Interview with an Innovator: Tim Washer on Inspiration, Humor and Embracing Vulnerability

November 20, 2019 Mark Twain said that, “Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” He’s not wrong. Studies show that a sense of humor can make you mentally and physically healthier, make you more …

Interview with an Innovator: Michael Brenner on why Mean People Suck

October 24, 2019 Many of the best innovators I know don’t carry an “innovation” title on their business card. They are people who understand that new ideas can happen anytime and anywhere. But that’s not how most of the world looks at innovation. “Innovators” are the design thinkers, the data scientists and the engineers. They’re the ones who have a …

Why CEOs Are FINALLY Focusing on Talent & Culture

April 19, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith The shift has been palpable. I noticed it first during the Great Recession. After years (decades!) trying to convince senior executives their employees were invaluable assets – and often the most direct route to successfully achieving organizational goals – the lightbulbs began to go off over the heads of many leaders. Those leaders …

15 Ways to Build a Thriving Corporate Culture

March 1, 2018 by Carla Johnson Whether you’re a newbie startup up or an established Fortune 100 company, culture affects every aspect of your customer experience. It’s the defining element that tells people whether you believe your own sales job. In 1992 Harvard Business School professors John Kotter and James Heskett wrote the book Corporate Culture and Performance. In it, …

Does Innovation Make a Company Innovative?

January 18, 2018 by Carla Johnson I have a client that’s proud of his new innovation center. It’s well thought out. He’s hired the best-of-the-best across the board. Design thinking is core to their innovation discipline. They bring customers in for focus groups and collaborate on product development. He’s able to deliver products that solve problems in the marketplace. But …

CEOs Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success

April 25, 2017 by Michelle Smith Culture is front and center for leaders who want to increase performance and strategic alignment in 2017. “Culture is the X-factor,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice. “It’s the invisible glue that holds an organization together and ultimately makes the difference between whether an organization is …

What Marketers Need to Become C-Level Leaders

October 13,2016 by Carla Johnson You become like the people you surround yourself with. We’ve heard that since we were knee high from our parents. It’s the reason they wouldn’t let us hang out with the coolest of the cool kids. “If SHE jumped off a cliff, would you do the same?” I realize her point was that I shouldn’t …

How Marketing & HR Can Build a Much Better Brand Together

August 25, 2016 by Michelle Smith Enduring brands are built by people – not ads, clicks or views. Marketing has traditionally taken the lead in communicating the corporate brand promise, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, its people from all around the organization who have to do the meticulous work of successfully bringing the brand promise to …

Creating Highly Effective Internal Marketing Programs

July 14, 2016 by Michelle Smith Whether called internal marketing (IM), employee engagement or internal communications, the concept is the same – to align, motivate and empower employees to consistently deliver positive customer experiences that are aligned with the firm’s brand and organizational goals. The definition advances the notion that the discipline is more than communication tactics or a way …