Tag Archives: Social Media

Jack Welch got it Right…even for Customers

Jack WelchThere is a famous quote I always loved from Jack Welch, famous CEO from General Electric. He said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

Today the rate of change is eclipsing most organizations and they can’t keep up. Competition is coming in from everywhere around the world and there aren’t any solid plans on how to deal with it. Competition is coming from places we never expected…primarily because someone else sees the inefficiencies in this particular industry. Product/Service competition is accelerating faster than we have ever seen in history. Commoditization is moving full speed ahead.

Step back from thinking about your product or service for a moment…despite all these competitive pressures. Step back and think about your Customers. Are your customers changing? Absolutely. Are the experiences they expect changing? Absolutely. Are you changing the experience you give to your customers? Most are not.

The one area you have complete and absolute control over is the experience you deliver to your customer. Complete control. You can choose what the experience should look like, feel like, smell like, and be to your customer…every day. And if your customers love your experience, the majority will forgo the latest and greatest advancements in product/service just to enjoy the experience they have with your company. This is the antithesis to commoditization…it is what customers want.

I turned Jack Welch’s quote in a slightly different direction focused on the customer, “If your customers are expecting a better customer experience than you are delivering, then the end is near.”

You have no control over the rate of change on the outside…it is just going to happen and accelerate. You do have control over what you change on the inside. I have always believed in the phrase, “Change what you have control to change and let others focus on what they can’t change.” Your customers aren’t a bad place to start. They are also probably worth the investment of time and innovation to create a totally awesome experience. The end doesn’t have to be near…it’s in your control.

Why do people resist innovation?

People who resist change especially innovationI was in a meeting this past week with a Business Owner of a mid-sized company and we were talking about, what else, how to create a social media strategy that leverages his business strategy.  While that was an interesting and lively discussion, it wasn’t the point – it was about “innovation” in his organization – or the lack thereof.

The conversation went something like this, “You know Blaine, I have always tried to grow the business through being more creative and innovative than the next guy, our competitors, but it seems more and more difficult especially in a bad economy.  People simply don’t want change.  They hunker down, afraid of losing their jobs or failing at something new and so the wall of resistance goes up and stays up.  People are very good at finding a million excuses of why they can’t, or won’t, innovate.  We set goals, timelines, rewards, and it still gets shot down or pushed out further and further.  Innovation is NOT EASY – and you would think it would be just the opposite, people jumping at the chance to create something new.”

Any of you feel this way or have this same conversation with your leadership team?  This is not uncommon in businesses today – figuring out how to create a “Culture of Innovation” is no easy task for a business leader these days.

When John and I decided to create our “Innovation Teams” it was for this very reason – CEOs, Business Owners, and Leaders were challenged by their abilities to create innovative environments. We figured a team of motivated leaders would be a good place to start. Sharing and collaborating also is a great way to come up with some new ideas and talking to people who have made it work is also helpful.

For this particular leader, I shared how the world l live in, Social Business Strategy, has been a great way to rally employees around thinking more innovative.  Allowing them to participate in the conversation with their customers at every level in the organization was scary but intriguing…more on that later. I also shared the book, Linchpin, by Seth Godin as a good place to start in regard to the “new ideal” type of employee he might want to be seeking.  The journey continues…innovation will never go out of style.

Social Media’s Place in B2B Marketing

John Rubino, President of Green Rubino, a truly integrated marketing firm led the discussion “Keys to Success In a Social Media Marketing World” at the November CEOtoCEO Breakfast.

A marketing question I share with others is “Where does social media fit in with the traditional marketing channels used in B2B?”

John provided some great insight to my question at the breakfast by using this helpful chart in his presentation.  If you are wading into the social media marketing pool and looking for sound advice consider joining the CEO Discussion Group.  John Rubino and my cohort in crime Blaine are both members.  Both are very knowledgeable and helpful.

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”


NCA Event – must attend for CEOs

I’ve gotten to know Tom Gobeille, CEO of NCA, as a passionate and recognized thought leader in the IT world. Tom is one with the rare ability to see around the corner and openly sharing his visions with others to gain their insight then combining those thoughts into some really big thinking.   At the CEOtoCEO Breakfast last week Tom provided some great insights as to how mobility, social media and cloud computing will be impacting our businesses.  One of Tom’s passions is the upcoming NCA Security & Technology Conference that he and his team put together featuring experts from around the world to share where IT is and where it is going.

Rather than “tell” you about all the reasons why you, as a CEO, should attend the event, Tom did a great job of talking about why this event was created, who is speaking, why it is so relevant for CEOs, and how to sign up at our latest CEOtoCEO breakfast.  We happened to capture this on video so we thought the best way to share it with you is to let you hear it from the creator of the event.

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

Social Media – Inside and Outside

We all know Social Media is one of, if not the hottest topics of conversation today.  So what?  Why should we, as business owners and leaders, care?  Great questions and EXACTLY what we are lively presentations and discussion are going to be in the next CEOtoCEO Breakfast Series. As a business owner, there are some… Continue Reading

WELCOME – our new "Social Media" Sponsor…

During the last CEOtoCEO breakfast meeting in November, I had the privilege of announcing a new sponsor to the CEOtoCEO breakfast series.  Our new sponsor is WOM10 – “Word-of-Mouth on Steroids”.  Blaine Millet and Clay Loges are the two co-founders and principals of the firm and they gave us a brief introduction to their company.… Continue Reading