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, …

The Future Will Be Led By Strategists

January 30, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith I always remind my readers and audiences that however talented they are, their CEOs don’t want them to be Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech leaders – CEOs want them to be business leaders with Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech expertise. It’s more than semantics. It’s a serious reminder that whatever your area of …

How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

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 …

The ROI of Improving Employee Engagement

October 18, 2016 by Michelle Smith Many leaders have spent countless hours hoping for business to return to pre-recession vitality levels. They’ve waited for something to rescue them from the seemingly endless challenges they’re facing on a daily basis, and wondered where the next big breakthrough is that will finally snap the economy out of the doldrums and set their …

Humana Taps Socially Savvy Employees as Brand Advocates

September 13, 2016 by Carla Johnson Humana’s focus on health and wellness isn’t just something for its subscribers. It’s proving a tremendously beneficial approach for inspiring and empowering employees to serve as brand advocates for the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurance provider. Companies face a tug of war between wanting to empower employees to act as brand advocates and wanting to control …

What’s Brand Storytelling and Why Do You Need It?

August 11, 2016 by Carla Johnson Frustration. I’m hearing more of it and not just from marketers – but from executives as well. Conversations that used to be within the walls of marketing are overflowing into the C-suite. And a big part of that conversation is about relevance. How do we become more relevant not only to customers, but to …

Brand Your Company: How to Tell Your Organization’s Story

June 30, 2016 Once upon a time, storytelling was something business professionals did when they got home from work if they had children to lull to sleep. Today, however, it is being touted as a core skill that those at all corporate levels should master. And with good reason. Storytelling has earned such attention because, quite simply, it works. Stories …

Why Marketers Should Worry about Corporate Culture

June 9, 2016 by Michelle Smith The challenges facing today’s Marketing executives are daunting. Not only are we charged with doing even more with even less, but doing it faster and more effectively than ever before. Further, we’re faced with unprecedented options for customers consuming advertising, social media and marketing messages, only to find our messages are lost among the …

Creating a Unified Brand Experience

April 5, 2016 Every day, the digital world shines a spotlight on brand inconsistencies. Employees and potential candidates might get one impression, customers and partners may have another experience, while investors and influencers might see an altogether different picture. The result is brand confusion – or worse – brand conflict. Customers expect much more from brands now – they increasingly …

Creating Purpose-Driven Marketing Departments

December 9, 2014 by Carla Johnson In the late 1990s, Philip Kotler wrote a book called Kotler on Marketing. In it, he said that “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate and deliver customer value.” For the last decade, people have talked about changing buyer behavior. …

Teach Employees to Tell Your Brand Story

September 24, 2013 “Let me tell you a story…” is one of the most powerful phrases you hear. Yet while people relish this from Hollywood movies and best-selling authors, they often shun it in the board room. They shouldn’t. Some companies are slowly starting to understand the power of storytelling. Cisco uses it to strengthen its brand through The Network …