Excuse Avenue or Opportunity Road

A person completes a personality assessment. He or she then receives individual feedback on his or her personality profile. If the assessment is worth its salt, the person probably agreed with much of the interpretation and was challenged or surprised by the rest. For the feedback that resonated with him or her, the likely response was, “Yep, I knew that about myself. Now I have a test that validates it.” For the surprising feedback, the likely response was, “Interesting. I didn’t know I was being perceived in that way.” Now what? What does this person do with that information? The way I see it, the person now has an excuse for that behavior or an opportunity to improve it.

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Beware the Ides of March

You may not have realized, but March happens to be a very eventful month. Some noteworthy festivities this month include Mardi Gras (8th), St. Patrick’s Day (17th), Spring Break, Easter (some years), and the vernal equinox or first day of Spring (20th). Some lesser known, albeit random, contenders for March dates are: If Pets Had Thumbs Day (3rd), Multiple Personality Day (5th), Ear Muff Day (13th), Extraterrestrial Abduction Day (20th), and finally a holiday that seems to capture the theme of this blog, National Make up your own Holiday Day (26th).

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If your business can’t touch its toes, you might as well stay on the bench

 

In today’s business arena there are so many variables that play into running a successful organization. First, you must have a product or service. It must be useful, provide value (at a cost people are willing to pay), and be scalable to meet the demands of the market. Next, you need to understand the consumers, cultural nuances, and business trends. Lastly, and most importantly, you must be able to execute a proper strategy. However, a company can achieve all of those success factors, but still ultimately fail. Why? Because it’s not only about the product or service, how well it’s positioned, its value, and the amazing business plan behind it. It’s about its ability to touch its toes – in other words exercise and demonstrate flexibility.

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Just my two cents…

describe the imageWhether they make your skin crawl or tickle your fancy, the use of cliches has spread like wildfire over the years. These phrases, defined by their overuse, have flooded our everyday lives, making it difficult to get through a full day without hearing or speaking several. Critics discourage their use, especially in writing, as their presence indicates a lack of imagination. Further, many of these expressions are so overused and unnecessary they can be categorized as pure fluff. There are few positive views on these hackneyed phrases; however, I tend to enjoy them (in moderation).

First, their origins fascinate me. As reported by Life Magazine, the expression “hair of the dog that bit you,” a common idea for curing a hangover, is derived from the medieval belief that if bitten by a rabid dog, pressing the hair of that dog to the wound could cure the infection. The term “falling on the sword,” meaning to offer resignation or accept the consequences of fault, can be found in the Bible in reference to King Saul falling on his sword to commit suicide while in battle with the Philistines. Second, and more importantly, I am impressed by their ability to deliver our thoughts in a concise, succinct manner that would be difficult to verbalize otherwise. In this sense, cliches create a common language which is beneficial as they carry so much information in only a handful of words.

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A Blizzard of Bad Judgment

In the past 10 days, much of the country has been blanketed by snow, courtesy of a blizzard that swept through the Midwest and buried the Hogan offices under nearly 30 inches. Stores closed, events were cancelled, businesses sent everyone home, and most of the area hunkered down and braced for the worst. The local meteorologists provided marathon sessions of analysis and updates, warning everyone not to go outside unless absolutely necessary. In the following days, the city cleanup crews described their efforts to clear the streets, noting that the largest obstacle was the number of abandoned cars on the road. This included cars deserted in the middle of the street, on the side of the road, on highway ramps, and just about everywhere.

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Losing Jobs: The Problem of Succession Management

Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs recently announced that he will take yet another medical leave of absence with an unspecified return date. His announcement was followed by much discussion and debate about when and whether he will return. This news re-awakened the debate among worried stockholders and industry analysts who are sweating out the question of whether or not the Sultan of Silicon Valley can be replaced. As reported by the LA Times, Apple’s shares fell 6.45% immediately after markets opened the day following Jobs’ announcement. Consequently, stockholders are putting the pressure on the board to publicize a succession plan. Why the sudden iPanic? Many believe that Jobs’ vision and innovation is integral to the success and brand image of Apple, and that he simply cannot be replaced. Admittedly, Jobs’ uncanny ability to predict, or even create, market demand for consumer technology products has catapulted Apple to undeniable success over the years. So the question remains – can Jobs be replaced?

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