You have to hand it to the Swedish Royal Family.  They know how to build and defend their brand fortress amidst the cynical masses. And today's organizations, faced with similar wary tribes, can learn from their innovative marketing strategies.

While Magnus and I visited our family in Stockholm last week, we serendipitously chose to stay in Gamla Stan (Old Town) on the exact day of King Carl Gustav's 64th birthday. We spent hours wandering the museums, observing crowds, and basking in 800 years' worth of historical symbols. To top it off, I caught a glimpse of HRH Carl Gustav marching across the Palace courtyard. (see below). That's where the branding campaign started to reveal itself.

Carl Gustav birthday 

I just completed a highly interactive, fun half-day growth planning session with several of the titans of Finnish business.  The general economic malaise that Greece has generated has clearly instilled a sense of trepidation among many of these leaders. In light of the recent barrage of natural disasters, economic crises, and Senate hearings, how much are these companies willing to take risks and grow?

In Finland, the CEOs I met are deeply concerned about the future of their economy….

It seems as if fewer and fewer people create time to reflect these days."White space" on the calendar is a luxury, not a norm.  As I meandered through the Columbia Sportswear store in the Portland Airport last Wednesday, I stumbled across a new product that not only excited me, but serves as a perfect tool for people in search of a balanced life.

For all of you who are feeling tired, overwhelmed, and overweighted with too many commitments, I have found the perfect solutions to lighten your load.

Columbia Sportswear new backpack
 The New Mobex backpacks (courtesy Magnus Nirell) 

C.K. Prahalad is one of those few global business luminaries who demonstrated a sincere willingness to support my new business initiatives. He lived and breathed innovation. Last month, he generously agreed to an interview for this blog.  Sadly, this interview will never happen due to his sudden passing.  Yet his influence will affect millions in the long-term.

CK_Prahalad_Marshall_Goldsmith_ March 17 2010

C.K. Prahalad and Marshall Goldsmith, March 2010 (photo courtesy of Anil Kripalani)

C.K. has impacted my professional work in three areas. I trust these may apply to other business developers and executives as well:

Just launched some research on how innovative B2B companies are THRIVING in today’s competitive, price-sensitive travel industry.

Attention scientists – I need your opinion –will the volcanic ash clear in time for Lisa and Magnus to fly to Scandinavia next Wednesday, or are we stuck waiting for the cloud to pass? 16,000 flights cancelled. Travel is paralyzed in Europe.

Last month, I met with Michel Kripalani, CEO of Oceanhouse Media in San Diego California. What an enlightening conversation!  I just had to share it with you.  His company offers three of the bestselling apps for the iPhone, and has developed more than 80 of them to date. (More on the way for the iPad).

Oceanhouse Media doesn’t just develop new apps for the iPhone and iPad–they truly model the traits of a wealthy company. …

Last month, I met with Michel Kripalani, CEO of Oceanhouse Media in San Diego California. What an enlightening conversation!  I just had to share it with you.  His company offers three of the bestselling apps for the iPhone, and has developed more than 80 of them to date. (More on the way for the iPad).

Oceanhouse Media doesn’t just develop new apps for the iPhone and iPad–they truly model the traits of a wealthy company. …

In the 1979 award-winning thriller, "The China Syndrome," a reporter (Jane Fonda) and cameraman (Michael Douglas) discovered safety violations at a nuclear power plant.  The term "China Syndrome" reflected the belief that if an American nuclear reactor plant experiences a meltdown, the core will melt through the earth until it reaches China.  (Suspend your disbelief for a moment–we all know that the opposite side of the globe is actually the Indian Ocean).

It may appear that Google is experiencing a business strategy crisis right now–but they are actually averting a global commercial meltdown in the long term. Here’s why.


 Google_office
 

The core of any organization is defined by its values. Our values determine the way we run our lives as well as how we do things at work.  When companies are not living their core values, they have no safety net.  They are inviting a meltdown of trust, repute, and long-term viability.  When they defend their core values, they create a more temporary, less threatening challenge: controversy.   

Google's China Syndrome underscores three important reminders:

Many B2B companies are facing enormous pressure to protect their fee structures.  How do you leverage client input to grow a wealthier company –even when clients are demanding more value for less money?
My recent podcast with Casey Hibbard of Stories that Sell will provide you with some valuable strategies to strengthen your business development process and elevate your value.

In our interview, you will learn:

1.  The 7 NEW criteria for building a wealthy company
2. …

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