Thursday, January 28, 2010

Re: Study: Internally promoted CEOs more successful

My response...

Great article and I totally agree. Having gone through 4 acquisitions - and the subsequent transition phases, including senior management musical chairs... unless some executive had an extremely winning personality and background to show for it... the new management team was generally greeted with skepticism (on longevity and commitment). It took 20 years to kill the company... but poor decisions eventually took its toll. Poor decisions in product and market development as well as the appointment of senior executives. Those that were promoted from within the rank & file - were part of the core - and having them in a position of senior management gave us a sense of having a voice at the table; a seat at the table. Saying that, let me add that we did (fortunately) have some truly outstanding executives who were "transplants" that were extremely beneficial. Rotational positions (i.e. chairs with a life expectancy of 2 years) really was predominantly at the senior/executive level ... and we all know too much of a 'good' thing is never 'good'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Blogs worth reading at

I'm biased - I happen to like the blogs on because they are entertaining as well as informative.  They have humor and a sharp wit laced with usable and practical know-how.  My kind of place.  The one I just read was near and dear to my heart.  It began...

"One night, we were talking about the bad bosses we had worked for. My father-in-law, Larry, told us that he once had a supervisor that held a mandatory staff meeting every Monday at 6:00 a.m. I told Larry that 6:00 a.m. was not that bad but a weekly staff meeting was just cruel. He was shocked."

The topic?  My Role in Reducing Project Churn by Niel Nickolaisen:  Take a few minutes and go to 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Question of the day: FREE WILL

All of the great religions - first and second tier - seem to be in consensus in "believing" that a divine entity, whatever name you want to attach to "it" - "gave us" "free will".  My big question is - why then do we spend the rest of our lives worrying about potential "wrath", judgement, penalties and "karma" that will result, because we  decided to exercise it?  If there are rules - other than the "BIG 10" specifically relating to the use and abuse of "free will" ... then I would like to know about it.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

who has control of the budget to make changes and enhancements to the company website, IT or Marketing?

Jeff Antaya, CMO and member of the Chief Marketing Officer Group on LinkedIn, asked that question.  Lots of answers - 67... and growing. I contributed these thoughts...based on my experience with Marketing and working closely with IT in developing the internet and intranet presence for the company. 

Bilateral; co-ruled, co-chaired; IT owned the technology portion of budget; the infrastructure functionality - everything "behind the curtain" to make the user experience enjoyable, build-out requirements and actual implementation. Marketing needs to drive the site; defining feature requirements, control content, conceive the 'big' strategy and own "the plan". Even if IT didn't have 'budget' to create all the bells & whistles (in lean times) that Marketing might want, Marketing still had to come up with something useful, usable... and worthwhile as an interim solution. Often, when IT would enhance or upgrade functionality (and/or features) --- Marketing could work with that by way of customer experience and customer focus groups. I see it as a mutually reinforcing relationship.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dichotomy Observations

As a marketer, I am a business person focused on watching how companies and individuals brand and market whatever it is they are promoting; what works well, how was it positioned, what was the appeal... does it achieve its purpose which is to make me (or someone like me) do something, buy something, call something, ....sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 

For instance, all these medicine commercials that seem to be inundating us... I listen to the promotion of the benefit.  They immediately present the virtues or benefits of the product. Then I wait to hear the minor details, uh, like how your head might fall off, if you fall into that 1/100th of a 5% group.  So if I take this medicine - I will achieve this benefit - with the ever so slight risk, of being a member of the 5% group.  Hmmmm... decisions, decisions...Of course, I am not quoting statistics and this isn't a true "side-effect" (to my knowledge).  I'm using this strictly for illustrative purposes. 

We are using natural and unnatural or synthetic remedies... knowing fully well there are risks attached to it.  The question then becomes of "value" - identifying and reaching that personal value that someone has attached to something else and how well this answers that value.  This is not easy to do well.  You have to study and educate your consumer - by successfully presenting the benefits, clearly - and the risks, understandably. 

It also means you understand the driving force behind the acquisition -- and right now -- defying death is a biggy in our civilization whether we talk about war, famine, disease... there is an enormous desire to achieve Nirvana, Heaven, Eutopia, Bali Hai, Paradise ... whatever name you want to call it.  Remove or at the very least stop where possible, mitigating death due to circumstances.  Big business...

and then we need to turn and look at critical mass.  The planet's ability to sustain the current and growing population - as other species are routinely culled to reduce population - the human one does not believe in that.  We defy death - and challenge "survival of the fittest".

Thus we are creating a guarantee of polarizing conversations, and debate on how to handle this going forward.  That is my activism side.  The side that is a champion of wildlife and the environment.  I am also a business person who needs to make living - and my trade is marketing.

Unfortunately, for me, this issue is the 600 lb. gorilla sitting in the corner of my living room.   

The Dichotomy: Prolongation of Life v. Population Critical Mass - Business, Marketing and Activism Collide

In one breath, we are doing everything to keep death at abeyance - from premature births to centenarians.

In the next breath, we acknowledge the human species population has hit critical mass.

We are the only species that gets to truly challenge "The Laws of Nature" and defy "Survival of the Fittest".