Marcia Conner

Category 'culture'

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

Social Business by the Numbers

Seeking the source of a specific statistic that I included in a talk? In followup to my list of websites with data relevant to social business, many people have asked for pointers to interesting data about social media, social business, and engagement. While it’s easy to think of social business as social media-like tools for use...

inside of a company, I mean it to imply the larger opportunity to connect people, information, and actionable insights. That can begin within a company, and often stretches outside any one organization’s walls to connect with the people the business serves. My aim will be to update this list as I discover more numbers that make... [read more]

Social Business by the Numbers

May I Borrow Your Job?

Use job exchange programs to improve organizational productivity, improve your business culture, and help everyone learn.

May I Borrow Your Job?

People Power

...This vantage point will guide my keynote at the 2012 HR Tech conference entitled, “How HR Can Drive the New Social Business.” This is a conference I’ve participated in for years because human resources stereotypes blow out quickly. People pump ideas, practices, and extraordinary energy. No single event I’ve attended has as much fuel.

People Power

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