a brand is not what YOU say it is

concepts & definitions

“It’s what THEY say it is.”

[Definition of brand: a person’s perception of a product, service, experience or organization.]

Marty Neumeier director of transformation at Liquid Agency


how to lose a great employee in 10 ways

random thoughts

“If you’re a good (or even just halfway decent) manager or leader then you probably already know most of this, but it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of them now and again.

1_Be dishonest.
Yes, #1 on the list is dishonesty. Most good employees —and all great ones— have integrity. So lying to them, to their coworkers, or to customers / suppliers is sure to turn them off.

2_Don’t say ‘thank you’.
It’s a small thing, but it really does make a difference. Even small gestures of appreciation help keep talented people motivated and engaged.

3_Forget the values that made your organization a success.
I’ve been part of organizations that truly lived their core values (and even years later can recite them by heart, because they were so prominent).

4_Don’t take time to listen (to their concerns).
Good people almost always actually want what is best for the organization. They may have differing opinions on what that is, but they can be passionate, even fiery about it.

5_Ignore their personal and professional development.
Leaders only follow stronger leaders, so if you want to keep current or future leaders, be sure you are mentoring them. Help them become better professionals and better people.

6_Don’t be selective who you hire in the first place.
We all know that hiring people who really fit and are highly talented is tough. We know that the repercussions of a bad hire are awful for everyone. Make sure people really will fit into your organization.

It’s not just classical micromanagement either. I’ve seen truly exceptional people who excelled in their role end up with their jobs ‘dumbed-down’ to cater to the lowest common denominator and to the point they were no longer challenged or motivated.

8_Set the bar low.
Great people will get discouraged and either leave or adapt to mediocrity if that is what they perceive is deemed acceptable.

9_Be cold and uncaring (to them and to their coworkers).
People are human. Why do we seem to forget this so often? They have personal struggles, ambitions, families, crises, etc. Also, talented people watch how you treat other people, not just themselves, and they take note of it.

10_The ‘usual’ things (under-pay them, intrude into their personal lives, etc.).
Yes, the ‘usual’ things will usually get a good person out of your organization as fast as they can possibly find an opportunity elsewhere.”

Paul Morris strategic finance leader at AlixPartners LLP

8 psychological principles to make a memorable presentation

work smarter

“Most presenters are neglectful of how individuals learn. A few years ago, a research team led by Stephen Kosslyn and comprised of experts from Stanford, the University of Amsterdam, and Harvard made it a mission to unpack how presenters could improve in the art of public speaking. What they discovered were 3 steps that go into receiving and digesting information from a presentation:

1) Information needs to be acquired

2) Information needs to be processed

3) Information needs to be connected to knowledge

If there is any disconnect from steps 1-3, a presentation will not be effective. Their study went one step further by unraveling 8 key principles that help people remember. Here they are:

1) Information needs to be acquired

Principle 1_Distinguishability
Every presenter needs to make it extremely easy for an audience member to distinguish colors, typography, size, format, etc.

Principle 2_Perceptual organization
The content and design of your deck must have order and a sense of purpose. There must be a logical flow or the message will not be received well.

Principle 3_Salience
Important and critical concepts must be clearly defined visually by using simple design techniques like white space or the rule of thirds.

2) Information needs to be processed

Principle 4_Limited capacity
A presenter’s message must be simple and easy to understand and retain. One must imagine they are talking to a child when presenting.

Principle 5_Informative change
Any change must have purpose and meaning. Don’t use animations and transitions just for the purpose of novelty.

3) Information needs to be connected to knowledge

Principle 6_Appropriate knowledge
Jargon and difficult concepts must always be avoided. Great presentations are about brevity and levity.

Principle 7_Compatibility
Every presentation must add value to the audience’s life.

Principle 8_Relevance
The human brain has limited capacity. Therefore, every message should maintain a level of depth to keep things relevant while being simplified logically and visually for the audience to help with retention.

These are 8 principles that can take your next presentation to the next level if you incorporate them when preparing for your next talk. The main lesson here: don’t neglect how the human brain functions and learns. Trust me. Your audience will appreciate your careful planning.”

Scott Schwertly author of ‘How to Be a Presentation God’ and CEO of Ethos3