Consultants: Alan Weiss Hosting Convention For You!

November 25, 2014

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Alan Weiss is without question the most successful independent consultant on planet earth. I know him well. Alan Weiss has been my personal mentor since the 1990’s.

Alan is always looking for new and engaging ways to share his intellectual property and pragmatism with people like you and me.

You have the opportunity to attend his inaugural Million Dollar Consulting Conference in Atlanta, March 11-13, 2015.

You’ll hear from Alan and other people just like you who have worked with him to grow their businesses beyond their wildest imaginations.

Alan is offering a $200 discount if you sign up and pay before the end of 2014. This discount vanishes as of January 1, 2015–you snooze, you lose. [Note: This event is a tremendous value even without the discount!]

Alan is the real deal. I urge you to take advantage not only of this terrific opportunity but also to capture your discount by booking this before the end of 2014. Tell Alan “Dave Gardner sent you.”

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

Photo Courtesy of Steve Hardy on Flickr

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Thanksgiving Is Not A Retail Event

November 24, 2014

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U.S. retailers want to determine our holiday cycles. For example, Starbucks served Thanksgiving Blend coffee for about a week or 10 days this month. Bright, in-store packages requested store managers not open boxes of inventory until November 12th. Those packages held Christmas inventory and Christmas Blend coffee. So much for Thanksgiving at Starbucks!

Thanksgiving isn’t a retail event unless we allow it. We’ll see stores open Thanksgiving Day believing that if you spend your money with them that day, their competitors won’t see your money.

Thanksgiving Day is a time to give thanks for our families, our health, our friends, our clients, our pets, for being alive at this incredible time on earth, for not facing armed conflict within our borders, for the service men and women who protect our interests at home and abroad, our mentors, our colleagues, our communities and professional communities we are part of, and more.

One of my favorite Chinese restaurants in Santa Clara, China Stix, had a sign on the door last night: “We’ll be closed on Thanksgiving so our employees can be with their families.” They get it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo Courtesy of Russ on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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


Landing The Rosetta Philae On A Comet

November 17, 2014

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Landing a jet on an aircraft carrier has to be an absolutely phenomenal experience. The aircraft carrier, simultaneously moving both horizontally and vertically in a three-dimensional space, must feel like a postage stamp in the middle of a vast ocean. The vast ocean is a metaphor for outer space.

This week, we learned of an improbable 10-year, 310-million-mile journey for the first ever space vehicle to make a soft landing on a comet about two miles in diameter.

We immediately began receiving data from the space vehicle, Rosetta’s Philae. And, while there’s concern that the Philae probe may have ended its mission prematurely as it landed in a spot where it’s batteries can’t be recharged, let us acknowledge what a remarkable achievement this is.

What are you going to do this week that is spectacular? How can you or your company disrupt an industry in one, two, five or ten years? What can you envision that is this big?

Photo Courtesy of myriam di maio on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

“When the soul of the business leaves the building, it’s only a matter of time before the money walks away was well.” – Lisa Earle McLeod
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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


Dell After Privatization–Accelerating Growth Through Change

November 10, 2014

Dell World 2014

I’ve just returned from Dell World 2014. Dell has been a private company for about a year now. While I’ve been bullish about Dell for a number of years, it’s now clear that privatization has been a transformative triggering event for Dell.

“Going private has unleashed us. It’s allowed us to be bold. We’ve redefined and focused on our customer’s success,” said Michael Dell. The excitement was palpable.

The mere fact that Dell doesn’t have to report quarter-to-quarter results, file with the SEC for any material changes in the company, etc., has unburdened Michael Dell and the Dell leadership team.

While many are declaring the PC market “dead,” it’s probably because that market grew only 0.2% if you exclude Dell’s growth. Dell’s growth was over 19%. It takes a solid product line-up to achieve this. This is just one marker. Dell did not discuss details about growth in Dell Software, Dell Services, Dell Security, Dell Enterprise. Based on generalities, growth in these areas is quite impressive.

I reunited with a few executives who sold their companies to Dell. They couldn’t be happier. How often do you hear that several years later?

I’ve long said that public companies tend to be myopic and operate with a short-term focus.

  • Amazon’s investors are beginning to beat up Jeff Bezos for not doing enough to “maximize shareholder value.” They are growing weary of waiting while the stock is getting hammered.
  • Carl Icahn looks at companies for the cash he can extract and return to investors while burdening the company with debt. Michael Dell said “no thank you” to Carl.

Michael Dell accelerated growth through change by privatizing Dell. Michael Dell’s singular focus is satisfying customers by offering end-to-end solutions that excite and delight them. He doesn’t have to be distracted by Wall Street. And he gets to focus on running “the world’s biggest start-up.”

I wonder how many other CEOs in the Fortune 500 are paying close attention and view Dell’s privatization with great envy?

“Oldie But Goodie” Blog Posts You Might Enjoy

If I Sell You My Company, Will You Respect Me In The Morning?

Why Dell Decided To Go Private

Thought for the week:

“Public companies are measured on their stock performance and private companies on the advocacy of their customers. “ – Rob Enderle, President & Principal Analyst, Enderle Group

Read Rob Enderle’s entire post here.
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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


Wyndham Rewards Business Execution Failure

November 9, 2014

I recently stayed at a Wyndham Rewards hotel in Austin, Texas. I found the place through Trivago.com and reserved the hotel  through Expedia.com.

A few days after arriving home, I was asked to respond to a survey by Wyndham.  I immediately thought, “Wow, I didn’t realize the hotel I had selected was part of the Wyndham family of hotels–I’ll call to get this stay credited on my rewards account.” No one had asked me about whether I had membership in Wyndham Rewards at check-in.

I called the Wyndham toll-free number and they confirmed that they knew about my stay. I was impressed. That good impression quickly changed to bad when they told me that, because I had not booked the hotel directly with them, they were “unable” to give me credit for the stay. Isn’t that special!

This is the second time that I’ve been unable to comply with the “fine print” of the Wyndham Rewards program. And, for that, I recognize them for their business execution failure.

Does the person running the Wyndham Rewards program believe that this is the best approach to win the loyalty of Wyndham Rewards members? Hint: It’s not. And, it may be some emboldened manager will claim, “Others are doing the same.” Okay. So what? Why would you allow bad practices of competitors to influence your reward practices?

The Wyndham Rewards program should not be run with a “carrot and a stick” approach–you get the carrot if you book directly through them and a stick if you don’t.

The way they just treated me is a disincentive to stay at a Wyndham property, not an incentive. What do they think about that? Is that consistent with the goals for a rewards program?

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

 

 

 


The Dropbox Box Expands

November 5, 2014

Dropbox-Logo

I’m at Dell World 2014 this week in Austin, Texas. As I was walking the exhibition floor, Daniel Bernard from Dropbox asked if I was familiar with Dropbox for Business. Reflexively, I answered “yes.”

In the fog of the all the visual and auditory input of the show, I missed the context. I thought he was asking about me “using Dropbox for business,” not a product named “Dropbox for Business.” I soon realized he meant something different and acknowledged I wasn’t familiar with “Dropbox for Business.”

Why? Dropbox has been known as being more for consumer and small business use due to it’s ease of use. It has not been known for being “enterprise-ready.” Here’s the box I put Box and Dropbox in:

  • Box for enterprise and small business
  • Dropbox for consumer and very small business

I’m sure Box would enjoy the positioning I’ve ascribed to their solutions. Yet, Daniel was really wanting to speak to me about a more robust set of features and functions suitable for small business and the enterprise. He went on to show me features and functions that convinced me they’ve grown, they’ve evolved, and they want to play at a different level than they were able to 2 or 3 years ago. This highlights a point I made previously in a post called  Are You Boxed In? In that blog post, I wrote:

When you or your company becomes known for something, the marketplace draws lines around what you represent to the world effectively boxing you in. Over time, you may grow the size of your box many times as you add new products and services. However, be aware — it is harder for the marketplace to grasp that your box has really grown and evolved, particularly if you have name recognition and are known for being in a particular space or area. Getting the marketplace to understand your company’s new box versus the original box is a pretty steep hill to climb.

Dell has a similar challenge as it moves to be an end-to-end solution provider. Dell World is one of the actions Dell is taking to show CIOs how much its box has grown. I’m happy to report, Dell is doing a terrific job in the transformation.

If you are boxed in, it takes a lot of energy of help those who know you or your company to see you as something different. I’m glad I spent a few minutes learning how Dropbox is evolving.

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

© 2014 Dave Gardner


Gravity & Virgin Galactic

November 3, 2014

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Imagine trying to overcome gravity.

Consider the massive amount of power required for a traditional Cape Kennedy rocket launch. That massive amount of energy is for one purpose: to escape gravity.

Sir Richard Branson and his team at Virgin Galactic are seeking ways to safely overcome gravity for consumers who want to experience space tourism. It’s a daunting task. And, as we saw this week, overcoming gravity requires innovation that isn’t without some risk.

Virgin Galactic will find and fix the problem(s) and open space to mere mortals in a year or 2 or 5.

When I grew up, President Kennedy’s challenge to “put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade” was a bold, audacious challenge. Sir Richard Branson’s goal for Virgin Galactic and space tourism is just as inspiring.

I applaud the Virgin Galactic team for their vision, their tenaciousness and their courage.

Photo Courtesy of  Jason Jenkins on Flickr

A Blog Post You Might Enjoy

Entrepreneurs: Hope Is Not A Strategy

Thought for the week:

“Space is hard, but worth it.”  – Sir Richard Branson
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

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

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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