It’s All About The Customer

June 24, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: the customer

Great companies focus on what customers need and want, creating strong desire for their products and/or services along the way.

Distressed companies focus on “how to fix the business,” not necessarily how to connect with, inspire and connect with their customers. For distressed companies, it’s almost as if the customer isn’t there. You’ll hear a lot of “we need to do this, we need to do that,” etc.

Is your company:

  • Focused internally or on the customer almost to a fault?
  • Continually looking for ways to enhance the relationship with your customers in meaningful and impactful ways?
  • Driving innovation in a way that makes customers sit up and pay close attention?
  • Creating excitement for your customers?

It’s all about the customer. Without the customer, you have no opportunity to thrive.

Thought for the week:

“The big win is when you refuse to settle for average or mediocre.”  – Seth Godin

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Turkey is very much on my mind

June 17, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

Fishing Village on Bosphorus River near Istanbul

 

This week’s focus: Turkey and Istanbul

I was only in Istanbul, Turkey, for 3.5 days. To some extent, I feel like I’m still there or perhaps it’s just my heart that is still there. I watch the news closely. I have Turkish colleagues who are engaged in the protests. My journey and mission was cut short due to the protests. What’s this all about?

Imagine if the President of the United States started bulldozing 600-year old trees to build a shopping mall in New York’s Central Park, the Boston Common or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Do you think there would be a backlash? Of course! And, that is what is happening in Istanbul.

Gezi Park is a small park in the middle of Taksim Square in the heart of downtown Istanbul. It is an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the downtown. The Prime Minister unilaterally decided to implement his plan and began the demolition of Gezi Park.

The reaction from the protesters is predictable and understandable. It’s a complete outrage. But, it’s peaceful outrage seeking a reversal of this decision.

The Turkish PM has lost all moral authority on this issue due to his response, arrogance, sense of entitlement and contempt for those who do not agree with him.

  • In an effort to demonize and polarize others against the protesters, the Turkish PM claimed that protesters entered a mosque with their shoes on and drank beer inside the mosque while tending to injured, a fact disputed by the Iman who runs the mosque. This shows a PM trying to polarize people using lies. It’s beneath his office.
  • The PM has put forth an angry, violent response against his own citizens with water cannons, tear gas, and more, actions that have resulted in rebukes by the European Union and have contributed to more protesters coming forward. I don’t know how the police can do this to their own people–”just following orders” I guess.
  • Tear gas was fired directly into a hotel Saturday night, a violation of international law.
  • 3 rival soccer clubs’ fans who despise each other in normal life have come together as one to help the protesters with support. They have years of experience combatting the police. For these groups to come together would have been thought unimaginable.
  • The protesters include all religious groups rallying side-by-side–it is a wonderful thing to watch.

Today (Sunday, June 16th), in a staged, partisan rally, the PM sought to rub his “victory” in the faces of those evicted from Gezi Park by force the evening before. What a man!

Istanbul is one of the world’s most magnificent cities. May cooler heads prevail. May the protesters be safe from government-inflicted violence.

The following link will help you see more about what is going on in Istanbul

Thought for the week:

“Apps need to be opinionated. Too flexible and users won’t know what to do.” -Jason Calacanis at Launch 2013

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com
© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved
Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.
Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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My First Trip To Istanbul, Turkey

June 10, 2013

Istanbul Moyan_Brenn

Photo Courtesy of Flickr, Moyan_Brenn

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: my first trip to Istanbul, Turkey

The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy taught us “there’s no place like home.” I’d like to add, “There’s no place like Istanbul!”

I’m just back from Istanbul where I attended the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network annual global conference co-sponsored by Intel. I was also invited to keynote the Endeavor Istanbul entrepreneurial conference, an event postponed due to the on-going protests. You know you’re not home when:

  • There are metal detectors at all hotel entrances
  • Internet access is quite unpredictable
  • Your passport is examined three times at the airport prior to boarding a return flight

The protests in Istanbul remind me of protests in the U.S. back during the Vietnam War. In Turkey, it is simple: the people don’t want a historic park replaced with a shopping mall in the downtown area. And, they are letting the Prime Minister know.

The Prime Minister sees this as an attack on his authority (and ego). His announcement is the genesis of protests that have triggered a violent government response that is only adding fuel to the very protests he wants to stop.

Leadership means getting buy-in from, not ignoring, stakeholders, even those who didn’t vote for you or won’t vote for you in the next election. The Prime Minister does not know how to come to a more feasible solution without appearing weak.

He’s not leading. He’s infuriating a large segment of his own population. The emperor has no clothes yet his advisers don’t seem to want to share the news with him. He won’t thrive but I believe, ultimately, the Turkish citizens will.

I really enjoyed Istanbul, the food, the people and the Turkish entertainers. I can’t wait to return.

Thought for the week:

“Don’t let your past steal your present. Attitude & focus are critical factors in your success. Don’t surrender them to yesterday.”  – Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com
© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved
To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here. I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.
Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network: Pay It Forward

June 9, 2013

Take 2 minutes and watch this video:

Stay tuned to learn how I am going to do my part to help women entrepreneurs by paying it forward so they can pay it forward.  I find Dell’s call to action compelling and I will be part of this movement.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting  http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Istanbul 2013 Video Highlights

June 6, 2013

I’m just back from the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network’s annual global conference held June 2-4, 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey. This video captures reactions from many participants:

I’ll be writing much more about this event.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Strategy Execution Failures

June 3, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: strategy

Strategy execution failures can be attributed to many things. I consider these to be among the top reasons:

  • No strategy buy-in from leadership team
  • No accountability on the execution side–everyone responsible/no one responsible
  • Team celebrates strategy definition, not the execution and delivery of the strategy.
  • Team sees strategy as a periodic discussion, not part of the day-to-day journey
  • No follow-through–no plan to deliver the outcomes required by the strategy
  • Urgent matters trump important
  • Too many initiatives with conflicting priorities owned by the same people

Strategy must be executed to have the chance to be effective. How else can you thrive?

Thought for the week:

“Don’t start your victory dance on the 20-yard line.”  – Vickie Sullivan

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting  http://www.gardnerandassoc.com
© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here. I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.
Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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