Monday, December 14, 2009

The God vs CEO analogy of Jim Collins

Analogy is an important tool when it comes to problem-solving issues, it is a fact. However, can some of our greatest thinkers fail to derive accurate conclusions from their own analogies?

I am reading Jim Collins' Good to Great book, an interesting research on what differentiates good companies from great ones. One of the key findings reverted the researchers to the leader. In Jim Collins' own words, he kept insisting " ignore the executives" until the data won over.

He reasoned: ' "Leadership is the answer to everything" perspective is the modern equivalent of "God is the answer to everything" '. To him, this perspective held back scientists from making great findings in the dark ages, he did not want to fall into the same trap. Thus, he kept holding back, until the facts were overwhelming.

That said, the research's most important finding was a certain common point in the leaders of the great companies (read more about this topic here: level 5 leaders). Consequently his initial stance against "Leadership is the answer to everything" was abandoned.

and since he wrote: "Leadership is the answer to everything" perspective is the modern equivalent of "God is the answer to everything" - I wonder whether this made of him a believer in the latter statement; as his initial approach of discrediting the CEOs correlates with the atheists who keep ignoring the option of God, despite the evidence, and keep looking elsewhere... Just a thought.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Retail Magic

I am ecstatic lately. For once, I am at the receiving end of the marketing effect. With a great concept and minimal advertising, I stand to witness the remuneration in terms of sales and customer visits. I now am convinced that marketing is deadly.
We just inaugurated a small shop for gifts for men, Captain & Captain. The new shop is based on a new concept, for the first time in the country, shopping by personality. We offer a solution for men gifts hunting, with great ideas rarely found in the same place.
That said, advertising was limited to an advertising page and 1 press release in one single magazine, a few leaflets distributed in the neighborhood, and a third of a billboard double sided, shared with neighboring stores. In addition a PR opening event with around 500 visitors. Finally, a facebook campaign with small ads, a facebook group and an application allowing its users to discover there personality type and inciting them to get a matching gift.
A small survey was set along with the invoicing of all customers coming into the store, allowing us to find out the magnitude of the effect of our endeavors.
We soon realized that advertising in itself had a visible effect, but what's more is that word of mouth was spreading like wilde fire; and it's all about efficient marketing.
The reason? the campaign as well as the shop opening were set in the beginning of December, right before Christmas, thus answering a latent customer need to find suitable gifts. Moreover, the maverick concept came with another rare finding in the market, a shop completely dedicated to men. It was not hard to figure out that our main customers will actually be females buying gifts to their male friends/ lovers/ family members as most shopping is actually done by women. However, what we did not expect was males offering themselves presents and indulging in our offerings.
Add to these factors, a detailed attention to the packaging and presentation, as well as, salespeople acting mainly as a guide to help support and explain the products benefits to the customers.
A promising entrepreneurship initiative.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why I Loath Media

Allow me to break down a sentence that drove me crazy today "Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, have signed an agreement to co-operate in the peaceful use of nuclear technology."
Let me repeat " peaceful use of nuclear technology" - peaceful and nuclear - are those two words even capable to coexist?
what the hell happened to the critical thinking of the journalists?
It is such a shameful world we live in. There is too much brainwashing taking place. Readers need to be careful.

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