Infective Team Dynamics

Your business is run by teams.  Now, more than ever, you have to be sensitive to team killers – the one or two individuals that drag a high quality group of people into the mud. We’ve all dealt with them.  The individual who just seems to be in the way, not pulling his weight or simply a jerk.  Some interesting research by Dr. William Felps, Rotterdam School of Management, indicates that team effectiveness can be reduced by 30% to 40% through the simple addition of a single ‘bad apple.’  He describes his research in a recent episode of This American Life and had it published in the 2006 journal, Research in Organizational Behavior, Volume 27, 181–230.  Bad apples were described as jerks, slackers and depressive pessimists. I really enjoy the inventiveness of the experiment.  

Be a Marketing Persuader Not A Marketing Tyrant

Effective marketing influences every aspect of your business, not just communication or awareness. However, this is not a command relationship — as in, “We the marketing gods declare the focus group shows we must deliver X.” Marketing tyranny ends with the communication of compelling, yet undeliverable promises that damage brand equity. To avoid tyranny (and its opposite – weeniedom), marketing must act as the gas to energize your company’s efforts to build competitive advantage. From the marketers viewpoint, this energizing creative environment is driven by three initiatives: Drive Interconnected Measurement: As corporate objectives are broken down into department and individual objectives they are reinterpreted within the confines of a given process. Usually this means that across interdependent departments it is difficult to match goal to goal, creating difficulties in communication and support. Facilitate Meaningful Dialog: Communication is no longer a push vehicle driven by traditional collateral, advertising and PR. Marketing must facilitate … Continue reading

What’s Your Company’s Clue Quotient

Advanced, Progressive, Struggling and Disengaged were categories given out to manufacturers at a recent Chicago Economic Development Council meeting. Two things stand out about these categories: First, if you are in any category other than Advanced you are at severe risk of having the world markets pass you by. Second, 75% of manufacturers in the greater Midwest fall into the bottom two categories. I found the definitions of each category to be enlightening and relevant to any organization, not just manufacturers. Advanced – Organizational recognition of change and active pursuit of technology. (Have a clue)     Progressive – Ownership recognition of change but low implementation. (Getting a clue) Struggling – Ownership debating the need for change. (A clue is in the area) Disengaged – Ownership not actively involved or sees no reason to change or implement technology. (Clueless)   There are few reasons why an organization can’t move itself up in these categories, positioning itself for … Continue reading