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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Business Lessons from the Revolution

Previously I have written about business lessons we could take away from the success of the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. This year, the New England Revolution are having a great season and provide an opportunity for business lessons as well.

1 - Front office - its starts from the top. You have no doubt heard this before, you need great leadership to be successful in sports as well as in business. What is great leadership? Looks at what the Krafts have done with the Patriots and the Revolution. Bring in a great coach, provide him the resources he needs, give him time and support, and leave him alone. (Hear that George Steinbrenner!)

2 - Great coach - Steve Nicol. A great player for Liverpool and England in his day, he has the Revolutions playing great soccer. He has good assistance from Paul Mariner (a great scorer for England). They compliment each other well. The defense the Rev play starts at the top with pressure on the back line and continues through the middle to the Revs own backline and goalie.

3 - Team work - The Revolution got hit with a number of injuries during the 2004 season and that forced them to develop some of their younger players. Call ups to national teams (USA and Trinidad & Tobago) for World Cup qualifiers lead to additional opportunities during this season. The Revs now have a fairly deep bench. And equally important, everyone knows their place and that their turn and playing time will come. So the locker room is a comfortable place as opposed to a team like DC United, probably equally talented but distracted with teen sensation Freddy Adu complaining about playing time. DC instead of returning to defend their championship are now going home early.

4 - Individual play- You can name almost every one of the Revs and they have had their time in the spotlight. Sure Taylor Twellman won the Golden Boot with his performance this season but the goal distribution was really spread around. The game yesterday, where the Revs were down 2-0 in the aggregate score came back to win 3-2 with three different players stepping up to score goals. A real team effort!

5 - Never give up - despite being down 2-0 with only 30 minutes to go, the Revs kept charging forward. The got the first goal on a great effort and that cracked wall that the Metro Stars had created. The second goal came off a corner kick, and the third (winning goal) came off great efforts from Dempsey (nice leading pass) and Smith (great speed and execution). Check out the video highlights available on the MLSnet.com web site.

Nothing really unique about these lessons. They come together nicely for the Revolution.

What would it take for you to put them into action at your workplace?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oh, it's free!

Received one of those mailings from American Express that gets my goat.

Luxury profile envelope, not your normal cheap white business envelope, more like one for a wedding invitation or real high falutin formal event.

Thank you Cardmember
You're important to us.

And we hope you enjoy your 2 FREE Gifts!
See inside for details.

But of course, there is fine print in the details.

You are eligible to receive our exclusive 2006 Executive Organizer 2-Book set. This Cardmember only set come complete with the American Express 2006 Appointment Book and the 2006 Pocket Diary. Together these two indispenable tools are valued at $42.98. But we want you to have them as a FREE "Thank You".

This special gift was designed with you in mind.
Please accept it with our thanks.
You pay only a small shipping and handling fee to have them delivered to your door. This is simply our way of thanking you for building a relationship with American Express. A relationship we truly appreciate.

Excuse me while I go barf.

Okay, that's out of the way, I think.

It it truly was designed with me in mind it would not

be a leather bound appointment book


be a leather bound pocket diary

It would have been delivered completely FREE of charge
at my door step without requiring me to respond by some date.

What do you think this is?

a real gift of appreciation
a waste of money!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Flying Karamazov Brothers

I had written about this group early this year after catching them at GEL 2005. They are continuing to tour and are making a swing through New England this November.

November 15, 2005 Hanover, NH "Life - A Guide for the Perplexed" Dartmouth College - Spaulding Auditorium
November 16, 2005 Keene, NH "Life - A Guide for the Perplexed" Colonial Theatre
November 17, 2005 Providence, RI "Life - A Guide for the Perplexed" R.I. College - Roberts Auditorium

If you are in the neighbrhood, I think this is a show worthy of going out of the way for!

For my non-New England readers, check out the schedule for any appearances near you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Is it really?

My blog is worth $2,822.70.
How much is your blog worth?

Some would say, chump change.

I would say a whole lot of fun and it's not for sale.

What would you say?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Exploring longevity

Via the November issue of Rake Magazine, I read about Dan Buettner's next exploration and realized that the National Geographic issue (whose cover caught my eye and was in my reading pile) were the same stories.

I highly recommend

reading the Rake Magazine article
reading the National Geographic piece
especially the Sights and Sounds overview
visting Dan's Blue Zones website

An except from the National Geographic will complete this teaser:

What if I said you could add up to ten years to your life? A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right lifestyle, experts say, chances are you may live up to a decade longer. So what's the formula for success? In recent years researchers have fanned out across the globe to find the secrets to long life. Funded in part by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, scientists have focused on several regions where people live significantly longer. In Sardinia, Italy, one team of demographers found a hot spot of longevity in mountain villages where men reach age 100 at an amazing rate. On the islands of Okinawa, Japan, another team examined a group that is among the longest lived on Earth. And in Loma Linda, California, researchers studied a group of Seventh-day Adventists who rank among America's longevity all-stars. Residents of these three places produce a high rate of centenarians, suffer a fraction of the diseases that commonly kill people in other parts of the developed world, and enjoy more healthy years of life. In sum, they offer three sets of "best practices" to emulate. The rest is up to you.

Are you up for exploring the blue zones?

I am.
The exploration starts October 31st.
If this doesn't convince you, then maybe future postings may.

Friday, October 21, 2005

England expects that every man will do his duty

What a great line! How could one not step up and deliver?

Your country has called for you. Your duty is expected. Nothing more, nothing less.

Lord Nelson talked to each man on his ships in one fully respectful sentence.

Just 9 words spoken to the fleet via 31 colored symbol flags.
Almost as many flags as letters (39).

And they delivered!

It is worth remembering.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Be good, write well

From David Batstone's issue of the WAG for this week comes this bit of information:

More than five million American workers have gotten the axe in the past four years, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. Only 65 percent of them have returned to work after losing a long-term job. Of those, more than half take positions that pay far less than the job they lost.
Combine this with the advice for Joblogging via FastCompany, and it becomes all the more important to be careful with what you write about.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Google business model

From Dave Pollard writing at How to Change the World comes this gem of insight: (Bold for my emphasis)
Now enter Google. They fulfil needs, wants, and nice-to-haves, all free. So those of us on the leading side of the digital divide gratefully take all three, and we don't even really differentiate between them (unless some of the nice-to-haves unduly complicate the application, in which case we don't want them). Those on the other side of the digital divide get none of them, widening the divide to a chasm. The market understands none of this behaviour, since it doesn't conform to any accepted business model. Google doesn't really seem to care. They're too busy doing what they do so well -- delighting customers with valuable, intuitive, boldly innovative and expansive new products, on a scale that is the envy of every entrepreneur.

There is one last 'search' frontier that Google has not yet conquered, however, and it could be Google's biggest hit yet, and possibly generate significant revenue as well. Google is well established as the company that best helps you find what. And recently with Google Maps/Earth they are becoming established as the company that best helps you find where. What if Google is now working on becoming the company that best helps you find who? The company that becomes the expertise finders, the shared-interest finders, the companion finders, the people who, at last, will help us find, effectively and intuitively, the people we're looking for, not just their stuff. And not just find them, but make sure they're available (and if applicable affordable) and seamlessly put us in touch with them.
Read the full posting here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This American Game

Check out this Nike ad:

Now that the US Men's National Team has advanced to World Cup 2006 being held in Germany, Nike will proceed to plaster the advertising (hype) on how we have made the game our own.

We do have a good team.
They are actually getting competitive on the world stage.

But I cringe at what the marketing effort will do.

We do not need American braggadocio to kindle our opponent's fire.
It will be tough enough as it is.

I prefer to talk softly and let the performance in the game speak for itself.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

David Wolfe on the DNA of Behavior

David Wolfe writing at Ageless Marketing has a worthwhile series going on the DNA of behavior.

From the opening post:
Famed brain researcher Antonio Damasio reminds us in Descartes’ Error that willful action depends first on attentionality, then on working memory. An ad has to grab a person’s attention before she can think about it. Then the ad must contain enough relevance to her survival scenario that she can keep track of information in the ad as she takes it in, manipulates it and massages the information into final perceptions, concrete thoughts and a final decision.
From the second:

What higher service can you as a marketer provide your customers than to help them recreate themselves through the brands you market? Take legacy – proof that our lives have been worthwhile after we are gone. Concern about legacy grows stronger as we move through the second half of our lives. We pursue temporal continuity through our legacy. That is why wealthy benefactors set up foundations, leave money to worthy causes, and buy naming rights to buildings on college campuses.

Read the third and fourth... and stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Simple Org Chart

From John Moore at BrandAutopsy comes the simple org chart for the customer oriented business.

How it should be!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Story time with maidenmole

maidenmole writing at ?IC@TomorrowToday.biz says:

I hear stories of Change, Enterprise, Solutions, Diversity and of Talent – to name but a few. I like to use the metaphor of “story” as a way of hearing how people make sense/meaning of their experiences. So, I don’t use the word “story” as in stories of Goldilocks and Snow White, but instead as vehicles of meaning. I don’t believe that words are innocent – they have real effects in creating and holding our world together.

I have quoted from this group blog frequently and with this new series underway, I encourage you to keep an eye out for "Taking a Step Back..."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Little things make a difference

Cooking dinner tonight, I noticed that new the handheld mixer we recently acquired makes it difficult to connect the beaters. They will only fit in a certain way but that way is not guided. For a Black & Decker model, I am disappointed. They usually do better than this.

Another appliance with a little problem is the new coffee maker. Our regular one broke just recently so my wife went out immediately to obtain a new one. She is the coffee drinker in the house and needs her cup in the morning.

The carafe on this one drips. Yes, no matter how you pour from it, the lip drips. You end up with a spot on the counter, or on the floor, which needs to be cleaned every time you pour.

Now these coffee markers have been around for quite sometime. Don't you think they would have figured out to make their carafe not spill while pouring by now? Shame on you Mr. Coffee!

Do you have little annoyances with any of your household appliances?