The Key to Campbell Soup’s Turnaround? Civility.
Imagine employee engagement at your company being described as “among the worst ever seen among the Fortune 500.” That was the environment facing Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant when he took the company’s helm in 2001. Sales were declining, the business had lost half its market value, and now it was reeling from layoffs. Conant knew he couldn’t just talk about change—he had to act and forge a bold new culture that embraced civility and respect.
by Christine Porath and Douglas R. Conant on Harvard Business Review
“Launch and Abandon” Is Not a Strategic Option
Ever worked at a company that rang in each New Year with a brand-new initiative? First there’s a rush of activity, but soon staff are bogged down by daily responsibilities and the idea forgotten. This “launch and abandon” bluster is frustrating for all involved and rarely does a business any good. Avoid this trap by making sure the problem being solved is real and not just another “strategy du jour.” Focus on top-to-bottom alignment and commitment, and set a realistic timeframe to keep participants accountable and resolution within arm’s reach.
by Lior Arussy on Chief Executive
Talent10x: The Future of the Sales Profession
In today’s ever-changing business environment, jobs in every industry are learning to adapt to new technologies—and the sales industry is no exception. Talent Economy Managing Editor Frank Kalman speaks with Daniel Weinfurter, CEO of sales advisory firm GrowthPlay, about the impact of technology on sales jobs, what lies ahead for the industry, and whether commission-based compensation structures can keep pace with the times.
by Frank Kalman on Talent Economy
Six Ways to Reduce Days Sales Outstanding
Low interest rates and easy credit have allowed companies to avert their gaze when it comes to managing Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). But improving DSO—that is, the number of days it takes for a company to convert its accounts receivable into cash—means a stronger cash flow and healthier financial position for your business. To reduce that number, conduct a benchmarking analysis that compares your current DSO status with that of others in your industry. Then customize your efforts using these additional tips.
by James Daly on CFO
Career Development Has Replaced Pay as a Top Perk. Are You Ready to Recruit?
Nearly 90 percent of job-hunting Millennials consider opportunities for continuing education a top reason to choose one company over another. And when deciding whether to leave a job or stay, Gen Y members cite a lack of career development as a top reason to leave. Recruit and retain your ideal workforce by holding regular informal feedback sessions where employees can share where they’ve been, where they are, and where they want to go. Their answers will show you how to help your employees and your business grow.
by Falon Fatemi on Forbes
Bias in Business Can’t Be Ignored, From Google to Charlottesville
Now more than ever, what we say and do—as individuals and as leaders—matters. Acknowledging this, many CEOs are coming face to face with what it really means to be the figurehead—the role model—for their business. Their every action and decision have ramifications that could impact not only the company but the people, families, and communities with which the business interacts. Determining how to handle the business as a platform for social impact could be the most important decision a CEO makes.
by Robert Safian on Fast Company
Three Ways Content Beats Advertising
You know that expression “Content is king”? Did you know a good read beats even advertising when it comes to driving customer engagement and boosting sales? Uplevel your marketing strategy with an array of quality content—like how-to videos, reviews, blogs, animations, and high-quality photography—spread across a mix of channels. Layering your approach across several advertising mediums will allow you to build trust and confidence in your business and your brand, and set your business apart from your competitors.
by Peter Sheldon on Business 2 Community
Contribution Margin: What It Is, How to Calculate It, and Why You Need It
To understand how a specific product is contributing to your profits, and gain valuable information that can help you determine pricing or whether to start or discontinue a product line, calculate the contribution margin. Start by looking at a traditional income statement and recategorizing all of your costs as fixed or variable. Then use this calculation: Revenue – variable costs = contribution margin. But don’t be fooled—this seemingly simple formula is often misunderstood. Here’s how to properly use this tool.
by Amy Gallo on Harvard Business Review
Forget About Perks—What the Best Bosses Do to Hire Superstar Employees
If you’re trying to attract top-performing employees to your company, you might be thinking about where you’re going to come up with the money to pay them a shiny salary, or feed them gourmet lunches, or send them on three-week vacations. Or you might be wishing you had a Google-like reputation to get candidates flocking to your door. But actually, none of that is necessary—or even effective—compared with the easiest, least expensive thing you can do: hire the friends of your current top performers.
by Tommy Mello on Inc.
The Fear of Disruption Can Be More Damaging Than Actual Disruption
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” President Roosevelt said of World War II. Nowhere does that seem truer today than in companies worrying they’ll soon be disrupted out of business. Well, maybe not that they have nothing to fear, but probably much less than they think, according to a recent study by PwC. And often the fear itself, leading to hasty, reactive decisions, is their undoing. Proactive measures centering on a company’s strengths and focused on building a resilient identity are the real key to weathering most storms, of any kind.
by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi on strategy+business
How to Stand Out in the Attention Economy
The world is not short on distractions these days, from presidential tweets to natural disasters to cat videos. We may have personal challenges in keeping it all at bay, but the professional challenge is learning to ride the tide and play the media attention game for all it’s worth. To do this, you want to 1) rise above the noise to get your message in front of people, 2) create emotion, as the best ad agencies do so well, 3) use what’s new as a springboard for your own innovation, and 4) believe in something.
by Robert Safian on Fast Company
Most Leaders Fail at Capital Allocation
What kind of resource allocator are you? Aligner, disruptor, reactor, or transformer? And then the next question: What do you think creates value at your company? Physical assets, or intangible assets? Armed with insights you can get from answering these questions, you may be moved to change your methods of capital allocation, to the immense benefit of your company. Most business leaders are stuck in a rut when it comes to shifting capital and investing in new business models, but you don’t need to be one of them.
by Barry Libert on Forbes
What HR Needs to Know About Expunged Criminal Records and Background Checks
To improve former offenders’ job prospects, U.S. states are expanding their efforts to enact “second chance” or “clean slate” bills that would limit employers’ access to criminal records for low-level felonies, minor misdemeanors, and arrests without convictions. But dealing with sealed or expunged criminal records can be tricky for employers. The laws vary by state and continue to evolve, so keeping up on current legislation is critical. Here’s what HR professionals need to know to protect companies from liability.
by Roy Maurer on HR Today
Microsoft’s CEO on Rediscovering the Company’s Soul
When Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s third CEO in 2014, he knew the time was right to rediscover the company’s core mission: To empower every person in every organization on the planet to achieve more. How is he doing it? By focusing on cultural change, learning from the company’s past mistakes and successes, and honing in on that special something that can turn consumers into full-fledged fans. Other key building blocks: fresh ideas and innovations and a culture that can support them.
by Sarah Green Carmichael on HBR IdeaCast
Woo, Wow, and Win: Designing a Captivating Customer Experience
Companies study their customers’ online user experience. Now service design addresses the in-person customer experience with five principles: 1) Yes, the customer is always right—as long as it’s the right customer for your business; 2) better to focus on delighting vs. surprising and delighting customers—because good service should never come as a surprise; 3) great service shouldn’t require heroics; 4) deliver consistently every time on every channel and at every point on your customers’ journey; and 5) realize you’re never done.
by Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell on Knowledge@Wharton
What You May Need to Know About Making Vendor Payments Overseas
Making vendor payments to anyone, anywhere in the world, should be as easy as sending an email or pressing a button—right? If only that were the case. Depending on what country you’re sending money to, paying your vendors overseas can be both time consuming and expensive. To keep fees under control and ensure vendors get paid in a timely manner, use a combination of secure payment platforms like Upwork, Xoom, or PayPal as well as mainstream options like wire transfers and credit cards.
by Geoff Williams on American Express