ideal moment to reboot and hone in on what you can do better yet.

Rebooting offers us the opportunity to discover better strategies to improve our lives and our relationships. Consider the movie version Tony Stark from The Avengers. He goes from carefree, burger-gorging playboy, to growing through the many phases of just being IronMan, and, ultimately, into the blueberry-eating, sustainable design-building hero of The Avengers.

But the story doesn't stop there. Tony continues to re-define himself, his team, and relationships. Each success becomes a jumping off point for the next venture. Individuals like Richard Branson and Elon Musk do the same, and global enterprises like Google and Amazon are no strangers to this way of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement exercises are at the core of many successful organizational models globally. Strategies like Kaizen (改善) are also often employed and embrace activities that continuously improve an organization's complete infrastructure involving all employees, from the CEO to the people on the assembly line or in the field.

Celebrating the win is never more important than the action that led you there and certainly not as critical as what you do next - this being as true for science and business as it is for politics and sports. But, if your main objective is to win, well, then, you've already lost. 

Winning is only a stepping stone. If you're not talking about the next big thing, then you're talking about the wrong thing. It's about the long game. It's about healthy, sustainable living over brand and personality. It's about standing on the shoulders of giants and reaching ever higher. It's about change. Progress takes change.

So at the end of the day, by all means, celebrate your successes - frequently and happily. But when you get the chance, reboot and set the tone for our shared lives tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Innovations Are Not Solutions

I watch, you watch, we all watch & listen. We observe. And that observation drives innovation. Innovation, however, is not as a solution, or even a means to a solution. It is rather a catalyst of change. 

Now change doesn't imply that we try to change all at once. We couldn't do that even if we wanted to because the world around us is always changing. Instead, change embraces the idea that when we challenge the world around us with new ideas - new innovations - we evolve. 

What's more important yet is that we continue to push those boundaries. Just like the world never stops turning, we never stop changing. We learn to appreciate that what's better in the moment, isn't an end-all, be-all solution.

Take time to make changes. Bike to work, use a motorless mower, recycle. If it's not a hassle to take time to brush your teeth, why would it be difficult to always keep reusable bags handy?

Walk a different path. Don't try to be something you're not. Don't try to be the next Google. There's already a Google. Take the road not taken. 

Plug in to the world. Plug into the choices you're making. Plug into what may be a solution for everyone, and not just what benefits the individual in the moment.

Focus on the future. There is no greater cause or inevitability than our future. We can explore the past and the present all we desire, but the future marches on, with or without us.

Do what you can, when you can, how you can. Observe. Learn. Change. Grow. And when someone says:  because we've always done it that way, ask, Why?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Clean Your Marketing!

Springtime! While you're opening the windows, tightening the clothesline, and preparing the mop water, it's also a great time to clean up the cobwebs around your personal and business marketing strategies.

For many businesses, this time of year marks the end of a first quarter. As results are reviewed, it's also an ideal time to review and adjust your Marketing Plan. Here are just a few questions to consider:

  • Did the the marketing strategies help achieve the desired business goals? Finding the ROI in marketing is as critical to review as sales and profit reviews.
  • What strategies and activities need to be reconsidered or revised? Avoid the 'this is the way we've always done it' mindset and change the way the you do business
  • Are there new or additional marketing strategies to integrate? Marketing, like every other piece of a business model, is a process of continuous improvement.
  • Do staff & coworkers fully leverage social media? Encouraging others to engage is as important as ensuring content is relevant
This chore is equally important for your personal marketing deployment. Among other questions, ask yourself:
  • When was the last time I updated my social media personal profiles? Freshen up your online appearance and discover yourself all over again
  • Do I need to add or remove any personal connections? Keep or find the connections that add value to personal & career ambitions. Moreover, clicking 'Remove' is more meaningful than clicking 'Hide'.
  • Am I making the most of my online interactions? Remember: social media is about sharing, so . . . share
  • What platforms do I need to be more active on? Connecting across the social media universe is always better than only engaging on Linkedin.
Marketing defines us. It is a reflection of our personal endeavors and our professional engagements. So while you're finding the time to clean up the other parts of your life and business, why not take a moment to spring clean your marketing strategies?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Business Development: The Bridge Between Marketing & Sales

How do you define Business Development?

Whenever I talk or write about Business Development with small (or even medium sized) business owners and representatives, they frequently ask: what is business development? It's amazing to me how many business folks, from owners to managers to sales & marketing representatives, have varying opinions on what it is and what it means.

The term has been explored by the always insightful marketing guru, Seth Godin, and even Forbes over the last few years, but even they refer to it as business puzzle yet to be fully realized. Perhaps it's because Business Development is a relatively newer term. Or maybe it's that there are few books or college courses that even address what it can mean to any business in any given market or industry. What is certain is that Business Development has moved beyond just being the latest buzz term. It has planted itself firmly in Marketing efforts, Sales Cycles and, ultimately, Business Plans regardless of the unsolved mystery of what it really means.

In it it's simplest form, Business Development is the bridge between Marketing & Sales. Most of this transition has been made easier with our online communications and especially CRM (Customer Relationship Management) resources. With CRMs - even the free options - Sales representatives can record their activities as leads migrate from traceable Marketing & Advertising efforts.

It's not enough just to record your Marketing & Sales efforts. Businesses, large and small, have to monitor their Business Development activities, analyze the data, and provide reports with meaningful information for Continuous Improvement (another fashionable buzz term.) Continuous Improvement is the underlying link between creating improved customer relations, employee satisfaction and work habits, and Business & Marketing Plan development. Or in simpler terms, Business Development on the front end and continuous improvement on the back end.

Implementing Business Development strategies is a key to maintaining an effective revenue. It is the gateway transitional element carried forward from your initial Marketing & Advertising efforts to give purpose, meaning, and structure to the Sales Cycle. It is because of Business Development that successful businesses are able to move and think beyond the Business Plan for purposeful Continuous Improvement.

What Business Development strategies have worked best for you?