“After The Thrill Is Gone…”

Is Passion Still Essential In Business? My friend, who is responsible for new business development at a major tech company, was complaining about the rate of technological evolution the other day. “These days, we barely get a long weekend of product exclusivity,” he grumbled. Today’s rapid technological turnover requires all hands on deck to fight the commoditization trend!  It’s not enough to have owners or senior management being the only ones proposing new ideas or …

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GAMMA: Gune’, Gunaikos (“Woman”)

When we arrived at the “gamma” letter, the word was quite obvious. We want to reflect on “woman” as a point of focus in considering business and career issues. Let’s make a bold call: this will be the century of women. There are some excellent reasons behind this: Education: ■Woman now outnumber (demographically) all men in every strata of education and educational attainment ■Law schools and Medical schools now produce 50%+ graduates from the ranks …

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Are You A Vendor or A Partner For Your Core Customers?

You are a vendor when: • You respond to inquiries with quotations that specify product or service, price, terms and schedule, without first seeking to understand how you can produce strategic value for your customer; • Your dialogue with your customer focuses on their current problem, and how you are cheaper, better or faster than your competitors; • You communicate nothing that describes your distinctiveness nor proposes a means for your customer to evaluate your unique offering; • Your …

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A Reflection on Beta

Bucephalus–Unstoppable! It’s horse season. At the movies we have “War Horse,” at the track we have the thrilling finish to the Belmont, in this  season we have the disappointment of injury and no subsequent Triple Crown run. Bucephalus is the ancient horse of glory, strength, and honor. He is Alexander’s horse, riding into every battle with him,  and dying at 30 in the battle of Hydaspes.  As with Secretariat, Seabiscuit, and Triple Crown winners, Bucephalus …

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Who Are Your Core Customers?

The most productive means of achieving sustained growth performance is to help your core customers build their business. Who are your core customers?  If you don’t know, isn’t time to find out? The most useful description of “core customers” I’ve seen is Robert Bloom’s (The Inside Advantage) who defines them as customers who purchase your product or service in quantities that optimize your profitability. Start by assessing what has worked to build your business…from the perspective of your …

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A Reflection on Alpha Themes

We live in interesting times and our lives & careers are often dominated by anxiety, ambiguity, and ambivalence.  Anxiety: This is life’s great stopper overflowing into business; simply look at the market fluctuations, the international debt crises, the continual worry over hiring and expanding, the risks, the need for an economic safe harbor. We have pills for it, we work it out at the gym, and we look over our shoulders; who or what is …

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Collaborate or Be Commoditized!

Welcome! Each week, I post new blog content featuring exercises that stimulate reflection about your growth performance and challenge you to create action in the coming week. During the past few years, you’ve cut costs and made your operations leaner.  You’ve pocketed the one-time marginal profit increase.  What’s next?  The challenge of achieving sustained profitability through top-line growth, and this must be earned! In our world of increasing commoditization, strengthening your differentiation is vital.  Materials …

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Getting Paid

Sales folks are most often compensated for the orders they book. This makes sense – without orders, there is no business. But getting the order is only part of what makes your business successful. Getting paid for the order is what defines a profitable contract. Positive cash flow is compulsory for every business. Proficient salespeople realize that they share responsibility for ensuring that their company gets paid for every order they book. Make your payment …

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