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Archive for November, 2009

Information – Can you deliver?

Posted by John on November 30, 2009

Information is critical to decision making. Are you making it easy for your customer(boss, coworkers, peers, team, friends) to decide?

This came to me while talking to a radiology tech, Tyrone, at Somerset Medical Center. While he could have just done his job, he suggested how we could get more information to help us make decisions for my mom’s treatment. He told us exactly what to do.

Do you offer this when you communicate to your customers? Do you just offer PDFs or is real information searchable on your web site? Can your customers create their own catalog with their key information or do they have to take what you offer? Too much information can be as disabling as too little.

So let’s all think about the information we offer. It needs to be pertinent to the receiver, in their language, at their level of understanding, and easily obtained. What will you do today to better deliver information that drives great decision making?

P.S. – The holiday season is upon us. Please take time to look at those around you and see where you might help. Help is not always about money – can you listen, can you drive, can you cook a meal? As part of working with my parents on the challenge of aging and cancer, I see many places where a simple act of unrequested kindness can go a long way. Please make that your gift to those around you – see the need and do the simple thing.

P.P.S. – This blog was generated by reading a blog from Seth Godin. If you do not know his work, you should. While I think it is imperative that marketing professionals read his work, I think we all should pay attention to what he has to say. Click on his name and you can check out his latest.

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What is your perspective?

Posted by John on November 22, 2009

Do you offer solutions? Or are you just in the discussion? With life providing lots of input, how will you attack the future? What is your plan and how will you execute?

The recent week has been one of many ideas and emotions. With all of the ideas available to me, I have entered a “market evaluation” phase based on opportunities that address my passions. What business out there needs someone who loves to build a team, identify the best market opportunities, and drive profitable growth? People have listened to me, talked to me, pointed me, and questioned me. All of this has helped define my perspective.

Now, to refine the battle plan to achieve a successful outcome that fits my passions.

However, after all of this, my real perspective is the importance of family and friends. Mine are the greatest(I am sure yours are to you too.) My sister has been at my mom’s side going through the tests and reports. My kids have been on the phone to their Nanni to support. My wife, who has known Mom longer than I have known Gayle, is helping her understand the possible futures and extending her love. The prayers from North Branch Reformed Church as well as Edgewood Free Methodist Church are lifting her needs up. All of my friends from middle school, high school, college and co-workers through various social media are offering thoughts and prayers.

Facing stage 4 lung/liver cancer, we are all a bit numb right now. This was a tough result for someone going in for pre-op tests for knee surgery. Good news is that mom is symptom free, a very strong woman, and loves life. Best advice the doctor gave her was to get the H1N1 shot, get back in the game, and enjoy her life.

Peace, blessings and thanks to all.
Have a great Thanksgiving and
KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE!

P.S. All of you who have contacted me directly or through Facebook or LinkedIn, I want to thank you. I am having a bit of trouble keeping up with the social networking part. The opportunity search, the support of my mom, and the family plan for Thanksgiving are tops right now. Please continue to ping me. I will eventually catch up.

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Are you investing in fabulous or just good enough?

Posted by John on November 17, 2009

So often we invest in trying to be current. Why? When you look at the best, they are picking where the target will be in the future. As Wayne Gretzky said “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” What a great endorsement for learning how to envision the market trends!! Gretzky learned that from hours and hours of practice and game play. He “sees” the future position of the puck and his competitors letting him outmaneuvere them and score – Now that’s FABULOUS. But we can all do that.

While on the phone with a friend, he pined for the days when we had customers who wanted “the best” so they could build the best supercomputer. Now, it seems that everyone is asking for just “good enough.” While driving in the remnants of Ida on the east coast, it occurred to me that maybe it just seems that way. Maybe you are just hearing what they say and not knowing where they are really going. Knowing where your customer is going will allow you to deliver products that let them get there faster. Go to where they want to be. Sure, they will eventually replace your product but by then you should be skating to the next place where there is no competition!!

Listening to Governor Markel of Delaware, it is apparent that he is hoping that the state can invest in what can make the state fabulous. Looking at the efforts in Biotech, innovation, and with the support of companies like W.L. Gore & Associates, they may be able to get there. They seem to be trying to skate to where the future opportunity will be. Special thanks go here to Bob Dayton for his invitation to experience the local efforts.

All in all, a great week. Now, off to follow up with all of the great people I met.

PS: This is late due to family challenges. Please keep my mom in your thoughts. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and we are awaiting info on how early it was caught. Puts life in real perspective.

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For those who hear but do not listen….

Posted by John on November 8, 2009

A week of listening – listening to others, listening for ideas, listening to my own internal voice. I think this transition has has caused me to listen better. In Yiddish, the two words are very similar(heren(hear) and deheren(listen)) but refer to a physical (catching sound) versus an intellectual(grasping the meaning) act.(Rabbi Bernoz) Listening influences of who we are and what we think. So my week focused on “grasping meaning.”

I listen to people who are becoming advisors, to the leader of High Tech Rochester, to a sermon, to my family, to my friends, and yes, to that small internal voice inside as I look to the future. Each of these play an important role as I strive to “grasp the meaning” for me.

At HTR, I was reminded of the excitement at launching and growing a successful and profitable business. We drove successful ideas on collaboration until the product was commercially viable, money was dedicated to seed the venture, lead users found to do commercial concept testing, market communication planed, and finally production capacity built. The outcome? Innovative products which delivered profits and economic value added to the corporation. This is where I will offer real value.

This week I also listened to my mom. No, she was not telling me what to do or her favorite story of the day – then I hear, not always listen. I was listening to a nervous, a bit scared, elderly women facing a biopsy procedure she did not understand. The hours of waiting with no information – we wanted to listen but no one was speaking. I did see doctors and nurses listen to my mother and understand her feelings.

Finally, this week, I am doing a bit of a 360 degree look at myself. I am trying to determine what is unique about me. Meeting with two life/career coaches this week, I learned some new ways to begin to drive toward my ideal career. Special thanks this week to all who listened to me and gave input, specifically Luis Martinez( http://www.gettingtherecoach.com , “Getting There – It’s not about the resume”), Tom Grady(www.theXLR8team.com ) and Gayle.

So, this week I will continue to listen carefully for that opportunity to help build a business into a profitable, successful place where making money and having fun is the mode of operation.

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