Archive for March, 2009

Wisdom Through Classical Music

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

music & arts: classical music lessons

TED.COM – BENJAMIN ZANDER ON MUSIC AND SHINING EYES

Cant see it? Get FlashPlayer, or view at TED.com

DON’T BE AFRAID – CLASSICAL MUSIC IS YOUR FRIEND

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Clorox’s Disinfecting Wipes

Friday, March 27th, 2009

pink-flower-001

Click to visit Clorox’s “Redesign Clean”

Food & Design: Entry 1 of 2, Counter-top design

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

The average housewife or stay-at-home mom has changed greatly in the last 50 years. Before, women were expected to always keep the house scrubbed and clean. Now, women are happy if things are just organized and tidied up. The pace of our lives has sped up and we are all trying to fit more into our 24 hours.

In the 1950s, women wouldn’t dream of having their cleaning product in the line of sight for others to see. Today, Clorox is trying to change the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. Clorox, through their redesign of their disinfecting wipes is pushing the question, “Why wouldn’t you want others to see your cleaning products?”

DESIGNING FOR YOUR TARGET MARKET

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The Meltdown Of The Culture Of Financial Pretense

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Ending the culture of financial PRETENSE

network marketing: global trends

THE LURE OF A BEACH LIFESTYLE

A lifestyle of the rich and famous is a common image projected by many network marketing leaders. It is extolled in video presentations. It is acted out at “major events” held in exotic resorts. It is seductive…a heady experience. We attend in droves, in hopes of an epiphany on the road to riches. We listen to the dream, with hopes the dream now includes us.

These sessions do inspire and encourage…but, if what follows is financial and relationship stress arising out of unreasonable business expectations and overextended  expenditures, the inspiration backfires. A promise of vast, easily-acquired wealth, is seductive and destructive; both for the new person, and for the leaders who are under pressure to uphold the persona.

OH – NO – ANOTHER NETWORK MARKETING BANKRUPTCY

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Don’t Make Them Look For You

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Most consumers won’t spend time looking!

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

DON’T MAKE THEM LOOK FOR YOU!

About a year ago, I saw a great pizza shop ad on the back of a newspaper tab. It was full color, full page and it looked great. The ad actually made me hungry for pizza, so I decided to order. There was this great effective ad, but no phone number or address. I had no idea where the shop was. My resolve was to order from a competitor.

THIS AD WAS A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY.

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Managing Change: The Paralysis of Inaction

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

What's the Best Path?

What’s the Best Path?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

MOVEMENT HAS IT’S OWN BENEFITS

“I used to think I was indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.” Does this describe your organization and how it deals with change? One could make a pretty compelling argument that General Motors suffered from this type of malaise for decades. Whether it is too little or too late for GM is certainly up for debate. But you have to respect their recent proactive course of action. The former giant is now in the role of the underdog but at least they are doing something. Commitment and execution are excellent attributes to embrace.

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.” -Jimmy Buffett

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The Three Rules of Advertising

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Consciousness: true selfishness

By Bob Martin

Bob Martin’s career has spanned almost 40 years of media, marketing and ad agencies, including 19 years as Manager of STI Creative. He’s kindly offered to provide us with weekly articles on advertising for the small to medium size business. I’m pleased to welcome him to Thinking Big Works.

Yes, it’s Monday and Bob’s posts will show up on Thursdays. So look for a bonus this week – two posts instead of one.

David VanAmburg

The Three Rules of Advertising

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Music Festivals: It’s All About … Planning

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

music & arts: Entry 3 of 3 in Music Festival Event Planning

MUSICAL FESTIVAL PLANNING

Erie Art Museums Blue and Jazz Festival

One of Tammy’s Successful Events
Click to see the Erie Art Museums Event Page

This post is the third and final in a series of 3. I have been exploring the planning of music festivals through the insights of one of Erie PA’s best event planners, Tammy Roche. Check out the first article “Music Festival: It’s All About Creation” and the second “Music Festival: It’s All About the Music.”

TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

So far we have talked about planning committees, music selections and event strategy…all that is left is to make it happen. The final installment of Music Festival planning focuses on some of the logistical issues that are faced when planning and implementing a music festival.

WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT? (more…)

Counter-top Design

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

kleenex1Kleenex EXPRESSIONS make your own box design here

Food & Design: Entry 1 of 2, Counter-top design

SPRING CLEANING

It’s nearing the end of winter here in the northeast, and that means Spring Cleaning is upon us. As the weather gets warmer, new cleaning products are popping up to be used in apartments and homes across the region. Perhaps this was Clorox’s intent when it hired design team Brand Engine. The “counter top” design that Kleenex implemented raises an interesting question about up and coming trends: will common mundane products try to push out from beneath the cabinets?

IS THIS THE START OF SOMETHING NEW?
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Network Marketing #10 No-No – We will Build It For You!

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Just sit back and I will build you a multimillion dollar business!

network marketing: global trends

NETWORK MARKETING AS WELFARE

We have reached the number 10 pet peeve I believe most people have with network marketing. I began this rant more than 10 weeks ago with my first post, People Don’t Dislike Network Marketing, They Dislike Network Marketers.

In that post I outlined 10 behaviours I believe need to be changed for network marketing to undergo the revolution I know will occur when we discover the potential this economic model has to lead business into the future. For the ten weeks following that initial post, I have expanded on each of those 10 behaviors. (click for a complete listing to all posts on this subject).

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE A BUSINESS THAT PAYS YOU FOR NOT DOING ANY WORK?

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Be Careful How You Keep Score

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

What's the Score?

What’s the Score?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

WHAT YOU SCORE CAN IMPACT HOW YOUR TEAM BEHAVES

Does your score keeping drive desired performance? Or does it produce individual and group behavior that conflicts with your primary goals and objectives? Finding the right metrics is not always an easy task. Be aware of the pitfalls that can happen if they are not the right ones.

People can and do change their behavior when they are measured, but it’s not always in the desired direction. Let me share with you a few related stories I’ve heard over the years:

“Tell me how you’ll measure me and I’ll tell you how I’ll behave.” -Famed management guru Eli Goldratt

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Music Festival: It’s All About The Music

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

music & arts:Entry 2 of 3 in Festival Event Planning

Erie Art Museums Blue and Jazz Festival

Drummer at the 2008 Erie Art Museum’s Blues and Jazz Festival

MUSIC FESTIVAL PLANNING

This blog post is the second in a series of 3. It is a look into musical festival planning through the insights of one of Erie PA’s best event planners, Tammy Roche. If you haven’t read the first article, “Event Planning: Its All About the Creation,” check it out here.

WHAT IS THE CORNERSTONE OF A MUSIC FESTIVAL? (more…)

Pepsi Natural

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

pepsi-natural-white1

Pepsi Natural
click for Pepsi Raw’s UK website

Food & Design: Pepsi Natural

GOING ORGANIC

It seems like the new trend for products is to go organic these days.  Or at least trying to find a more eco-friendly or natural approach to their products.  So one would think that this would be an interesting approach for a cola company, PepsiCo. to switch over to the “natural” ingredients that nature has to offer.

IN THE UK
At first, Pepsi tried out the “natural” approach to its United Kingdom customers.  Calling their new recipe Pepsi Raw, PepsiCo. introduced a cola made from sparking water, cane sugar, apple extract, tartaric acid, which comes from grapes, just to name a few.  This is such an interesting idea for a cola company -remove the high fructose corn syrup and market it as the natural cola.

Now, on this side of the pond, American customers will find three similar Pepsi products sweetened with natural sugar in March and April: Pepsi Natural, Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback.  The two throwbacks will be available nationally April 20 for eight weeks.  To complement the name, the throwback packaging will have a retro-look.  As for Pepsi Natural, the glass bottle, sold in a four pack will have a sleeker, simple design showcasing the three main ingredients: sparking water, sugar and kola nut extract.  In addition, Pepsi is labeling this as the “all natural cola”.

WHY DID PEPSI DEVELOP A ‘NATURAL’ COLA?
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A Shift In Consciousness?

Friday, March 13th, 2009

What is this mans consciousness rating?
click for Guide

Consciousness: inspiration

CANADA’S OBAMA MANIA

Barak Obama made Canada his first international state visit and that pleases this country. Our population is small but we are the largest trading partner of the US. Protocol suggests each new US President will visit our country first, since we are its closest, most stable neighbor. But giving Canada that honor has not always been the case, as when George Bush chose Mexico for his first state visit.

Some media think Obama has an even greater adoration factor in Canada than in the US. His espoused social values are in alignment with those of Canadians but does adoration equate to an ability to govern?

WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU

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Network Marketing #9 No-No – “You Don’t Have To Sell Anything”

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Have I got a deal for you!

network marketing: global trends

YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!

This should be the shortest post I have ever written…of course you have to sell…end of story!

Sadly, I have heard this “pitch” all too often. “Join our company. It is great. You don’t have to sell anything. Because we know how much people hate selling, we have set it up so you won’t have to sell a thing.”

First of all…anyone making this statement is rather foolish if they haven’t figured out that what they are doing is trying to SELL you on the idea that you can make money by just sitting around…and uh… watching the grass grow… I guess.

If you did sign up, it is unfortunate they did not realize what great sales people they are!

YOU ARE ALREADY SELLING EVERY DAY…

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UpDate On What’s Clucking In Your Back Yard

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
On our Monday blog , A Clucking Good Way For A Greener, Self-Sustaining City, we told you about an upcoming decision by City Council in Vancouver, British Columbia to determine whether or not Vancouver residents can keep chickens in their backyards…we said we would keep you informed…

Well, the vote is in… the answer is YES! Here is the reaction from Canada’s national paper the Globe and Mail…what do you think?

Globe and Mail – Chick Coop For the Soul

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DO I Set A Date To Achieve My Intention?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

It will happen by …when???

law of attraction: responsibility

TO CONTROL…OR TO ALLOW…THAT IS THE QUESTION

For many people who are exploring the achievement of their dreams or goals through the Law of Attraction, one of the biggest struggles seems to arise from, “do I SET time frames” OR “do I ALLOW things to happen?”

Our traditional planning processes are quite explicit about setting a date and time for what we want to see happen, and that, we should also, set dates and times for the steps that will be milestones along the way.

BUT IS THIS THE BEST WAY TO ACHIEVE ALL OUR DREAMS?

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What Happens AFTER The Canary In The CoalMine Dies?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Rognvaldson Spinning Wheel

corporate mindshift: management

ICELAND 3 MONTHS LATER

This tiny island of  fewer than 300,000 people was the sacrificial canary in the coalmine for the global economic collapse just 3 short months ago. The Icelandic economy, laden with overseas debt of more than 10 times GDP, was the first to collapse in what will most likely be a global domino effect from the credit fallout, despite huge bailouts.

SO WHAT IS A GUY GOING TO DO?

You have lost your life savings, your job and possibly, your home…what comes next?

This story is near to my heart because of my Icelandic roots…and my grandfathers story.

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The Inherent Value of Competition

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

What a Blast!

What a Ride!

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

COMPETITORS  SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS

A few years ago I remember watching the on again, off again, on again, launch status of  the space shuttle Discovery over the July 4th holiday. Having grown up in the 60’s I still marvel at each launch and think of the millions of events that take place with each flight.

In recent years it seems NASA has been dealing with an increasingly skeptical public and vocal policy opponents who want to severely limit or eliminate NASA’s future projects.

Maybe I’m in the minority but I’m nostalgic for the excitement, optimism, and commitment that President Kennedy triggered in America in 1961 when he challenged us to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. What a vision and what a mission! And what an exhilarating time for every citizen of the country to witness and enjoy the patriotic pride of the remarkable progress towards the achievement of that lofty goal in July 1969.

“When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” -Leo Burnett

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A Clucking Good Way To A Greener, Self-Sustaining City

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Check out what backyardchickens.com can teach you about raising chickens

enlightened orgs: inspiration

VANCOUVER CLUCKS!

Chickens in your back yard?…what do you think?

This “Monday” blog is written to honor what we believe are enlightened organizations and communities, and is normally posted on Monday, but our Monday posting has been delayed in hopes of results on a great story coming out of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Unfortunately, the  City Council will not vote until tonight on a resolution that will determine what you, if you live in Vancouver, can have clucking in your back yard. So I felt I could be late no longer. Lets talk about it and on Wednesday, I will give you the results of their vote.

IN A NATION OF FOOD BANKS – WE ARE JUST BEGINNING TO GET IT…

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What, No Brefass?

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Thinkin & a Drinkin

Blurred Vision?

strategic planning: innovation: management:success

COMMUNICATING YOUR VISION: TIMING IS IMPORTANT

When sharing your vision both the content and timing are vital to successful communication. I’d like to share an old story from a different era about one man’s failure to inspire his spouse to a higher level of performance.

MEN AT PLAY ARE NOT ALWAYS INSIGHTFUL

It sure seemed like a good idea. Let’s reward the guys with a home cooked meal. After a full shift (8+ hours) of drinking and carousing, some nourishment was in order. It’s not easy to imbibe for this duration and so the chosen few should be recognized for their feat. So, Joe invited the gang to his house for an early morning treat. (more…)

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