Archive for the ‘Approach’ tag
An A-player is someone ready to lead, who goes at work with gusto and is not afraid to step forward and own accountability. In my book, they are also patient in building their skill and mastering domain expertise.
Ben Zander talked about the concept of leading from any chair — he’s contagious in his enthusiasm and love for being present to what he does. We can draw from his body of work to infer the characteristics that distinguish A-Players.
How do you think like one?
1. Know that it’s all invented
Inventors, creators, incredibly productive people do not stop at one
way of looking at things. They are constantly seeing possibility,
renewal, betterment, learning, activity everywhere they go.
And they end up finding a new way or may of doing things. Or as Guy Kawasaki would
say, they know the art of the start.
2. Stop measuring everything
Breakthroughs are hardly ever incremental. Instead, they are leaps.
People who create believe in themselves, they express their skill with
passion and joy. People are attracted to them. Their life does not depend on hitting the jackpot all the time and they are more open to connections, which in
turn create success.
One last word on measurement — learn to measure the
3. Be a contribution
People who are curious, interested, and think they can learn from
anyone actually end up doing so.
They figure out how to be of service and develop positive and productive behavior that in turn creates
abundance in their lives.
A book is making the rounds on why givers often succeed. That kind of attitude.
In other words, a true A-Player is not
arrogant and self-centered. A true A-Player is someone who has the right
attitude when it comes to team and has a lot of implicit good karma
from activities outside their day job.
They derive satisfaction and even
job security from their own skills and abilities.
In addition to the points above, how do you become an A-Player?
4. Work on improving your skills constantly
Learning by trial and error doesn’t mean that you always have to run
lots of risks, and you need to be open to failing. Because past performance is not a guarantee of
5. Think “can do” as a default
A-Player is in your
mind, it’s not in the minds of others. When you think you can do what
you set out to do, then you can deal with whatever it is that comes your
way. In other words, you learn to be situational in your approach.
that there is no mention of Twitter counts, or any friends count in
Money is also a tricky concept with A-Players — abundance is
not just expressed in cash. It’s expressed in authenticity and honesty,
which in turn earns trust.
Take for example my mother [in the
photo with a singer], she is an A-Player, yet she never lived in a
castle. Quite the opposite. She’s worked hard her whole life, she still
does. That’s the same ethic I inherited.
Questions for you.
Does an A-Player
need to have great Google juice today? How about referrals from their
network? Do A-Players get implicit credibility? Can companies also be
A-Players? What about brands? Do you have a definition of A-Player?
[updated from archives]
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.
Someone took it upon themselves to experiment with a redesign for American Airlines with an interesting retro approach. After filing bankruptcy protection in 2011, reinventing themselves could potentially help the airline. The question now is, would this design persuade you to travel with them?
Co-founder and CEO Wojciech Gryc says that large enterprises usually hire outside consultants to build these kinds of lead optimization tools and customer models. Slightly smaller companies (namely, those that still have more than 10,000 customers) could still benefit, but they probably aren’t going to spend the money.
Naturally, that’s where Canopy Labs comes in. Instead of paying to develop their own tools, mid-sized businesses can buy Canopy’s self-serve product, and while that might not be quite as good as a custom solution, Gryc argues that what these businesses really need is not “the most accurate, the best model ever built,” but rather something “actionable and quick” that’s usable by your average marketing analyst or sales analyst.
Canopy Labs imports data from the services that a business is already using — email, e-commerce platforms, social media, voicemail, and call center recordings. Then Canopy uses its statistical models to rate customers in four main areas, namely risk (how likely they are to remain a customer), value (how much they’re likely to spend), sentiment, and engagement (how likely they are to communicate with or about the brand in some way). Canopy Labs customers can then use that data to prioritize their sales leads, or to customize their marketing messages to different types of customers.
Gryc is a Rhodes Scholar who studied earned Master of Science degrees in Mathematical Modelling and Social Science of the Internet at Oxford. He also worked at McKinsey and at IBM Research. His co-founder and chief scientist Jorge Escobedo, meanwhile, recently earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Waterloo, and has done research on string theory. So it sounds like they’re tackling the problem with some real expertise and experience.
The company’s product is still in private beta, but it claims to have already processed 3 million customers records, and it has already put up a few case studies on its website. In one sales campaign, Canopy claims to have increased conversions by 200 percent.
Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m not a big fan of Klout, or any service that oversimplifies the complex process of assessing online influence by boiling it down to a single number. However, I do think it’s important that organizations be able to understand the online influence of people they want to build relationships with.
Awareness Networks just announced a tool that takes an intelligent and customized approach to influence assessment. The Social Marketing Automation suite enables customers to identify patterns in public online conversations, extract profile information and create what amounts to custom Klout scores.
Here’s how it might work: A user could search Twitter for people who have engaged directly with a brand more than twice over the last month, have mentioned the brand more than five times and have more than a specified number of followers. The suite can also dig into publicly available profile information to add filters by location, profession or any other data that is publicly available on Facebook or Twitter. So if you’re looking for health care professionals in the Milwaukee area who frequently recommend Motrin over Advil, you can find them for prospecting or a targeted marketing campaign.
Awareness goes a step further by combining public profile data with conversation topics to create prospect databases. This information can be imported into CRM and marketing automation packages, easing what is usually a laborious manual process. Integration with Salesforce.com is built into the first product and most of the leading platforms will be added over time, according to Mike Lewis, VP of marketing at Awareness. This addresses the problem of lead quality, which is the biggest cause of sales waste.
Awareness doesn’t extract data from social networks directly but rather works with Gnip, a company that has license agreements with most of the top social networks to distribute their content. About the only major source Gnip doesn’t have is LinkedIn, which keeps its profile information close to the vest. But YouTube, Tumblr, WordPress and many other sources are pumped through its firehose.
Competitive advantage is fleeting in this business, and I expect that others will quickly add this kind of functionality. Awareness’ strategy is smart: It will focus on providing the core data mining and filtering technology and work with partners to deliver results to whatever marketing or sales automation tool they prefer. Victory will go to the swiftest.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but there’s a webinar set for Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 2 EDT at which more details will be discussed. Maybe you can pry some dollar figures out of the speakers then.
Full disclosure: I have been a paid consultant to Awareness on spot projects in the past, although I’ve done no work for the company in at least two years.
Overflowing inboxes are a real problem, with the average office worker spending a quarter of his or her day on email-related tasks. If you want to minimize how much time is sucked away by email, follow the Asian Efficiency blog’s recommendation to end the “Email Boomerang Effect.” More »
Hacking, viruses, megabreaches and other cybercriminal activity are on the increase, and cybersecurity specialists Bit9 has today announced a significant round of funding to help fight it.
Bit9, which works with 30 of the Fortune 100 companies, Raised its biggest round yet, a $34.5 million Series D led by new investor Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing investors Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and .406 Ventures.
The growth of cybercrime has massively increased the need for companies to protect their data, and that is giving rise to a number of new approaches for how to do that most effectively. Bit9′s approach plays on a new trend among cybersecurity companies: traditional protection is based around the concept of a blacklist of forbidden sites, but Patrick Morley, the CEO of Bit9, explains that his company turns this on its head to focus not on what shouldn’t be allowed in, but only on what should — the so-called “whitelist” approach to the problem.
The idea, he says, is to trust only sites that are known, rather than trying to account for the ones that are not. The reason for this, he says, is because viruses, worms and the people who create them are regularly changing what they are doing, so to try to account for all that is bad and new is virtually impossible. “The challenge with security is that it is hard because to create new threats is so easy that they pass right through” an existing blacklist security wall, he tells me.
Think of the old approach as a flu shot: these tend to only account for the most common strains of influenza, and so that means you can still catch a flu if it’s a new variation that hasn’t been included in the seasonal shot.
Up to now, this approach to cybersecurity has given Bit9 some significant accolades.
Morley notes that Bit9 — which says it works with some 700 organizations in total (although it doesn’t name any of them) and says it’s growing at 100 percent annually in terms of business — was the only company in the world to date that has been able to stop the Flame virus (or at least publicly state that it has…), and it was the only one that stopped the RSA breach.
On Flame, Morley notes that the block was almost inadvertent. It simply was not on its whitelist for a particular customer: “We stopped it not because it was Flame, but because it was not trustworthy,” he says.
Morley says that the changes in cybersecurity have really started to take place in the last 24 months — not just in terms of attacks being ramped up, but also because enterprises have become much more aware of the issue of breaches. He says that these days the conversation is happening at board level, with companies increasingly aware of “how risky things are.”
As we heard earlier this year in Verizon’s big cyber security report, the biggest threats today, he confirms, come from organized crime, nation states looking for IP from other countries and hacktivists like Anonymous. The nation state, which includes acts attacking not just governments but international attacks on businesses based a particular country, may perhaps be the biggest threat of all.
Going forward, Morley says that Bit9 plans to extend its whitelist approach to cover more platforms than it does today, with some of those developments to come in the next two quarters. He says the company already sees success covering security on laptops and desktops, as well as data centers and infrastructure, “but if you think about it the move to mobile, bring your own device and cloud” are also becoming increasingly significant areas, he says. These are also areas that Bit9 will seek to further incorporate into its support.
The cost for cybercrime attacks — according to the Ponemon Institute, which interviewed 50 companies — is now at $5.9 million, with the highest now $36.4 million.
To date, Bit9 has now raised $72.8 million in funding.
New creative approach for Grey New York in the latest DirecTV commercial. After the “Don’t” it’s time for the “What/Why/When & How”. But the result doesn’t change: an hilarious and beautifully shot commercial directed by Tom Kuntz featuring John Cleese.
via Ads of the World
Startup Moasis is offering advertisers a new way to run location-targeted ads, one that could hopefully make the process more accessible to both ad agencies and small businesses.
Location is a big buzzwords right now, but co-founder and CEO Ryan Golden tells me that most mobile ad companies are approaching the market from an engineering perspective, while Moasis is taking a marketer’s point of view. (Golden, for example, has founded or co-founded several marketing companies, and he also worked at global agency Tribal DDB.) The company, he says, sits at the intersection of “two roads — the data road and the delivery road.”
Although Moasis has already been running campaigns for early advertisers, it’s officially launching its Geo-Grid Display Platform today. As the name implies, the heart of the platform is a grid-based approached to ad targeting — markets are divided into grids, then advertisers can select the grids where they want their ads to be shown. Golden says this offers advertisers the control they need to target ads as narrowly or as broadly as they like, whether they’re aiming for a couple of blocks, a neighborhood, a city, or an entire region.
Golden and his team demonstrated the platform for me, creating a “localizement” in minutes, selecting the grids that they want to target, adding other rules like the time of day that they want the campaign to run, then entering the amount they’re willing to bid for each impression. And as advertisers see what’s working, they can also alter their campaign in real-time.
Moasis isn’t trying to compete with mobile ad networks, Golden says, and instead wants to partner with them to distribute location-targeted ads. (The company also announced partnership with app development platform Appcelerator.) Theoretically, these ads don’t even have to be limited to mobile phones, but could run on things like transit signage and digital billboards.
The company is self-funded.
There are a handful of proven referral partnership approaches that I’ve advised most every small business to consider.
One is to establish a formal partnership with a not for profit whose mission you can get passionate about supporting.
Approach the development director or a board member and tell them up front that you want to explore all of the ways to partner. Many non-profits will take and need your financial donation, but I find that they are always looking for much deeper relationships with businesses.
Build supporting this organization’s mission through financial support, event support, in kind support, volunteer support and even committee or staff support into the partnering idea. Supporting a community cause can be very good for your business and good for your business culture when done for the right reasons and allowed to grow.
To maximize the relationship I further suggest that you use your marketing muscle to provide your chosen not for profit with a win that also allows you to showcase your relationship.
This, I’ll admit, is a tricky point and let me put forth this disclaimer: I’m not suggesting by any stretch that you flaunt your good deeds publicly for gain, but people want to support companies that they see are doing good things in the community, people are proud to work for a company that they feel cares about the community and your marketing support can provide significant opportunities for exposure and fundraising for your chosen partner.
A large regional bank in my community (UMB Bank) has started a pretty innovative support campaign in this vein that involves Twitter and Foursquare. Banks are highly regulated so they often have to great pretty creative if they are to use social media in any meaningful way.
One of the ways that UMB raises funds for its chosen charities is to donate when people use the #umbgives hashtag or check in at a branch on Foursquare. Throughout the year they rotate in a new charity and all tweets of any kind that include the hashtag and checkins accumulate money for the organization.
This to me is a great way to create a win for the organizations while demonstrating community involvement. The not for profits have a very easy way to get their staff, volunteers, donors, and other constituents involved and the bank receives some glow from all that sharing and tweeting. In addition, bank employees now have a very simple way to participate and support the charity while supporting their own organization through social media. I like the month to month approach as well because it creates some urgency for the organization.
Another great approach is to simply hold a special event, sale or new product launch and designate a portion of the proceeds for that campaign to your organization. This allows and motivates your charitable partner to help spread the work and it’s another win for all involved.
Done creatively and in support of a mission your entire organization can get behind, this approach offers some wonderful opportunities for both brands and not for profits.