Is Voldemort on your board of directors?

Brand leadership, Coaching, Culture of change, Leadership, Purpose, Self Management

Harry Potter fans will know that the two houses of Griffindor and Slytherin quite loosely depicted the two camps of good and evil.

Griffindor stood for courage, team work and the fight for justice. Slytherin for strategies linked with dark arts and agendas around exclusion of the weak. Both houses stood for pride and unity to their cause.

Ironically both of these houses have one additional big commonality. They both want to be better at what they do. They both want to win.

Voldemort could give you advice and feedback on how to win and be better.

Dumbeldore could give you advice and feedback on how to win and be better.

Both sets of advice would help you improve. But the benchmarks and measures of success were different because Griffindor and Slytherin were different in their vision and goals.

You get to choose who is on your board of directors and define your goals and vision.

If you’re in Griffindor, Voldemort will disagree with your approach and give you intense feedback to change. If you’re in Slytherin, Dumbeldore will disagree with your approach and give you intense feedback to change.

Only you’ll know who to listen to and who will support your vision. What do you want to be better at? Where do you want to win?

Will you choose Voldemort? Will you choose Dumbeldore? It can’t be both.


Feedback and the opportunity of choice

Brand leadership, Coaching, Culture of change, Leadership, Purpose, Self Management

We experience feedback every day. Stimuli and signals are being received continuously throughout the day. 

It helps us survive and protect ourselves. Don’t touch the stove. Eat when you’re hungry. Turn down the volume. Dress warmly. These signals come from our bodies and the environment and responses have largely been programmed into us. 

We are also receiving feedback from people in the form of observed body language, tone of voice, spoken words and actions experienced. Our internal dialogue very often assigns meaning to these messages and influences how we interpret them. 

We could choose to hear the feedback and act or choose to hear the feedback but disregard what we have heard. 

The key word here is choose. We get to choose and be involved in the experience. 

In my coaching sessions I always point out that it is key to start with the end in mind. If you set clear goals and outcomes, it becomes easy to process information against these goals and to decide whether the information will help you achieve your goals. 

Feedback is meant to help improve and to empower us to choose the right path, action etc to achieve our goals and successes. 

Have you thought about your goals and can you describe them? What can you do today to help use feedback to help you achieve those goals?

What will you choose to think and do today?
#leadership #coaching #selfmanagement #purpose #strategy #focus

Source: google

Demographics to die for

Culture of change

Demographics are selfish.

Demographics are dangerous.

Demographics can kill brands.

They’re designed for marketers. To make our lives easier. Not for consumers. They have a shelf life. They don’t take mindset and ideals into consideration. The risk of being this naive is a risk not worth taking in my opinion.

The consumer comes first. Always. Regardless. I hope a massive wave of awareness sweeps through our industry and washes all the assumptions away.

Here’s a great article by Seth Godin who describes this far more eloquently than I ever could.

Seth Godin: The end of geography

Hosting the world’s worst party

Brand leadership, Uncategorized

No one invites people over to bore them.
No one plans on hosting the worst party of all time.
No one invites people over without preparing first.
No one ignores their guests and treats them with disdain.
No one plays bad music to make people’s ears bleed.
No one makes their party venue as cramped and uncomfortable as possible.
No one hopes to leave a bad impression on people never to see them again.

So why does this keep happening in retail environments?
Why do brands continually treat their customers poorly and drive them away?

Makes you wonder why empathy to our fellow humans doesn’t come into commercial thinking. It’s such a simple strategy.

Boggles the mind.

What is offensive anyway?

Culture of change, SOCIETAL NORMS

I found this image posted on a Paleo blog I follow and there was a lot of discussion around everyone’s reaction to the pic.

The majority felt it was disrespectful and that it was “fat shaming” which was unacceptable.

What stood out for me, was that I have never really seen that much outrage about an actual Barbie. While I can understand the reaction to this as being seen as disrespectful, I found it interesting that people weren’t as offended by a Barbie. At the risk of sounding like a bra burning feminist (which I am not!) – Barbie that promotes unhealthy body image, reduces the female to a glamour-esque creature that needs to behave in a certain way and is overtly artificial in terms of beauty.

When did the world become more concerned about not offending people (which I can understand) versus promoting the support of natural beauty, healthy body image, a normal relationship with food and celebration of diversity.

It boggles my mind! Interesting. Had to share my views on this one.

When knowledge is harmful

Brand leadership, Culture of change, Leadership

I have always focused on keeping up to date with trends and shifts in consumer behaviour. My challenge is to read 30 articles every day of a variety of topics. Random stuff that catches my attention. This has served me well and more often than not, I can start picking up on themes which helps me make more informed decisions in my day job.

There is that aspect of too much knowledge when your audience does not understand your references or the significance of your discussion. You could be viewed as too excited about niche trends or too involved with jargon.

This is becoming more and more pronounced within our industry and the challenge lies in helping our counterparts understand the context and sharing in a meaningful way. The brand success relies on being relevant to the here and now while firmly pursuing the brand ideals.

These are challenging times to be in! Gone are the days of stereotypical approaches and clearly defined demographics.

The opportunity lies in challenging thinking and moving on slowly in line with trends without losing the essence of the brand.

I am not sure all companies are ready for this. I will be monitoring this trend quite closely in future.

The mushy middle

Brand leadership, Culture of change, Leadership, Uncategorized

I was inspired by an article I read about Samsung acknowledging that their cell phone business was at risk because people buy the phone for Android as opposed to Samsung. So who owns the customer – well Android does!

But so what, right? What does that mean in terms of brand and marketing? The fact is that in this competitive world of competition and same same products and offerings, people want the experience they trust and that emulates their own personal brand. The experience becomes a way for them to fulfill their needs for self actualisation.

Brands and companies who don’t realize this are at major risk and I notice in my own circle, that people underestimate how close this sense of being “defunct” really is.

It’s not coming. It’s here. Business approach and speed to market needs to be accelerated. The consumer is going to out pace us and leave us behind. The question is, how quickly we will be able to adapt and give them what they need. Time will tell!

So while this is humorous, it’s not funny at all

Culture of change, Leadership

Tricks to appear smart in meetings?! Humour here is actually revealing a bigger trend that I find concerning.

In my own life and circle of friends and acquaintances, I’ve noticed huge disenchantment with structured work environments particularly corporate environments and the way business is done or is expected to be done.

I’ve been pretty interested in unpacking what the actual reason for this significant backlash has been and I have noticed that people are exhausted. Beyond exhausted. And not necessarily from working hard or putting effort and energy into their projects but exhausted from the intangible things such as offices politics and unannounced expectations.

One has to question if the current expectations or existing structures will eventually squash all passion and success if change doesn’t happen.

In general there seems to be an air of questioning things in the world at the moment from food to currency to work to personal life. I wonder where this will lead us? Biggest risk is losing talented people in industries and sectors due to upholding processes or systems for the sake of tradition. Without engaged people and new ways of thinking we will stagnate.

I think it’s time to break the mould. There are only so many team spirit breakaways before people realize words are just words if there is no action.

It’s time to take the lead and make the change happen. In my opinion anyway.


What is currency anyway?

Culture of change

As a big fan of the band Mastodon, I was excited to see that they are using bitcoin as a means of payment for their new album.

This was significant for me as they aren’t a major commercial band in the mass market sense but in their respective genre they have a strong following and a lot of influence as a band.

This is another shift in people starting to challenge the status quo and how they define value and wealth and how to redeem that for goods or social standing.

In today’s life, you could argue that the youth treat their social media status as a means of currency wanting to define their worth by the number of interactions they receive.

This is a significant shift in consumer mindset and while bitcoin may not be the final game changer in the financial world, I think it’s playing a strong role in offering an alternative way to view and manage currency.

Distruptive technology or the start of the real wave of change?

Steam punk is an African tribe

Culture of change, Uncategorized

Technology and the ability to travel both physically and virtually have brought so much to all corners of the globe.

The fact that a local cafe at the bottom of the African continent are leading with their Steam Punk delivery of coffee culture is great indication that people define their “tribe” or community based on their own beliefs and not by what is prescribed to them by borders, brands or traditional marketing metrics.

It’s time to take note that people are changing and making their own way. There are no rules anymore. Life is fluid and full of movement.

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