Tired but true …

LONDON – Inc Magazine has a good little online article about the well-documented fact that cash compensation is not always the best motivator.  Not news but a handy little reminder for all of us.

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People are not your greatest asset

LONDON – At least that’s what this article in HBR states.  And they are right (yes it was a deliberately provocative headline, but it worked).  The point they make is that

It’s how you empower your people. Think about it. What is the primary purpose of a business organization? To assemble a group of people, who previously may have had no association, and empower them to accomplish productive work toward the organization’s objectives. More effective empowerment typically equals more productive work.

Yep.  Empowerment. Erm, engagement.

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Another corker from Jim Clifton at Gallup

LONDON – I tend to refer to Gallup Management Journal a fair bit to find data and thinking that supports advice I give to clients and to inform my thinking about the world of Brand & Talent.

In his post “Good to Great? Or Lousy to Good?” he makes a brilliant point about organisations who hit the numbers through selling (and losing) customers based on price alone.

Company leaders talk a good game about growth at state-of-the-company speeches. But then they go right back to their offices and continue okaying new contract lows to hold customers or win replacement business. They do this largely because Wall Street has not really caught onto the deep implications of organic growth and how to spot it, even though it remains the best single metric to predict sustainable growth, sustainable profit, and share growth. If someone said to me, “In your 30 years of studying customer data, what is the indicator or single metric that is the key to buying or selling stock?” My answer would be, “Same-customer sales.

Have a look here

And … note this article is more than 5 years old.

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Vanity commenting

We’ve all seen it:  a blog posting or a LinkedIn Group discussion amongst a community of interest, and in the middle of the discussion comes a comment – usually from an agency / consultancy to be fair – that is more for the benefit of self-promotion than contributing to the discussion.

To be fair, all of us are now in the business of managing and building our personal brands, particularly in the social media space – and part of that includes participating in the conversation economy.  I’m sure I’m guilty of “ego commenting” myself.

But I’d argue that if the “ego posters” aren’t careful, just as with any other brand and marketing communications, their attempts could be counter productive.

Some examples: Bob responds to a post about X with a tenuous link opening door to a monologue about his experience as a general manager in the defence industry – a thinly veiled attempt to demonstrate high level trusted advisor status.  Janet sends a hilarious email to several people who know Bob and his (ahem) propensity for self-aggrandisement – “Good thing we have Bob around so we can all sleep at night.”  Just like with a business or consumer brand, your brand exists in the minds of your audience.  Everything you say or do has an effect, sometimes not the intended one.

Another example:  A client (Davina) gets a glowing write-up in the trade press spurring a discussion about the way she’s dealt with a challenge. The discussion is by and large about the technique at hand and exploring the idea – but of course there are a couple of posts from Niall (and the group is well aware of Niall’s combination of sanctimonious lecturing coupled with delusions of competence) that seem more interested in (a) subtly knocking down Davina and (b) implying that if Niall had been in charge, things would have been done a lot better and more effectively.  Once again, the emails do the rounds and Niall’s brand is further damaged.

On the other hand, there are examples where someone shares a really insightful personal story.  For example, the discussion on topic X is heading in one direction when Gary puts forth a simple and quite touching remark redirecting the conversation into totally new territory.  Gary’s brand equity rises exponentially with a single, sharp intervention.

Now these might be a slightly apocryphal, but that’s how communities communicate and social communication happens.

What are your comments and posts like?  I’ve got it wrong plenty of times (no shortage of self promotion, vanity, or ego here I’m afraid).  But I do now strive to think – Is this comment for them, or is it for me?