Tag Archives: Blogging

Insight into Why Companies Can’t Innovate

Simplivative blogAs we begin to kick off our CEOtoCEO Innovation Teams, John and I are totally immersed into seeing how successful companies are innovating and on the flip side, what is keeping companies from innovating – or at least why they aren’t being as successful as they would like.  Sometimes figuring out why something doesn’t work gives you better insight into how to get it to work…that is the story I want to share today.

One of our Innovation Team members, Rick Smith, CEO of EJ Bartells in Renton, WA co-authors a blog on innovation called “Simplivative” – which is a fun new word they created which is all about “Finding simple ideas from Innovative Solutions.” Rick just posted on his blog a great story, “Are your ‘Incentives’ stopping your ability to Innovate?“, with some links to some great research by both Fast Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2011. Definitely worth reading if you are trying to be a more innovative leader or want your company to be more innovative.

The intriguing part of his message is around the “culture of innovation.” This is probably the most difficult aspect of innovating inside any company.  If you think about what “innovation” really means it translates more to “execution” that coming up with the next great idea.  Everyone has great ideas and suggestions – but it is the process of making these a reality, executing on the great idea, that allows the idea to become new innovation. Innovating a great idea, product or service or simply an improvement, simply means taking this and putting it into action inside your organization.  If it never becomes actionable, it can’t help the organization be more innovative.

To this point, Rick points out a truly interesting observation from the study and survey by FastCompany and PWC.  The key point was that most management teams have the incentive to make their numbers, be as efficient as possible and create as little change as possible – just make or exceed their numbers.  They are actually incented AGAINST INNOVATION because this would mean trying out new ideas and probably failing on a number of fronts – this is not what they are measured on or paid on. So if this is prevalent in an organization, how are managers supposed to innovate at the same time? They don’t. Until this method of measuring and incentivizing management changes, innovation won’t occur!

Thanks Rick for sharing this insight and for capturing for many the dam that is keeping the river of innovation from flowing inside many organizations.  This is certainly a topic we will be attacking head on in our Innovation Teams as well because without a doubt, it is a “show stopper”…


Risk and Opportunity in Today’s Divergent New Media Landscape

The term new media has become synonymous with marketing strategies that are developed to acquire inbound marketing strategies.  Those strategies may include combinations of organic search, paid search, video, mobile, pay per click (or paid search), and social media (including blogging).

Companies must adopt marketing strategies that meet the prospect’s intent and lead them to a purchase.  There are a dizzying number of strategies that are necessary to accommodate the point at which the prospect is in the buying cycle.

Many business leaders I visit with on this topic accept that many of these new media strategies need to be incorporated in the their marketing mix but confused as to how to move forward.  To gain some clarity you might be interested in reading the post by Douglas Karr author of ‘Corporate Blogging For Dummies”.  OR plan to attend the upcoming CEOtoCEO Breakfast “Keys to Success In a Social Media Marketing World”

Improving Employee Engagement and Productivity Using Social Media

An old-timer once told me that there is only one way to kill a rumor….make it a fact. Easier said than done in this period of uncertainty and anxiety in today’s workplace. As leaders we have all know that harmful rumors become “facts” if we do not communicate with employees on a regular basis to keep them engaged and productive.

At the March CEOtoCEO Breakfast speaker Richard Law, CEO of Allysis, shared the following examples of how he keeps employees informed and involved in whats going on in the company using social media tools.

“You Ask, We Answer” Forum Hosted on Intranet
• Anonymous Post Option
• 24 Hour Turn Around Commitment
• Ask Anything … Management Has to Answer
• Deeper Understanding of Company Direction
• Shared Decision Making
• Two Way Conversation

Kudos Program
• Clients & Employees Encouraged to Call Out Exceptional Performance
• All Kudos Posted Monthly; Top 3 Get Awards Quarterly.

Employee Blogs
• All Topics Allowed
• Encourage Sharing of Knowledge
• Quick Insight into Departments, Leadership, Employee Development Opportunities

My "Journey" continues…

As many of you know by now, I have thrown myself into the “social media fray” and have become fully engaged in learning, understanding and using this revolutionary new media.  It has been an eye-opener to say the least.

When I first met Blaine Millet and Clay Loges, my consultants and coaches, I realized the world was changing for me and for every business out there.  If you haven’t been to one of their presentations, I would highly recommend it.  You can get more information out about them and what they do at

WOM10 .  They will open your eyes to an entirely new way of thinking about your business.

What I am realizing as I get more and more involved is this is a huge “mind shift” for me to make – away from “promotion” and more toward “sharing useful information in real-time”.  Everyone wants something of value and fast – exactly what social media offers.  Because of this, one change you will see me making is away from the larger, more formal Breakfast “e-mail newsletter” to shorter, summarized e-mails you can read in less than 30 seconds and decide if you want to know more.  If you do, there will be links to a brief story.  This will “help” my audience get more without having to sift through information that might not be as relevant to them right now.

Let me know what you think when I send some of these out to you over the next several weeks.  The beauty of social media is I can react to your comments and make changes immediately – how cool is that!

Business Tools??? – Executive View of Social Media"

Social Media is on just about everyone’s mind these days. It has been on mine for a while and I’ve been busy pioneering and learning the art of social media with my own blog. In fact, it just happens to be the topic for our March meeting.

Last year I had the privilege and opportunity to get my first real meaningful introduction to Social Media at a seminar led by Blaine and Clay of WOM10. It was an exciting and very revealing 2 hours for me. I decided it was a new direction that this old dog should take. So I committed myself to learning some new tricks for both me and the CEOtoCEO Breakfast Series. In the past four months I’ve already learned how game changing social media can be – and I’m slowly becoming a master of the new “social media speak”.

Enough about me – here’s the GOOD NEWS FOR YOU! Blaine and Clay have compiled an executive introduction to social media in an e-Book called, “Business Tools??? – Executive View of Social Media”. It’s a great executive overview of the driving force behind this new form of marketing and communications. The book is short, to-the-point, and practical. It offers a business view of social media.

Because of my relationship with them, I’ve arranged for a limited number of copies to be given to our CEOtoCEO group for FREE. If you are one of the lucky few who can act quickly, you too can get your own copy of their powerful e-book, courtesy of CEOtoCEO. Just CLICK HERE and you will be on a page where you can simply enter your name and e-mail address and it’s yours! Doesn’t get any easier than that. I hope you will take advantage of their generous offer and get your own copy today.