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Minter Dial
Paris, France
An American, educated in England, living in Paris, married with two children. Passionate about languages, Russian literature, racquet sports, the web, branding and blogging.
Interests: Leadership, branding and the web. Passionate about languages, Russian literature all forms of tennis and the Grateful Dead.
Recent Activity
Ça reste encore du vieux Danois pour certains!
Taking a different spin, your correlation between brand management and political leadership leads me to consider the attractiveness of the dictatorship model. One of the major challenges of democracies is that we live in a 52-48 bandwidth (in most two-party systems) and, because of the systematic disappointment after the high level of expectations set in the election campaign, mid-term elections inevitably cause political stalemates or, worse, reversals. In order to push through some "necessary" yet less than popular measures, a more decisive 'dictatorial' approach would seem justifiable. In a similar vein, for brands, with the shift to democratic brand management where the consumer is [potentially] co-owner and co-creator of the brand, marketers that are listening to the beat on the street can suffer from a surfeit of feedback that, in the end, is unintelligible. Some brands would do better to focus on defining more carefully what they stand for rather than just trying to please the largest number of people to get the highest [short-term] sales. I fervently believe in the need for better listening and conversational skills; yet, with all the 'noise' and the potential for confusion, there is still a role for being visionary and inventing the future in ways that the public has not yet imagined. In this aspect, a more dictatorial [i.e. Steve Jobsian] approach has its merits. One of the leader's biggest tasks is not just to have the vision to decide what needs to be done, but to choose what needs not to be done. This is very often an unpopular decision and, at the very least, a less glamorous part of the job. All the same, prioritization with limited resources and curation of overabundant information are critical skills that take a less than democratic approach to get pushed through. As you suggest, though, having more transparency on data and affixing metrics to which brand managers and political alike should adhere can help re-garner some much needed trust.
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Successful companies in social media -- much like Apple itself -- are outliers (at least today) and I would agree that it is highly difficult to copy/paste the keys to success. Marketers quickly seek to extract best practices from these successful social media companies, yet misunderstand that it is not what they are doing, but how they do it and how they are organised internally that renders their social media successful. As far as Apple is concerned, I am a relatively recently converted fanatic (my wife worked for them for five years in the 1990s). That said, what fascinates me most has been their ability to transform themselves from a manufacturer into media. To the extent that everything will be connected (ie with access to the internet) in the future, it is relatively easy to imagine other companies in other categories taking their lead. As such, you can imagine how cars, fridges and mirrors will become media. As an alternative #2, I would rather refer to the (as yet) untarnished brand of the Grateful Dead rather than Harley Davidson -- albeit they share a common past (in part). The Dead have created another completely unique and unreproducible "model"… Some food for thought from Paris, Minter
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Qu'en penses tu de l'impact de INSTANT SEARCH sur les strategies SEO? Tabula Rasa ou pas??
Reads like a folk story. A week ago I was in Annecy (the Venice of France, some say) on the porch early morning and I was contemplating similar dynamics with French sparrows. What I included in the experience was how do I, as a human, interact with them. Thus I developed my perch strategy: hold a crumb between the middle finger and thumb and extend the index finger as a perch. To begin with, it took one brave bird to make the trip and then they pretty much all followed suit. Only one of the sparrows never figured out how to get over its timidity. Moral of the story: You can't win over everyone, but find ways to help your "partners" and you will surely be rewarded by greater proximity.
TypePad HTML Email And, over time, it’s a hopeless game if the only growth is via acquisition. I often marveled at how Harrod’s managed to stay a uni-store concept. Now, they are going to open up the valves with the new Qatar ownership. I’m sure the world can manage two Harrod’s. However, I will be curious to see how Harrod’s handles the second store, how it will adapt its model, what personnel it will recruit, etc.. Will be interesting to see once the dust settles (of course, the store location is as yet undecided, so we can wait on this one). In terms of managing expectations, I also think of the burgeoning challenge for everyday marketers to get forecasting right. Things can go very slowly or very quickly in the new landscape (at least virally speaking). The challenge of anticipating when one or other product will take off is a big one (cf Apple). And there are managing investor expectations. You have to like the notion of private ownership at times, such as what Hefner wants to do with Playboy: more leeway and time to experiment with the experience (3D viewing for example?) and less pressure on near term results.
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Coming to this thread a tad late (must be because I am on French time). The core problem for me is whether a company has the ability to grow organically its existing business because, whatever extensions or acquisitions are undertaken -- presuming they are in line with the company's core passion and competencies -- the company will ultimately need to figure out how to make those businesses grow organically as well. The cycle of growth is quite predictable if you take a step back. High growth in percentage terms will ineluctably come down. Managing the investor expectations becomes one of the big hurdle as "high growth" investors rotate out and "investment" investors come in to be replaced finally by "blue chippers" (and ultimately become broken up or a regulated utility when market shares are too dominant). Reducing costs is a natural part of the cycle as synergies are found and certain expenses are deemed unnecessary (too often we forget the importance of what we should NOT do). I have not followed DELL, but have observed Starbucks' rollout in Europe and clearly they have not figured out how to transpose the US success model (when and where it was successful) over here other than to open a slew of new locations. There are still plenty of opportunities to create great Starbucks outlets -- I think that they need, as you say, to reinvent the store experience which is closer to their competency and passion than selling instant coffee.
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On balance, I can only agree with the inanity of impotent powerpoint presentations. However, it is worth taking a step back to think of what a presentation would be like without any tools (from the audience and the presenter's [power] point of view). In France, it is not uncommon still to have slides that are just incomprehensible, illegible or both. Alternatively, for the French intelligentsia, you will never see any visual support (sign of weakness?). The objective of a good presentation is, in general, to convince. To convince, you need a good story. And a good story can be told with well chosen images and props. Powerpoint (I prefer Keynotes) is a great way to tell a story if you stick to images, singular expressions or words. ◘ I believe we should not throw the baby out because of the bullet points ••••••
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Ceux sont en effet des composants importants pour une société apprenante, mais encore faut-il que tous les acteurs comprennent l'objectif en commun: la mission de l'entreprise (au delà de faire du chiffre!). Et, comme le souligne @FVZ, la motivation des stagiaires est élémental (my dear Watson). Un dispositif essentiel: l'entreprise remet le RH au centre de l'organisation. Comme tu le dis, la conversation informelle est tout aussi puissant dans la transmission des savoirs intra-entreprise. Mais il faut instaurer une culture d'échange et collaboration. Il faut que les entreprises investissent dans les moments d'échange - qu'ils soient des conférences, des sessions de formation ou autres. Ensuite, les outils web 2.0 permettent des échanges qui sont impossible dans la vie habituelle d'entreprise (reportoriage des expertises, communication à travers le monde, etc.). C'est du blended learning et networking dont il est question!
Un billet et des commentaires très actuels et pertinents. Je pense souvent que les caractéristiques du Gen Y se jumèlent bien avec des valeurs plus "féminines" de management: le collaboratif, le multi-tasking, le win-win, le croisement du personnel avec le professionnel et, surtout l'importance de l'émotion. A mon sens, la vraie question est, rebondissant sur la neutralité évoquée par @Kian, comment adapter les méthodes de management d'aujourd'hui pour intégrer des nouvelles pratiques, dites du Gen Y, tout en gardant ce qui est bon de l'ancien. Ceci requiert, entre autre, un changement dans la façon d'évaluer la performance et des managers/patrons et des collaborateurs (justement appelés, mais trop souvent pas motivés à l'être). Par exemple, il faut trouver un moyen de mettre en place des objectifs opérationnels pour chaque personne tout en favorisant la collaboration. Dans l'ère numérique, il y a, au moins, des moyens formidables pour reconnaitre ceux qui partagent ouvertement -- une autre bonne raison pour qu'entre-prendre se mélange avec entre-donner et que l'entreprise passe ainsi à l'Entreprise 2.0.
Bravo... Le route [66] est longue, mais fructueuse!
My daughter (10) said to me this afternoon that she preferred reading a book first before seeing the film, because the book allowed her imagination to spin freely. Is the power of text linked to the freedom of expression? In any event, is there a Gen Z in the making in the 10-year-old's words?
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Un discours en 140 caractères la prochaine fois!
The real issue is HOW to create that psychic ownership. Giving out stock option certificates is an easy process once you have made the necessary provisions. But, occupying the mental mindspace is a whole other challenge, one which is all too often messed up or avoided. A company needs to create a mission whose values speak to each individual such that the individual believes (a) they attach importance to the bigger goal; (b) they believe they are able to contribute; and (c) that the pleasure derived from the work experience is helping the individual to have a fuller, better life. So, in short, many companies often go for the short cut (ESOPs) because the other road seems long and arduous.
Il y a aussi la question des emails (qui peuvent servir de base pour une biographie, des preuves pour la police...). C'est en effet une question complexe et pas courante!
Le plus intéressant pour moi, c'est de savoir que le système zipcar va bien vivre avec la technologie de voiture électrique.... Fascinant.
Bravo pour le nouveau style de reportage... ça me plait bien.
Toggle Commented Sep 5, 2009 on ils ont dit at A la recherche des temps nouveaux
Thanks for Poll Daddy... always enjoy trying out a new widget... if only to see how well it works for yourself.
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Here is my ROCK of advice. Remember your reader Only key thoughts for maximum impact Concrete examples and exercises Keep the sentences short My thoughts from afar. Looking forward to hearing more.
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