CRM Systems – Dufresne vs Norton

Shawescape It is likely safe to say half the people on the planet, with access to movies, know this picture is from Shawshank Redemption.

What can we learn from movies? Shawshank is ranked #1 in IMDb’s “Top 250” list, and is considered one of the best movies of all time. Twenty years later, Warner Bros. reports it’s one of the primary movies that drives much of their library’s value, executives revealed to the WSJ. So, why does this story repeatedly hit such a deep nerve with audiences of all ages, genders and varied backgrounds?

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Branding – Strengthening Your Ecosystem

ecosysbulbFor many, the word ‘ecosystem’ brings to mind the inter-dependent nature of an ocean, desert, plain or forest. Thanks to environmental science, we understand the critical need for the lifecycles of these ecosystems to remain in alignment

Your brand is no different. To occupy a sustainable position in the natural lifecycle of the marketplace, your brand’s inter-dependencies must remain be flexible and adaptable. This is largely determined through objective assessment of its core elements.

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Outsourcing – Friend or Foe?

Outsourcing ConceptOver the past twenty years, the business case for outsourcing has gained momentum. Competition is driving service providers to become more responsive to demand for quality, and the industry itself is carving out a more professional identity.

Regardless, the decision to outsource is a complicated one. The first step would be to assess the potential impact to the organization should the provider fail the mission. Given social media’s influence over consumer and industry perception, it is wise to prioritize how you will protect your brand.

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Apollo 13 – Four Business Lessons from the Film


Work the problem. Situations that pose a threat to the viability of your mission can crop up at any time. The response most likely to undermine your chances of success is blame and shame. Taking such an undisciplined approach can result in dangerous consequences for your business and team. In the film, NASA flight director Gene Kranz exemplified the leadership best practice of steering his team to work the problem. Wise advice.

Failure is not an option. Resolving issues in the face of vested interests is a common theme in challenging situations. In the film, the design team responsible for the lunar module objected to any deviation from its intended use. Risk of any sort posed a threat to their charter. Leaders who set the example by first removing their own blinders create a ripple effect. Reinforce this commitment by creating a safety net for exploration without repercussions. Consistent use of this best practice serves to trump the subversive tactics of vested interests.

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Leadership – The Senior Layoff Debacle


They are known as the heavy lifters, the fixers, often the first to arrive and last to leave. Their ability to turn abstract concepts into profitable offerings comes from granular thinking and long experience. This makes senior employees among the greatest assets of any organization, and yet current cost-cutting trends have placed these folks on the endangered species list.

Most leaders can easily recall the headlines when Jack Welch boldly fired thousands of GE workers. Then came his book and later, the template. It’s become the disturbing CEO blueprint for selling cost cutting as a solution not just to shareholders, but whole industries as well.

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A la Carte – Practice Makes Perfect

iStock_000011087365SmallFew words exemplify the need to overhaul business vernacular like transformation. It has become the unfortunate catch-all to describe change-based initiatives. It is possible, however, to circumvent its slow and often frustrating nature by creating a series of shorter-term, à la carte wins.

The value of this approach is found in the human brain, which continually breaks down challenges into smaller steps (consciously and unconsciously) that eventually culminate in the larger insight or epiphany.

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Media Management – The Building Blocks

The Media Management Puzzle: NYC – Original Post,  September , 2010

bundlesPeople sometimes ask what is media management and why is our version different than straight ahead producing? It is really more easy to follow than the academic label suggest.

Our version comes down to remembering A.B.C. The A in our media management stands for Advisement, the B stands for Branding and the C stands for Creativity.

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Planning – Lets Face It, Brands Take Time

timemoneyThis summary, a re-posted note, came about because a lot of heated debates and discussion had been going on in town about how long it takes to establish a brand.  Seems like about every year around Christmas the topic gets attention. 

Beside the fact that its the customers who decide, the long view and short answer is …  anything less than 80-100 years is not enough time for grandchildren to hook their grandchildren into the things they love. 

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