Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization,
the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or
suffer in a given work environment. While this is true for a mid-level
manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a
culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact
your work satisfaction.
I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held
company that was acquired by a much large public company. In a matter of a
few weeks our approachable, personable CEO was replaced by a top down,
autocratic manager who announced at our first management meeting, "there's a
new sheriff in town, and if you don't like my way of doing things, feel free
to leave before I make the decision for you."
Later on, with a few battle scars and bumps along the ... (more)
When joining a new company, it’s critical to quickly assess the team
you’ve inherited to determine what level of organization restructuring and
rebuilding will be required to ensure functional success. Before rushing to
judgment and a rapid makeover, take time to understand – on a personal
level - the structure, composition, talent, strengths and weakness of the
team. Besides the obvious gaps in competencies, under-performers and open
positions, often there are more subtle clues to the most pressing
organizational shortcomings as well as staff member potential.
Misplaced. In... (more)
Recently I led CMO Roundtable discussions with several CMOs in the
Metropolitan D.C. area and Philadelphia to explore their roles in
architecting the customer experience. In the Web 2.0 world, customer
experience and loyalty have become the key differentiators between leaders
and laggards. While the importance of delivering great experiences for
customers is generally understood by most companies, executing well (and
consistently) across all customer touch points is a challenge for most.
This topic spurred a lively dialogue about the expanding role and
responsibilities of marke... (more)
It's anyone's guess when the recession bottoms out and we get back to
growth. Rather than remain in a "state" of denial - like California did for
too long - or adopt a hunker down mentality - "let's just ride this one out"
- as many companies have, there's a middle path of taking proactive measures
steps now, so that when growth reappears, your company is better positioned
to gain an unfair share of the increased customer demand that will be there
to harvest. Here are a few considerations to come out will your guns
Get back to basics. One of my colleagues recently s... (more)
If you haven't revisited your brand architecture in more than a year, it's
likely what you're building is a façade, rather than reinforcing a
foundation. Because technology and innovation are inextricably linked, tech
companies are continuously introducing new products and services, and in most
cases, adding brands and sub-brands into their product portfolios. Over
time, even a sound architecture can begin to crumble under the strain of too
many overlapping brand layers.
It's not as if tech marketers are trying to create brand disorder and chaos,
it's just that inattention to... (more)