This Week's Must Reads

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. If you live in the US, this is your last week to get those taxes done. (But, you have until Monday 4/18 – so a few extra days this year.) So, let’s get this week started, shall we? Here are some of my favorite reads from the last few days:

  • This article shared some interesting thoughts about the challenges of innovating when you are at a larger organization: bit.ly/1XlnpYN
  • You should have a strategy if you are considering incorporating video into your marketing mix. This article has some ideas for how to craft one: onforb.es/1PYCols
  • I think West Elm is a pretty interesting company – mixing design and social consciousness/community. Here’s how their West Elm Local program became a sort of incubator of independent design: bit.ly/1WfAynO
  • When we think of a recession or business slowdown, we typically think of people losing their jobs. This article argues that you can turn that upside down a little and actually hire in great talent (even as you let others go): bit.ly/1UZMxXy
  • We all want more readers for our blogs. This article shared some ideas about the types of blog posts that may help you get more blog subscribers: bit.ly/1q9LOWb
  • LinkedIn just received a patent on a technology that they believe might be able to  tell you how likely you are to get a job. Read about it. read.bi/1oG0ZWf
  • If you have an interest in retail you might be wondering what the store of the future might look like. In this article, they describe how the store may become more of an UN-store – one where you can view/touch and hang out: bit.ly/1oCM7rE
  • In this article Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos discusses the 2 types of risk-related decisions – and how not to confuse the two: read.bi/1oCIylg
  • Developing a staff with a positive culture is so important to our businesses. This article discusses how you can foster a culture of encouragement amongst your staff: bit.ly/1SAQmMk
  • Small business always faces some challenges when it comes to social media. Here are some ideas for really making social media work for your small business: bit.ly/1XhmTuW
  • I thought the advice to this young chef who wants to grow his small personal chef business was interesting: wapo.st/1SAFI8j
  • Is the 9-to-5 workday just gone? Have millennials killed it off? In this article, the author provides some ideas for how to create a flexible work environment that plays to the desires of the younger workers: entm.ag/1VxcZq3
  • Products sometimes just go away. And sometimes they just die without much warning – and your investment in them is simply lost. In this article, designers weigh in on how to retire a product gracefully: bit.ly/1ROAshy
  • As I’ve argued before ion this blog, business leader must have a “presence” about them and become the “face” of their business (See my blog post, “You Are the Face of Your Business“). This article gives some additional ideas on how to develop that presence: entm.ag/1oz7UjU
  • Do you want to build a referral business? The best way may NOT be from customers; but from “visible expertise.” This article shares ideas about how to develop that visibility: cnb.cx/236hrlE
  • So many people are freelancers these days. This article highlights the top 10 industries for freelancers. Several may surprise you: bit.ly/1RZF6yM
  • You may have read about how Staples is planning to test a new strategy buy using some store space as communal working spaces: on.wsj.com/1RUNRqS
  • We could all use a solid marketing plan. This article gives you nine questions that you should answer as part of any marketing plan: bit.ly/1Vrl4wd
  • Retail branch banking may be going away. Millenials continue to embrace digital banking: read.bi/1RIPLbG
  • This article shared some good books that will provide some ideas for getting and keeping customers: bit.ly/1RUGv6I
  • By now you’ve probably heard of (and may even own) Amazon’s Echo. This article shares how that pretty innovative product idea was created and launched: read.bi/1N54EDc

Last week my thoughts turned to ways that we can run our businesses based on a firm set of core values – principles that don’t change and form the foundation for decisions and how we interact with employees, customers, partners, and our communities. I had some tips to share:

  • When it comes to core values, not ALL situations will have a clear-cut rule. Role-play different scenarios w/your team.
  • Openly communicate to employees that the “ground rules” are anchored in the company’s core values.
  • As a biz leader, you must proactively guide staff – showing them when they are (or aren’t) aligned with core values.
  • As your business goes up and down, your company’s values must remain steady…which could be challenging.
  • Clearly define your corporate values – and reinforce them – to underscore the corporate culture you want to create.

I also published a blog post on that topic the other day: “Living and Breathing Your Company’s Values“. I’d love to hear your ideas and your stories about this topic also!


Well guys that’s it for today. Enjoy your reading. Leave a comment on the blog. Be sure to share this post and the blog with your colleagues.

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Have an awesome week!