4 Things You Need to Know
One email a week.
A business doesn’t really thrive unless its employees do, too. Mind the needs of your people and watch your business soar.
Mission defines strategy, which defines structure. Revisit your plan frequently and make yourself accountable to a trusted colleague.
Making strategy work is harder than making strategy. Be a student of process improvement and continue to plan, act, and adapt.
Cash, the lifeblood of any business, gives you better buying power, more flexibility, a way to keep up with debt, and a way to grow.
Recent Weekly Digests
What did you miss?
- January 21, 2017
1) PeopleIf you believe your company’s next crop of leaders will naturally emerge, you’re doing your business — and your employees — a disservice. Companies that proactively and routinely scan for rising talent are more likely to reveal great possibilities who may be otherwise invisible due to company size, selection bias, or managers’ too-narrow, top-down view of what a leader “should” look like. Follow these tips today to mine your company’s diamonds in the rough. by Kevin Lane, Alexia Larmaraud, and Emily Yueh on McKinsey Quarterly
2) StrategyA big pool of savvy brain power is sitting out there waiting to give you fabulous free ideas about product improvements, customer support, and tech innovations — but you’re probably not aware of all your customers could be doing for you. Global logistics company DHL, Finnish airline Finnair, and tech leader Apple regularly turn to their customers for advice, brainstorming, and peer-to-peer service — and reap big rewards. Here’s how you can do the same. by Tuomas Syrjänen on CMO
3) ExecutionAre you treating your customers’ confidential information with the respect it deserves? In the aftermath of last year’s Yahoo security breach, which hit more than a billion accounts, consumers and lawmakers are more concerned about privacy issues than ever. Alerting customers to the type of data you’re collecting and gaining their permission to do so are just two ways to earn their trust. Follow these privacy protection tips and you’ll gain their loyalty, too. by Ajeet Khurana on MasterCard Biz
4) CashSome products and services are more profitable than others. And let’s face it — some customers are too. The new year offers the perfect opportunity to tune up your business priorities. Now’s the time to ask questions like, “Which products or services are generating/losing the most money?” and “Which types of customers could help us bolster revenue?” and “Why?” Here’s what the answers could reveal about your business’s earning potential. by Bill Fotsch and John Case on Forbes
- January 14, 2017
1) PeopleDo your employees trust you? Do they trust the company? According to a 2016 study, trust in the workplace is trending downward—and that can hurt morale, curtail productivity, and kick a company’s costs sky high faster than a cynical worker can say “I quit.” Once a spiral of skepticism starts, it’s hard to turn things around. Start now: Here are four ways to build an atmosphere of trust. by Sue Bingham on Harvard Business Review
2) StrategyIn 2004, spice blend company Urban Accents launched a “tsunami of flavor” with its new Tsunami Mix spice blend. Then a major—and very real—tsunami hit Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Forced to take their product off the market, the small business lost more than $50,000. A dozen years later, Urban Accents is thriving and about to expand their product line. How did they do that? Read their story and more tales from the trenches here. by Tanya Klich on Forbes
3) ExecutionTo remain competitive in a global market, companies need to be ambidextrous, agile, and willing to forge new paths. In implementing a new, optimized design method, Danish engineering consultancy Valcon Design has become all that. Rather than follow the now traditional path of moving production to low-cost countries, the firm focused on making its method “smarter,” changing design culture in the process. Here’s how they did it. by Soren Petersen and Anna Lykke Lundholm-Andersen on Huffington Post
4) CashFollowing the 2008 crash, US regulators committed to holding implicated individuals responsible for company misdeeds. In 2016 alone, leaders at Bostwick Labs, North American Healthcare, and Tuomey Healthcare agreed to pay millions to settle allegations of misconduct. Cases like these are narrowing the margins of error for CFOs, often responsible for signing off on financial statements. Help your finance chief mitigate risk by following this detailed plan. by Randy Myers on CFO
- January 7, 2017
1) PeopleIn ranking its 10 most-read leadership stories of 2016, Fast Company magazine expected to find readers entranced by scandal. Not so. Instead, leaders and others wanted to know how to be their best: The most popular articles focused on personal growth, self-improvement, and skill sharpening, along with several solids on how to build a great company. In hopes that they prove useful to you as well, here are the stories readers clicked on most. by Staff on Fast Company
2) StrategyThese 12 brand leaders may not seem to have much in common. But in 2016, whether stepping outside traditional hard-sell, priced-based campaigns to remind us there’s more to life than a great discount (Apple) or shifting their raison d’etre from skirt-chasing to self-confidence (Axe), all reached beyond the latest marketing trends to stay true to their brand’s core message. Check out the best “Behind the Brand” strategies of a dozen top companies. by Jeff Beer on Fastco.create
3) ExecutionHackers are finding ever more sophisticated ways to compromise the computer systems of businesses and consumers alike. The latest trend in cybercrime: ransomware, malicious software that encrypts computer files, holding them hostage for a monetary ransom. Anti-virus software will get you only so far against this stuff; you’ve got to step up your cybersecurity once more, with encryption. Here are your next-level protection tactics. by David Lazarus on the Los Angeles Times
4) CashReducing costs after a tough fiscal year may be an attractive idea, but companies that jump blindly into cost-cutting programs often find themselves enmeshed in expensive exercises in futility. Better to set one overarching goal and make every team in the company accountable—that prevents costs from shifting from one part of the business to another like air in a squeezed balloon. Follow these tips to make sure your business stays in the black. by Daniel Mahler and Greg Portell on CFO