Teamwork Difference-Making Tips from Little League, Marvel and Town Hall

People can make the difference in business.

That means the level of success is often impacted by how management treats its workforce and how well colleagues jell together as a cohesive team.

At the same time, success doesn’t happen without core components such as products, supply chains, strategy and marketing plans. For the best long-term success, people, products and systems need to be clicking on all cylinders.

As summer 2018 comes to an end, let’s focus on the people/teamwork variable for success. Here are three examples that recently caught my attention from the Little League World Series, Marvel and a Minnesota community civility project. Continue reading

A Business Remedy for Conventional Wisdom and Groupthink

Merriam-Webster defines conventional wisdom as “the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter.”

More than ever, we need vigilance and counter-measures to prevent conventional wisdom and the related danger of groupthink from derailing high-performing organizations.

Credit: iStock

Picture this. Colleagues sitting around a table (or maybe remotely connected by phone or video), giving their views, sharing ideas, making recommendations, or just pontificating. Someone has a question, wants a clarification, or can offer a different point-of-view, or an alternate way forward.

We’ve all been there. But what really happens? Continue reading

Don’t Retreat Marketers. Ben Franklin to the Rescue.

What the heck is going on in the business world?

Judging by all the negative stories, one would think that a plague of incompetence has afflicted commercial teams across the country.

However, beyond the obvious blunders (e.g., United and airport security personnel), some of the backlash is a bit perplexing.

Are corporations and their marketing teams failing at higher rates or is something else going on?

I suggest the latter. That’s partly because social media has, for better and for worse, totally disrupted the way so many now get and process their information.

Continue reading

Stories Make a Difference – Expert’s 6 Points for Great Storytelling

“Stories create connections that are emotional and inspiring.”

That’s what Kristian Aloma reminded an audience of marketers at a recent MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group) event in New Jersey.

Kristian Aloma. Credit: Brandtrust.

Kristian Aloma. Credit: Brandtrust.

Mr. Aloma is the Client Partner, Group Director of Client Service at Brandtrust. “He’s been pivotal in building Brandtrust’s storytelling services and training sessions, which are extremely popular among clients looking to more effectively influence their customers and organizations.”

An important reason for business communicators to use stories is that “presenting a story helps everyone understand the same point.”

In his New Jersey presentation, Aloma offered “how to” pointers and demonstration examples for telling effective stories in the business world and beyond. He also challenged the group by stating that the “best storytellers win.”


6 Points for Great Storytelling Continue reading

You Want Change, Sit in the Same Office

On Monday, Lands’ End announced that its CEO had “stepped down” effective immediately, after only 19 months on the job.

There will be plenty of time for all the post-mortems to be written and dissected. However, I will chime in right now about a glaring aspect of Federica Marchionni’s abrupt departure.

It seems there was a serious disconnect between what she wanted to accomplish and where she was physically located. And that provides an important lesson reminder.

Credit: Lands End

Credit: Lands End

As background, Ms. Marchionni was tasked with evolving the company and the brand. Note this statement from the Chairman of the Board when she was hired:

“We are confident she will build upon the Company’s legacy as a classic American brand with a keen eye toward its future as a global lifestyle brand.”

That implies change. According to The Wall Street Journal, “she tried to fashion broad changes at the catalog retailer.” But: Continue reading