Communication

How scenarios help you lead

January 11, 2010

Preparing for the unexpected is what allows you to keep a steady hand when guiding your company. Scenarios are a powerful tool to that end. Here’s how to use them right:

10 warning signs of low morale

January 11, 2010

Without you realizing it, low morale can creep into your organization. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for:

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.

Team-building ideas: Rx for coaching your team to greatness

December 11, 2009

Well-supported teams receive the information, training and rewards they need to keep chugging along. Here are four prescriptions for coaching your team:

Leadership Tips: Vol. 110

December 11, 2009

Hit upon more winning ideas by capturing more ideas in the first place. New communication and online mechanisms can help. Example: Starbucks gathers and codifies ideas with www.mystarbucksidea.com, and uses decision-market approaches to evaluate them. Meanwhile, innovative companies such as Apple or Google make generating ideas an informal part of everyone’s job and motivate employees largely with nonmonetary recognition.

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.

Set goals that inspire imagination

May 1, 2007
When Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck produced his award-winning film “The Lives of Others,” he inspired the film’s composer, Gabriel Yared, by presenting a highly unusual goal.

Stay nimble, even when rules change

April 1, 2007
Here’s how to negotiate when conditions constantly shift.