This Week's Must Reads

Thanks for stopping by! As always I like to begin the week by sharing some of my favorite articles (and, yes, some ideas I shared personally) from the last few days. Enjoy!

  • WalMart's year-over-year sales dropped (for the first time in 45 years). But the company says it's not a concern, just a reflection of their new business strategy emphasizing "strategic investments" w/ long-term focus:  bloom.bg/1M7tDuB
  • This article shared some really good ideas for how to take action to turn your great idea into reality: bit.ly/1X4uSLI
  • Taking money from outside investors is not always necessary. This is a really good story about how a young company bootstrapped its way to success: bit.ly/1qmtppM
  • Garner Group shared some interesting technology trends that you should look of this year: onforb.es/1ZNTWZ2
  • Employee satisfaction is a huge part of delivering great customer service. This article shared some really good tools for employee feedback. Hint: they're not ALL technology: bit.ly/1PHPxPK
  • We know big businesses often struggle with being innovative. This article suggests that bringing entrepreneurs and execs together could be key: onforb.es/1ooAAvP
  • Excel is still used all over the place. This article shares some areas that you should focus on becoming an Excel expert in: bit.ly/1SBMcGK
  • This article argues that research and some basic planning can sometimes be the difference between success and failure for a young business. : bit.ly/1Uv7TeT
  • 3 years after being bought by Google, it looks like Nest could be in big trouble. Why? Some of it has to do with employees vesting in their stock options - and possibly defecting: read.bi/1q5Qa1a
  • The way we work keeps changing...becoming more flexible in terms of space and office usage. This article shares how more companies are rising to meet that need: bit.ly/1Spi4vD
  • This article touches on how employees' career development is critical to maintaining the best talent: trib.in/1RJAJET
  • Some people have developed a very strong personal brand. In this article/video Chris Ducker touches on how someone could make money using their personal brand. this is part two of a two-part piece: bit.ly/1UCAVK4 (I shared part one last week: http://bit.ly/1pIaC86).
  • You should be aware of these five business stages every entrepreneur goes through: entm.ag/1Y0X6XX
  • Are you a micromanager? This article touches on how micromanaging could kill your business: bit.ly/1WV840M
  • Our markets continue to move and change quickly. This article outlines the importance of having a "maneuver strategy" in a rapidly evolving market: bit.ly/1ojYQiB
  • Social media engagement is so key in todays world. Here are some great tools for increasing your actual engagement: bit.ly/1RLKl50
  • We think a lot about what skills and characteristics awesome managers have. Have you ever thought about what they don't have - this etchings they will not do? This article describes some of those:  bit.ly/1Rwyum4
  • In this article a successful exec discusses how she bounced back after losing two jobs in her 20s: read.bi/22VAsDD
  • An organization's leader needs to continually ask questions, the right questions. Check out this article for a really solid list of questions to consider as an organization's leader: bit.ly/1MvRPXG
  • Google is redesigning the AdWords experience for the first time in fifteen years: bit.ly/1RnBYdT
  • In this article, an Apple veteran shares some solid lessons on what they learned about innovation: bit.ly/1UX6a0u
  • Messaging from the top is super-important. This article hits upon what to consider when crafting just the right message: bit.ly/1pFlfrK

The idea of having to make a huge business shift or pivot was something I thought a lot about last week. How do you recognize when it's needed? How do you make it happen successfully? Here were a few tips I shared:

  • If you must pivot your business, be clear not just about where you are pivoting FROM but also where your pivoting TO.

  • Know when a full-blown business pivot is necessary (vs. a more-limited strategy or messaging shift).

  • Be realistic about the impact a significant business shift will have on your business – and how long it will take.

  • Know which measures to watch to decide if and when your company needs to pivot to a new model or strategy.

  • Open communication from you, the leader, is critical to the success of a business model or strategy shift.

And I discussed this whole topic in more detail on the blog as well: "When to Pivot and When to Play Through". I'd be interested in your input. Share your comments with our readers.


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!