Skip Change Management, not recommended…

Within any major initiative it seems one of the most overlooked yet extremely important steps is to manage the change to the teams. This is not exclusive to the impacted teams but also those that work with the teams both directly and indirectly. Many times a technology project is seen as the solution. Technology can be an enabler but rarely is it a stand alone solution.

Organizational Change Management is critical to any initiative success no mater the size of the initiative. One popular model of Change Management is ADKAR; Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement. This model is pretty straight forward and when reviewed seems like common sense. That said in my experience most organizations skip Change Management and just jump into the new world.

Personally, I have led enough projects that did not take Change Management seriously and we paid for it in lost productivity, employee turn over and overall employee dissatisfaction. Keep in mind it is not that employees do not want to change they, simply want to be a part of the process and the ADKAR model will help bring them along.

If you have Change Management in your organization, use them, if not the model is simple to follow (yet not for the weak at heart to implement) or there are a number of consultants that are ready and willing to help out. Using a model like this will pay dividends in the long term by better engaging your employees and letting them be a part of the change for long term improvement.


Todays Retail, Staying Relevant Part 2: Use your customer data everywhere

In today’s retail world many retailers have vast stores of consumer data yet they are not using it. One key tactic that can be leveraged by retailers is to use your known consumer data with a partner such as LiveRamp , Epsilon or Neustar to anonymize and find your consumers within your digital marketing tactics. Read On>>>


The most important character question

How do you understand a persons Character?

Earlier this week I came upon an interesting article on interview questions. To me it really resonated as it focused on what it called “the most important question” to understand a persons character (during an interview). The question was “Name 4 people and how you have helped their careers”. I love this question. It quickly helps to illustrate if the person is inwardly focused or focused on things other than themselves.

This question seems a sound one to use when working with people and selecting your next employee.


Today’s Retail, Staying Relevant Part One: Use your site and drive retail traffic

Retailers who strive to stay relevant are searching for the answers to what seems like straight forward questions:

 Question one: “How do I drive my online users to my brick and mortar retail stores”? 

Let’s unpack one of the key strategies that addresses this question. Retailers such as Best Buy, have reported success in leveraging the strategy of buy on-line/pick up in store. Read on>>>


Do you own the permissions

“The most important thing is to own your (customer) permissions, they are the patents of the future”. I heard this from the CEO of a partner we work with during a capability review. This is one of the more profound statements I have heard in a long time. In the MarTech space much of the conversation tends to focus on the data, the technology, the integration layer, and the user experience. Rarely is it about the permissions.

Permissions are not the sizzle or newsworthy part of the conversation. Rarely are they a part of a capability review, but they are the single most important thing that enables a brand to talk with their consumers with authenticity.

So think about your business and your consumer data, do you own the permissions or have they been inadvertently outsourced to one of your partners?

The “Viral” Nature

Viral marketing is real and effective but it is not predictable. It is well known Twitter is one of the best sources of viral news and marketing. This is an interesting article, with video’s, on how their new Vine video’s go viral. Enjoy.

Take care of those around you

Let’s go back to another one of those father/son conversations. This one took place sometime my junior year of college around Thanksgiving.

My dad and I were out shopping, he was on the hunt for gifts for his employees, being a young man who “knew it all” I made some smart a$$ comment like, shouldn’t his employees be getting him something instead of him getting them something? He stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me with those penetrating eyes that all fathers (and mothers) have when they have something real important to say to their kids. He paused, let out a heavy sigh and, as he always did, quietly began to explain to me that, of all the people in his department he was the least important. Everyone on his team was vastly more valuable than he. His job was to set the direction, remove obstacles, and let his team do what they do best. He spent a good amount of time talking about the importance of leaders surrounding themselves with great people and making sure to provide their teams with the tools and support needed for them to be successful.

This is sound advice in your personal life also, surround yourself with great people, people who appreciate you for who you are and live a good life and you will be better off and happier.

Take care, enough said for tonight.