Disrupting the Market: Two Opposing Sales Strategies & Who Wins?

by Lee Bartlett


The benefits and shortfalls of two strategic approaches to entering an immature market.


Strategic Approach #1


Company A identifies the opportunity, has an existing product suite and successful track record of releasing similar products. They assemble their best team and build a competing product. The support of potential customers has been gained, the price point has been set, and pre-orders have been booked.


The price point is slightly under the highest competitor price to represent the premium value of the company brand, yet cheaper, as a compelling negotiation tool in a competitive pitch, when all other things are equal. The profit margins are healthy, and due diligence has shown there is ample time to reap the rewards before more players enter the market and push down the price.


A Senior Vice President of Sales is appointed. They are a big hitter with a long job title and corporate legacy, and this is the final piece in driving a market-leading product. With all of their corporate rules, processes, and jargon, they have experience managing hundreds of salespeople and have every angle covered. Everything is so beautifully predictable, and the only thing standing in the way of success is execution. It is a proven path to market that has stood the test of time. The product launches, sales are made, and Company A dominates through excellence. Perfect right?




Strategic Approach #2


Company B has identified the same opportunity. Their values are of equal merit – to do a great job and positively impact their clients – only, they approach it differently. The person driving this process is a maverick, whose only remit is to win. They are not governed by the same set of rigid rules as the corporate leader. This person also has an irrefutable legacy of delivery. They conclude that the existing suppliers are making outrageous profit margins, and it’s only a matter of time until someone takes advantage of this. It may as well be them.


They utilize their experience to set up a smaller, nimbler team with a sustainable lower cost base. The service is equally excellent, but more focused on a deliberate market segment to gain case studies. These deals are leveraged to move into the wider arena, as strategic partnership channels are formed and utilized to strengthen the offering. This maverick continues to leverage his contacts and senior level experience to build relationships with the bigger companies, subsequently, cutting everyone a compelling deal.


The price point is 50% less than the highest competitor, and the market dives into turmoil. Existing players align to discredit the new entrant, but it’s too late. They have gained the trust of credible clients and can prove it. Company A watches their customers change allegiance, because they can’t justify paying double for the same service.


Company B and their leader used a disruptive pricing tactic to smash their way into the market and rebuild it in their favor. They have taken a short-term view and ruined it for everyone. So, why would they do it? There are many reasons to exploit this tactic.


Most commonly, I see disruptive tactics when a large company wants to diversify or balance their product portfolio. They might choose to use this method to enter new geographical locations, demonstrate to investors their ability to invest in high growth areas, or maximize their multiple prior to sale.


Which approach is better?


Neither is more effective than the other. Each is equally legitimate and capable of defeating the other. Both were built on sound business practices, and the predictability of process is a weakness that can be exploited the same way as a strategy that relies on high-risk antics. There must be balance and, as the barriers to technological innovation disappear, the modern day VP Sales faces a greater set of challenges. They must be more adaptable and better prepared for every eventuality, as part of their immediate and ongoing strategy.


What could company A have done to negate this risk?


Pressure on price is an inevitable consequence of competition entering the market. Company B accelerated this process and caught their adversary off guard, with the speed in which they did so. The short-term strategy of Company A should have neutralised this disruption from the outset by focusing on their most powerful attribute – selling their new offering as part of their entire product suite.


All of this is high level, and pricing policy is just one example of a potentially disruptive tactic. It has allowed me to demonstrate the point I want to make: Is there a gap in your strategy that a disruptive tactic could expose? Is there a disruptive tactic you are missing to gain market share?


Please comment, share, connect…


Happy Selling!



Lee Bartlett has enjoyed a highly successful sales career working for a variety of tier 1 institutions. He has held roles in large US, UK and European-based corporations, and sold extensively across most countries in these regions, as well as in Asia. With extensive experience selling to the financial sector and C-Level executives, He has built multi-national sales teams, been co-founder and CEO of a tech start-up and has recently authored his first publication “The No.1 Best Seller”. He shares his personal sales methodology and experiences in his book and blog, both of which discuss the mindset, strategies and processes of top salespeople. They can be found at LeeBartlettBestSeller.com

Where’s The Melody?

by Deborah Johnson


Wayland Pickard, a music colleague of mine, was famed pianist Roger William’s neighbor. William’s biggest hit was the song “Autumn Leaves,” the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard’s popular music chart. It sold over two million copies. At Roger’s front door was a large carved wooden Indian. The Indian’s right hand was at his forehead, shading his eyes from the sun, squinting to see some far-off object. When Williams asked what he thought the Indian was looking for, Wayland was at a loss. Roger said, “Where’s the melody?”


Even though that incident happened some years ago and Williams died in 2011, that phrase has stayed with me. “Where’s the melody?” applies not only to music, but to speaking, to writing, to leadership and to content in general. With the number of blogs, tweets, pings, videos and training programs, it is a question most leaders, speakers and writers should constantly ask themselves.


Regurgitated Melody

It becomes easy, especially after some years, to regurgitate the same material over and over again rather than work and craft a melody or message that is fresh, memorable and sticky. I was told by a client that a pianist played Elton John’s “Your Song” over and over again in the background for one of his events, thinking it didn’t matter much as no one was listening. Apparently it did matter, as that pianist wasn’t hired again.


I hear comics inserting every expletive imaginable and expounding on personal body parts to get quick laughs. Those comics using those shortcuts, sacrificing wit and craft, are by example, training a new generation to do the same. Where is the true humor? The story line? The content? As some speakers and authors take shortcuts, I have taken on the personal challenge to not take shortcuts where it really matters in my work. My goal is to help others get unstuck, giving them tools to move forward with realistic goals in life and business. If I have regurgitated content played over and over again, like a song stagnant and lost in background noise, my message will be watered down and weak.


How do you unearth significant content or create a memorable melody? There is no sure-fire way or formula. The main foundational ingredient is always hard work and discipline, enhanced with creativity and excellence.


Today, to find your niche or focus area, there are more coaches than clients touting their methods. A good coach is extremely valuable, and I encourage that assistance. However, there are basic initial commitments every leader, artist, author, comic or entertainer should make.

Commitment To Quality Melody, Message or Material

One of the most difficult challenges is to cut down content to be pithy and memorable. I have written full stage musicals where I have had to cut pages, songs and full sections to make the story move along quicker on a stage. It’s very difficult and I speak from experience that it takes many midnight hours of crafting. That same principle applies to speeches and books. What’s the heart of the message? Is it memorable? Is it applicable? Commit to quality content.


Commitment To Effective Communication

Communicating effectively takes creativity and work. Find ways to communicate that will inspire and keep your audience interested. Some are gifted with the ability to captivate an audience with only their personality, voice tone, style and presence. However, most would do well to use the visual and media tools available to communicate to an audience with ever diminishing attention spans.  Commit to excellent communication.


Commitment To Doing What It Takes

“It’s good enough,” is no longer good enough. There is too much competition! What will make you stand out to where you won’t be ignored any longer? Being great doesn’t just depend on great content, but going to the edge of your abilities and developing something that is unique; something that is yours alone. You may get away with being a copy-cat for awhile, but it doesn’t last. Commit to doing what it takes to be great.


If you commit to quality content, communication and doing what it takes to be great, you will have an answer for William’s question, “Where’s the melody?” Your content, your communication and your greatness will be your unique melody. The song is now within you, ready to be shared with the world!



Deborah Johnson helps others get unstuck, ridding bad mental code to reach realistic goals. Deborah is an award-winning entertainer with deft piano and vocal skills and uses those skills, when appropriate, in her speaking presentations. She has performed on many stages around the world as well as served as a first-call pianist for Disney for over twenty years. With a Masters Degree, she has taught every level through graduate school, receiving many awards for her innovative methods and abilities. Up for multiple Grammy Awards, Deborah is a prolific writer of musicals, songs and books. She is able to successfully help others reach their goals with proven principles gleaned from her expansive training and research.

For the Rules They Are A-Changing

By Shriram Natarajan
CTO, Digital Services, Persistent Systems


Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a changing.” The way business works is changing. That is familiar territory for all business leaders. However, this current crop of changes is dramatically different from the ones past. The particular mix of causes, symptoms, effects, and the potential for value it represents are fundamentally novel. The nexus of elements and effects are together called digital and the process to get there is digital transformation. Let’s look at the particular confluence of forcing functions and strategies that will enable companies to thrive in the new normal.




From Real to Virtual

The most valuable businesses today (Uber, Netflix, Airbnb) often do not own the products they sell or the means of the services rendered. Their value proposition is that they can realize value in an ecosystem much more efficiently than the traditional players in the market. The digital natives are able to capitalize on the data capital amassed by others or created by their platform.


We see that over 40% of the S&P 500 companies in 2005 did not make the list in 2015. In the global marketplace, disruptive forces (be they competition, legislation, new technology, behavior shifts) are the most worrisome for established companies. Enabling flexibility and agility throughout the organization is the only recipe for success. Business models need to change on a dime – only software driven businesses can hope to achieve that. Digital immigrants are also able to make it in the new world. Companies like United Airlines and CVS are able to parlay their customer knowledge and assets to truly engaging experiences.


From Competition to Disruption

There used to be clear demarcation of what the market place was. Everyone knew who the competition was. There was a clear way to differentiate from the rest. Your mission statement laid out your unique value proposition. You had years for the message to percolate through the company and rally around the efficiencies that your organization created. You also expected that differentiation and competitive advantage to hold for the length of time it took to gain market share. But we live in a time of rapid tectonic shifts. A few short years ago, Facebook was not a threat to carriers. Recently, with WhatsApp they have encroached on the traditional telecom industry.


Companies need to embrace the bi-modal approach of driving efficiencies in existing value streams at one level while innovating for the future at the next level. The two speed approach ensures the right amount of focus and investments for each bucket. This is paired with the right level of executive engagement and expectations in each of them. Whereas in mode 1 the goal is reliability and operational success, mode 2 looks at to achieve transformation by time-bound, budget-bound experiments. Either mode would fail without the other. Each mode feeds on the other. Success in this two speed approach would lead you to continuous transformation by design.


From Acceptance to High Expectations

Customers have been demanding customers since the dawn of commerce. However due brand loyalty, inertia, cost of switching, or lack of choice, they tended to stick to a particular offering. The new breed of consumers is the savviest, least loyal, most demanding, most geographically widespread, most diverse of all time. They have the widest footprint of technology to derive value at their disposal. And they have the least attention span to boot.


Companies need to have omni-channel engagement strategy in place to play in the new market place. You have the tiniest window to go to market, capture the attention, and shape the behaviors of your target market. Being iterative and incremental is the only way to go. This applies equally to customer experience as it does to employee and partner experiences as well.


From Protection to Full Exposure

Traditionally access to capital, dominant market share, brand recognition, favorable legislative/regulatory policy all used to be fortress walls to keep out competition. There are many new ways to raise capital and build a core user base with crowd funding platforms. Market dominance is very fickle in many industries: either the business model shifts or a digital disruptor upends the market with a new compelling proposition. Even in today’s legislative climate, newer standards and requirements emerge that can force entire industries to rethink their product, positioning, and pricing.


Since the traditional defenses are crumbling, building agility within the enterprise is the way to go. It is said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it yourself. The best way to prevent disruption is to stay innovative. You need to foster an innovation culture. It can take the form of skunk works projects, a unit level agility initiative, or a full blown horizon two program. All of such efforts would be advantaged by a digital platform that is assembled specifically for your business. This unleashes creativity of your teams and can quickly standardize it too.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  …Alan Kay, Xerox PARC maxim


From Speed to Warp Speed

The only constant is change. We all know that. Everyone says that. No one said that the rate of change would be constant. The speed, sheer number of variables, and the multidimensionality that digital represents is different. Humanity is living longer. The number of lifestyle changing waves per lifetime is increasing (see below). The only thing that moves this fast and has the global reach is software. Software and technology has permeated to every layer of your organization. Instead of just using software, adopting its ways can make you a software driven business.


Key Pathways to Success

The “why” of embracing digital is plain to see. To recap on some of the elements of “how” to digitally transform:

  • Innovation culture: Enable your teams to adopt innovation as a way of life. Encourage experimentation. Failures are okay as long as they are fast failures and there has been an adequate return on learning.
  • Platform based approach: a flexible, rapid, secure platform is the key to tap the creative elements within the company. The platform provides a framework to show the value quickly and decisively. It also is the means for crystallizing the innovation developed and making it part of business-as-usual.
  • Embrace disruptive forces: companies that adopted the cloud and mobility have successfully surfed the first waves of digital. The ones that are not afraid to try new technology: IOT, Blockchain, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Gesture based computing, 3d printing.
  • Software driven: businesses that choose to be software driven and adopt the Software 4.0 model have the greatest chance of achieving lasting success. At least till the rules change yet again!


It is quite easy to be left behind on the digital journey. Even if you are successful today, you cannot afford to sit out the digital wave. There are the wave riders or those that get washed away. It requires agility and readiness heretofore unseen; and it promises returns in orders of magnitude greater than the effort expended. So while Bob sings about times that are changing, you can put your organization into high gear and skip to the next song in your playlist. Katy Perry’s “Roar”.

2 Must-Have Qualities for Success – Hint: The Posture of a Baseball Player

By: Dave Fleming


Whether baseball is your thing or not, it’s worth watching a few innings of an MLB game this season. If you watch, pay attention to the stance of a player, just before a play occurs. This posture reveals two qualities we all need to increase our success no matter the endeavor.


About the same time as the pitcher winds up to throw a pitch, the rest of the players assume a position I call relaxed vigilance. It’s easy to spot when you’re watching for it. Moments before the ball leaves the hand of the pitcher, players assume an open and flexible stance. This flexible stance readies them to move multiple directions based on where the ball is hit. In other words, their stance readies them for a number of possible scenarios. Simultaneously, players add vigilance to their stance. They are completely focused on the present moment. This focus directs attention at a very specific point in time and space. This allows them to see what is happening and quickly respond to it.


The key to this stance is the combination of relaxation and vigilance. That’s the ticket.



If a player’s posture is vigilant but not relaxed, it leads to rigidity. This rigidity then diminishes his ability to quickly adapt his body to the emerging moment. A rigid stance doesn’t allow for needed flexibility. However, if a player’s stance is relaxed but not vigilant, it leads to unresponsiveness. This unresponsiveness then diminishes his participation in the moment. The play is over before he has any chance of entering it.

Many moments of our day require this same kind of relaxed vigilance. Without the simultaneous expression of these two qualities, we are rendered ineffective (or less effective) in the moment. It seems that most of us are better at one of the two qualities.


Some of us are superb at vigilance and others are excellent at relaxing in and through a moment. But, it’s the combination that increases success.



About the Author

Dave Fleming is a student and teacher of human ingenuity. Dave’s varied career, research and almost two decades of coaching groups around the world led him to develop a framework for collective innovation he calls Tribal Alchemy. Dave’s desire now is to get the word out about Tribal Alchemy. He wants to help groups turn what they have into what they need.

Dave earned a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems. He is an assistant professor in the department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. He speaks, writes, coaches and curates ideas on the process and practices of collective ingenuity.

Ann Coulter, Time Inc. CEO & Nasdaq EVP to Share Insights With Top Business Leaders at C-Suite Conference

September 08, 2016 09:00 ET

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Sep 8, 2016) – Author, social and political commentator Ann Coulter, will be interviewed by Jeffrey Hayzlett, C-Suite Network Chairman and C-Suite TV Host at the upcoming C-Suite Network Conference in New York City, September 13. The conversation will cover how businesses will cope with a new leader in the White House after the upcoming election.

C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, gathers executives from across the country to network, share ideas and gain valuable and actionable insights to build their own leadership and strategies. The conference connects attendees with industry experts, who share their wealth of experience and knowledge through interviews and panel discussions. C-Suite Radio’s Adam Johnson and MSNBC’s JJ Ramberg will host the program.

Time Inc. CEO, Joe Ripp will also be a featured interview guest. Ripp will discuss the company’s transition from magazine publisher to digital media giant. While Nasdaq EVP, Nelson Griggs will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Adam Johnson, on the changing landscape of corporate finance.

“As the C-Suite Network grows we continue to invite a higher caliber of speakers and guests,” said Chairman Jeffrey Hayzlett. “I’m confident that this conference in New York City will produce a powerful program that looks at the intersection of politics, business and more.”


Additional Speakers Include:

David Fergusson, President and Co-CEO of The M&A Advisor
Neal Campbell, CMO of CDW
Jeffrey Hirsch, CEO of Hirsch Holdings
Danielle DiMartino Booth, President of Money Strong, LLC
Giuseppe Bausillo, Broadway Performer
Camilla Webster, CEO and Co-founder of New York Natives
Julie Lyle, CRO/CMO of DemandJump
Lisa Henderson, Managing Director, Client Services of Epsilon
Tom Butta, CMO of Sprinklr
Michael Rossato-Bennett, Executive Director of The Alive Inside Foundation
Wayne Mesker, Director of Creative Advocacy of The Alive Inside Foundation
Sudhir Kulkarni, President of Digital at Persistent Systems
Susan Stautberg, Chair and CEO of WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation
Peter Friedman, Chairman and CEO of LiveWorld
Deborah A. Bussiere, CMO/Business Development of FinTech Startups and High Growth Companies
Michael Lanning, Musician, songwriter, performer
Katie Mehnert, Founder and CEO of Pink Petro
Randy Garn, Founding Partner of Hero Partners
Julie Roehm, SVP of Marketing at SAP
Erick Schonfeld, Founding Partner of Traction Technology Partners
Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York

To learn more about the conference, click here.


About C-Suite Network
C-Suite Network is the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, with a focus on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives with titles of vice president and above.

C-Suite Network Membership brings leaders together through a private online community for executives. C-Suite Network also offers invitation-only conferences held three times per year, custom-tailored content on the C-Suite Network blog, C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Book Club, and educational programs from C-Suite Academy. Learn more at www.c-suitenetwork.com, or connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

My Escape from the Law

by Scott Jordan


About a decade into my law career I woke up and said, “Miserable, miserable, no end in sight!” before collapsing again deep into sleep. I don’t remember the incident (my wife will never forget it), but it signaled to me that I needed to escape from the law. Soon thereafter, I started my business SCOTTeVEST to create clothing that incorporates hidden pockets for electronics, and I’ve been successful and happier ever since.

Maybe you aren’t a lawyer like I was, but unless you are one of the lucky few people who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up — and became it — your current job is probably not going to be what you do for the rest of your life.


Whatever you are escaping from — or escaping to, for that matter — these are a few ideas from my book Pocket Man to get you started once you say, “I quit!”


Passion is the foundation

It’s a cliche to say “follow your passion,” but it’s a cliche that rings true. Passion is the foundation for knowing which direction to pursue. Many smart people find themselves “stuck” because, hell, when you can do anything how do you decide what to actually do? Passion is your first clue.

If you’re passionate about something at the start, it’ll fuel you through the ups and downs, and give you the fire to keep going through the boring parts as you pursue what it is you are supposed to be doing with your life. Don’t ignore what you are passionate about.

Patience is not a virtue…

And it’s certainly not my virtue. Most of the time when people wait for the precisely correct moment to send that email, place that call or take a leap. It has nothing to do with timing… it’s fear.

A quicker, less complete reply to an email in the next two minutes is better than a perfectly crafted one in two days. Be bold, don’t apologize. The same holds true with your career. If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, it would be not to wait as long to make my leap into my new career.

Paint yourself into a corner aka burn some bridges

Along with not waiting for the perfect moment to act, sometimes you need to stack the deck to force yourself to move forward. Book a non-refundable plane ticket (or in my case, a book tour). Turn in your two-week notice. Start moving, not pondering.

What seems like a desperate act from this end can look like a minor bump in hindsight. Create situations in which you must act to move yourself toward a career you are passionate about. Don’t give yourself a chance to chicken out.


If you accept mediocrity in any form for long enough, you become mediocre. Period.

There is a danger to not pursuing your passion and to getting stuck doing something you hate… it changes you, and not for the better. Remember the mom line: “If you keep making that face, it’ll freeze that way.”

I escaped from my law job when I realized I would rather play Solitaire than do my work. What did that say about me as a person and as an employee? I deserved better and so did my employer. When you’re unhappy, you’re not doing your best work. Don’t get stuck that way.


Have you ever had to “escape” from a job, career or career path?




In 2000, Scott Jordan created SCOTTeVEST to solve a common and growing problem: He loved gadgets, but there was no easy way to carry, organize, access and protect them while he traveled. As more people joined the “pocket revolution” he was starting, it became clear that the mission of SCOTTeVEST extended far beyond just the multi-pocketed vest he invented.

Today, his company has made over $50 million and developed a full line of tech-enabled, multi-pocket clothing for men and women that helps keep you organized, safe from pickpockets and always connected to your tech. His first book “Pocket Man” describes how entrepreneurs can use their unique passion for their products to leverage media to launch and sustain their businesses the way he built SCOTTeVEST.

Forget Work Life Balance – Run Off to The Circus!

By: Jones Loflin

Last year I wrote an article on LinkedIn entitled, Millennials Don’t Want Work Life Balance. My purpose was to highlight the different attitudes about work across generations. It obviously struck a nerve because it has received over 600,000 views. As I read the many comments left by readers, three things became clear about how people feel about the concept of mixing work and life. They include:


Technology makes it possible for us to have choices. Several people commented that if it weren’t for advances in technology, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to work from home, stay connected while out of the office, and keep in touch with friends and family while on the job.


When given a choice, many people prefer to blend work and life activities instead of trying to keep them separate. I heard from lots of Gen Xers and even a Baby Boomer or two who expressed their desire to “mix it up” during the workday.


As individuals we probably aren’t as open to different work/life perspectives as we should be. If the right work is getting done in an organization, and employees feel like they are in an environment where they can deliver their best work, isn’t that what really matters?


juggling elephants


Whether your preference is balance, blend, or blur, I think there is a more important question to ask:


“Is your approach moving you forward in the three key areas of your life?”


In my book, Juggling Elephants, I highlight that the key to work life satisfaction (or balance as some call it) is to manage your time like a successful circus. How does your approach to work/life address the needs of these three “rings?”

1. WORK.  Does your approach bring out your best work? And just as important, does it foster the best work of others on your team? As a manager are you more focused on outcomes… or HOW the work gets done? If your work is lacking because you are constantly blurring the lines and aren’t able to focus on the task at hand, maybe a change in approach is needed.

2. SELF.  We have different “work rhythms.” Some individuals like long periods of focus followed by extended periods of rest and renewal. Others have a “sprinter’s mentality,” and like short bursts. Either approach is fine… as long as you are taking care of your personal well-being. If you are constantly sacrificing what’s important to you as an individual because you are so caught up in your work, it might be time to rethink your perspective.

3. RELATIONSHIPS.  You may be advancing at work and succeeding at taking care of you, but how does your approach to work/life allow for the cultivation of relationships? As the ring suggests, this could be family, friends, and/or coworkers. We can’t deny the importance of quality relationships in making us more effective in the other two rings. How often have you seen a fellow employee struggling to deliver their best work, and the problem was not work? It was due to a strained relationship that was emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining them.




As a leader in your organization, recognizing the need for each individual to address these three areas is critical. For example, some employees may not have the desire to cultivate strong relationships at work, and prefer to build those relationships outside the workplace. Others may feel differently and want those opportunities while on the job. Both perspectives are valid, as long as each can bring their best work, and foster the same in others. Some excellent questions to ask your team to start a discussion on this topic is:

Do we, by policy, culture, or leadership, encourage or discourage individuals from focusing one or more of these three areas? How could we improve?

The issue of how we do work will continue to be an important conversation for years to come as technology continues to transform our workplaces, and people with different perspectives try to find areas of consensus. What will NOT change, in my opinion, is that our individual success will be determined by how we choose to balance, blend, or blur the areas of work, self, and relationships. How well is your approach to work/life moving you forward in these three key areas?




Jones Loflin is an internationally-recognized speaker and corporate trainer. He is best known for his ability to deliver innovative yet practical solutions to today’s work and life challenges. He is also the author of Getting the Blue Ribbon and co-author of Getting to It.

Let’s talk about Change, Baby!

By: Ilja Grzeskowitz


Some time ago, I read an interview from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, where he made a fascinating observation. He said:

“Today, mankind produces more information, data and ideas than from the stone age until the year 2003 together.“

And he nailed it with that statement. Because the changes around us are getting more and more intense. Everything changes. Permanently. The economy, the organizational structures in our companies, our very own working space. As a keynote speaker and change agent, I have the privilege of working with lots of great organizations. And it doesn’t matter, at which industry I look, whether it’s a big brand like BWM or Lufthansa, or a small company with just a hundred employees. There is one thing they all have in common: The rules have definitely changed.


Change is the New Normal

Especially the globalization, the demographic trend and the digital revolution are the main reasons that markets change dramatically. And, the customers are behaving completely different than they used to do just a few years ago. That means that our ability to deal with this new complexity will be the most important factor if we will still be successful in the future or if we become obsolete. And just to be clear, I’m not talking about change for changes sake, but about change with a purpose, with intention. Change to reach your goals, to become more profitable and to get the results you want. In the near future, nothing will be more important, than to adapt to these new circumstances. Because constant change has long become the new normal.


Go First and Lead the Changes in Your Organization

What does all that mean to your jobs as leaders? First, you need to quickly adapt to all of the changes going on around you and adjust your own mindset. Even more importantly, you need to lead the changes in your industry, your company and your teams. Companies only change, when the people change. And it is your job to make sure they do. Not by telling them or giving orders, but by reaching their hearts and leading with your actions. And believe me, I know what I am talking about. In my own career, I started out as the youngest store manager in Germany’s largest department store corporation and overall, I was responsible for ten different stores all over the country. During that period, not only did I have to deal with tough competition, changing markets and the upcoming phenomena of online shopping, but also with a huge crisis within the company itself. Locations were shut down, profits were decreasing and thousands of employees were facing the fear of unemployment.


During these tough times, I learned the biggest lesson of my life:

Change is not what happens around you, but the way how you deal with it. It is your mindset. Your attitude.

And after all, the culture in your organization. Let me share one of my deepest beliefs with you: A company culture of innovation, flexibility and courage beats every sophisticated business strategy by far. Because there´s one thing, you can be sure of: If you are good, your competition will copy everything. They will copy your products, your prices, maybe even your marketing. But they will never be able to copy your culture.



Create a Culture of Change in Your Company

In my new book “Think it. Do it. Change it.”, you will learn how to develop this special attitude of change. I will show you how motivation really works, why the fear of going new ways is actually your best friend, and how to use your own uniqueness to lead the changes in your company, your community and most importantly, in your family.


At the end of the day, dealing with change is mindset. A certain way of thinking, deciding and taking action, that we have to adjust not only once, but on a daily basis. The more you use that special attitude, the sooner you will develop strong habits. And that’s important, because changes never happen overnight. They are a process with successes and failures. With ups and downs. You have to work hard to make it happen every single day. Isn’t it true? It’s never the one with the best abilities who wins, but always the one who is well prepared, takes massive action and changes actively. Because under the same circumstances it’s always the attitude, the mindset, the company culture that makes all the difference in the world. So dream big. Act bold. And you will get the results you want.




About the Author

Ilja Grzeskowitz (spoken Graesch –ko –witz) is an award winning keynote speaker who has inspired audiences in eight different countries on three continents. He has a University degree in economics and marketing and was a successful manager in retail, before he founded his own company in 2009. As a bestselling author of seven books, he works with organizations and companies on creating a culture of change. Among his clients are BMW, Lufthansa or Deutsche Telekom. The media called him, “Germany’s No.1. change expert.” Grzeskowitz is a father of two and lives in Berlin, Germany. Visit him online: www.grzeskowitz.com


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.



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.



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.



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.

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