Strengthening Cultural Capital

Businesses are living entities, communities with cultures built and nurtured by all those whose energy and commitment have produced your company’s progress. Culture binds your employees to one another, and to the company. It enables the execution of strategy in pursuit of shared goals, and the creation of value for customers, the business and each other. Culture is how things get done. Increasingly, culture is recognized as a primary source of competitive advantage and business …

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Assessing Value Creation Posture

Creating value is the work of leaders. After multiple years of adapting to relentless economic disruption, considering questions like these can help assess the qualitative aspect of your efforts, your value creation posture? • What do we own in the marketplace? What is our most sustainable competitive advantage and how do we preserve it? • How can we more quickly and accurately interpret and adapt to changing customer or market needs? Do customers value what …

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Nurturing Trust

We know that trust is the basis for all enduring relationships. Trust is personal and intimate. It’s fragile and requires nurturing. For your customers, the depth of that trust is dependent on more than the reliability of your offerings, or even the fulfillment of your promises. It fundamentally depends on how well your people create a human connection with your customer’s people, providing a personal touch that becomes a vital differentiator when your customer has …

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Taking Ownership

For customers, it’s the first person they contact who creates that critical first impression of your business. If that person listens more than talks, probes to learn more about what the customer needs,and takes ownership for resolving that need, then it is likely that the customer will welcome the opportunity to build a trust relationship with your company. Recognizing that trust can only take root once your promise to the customer is realized, taking ownership …

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5 Strategy Execution Attributes

Executing a new strategy involves acting in a new or different way; it’s a change process. Because the strategy is a change, there will likely be some resistance to it. Those who will implement the strategy, and those impacted by it, want to understand its objective and why this is the best way to achieve it. They will assess how well the strategy aligns with company culture, and how they will personally be affected by …

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Problems Shape Leaders

Leaders grow stronger, becoming more effective, as they collaborate with their teams to overcome obstacles and solve problems that improve results. As Warren Bennis once stated: “Leaders learn bestby leading in the face of obstacles. As weather shapes mountains, problems shape leaders.”Leaders develop their teams to meet the required challenges, and deepen their own competency, by: Earning the trust of their teams. They walk the talk, keep promises and lead from the front, engaging with …

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Pursuing Innovation

Pursuing innovation doesn’t compel us to understand the future, except to recognize that future business sustainability relies on our relentless awareness of how customer needs and goals are evolvingover time. Successful innovations create value for customers, strengthening those relationships, while improving differentiation, increasing revenue, reinforcing company culture, and boosting employee pride and satisfaction.Only the largest of organizations can afford to invest specific resources in innovation; but innovation is a must-have” for all businesses to drive progress and secure sustainability, so: …

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Sustaining Dialogue

There’s never enough time. That’s why it’s difficult to slow down and recognize meaningful moments that require more attentiveness. Perhaps it’s a mentoring moment when your time is focused on developing the skills of a direct report. Or maybe it’s during a team meeting that’s considering a change initiative and you need theircommitment to the change.Whenever these moments occur, they are times for asking questions and listening, not assuming and telling. They are times when …

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That First Prospect Meeting

When first meeting a prospective customer, the objective is to establish rapport, a personal connection, something you have in common, that can be the kindling for igniting a new relationship. The connection might emerge from the circumstances that caused you to meet, or from a shared experience, or from something you notice about the person. It’s what launches a conversation thatreveals your common experiences and values to one another, the human touch that enables trust …

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Astride the Fulcrum

Improving business results can often feel like you’re sitting astride the fulcrum of a teeter-totter. One side of the seesaw represents the process and precedent that delivers efficiency, quality and risk aversion. The other side embodies a challenge to the status quo, a drive to innovate and improve which is mandatory for progress, customer retention and value creation. A leader has one foot on each side, striving for equilibrium. Sometimes leaders must put more weight …

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