Blog

February 2011 - PS Insights

PARADIGM BUSTING

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When was the last time you thought of a product or service that broke the rules in your industry? Breaking the rules is fun. There are no limits to what is right or wrong. Living on the edge or outside the accepted norms in your category is likely to take you to some very interesting insights and possible applications. Listen to your instincts as you explore the places and spaces your brand normally wouldn’t go. Then go there and make it work within the category rules.

BAN EXCEL FROM ALL PLANNING MEETINGS

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  Ban Excel from all planning meetings. It’s a weapon, not a tool. Make people think and plan first – then add the numbers at the very end. If you start with the Excel spread sheets, what you’ll end up with is a budget, not a plan. And if you start with a Gantt Chart, you’ll end up with a schedule, not a plan. Start with the plan – which takes brain power, not computing power.

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING

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Being the leader is empowering and intoxicating. Staying the leader is about confronting challenges and delivering excellence. Start thinking about how you can deliver excellence in your job and to your organization.

STUCK IN A SILO?

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Take a walk. Talk to some new people. Find out what they do. Figure out how that relates to your job. Start talking about things the two of you can do together. Break out of your old habits and take control of your job and your career.

HAD A REAL CONVERSATION TODAY?

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 Crackberries. Cell phones. Twitter. E-mail. Facebook. Have you had a good real-live conversation lately? Manage your digital flow! We’re noticing that our morning “digital management” time has been increasing the past 18 months. Maybe this is a variation of Moore’s Law – we’ll call it PS Insights Law: The amount of time you have to spend managing your digital flow will double every 18 months. Start to figure out ways to get it under control.

WRITE THE BILLBOARD FIRST

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   Write the billboard first. If it communicates at 60 miles an hour, imagine what you can do when people are standing still. Going down the highway at 60 miles an hour, the most you can have on a billboard that’s readable is 5 or 6 words. See if you can express your idea in 5 or 6 words. Everyone in your organization will love you for it.

ADJECTIVES ARE WORDS ABOUT WORDS

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Adjectives are words about words. They say, “I couldn’t craft a set of words that make you feel excited, so I’ll just tell you the idea is ‘exciting’.” Put in a little extra effort and see if you can write something that IS exciting rather than saying the idea is EXCITING.

SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES

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Next meeting, be the best person to listen and the last person to speak. Silence speaks volumes. So many of us want to jump in and add our two cents. And most of the time, that’s exactly what it’s worth. So start being “the sage.” Be the best listener in your meetings, and if you speak at all, be the last one to say anything. Watch what happens.

WHAT IS GOOD WRITING?

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We’re always puzzled when people say, “I don’t know how to write this.” Good writing is the spoken word in print. Just write down exactly what you’d say. It’s that easy (and that hard).

SEE SOMETHING THAT ISN’T BROKEN?

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Break it! Then find a new way to fix it. You don’t have to break it literally – you can imagine what it would be like if it were broken. Then ask yourself, “how would I fix this if it was broken?” You might invent a new product or service – or save your company millions of dollars with your solution. Give it a shot.