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Unlocking The Customer Value Chain

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Earlier this year brought the release of the book, Unlocking The Customer Value Chain, by Thales S. Teixeira, the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
He shows in his book how and why consumer industries are disrupted and what established companies can do about it—while highlighting the specific strategies potential startups use to gain a competitive edge.
Among the insights revealed in the book are:  Startups do not disrupt existing markets – customers do.Customers, in effect, pay businesses with their money, time, and effort. These determine whether consumers will change their behavior or not.Most disruption in the marketplace occurs not because of new innovations in technology but as the result of new business models.  Lots of food-for-thought in this book. And, vivid insights from in-depth and exclusive accounts of both startups and reigning incumbents as they respond.

The Seven Attributes Of Meaningful Work

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There are so many good things to learn in the book, Helping People Win At Work, by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge. Among those is the section about how to define meaningful work.

Their definition consists of these seven attributes.  Work is meaningful when it:
It is conducted in a manner that is "good and proper" in all respects.It positively affects our company and our communities, giving our work an impact that extends beyond ourselves.It provides learning and growth, offers challenges, requires creativity, pushes us to surpass limits, and creates exciting results.It provides recognition and rewards for our achievements.It allows us to succeed as a team while excelling as individuals.It allows us to enjoy the ride, bringing humor and fun into our work.It fuels passion!

When Change Is Good

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"Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter.

How To Identify A Leader During An Interview

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The next time you are interviewing a candidate and you want to access their leadership skills, consider asking the candidate these questions: What personal qualities define you as a leader?  Describe a situation when these qualities helped you lead others.Give an example of when you demonstrated good leadership.What is the toughest group from which you've had to get cooperation?Have you ever had difficulty getting others to accept your ideas?  What was your approach?  Did it work?Describe a situation in which you had to change your leadership style to achieve the goal?One leadership skill is the ability to accommodate different views in the workplace, regardless of what they are.  What have you done to foster a wide number of views in your work environment?Thanks to Sharon Armstrong, author of The Essential HR Handbook, for these helpful questions!

Seven Things Motivated People Do To Stay Motivated

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To learn how to stay motivated, read High-Profit Prospecting, by Mark Hunter. It's a powerful read that includes counter intuitive advice and cutting-edge best practices for sales prospecting in today's business world.

Today, I share one of my favorite sections of the book where Hunter describes his seven things motivated people do to stay motivated:
Motivated people ignore voices in their lives. These might be people in the office and friends who have bad attitudes. They're out there, and if you're not careful, they'll control you, too.Motivated people associate with highly motivated people. Just as there are negative people in the world, there are also positive people. Your job is to make sure you spend as much time with the positive people as possible. Motivated people simply look for the positive in things. Positive people count it an honor to live each day, learn from others, and impact positively those they meet. Positive people take great satisfaction in hel…

How To Encourage Teams To Think Of Providing Value Beyond The Ordinary

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"It takes more than encouraging words to get a team thinking beyond the ordinary," explains Jackie Barretta, author of the book, Primal Teams.

She suggests you must help team members to redefine the purpose of their work with broader and more expansive thinking. Use certain pointed questions to guide a team toward a loftier view of their purpose.

Specifically, Barretta recommends you as the leader ask the following purpose-broadening questions to encourage the team to think of providing value beyond the ordinary:
What major contributions can our team make to the company's success?What do we do that makes our colleagues and customers happy?What does our work do to give our company a competitive advantage?What do we do that no one else can do?What legacy do we want to leave?What future possibilities excite us?What difference does our work make in the lives of others?

The Power Of Brevity

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Here is some good advice from author Scott Belsky's book, The Messy Middle: Finding your way through the hardest and most crucial part of any bold venture.
The power in brevity: Shorter emails get faster response times. Fewer words go further (and are listened to more intently).The less preamble, the more focused your team will be on your message. Most attention spans don’t even make it to the end.Start with your point; don’t end with it.