• In Praise of Average Joes

    by  • November 13, 2012

    MVPThe times have changed, but the business tools that determine success or failure have not. Companies, large and small, cannot survive without great leadership, sound strategy and flawless execution. Those that thrive go a step further; they breathe culture. And what, in a nutshell, is culture? Culture is meaningful work, well done.

    Read more →

    Linds Redding’s Short Lesson in Perspective

    by  • November 4, 2012

    LindsIn an Advertising Age editorial, Mathew Creamer said Linds Redding’s ‘Short Lesson in Perspective’ was the best piece of advertising writing you’ll ever read. As an ex-ad man and a lifelong aficionado of great creative, whether it is art or copy, I could not resist the urge to check it out. I’m glad I did.

    Read more →

    3 Small Steps for a CEO, One Giant Leap for a Leader

    by  • September 24, 2012

    Man jumpCEOs by nature are time-starved species.  Critical to their success and the success of their organization is how they carve up the hours on the clock. Those who invest their time advancing their company’s business model or seeking a new one are adding value to their organizations. 

    Read more →

    What Not to Do When Business Sours

    by  • September 3, 2012

    Don'tPanicMost of you have heard the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” or something to that effect. Basically, the idiom advises us not to discard something valuable in our eagerness to get rid of some useless thing associated with it. If you are not careful, this can happen to businesses going through a rough patch.

    Read more →

    Inspiration from The Daffodil Principle

    by  • August 25, 2012

    DaffodilToday I received an e-mail of The Daffodil Principle. I’d read it a number of years ago but had forgotton the important message. Spend a couple of minutes reading Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards’ beautiful story. If it inspires you, pass it on and benefit another.

    Read more →

    Social Media & the Little Guy

    by  • July 23, 2012

    Since the heyday of packaged goods marketing in the 60’s, nothing has impacted the art and science of branding more than the social media tsunami. Who would have thought that brand promises broadcasted to the masses would be trumped by conversations between the manufacturer, their brand and the individual consumer. Social media is about connecting people; it is not about planting a problem in the viewer’s mind and jamming the solution down their throat via a 30 second television commercial.

    Read more →

    Is Business a Combination of Sport and War?

    by  • July 2, 2012

    619-01168294The notion of business as a combination of sport and war was attributed to Emile Herzog (1885-1967), a French author who used the pen name, Andre Maurois. I’m going to admit at the outset that I was a strong proponent of Herzog’s concept for most of my career. However, now that I look back from the CEO afterlife, I realize that this view need not be pervasive.

    Read more →

    Sell It or Smell It

    by  • June 25, 2012

    TomatoesAfter leaving the C-Suite almost twenty years ago, I pursued a career as a strategy consultant. Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure the world needed another consultant. Seems others weren’t prepared to accept that notion, and I was fortunate to counsel such blue-chippers as Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, InBev, Pfizer, and Campbell Soup. Sure, I encountered bureaucracy at times, but I managed to navigate through the red tape by working within a cultural principal they all shared – the respect for great branding. Last year, I came out of retirement for six months to help a smaller company brand itself. The company is Houweling’s Tomatoes. I know – you’ve never heard of them.

    Read more →

    The Strategy of Hustle

    by  • June 17, 2012

    I’ve read a lot of books on strategy. The best ones influenced my mode of operation as an executive of Jacobs Suchard, the maker of coffee and chocolate brands, Jacobs, Nabob, Toblerone, Suchard and Côte d’Or. I was devoted to master strategies and “big play” innovations that ideally positioned the company to dominate their chosen market(s) and enjoy sustainable competitive advantage. The philosophy begins with a mindset obsessed with the competition. It worked well for me in my 17 years at Jacobs Suchard, although I am the first to admit that we created just two blockbuster innovations during that time – both were technical in nature, and both were strategic and well-marketed. In hingsight, two big, game-changing plays was a damn good record.

    Read more →

    10 Insights from the 100 Most Creative People in Business

    by  • June 10, 2012

    Why is creativity so important in business? Because it is the idea, and not the money that drives entrepreneurship. This month’s Fast Company names the 100 Most Creative People in Business, with an emphasis on global leaders in technology, design, media, music, movies, marketing, television and sports. To be honest, I’d never heard of the vast majority on these people. That’s not important; their interesting and inspirational stories are what matters to those of us who value the power of creativity. Rather than file the list’s creative wisdom in the back of my mind, I’ve taken 10 quotes that provide insight into the creative thought process.

    Read more →