Quitting: The Lie You Tell Yourself

How often do you feel like quitting your job, your relationship, your diet, or your exercise regime? The obstacles are too large, you don’t have it in you, and quitting ...

You’ll Be Delegated To Whom You Sound Like

As sales reps, there’s always a place or a level within our customer where the conversation begins. It can literally be anywhere, business or technical, high in the ranks or ...

Process Analytics: Ignore the Data Noise

At any given moment, any given manager has multiple problems to solve – and no shortage of people with different opinions about how to solve them. One strategy might give ...

Editor's Choice

Sabbatical: Why You Don’t Want to Be Indispensable

After 15 years at APQC, I recently took a six-week sabbatical. So ...

When Hiring Doesn’t Match Strategy

Most companies struggle to close the gap between what a company sets out to ...

The Fourth Industrial Revolution….in Las Vegas

To call this a fascinating moment in history under serves what’s happening ...

Taking Off The Armor

I’m thinking about my teenage daughters.  They’re going to be off to ...

Big Data Is Dead. Long Live, Artificial Intelligence.

Fifteen years of technology craziness and we’ve finally arrived squarely in the ...

Stop Vacation Email Overload

There’s nothing more revitalizing than a great vacation. We all need to ...

I Just Opened My Garage Door from 33K Feet

Pay attention, for as much as we’ve talked about Internet of Things ...

Why Own Anything With Just One Purpose?

Kamarq is a Japanese company that just received $3.2M in funding to ...

Escape the Email Vortex

Few things have revolutionized interpersonal communication like email. It lets us fire ...

Latest News

Ignition of Big Data, Digitization and Globalization

Trends in isolation can look a lot like hype. Trends in combination are where the world changes.  The best example of this is found at the crossroads of big data, digitization and globalization and heard in the clamor about digital business. The impact of these three can’t be overstated: Big data has changed the way […]

Continue Reading

Pain In Practice Beats Blood In Battle

I have a friend and former coworker who spends quite a bit of time training (and retraining) sales people. I’m not sure if the retraining part has more to do with the complexity of sales or more to do with the attention deficit nature of the average sales rep. Either way, he has a great […]

Continue Reading

Hero Culture Part 3: Process Frameworks to the Rescue

In my most recent post, I explained how documenting process and organizational knowledge can help employees easily find the information they need to do their jobs, skipping much of the trial and error that often requires organizational heroes to come to the rescue. When organizations decide to tackle the hero culture problem by documenting their […]

Continue Reading

Big Data Is A Sexy Beast – And That’s The Problem

Humans have always loved information and there’s a cult of worship around being smart and even geeky. We refer to hard things as “rocket science,” perhaps the most expert of all expertise. Even below that lofty level, we have curiosity to know things and we have pride in knowing as well. The Guinness Book of […]

Continue Reading

Hero Culture Part 2: Process and Knowledge Save the Day

As I discussed in my last post – and as many of us have experienced in our own workplaces – a hero culture can be very destructive to an organization. My mother ran a receiving dock at an oil refinery for 40 years, keeping her job through at least 20 reorganizations and dozens of different […]

Continue Reading

Dinner At The Firehouse

Twenty years ago, when I was a sales rep, my #1 stress was my sales manager. I hated everything I had to do for him.  I especially hated our weekly team meetings. We’d start the week off by getting interrogated about our pipelines, our forecasts, our activity, and our “commits.”  It was more than a […]

Continue Reading

Hero Culture: Who Will Save You Now?

Some organizations are always putting out fires. And firefighters, are, of course, heroes. In organizations, being a hero can be a great thing. You’re the guy who stops what you’re doing because someone asks you to jump in and save a project that’s in trouble. When someone needs to swoop in and save the day, […]

Continue Reading

We Accept The Forecast We Think We Deserve

Forecasting is the most painful and error-prone part of selling anything. You might think selling is the most painful and where mistakes are made, but even before the act of progressing and closing business takes place, we ask sales representatives and their managers to predict what hasn’t happened yet. We ask them to make their “best guess” without consistent […]

Continue Reading

Seeing Star Wars In French Was Déjà Vu

SPOILER ALERT: Just in case you haven’t seen the latest episode of Star Wars, I grouped the spoilers at the end.  Last night I did the unthinkable…I was so eager to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I saw it on vacation in France…in French. The hype was just too great. The […]

Continue Reading

Big Data and Process: The Missing Link

Big Data is big, no doubt about it. Lots of companies are doing Big Data initiatives, which means that they have endless information streaming in, being collected, captured, analyzed, and reported. The marketing folks are thrilled, because suddenly they have no shortage of data about what customers are saying about them on Facebook and Twitter. […]

Continue Reading

Leadership Talent: Nature or Nurture?

In his book The Sports Gene, David Epstein examines the idea that there are some people who are just naturally gifted athletes, and others who aren’t but who do respond very well to training. While the naturally gifted athletes can simply walk onto a playing field and outshine everyone else with no training at all, […]

Continue Reading

3 Ways Big Companies Are Connecting with Younger Consumers

By now, we have all heard a great deal about marketing to Millennials. Where do they shop? The internet. What don’t they like? Being pitched to. How do we know what they do like? They tell their friends (and the world) on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine, and other platforms that many non-Millennials haven’t even […]

Continue Reading

Don’t Say It And You Can’t Be Misquoted

My wife and I have a guilty pleasure, we watch the television show Survivor. Complaints about unfair editing are a very common interview topic after a season ends. Not every participant has this reaction, but the few that gripe about it do so many times over. Why are they surprised? If you don’t say it, you can’t be […]

Continue Reading

Your Killer Demo Kills Software Deals

A software demo, even one that fully showcases a product’s capabilities, can easily kill a sale. Considering how often the typical sales rep jumps to the demo, this is a very serious issue. It’s also a terrible shame because demos have great intentions–to be a show and tell of exactly how a product runs, how […]

Continue Reading