This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Big Picture Management -- From Phil G at Slacker Manager comes New Manager Guide: Big Picture Focus. Long-time readers here know I think of myself as a "big picture" person, concerned about whole system improvement, and as a "generalist", so I appreciate Phil's suggestion for new managers that...
The job of management is to focus on the company's business within the marketplace - that's the big picture. Now your thinking has to include the marketplace, the competition, the trends taking place in your industry, the kinds of new skills needed to increase productivity, new technology breakthroughs and new business or marketing strategies to compete successfully.
How Big is Too Big? -- Recent news is riddled with the phrase "too big to fail." Seth Godin (yes, again) ask some good questions on the subject of size and scale...
...It's tempting to get bigger. But is bigger better? In many cases, it's worse, particularly when you can leverage reliable systems that are cheaper and faster and more stable in the outside world. If you can make your product better by assembling it yourself, you should. But if that action makes it worse, why do it?...
...Do you deliver the entire solution or just a piece of it?...
...What's the unit [of manufacturing or delivery] that works right now?...
...So many businesses are stuck on tradition. What happens to your agency or brokerage or factory or freelance practice when you make the unit of measure bigger? smaller? Why are you assuming that your scale is correct?
iPhone Users: Heads Up! : Creativity Tool In Your Pocket -- Roger von Oech, who I've mentionedbefore here, has brought his Creative Whack Pack to the iPhone as an app (app store link). This used to be in the form of a set of cards, and works even better as an app, with more room for text related to each "whack". (That said, the card version does lend itself to group whacks. Just deal them out to the group and let them think about the lesson in the context of the problem at hand.
How Science Works -- Understanding Science is a new educational resource that provides a new description for the scientific method. The old linear approach of identify the problem, gather information, form a hypothesis, test it, and reach conclusions is replaced by process that emphasizes its non-linearity and dynamic, iterative nature.
"China is hosting the next World Expo (what used to be called a World’s Fair) in Shanghai. It starts in May of 2010 and runs for six months. Seventy million people are likely to visit, the vast majority of them up and coming middle class people and (current and) future leaders from China, with many others from around the world. Each of the major countries of the world will be present with an impressive physical presence in the form of a significant pavilion and with an array of cultural and commercial programs."
That last statement is inaccurate.
There's a major country that is not planning on a pavilion.
The failed bankers on Wall Street have been whining that if they have to cut bonuses and salaries dramatically, they'll be unable to recruit great talent, and they need great talent to fix the situation.
And for years, boards have been claiming that they need to pay CEOs $50,000,000 salaries in order to recruit the very best for their companies.
Jamie Dimon at Chase said, "It's possible someone's going to walk in my office and say, Jamie, I have a family. I can't afford to live that way."
This, of course, is nonsense....
...There's no real effort made to market the jobs, just to race to the top (or the bottom, depending on your point of view) with the easiest marketing signal of all. Price. Yes, it's exactly the same as a retailer trying to improve business by being the cheapest....
...If you are a relentless free market believer, more power to you. If your company is private, pay yourself a trillion dollars a year, fine with me. In fact, we need more private companies that innovate and pay their staff a ton. But if you're owned by shareholders or bailed out by taxpayers, wasting trillions of dollars because you don't have the guts to market your jobs properly is silly.
Lazy marketing is as ineffective and wasteful on the recruiting side as it is on the revenue side.
"With messages such as 'The pizza was soooo greasy. I am assuming this was in part due to the pig fat' (natalie t.) and 'This place sucks' (Hoan T.), Pizzeria Delfina aims to turn the idea of Yelp as a source for intelligent food criticism on its head."
Not knowing the place personally, I just gotta wonder if it's a great application of irony, or just an embrace of "truth in advertising."
On a personal note, social review sites may not always be all they're cracked up to be. I've recently been disappointed twice by restaurants about which others on Chowhound were enthusiastic. I think maybe the appropriate approach to social review sites might be "De gustibus non est disputandum" and "caveat emptor".