"The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." ——Albert Einstein

Our beliefs can pose one of the biggest threats to our business growth. Yet many business owners completely ignore the toxic beliefs that invade their company. Let's face it–it is much easier to focus on improving the balance sheet, laying off non performers, and generating more sales.  Unfortunately, those actions may not fix our company's performance in the long term, or help us attract the best team to position us for the economic recovery.

Do you believe strongly enough in your company’s culture to share it with the world–unfiltered?
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh does.

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You see, Zappos publishes an annual Culture Book. You can actually order a copy and read it.
Even if you are a competitor. (learn more by watching my brief interview with Tony below)

Inside their annual Zappos 2008 Culture Book, you will find all kinds of revealing comments across multiple Zappos departments and locations….

Are your strategic planning activities done from the inside out, or outside in? How often do you rely on client feedback and interaction to refine your plan? And why does it matter?
 
It matters alot.
 
In these challenging times, it's easy to focus intently on improving your internal processes. When that happens at the expense of your clients, you will miss out on obvious growth opportunities. Your strategic growth plan becomes little more than an academic exercise. 
 
My meeting with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (see videos below) reinforced my belief that it is possible to balance your internal planning activities with your client-focused marketing and selling initiatives.  

In these challenging times, you need ideas you can implement immediately. You want to learn what's working and emulate those business practices.

My meeting last week with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh reinforced my belief that it is possible to grow, even during these difficult times.

How can a shuttle driver affect a company's valuation and brand?

In every way you can imagine.

Jo_zapposI had the pleasure today of visiting Zappos in Henderson, Nevada.  My first exposure to the Zappos Way arrived at my hotel doorstep.  She drove the Zappos shuttle, and her name is Jo.  Her passion for Zappos' culture and values was downright infectious. 

Listen to what Jo had to say about Zappos values, and why she loves working  there.

Well worth the 3 minutes.
Click to watch Jo from Zappos Video here.

Is your business growth outpacing your strategic marketing plan?

This is good news and bad news…

The good news is that you are probably too busy delivering great services and products to your clients. You just cannot find that precious time to work ON your business.

The bad news is that your website is probably giving people an impression of your former self.

I recently interviewed Chad Barr of CB Software Systems.  He and his savvy web team are helping dozens of high performing growth companies leverage technology to market their firm.  His clients include Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting Group – a true pioneer in building online communities and powerful content.

How do you drive innovation and better serve your clients during an economic downturn?

I recommend you apply the simple yet profound “123 Framework” from Vijay Govindarajan, Professor, Dartmouth School of Business.

  3 BOXES

Have you announced layoffs?  Are your people doing the jobs of several people? Worried they will resign when times improve?

You should be.

But wait–Inc. Magazine provides inspiration.  Listen to these 8 tips from 8 CEOs on how to keep your best people in the downturn, and get the most from your people:

(My favorite tips come from Chip Conley and Barbara Corcoran):

Which tip will you try in your next team meeting?…

Many of you are asking about my book. Who will benefit? Why should I read it?  How many cases of books should I order (ok, maybe they are not asking that…YET!). 

Information Strategies' Small Business Digest recently interviewed me to learn more about "EnergizeGrowth NOW:  The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company. "These excerpts will give you some ideas on what motivated me to write the book and who will benefit the most from it.

SmallBusinessDigest

Today I hosted a worldwide conference call for my private newsletter subscribers and clients. This information-packed call provides you with:

Five reasons why companies will fail during this recession
The true definition of a wealthy business
Five strategies to guarantee profitable growth in 2009 (a MUST for any business owner)
My latest group offering for peer groups for business owners – and how to apply

 

P.S. If you like what you hear, please post your comments now. …