What is the Name of My Game?

By: Daniel T. Bloom

Every day our organizational management is confronted with the rush to Big Data and its impacts on organizational metrics. However, this rush is failing to understand one critical factor in making a decision.

 

THE SCENARIO

Consider this:  It is a dreary, overcast day and so you decide to go to the mall to do some shopping. As you enter your favorite big box store, you see an 18-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed girl head directly to a particular display. I am not trying to create a stereotype but rather to demonstrate the basis of big data.

Marketing has spent large sums of money to create an experience based on big data to create a vision of the ‘why that 18-year-old would head to that particular display.’ Their models extensively study the correlation behind the demographics and desires of certain population groups and how they result in purchases by these groups.

 

IMPLIED BIG DATA

In the readings on the implications of big data in HR, one article suggested the use of a tool called predictive analysis. The example they provided was that big data told an organization that every time a certain manager interviewed a candidate for an open position, the hire resulted in a failed hire. The extended logic was that if this hiring manager was the next manager up for an opening, the odds were that the hire would not last. Correlation is great for certain aspects of the organization, but HR needs to look at the causality of the human capital management issues are clearly understood.

Return to our predictive analysis example we discussed above. It is critical that when we have a problem with a process, it is almost never a people problem. If this is correct, then the fact that a particular manager is interviewing failed hires is not the grounds for a valid correlation. Rather, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the process. Is the reason that the hires fail due to the wrong cultural fit? Is the reason the hires fail due to the wrong skills for the position? The use of the continual process improvement methodology provides you with the tools to discover the root causes of the process problems that a concentration on correlations does not and cannot.

 

CORRECTING THE OBSTACLES

When we determine that in order to correct the obstacles to the hiring process, we need to find a driven method to empower change in our organizations. Cause and effect determination is method to drive that change. The TLS Continuum (Theory of Constraints- Lean- Six Sigma) provides a roadmap to discover the causes of the process problems.

We are not suggesting that Big Data does not have a place within our organizations. It certainly does in areas like sales or marketing. But when the success of our organizations is dependent on knowing why we are experiencing process errors there is a better route to go with the TLS Continuum and the Continuous Process Improvement tools.

The TLS Continuum combines the tools of critical thinking with those evidence-based tools of Lean and Six Sigma to produce a congruent system which identifies the obstacles (TOC) and then removes the obstacle (Lean) and then concludes with the application of six sigma to create the standard of work and remove variations.

 

About the Author

Daniel T. Bloom SPHR, SSBB, SCRP is a well-respected author, speaker and human resource strategist, who during his career has worked within a wide variety of industries. He has been an educator, a contingency executive recruiter, a member of a Fortune 1000 divisional HR staff and the Corporate Relocation Director for several real estate firms in the Tampa Bay area. He is an active member of the HR social media scene since 2006 with contributions to Best Thinking.com, WordPress, Human Capital League, and Recruiting Blogs.

He has also published three books—Just Get me There in 2005 which is documented history of the Corporate Relocation Industry, Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma published in 2013 and the Field Guide to Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma in 2016. He has also written over 40 articles which have appeared both in print and online on various HR issues.

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

By Dr. Tony Alessandra

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time!

Successful people break large tasks into smaller ones.

I use the word chunking to describe this process. For instance, when I landed a contract to write my first book, Non-Manipulative Selling, I had six months to write it. On my “To Do” list every day of those six months was: Write book.

Six months went by, no book. The publisher gave me another three months. For three more months Write book appeared daily on my “To Do” list. Still… no book. Finally, the publisher gave me a final three months or else I would lose the contract and have to return the advance.

Fortunately, a colleague gave me the concept of “chunking.” He asked me how many pages I had to write. Answer: 180. How many days to write it? Answer: 90. He told me that every day my “To Do” list should say: Write 2 pages of book. I must write two pages. If I got on a roll, I could write four or five. However, the next day, I still had to write a minimum of two. By following his advice, I finished the book in thirty days!

A final technique for managing your goals comes from Dr. John Lee, time management expert. He says when a task pops up, apply one of the four D’s: Drop it, Delegate it, Delay it, or Do it. Consciously choosing one of those strategies every time you face a task will keep things progressing smoothly.

Platinum Rule® Strategies for Self-improvement:

High ‘D’ styles are great at “doing” and “delegating”, but could improve on how to delegate. They need to take time to explain each task, realize that others will take longer to start and finish than they would, and not forget to say “please” and “thank you.” A little kindness and praise goes a long way to getting others to want to help you.

High ‘I’ styles are great at starting big projects, but struggle to finish many of them. They need to focus on accomplishing the small steps each day. They thrive on small pats on the back. They need to continually remind themselves (through positive affirmations) that they are becoming more focused and more productive each day.

High ‘S’ styles are very persistent people. They stick with projects until completion. However, they need to work on their confidence by soliciting less feedback during the process and presenting larger chunks of work for approval.

High ‘C’ styles are great at perfecting projects, but they sometimes get lost in the details. Remember: 95% correct (and out the door) beats “perfect every time” but late. They need to find someone else to “perfect” their work and learn to finish sooner.

Why Customer Service Training Is the Ultimate Differentiator

 

By: Adam Toporek

We live in a world of incredibly sophisticated tools and techniques for designing customer experiences. Comprehensive big data, detailed customer personas, and extensive customer journey maps are just some of the tools organizations use to imagine and create best-in-class customer experiences.

Yet, too much of the work done in the C-Suite doesn’t translate to the front lines, creating a gap between design and execution.

Good customer journeys too often go bad.

For many B2C organizations, the failure is human; team members simply do not deliver the experience as designed or are unable to adapt when the customer’s experience deviates from the expected journey.

What separates the best-in-class customer experience companies from the rest are culture and training.

Why Training Matters

The real world that frontline teams experience is messy and difficult. From broken systems to irate customers, frontline reps have to navigate a wide variety of emotional, organizational, and psychological challenges.

Most customer service training deals with technique not emotion, with systems not psychology; yet, what frontline reps struggle with is the mentality of service — understanding their own outlooks and attitudes and coming to grips with the psychological mechanisms that cause customers to act the way they do.

Even the best frontline team members are not designed to be successful at reactive service, to say and do the right things when the going gets tough.

On the front lines of service, training is what separates the average Joes from the superheroes.

Tips for Effective Training

There is an old expression: “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” The message being that if you practice the wrong things, you will not get the desired results.

Too much customer service training is focused on the perfect journey, on “here’s what to do when everything goes right.” But effective training should address the challenges that frontline teams face in the real world, the “what if” scenarios that derail frontline team members and throw customer experiences off track.

Here are three key areas that you can center your training around:

·     Delivering Effective Communication — How much of a customer’s experience centers on communication and yet how little focus does this crucial aspect of service get in most training? Communication training should focus on key areas like first impressions and greetings, delivering key experiential moments, and handling difficult situations. Communication training should incorporate key phrases, power words, and, whenever possible, real-world simulation through role play.

·     Creating Painless Transfers — In Be Your Customer’s Hero, we discuss the 7 Service Triggers that are hot buttons for customers today. One of the most important service triggers is being shuffled, which refers to the hassle and stress of being transferred repeatedly to resolve an issue. Transfer training should focus on how to minimize the number of transfers through better routing and empowerment and how to eliminate the stress associated with transfers through techniques like warm transferring and assuring accountability.

·     Anticipating Expected Issues — While customer issues are never completely predictable, organizations can find patterns in the most common service issues. In my customer service keynote speeches, I often advise applying Pareto (or 80/20) analysis to identify the few challenges that make up the majority of service issues. By training for these expected issues, teams will not only be able to navigate them more effectively but will also learn key principles that they can apply to other situations they face.

The above tips are but a few of the many customer service training ideas you can implement to make your team’s customer service skill set Hero-Class®.

Differentiate Through Training

To set your organization apart from its competitors, begin by designing a heroic, best-in-class journey and then create a robust training program to help make sure that journey is consistently well-executed.

Many organizations create excellent customer journeys that succeed on a piece of paper or a computer screen but are never fully realized for customers in actual practice.

In a world where sophisticated customer experience design tools are available to almost everyone, it is execution that wins the day and training that separates good service from great.

In customer service, training is the ultimate differentiator.

About the Author

Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. As a 3rd-generation entrepreneur with extensive experience in retail and franchising, Adam brings a unique lens to organizations that need to train their frontline teams to deliver Hero-Class® experiences to customers.

Adam is the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real- World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (AMACOM, 2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog.

From Huffington Post to Entrepreneur, Adam has appeared or been cited in nearly 100 different media outlets, including podcasts, radio, and television.

Adam has an MBA, a Certificate in Customer Experience from the Center for Services Leadership, and is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate. When he’s not speaking or delivering high energy customer service workshops, he can be found co-hosting the Crack the Customer Code podcast and writing extensively about customer experience and customer service.

 

The Business of Innovation, Staying Relevant, and the Nostradamus of Marketing: C-Suite TV’s Summer Kick-Off Features Interviews With Leading Executives Working to Bring Their Companies Into the Future

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Jun 14, 2016) – Executive Perspectives, one of the top online business shows on C-Suite TV, has announced their early summer programming. Executive Perspectives will feature one-on-one interviews with Beth Comstock, Vice Chair, GE, Joe Hart, President and CEO, Dale Carnegie Training and Faith Popcorn, Founder and CEO, BrainReserve.

Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE, sat down with Jeffrey Hayzlett to talk about the current state of GE and how they are embracing the digital future. The GE brand is synonymous with greatness and her challenge was bringing a 140-year old company into the future. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business; you should always be thinking about what your next steps will be.

A company like GE, that started with a man and a light bulb, is looking to merge their industrial beginnings with the digital future. Comstock states, “A great brand has to be true, there has to be an authenticity, but it’s also aspirational. It’s okay that you are not there, yet in some ways you are declaring to the marketplace ‘hey this is where we see the future going, we want to go there come with us help us make it a reality.'” Comstock also feels that companies and customers should figure this out together.

Joe Hart is President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training — a leader in professional development, performance improvement, leadership training, and employee engagement. Hart talked to Hayzlett about the biggest opportunity the company has to do — tell their story by doing transformative things with their brand, messaging, and other components like their global franchising network. Throughout a series of courses that aim to build a continuing connection to customers, Hart looks to tackle the “global leadership crisis” — defined as a fundamental crisis in confidence and breakdown in trust between employees and leadership.

This is a crucial aspect for everyone, especially millennials — since they are conditioned in speaking up if they don’t like what they see in a company or leadership and are even willing to walk away if leadership doesn’t meet their expectations. Hart states that the fundamentals of millennials are the same as everyone else; however, the human interaction is different and the delivery of that interaction is done digitally. Hart also tackles the biggest factor for employee disengagement, inauthentic leadership. When someone isn’t reliable, there’s a breakdown in trust and trust is the foundation for any relationship.

Faith Popcorn is often referred to as the “Nostradamus of marketing” for her ability to accurately predict future trends. As the Founder and CEO of BrainReserve, she’s known as a “futurist” and is constantly looking for patterns and trends that will have a big impact on all of our lives. Popcorn says that one of the hardest things for companies to do is embrace the future and see it as more than just a fad. They need to be interested in the truth and stresses how smart companies “adapt to future trends.”

As an industry pioneer, she predicted back in 1981 how people would spend more time at home, doing things they would normally do outside, like dining or going to the movies. As someone always on the cutting edge, Popcorn tells Hayzlett that the next trend is already here: customization. People want things that are tailored to their needs and lifestyles and more companies are looking to cash in on this. The future will also include a combination of people and robots.

All episodes of Executive Perspectives are hosted by Jeffrey Hayzlett and can be seen throughout the month on C-Suite TV.

Best-selling author, speaker, and former Fortune 100 CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett created C-Suite TV to give top-tier business executives a forum for sharing thought-provoking insights, in-depth business analysis, and their compelling personal narratives.

“We’re ready to kick off the summer with a number of great interviews that I think our audience will benefit from. Everyone knows GE is a company on the cutting edge of all things innovation and my interview with Beth showcases how they have managed to merge their industrial beginnings with their future in digital,” Hayzlett said. “Joe Hart and Faith Popcorn encompass everything that’s fresh and forward-thinking about business. Their no-nonsense approach is something I admire and their dedication to their craft should be inspiring to anyone looking to take that next step in business.”

For more information on TV episodes, visit www.csuitetv.com and for more information about the authors featured in Best Seller TV episodes, visit www.c-suitebookclub.com.

About C-Suite TV:
C-Suite TV is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and celebrities providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.

About Jeffrey Hayzlett:
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a primetime television and radio host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives on C-Suite TV and All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on CBS on-demand radio network Play.It. Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or www.hayzlett.com

Getting Minorities On Corporate Boards: More Work Ahead

By Jill Griffin – Author of the new book, Earn Your Seat On a Corporate Board

New York Times reporter, Elizabeth Olson, shares stats that reflect the “still lagging” indicators on efforts to diversify America’s corporate boards.

Here’s a few highlights from her insightful “Barriers to Boards” article:

·     While 399 new directors were selected for top company boards last year, Hispanics claimed only 16 seats.  This, while Hispanics comprise 17 percent of the overall U.S. population.

·     In comparison, there are slight increases in African American representation, but a decline in the number of Asians and Asian-Americans selected to fill board seats.

·     While the percentage of new women directors has risen each year, sources say the projection that women can reach parity with men in the number of new directors by 2024 has been projected downward.  Now, 2026 is the projected year.

Bonnie W. Gwin, a co-managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles executive recruitment global C.E.O. and board practice, reports the biggest entry obstacle for minorities is the lack of operating or financial experience.

For example, the dearth of Hispanic board members appears to originate largely from the shortage of Hispanic chief executives, reports Cid C. Wilson, Chief Executive of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.  The bleak statistic is that only nine Hispanics currently serve as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, while the U.S. has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in world, second only to Mexico.

The pipeline of talented, board-ready minorities needs to be filled.  Hispanics, African Americans, and women need to be nurtured as general managers, finance execs and operational leaders.

The push to get more diversity in boardrooms is still a steep hill to climb.

But make no mistake about it:

Diversified corporate boards help CEOs build cultures that engage employees and, in turn, ignite the customer loyalty necessary for driving corporate revenue.

Follow Jill Griffin on Twitter

“Ushering in the Future 500” – White Paper

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Greetings, C-Suite members.

Exciting news! Navalent, producer of inventive and gainful business, has collaborated with us and published a white paper for c-level leaders on helpful, groundbreaking research on leadership. The truly innovative logic behind the brand is revealed in this publication, entitled: Ushering in the Future 500: How Mid-cap Executives are helping their Organizations Build for Sustainable Growth and Win.

An exciting opportunity for growth is plentiful within mid-cap companies, but oftentimes leaders find themselves constricted by their work environments. The potential for balance within pattern shifts is revealed within Navelent’s publication. Organizational and strategic patterns are investigated and specifically assessed.

The downloadable white paper is available to our C-Level leaders. Please find the offer through this unique link: Download Here

Executive Briefings: Drama in the Workplace

By Thomas White, CEO of C-Suite Network

In my work, I meet business leaders from all over the world who have advice, stories and personal tips to provide. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to provide current business advice and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

I recently interviewed Diedre Koppelman, Founder and CEO of PEAR Core Solutions. Since founding PEAR in 2003, Deidre has worked closely with senior level executives, business owners and organizational teams, providing strategic management counsel and solutions across a variety of industries. Deidre puts her focus into organizational development, leadership development and behavioral analytics for her clients.

Drama has been with us a long time. Drama has been depicted in the arts, movies plots etc. How does a psychiatrist by the name of Steven Karpman illustration depicting drama explain the Drama Triangle?

The Drama Triangle is an inverted triangle with the three corners illustrating the dynamics of drama. Once we can understand what role we play on the triangle, the triangle can provide us with a map on how to get out of the triangle, and basically end the drama. Here is a breakdown of each of the roles:

  • The Victim – The victim’s stance is “Poor me!” The Victim feels victimized, oppressed, helpless, hopeless, powerless, ashamed, and seems unable to make decisions, solve problems, take pleasure in life, or achieve insight. The Victim, if not being persecuted, will seek out a Persecutor and also a Rescuer who will save the day but also perpetuate the Victim’s negative feelings.
  • The Rescuer – The rescuer’s line is “Let me help you.” A classic enabler, the Rescuer feels guilty if he/she doesn’t go to the rescue. Yet his/her rescuing has negative effects. It keeps the Victim dependent and gives the Victim permission to fail.
  • The Persecutor – The persecutor insists, “It’s all your fault!” The Persecutor is controlling, blaming, critical, oppressive, angry, authoritative, rigid and superior.

We often might see ourselves playing these different roles in different situations. Does this mean these roles are interchangeable?

Yes, these roles are interchangeable. Here is an example of how we go through and interchange these roles. You may be a victim of someone or something so you go to a Rescuer and ask “Please help me, I can’t get this done.” If the Rescuer cannot help the Victim, The Victim will move into the Persecutor or Bully role and will start to bully the Rescuer, who now moves down to being the Victim. The movement on the triangle can happen in minutes. As we keep going around and around, the drama escalates.

Drama is all around us, every day, is there anything we can do to eliminate drama?

There is definitely an antidote to drama — the power of TED. TED is the acronym for “The Empowerment Dynamic” which was formulated by David Emerald. The basic concept is that you are going from an anxiety-based and problem-focused situation, which is drama, to a more passion-based and outcome-focused dynamic, which is the empowerment dynamic.

It is important to know, for those who have control in their organizations, that establishing a zero drama tolerance is really important and that you will not accept drama. To remove drama from the workplace it involves removing one role from the drama triangle. By eliminating the victim, the drama is gone. Here is where “The Empowerment Dynamic” can come into play. The victim can become the creator. They become accountable, confident, and they know that they have choices in any situation and can envision different outcomes. This also applies to the rescuer. When a rescuer is approached by a victim, the rescuer will assume the role of coach, they do not see the victim as a victim, but as someone who is capable and resourceful. They empower the victim to make choices, to come up with solutions, to take action. The antidote for the persecutor is to really spark growth and challenge the victim with the intent to help them grow. By changing every single role, you are ultimately empowering the victim into the role of creator.

Is there an assessment you can use to help identify which role you or your employees are playing?

A good place to start is to set up a workshop on the drama triangle. This will allow for everyone to understand the different roles and to help identify, through self-awareness, when they are in one of these roles. Once you can identify if you are in the triangle, you can identify at any time who is in what role.

If someone comes to you, and they are helpless, they feel powerless, they have no control over a situation, they would be identifying someone who is in the victim role. When this happens, you can understand that they are looking for help, you can then jump into a creator, or coach role and ask them “What do you think we should do?” or “Why don’t you think about it, come back, and let’s discuss it.” You always want to empower someone to be resourceful and to look for the answers, to give them control and the power to get over their situation.

How do you be a good, empathetic listener but also try to be encouraging at the same time?

Once you identify when you are switching from a coach to a rescuer, you will want to be empathetic, want to help, want to listen to the victim. This is where you’ll want to set limits to your listening. If it is something that the victim is complaining about over and over again, then you are just enabling them, and that is not what you want to do. But if the victim comes to you and they have an issue, listen and then automatically switch to the coach role. There is always the balance of listening to what challenges someone is having, and being careful that you are not going to solve that person’s problems. You want to enable them and empower them to come up with solutions and support them.

 

Executive Briefings: The Model of R.E.A.L. Leadership

By Thomas White for Huffington Post

In my work, I meet business leaders from all over the world who have advice, stories and personal tips to provide. I sit down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to provide current business advice and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

This week I interviewed Joe Hart, President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, an organization whose founder pioneered the human performance movement over 100 years ago and has continued to succeed and grow worldwide, through constant research and innovation building on its founding principles. Dale Carnegie Training has more than 3,000 trainers and consultants, operating in 300 offices in over 90 countries impacting organizations, teams and individuals. Dale Carnegie Training’s client list includes more than 400 of the Fortune Global 500, tens of thousands of small to mid-sized organizations and over 8 million individuals across the globe.

Dale Carnegie does a lot of research in regard to leadership. What are the traits that make up a great leader?

Dale Carnegie Training initially conducted research on this subject in 2015 in the United States and Brazil. We were so intrigued with what we had found that we expanded the research to 13 additional countries. Some of the key questions we found included: what are the types of traits that really motivate someone to want to give their best and what are the things that demotivate people. From this research we have characterized these to ‘R.E.A.L.’ or reliable, empathetic, aspirational and learning.


What makes a leader Reliable?

It refers to someone who is internally reliable. Internal reliability is someone being authentic. As people, we have great intuition, and we can tell when somebody is being consistent with who they are. They are internally reliable. But with external reliability people want to sense a level of integrity. Does the leader do things that they say they are going to do or do they say one thing and then do another?

Of the four traits, this one is absolutely foundational for the other three. It doesn’t matter if you’re empathetic, aspirational, or you’re an active leader, if do not have reliability, you do not have the core trust that you are building with people. If you do not have this trust with the people you work with or who you interact with then the other traits just will not matter.

What does it mean to be Empathetic as a leader?

Being empathetic means to really want to reach out and to be others-focused. It means to demonstrate a desire to listen, to care, to recognize the importance that other people have and to really give them the respect of hearing what it is that they have to say. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” So, an empathetic person is trying to learn, trying to listen and trying to demonstrate caring for the people around them.

There’s been a transformation of how leadership has been viewed over the decades. In the past, one might expect a leader to have all the answers, to show strong leadership qualities. Today, especially when you look at the millennial generation, people want to contribute to find out the answers. They want to have meaning in their work. They want to know the work they’re doing is valuable and that they are valued as a person. Someone who comes in and simply says, “Here’s what we’re going to do and you’re going to do it,” that is an immediate dis-engager for high percentages of people.”

What does a leader need to do to be someone who is Aspirational for the people that they are working with?

Leaders tend to focus on the bottom line. The finances are important and critical to the success of any business. However, to focus on those exclusively without a broader picture is not necessarily enough to connect with a lot of people. If a leader understands that people really want to have meaning in what they do, then simply hitting financial targets may not be enough. A leader not only needs to be focused on the details but also on why we are doing this at all and why what we are doing is important.

The financial parts and having targets are all important, but at the same time, to have something broader and something we can connect to that makes us feel like, “Yes, I’m really a part of something bigger and important, and I can go home and feel really good about that.”

How critical is it for a leader to also be a Learner?
It is very critical. Being a learner connects with empathetic in the sense that the learner says “I don’t have all of the answers”. The learner recognizes that mistakes are going to happen and they learn from that. They don’t necessarily like it but, they will embrace it and they won’t hesitate if they’ve made a mistake, to admit it, to address it and to move on. It’s about taking action. It’s about making mistakes. It’s about experience and judgement.

 

 

Today’s CMO: Part Artist, Part Scientist

By: Drew Neisser, Founder & CEO of Renegade

My new book, The CMO’s Periodic Table: A Renegade’s Guide to Marketing, features interviews with sixty-four masters of their craft, including some who lean heavily to the science side and others who employ an artist’s intuitive touch.  In this short post, I’ll introduce you to two “scientists” who have harnessed the power of data to drive sales and minimize the unpredictability of their efforts and two “artists” who rely on their intuition and place big marketing bets that the data doesn’t necessarily direct.

“The last three years of my career have seen an amazing transformation from what it means to be a marketer.” Tim McDermott

As the current CMO of the Philadelphia 76ers and the former CMO of the Philadelphia Eagles, Tim McDermott knows a thing or two about marketing sports teams, especially ones that haven’t always performed well on the court or field. Seeking to build multi-dimensional fan relationships, Tim has made data a major part of his marketing strategy.  As he puts it, “We’re heavily invested in infrastructure, software and human capital in order to re-engineer what we’re doing on the data science side.” While this is very much a work in progress, Tim acknowledges they can now take a far more sophisticated, data-driven approach.

“At Visa the ultimate measure of success for our marketing is ROI—our ability to drive the business.” Antonio Lucio

When I first interviewed Antonio Lucio, he was deep into his tenure as CMO at Visa, where he prescribed a three-tiered measurement approach. Lucio’s short-term metrics included reach and impact with recall being a proxy for reach and “usage lift” the gauge for impact. Lucio’s third tier was long-term impact, which he defined “as lift in our brand equity and our ability to influence consumer behavior longer-term.”  And while all of the above are critical effectiveness measures for just about any brand, Lucio never stropped looking for others, noting, “Our key performance metrics evolve to address changing dynamics in the industry.

“Creativity and innovation aren’t just about another page in a magazine or another billboard with clever imagery or copy.” – Lee Applbaum

When Lee Applbaum became CMO of the iconic beverage brand Patrón Spirits, he took an admittedly conservative “stewardship” approach to his new duties. Not wanting to screw up a good thing with the master brand, Lee directed his team toward new products and “reimagining the conversation in our category.”  The launch of line extension Roca Patrón presented just such an opportunity to disrupt via events, social, digital and mobile.  His “Roca on the Rails” campaign featured a fully-restored, opulent 1927 railcar offering bespoke dinners and tastings with celebrated chefs.  This unique experience started a wave of PR coverage and social buzz that helped to exceed sales goals by 50%.

“Creativity is driven by staying authentic to your brand and your mission.” – Loren Angelo

CMO Loren Angelo is not shy about sharing the success Audi of America has enjoyed on the sales front, pointing to 45 consecutive monthly sales records and elevating brand opinion and consideration by over 30 percent since 2006.  This growth is the result of bringing “smart, entertaining creative to market” like using Snapchat during the Super Bowl to launch the A3, which it continued via a partnership with “Pretty Little Liars.” Loren is not afraid to experiment with new channels, even if the ROI is not readily measurable, noting that, “Creativity comes in the message as well as the medium in which it’s delivered.” To drive the point home, Loren concludes, “Building the brand with time-starved, affluent Americans requires us to bring unique ideas to a variety of channels.”

“If only marketing were a science.” – Drew Neisser

Having interviewed over 150 senior marketers in the last 5 years, I have come to appreciate the fact that marketing is not a “one size fits all” profession.  Each CMO faces a unique set of challenges and must blend the right mix of elements to achieve the desired results. Some of these elements are quite scientific ranging from Befriending Data to Marketing Automation, CRM to Email Efficacy.  Others like Storytelling, Pure Creativity, Going Viral and Social Purpose require more of an artistic touch. All of these “elements” are covered in The CMO’s Periodic Table along with 56 more, not the least of which is Setting Expectations, the lead chapter featuring my interview with Jeffrey Hayzlett who requires no introduction on this site. And with that, here’s to hoping you pull together all the right elements for your marketing challenge in 2016!

Founder and CEO of Renegade, the NYC-based marketing agency that helps CMO’s find innovative ways to cut through, Drew is a recognized authority on cutting-edge marketing techniques, having won numerous awards for creativity and campaign effectiveness. Ranked among Brand Quarterly’s “50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50,” he is an “expert blogger” for Forbes, CMO.com and TheCMOclub among others, pens the weekly CMO Spotlight column for AdAge and is the author of TheCut, a well-respected monthly newsletter.

The Truth: Performance Review Transformation is Not Over

By: Wally Hauck

“Wisdom is found only in truth.” – Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

It is difficult to find the truth especially in complex situations.  It can be elusive. It is often influenced by changes in our environment.  It can shift dramatically when we change how we think about the problems we are seeking to solve.  For example, some advertisements for cigarettes in the 1950 made claims that smoking was safe.  Some claimed even doctors enjoyed them without concern, they could keep you slim, and/or they could help relieve your asthma symptoms.  Today, those messages would be considered lies.

Are performance reviews effective or not?  According to some research (SHRM) 58% of managers say no and of course 42% say yes.  Jack Welch still defends the forced ranking of employees using the performance review (rank-and-yank). Steve Ballmer at Microsoft “yanked” that policy out of Microsoft because a large percentage of employees claimed it was one of the worse policies on the planet for engagement and innovation.   Who’s right? It depends!  How you think about people, problems, and the root cause of poor performance will influence your answer. 

There is a transformation occurring in the performance review process now.  Many large organizations are the early adopters of that transformation.  These include Adobe, GE, Deloitte, Google, and a few others.  Still nearly 85% of organizations continue to use the typical performance review model.    Yet many of those are now motivated more than ever to consider a change.  According to a recent survey by Bersin, 70% of the organizations surveyed reported either recently changing their performance management system or were seriously considering it.

What’s the motivation to change?  It’s the usual reasons and some additional new ones too.  For some it’s the need for speed.  The truth: annual reviews just don’t allow people to respond to the accelerated change in the marketplace.  Customers’ needs and desires change frequently and employees must be in a position to respond. The annual typical review stymies an organization’s ability to respond.

Still others are interested in improving employee engagement.  The typical review is notorious for damaging engagement.  Ratings are often seen as biased or manipulated. This is especially true of forced ranking systems.  Yahoo is currently facing a law suit brought on by their forced ranking system. 

Still others have come to realize their corporate values are being contradicted by their typical performance review process.  The truth: this contradiction with values has damaged productivity of disgruntled employees who are receiving the mixed messages.

On a more practical note, some of these early adopters of the transformation have finally come to realize the internal costs of conducting the typical review.    The time spent by managers to “do them right” far outweighs the benefits.  This is especially true when one calculates the loss of engagement, loss of productivity, and damage to the speed of response to changing conditions.

But, there is one more reason to transform the typical review.  In my opinion this reason is the most compelling of all because it gets to the very heart of the root cause of the failure of the typical review.  All the other reasons are symptoms.      When one finds a root cause it’s time to celebrate because you know you are close to a breakthrough in performance improvement.  As Dorothy Thompson once said, “There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings.”  The truth: the typical review has the wrong focus.  Its focus is on individual improvement and not on the quality of interactions. The early adopters are still making this mistake.

There are two ways an employee can obtain feedback, interpersonal interactions and system interactions. Interpersonal interactions concern behavior which the employee has total control.  System interactions involve other factors outside the control of the individual.

In most organizations it is the employee’s manager who is formally responsible for giving feedback to the employee.  The truth: this is a manager dependent process that can contribute to a sluggish bureaucracy.  As mentioned earlier, one of the major complaints of the typical performance appraisal is that feedback occurs infrequently and that infrequent feedback damages employee engagement which damages performance.  Why can’t everyone be allowed and/or obligated to give feedback when appropriate?  Few of the transformations allow feedback from anyone including co-workers.

Employees need to understand how their behavior impacts the performance of others. Every employee needs to behave with respect and integrity at all times or performance suffers.  Interpersonal interactions enable people to communicate with each other effectively as long as it is with integrity and respect.  When people are disrespectful they need to realize it and they need to change and they need to know immediately.  When they break integrity they need to know it and they need to change and they need to know immediately. 

Managers can influence the quality of the interpersonal interactions.  They can make them easier or harder. They can make them functional or dysfunctional.  When an employee’s behavior is discussed the influence of managers must be discussed as well.  The truth:  the transformation continues to point mostly in one direction i.e. toward the employee.  Few of the transformations encourage feedback to the manager from the employee.

System interactions, the second type of feedback, provide information about how well employees are working with their processes.  Employees influence their processes but they don’t control all the inputs.  The quality of the inputs to their processes will influence their performance.  An organization must recognize this and enable employees to communicate immediately when the inputs are not optimal. The current transformations are not clarifying this.

Employees should be able to receive frequent feedback from their processes.  Their manager and co-workers may need to give them feedback on the quality of their interpersonal interactions but feedback from the processes should not be fully dependent upon the employee’s manager.  The employee, if they understand how to study a process, can arrange to collect their own data.  The transformations are not addressing this concern. 

The truth: the transformation continues to focus on individual performance instead of the quality of the interactions therefore the transformation is not yet over.  I am hopeful the transformation continues to evolve in this direction otherwise performance improvement will continue to suffer and frustrations will continue.

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.