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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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How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

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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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The ROI of Improving Employee Engagement

October 18, 2016 by Michelle Smith Many leaders have spent countless hours hoping for business to return to pre-recession vitality levels. They’ve waited for something to rescue them from the seemingly endless challenges they’re facing on a daily basis, and wondered where the next big breakthrough is that will finally snap the economy out of the doldrums and set their …

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Humana Taps Socially Savvy Employees as Brand Advocates

September 13, 2016 by Carla Johnson Humana’s focus on health and wellness isn’t just something for its subscribers. It’s proving a tremendously beneficial approach for inspiring and empowering employees to serve as brand advocates for the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurance provider. Companies face a tug of war between wanting to empower employees to act as brand advocates and wanting to control …

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How Marketing & HR Can Build a Much Better Brand Together

August 25, 2016 by Michelle Smith Enduring brands are built by people – not ads, clicks or views. Marketing has traditionally taken the lead in communicating the corporate brand promise, but when it comes to delivering on those promises, its people from all around the organization who have to do the meticulous work of successfully bringing the brand promise to …

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What’s Brand Storytelling and Why Do You Need It?

August 11, 2016 by Carla Johnson Frustration. I’m hearing more of it and not just from marketers – but from executives as well. Conversations that used to be within the walls of marketing are overflowing into the C-suite. And a big part of that conversation is about relevance. How do we become more relevant not only to customers, but to …

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Brand Your Company: How to Tell Your Organization’s Story

June 30, 2016 Once upon a time, storytelling was something business professionals did when they got home from work if they had children to lull to sleep. Today, however, it is being touted as a core skill that those at all corporate levels should master. And with good reason. Storytelling has earned such attention because, quite simply, it works. Stories …

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Why Marketers Should Worry about Corporate Culture

June 9, 2016 by Michelle Smith The challenges facing today’s Marketing executives are daunting. Not only are we charged with doing even more with even less, but doing it faster and more effectively than ever before. Further, we’re faced with unprecedented options for customers consuming advertising, social media and marketing messages, only to find our messages are lost among the …

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Teach Employees to Tell Your Brand Story

September 24, 2013 “Let me tell you a story…” is one of the most powerful phrases you hear. Yet while people relish this from Hollywood movies and best-selling authors, they often shun it in the board room. They shouldn’t. Some companies are slowly starting to understand the power of storytelling. Cisco uses it to strengthen its brand through The Network …