Unwonk your mission statement

December 11, 2009

Mission statements can be valuable if they articulate real targets. Otherwise, they sound too much like a corporate Hallmark card. Consider Microsoft’s big goal of “A computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software.” Or Amazon’s goal for the Kindle: “Every book ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.” Both statements do something crucial: They quantify the goal.

How Franklin planted seeds of his message

December 11, 2009

Everyone knows that Ben Franklin was an inventor and a statesman. Not everyone knows that he was an innovative farmer. When Franklin tried to persuade his neighbors one spring to spread plaster among their seeds to yield a better crop, the neighbors scoffed. Then, he sent them a message …

Ritz-Carlton aligns 38,000 employees

December 11, 2009

When leading a luxury brand, success hinges on aligning every employee behind your mission. At Ritz-Carlton, president Simon F. Cooper uses a communication tactic called the “lineup” to ensure all 38,000 employees are on the same page. It’s a 15-minute meeting during every shift.

5 lessons from $5 Footlongs

December 11, 2009

You’d think it would have been easy for Miami Subway franchise owner Stuart Frankel to win everyone over to the $5 Footlong, right? Not so fast, my friends. Even though he was raking in the dough, Frankel had to work hard to convince the top brass at Subway that the $5 Footlong was the way to go. Here are five lessons for anyone who is trying to convince senior leadership to take a good idea and run with it.

If it’s not you who’s boring them …

June 1, 2005
Here’s a self-quiz to give you clues on how well you keep your people motivated. Put a number between 1 (for weak) and 4 (for strong) for each question to indicate your team’s strengths and weaknesses. What do you notice?