MENTORING: MORE THAN JUST A MATCH
A good mentor can lift a mentee’s skills, abilities, and confidence, transforming their career trajectory. But a good chat now and then isn’t enough. To be truly successful, a mentoring program needs resources for both the mentor and the mentee. Look for tools to help mentees build their self-awareness, deepen their growth, and achieve specific, actionable goals with milestones. Provide communication guidelines to keep coaching conversations on track. Here’s how to set up a program that really works.
by Randy Emelo on Chief Learning Officer
TO CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY, FIRST CHANGE HOW YOU THINK
Copying another company’s strategy without grokking the heart of its concept is a recipe for disaster. Cases in point: Copycat low-cost airlines like Ted by United and Song by Delta. They tried to emulate Southwest Airlines’ business model and came up short, folding within a few years of launch. So how did JetBlue Airways — another copycat — avoid a similar fate? By going for the crux of Southwest’s strategy: offering a new method of service that put people — not planes — first. See how you, too, can leave your competition earthbound..
by Mark Bonchek and Barry Libert on Harvard Business Review
THE POWER OF DOWNSELLING
Say you were the customer: If you needed to make a major purchase, wouldn’t you appreciate a salesperson offering you a less expensive option as long as that option met your needs? Why, it would probably make you think, “Wow, this business cares about its customers!” And once you brought that product home and used it successfully, wouldn’t you return to that business to make your next major purchase? That’s downselling in action. Used appropriately, it’s a tactic that will gain your company a lifetime of customer loyalty.
by Karl Sakas on American Express Open Forum
MOBILE PAYMENTS ARE HITTING BRANDS IN THE WALLET
With Apple, Square, and PayPal (among others) introducing ways to complete a purchase or exchange money using a mobile phone, payment technology has leapt forward in recent years, forcing an “ecosystem evolution.” Now companies like Starbucks and Uber are creating their own systems and integrating ordering, fulfillment, and payment into their apps. On the horizon? Using it to facilitate automated checkouts and expedite return processes — with zero human interaction.
by Samuel Greengard on CMO
Why the 8-hour Workday Doesn’t Work
The eight-hour workday: Two hundred years ago, it offered the modern workforce a more humane schedule. But working in long, continuous blocks of time with few breaks has become a torturous ritual. Why? For one thing, the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy lasting about an hour. These spurts are followed by a period of low energy lasting 15-20 minutes. Here’s how using the brain’s natural rhythm to structure your day could turn you into a productivity rockstar.
by Travis Bradberry on CNBC.com
Obsess Over Your Customers, Not Your Rivals
Most companies view their competition as rivals they need to outsell in the marketplace. But what if you thought instead about what your company exists to do: Solve a problem your customer is struggling with every single day. The calorie-counting app MyFitnessPal adopted this “obstacle-as-competition” approach to help 120 million users lose weight. By focussing on creating ways to help them lead healthier lives, the company gained traction and earned consumer loyalty.
by Tara-Nicholle Nelson on Harvard Business Review
How to Make Ads That Even Savvy Customers Trust
Good marketing is about more than buyer manipulation. A recent study shows that campaigns that are helpful and informative carry weight. Credible tactics like quoting positive reviews from industry experts go a long way toward building consumer trust — especially when compared to less favored tactics like paying actors to give positive testimonials. It just goes to show that building trust through advertising might be calculated … but it doesn’t have to manipulate.
based on the research of Mathew S. Isaac and Kent Grayson on Kellogg Insight
Digital Finance: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Moving to the Cloud
Cloud-based solutions are quickly becoming mainstream — in fact, they’re expected to account for 65 percent of total market spend on financial management applications in less than 10 years. But don’t feel pressured to leap onto the bandwagon just yet. Join forces with your CIO and other team leaders to ask questions like, “Does the cloud consistently save money?” “Will we lose our strategic advantage?” and “Are implementations always smooth?” Asking the right questions now could save you time and frustration later.
by Miles Ewing, Nathaniel Groves, John Steele, and David Zager on Deloitte CFO Insights
Four Complications and Three Strategies for Sales Leaders to Grow Their Teams
Data doesn’t lie: The average annual turnover for sales teams is nearly 30 percent, according to CSO Insights. It’s clear that sales leaders have issues with finding — and retaining — top talent. Attracting, hiring, and training new sales reps who’ll fit easily into your company’s culture and can sell your unique sales strategy is an expensive — and complicated — endeavor. Here’s how shifting the focus of your talent strategy could lift your sales team to new heights.
by Tris Brown on ATD
Are You Prepared for a Corporate Crisis?
You’ve heard the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When it comes to corporate disasters — which seem to be happening more often these days — truer words were never spoken. Whether the crisis is organizational, regulatory, or legal, having a plan before calamity strikes is definitely the way to go. These best practices will help your team stay cool under fire, quickly gain control, stabilize your stakeholders, resolve operational challenges, and restore your organization.
by Sanjay Kalavar and Mihir Mysore on McKinsey Quarterly
Study Finds Cybersecurity Pros Are Hiding Breaches, Bypassing Protocols, and Paying Ransoms
You might need to sit down for this one. A recent study found that 35 percent of security professionals admitted to circumventing, disabling, or otherwise bypassing their own company’s security. Unbelievable, right? But don’t panic just yet. There are ways to improve your company’s security right now. Get the scoop on what’s causing tech pros — those who consider themselves too tech-savvy to get hacked — to leave the door open to hackers and what you can do to close it.
by Brandon Vigliarolo on TechRepublic
Blockchain: Should CFOs Believe the Hype?
With the potential to redefine the finance function, the blockchain (a distributed database that maintains a continuous, chronological list of records and uses a digital signature to make each “block” of transactions verifiable, permanent, and transparent) could be the next big finance technology. With industries like health care, energy, and transportation already clamoring to use it, even skeptics’ heads are starting to turn. Find out what makes the blockchain such a big deal, and what your CFO may need to do next.
by Jeanne Boillet on CFO
Remote Work Is About Trust, Not Rules
Technological advancements, reduced commute times, and the ability to hire top talent wherever it is are key drivers in the shift toward remote work environments. Yet barriers to a remote workstyle still exist with companies that have a tough time believing employees can effectively manage their time and workload away from a traditional office environment. Here’s how trust — a necessary ingredient for any successful relationship — can create productive, happy employees no matter where they are.
by Frank Kalman on Talent Economy
Strategy Talk: How Do I Build a Strong Pipeline of Future Leaders?
There’s no better way to build a robust leadership team than through real-world situations that allow leaders to flex their strategic muscles. But testing strategic acumen by role-playing hypothetical scenarios doesn’t do anything to truly move a business forward. Instead, start with one of these development approaches: 1) Hold a zero-based strategy forum, and 2) recruit your leaders into strategic agenda management. Take action now to fill your leadership pipeline well before it’s needed.
by Ken Favaro on strategy+business
Brands That Take a Stand Soar With Consumers
Recent research has found that the stocks of “meaningful brands” — companies whose brands bring measurable benefits to the lives of their customers — have outperformed the rest of the stock market by 206% over the last 10 years. Learn how “brand purpose” is helping Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, and Merck make strides with consumers, particularly the socially conscious Millennial generation, who expect the businesses they buy from to act responsibly and stand up for issues that matter. Click here for more.
by Mercedes M. Cardona on CMO
How to Get Your ROI on Employee Benefits Spending
From colorful workspaces to dynamic corporate cultures to attractive compensation packages, companies work hard to attract and retain top talent. But when it comes to communicating benefits, businesses are falling short. That’s because most companies choose to connect only when they absolutely have to — during annual open-enrollment periods. Here’s how creating a comprehensive, year-round, multi-channel communications strategy can raise your benefits ROI and have your employees saying “Wow!”
by Ron Shah on CFO