Ignoring time management screws others- but mostly your reputation

I am writing this while I am waiting for a meeting to start where the organizer isn’t present. Let’s see how far I get. Communication is at the center of business. Emails, SMS, snaps, IM’s on any one of 10 different platforms, social media – they all tell other people things we are thinking. The plans we are making. Actions that are required. We send emails to gain permission, get intelligence from colleagues we respect or depend on, even deliver artifacts. We often use email to alleviate a meeting. Why waste 15 minutes of time and days waiting for the […]

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Empathy is the new black

And by black I mean the color of the souls of everyone who are glued to their device (myself included).  In order to continue the evolution in our relationship with technology, organizations will need to deeply and holistically embrace empathy as the North Star for their business models, not just their marketing. It’s incredible to observe as society moves in two seemingly opposite directions, simultaneously: first is being alone with ones devices and gadgets. The second, is using those gadgets to ‘be together’ with other people – ironically, the people that one is avoiding by being on one’s device. As a […]

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The Employee Experience: the secret sauce to change, evolution & success in CX

Companies are ignoring a challenge that is much earlier in the value chain than identifying their customer experience.  The desire of senior leaders to mandate a cultural shift from product or service to experience has left a void which is the foundation of its success: Employee Experience. Brands are relentlessly interested in experience.  Digital, customer, virtual, physical to name a few.  Technology is now the blood line whether the appropriate training or configuration is happening or not.  Naturally then, digital tools and applications become the interface for employee and customer alike.  Marketing technology is promising a future that is just […]

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Customer Experience (CX) is just Customer Service (duh)

I would have posted this on my other blog, SHAPING THE GAME, however it ended up becoming a bit colorful and not as prescriptive as STG editorial guidelines would like me to be. (So thanks ‘structure’ and ‘rules’ for ruining my good time). I get pretty excited about Customer Experience. I believe in it. The brands I am a customer of, they believe in it. I enjoy solving business problems through the lens of CX. I like teaching people about CX (though it is pretty straight forward). I like helping people understand how to define it, plan it, execute it, realize it and…. […]

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Leadership is earned trust, and it can be lost

I suppose I have been in leader in my organization for several years now.  It feels odd to write that down and read it. My first reaction to statements like that from others is usually rolling eyes and disengagement.  From time to time I struggle with the balance between confidence and humility in my professional life.  Confidence can come across as arrogance or closed mindedness, while humility can be interpreted as weakness.  The awareness of both and, for lack of a better analogy, the RPM’s of each, is a tight rope. In my current role as Senior Vice President in my […]

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Naysayers need not apply

Being negative is easy. I suffer from being negative as much if not more than the next person (see what I did there?) In my own reviews, my manager can give me 100 things I did right, and I walk away focusing on the few things I can do better.  When my team shares with me their work, their thinking, it takes effort to both praise and constructively criticize. These are my own daily struggles, I suspect others struggle with similar items.

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Reasons Agency / Client Relationships Suffer

The relationship between an agency and their client is much like that of two people dating with the intent of being married. Corny perhaps. Not my most thought provoking analogy for sure, but nevertheless, true. There is not a sales or account person (agency side) who can’t find similar the emotions of dealing with a client to that of dealing with a significant other. As rationale and pragmatic as business should be, it never is. Ego, mood, pressures and personal life all account for how professionals deal with one another. And it couldn’t be more true when it comes to […]

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What Clients Mean When They Say ‘Transparency’

Transparency is a term that can be overused and under defined. Clients use it as a word to express an unobstructed view into how the agency is working. Think of it as the agency working in a glass box and the client sitting outside it, watching. Of course its never that simple is it? The client ultimately wants to peel back the top layer of glass, drop in puppet string and change some of the performance. Agencies have a different expectation of this term. Instead of a glass box they see it as an increase in communication towards explanation. In […]

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Jerry McGuire Rant

For the past decade companies in general, and consumer brands particularly, have been aware of a shift in how the customer engages its marketing. Initially when analog gave way to digital channels, technically oriented departments owned systems to manage code, data, rules and processes. Experiencing bottlenecks, many businesses moved the responsibility to CMO’s; who, out of necessity, invented conduits between their own resources and technical staff who created the tools. What resulted was a realization that no single department capable of owning the customer experience; this remains largely the case today. What many companies are facing is various divisions working […]

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The Importance of Creating a Client/Agency Glossary of Terms

One of the aspects of this industry moving so quickly is misunderstanding, or worse yet, perceived understanding (read: incorrect understanding) of terms and concepts within in. I have worked with clients who realize their own limitations and others who had such a similar lexicon of terms that they assumed they knew what we were conveying and that we understood their meaning – of the same words!!!! It seems remedial to articulate meaning to one another, almost a step back. It isn’t.

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