Archive for December, 2009


What a picture tells

The best presentations always have the least amount of words.

Because pictures tell a much more interesting story.  It’s easy to dispute words; it’s hard to ignore what a picture or graph says.

Like the one below, a graph of people who queried Google about “social media” over the last six years. It tells me just how social media crossed a lot more people’s minds a lot more often this year and, although I can’t know if the rate will increase like this in 2010, it tells me it’s about to get a whole lot more interesting. What does it tell you?

You may already know about Google Trends and what a great resource it is. But, if you don’t, you can examine trends on any topic you could possibly imagine for free at Think about it for your presentations next year. All the best in 2010.


12 Peter Drucker-isms

For my money, the best bang for the buck and wisdom per word on marketing, management and business comes from Peter Drucker.  Born in Vienna in 1909, Peter wrote 39 books by the time he left us in 2005.  He was frequently sought after by the Harvard Business Review, The Economist and the Atlantic Monthly. 

For the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen pieces of sage advice from Peter. 

  1. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
  2. Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
  3. Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.
  4. Management by objective works – if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don’t.
  5. Objectives are not fate; they are direction. They are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilize the resources and energies of the business for the making of the future.
  6. Most discussions of decision-making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior executives’ decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake.
  7. People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.
  8. Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
  9. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.
  10. The purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.
  11. There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
  12. The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

Peter’s wisdom is never out of season.  For information about the Drucker Institute, go to


We are here to belong

Let me say at the outset this is a nondenominational blog.  I’ve been reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life which might sound like a self-help book, but it’s not.

Whereas self-help books tell you purpose, essential change or course correction in life comes from within, the point of view here is you’re not here by accident.  Your purpose in life has already been individually thought out and finding it happens, not by looking within, but surrendering to something larger than yourself.

It’s also deals with community as good as any book I’ve read.  One reason, as the book devotes a chapter, is we are here to belong.  Because, through belonging, we learn and put in practice the seven characteristics of fellowship which are to:

  • Share our true feeling (authenticity)
  • Encourage one other (mutuality)
  • Support each other (sympathy)
  • Forgive each other (mercy)
  • Speak the truth in love (honesty)
  • Admit our weaknesses (humility)
  • Make group a priority (frequency)

Although it could be read faster, the book is meant to be read and considered a chapter a day for 40 days  because 40 days is considered a time spiritually significant for  transformation.

There have been 133,000,000 blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002.  They have been read by 346,000,000 people since 2008.  There are 900,000 blog posts within any given 24 hour period.  Positive perceptions of a company increase by 36% if they have a blog on their web site.

With numbers so large, it may seem no individual blog really matters.  I believe just the opposite.  It’s significant proof of our need to belong and commitment to fellowship.  So, if you blog or you read blogs, keep it up and keep the seven characteristics in mind.


How we shop this holiday season

In a year where we’re more interested in the best deals and with more reason to be, here’s a snapshot of where we’ll look this holiday season before we hit the stores (according to Deloitte)

40% turn to print

29% look at flyers

27% check out websites focused on holiday deals

24% go to retailers’ websites

Newspapers, magazines and flyers are still the most popular.  The internet is not far behind and growing faster while print and flyers slowly decline.  This means we’ll do more shopping online than ever before we buy offline.

Many x-mas info and retailers sites now have connections to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MomsLikeMe , TriangleMom2Mom and MyBlackFridayDeals.  This means we’ll go to stores with more recommendations, reviews and advice from others and we’ll be more certain about what we’re going to buy. We’ll feel more satisfied about having made smarter decisions. We’ll spend less time in crowded stores.

This means this holiday season the two biggest purchase drivers, word on mouth and content on the web, will be put to use more often and in more measurable ways.  Kasey Lobaugh, a principle at Deloitte’s retail practice says “if you send out a URL on Twitter, you know how many people clicked on that URL.”

And it costs a whole lot less than print and flyers for manufacturers to know a lot more about what it takes to find advocates for their brands.

This means we should expect to see manufacturers offer great deals that we actually want for many more Xmas’  because it’s more affordable and consumers will reward the ones who do a good job at it with more business.

Happy shopping this holiday season where ever your journey, online or offline, takes you.

December 2009
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