Years ago I represented a Chevrolet car dealer. He was reasonably successful, but wanted to take the dealership to next level and he hired me to accomplish this. One of the things he wanted to do was sell Chevets, a good solid second family car. It’s low price made it a great car for the blue collar family.
I produced a nice TV spot featuring the car and proceeded to map out the running schedule for the ads. When I presented the budget to the dealer he immediately threw out all the 11:00pm news spots. I protested, but he wouldn’t budge on the ads.
THE SCHEDULE WAS PRODUCING RESULTS, BUT NOT TO THE DEGREE I WAS LOOKING FOR.
Technology and alternate ways of doing things are always in a state of flux. Whether it’s outsourcing some of your operations or looking at techniques that aid your decision process, it’s important to keep emerging tools and practices on your radar screen.
One example is the evolving nature of financial planning and analysis software that transcends beyond traditional spreadsheet tools. Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball to aid your business decision process? Would you use such a tool if it was available? With operations becoming more and more complex, having the ability to anticipate, analyze and assess alternate strategies BEFORE committing valuable time and resources is becoming vital.
“Anyone who says businessmen deal in facts, not fiction, has never read old five-year projections.“-Malcolm Forbes
Does your current financial forecasting model provide answers to these SEVEN TYPICAL INQUIRIES? (more…)
I hear the same comment over and over…”I can take the product shot. I’ve got a digital camera”.
A few years ago, I was walking through “Ace Bargain Center”. Ace was a combination of connecting buildings that went for an entire city block. This store had every kind of used merchandise you could possible imagine. It was like an indoor junk yard (but clean and safe). As I was walking by one of the rooms I noticed that it contained all the materials for a complete operating suite; gurney, cabinets, lights, autoclave and even some surgical utensils. I realized that for the paltry sum of a couple of thousand dollars, I could set up my own operating room. I would have the equipment. The problem was, equipment doesn’t make you a surgeon, talent does. The same thing goes for photography.
A GOOD PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER IS MORE ARTIST THAN PHOTOGRAPHER.
A pro realizes the effect of lighting, positioning, backgrounds and even the image your product conveys. Lots of people can take “good” photos with a digital camera and they can be the hit of the picnic, but the professional photographer takes it the extra mile to make your product shine.
You’ve put a lot of time into developing your product and you’re proud of it. Put your best foot forward and show it in the best possible way. I think you’ll find that most photographers can work wonders and are a lot less expensive than you’d think.
Another tip: Don’t dictate to the photographer, let him ask questions and give you his best possible recommendations. If you let an artist use his vision, chances are you’ll get something much better than you had hoped for. In my 35+ years of experience, it’s worked every time.
Next week: The Car Dealer and TV.
Always let the artist make the suggestions!
Bob Martin is principal of Martin Creative Consultants, providing advertising consulting and services to manufacturing and retail businesses. His MCC VoicePros division creates audio voiceovers for radio, TV, internet ads and presentations.
Do you remember the challenge, the fear, and the thrill of learning to ride your bike as a child? Do you remember how proud you felt when you finally got the upper hand on gravity? Didn’t you feel like standing on your handle bars and screaming “I’m King of the World!” You had acquired the “art of balance” to keep your peddling in a mostly forward, albeit erratic, direction. Life was grand.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you need to keep moving.“-Albert Einstein
Well, balance remains a big part of our lives. It just takes on different forms when we grow up. I emphasize the art of balance since feeling might be more relevant than logic in determining the current state of balance in our lives. Although it’s a personal process and a private journey, here are a few questions to kick-start your assessment:
First, what does your gut tell you? Are the various components of your life in balance? Do you work to live or live to work? Are you becoming multi-dimensional or one-dimensional?
Do you tend to see what you’ve always seen? Do your past experiences prevent you from seeing things from a fresh perspective?
Beware: limited perceptions can create some powerful mind traps. They become subtle tendencies in the way we view the world and can impede our ability to find creative solutions to problems and opportunities. Let me share a few related stories from Robert Pirsig the author of the philosophical masterpiecesZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Lila.
“For every fact there is an infinity of hypotheses.” -Robert Pirsig
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.
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
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?
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.
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
Does your score keeping track useful metrics? Or does it produce data that no one really uses? Finding the right metrics is not always an easy task. A good place to start is to challenge what you are currently producing. Who gets it? Do they use it? Is it what they need?
Times do change! What might have been helpful in 1975 might no longer does the trick. Let me share with you a story about a new plant manager we’ll call Tom who was assigned to turn around a troubled manufacturing facility several decades ago.
“We are glutted with data and yet there is a shortage of wisdom”- Michael Toms
A Roadmap to Corporate Consciousness click larger image
corporate mindshift: management
CHANGING ONES OWN MINDSET CAN BE CHALLENGING – BUT CAN YOU SHIFT AN ENTIRE ORGANIZATION?
If you have ever tried to make a lifestyle change, perhaps to exercise more, eat healthier, spend more time with loved ones and less time at the office, you know what a challenge it can be just to make a small change in behaviourial patterns.
If you think it is challenging to change behaviours, consider how much more challenging it is to make significant mental or consciousness shifts, for oneself, and particularly, for an entire organization.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: SOME GOOD & SOME NOT SO GOOD
It is the nature of human decision making that no matter what course of considered action, there generally are some resulting unintended (and generally unforeseen) consequences. You don’t have to search to far for many examples that permeate our society.
For instance who could have foreseen the chain of events a few years ago from Don Imus making his insensitive remarks on the air…………. to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine being badly injured in a car crash while on the way to hear Mr. Imus apologize to the Rutgers Women’s basketball team?
“You cannot always predict the results of purposeful action. Life is frequently too complicated and unpredictable, the universe too random, to bend to the will of any individual or group of individuals.”- Steven Gillion
The global economy is in transition. Times of transition are accompanied by stress and uncertainty. Transition means a journey into new and uncharted waters. Which means, no one has the answers. A prime example can be found in the debates raging around the world on how best to handle this first-ever global financial crisis.
Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. When you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.Primary reality is within, secondary reality is without. -Eckhart Tolle, author, The New Earth
Intuition is a guidance that comes from within. It is our inner self. It comes from a feeling place and seems to signal something that is TRUTH for us.
We have structured a society with heavy reliance upon outside expert sources and double-blind studies to tell us what we should think and how we should act. Advertising bombards us daily in an attempt to shape our thoughts. We have lost touch with our own guidance systems.
WHAT ARE THE PEBBLES IN YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL SHOES?
Every organization has some disconnects in their business model or operations. Acknowledging that fact is a healthy first step. Some are obvious while many lurk undetected due to complacency, cultural blinders or simply bad habits.
Some are internal inconsistencies which in theory are easier to fix while some are due to external factors which might be beyond the control of the impacted organization.
If you have the courage to look there are some steps your can employ to improve the situation.
Our team is well balanced. We have problems everywhere. – Tommy Prothro
Baby boomers are quaking over the 30 – 50% erosion of their retirements funds, while the biggest threat facing the status of their long-term financial well-being may be closer to home, and within their control.
The winning secret of hockey’s all-time great, Wayne Gretsky, has been much quoted and has relevance in being on top of your financial-future game. Gretsky said the key to his success was simply, “I don’t go to where the puck is…I go to where the puck will be.”
Today we have a lot of pre-retirees, baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, now ranging in age from 45-63, anxiously looking over the shoulders of their financial planners, wondering how to recover the retirement loses they have seen in the past year.
INSPIRATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONFERENCE WITH A UNIVERSAL HUMAN MESSAGE
click to visit Jubilee’s homepage
I never thought attending a Christian conference would present me with such an abundance of culture and progressive thinking. This weekend started out with a talk by Gabe Lyons, co-author of the book “unChristian,” describing perception research into how the world views Christians. This research was conducted the same way a company conducts market research to understand brand perceptions, awareness, etc .
His research suggests, among other things, that people perceive Christians as having lost touch with culture and creativity – they are sheltered…out of touch with reality. These opening remarks began a weekend of inspiration, insight, and an exposure to some remarkable individuals who prove such an argument couldn’t be more wrong.
THE ULTIMATE FOCUS…THE HUMAN MESSAGE
How will you use your God-given talents, abilities and opportunities to cultivate learning, creating, building, and serving? And…how can you accomplish these goals in such a turbulent world?
Last Thursday I posted an article titled Let’s Redefine Abundance. Thanks to Nick Corsi for this link from the PopTech Conference 2008 that expands on the topic.
Listen as Peter Whybrow, neuropsychiatrist, author of “American Mania: When More Is Not Enough,” describes the brain physiology of addiction of a society that demands more and more, yet is left empty, devoid and sick. This clip outlines the HOPE that underlies this economic crisis, if we will take the opportunity to make a cultural shift in our evolution.
Click on photo for video presentation of Peter WhyBrow at the PopTech conference 2008 on the brain physiology of
“When Enough Is Not Enough”
JUDY BERG If you know a company that is making a Mindshift towards serving humanity while still turning a profit, we would like to know about them. Let us know by contacting:: firstname.lastname@example.org... or leave the information in the comments section of this post.
I discovered our Enlightened Corporation for this week while watching a segment of the Oprah show in which she interviewed young, self-made millionaires.
Tony Hsieh,CEO of Zappos.com, was one of the guests. He is a great inspiration, a model CEO of a model corporation, for our Enlightened Orgs directory.
His business achievements are certainly significant for such a young man. While still in his twenties, Hsieh (SHAY), a computer undergraduate from Harvard, co-founded an internet advertising agency called LinkExchange, which was sold to Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. But it was actually his business philosophy or mindset, that really caught my attention.
“I AM NOT NECESSARILY PASSIONATE ABOUT SHOES…WHAT I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT IS…