In this eighth of nine installments, Learn.com explores the critical link between training, HR, and strategy.
It’s easy to run around in your business, pleased with how busy it is. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to totally miss the traps, pitfalls, and lurking monsters that can destroy your business in an instant. You might think you’re on the right path, but are you really?
This article by Jason Cohen gives business owners 10 questions to ask themselves as a sort-of self-diagnostic every month. Honest replies to these 10 questions can help to keep your business safe, successful, and on the track for long-term success.
In this seventh of nine installments, Learn.com explores the critical link between training, HR, and strategy.
In this sixth of nine installments, Learn.com explores the critical link between training, HR, and strategy.
In 3 days, the 2010 Winter Olympic athletes will compete to be the best in the world. Entrepreneurs compete for a similar pinnacle of success every single day. This series of blogs will countdown to the Olympics with 31 ideas about what it takes to achieve gold in your business.
To be an Olympic-level entrepreneur, you need to trust your teammates to perform at the expected level.
Many Olympic sports are individual competitions. But there are several sports in both the summer and winter Olympics that are team sports. In the winter Olympics, events like bobsled, curling, figure skating, and hockey all are team sports. This adds another element that can make or break your success. You can have a couple of superstars on your team but if the entire team isn’t working together then they won’t win. Teammates rely on each other to perform the way they are supposed to. Teams probably won’t win, or even get to play in the Olympics, if there are a few Olympic athletes and a few remedial-level athletes.
In the same way, Olympic-level entrepreneurs who are part of a team need to make sure their teammates are also performing at an Olympic level. If you are performing at an Olympic-level (or you’re headed there) but you’re carrying your partner, you need to cut them loose and either work solo or replace them with someone who can operate at the level you need. Yes, it seems cold but you won’t achieve Olympic-level entrepreneurial success if your entire team isn’t competing at the level it needs to be.
In this fifth of nine installments, Learn.com explores the critical link between training, HR, and strategy.
The Question (posed on LinkedIn):
I foolishly indicated that I am looking to replace a particular service provider due to their failure to live up to a level of service that might be acceptable. I have been inundated with emails from people trying to market their products / services.
Most of these appear to have been written by the same person – they contain the same phrases, just in a different sequence. “Leverage our capabilities”, “Maximise your sales paradigm”, “Dynamically enhance your business intelligence”, “Industry focussed eco-system”, “Ramp up your business processes”.
In most cases, I have found that the people that use these phrases clearly don’t actually know what their product does, as they are unable to re-phrase the text in plain English. Is it a case that they want to give the impression that they are clever? (Or do they really believe that they do know what they are talking about?)
Once upon a time there was a marketing team that wanted to go with a really simple sales proposition — “Increase sales” — for their company’s product. It made sense and they knew it would resonate with the target audience.
Then the marketing manager got it and said “our customers will respond better if we stick the word ‘your’ in there. Make it ‘Increase your sales’.”
Then the director of marketing reviewed it and said “We do more than just increase sales. Please change it to ‘Increase the effectiveness of your sales’.”
Then the VP of Sales and Marketing said “It’s too long. Can we just say ‘Increase your sales effectiveness’?”.
Then the CEO said, “I don’t want us confused with a sales-coaching company. Let’s change ‘effectiveness’ to ‘intelligence’.” So it becomes “Increase your sales intelligence.”
Then the legal department said “We can’t say ‘Increase’. It has to say ‘Enhance’… ‘Enhance your sales intelligence’.”
Then the product people make a frenzied Friday afternoon call and they are furious because the marketing people have limited the product’s benefits to sales when, in fact, the product does so much more. Thus, it gets changed to ‘Enhance your business intelligence.’
And just before the marketing plan was implemented and all the ads were printed, a hotshot stakeholder on the fast track through the organization got the CIO to call the CFO to tell the CEO to tell marketing that the word “dynamically” would really make the phrase stand out against the competition.
Thus, “increase sales” becomes “dynamically enhance your business intelligence”.
And that is the story of how a compelling and clear marketing proposition becomes a stupid one.