September 2nd, 2015
If you are like most professionals, then you are always busy. It seems that there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done. Regardless of your role or title, the stresses of your responsibilities can threaten to overwhelm, if you let them.
That is precisely why staying focused is essential to your success. Instead of diving into your day like a striking cobra, take a moment and pause. Chill. Observe. Reflect. If you do that, then you create time for certain crucial questions to arise:
- Have I truly prepared myself for my day? (Everyone is different; respect your routines and values.)
- What are my highest priorities today?
- What specific actions require my attention today?
- With whom do I need to speak today?
- How can I contribute value to my colleagues and my team?
- What do I need to do today to prepare best for tomorrow?
This might sound simple, but in reality it is very powerful. Get yourself focused each day and do it at the beginning of your day. If you do that, then you will not only be more efficient and effective throughout the day, you will also be more at peace.
September 1st, 2015
I could not but help chuckle when I read a news report recently about a major company that has been trying to execute a business turnaround. The piece affirmed some so-called very good news just released. It essentially stated that progress is occurring because this year the company has only lost X number of customers and that is the smallest number ever reported compared to previous years. I don’t mean to throw stones, but I hear that as:
“Hey, we are doing great! We have only lost 582,277 customers this year. But remember that in our three previous years that number was 1.23 million, 889,832, and 912,443. So, we’re still losing scads of customers, just not quite so badly!”
Of course my immediate response to that kind of a press release is: Maybe it’s because you are running out of customers to lose.
Well, I suppose that is a topic for another press release.
August 31st, 2015
People are watching less regular TV these days. That does not necessarily mean that they are seeking any less visual content. Online services and recording technologies have simply given consumers more choice in what they watch and how they watch.
Part of the trend relates to regular ad-supported TV programming. With diminishing viewers come diminishing returns on investment. Therefore, fewer sponsors are interested.
Simultaneously, big data is enabling advertisers to focus their ads with greater precision toward expected regular TV audiences. While this might seem the perfect solution to the problem, I don’t think it is sustainable. I like the way Ian Schafer (founder of digital marketing agency, Deep Focus) summarizes the situation (Felix Gillette and Lucas Shaw, “Why No One Wants Their MTV” Bloomberg Businessweek, 7/6/15–7/12/15, pp. 47–51):
“‘No matter how well you match up advertising to programming, there are going to be more and more people trying to avoid it.’” (p. 51)
I don’t think that the crowd is just thinning. It might just disappear.