By k | August 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When a new employee is hired,
management makes a big splash
about it.
Notices are sent out.
Introductions are made.
Some managers even host a welcome lunch.

When employees leave or are let go,
it is a quieter affair.
Often there’s no official notification.
Going-away lunches are more and more rare.
Real reasons are hushed up
and plastered over with official phrases
like ’she’s exploring new opportunities.’

Everyone notices the new hires.
Very few employees
notice who leaves a company.
Even fewer care enough
to figure out WHY people leave
and what this might mean
to their own careers.

BTW…
if you see high turnover in
the finance department,
you may want to dig into
the financial status of the company
you depend upon for your paycheck.

I also get very nervous
when long-term senior executives leave.

By k | August 20, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Many of the most beloved brands
in the world
have nicknames.

Coca-Cola is called Coke.
McDonald’s is called Mickey D’s.
Nora Roberts is called La Nora.

So when do you use
the formal name
and when do you use
nicknames?


Brand Naming has a wonderful article

outlining when you should and shouldn’t.

Basically formal marketing
should use the formal name.
Nicknames are for insiders.
You don’t have to market to insiders.

You also can’t force insiders
to use a nickname.
Nicknames are earned.
They are not given.

How are they earned?
By the brand gaining enough passionate fans
that they create their own language
and give the brand a nickname.

Focus on your formal name.
Let your fans
work on your nickname.

Aside:
I’d like to send a big thank you
to Jakub.
I derive no compensation from this blog
other than thank you’s
and sometimes I question
if I add value.
Jakub emailed me exactly when
I was asking myself that question.
Thank you, Jakub, for appreciating my posts.

By k | August 19, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A friend of mine
has been researching for a story
for over six months now.
She tells me about
all the cool facts she’s learned.
She thinks she’s doing something.

She’s not.
She’s preparing to do something.

I’m the opposite.
I’ll do enough research
to know my story premise is possible.
I write the story,
with blanks for research gaps,
and then I fill in the ‘facts’ later,
doing only the research I need
to finish the story.

Researching may be necessary
(or it may not be)
but it is not doing.
Doing is doing.
You only get paid when you ship.

By k | August 18, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A friend of mine
has ever minute filled with noise.
She always has
either the tv on
or the radio
or…
She is constantly being entertained.

She is also
the least creative person I know.

When I’m plotting
(a story OR to take over the world),
I need quiet.
The tv isn’t on.
I often don’t have any noise.
My brain fills that empty space
with thoughts,
sometimes crazy thoughts.

For many people
(and there are always exceptions),
if you fill every space,
there’s no room to be creative.

If you want to raise problem solvers,
if you want to encourage creativity,
leave some quiet time,
some open spaces.

By k | August 17, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I belong to a group of five authors.
Almost every day,
we email each other
and talk about what we did
writing-wise that day.

We have measurements
words written,
manuscripts submitted,
that are short forms for progress.
Not surprisingly,
our group has achieved
great things this year.

One of my entrepreneur friends
does the same with three other entrepreneurs.
They email each day
and mention what they did marketing-wise,
what sales they made,
what products they produced.

My friend is beginning to have success.
She tells me,
that if not for these other women,
she would have quit long ago.

Consider finding others
at the same stage you are
and create a support system.
It can be as simple
as having someone you need to be accountable to.

By k | August 16, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I don’t watch tv shows
unless a legal copy is available online.
I don’t care if there are commercials.
I simply want to be able
to watch the show whenever I want.

Many of my friends feel the same
except they aren’t as fussy
about the legal part.

So they go to the pirates
if the legal content isn’t available.
These shows lose out
on advertising revenue
and access to these viewers.

There’s been some buzz
about Taylor Swift’s new song Mine.
The official video isn’t available yet
on YouTube
(my listening station of choice).
I don’t care about the video.
I just want to listen to the song.
And the song is available on YouTube
from ‘fans.’

It would take very little
for Taylor Swift’s people
to put the entire album on YouTube
(with the album cover)
and earn advertising revenue off it.
Instead, the ‘fans’ get the advertising revenue.

If you don’t offer your content
in a way viewers or listeners or readers want it,
they WILL go to the pirates.
Doesn’t it make sense
to capture these potential customers yourself?

By k | August 15, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

In a workshop I attended yesterday,
we all worked on a problem
and then presented it.

The presentations weren’t to practice presenting
or to get feedback on our solutions
or so other groups could use our solutions.

The presentation was
to ensure we did the assignment.

WTH?
A professional workshop is not grade school.
The only one hurt
by not doing an assignment is the attendee.

Don’t waste time
(your time and, in this case, the entire class’s)
by checking something that doesn’t need to be checked.

And if you want to get the most
out of a workshop,
do your homework.

By k | August 14, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

On one of the romance online communities
I belong to,
we joke about cabana boys.
It is a long running joke
with established members having favorite cabana boys
based on different romance novel characters.

It is easy to slip into short forms
and skip the explanations.
That’s fine for regular participants
but it does tend to exclude newbies.

So the community has a couple ‘hosts’
who slip in explanations.
Instead of saying cb,
they’ll write cabana boy (cb).
When a character is named,
they’ll mention what novel the character is from.

It allows the inside jokes to continue
but not be exclusionary.

Part of what makes up
a tight community
is inside jokes.
You may wish to have ‘hosts’
to help gently explain the inside jokes
to newbies
so they can be part of the community too.

By k | August 13, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on Foundation Elements For Modern Businesses.
He lists 15 new elements
for new businesses.

I love the list.
I also find it disturbing,
especially # 7
“Rely on unique individuals,
not an easily copyable system.”

You see…
I have always thought
a true business,
one I can build to large scale
and have operate without me
(i.e. a business I can sell),
can’t rely on individuals.

If I build a business only I can run,
well, only I can run it.
I’m a prisoner of that business.

I’ve seen people try to sell these businesses.
It sure isn’t pretty.

There are happy mediums.
The CEO who transitions into a spokesperson.
The writer who puts his ‘touch’
on books written by ghost writers.

It is, however, the greatest challenge
on Seth’s list
for new business builders.

By k | August 12, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Yesterday a new author
posted an email to a publisher’s loop
asking how she should best grow her career.

The best answer…
publish often with many different publishers
wasn’t offered.

Why?

Because that advice goes against
what the publisher wishes.
The publisher wishes to grow her publishing house,
not necessarily grow an author’s career.

Almost every corporate human resources department
offers career counseling.

When I was a freshly minted grad,
I thought that meant I’d get…
well… career counseling.

Except that the best career counseling
one can give an entry level employee
is to job jump at least
until she earning a livable wage.
You’ll never hear that
from a corporate human resources employee.

(Another reason not to get advice
from your company’s human resources department
is because the employees in HR
traditionally are the biggest gossips
in every company.
That’s a place to spread rumors,
not keep secrets.)