I endured a three hour layover at Hartsfield International Airport last night, I could not escape the Tiger Woods cacophony.   Every gossip publication imaginable plastered his image on their front cover. 

I certainly expect that Us Magazine, People, and OK! will capitalize on Woods' indiscretion. What floored me was the huge Accenture billboard across from the newsstand. There stands Tiger, hovering over a golf ball. The ball is situated in a precarious spot beside a babbling brook.  No mere mortal could ever swing their club adeptly to rescue this one.  Ironically, the ad says, "It's what you do next that counts."
Really?  If that is true, then Accenture has clearly dropped the ball. 

As a corporate sponsor for Tiger Woods, they certainly did not make the right move by leaving this ad in the airport walkway.  Much like Woods, the Accenture marketing team has waited a tad too long to continue basking in the glow of Wood's fleeting fame.

What strategies or brands do you keep carrying in your portfolio that are now producing negative returns?

Few can explain the phenomenal success of "The Blind Side," a movie starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aron.  Even fewer can explain how the relationship between independent production companies and big studios has completely shifted in the past year.  Here are some observations on how innovation happens in the "playing field" called the film industry.  See how this story might just inspire you to think differently about your game plan for growth.

The_Blind_Side 

I recently visited my old stomping ground, San Diego.  I dropped by the Vistage International studios for an interview with Paul Diamond.

If you need to know what trends will affect your business in 2010, listen to the 20-minute podcast interview now. These are ideas you must consider as you revise your strategic growth plan for 2010.

Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan, defines this metaphor as a highly improbable event that has 3 characteristics:  It is 1) unpredictable 2) it carries a huge impact; and 3) after the fact, humans want to concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random.  For example, Google is a Black Swan. They just celebrated their five year anniversary, and their stock continues to trade above $575/share. You could say that Barack Obama's highly effective, viral online presidential campaign was a positive black swan. The September 11, 2001 events exemplified a negative black swan.

Sometimes, you just have to let the positive black swans (serendipitous events) unfold, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Last Wednesday, mother nature presented me with a black swan.  As I was preparing for a very busy day in the office, 42 elk interrupted my schedule.

Elk view from Bedroom Nov 09 
  

Sometimes, you just have to let the events around you happen and enjoy the ride.

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Last Wednesday, our first serious snowfall in Sunriver arrived.  As I was preparing for a very busy day in the office, 42 elk chose to interrupt me.

I just had to stop what I was doing to savor the majestic scene….

Membership in the successful company club has its privileges. However, with those privileges comes responsibility and the need for a more acute sense of the world around you.

You may have been inducted for a number of reasons. Perhaps you invented a breakthrough product while your competitors were asleep at the wheel. Or you are really adept at expanding a loyal client base. Whatever the reason, it feels good to call the shots and to have completed the startup phase of your business.

At this stage, it is only natural to wonder what you could ever gain from reading yet another post on marketing and planning. You have already learned all the hard lessons, right?

Maybe not. You may be setting yourself up for a painful bailout.

Man bailout

How many of us have been feeling a bit…sluggish lately? 

Perhaps you are experiencing similar pressures that my clients have: tight credit. Poor cash flow. Exhausted employees.  Higher benefits costs. Clients that demand more from you for less.

These are not only pressures that your clients are feeling.  They are affecting you as well.

And the rules of creating sustainable growth are very different than they were in the past.

During my recent Road to Recovery Retreat in Rancho Santa Fe, California, I invited my friend Marshall Goldsmith to the event.  My clients were surprised by what he had to say.

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Marshall, a prolific bestselling author and executive coach, has mastered the art of helping successful leaders get better….

As a young girl, I had a personality flaw.
I was very stubborn.
If I didn’t get my way, I would accuse my Mother of various things. “You don’t understand…I really want to go to this party!” “You are so unfair.”  Sometimes, a scatological comment would leak out of my mouth.  Mom would always respond with “Watch Your Language!”

Yesterday I wish I had channeled Mom.

I am attending a social media conference in my home state (Oregon). …

I just returned from a refreshing week in Rancho Santa Fe, California and led the inaugural “Road to Recovery Retreat.”

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Our clients developed the first draft of their EnergizeGrowth Plan and formed accountability groups to stay on course for 2010. Many thanks to our sponsors and clients for a terrific retreat!…

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