Marcia Conner

Category 'Culture'

Girls Gone Engineering

Perhaps the reason only 7% of engineers are women is because rather than persevering, we interpret early failures to mean we need to change our interests to increase the likelihood we'll succeed. A new book, Rosie Revere, Engineer, can offer girls another way.

Girls Gone Engineering

Twitterbursts

As Twitter goes public, I thought it might be useful to revisit with you why I think so much of Twitter and the short bursts of correspondence it sets free. Just don’t call it revolutionary. It’s all about the tools, and it’s not about the tools. To see how I use Twitter each day,...

visit me @marciamarcia. Humans have conveyed short messages, rife with meaning, for over thirty thousand years. Smoke signals have traversed the airways. Expressive quips filled Seinfeld’s show. At all stages and ages, we burst forward. Up, dada. Look at my train. No, no, no. Keys please. Outta here. How cool is that? I do. Be back... [read more]

Twitterbursts

Business Rules, Simplified

When people ask me about the most healthful workplace I’ve worked in, I get a bit nostalgic for the years I spent at PeopleSoft. “What made it so special?” people ask. Recently I had the chance to talk with the co-founder of the company, Dave Duffield, who now is co-CEO at Workday, and told...

him what I share with others when they ask. “It was Dave’s rules–or lack there of them–that set the tone and conveyed to everyone the company was out of the ordinary. Quirky, candid, and with the right priorities in mind,” I say. Dave sent them out quarterly through email entitled, “Dave’s Rules of Business Behavior.” A... [read more]

Business Rules, Simplified

Listen vs. Hear

The phrase “Customer Listening” or its partner-in-crime “Voice of the Customer” always elicits my twitch. Perhaps that’s because it sounds so dang phony, so “I serve people–perhaps I should learn their modern communication ways.” As if that should be followed by, “Surprise!” and accompanied by a photo of a fellow donning a Captain Underpants...

outfit over his worsted-wool suit. “I have supreme confidence I know it all!” might be what he said the day before. I’m not against organizations engaging directly with people buying their wares. Nor am I insulted when companies distill from social media fresh insights on how people feel. If you’re doing one or both of those... [read more]

Listen vs. Hear

Freestyle Learning

In 2009, Coca Cola set out to refresh the way soda was dispensed at restaurants such as McDonalds and Moe’s. It aimed to put choice in customers’ hands. It intended to empower its customer with the act of artistry. Designed with the automaker Ferrari, Coca Cola introduced Freestyle; a sleek new approach to do...

more than serve soda. Freestyle is a drink machine that can mix over 100 different kinds of Coca Cola products including soda pop, power drinks, and flavored waters. In a modern twist on the 1950s soda-shop float, Freestyle brings choice and collaboration to customers’ fingertips. Strangers and groups of diners alike, standing in front of this... [read more]

Freestyle Learning

Develop a Culture for Tomorrow

I just re-read something Garry Ridge, CEO of the WD-40 Company, wrote for my book Creating a Learning Culture. As a leader, I have always intuitively understood that it’s not my job to make people comfortable. And I don’t like being entirely comfortable myself, because that means I’m not moving forward. Several years ago...

at a gathering of the International Mass Retailers Association, I met Don Soderquist, who was at that time vice chairman at Wal-Mart. My take-away from his presentation was this: “You have to separate those responsible for today from those responsible for tomorrow.” A light went off in my head as I realized the implications for WD-40... [read more].

Develop a Culture for Tomorrow

Resolution: This Year Create a Stronger, Smarter Organization

With this new year, you may be looking frantically for a new way to improve your organization’s competitiveness, talent, staying power, and smarts. You’re not alone. When senior leaders of a giant materials manufacturer realized their people were not innovating as quickly as the market demanded–and slower than competitors–they assumed replacing several hundred people was a...

logical next step. They brought me in to reimagine their recruiting, talent management, and leadership development program. They anticipated needing dramatically different approaches than those they’d relied on for almost a century. Before we started, I spent time learning about their organizational culture, wanting to ensure new team members would be able to excel where the... [read more]

Resolution: This Year Create a Stronger, Smarter Organization
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