Creating Real Customer Value is Key for Business Success; More Important– It Must ‘Prove’ That It’s Best Competitive Choice…

Creating customer value is the essence of business. But sometimes you lose sight of what ‘value’ really is. You turn it into an abstract concept– a kind of business-buzzword— and you lose the tangible sense of what it really means to create value. According to Gideon Rosenblatt; value is very concrete– it differentiates one organization from another… When creating value– think different, unique… The purpose of ‘value’ to serve the mission of specific group of customers better than other values.

The concept of value has many different meanings and the definition changes depending on who you talk to… To some value is price, to others it’s– service, or performance, or features… It’s a tangible ‘worth’ that it contributes to specific– consumers or company, or enterprise, or organization, or government… According to Gautam Mahajan; value is the perception of what a product or service is worth to customers versus the possible alternatives… Worth means whether customers feels that they got something special for what they paid…

In the article Customer Value and How Can You Create It by Gautam Mahajan writes: Value has many different meanings. To some value means price, to others it means benefits… It also means the worth of something. That is why you hear some people say– ‘value for money’ (meaning they are price sensitive); and others who prefer– ‘money for value’ (meaning they are will pay for what they consider as benefits…)

The dictionary meaning of the word ‘value’ include: The regard that something is held to deserve; importance, worth, or usefulness of something… Synonyms are: merit, worth, usefulness, use, utility, practicality, advantage, desirability, benefit, gain, profit, better, service, help, assistance, effectiveness, efficacy, significance… No wonder, customers are confused about the word ‘value’ that they uses so often…

When used in the vernacular it does not matter, but when used as a technical term, like– customer value, the meaning of value must be precise, so that everyone understands what it means, e.g.; customer value is perception of what– product or service is worth to a customer versus the possible alternatives. Worth is when a customer feels they get superior benefits over price… Creating  value increases customer satisfaction and the customer experience. (The reverse is also true: A good customer experience will create value for a business).

In the article Create Value for Customers by fortune group writes: It’s common to hear business extol the importance of creating value for customers, but why is it so important? All too often businesses act like ‘walking, talking brochures’ simply regurgitating information. But most customers don’t buy the rhetoric, they are mostly focused on solutions to their problems, and solving their problems is what creates value for them. So when a business beats its chest and rattles off the great wizardry that goes into their products/services, they often fail to understand the customer’s pain, frustration, aspiration…

The underlying goal of business is to create value for customers by understanding the problems confronting them… Creating customer value starts with knowing the customer… You  need to get inside the head of customers and develop good understanding of– what they value… Because it should go without saying that all customers value different things; there’s no cookie cutter ‘model of value’ and how to create it for every customers… Business must build a strong, effective relationships, which lays the foundation for creating customer value…

In the article Critical Ways to Show Value to Your Customer by Mark Hunter writes: Value and price are not the same thing but many businesses often allow customers to think of them as the same… When price is only thing the customer is focused on, then its– lose, lose situation… Value is far more than price; it’s the benefit the customers receives: Think outcome! The customer’s outcome… Keep customers focused on how they benefit from your offer. Prove to them that the value you deliver helps them solve or mitigate– pain, frustration, aspiration…

Value is in eyes of the customer… Value is not what an organization says it is, it’s what the consumer says it is, by their willingness to buy from one organization over another… According to John Jantsch; one way to increase value is ‘stuff’ more features into a product/service in an effort to make them seem better than what others have to offer, but the problem with that approach alone is that it’s so easy to copy… A far better long-term approach is to do things that differentiates a brand by adding real value that makes it worth more to customers…

You do this by creating more value for customers through tangible and intangible acts that builds deep customer relationships. This is how you create value that can’t be mimicked. This is how you create a brand that attracts customers… This is how you create more value… An organization must decide how it will serve target customers; how it will differentiate and position itself in the marketplace; how it will create value for customers…

Value is the set of benefits an organization promises to deliver to consumers that are designed to solve or mitigate– pain, frustration, aspiration… It differentiates one brand from another. It answers the customer’s question: Why should I buy one brand over another? Organizations must create strong and compelling, deliverable– value that give the greatest competitive advantage to target customers… But more important, organizations must ‘prove’ that the claim of ‘value’ is legitimate…

Power of Hope– Real or Delusion: An Essential in Business– Source of Great Strength and Source of Great Weakness…

Power of Hope– Real or Delusion: Hope is the belief that things will get better– for many it’s not just a wish it’s an actual belief, no matter how big or small… For many business leaders, hope is the life-blood that keeps the metaphorical body going, and without hope the desire to give-up is strong… According to Ari Weinzweig; hope is the stimulus to challenge the status-quo, to try new things, to be open to new ideas, to support others who are striving for greatness, to believe that great things are possible…  Hope is vital for growing business, and most people are hopeful about the future, especially when things look hopeless…

 However in business, there is a thin line between ‘delusion’ and ‘hope’, which can drive it towards either success or failure… it can be uplifting or disastrous… There is absolutely nothing wrong with hope, but it must be accompanied with– common sense, check on reality, and most important action! Power of hope recognizes the reality that failure happens, and success is not assured, the laws of physics don’t change and prudence is needed to discern when to persevere– and when to pivot… Hope doesn’t demarcate a linear path, but it does guide us through twists and turns. Hope views the glass as half full, not half empty. Hope supports realistic optimism, a necessary component of success…

In the article Power of Hope Can Be Delusion by Ruth Ostrow writes: Despite insightful, despite logic, despite advice from advisers, some people just won’t let go of ‘hope’… They live in false hope; blind to the evidence that other people can see… The thing about false hope as it leads to resentment and exhaustion. The person whose business won’t pull through blaming everyone; advisers, staff, even the web optimizer… False hope is a delusion that lives for a brighter future but has no evidence that it will come. Hope is waiting for someone/ something to change when there is no realistic reason or evidence to believe that it will happen…

There is a thin line between ‘delusion’ and ‘hope’: Hope is a feeling when something you want desperately has the possibility of coming true. Hope drives people towards success and sometimes hope is the only thing that gets them through the day… Whereas, delusion drives people towards goal that are impossible to achieve. There is no chance of it coming true yet people strive for it any way… The line between hope and delusion is never obvious…

In the article Power of Hope in Strategy (Well, Sort Of) by Deborah Mills-Scofield writes: We’ve all heard the phrase– Hope is not a strategy– and it isn’t, especially when based on illusion, delusion, fiction or false assumptions… But power of hope is a critical part of achieving a strategy when based on what is possible; perhaps not highly probable, but possible. Hope is a belief that something is possible and probable, and recognition that the degree of each is not necessarily equal…

Power of Hope supports realistic optimism, a necessary component of success… Hope is a common denominator of success and directly tied to strategy… Especially when it’s; based in fact, not fiction; based on experienced, not wishful thinking; focused on real problem solving instead meditation; embraces optimism against the naysayer and status quo…

In the article Power of Hope in Business by Paul Ratner writesHope has a place in business, e.g.; in formulating vision or conceptualizing strategy… but it has no place in running a business… According to Jack Dunigan; running a business demands being clearheaded and cold acceptance of reality… Whereas hope tends to engage vague thinkingit rounds off the corners of life’s sharp edges. It edits the images you see so that only preconceived notions are seen and accepted… It tends to promote delusional thinking, which is powerful force, one that can charmed people into a level of fantasy that can disappointing or worse… Hope often rejects facts, glosses over evidence, and wants to believe that something is true, no matter how far-fetched it might be…

Hope when used as a replacement for sound judgment is deadly… Hope inflates the positives, deflate the negatives, and therefore clouds the mind to make intelligent decisions and take intelligent action… It’s important to understand that the ‘hope’ can be bad for business… If a business just hope that things will get better, chances are it’s in deep trouble… Some business leaders prefer to promote ‘hope’ instead of sharing brutal facts of the current state of the business… Some business leaders only superficially discuss the ‘harsh reality’ of the current situation, hoping that things will improve…

But for many businesses hope is a delusion and business leaders don’t exercise sound judgment, motivated by realistic assumptions, with a willingness to accept facts as they are. According to Howard Lewinter; leaders cannot justhope’ that things will improve, they must take real action to make them improve… Often business leaders say things like: I hope to get the contract, or I hope to do (fill in the blank)… Remember; hope in business can be a delusion, and just to ‘hope’, without taking action, will not achieve success…

Stupid Workplace Rules Destroy Employee Morale: Keep Rules Simple, or Kill the Organization…

Rules, Rules… Rules in the workplace are ubiquitous– rules govern everything– they drive processes and workflow across every phase of the business… they regulate how everyone behaves in workplaces… But many workplace rules seem to lack purpose– they are stupid rules, ridiculous rules, rules that frustrates everyone, stymie collaboration, productivity, innovation… It’s time to rid the workplace of stupid unproductive rules… Many companies promise to ‘simplify’ their rules, but they rarely do– mostly they come up with new rules… Keep it simple; the purpose of rules is to bring consistency, efficiency to the workplace…

For sure, workplace rules are essential– they keep the workplace safe, they protect people and assets… without rules the workplace would be chaos. But rules that lack common sense and try to manage ever aspect of the workplace are; handcuffs, limiting people’s ability to achieve the best results… Workplace rules, policies, red tape are a major frustration both for management who enforce them, and for employees who endure them. Employees often cite baffling workplace rules as an impediment for getting work done efficiently…

In the article Too Many Rules Can Kill Business by Paul LaRue writes: Rules are a necessary and critical part for managing a productive and effective organization… Without some rules organization would be in chaos– exposed to unsafe conditions, unclear direction, unfair work environment… But when rules over-burden the organization, they can destroy it… Rules must have ‘real’ purpose and structured in common sense… Consider the following:

  • Spirit of the rule: What is the purpose of the rule? Consider what the spirit is of each rule, and the impact of all the rules combined. Examine whether they all align with the core values and brand of the organization…
  • Customer’s view of the rule: Customers don’t care about your rules; they want unencumbered service and products– plain and simple… Make sure that your rules for engaging customers are realistic, fair, and make common sense…
  • Employee’s execution of the rule: When a rule is unclear, or unfair, or puts employees in a ‘defense’ mode rather than a ‘service’ mode, then rules may need to be changed or forsaken. Employees should be an extension of an organization’s brand, not extension of  its ‘rules’…

In the article Stupid Workplace Rules Makes Everyone Miserable by Travis Bradberry writes: Companies must have rules– that’s a given– but they don’t have to be short-sighted and stupid attempts for creating order in the workplace… Companies create ridiculous and demoralizing rules to halt the outlandish behavior of a few individuals– while they alienate the entire workforce because they don’t know how to manage a few outliers… For example; some of the worst rules that companies create include; Ridiculous requirements for attendance, leave, and time off– when you ding employees for showing up five minutes late, even though they routinely stay late and put in time on the weekend, it send the message that rules take precedence over performance…

 Restricting Internet use– when companies unnecessarily restrict employees the use of Internet activity, it can demoralize and limits their ability to do their jobs… Banning mobile phones– banning use of mobile phones in the workplace is knee-jerk reaction that questions the ‘trust’ of employees and can impact productivity… Stupid e-mail rules– when companies don’t trust employees to use e-mail properly, that’s a sign that there are more serious issues in that workplace… Pathetic political correctness– it’s important to respect all employees and their sensitivities… for a productive workplace, but companies must also know where to draw the line– creating an environment of paranoia and stifled self-expression is a sure way to kill a business…

In the article Too Many Rules are Bad for Business by John Pope writes: There is an increasingly disturbing trend in the workplace– too many rules… which are interfering with the management of an enterprise, as well as, harming relationships between management, employees, customers… In a very competitive world– flexibility and speed of action are essential for the survival, but in many businesses stupid rules are getting in the way… Rules are becoming so complex that they are preventing organizations from being productive… Hence, every rule must be challenged– management, periodically, must ask the question: Is this rule really necessary? What are its benefits? What are its costs?

In the article Too Many Rules in the Workplace by Meghan M. Biro writes: Rules are critical for efficient and productive workplace– they help to ensure an organization’s objectives, while providing guidelines for equitable treatment of employees. But if a company imposes too many rules, employees and management can often feel stifled and even undervalued… Hence the result is reduced morale and motivation which can seriously damage an organization…  According to Harrison Barnes; organizations that are bogged down by too many rules are less likely to be– empowered, innovate, collaborate… 

Rules that run contrary to common sense are likely to be broken, and that means– management and employees must then deal with the  consequences when stupid rules are broken… The key is to strike a delicate balance, i.e.; have enough rules to create an efficient and  civilized workplace, but not so many that employees view the work environment as bordering on tyranny… Take time to revisit the– rules, policies, procedures… if they serve a valid purpose, keep them. If not, eliminate or modify the rules that are seen as harmful to employee-management– engagement, productivity… Create a better workplace outcome– limit the number of rules, and keep them simple…

New Year Resolutions Don’t Work, Find Focus with– One Word: A Word That Can Change Your Business, Your Life…

Forget that New Year Resolutions: Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember a few weeks from now anyway! Choose just ‘one’ word: One word you can focus on every day, all year-long… One word that sums up who you want to be, or how you want to live…The ‘one’ word that shapes not only your year, but also your life… This ‘one’ word is the compass that directs your decisions, guides your steps. The simplicity of choosing a single word as a focus is the ‘power of one’; one word, one goal, one focus… inspire yourself with one powerful word!

The power of ‘one’ word is your North Star for the new year… The word might be eminently practical, or it might be creative, or it might be light-hearted, or it might be laser-focused… But it’s the one perfect word for this new year, and maybe even beyond… A single word can be immensely powerful when you invest in it: Select it! Spend time with it! Embrace it! Recall it daily! Let it be your purpose and measure of your thoughts, actions, your touchstone, guide-post: Don’t obsess with it, just have fun with it…

In the article Mindful Approach to New Year Resolutions by Sarah Rudell Beach writes: Research find that only 8% of people actually achieve New Year resolutions! But; What’s a Resolution? It’s act of determining an action, course of action, determination, affirming a purpose. Resolutions are difficult because of words– determination, affirmation. You are resolved to act in certain way with expectation for a specific outcome… But it’s constantly changing environment, which can derail even the most strong-willed determinations…

Studies show that when employees focus on– process and style– instead of specific performance indicators they actually achieve more… Focusing on specific results paradoxically makes us less likely to achieve them, e.g.; instead of focusing on ‘losing 10 pounds’ try to focus on exercise or healthy food you will enjoy the journey a lot more, and probably lose more weight in process. The focus should be on the ‘process’, rather than single instance of attainment… Ultimately, a new year resolution is about growth and improvement, bringing about– health, prosperity, joy…

In the article One Word New Year Resolution Can Change Everything by Jamie writesThe idea of having a fresh start to clear away the cobwebs of old is important, and the perfect time for a fresh start is the start of the new year… Businesses start new year with a fresh and optimist view for better performance, greater achievement… and look forward to the best year yet. The truth is that most will never succeed with a new year resolution past the end of the first month… Perhaps it’s because they set the bar so high, that it’s inevitable that they will come-up short… Change is possible, but it takes more effort than most people are willing to put forth. So, rather than focusing on total transformation for the new year, focus on ‘one’ word and work to achieve its full meaning…

Your new year plan should be to submerge yourself in ‘one’ word… It should be the first word that pops into your head in the morning, and the last word to slip away at night… Write it on the mirror, put sticky notes with the word everywhere… allow this word to be your guide for making decisions… A one word resolution works better because of the law of attraction, it’s the power of the subconscious mind… According to Sandra Pawula; the perfect one word may immediately pop into your mind, or you might need to let the idea percolate for a while. There’s no rush. It’s easier to see more clearly once the chaos of the holidays have passed… it’s the single word that captures what you would like to achieve, or become, or contribute in the new year…

In the article One Word Can Change The New Year by Stephane Vozza writes: Experts say narrowing down your goals to ‘one’ word rather than making the same old resolutions… According to University of Scranton; about 92% of people fail at new year resolution… Choosing one word solved the attention problem that most people have with resolutions, it helps to better focus on a specific result… According to Rachel Olsen; the one-word technique isn’t just for people; companies have adopted the process, too, e.g.; popular one words, include; integrity, diversity, equality, opportunity… For example; one business chose the word ‘honor’ and displayed it in the office, another business chose the word ‘respect’… When you do something long enough, it becomes part of who you are– it can be hard but that’s part of process….

So what’s your magic ‘one’ word. Begin by unplugging from your busy life. Step away from all the stuff– computer, TV, smartphone… and give some deep thought into the coming new year… According to  Minda Zetlin; this might mean going for a walk, spending some time in nature, retreating to your private sanctuary, wherever it may be… All of these approaches can be effective in finding your ‘one’ word… Here, the important thing is to shut out the world for just a little while, and listen to your deepest self, asking yourself three questions: What do you need? (note; question is not about what you ‘want’, but what you ‘need’). What’s in your way? What needs to go? Then, really listen to yourself, and ‘one’ word should bubble to the surface… Let this one word inspire and transform you for the coming new year…

To succeed, it’s important to put this ‘one’ word prominently into your daily life, so that you are reminded of it frequently. That might mean– using it as a screen saver, hanging it on the wall, using it as smartphone lock screen,  putting it in the email signature. Share it with colleagues at– work, family, friends– encourage them to find their ‘one’ word–to be more effective in the coming new year. You might even consider finding ‘one’ word for your work team, which may get everyone pulling together in the same direction for coming new year. The more people you tell about your one word, the more people can help you achieve it, and keep it front and center…

Golden Age Of Women Entrepreneurs– Smashing Old Stereotype: Economic Force to Reckon With in 21st Century…

Women entrepreneurs are now the dominant force in small business ownership, and they are succeeding in industries that were once taboo for women… Women are not only starting businesses, they are staying in business. Between 1997–2006, women fully-owned businesses, or majority-owned by women, grew at nearly twice the rate of all U.S. businesses (42% vs. 23%). According to Yelena Lipovetskaya;  when you see or hear blanket statements about few ‘women business leaders’; stop and reflect for a minute: First define ‘business’: Does it mean– ‘big business’ as in’multi-national, billion dollar corporations’? Then define ‘leader’: Does it mean– people in billion dollar corporations who spend most of the time occupying boardrooms– wheeling, dealing?

The take-away from all this is a confirmation of what you should already know, i.e.; ‘Corporate America’ is not a very friendly place for women… but as ‘business entrepreneurs’ women are a strong and compelling force… According to the Kauffman Index of Start-up Activity; women entrepreneurs are growing at a percentage rate of at least double that of male counterparts, and women make up 40% of new entrepreneurs in the U.S. According to the GEM survey; women entrepreneurship rates are increasing by 10% on average versus 5% for males, across 51 economies… The gender business gap has closed, and women are more likely than men to start businesses

Trends and Statistics for Women in Business by Lahle Wolfe: There are exciting things happening in the world of women entrepreneurs, e.g.:

  • More than 9.4 million businesses owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people and generating $1.5 trillion in sales as of 2015…
  • Women-owned businesses (51% or more) account for 31% of all privately held businesses and contribute 14% of employment and 12% of revenues…
  • One in five businesses with revenue of $1 million or more are woman-owned…
  • 4.2% of all women-owned businesses have revenues of 1 million or more…

In the article The ‘Force’ Is Women Entrepreneurs by Geri Stengel  writes:  What’s good for women is good for an economy. Economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion… Women are becoming more entrepreneurial, and according to U.S. Census; women own about 36% of all businesses… However, the biggest challenge women face when starting and growing a business is access to equity capital… According to National Women Business Council (NWBC); women entrepreneurs start businesses with 50% less capital than men. Hence, the big challenge for women entrepreneurs is clear; money (access to capital) to start and sustain a business…

  • Golden Age for women entrepreneurs: Today provides a perfect opportunity (perfect storm) for women entrepreneurs: Interest rates are at record lows and creating a robust environment for commercial borrowing… Plus investors are looking for good ideas, creative solutions, passionate performers who have an appetite for risk… According to Kauffman Index: Startup Activity; women entrepreneurs are more adept than their male counterparts, at seeing gaps in the market and seizing business opportunities..
  • Hear women leaders of middle-market companies roar: Women-owned/led businesses now account for 13% of middle-market companies with revenues  between $10 million and $1 billion, according to the Middle Market Power Index… Companies run by women are entering the middle-market at rates eight times greater than men… While the number of middle-market businesses grew by 4% between 2008–2014, the number of women-owned/led businesses increased by 32%…
  • Signs of change in the venture capital industry: While progress for women at big venture capital (VC) firms is slow, instead women are starting their own venture capital firms, and they are making good progress in funding women entrepreneurs… This shift bodes well for women entrepreneurs, since women VCs are more inclined to see the value in a women-led enterprise… It’s encouraging that nine of Forbes’ 30-Under-30 Top Young Investors Of Venture Capital In 2016 are women…
  • Creating more women ‘angel’ investors for women entrepreneurs: Angel investors are an important source of funding for start-up businesses… and chances of women getting funding from ‘angels’ (especially women angels) has greatly improved… But while the number of women angel investors (wealthy women) has greatly increased( one in four angels are now women) more are needed…
  • Moving beyond mentor-ship and support: Mentor-ship and support is great but money is the missing piece for women entrepreneurs. Many corporations claim that women are a top priority, but few back-up words with money… More corporations must recognize the ‘value’ of investing in women– it’s good business that improves the bottom line… Investing in women entrepreneurs provides access to innovative products and services that often better meets the needs of consumers (especially women consumers)… Women make more than 80% of consumer purchase decisions…

This golden age of women entrepreneurship is empowering women who make the leap and it’s good for all– good for the economy, good for all consumers, good for society… No more playing by the boys-club rules for these entrepreneurs. No asking permission. And they are forever banishing the concept that women’s businesses are supposed to be little, or cute, or limited to small-scale home crafts or make-up… The only losers in this golden age of women entrepreneurship are those that don’t ‘get it’ and keep operating with the rules of the past for engaging women…

However, despite substantial progress of women entrepreneurs, the ‘scale-up gap’ between men and women businesses remains huge… Women-owned businesses, in general, still start smaller and stay smaller… According to 2016 State of Women Owned Businesses Report; only 3% of women-owned businesses have ‘high economic impact’; generating $500,000 or more in revenue… Although women entrepreneurs are making significant progress in business there is still a long way to go…

Keys to Consumers Buying Decision- Cycles, Triggers: How They Buy, When They Buy, Where They Buy…

What influences consumers buying decisions? Why do consumers buy specific items, at specific places, at specific times? Is it for price, quality, something else? Do they ask friends or family for help in the decision? According to Rachel Yarnold; most consumers buying decisions are ruled by emotions That’s why businesses must anticipate consumers decision-making behavior and understand the ‘cycle’ that they take when making a buying decision; also, businesses must understand the ‘trigger’ that will establish consumers emotional connection with their product or service… Rational thinking only justifies emotional choice…

There are two key consumer buying decision concepts– consumers buying ‘cycle’ and consumers buying ‘trigger’… A buying trigger is an event, message, benefit, feature… that cause consumers to realize an emotional connection or necessary need– it’s key ingredient for advancing the buying cycle… According to David Skok; when a business creates a specific buying trigger it can move consumers through the buying cycle, very much quicker…

Hence, it’s critical to engage consumer earlier in the buying cycle, understand their behavior and create a compelling buying trigger… Whereas, when consumers are engaged too late in the buying cycle, without an appropriate buying trigger, the business will have lost the ability to shape the consumers’ emotional attachment to their product or service…

 In the article Things to Know About Influencing Customers by CCX writes: If business want consumers  to buy their stuff, they must understand how consumers make buying decisions… The things that consumers think about, and the things that triggers their emotions or needs… there are many factors that influence their buying  decisions, e.g.; most consumers do research and compare different options, and they do other things too, including:

  • Peer reviews: Many studies confirm that consumers read reviews and make buying decisions using them– 88% say they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 39% read reviews on a regular basis. In fact, only 12% of those surveyed don’t read reviews at all…
  • Consumers gather information from mixed sources: Even though social media and internet are important, customers make buying decisions using combination of old media, new media, and old-fashioned conversations with friends, family… According to Harris Interactive; most common methods of gathering information for making a buying decision are; using a company website (36%); face-to-face conversation with salesperson or representative (22%); face-to-face conversation with a person not associated with the company (21%)… Another study says; 59% consult friends and family for purchase decisions… this means that the experience businesses provide to consumers matters a great deal– consumers are no longer relying on single sources for making buying decisions…
  • Consumers don’t often know why they buy something: Consumers    make instant emotional decisions with the subconscious. When they explain the choice, the choice might change completely since the rational mind is then involved… Don’t trust consumers when they explain why they bought something, or didn’t. They might not know themselves, why they did…
  • Simplicity always wins: The easier it is to understand an offer the more likely consumers are to buy it… Hence, businesses must make their– offer,  pricing, messaging… as easy as possible to understand… And, it’s very important to get that first consumer sale… Business offers– products, services… must be packed with value and easy to buy. Once consumers has positive buying experience, it’s much easier to get repeat purchases… Make every buying experience as easy and simple as possible…

In the article Emotions Influence Consumers Buying by Peter Noel Murray writes: Most consumers believe that the choices they make result from a rational analysis of available alternatives. In reality, however, emotions greatly influence and, in many cases, determine their decisions. According to Antonio Damasio; emotion is necessary ingredient to almost all decisions… When consumers are confronted with a buying decision, emotions from previous related experiences are considered… and these emotions create preferences which lead to a final decision...

Emotions are primary reason consumers prefer ‘brand name’ products. Even though many of the same products are available as generic or store brands with the same ingredients and at cheaper prices. So, why do consumers often decide to pay more for brand name products? Simply because national brands create emotional connections with consumers– brands are no more than a mental representation of a product in the consumer’s mind…

However, when product or services are represented only by– attributes, features, benefits… and no emotional links… then most likely outcome is– consumers move-on to other options… It’s critical for business to understand a consumer emotional cycle, and create a compelling trigger to emotionally engage the consumer…

Most businesses fail to understand or engage the concept of consumers buying behavior, buying cycle, buying triggers… Businesses must engage consumers on their terms and adjust their spending and view the behavioral change not as a loss of power over consumers but as an opportunity to be in the right place, at the right time, giving consumers the information and support that they need to make the right decisions… Business can continue to offer what it  thinks is the best in the world, but if they fail to align it with the evolving customer buying decision–behaviors, cycles, triggers… they won’t last very long…

Ordinary People Achieve Extraordinary Results– It’s About Ordinary to Extraordinary: Stretch Beyond Comfort Zone…

The challenge from ordinary to extraordinary: But what is the meaning of the word ‘ordinary’? Dictionary says; common, usual, normal, boring, average… And for the word ‘extraordinary’? Dictionary says: amazing, incredible, uncommon, unusual, special, above average… Notice that there are only five letters separate the words, and that word is ‘extra’… And ‘extra’ means– just a little bit more or better… All of this is well and good, but more important than the word ‘extraordinary’– it’s the ‘idea’ that really matters.According to John C. Maxwell; the  distance between ordinary and extraordinary is shorter than you think; usually ‘extraordinary’ performances are separated from ‘ordinary’ ones by the slightest of margins…

Usually there is just a little ‘extra’ some things that can close the gap between ordinary and extraordinary, e.g; a little extra effortdoing  just little more can yield significant results; or, a little extra time–  taking a little more time to do it better, being patience, can yield significant results; a little extra help asking others to participate can yield significant results… All it takes is that little extra something to go from ordinary to extraordinary, from average to above average… When ordinary people give that– little extra effort, spend little extra time, seek little extra help… they are well on the way to extraordinary.

In the article Stop Being Ordinary, Choose to be Extraordinary by Daniel Burris writes: Every now and then you hear about people who are doing extraordinary things. It could be world leaders saving millions of lives, or business person revolutionizing an industry, or even the person down the street helping to make life better for the under-served people in the community… When most people hear of these extraordinary accomplishments, they think: I could never do that because I’m just an average, ordinary person…

However in reality most people can choose to be extraordinary, i.e., every day, people make the choice to be extraordinary at whatever they are doing– it’s a daily decision… Take a few minutes each day to think about what an extraordinary person in your situation would do. Then, take that action rather than what you were going to do. Then soon, people will look at you and think: That person is extraordinary!

Realize that you are more than you think you are: You are capable of more than you think you can do. Whatever limitations or challenge you think you have, none can keep you from being extraordinary… It’s time to raise the bar on yourself and see what you really can do… It’s simply a matter of identifying what an extraordinary person would do, in your position and then do it. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself being extraordinary. It’s a daily choice. Give it a try now, ask yourself; What would an extraordinary (insert your task or issue) do? Then go do it!

In the article Ordinary People Create Extraordinary Results by Nick Lawler writes: Great business are not built by extraordinary people; they are built by ordinary people doing extraordinary things. But for ordinary people to do extraordinary things they must find a new way of doing things… It’s important to think about the bigger picture, and  understand the underlying causes and effects… To go from ordinary to extraordinary results requires an alignment with the continuous movement of the business circle, e.g.:

  • Innovation without quantification or orchestration is a whole bunch of great ideas that do nothing…
  • Quantification without innovation or orchestration is like counting sheep; pointless and it puts you to sleep…
  • Orchestration without innovation or quantification is running around with no place to go…

In the article Path from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Susan Foley  writes: Extraordinary people are ordinary individuals who do extraordinary things. Many of these individuals never really set out to be extraordinary… They never think of themselves as extraordinary until they begin to understand the true meaning of what it means to be extraordinary. It’s a journey; it’s not a revolution but an evolution; it’s not just one event but a series of circumstances; it’s not what they achieve but the value they create…

 It’s about unraveling the core of who you are as an individual; your core beliefs and values; your motivations and aspirations; your strengths and weaknesses… It’s about finding your hidden self– the person who you really are and the person you are capable of becoming… It’s about reaching untapped potential– stretching outside the comfort zone to explore the breadth and depth of capabilities…

It’s journey of self-exploration– learning to become extraordinary starts with a clean sheet of paper. It’s being open to seeing what is possible from what seems impossible… It’s about exploring unknown and challenging that which is known. It’s about having a vision that others cannot see yet… It’s about conviction, commitment, confidence… in the face of adversity. It’s relying on intuition when you don’t have all the data… It’s having a strong belief in yourself, your ideas, mission… It’s looking at the world and connecting the dots in new ways for the greater good…

It’s intellectual journey– extraordinary are the actions one takes to move an idea or solution forward despite obstacles and roadblocks that get in the way. It’s about challenging long-held beliefs. It’s the ability to navigate through land-mines that stall, slow down progress. It’s not about taking big risks, but calculated risks… It’s not about failing but failing to act… It’s about creating the future not letting it evolve…

It’s journey of self-reflection– every journey has its own twists and turns; its ups and downs; its detours and distractions; its success and disappointments… The path from ordinary to extraordinary is not an easy one but a rewarding one… Not everyone has an aspiration to be extraordinary but those that do must realize that they can’t decide one day to be extraordinary… It’s a journey that starts with a single step…

Clutter Equals Creativity; Clutter Equals Chaos; Manage Clutter in Work Space: Clutter Adds Value to Business…

It’s a world where ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’– being neat equates to being moral, while disorder equals sloth… Whereas, clutter or being messy is about– disorder, chaos, disarray… it’s a sign of– unorganized, irresponsible, untrustworthy, incompetence… But clutter is also a sign of– creativity, high-achievement, productivity, genius… According to Katherine Trezise; a little clutter is OK, but when it gets debilitating or affects other people then its a  problem… However, others say clutter is important for creativity, e.g.; Albert Einstein was a slob– just look at his hair; Abraham Lincoln worked among piles of papers– he even reportedly kept a note on one stack that read; when you can’t find it in one pile then look in another; Alexander Fleming’s work-space was so cluttered that one day he discovered penicillin on a forgotten petri-dish under all the clutter…

Clutter is deemed as a hallmark of laziness, it’s a serious character flaw… According to Richard A. Friedman; contrary to popular belief, clutter is not necessarily a sign of disorganization, nor does it preclude productivity… Some of the most creative and prolific people are inveterate slobs… Clutter, whether physical or digital, is a human behavioral characteristic, whether it’s a reflection of genius or laziness… It’s important to understand that clutter is not about things, it’s about people’s interactions with things… According to Albert Einstein; if a cluttered work-space is sign of a cluttered mind, then what is an empty work-space a sign of?

In the article Dangers Of Cluttered Work-Space by Jenna Goudreau writes: Is your laptop or computer framed with layers of post-it notes reminders? Is your desktop hidden under stacks of papers? According to Adecco survey; majority of workers (57%) admit  they judge coworkers by how clean or dirty they keep their work-spaces… Nearly half say; they have been ‘appalled’ by how cluttered colleagues work-spaces are, and chalk it up to pure laziness... Most people’s work space is consistently floating in sea of– reports, reference materials, multiple laptops, lots of stuff… and probably several half-used cups of coffee, at any given hour… they justify it because it helps them to think better…

A cluttered work-space seems to inspire creative people with new ideas, fresh insights… According to a Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT) study; there seems to be correlation between smart and messiness– messiness is often associated with– artistic, creative scientific. mathematical genius… But also associated with the opposite– careless, eccentricity, unreliability… According to a Princeton study; cluttered work-space can have a negative influence on the perception of one’s professionalism… Other researchers suggest– an orderly work-space promotes better decision-making, which improves worker and business productivity… But they also say; disorderly work-space stimulate creativity, which has widespread importance for worker and business productivity…

In the article Cluttered People Are Smarter by Jillian Knox Finley writes: A string of studies suggests creative geniuses favor a chaotic work-space… Embracing a cluttered approach to business isn’t about nay-saying; it’s about empathy and open-minded… According to Kathleen Vohs; study found that disorderly work-spaces is a sign of creativity and innovation… whereas, keeping the space neat and tidy appears to embrace– convention and playing it safe… Then there are  authors such as, J.K. Rowling, Mark Twain, Roald Dahl… all thrived in creative work-spaces littered with notes, stacks of clutter, random points of inspiration…

In a sense, clutter or messiness is a physical manifestation of defying conventional thinking patterns… According to John Haltiwanger; disorganized or unkempt people are frequently maligned… but, it takes courage or possibly little madness to embrace disorder... In other words, messy people aren’t wrapped up in the status quo; they tend to  buck tradition… A theory as to why creative people thrive in cluttered spaces may lie in an ability to tune out distractions, i.e.; clutter does not disrupt workflow because their brain systematically filter it out…

Many creative people are unconcerned or unaware of the chaos of their local environment, very much like people who have a high pain thresholds, messy people may not feel their cluttered work-space as keenly as neat-niks… According to Eric Abrahamson; clutter has the ability to highlight priorities, e.g.; in a cluttered work space, the more important work tends to stay on top of the clutter pile, while the less important stuff tends to get buried on the bottom of the pile… which makes perfect sense…

The hard truth is that the universe is dead-set against the long-term efforts to bring order to chaos… According to Adam Frank; disorder is the natural law of the universe– the universe loves chaos… Cluttered people are undeniably adaptable, they have spontaneous ability to focus on the task at hand without getting mired in minutia of the surrounding environment– it’s skill-set that denotes a bird’s-eye approach to problem-solving… Making order out of chaos, thriving among a disordered cosmos, is in effect survival of the fittest at its best. Change is constant, but without clutter it lack– creativity, innovation…

Damaging, Incalculable Business Cost of Sexual Harassment: Workplace is Haven for Predators…

Sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t an industry issue, nor is it a toxic workplace issue; it’s a societal issue– affects literally everyone… Sexual harassment law was first enacted as part of U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which led to formation of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)… EEOC defines sexual harassment as; ‘unwelcome’ sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. ‘Unwelcome’ behavior is critical word. Sexual conduct is ‘unwelcome’ whenever the person subjected to it considers it ‘unwelcome’…

If an employee, or manager, or customer, or vendor… is sexually harassed, the law can hold company liable… According to Rachel Gillett; sexual harassment settlements and legal fees costs companies tens of millions of dollars, yearly– in fact, businesses are purchasing liability insurance to protect them against the financial risk of sexual harassment… These insurance policies have become a multi-billion dollar industry, with companies collectively paying over $2 billion in premiums last year…

In the article Insidious Economic Impact of Sexual Harassment by Nilofer Merchant writes: Sexual harassment is more rampant than you want to think… According to polls; about one-in-three people (31%) admit to having been sexually harassed at work… and 45% of women said they have been sexually harassed at work… But the real issues is what happens next to those being harassed; most often– it’s  the pain and embarrassment that is not captured.. it’s the– ‘I quit’, or ‘I hate this place’, or ‘maybe I shouldn’t be in [this industry]’…

More seriously, some women scaled back on ambitions, while others leave companies or their chosen industry altogether..While each harassment story is different when combined together the vignettes add up. According to Heather McLaughlin; about 80% of women who are harassed leave their jobs within two years… Researchers have tried to quantify the ‘costs’– economic, emotional pain, lost opportunities… of those being harassed, but the life-long impact are beyond calculation, both for the– harassed, companies, society overall…

In the article Sexual Harassment in Workplace by Alexis Christforous  writes: Sexual harassment in workplaces comes with both emotional and financial cost.. For sure there is incalculable cost of emotional and mental stress: But how do you put a price tag on lost job opportunities for people who dare to speak out? And what about the mounting legal bills victims face if they bring their perpetrators to court? For many companies paying thousands and millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment claims are treated as cost of doing business… According to the EEOC; in the past seven years, companies paid out more than $295 million in public penalties over sexual harassment claims. That doesn’t account for untold amounts more in cases settled privately…

An EEOC study estimates that 75% of all workplace harassment incidents go unreported, mostly because victims feel shame or fear… and ever worse the study found that 75% of employees who spoke out against sexual harassment experiences retaliation when they spoke-up… With the recent wave of high-profile sexual harassment scandals, a growing number of companies are running for cover and buying– Employment Practices Liability Insurance… The policy insures them against sexual harassment claims, and most of that growth is coming from small and mid-size businesses…

In the article Sexual Harassment in the Workplace by Caron Beesley writes: The most common forms of sexual harassment occur when people are most vulnerable– promotions, benefits, employee reviews… And tied to a form of sexual innuendo that makes them uncomfortable, e.g. sexually charged remarks, unwelcome advances, display of sexually explicit images… Due to the high-profile of sexual harassment in the workplace companies are beginning to mandate sexual harassment training as a key part of company policy…

In fact, 62% of companies now offer some form of sexual harassment prevention training programs for managers, employees… And while these programs are not mandated by law, they represent a positive step forward towards prevention, as well as, protection in the event that a sexual harassment lawsuit is filed… However, companies can best protect themselves through– education and prevention and a few basic steps, including; understanding meaning of sexual harassment; establishing company policy, enforcing company policy

In the article Price of Sexual Harassment by Karl Pau, Maria LaMagna write: Companies sometimes decide it’s worth settling with alleged sexual harassment victims rather than getting rid of key performers who are also the perpetrator… According to Jennifer Drobac; some perpetrators are perceived to be so valuable that companies decides it’s worth paying– a few hundred thousand dollars in settlements to make the problem go away… These decision often comes with one major problem– in many cases the perpetrator just continue their sexual harassment activities…

The total costs– economic and non economic– paid by companies in sexual harassment cases is difficult to calculate, partly because most companies often prefer to settle out of court under a non-disclosure agreement. According to David Yamada; sexual harassment is human thing, and for some people ‘no’ amount of training will fix their behavior. However, prevention is the best policy and companies must do more to create safe and secure work environment… The stakes are high and the cost of sexual harassment can threaten a company’s very existence– Remember, a company’s– reputation and image is priceless..

Ripple Effects Of Business Taxes Reform– Impact on Business Decisions: Who Wins, Who Loses…

Taxes are complicated. The U.S. federal tax code contains over three million words– about 6,000 pages. A casual browsing of the tax code’s table of contents offers a glimpse into the vast complexity of federal tax system... Annual changes to tax codes imply that taxes will continue to become more complex even as politicians tout tax simplification… Also, taxes levied by other jurisdictions, such as states and cities, add further complexity to the overall tax system… However, taxation is as much a political issue as an economic issue, and political leaders use tax policy to promote their agendas by initiating various tax reforms, e.g.; decreasing (or increasing) tax rates, changing a definition of taxable income, creating taxes on specific products…  

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a sensible system of business taxes to stimulate economic growth… However, predicting impact of business taxes reform on growth is notoriously difficult, because the economy simply has too many moving parts. A surge in growth could be due to tax cuts or something else entirely… Even though common wisdom might suggest– reduction in business taxes frees-up capital that can be used in other ways,e.g.; investment in products, increase hiring, improve productivity… According to Kimberly Clausing; the logic makes a lot of sense, i.e.; when business increase investment, that investment increases productivity of workers… and as a result workers get paid more… but in reality it’s more complicated…  plus, there is very little real evidence that reducing business taxes unleashes big wave of economic growth or wage increases…

In the article Business Taxes Reform by Joe Harpaz writes: Tax reform has ripple-effects throughout a business… If for example, corporate tax rate is reduced to 20%, most people would expect a switch to flip overnight and suddenly the new tax rates take effect… But it doesn’t always work that way; historically, a major change is implemented over a period of time. Hence, no one really knows exactly how and when that phase-in will occur… And even once that a schedule comes out, the guidance on how to apply those changes within a business could come quite a ways behind it…

The announcement of a reform is really just the first step. The lag-time between passing of the law and the publication of the guidance from the IRS can be painful for tax professionals. It leaves them in a sort of limbo where they know they will have to make changes, but don’t know exactly what those changes are. It’s anyone’s guess how long it could take… State and local governments also need to accommodate the changes… And at the end of all of this, business bears the burden of sorting through all of the federal and state provisions that need to be incorporated into their workflows…

In the article Business Taxes Affect Decisions by Andrew Chamberlain writes: Most everyone agrees that taxes affect economic behavior. But when the economic behavior in question is where companies locate and invest, conventional wisdom holds that taxes are far down on the list of factors that affect those economic decisions– common argument is that factors like proximity to– roads, ports, educated workforce, natural resources… are far more important than differences in tax policy…

If true, that would imply that lawmakers can safely ignore flaws in their tax systems, because those flaws are almost never important enough to affect their long-run economic performance. So goes the conventional wisdom… According to Mihir Desai; research shows that corporate taxes impacts all kinds of business decisions, including; uses of debt, repatriating profits, businesses structure… and other issues that are highly sensitive to tax factors…

 In the article Business Taxes Reform Grow The Economy? by Danielle Kurtzleben writes: A Big Question: Does reducing taxes grow the economy? A Long Answer: Tax cuts can boost economic growth but the operative word is ‘can’. It’s by no means an automatic or perfect relationship… There’s a simple logic behind the idea that cutting taxes boosts growth: Cutting taxes gives businesses and people more money to spend as they like, which can boost economic growth… Many, but by no means all, economists believe there’s a relationship between cuts and growth…

In a survey of top economists; found that 35% thought cutting taxes would boost economic growth. A roughly equal share, 35%, were uncertain. Only 8% disagreed or strongly disagreed. But in practice, it’s not always clear that tax cuts themselves automatically boost the economy… According to William Gale, Andrew Samwick; it’s by no means obvious that tax rate cuts ultimately lead to larger economy… Yes, a well-designed tax policy can increase growth, but to do so– tax cuts must also be aligned with spending cuts…

And even then, it can’t just be ‘any’ spending cuts– it must be cuts to ‘unproductive’ spending… One can create financial models where taxes generate big effects, but models are not the real world– the empirical evidence is quite different from the modeling results and the empirical evidence is much weaker… The overarching concept is rather simple; fiddling with business tax rates and predicting an ultimate economic outcomes is more complicated than many are willing to admit… Politicians tend to over-simplify the relationship between tax reform and economic growth…

Subtle Shifts in Business, Leadership, Management, Organization, Strategy, Innovation– Bring Big Results…

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