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The 10 Functions of Storytelling

June 12, 2018 by Carla Johnson Storytelling gets too much credit and not enough appreciation. And that’s because people don’t really understand it, much less how to use it. Storytelling comes down to two things – connection and engagement. And when we look at it from this perspective, we have many more opportunities to use storytelling to create influence, affect …

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2 Phrases That Inspire Courageous Marketers

June 5, 2018 by Carla Johnson Between bosses and teams, we’re caught in a conundrum. Bosses tell their teams, “I want to see more creativity! More innovation! Where’s all the great ideas?? Our competition is killing us!” Teams say, “I bring you great ideas five times a day! And all I hear is we don’t have the budget, we’re not …

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Why CEOs Are FINALLY Focusing on Talent & Culture

April 19, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith The shift has been palpable. I noticed it first during the Great Recession. After years (decades!) trying to convince senior executives their employees were invaluable assets – and often the most direct route to successfully achieving organizational goals – the lightbulbs began to go off over the heads of many leaders. Those leaders …

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Developing a High-Performance Culture

April 3, 2018 by Michelle Smith If only there were a silver bullet for leaders…. Most leaders are constantly seeking the ultimate solution to build strong cultures, raise performance levels and operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. And there are many options from which to select your course of action, but in all the research I read, three factors consistently …

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10 Women in HR to Keynote Your Next Event

March 13, 2018 By Carla Johnson Last week, USA Today senior technology writer Jessica Guynn called out cybersecurity technology giant RSA for having only one woman speaker at its event – anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinski. The RSA Conference is one of the world’s largest security gatherings. In my February post, 10 Women in Technology to Keynote Your Next Event, I …

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Hierarchy is Out – Authenticity is In!

February 27, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith The business world has had a long-standing love/hate relationship with hierarchy. Hierarchy determines who gets to decide what and where the information flows, which allows us to focus our attention on other aspects of running the business. It reduces complexity, helps us scale and get things done, but it frustrates us by making …

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Five Demand Generation Myths That Need To Be Dispelled

February 20, 2018 by Carlos Hidalgo  Demand generation is a key part of the customer experience. Ensuring that buyers have a good buying experience is a necessary stage in the content experience continuum. However, many myths abound with demand generation, which are making it harder for B2B marketers to have success. Below are the five most common myths about demand generation …

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Does Innovation Make a Company Innovative?

January 18, 2018 by Carla Johnson I have a client that’s proud of his new innovation center. It’s well thought out. He’s hired the best-of-the-best across the board. Design thinking is core to their innovation discipline. They bring customers in for focus groups and collaborate on product development. He’s able to deliver products that solve problems in the marketplace. But …

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It’s Time for HR to FINALLY Get Serious About Strategy

December 7, 2017 by Michelle Smith Let me state right up front that I’m a huge fan of yours, HR. But it’s time for you to get serious about making some very long-overdue changes. I’ve spent the better part of my career as an advocate and unabashed champion of the HR profession, and nothing has changed there. What you do …

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Leaders – Make Your Communications Useful

October 12, 2017 by Michelle Smith The way in which leaders communicate with employees is one of the most effective factors in creating and increasing employee engagement, as well as in retaining top talent. Employees want their leaders to inspire confidence, create certainty and build community when they communicate. Doing this successfully can mean the difference between employee compliance or commitment, and a sense …

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The Need to Empower Employees for Customer Experience

October 5, 2017 by Carlos Hidalgo What does it mean to “empower employees” and why is it so important to delivering customer experience? Why should organizations go beyond enabling and equipping their employees, but also take the steps necessary to empower their employees to deliver on the promise of customer experience? It is because our employees are on the front …

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What the GRAMMYS Can Teach B2B Marketers About Customer Experience

August 31, 2017 by Carla Johnson Beyoncé. U2. Bruce Springsteen. Tony Bennett. Yo-Yo Ma. Chick Corea. These are just a few of the thousands of music creators recognized by the GRAMMYs since its inception in 1957. And a handful of the 22 top winners in GRAMMY history. The GRAMMYs are the one night a year set aside to honor the …

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Equipping Employees for Customer Experience

August 8, 2017 by Carlos Hidalgo B2B customer experience continues to be center stage with a majority of corporate executives listing this is one of their strategic initiatives for 2017. However, fewer than 15% of B2B marketers (those most often charged with customer experience initiatives) state that they feel “customer experience is ingrained in the fabric of their company, according …

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Marketing’s Role in CEO Success – Do You Play a Part?

June 29, 2017 by Carla Johnson Successful CEOs understand that the ability to communicate and drive ideas forward is one of the most important skillsets of a modern-day executive. It’s not a nice-to-have, but a requirement of leadership. And even in a digitally driven world, the best know that offline and in-person communication matter equally. In their report, The CEO …

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5 Lessons From the Demise of Coke’s CMO

May 23, 2017 by Carla Johnson Coke recently cut the role of CMO from its C-suite roster. Does that mean that marketing’s in trouble at one of the world’s most iconic brands? Yes, if those marketers are the type who want to keep a traditional role. If you think that delivering great work for a status quo strategy, you should …

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How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

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How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

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CEOs Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success

April 25, 2017 by Michelle Smith Culture is front and center for leaders who want to increase performance and strategic alignment in 2017. “Culture is the X-factor,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice. “It’s the invisible glue that holds an organization together and ultimately makes the difference between whether an organization is …

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CEOs Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success

April 25, 2017 by Michelle Smith Culture is front and center for leaders who want to increase performance and strategic alignment in 2017. “Culture is the X-factor,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Hay Group’s Leadership Development Practice. “It’s the invisible glue that holds an organization together and ultimately makes the difference between whether an organization is …

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Empathy, Orwell and Experiences

March 16, 2017 by Carla Johnson In his book Down and Out in Paris and London, author George Orwell (of 1984 and Animal Farm fame…) tells the story of penniless British writer Eric Blair and his adventures on the streets of…you guessed it…Paris and London. It was Orwell’s first novel and in good part, autobiographical. Although he came from a …