Archive for the ‘Managing’ Category

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Recession over?

November 29, 2010

The WSJ reports corporate profits near historic high last quarter. Did you feel it? Are you clients lining up to do business? Is your paycheck growing?

The real question we need to ask ourselves is “what next?” If the economy is on the rebound, how are we going to respond. Everyone is talking about the New Normal, a time of more conservative expectations, reduced workforce, and tight budgets — how will that impact how we strategize and execute?

You probably changed how you operated during the recession. Is that changeĀ  permanent? Can your business operate on less and do more?

Businesses face a host of challenges in this New Normal. However, it also represents a chance to gain competitive advantage and be prepared for the inevitable boom years (and the bust that always follows). Smart investments made during the slow times should pay off soon. Changes to business practices that made you more efficient can yield higher profits going forward.

Fundamentally, the smartest businesses came out of the past four years thinking and operating in a whole new fashion. It is business evolution at work – and the strongest will survive.

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Admissions of mortality

November 7, 2005

This blog is ostensibly about marketing, branding, technology, and my various (liberal) views on a variety of topics. It is a forum for me to speak my mind, but I usually put some significant filters between what goes on in my head/life and what appears here.

The reasons for that are the obvious — filters make sense for most everything — and the less than obvious. Some of it relates to my employer and ensuring that I don’t say anything that is in violation of my explicit and implicit agreements with them. Frankly, I like my employer as a company (if not always as an employer) and wish them only success. Some of it relates to other people in my life and my desire to respect their privacy and anonymity. Some of it is just plain common sense.

However, maintaining a sufficient distance between the things that drive me and consume me day to day and the things I write here can sometimes be a real struggle. Like the thin screen that separates one dimension from the next in the best (and worst) science fiction, it can be easy to cross over. Sometimes things just seep through.

That is a long-winded way of saying that I am frustrated with many things and that frustration is likely to show through here. I shall do all I can to smile and say nice things, but no promises.

Marketing is not an easy profession. I could go on here about how everything thinks they know how to do marketing. Easy for the surgeon to tell me how to do a demand generation campaign, but heaven forbid I should tell him how to close a particular incision. Outside of other marketers, marketing gets very little respect. It is not something that the average non-marketing professional sees as requiring any real training, skills, or experience. Marketing is just common sense and logic, as I have been told on a number of occasions.

Managing is not easy either. After 10+ years as a professional manager I still find myself in situations that are absolutely “no-win” more often than I would like. Managing is not logical and in many ways robs us of a certain degree of humanity and dignity. There is no satisfaction in doing it wrong, and little reward in doing it right. Like most necessary evils, however, better I do it than someone worse than me.

Marketing and managing are getting me down. Running uphill again and again in both arenas has left me feeling the years on my back and seeing a merciless fog of failure ahead. Marketing and managing are things I have always thought I was good at doing. Lately I question that assumption regularly.

This is an aimless and ultimately self-pitying blog entry.

Perhaps next time I will write something more sunny and scandalous.

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