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  • Jim Jewell
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Do You See a Trend?

Do You See a Trend?

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth:  # 7  Have a process to identify industry trends that will impact a customer’s opinion of you.  Wayne Gretzky was the greatest ice hockey player of all time not only because of his physical skills, but because he consistently saw where the play was going, where he needed to be a few seconds into the future.  And he saw that faster and clearer than anyone else. Gretzky said:  “I couldn’t beat people with my strength; I don’t have a hard shot; I’m not the quick...

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Trend Savvy

Trend Savvy

21 great ways to keep up with trends that will impact you and your business We contended in a recent post titled Do You See a Trend? that companies best prepared for the future are those that most accurately forecast industry, technological, and sociological trends.  How do you do that consistently and effectively? We’ve got 21 ideas. Go ahead, try some of these on for size.  Happy trend-watching!  Watch your values. In building your business, you have established the core values that guide you...

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Making the best of customer touchpoints

Making the best of customer touchpoints

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: # 5   Have a fully coordinated, customer sales approach, drawing a customer into an engaging relationship at every point of contact.  One of my beautiful daughters had a modeling gig for Lands’ End recently that put her in the popular catalog and on the company’s website. As a proud father, I searched out the Lands’ End webpage, found her picture and clicked to look at the various shots. I moved on to other web pages, including Facebook, where I was greeted b...

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Listen (to the voice of your customers)

Listen (to the voice of your customers)

Valcort 35 Keys to Business Growth: #3 Clearly understand your customers’ unmet needs, their frustrations, and what they look for in products and services like yours. Last year, when we talked to the senior leaders of a manufacturing firm with a large footprint in a niche market, we sensed concern, even a little despair. The brands they were selling to businesses were well known and recognized as quality products.  But customers were pressing them on price and turning to competitors, often with ...

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The Importance of a Vision Statement

The Importance of a Vision Statement

#1. Have a motivating and achievable vision statement that drives critical business decisions. In one of the best-known passages from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat-- "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where---" said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat. "---So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an...

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Who do you trust?

Who do you trust?

Reversing the pervasive loss of trust in American life Who do you trust? In the public square, that’s a more troubling question than it should be. There isn’t enough trust to go around and nearly every institution—government, media, business, sport, and even churches and charities--are responsible and suffering the impact. All of these institutions have one thing in common.  They are all human institutions. Government doesn’t violate laws, the people who should act as our public servants do. Tel...

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The 7 Most Valuable Assets of a Nonprofit Organization

The 7 Most Valuable Assets of a Nonprofit Organization

When you turn to the financial statements of a nonprofit organization, one of first reports is titled Assets and Liabilities.  I know this an important report, but as a longtime non-financial manager of NPOs, I’ve always been less interested in this report than the statement of annual revenues and expenses and the break out of these results. However, as important as any of these corporate financial assets may be, for the nonprofit organization millions of dollars worth of buildings and cash rese...

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Choosing Gelato and the Value of Values

Choosing Gelato and the Value of Values

I tried a new gelato café that opened riverside in my town in the Fox Valley this weekend and had to make a difficult choice from about 35 amazing flavors. Do I take a risk, venturing into some new area of taste, or do I stick with the familiar, with something that begins or ends in chocolate or peanut butter? Choices like this, the trivial choices that fill our lives, are made according to taste or curiosity or whim, but even they can be directed by values.  For instance, risk aversion or taste...

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“Your young men shall see visions”: Importance of a nonprofit vision

“Your young men shall see visions”: Importance of a nonprofit vision

As an organizational leader, do you have a vision? Is your organization focused on a clear and broadly understood vision of your corporate purpose and future? “If there is no vision,” a 1599 version of Proverbs 29:18 reads, “the people decay.”  Without a vision, missions can stagnate or waste away. A vision is an answer to the question: “What can and should we accomplish?” Scott, Jaffe and Tobe in their book Organizational Vision, Values, and Mission, write: “Establishing a vision is picturing e...

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Trust Me

Trust Me

The tough work of building organizational trust. Trust is a provisional grant that if not supported by action will be removed. It’s a slippery word because of frequent violations! Trust took a hit with the Joe Isuzu farcical television commercials of the 1980s, and Ronald Reagan redefined trust as he created an arms treaty with the Soviets, coining a kind of conditional trust with the phrase: “Trust, but verify.” Most of us are great fans of trust because at its most basic level, trust is self-s...

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