Can you think of the last time you were engaged in a marketing research project? If you’re like most business people, when you hear that question you’re probably thinking about some long-range, very intensive, data-gathering exercise that involved a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of data analysis. And, yes, that is research. But we’re guessing that you are engaged in research far more frequently than you realize. Importantly, your research efforts don’t have to be full-blown initiatives that involve extensive quantitative research and analysis. Sometimes, yes–but, often, no. The trick is determining when you need to gather more information. And that comes down to two important steps: (more…)
Archive for the ‘Strategic Planning’ Category
When I was 21 I thought I knew everything. Now that I’m “older” I look back and still think I knew quite a bit. Actually, as I work with college students, I’m often impressed at how fearless they are in terms of what they believe they know and can do–and they can. Somehow, along the way, as we age I think we become overly cautious. We learn more about what we don’t know and begin to second-guess ourselves. That’s unfortunate. I’d like to still be as fearless and “brilliant” as I was back then! Recently, I responded to a reporter’s query about “the Top 5 things” I wish I had known at 21. Here’s my list: (more…)
I love a new year. Although I realize that, technically, every day is the beginning of a new year, there’s something about the New Year that makes me both reflective and optimistic about what lies ahead. As a pretty goal-oriented person, I enjoy the process of looking back, learning, and looking forward. It’s the basis of strategic planning, after all, a personal passion of mine. Each year I spend time to commit my goals to writing and I track my progress throughout the year. I don’t achieve every goal, but I do belief that I’m more effective than I would be if I didn’t take the time to plan. I had some great successes in 2012 and a lot of very rewarding experiences–both personally and professionally. But there’s always room for improvement and, regardless of what I achieve, I always want to achieve more. So, in 2013, there are a number of things I’d like to do better: (more…)
As the New Year approaches it’s time to begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions, which might also be referred to as “strategic planning” — although those words tend to strike fear into the hearts of even the most focused of business professionals. I don’t know why, but I’m coming to accept it as a given. One of my resolutions for the New Year is to come up with a way of making planning less intimidating. “Good luck” say my business colleagues. But, I digress…
As you look forward to 2013, what are the fundamental issues that most impact your organization? What are the opportunities you hope to take advantage of? What are the challenges you hope to overcome? Here are a few tips to get you started: (more…)
I’ve been working productively from home for a number of years, first as a freelance writer (part-time) on nights and weekends and, for the past four years, as a full time marketing communication consultant. My interest in remote work, or telecommuting, stems back many years to when I worked with an organization that was going through a merger. It was highly likely that the corporate headquarters would be in a new location and I was not interested, or able, at that time to relocate. So I was curious.
Based on my own experience as a freelance writer for a number of years I knew firsthand that, yes, it was possible to establish client relationships and deliver value to those clients from a distance. But, would that same model be embraced incorporate settings? Could I, for instance, find a role as a director of corporate (more…)
One of the most important elements of successfully implementing a strategic plan of any size (whether a business plan, an annual company plan, a marketing plan, etc.) is establishing benchmarks or objectives that are specific and quantifiable and that will be tracked throughout the planning period. The use of dashboards is a great way to visually – and simply – convey information on how the organization is doing. Sharing this information openly (more…)
A journalist asked me last week what I thought the key elements of a successful strategic plan should be. That’s not an easy question to answer and there are, in fact, a wide range of inputs and elements that go into ensuring strategic plan success. But it was a legitimate question and one that I know many strategic planning consultants–and their clients–are deeply concerned about. (more…)
As I work with different organizations I’m struck by the variation in their approaches to communicating with employees. Having worked in director of corporate communications roles for several years in some very large companies, my bias is toward communicating more not less. And, I’ve been fortunate that the companies I’ve worked for have been very open, transparent and honest with their employees.
Not all employers take that approach, however, and it’s not a place (more…)