Marcia Conner

Category 'learning'

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

Pop Music Good for Studies

Are you listening to music while you read this? The new app, Coffitivity, reminded me how much I prefer music to coffee shop chatter and airport terminal clatter (although I admit to having creative bursts with both in the background). That’s why I was delighted to find this short passage. What do you listen...

to when you study or work? Studying to loud pop music may help children in school. At least that’s what British researchers found when they divided 11,000 children into three groups to listen to a pop radio station, classical music, and a discussion program. On IQ tests, the kids listening to Top 40 music came out... [read more]

Pop Music Good for Studies

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

Tools I Use

Yesterday I participated in two fabulous webinars, each with a different focus, yet both with social learning themes. During each I was asked about some of the tools I use personally to get the most from social media–and ultimately learn as much as I can. Because the names flew by fast, here’s a recap...

of the tools that I use personally and some additions I didn’t have a chance to mention. [I’ve made bold links to the primary social tools that I use. The other links are either not quite as popular or they are tools supporting those main ones.] Twitter – A commercially available microsharing tool full of short bursts of information... [read more]

Tools I Use

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

The Year In The Rear

Reflection isn’t just what you see in the mirror. Consider it a light that can guide what’s in front of you and a way to more carefully examine what’s behind. In that reflection you can revisit what’s happened and ready yourself for what’s next. For me, 2012 was full of the unexpected. Time after...

time I was reminded of the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” Today I’m reflecting so that even if 2013 takes me on another grand prix, evidence shows I’m ready for the race. Let me share with you a bit about how the year started and what I did instead along... [read more]

The Year In The Rear

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