management

Agile Marketing

As part of my ongoing obsession with all things agile, I've written up a summary of some key practices around Agile Marketing, building on the principles outlined in The Agile Manifesto. This is also cross posted over on The Marketing Society blog:

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Six Themes from the World Business Forum

What a day! The World Business Forum featured phenomenal speakers and drew over 4,000 attendees from 60+ countries. I’m so honored to have been invited to attend as a guest blogger.

I tweeted the best bits from today as they rolled off the speakers’ tongues and will be doing the same tomorrow morning (follow me: deniseleeyohn) but here are six of my main takeaways so far:

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The Business of Managing Tensions

The fundamental tensions which companies must manage well was the primary topic of a panel I spoke on last week. We discussed H2OAudio, a company which makes waterproof cases, waterproof headphones/headsets, and waterproof armbands for iPods and MP3 players.

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What Great Service Providers Do

Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to hire and partner with other service providers. It’s been interesting because I’m usually the one service-providing.

These have been great learning experiences for me, as I’ve gotten to enjoy first-hand the benefits of working with really good service providers — as well as feel the frustration and disappointment resulting from working with some not so good ones. I thought I’d share my observations from the other side of the table.

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Who Killed Big Corp Innovation?

by: Sigurd Rinde

The Product Manager.

Look no further, that's the one, the main Big Corp innovation killer.

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Radical Continuity: What Any Retailer Can Learn from Nordstrom

I’m coming to believe every good is a convenience good. A recent New York Times article reported that Nordstrom has integrated their in-store inventory with their online supply, meaning that anyone can get access to the entire inventory from any “location” — a physical store or online. They also report that Nordstrom’s management believes that this “innovation” has helped change their same store sales from a “negative growth” (don’t you love that term!) of 11.9% to a positive growth of 9%.

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5 Things That Create Ridiculous Customer Experiences: Can’t We Avoid Catch 22?

The other day I was on the phone with my insurance company because they had rejected, for a second time, a procedure for my son which was performed by a physician who they claimed was “out of network” — let’s call him Dr. Brown. But, as I logged into the firm’s web-site (again), I was able to easily find Dr. Brown who was “in network”. As I had done a few weeks before, I mentioned this to the customer service representative, and she was not able to look at the web site from her computer, so I had to read her the name, address, and phone number so that she could contact him and make sure that he was “in network”. 

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Stop Picking on the Mailroom Guy: the Empty Strategy of Squeezing the Bottom of the Ladder

A guy I used to work with left an all-hands meeting one day. The company had just announced a layoff (it was long enough ago that this was still stunning, not an everyday occurrence like it is now). He turned to me and said, “They always get rid of the mailroom guy.”

What he meant was that the burden of whatever circumstances caused the company to cut back fell on the lowest-paid employees. And whatever mistakes the mailroom guy had made, they hadn’t caused the company’s distress.

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Five Common Mistakes on Innovation and Managing Change. Much that Is Held as Common Wisdom Regarding How Purposeful or Successful Innovation Happened Is Wrong.

Walk into a Barnes and Noble you can find dozen of books on innovation. There are books from teaching the ‘how to” to creative thinking”. Not many good ones simply because the subject is a moving target with rules being broken and created everyday, existing tools are getting obsolete, and best practices are often worst practices. Much that is held as common wisdom regarding how purposeful or successful innovation happened is wrong. This is not to say that all organizations are not innovative; obviously many are not thanks to our management systems and education.

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Innovations in Control: Do you Have the Right Cost of Capital for Today’s Environment?

This post is co-author Joseph Calandro, Jr., author of Applied Value Investing (NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009).

One of the most important and overlooked innovations in business are the innovations in internal controls and measurement. The duPont company famously invented their duPont formula which helped their executives to understand exactly what was driving financial performance in their business; which divisions were making good margins; which consuming too much capital.

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