• Lemonade – Making Insurance Cool and “Socially Impactful”

    Apparently technological disruption can make any industry trendy and cool – even insurance. Startup company Lemonade is being described by users as “instant,” “fun,” and contributing to “social good”. All this about a company that sells renters and homeowners insurance online. Launched in 2016, Lemonade is based on an artificial-intelligence platform and describes itself as…

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  • Pen and Paper Exercise – Moments of Truth

    As business people, we are naturally focused on business results: profits, performance, market share, and the KPI “flavor of the day”…  But we also realize that satisfied customers are our most important business result.  In the words of Peter Drucker, “…the purpose of business is to create a customer.” Here’s a pen and paper exercise…

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  • Fun and Games at Work

    Fancy coffee bars at work are a nice touch, but to build employee morale while also boosting business productivity, consider bringing games into play. Research has confirmed that adding play to the workplace can actually improve productivity by 20%. Playing while at work unites team members, helps blow off steam, and fosters innovation and creativity….

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  • How’s It Going? (And Other Elevator-Speech No-Nos)

    We’ve all probably heard it 100 times – you need to have your elevator speech ready for that unexpected ride with the CEO. But what if that actually did happen? Would you be ready? Maybe it’s easier to prepare for that day than we think… Here are a few tips and tricks from a guide…

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  • Words to the Wise from the World’s Richest Man

    Jeff Bezos and Amazon have become a testing ground for business-thinking in the digital era. Through an extremely long-term vision and a focus on the “huge value” of execution, Amazon has become the world’s most valuable public company, and Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man. Jeff Bezos’ Annual Letters to Shareholders offer worthwhile insights for…

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  • Migrating Financial Metrics

    Financial reporting and analysis can sometimes seem static and inflexible. But in reality, the field does change and evolve – even if slowly. For example, General Motors recently announced that it would no longer report monthly auto sales, an age-old financial metric in the auto industry. Saying the measure no longer tracks a meaningful aspect…

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  • Tips and Tricks for the High-Wire Act of Running a Live Webinar

    Delivering a live webinar to people who aren’t in your immediate family can strike fear into the heart of the most seasoned presenter. It’s lonely, it’s unforgiving, and it’s usually being recorded for ongoing scrutiny by your evil colleagues, your boss, and your customers. And thanks to technology, it’s almost certain that as a business…

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  • Moat-ology and Competitive Advantage: Buffett vs. Musk

    Elon Musk, one of the original founders of PayPal among other accomplishments, has taken the gloves off in his comments about Warren Buffett’s principle of business “moats”. While Buffett has famously said that “wide sustainable moats” such as pricing, distribution networks, and branding lead to sustainable advantage, Musk has countered saying that competitiveness today is…

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  • Your Company’s Shrinking Life Expectancy

    The life expectancy of a US company is becoming shorter and shorter, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group. At the same time, the possibility of being out of business within 5 years, either through bankruptcy or a merger or acquisition, is becoming greater and greater. These facts should motivate a sense…

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  • Customer Experience: From Warmth to Competence in 7 Seconds

    You have 7 seconds to stop apologizing and fix the problem. That’s what new research in customer experience shows. If there’s a problem, warmth and empathy help (for 7 seconds) but then you need to jump in and brainstorm solutions with the customer. And even if the outcome is not ideal, the fact that you…

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