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Archive for April, 2010

As different as chalk and cheese!

Posted by John on April 22, 2010

(Thanks to Malcolm, British friend from the Y)

Wow!  This phrase caught me the other day and it really speaks to what we are all trying to do.    I also want to thank my friends from the global community for using their colloquialisms to help me expand my thinking.

Differentiate!  Show people how different you really are.

There are lots of product strategies.  Differentiation is just one but it is powerful.   Adding features sets you apart and, if the right ones are picked, people willingly pay extra for your offering.  You have an advantage which should provide added customers and added profits.

However, you must make a conscious decision to go down this road.  It also requires that you research the competition and be brutally honest.   The differentiation is only valuable if the customer says it is – and that is with what they are willing to pay.  Too often, companies fool themselves because they have well recognized name but then complain that there is cost competition.  At that point, you are competing on price, not value.

This strategy is critical for me right now as I search for a new opportunity.   There are companies out there that need leadership in product management, marketing strategy and people/team development.  These are my core skills and I know I can make a difference.  However, I must be able to show people how I am different and will impact both their top and bottom lines.

Have a great day and feel free to contact me with your ideas on marketing, job hunting, and business strategies.

John

P.S.  While at the library picking out my books to learn from this week, I picked up The Max Strategy by Dale Dauten.   It has been out there for a long time.  However, this was a great quick read and offers some great ideas for all of us.  Basically, it offers a process for getting us to experiment with making things better or solving problems everyday.  Key premise:  Experiment everyday and be a different person tomorrow from who you are today.

Parting comment from Max Elmore:

“I wish for you that you find joy in your experiments.  Be wealthy in ideas.  Try everything.  Be different from the person you are today.  Be one of the happy warriors, eager for the morning.”

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Stewardship – Make it your culture

Posted by John on April 12, 2010

Whatever happened to great stewardship?  We hear so much today about mining dangers, oil drilling dangers, over harvested forests, poorly treated employees, those out of work employees, time wasted, bloated government budgets etc.  These are critical resources to making us great.    These are resources which will help you thrive – if you can instill a culture of great stewardship.

Stewardship requires that we all take great responsibility for the assets we control.  This can apply anywhere.  It is not the dominion of the corporate executives or the “people in control.”  It is our greatest legacy when we treat all of our resources and assets with respect, protecting them from misuse and overuse.

Also, when individuals feel in control of their assets(time, money, team, etc.), they tend to make great decisions.  However it does require a few things:

Shared Values:  have you assembled a team that shares common values?  Values are not just for the leaders.  They must permeate the culture.

Shared Vision:  Does your team, company, group understand what future picture is being painted?

Shared Mission:  Moving toward the future picture often requires specific missions and projects.  These must be shared and all must be involved in driving them forward.

What does this create?  A sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves and with that comes the feeling of responsibility.   Out of responsibility comes stewardship.

Remember, it is easy to waste some time or a little money or a bit material.   It is hard to have the daily discipline to be a good steward of all that is in your control.    However, if you are a good steward of the small things, you will gain the opportunity to steward larger things.

So, can you be a good steward today?

Cheers!

John

P.S. – We recently spent some beautiful days in Washington DC.  It was great to see the emergence of Spring there and then come back to Rochester, NY and have it arrive about a week later.  Dust off the bike and get out there.  Invest in your health and well being.

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