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Google Says Teams Perform Better When Members Feel Safe

The notion that people need to feel safe in order to perform highly isn’t terribly original. However, the revelation that teams commonly underperform because their members are afraid to contribute is concerning. According to an article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, that insight was the result of a multi-year research project at Google […]

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Ten Tips for Crisis Communicators

Schedule your first crisis communications scenario planning session Invite business leaders from various sections of the organization Develop your scenarios, which you will disseminate prior to the planning session Establish your decision points. When you meet, discuss how each decision will be handled, formalize all roles and responsibilities and identify problem areas. Because scenarios are […]

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The Real Secret to Customer Engagement: Get Emotional

Advertisers have long known that emotions have the power to loosen customers’ purse strings, but in other aspects of business, emotions haven’t played as favorably. Until now. Recent research and empirical data are changing the way companies think about emotional engagement with customers. Following are three examples of how leading businesses are incorporating emotions into […]

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The Apology Epidemic—Where do we go from here?

  Roger Goodell took us to a new low last week—staging one of the most disingenuous apologies seen since. . . well since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie staged his theatrical presentation of “Bridgegate Was Not My Fault.” Goodell’s phony display last Friday sparked outrage—and Bill Simmons of ESPN said what everyone is thinking: “Goodell, […]

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How to Dodge an Apology–by Roger Goodell

  On Friday, September 20, Roger Goodell promised to bring integrity back to the NFL. Or did he? The NFL Commissioner stood behind a podium and talked ambiguously about mistakes—mistakes he had made and mistakes he was sorry for—but he didn’t define precisely how he would correct those mistakes. Typically, leaders hold a press conference […]

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The Home Depot Breach: 5 Trust-Breaking Errors

On September 2nd Brian Krebs, a security blogger, alerted his readers of a security breach at Home Depot. In this world of 24/7 communications, companies can no longer control the message. But, companies can—and must—become the most credible and consistent source of information about events that affect their brand and their customers. During the Asiana […]

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Why Crises Stimulate Innovation

Change is hard. Even small changes like finding a new dry cleaner or shifting from 2% to skim milk require mental effort. It’s tempting to stay with your current dry cleaner, even though you’re not happy with their service, because finding a new one forces us to think and try something different, which always conjures […]

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Managing Change to Fortify or Erode Trust

Last week I presented on this topic for the Washington, DC chapter of IABC along with Angela Beatty of Towers Watson. While Angela shared Towers Watson’s research that illuminates best practices for managing change internally, I focused on managing change with customers and the fickle role of trust. The process of assessing decisions according to […]

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Technology and Trust: Highlights from Tim O’Reilly’s Talk

Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly media and a board member of Code for America recently posted his slides from a TEDx presentation called, Technology and Trust: The Challenge of 21st Century Government. Following are a few noteworthy highlights from his talk that examine the ethical implications of distrust. “Democracies get their strength from the […]

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Marketing Personas Can Damage Your Brand

Also referred to as “buyer personas,” a marketing persona is a lifelike representation of your customer or prospective customer and it is derived from marketing research. Marketing research and traditional “branding” activities are rooted in principles from the industrial era, a time when mass marketing and mass consumerism drove organizational design. Marketing personas are based […]

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Why doesn’t anyone tell Goliath’s version of the story?

Malcom Gladwell’s new book David and Goliath has renewed our enthusiasm for the underdog, the misfit, the one whose gifts don’t suggest any hint of possible success. As Gladwell says about David, he was the competitor who “shouldn’t have won.” “Everyone loves an underdog,” says Anderson Cooper in his 60 Minutes introduction to Gladwell’s segment […]

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Why I build tools that promote understanding

Peter Drucker long ago said that organizations are no longer built on force; they’re built on trust. He went on to clarify his point by saying that trust didn’t necessarily mean that people liked each other or wanted to spend more time together. It simply meant people understood one another The tricky aspect of trust […]

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