Friday, December 16, 2011

Governance: The Directors on RIM's Board


The failure of RIM isn't just a failure of management, strategy and execution. It's also a massive failure of governance.

While it's likely there's a phone call or two going on behind the scenes, RIM's Director's have clearly failed to influence the failed trajectory of this once-great company. Even by RIM's own definition of the role of the Board, it's easy to argue that RIM's Directors have been MIA.

So who are these people? Are they just a bunch of Mike and Jim's buddies - maybe a hockey player, a cyclist and a mad-scientist or two? Maybe they are a couple of local machine shop operators from Waterloo's past who stumbled onto the RIM rocket ship and don't know what do now that the gyros have gone loopy?

Well actually not.

Barbara Stymiest is the ex-CEO of the TSX. According to the RIM information circular, Stymiest serves as a member of the Group Executive of the Royal Bank which is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the bank! She's a member of the George Weston Board.

Roger Martin is a Dean and Professor of Strategy (!) at the Rotman School of Business! He also sits on the Board of Thomson Reuters.

According to RIM's info circular, Claudia Kotcha is "an independent consultant to Fortune 500 companies on innovation, strategy and design".

Innovation, strategy and design! That's like the triumvirate of doom for RIM.


So. Is there any governance experience on the RIM Board?

Well, there's John Richardson. This isn't exactly his first rodeo. From the RIM info circular:

"He was appointed Chairman of the Ontario Pension Board in July 2004 and retired from that position at
the end of his three year term in June 2007. Mr. Richardson was Deputy Chairman of London Insurance Groups Inc., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Insurance, and Chairman of
London Guarantee Insurance Company. He was a past board member with The Insurance Bureau
of Canada and the Facility Association. In addition to the public board memberships indicated
below, Mr. Richardson is currently the Chairman of Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co."

Others on the RIM Board have similar great experience.

John Wetmore is the former President and CEO of IBM Canada. He currently sits on the Board of Loblaw.

Antonio Viana-Baptista is an ex-McKinsey consulting guru and sits on four other Boards in the telecom space.

And then there are the two co-CEO's.

It's obviously difficult to believe that a Board with this much experience is simply sitting around and watching things pile down on top of them. However, shareholders must be wondering what the Board is up to, especially now that it's clear there may be no bottom for the share price.

One also wonders about the impact on personal reputations given what's already happened or what might happen to RIM's business. What does it say for a Dean of the Rotman Business School? Or a Director of Loblaw? Or someone tied so closely to the Royal Bank? Many people didn't realize that Stymeist and Martin are even on the RIM Board. Just from a self-preservation perspective you might think they would find a way to either step up - or away - from what's happening.

 For shareholders it can't be too soon for someone to do something.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Burning Issues! Swampland in Florida, Women's Networking, More

  • Just back from Florida. Sarasota. Got to chat with an actual banker (Iberia) at a bar in Sarasota. He told me that real estate in Florida still isn't going anywhere fast. Don't rush. He's renting a 2 bedroom condo (owns a home elsewhere in Florida) in a beautiful building just up the street from the Ritz in Sarasota. Price? $1300 all in including TV!
  • Long discussions with a friend in the financial services business. Key issue he's seeing - his top producers are getting old. A large number of them will be retiring in the next 10 years. Tradition in the industry the past few years has been filling gaps by stealing from other firms, not train newbies. That's not going to work much longer - they're all getting old. So, big question - how to ramp young blood and get them ready to take on some great great, demanding clients. My advice - look outside the industry at how others intake large numbers and get them ready. Start now.
  • Women's networking is on my mind as a result of our work here at Boardroom Metrics. Women want to be with women. It makes them more comfortable. Which I guess is why there are so many women's networking groups. So let me ask a taboo question - are women/how much are women doing themselves a disfavour networking primarily with women? Even if women hold 50% of the top jobs in corporate North America (which they don't), isn't it better to network with women AND MEN? Just asking.
  • RIM is still around. For those not into Canadian cheerleading of the Company, here's today's article from Forbes. Bottom line. There are no buyers and there is no bottom.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks Jack Astors!

Recently, I met a colleague at Jack Astors. To be fair, it's not my first time there!


When you ask for the wifi username and password, it's comes with this wonderful little explanation:
Thank you for visiting us today. We offer this time limited wireless access service at no charge and we offer it on an as is basis with no support services. We appreciate your business and we want you to have a good experience using this service but we do not employ computer experts in our restaurants so you must help yourself. Having said that, we would like to offer some steps that should help you establish a connection to our wi-fi service. These steps are not meant to be comprehensive instructions, just helpful hints in case you need some assistance. We ask that you please not ask your server for assistance as they are not trained to assist you with this service.
I've been trying to figure out why I like this so much - it is just the wifi instructions after all. Thinking:
  1. it's clear
  2. it's appreciative
  3. it's honest 
  4. it's got personality
  5. it says 'we get it'
  6. it's helpful
  7. it's well written
  8. it's not overwritten
  9. it's good for their staff
  10. it's good for their customers
This simple, well done execution actually helped me feel better about the Jack Astor's brand. That's something I'm sure won't surprise my customer experience friends but is frankly a little scary given how almost insignificant it is in the scheme of running a Jack Astors - or any operation.

Better buy whoever wrote it a beer!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Assessing RIM's Approach to Corporate Governance

Yesterday, RIM's stock closed at somewhere near $19 on the TSX. The stock has fallen off so much that the value of the Company hovers around it's book value.

As a key role of the Board of Directors is to protect share holders, it got me wondering about how well RIM's Board has performed it's governance duties - and why there hasn't been more focus on RIM's Board.

Based on RIM's definition of the role of their Board from their website, here's my assessment:


Board Responsibilities from RIM Company Site
Rating (1 low – 5 high)
Rationale
Ensure that a culture of integrity is created throughout the organization
1
Not taking accountability for the Company's performance is a powerful signal.
Oversee and approve the Corporation’s strategic initiatives and implementation of such initiatives
1
Key strategies have failed and implementation (BBX, Playbook) has been chaotic and disappointing.
Assessing the principle business risks of the organization.
1
The Company's product and infrastructure strategies are key risks the Board apparently missed.
Overseeing the Company’s compliance activities, including the areas of legal/regulatory compliance…
3
The Company appears to meet it’s basic legal/regulatory obligations however it’s approach to disclosure (below) is questionable.
Monitoring the Co-Chief Executives performance.
1
Tough to argue that the co-CEO's have performed well. Even worse, the co-CEO's are also the Co-Chairs of the Board, making it impossible for the Board to fulfill this responsibility.
Adopting and monitoring a disclosure policy for the organization.
1
RIM has consistently failed to announce the departure of key senior execs, raising a question about what else the Board has deemed not material.
Monitoring the integrity of internal control and management information systems
?
Hopefully.
Developing the Corporation’s approach to Corporate governance
1
What approach to Corporate governance?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Following up the Sock Thing

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about tangled cords on our electronic devices. Having solved that mystery, I finished the post by saying I was about to search Google for the mystery of missing socks.

I was kidding.

However, I'm easily distracted and with a little encouragement I've done it. And, there is no answer.

But. I saw a great work-around.

The sacrificial sock.

Instead of tossing a simple pair of (2) socks into the wash or dryer, toss three. Not only is it a great use of those orphan socks, it helps protect the integrity of the pair. It's a truly inspired idea.

Which got me thinking of sacrificial other stuff. Like my friend, Mr. Amazing BBQ dude. When I asked him how how he does it perfectly every time he said "simple. Sacrificial steak. I always have an extra one (or it could be yours) that I cut into while it's cooking.".

Which explains a lot.

Then there's the sacrificial blog post. Like this one!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reality Show - 10 Job Transition Tips

For the past almost two years we've spent a lot of time at Boardroom Metrics meeting and working with folks in some form of job transition. Many are looking for their next corporate gig. Some are very clear that going corporate again is not what they want - so they are making the transition to consulting or some form of 'post-corporate' work-style.

Here's a random mind-dump of thoughts based on two years of observing and listening to people in transition.
  1. get brutally honest about why you're in transition - forget the fluff - it shouldn't take longer than 30 seconds to explain that the company downsized and you're gone - put yourself in a hiring manager's shoes. Keep in mind that everyone has a story and that after a while they all sound like BS!
  2. there is tons of damage out there! we don't meet many people who ever expect to be in transition at this point - AND IT HURTS! finding someone to talk to, to help focus their efforts, to remind them of what makes them great, different, funny, valuable is REALLY important. I'm only moderately good at that stuff but there are people here at Boardroom Metrics who are fantastic at it.
  3. don't make the mistake of being too unemployed - I know one fellow who's been sending updates to his network for over two years! and recently we had the opportunity to meet someone representing a networking group of senior unemployed folks - a group that takes being unemployed VERY seriously - weekly meetings, reports, speakers, etc. Apparently focusing on anything other than being aggressively unemployed (not our thing) was too radical. There's no text book (actually there's probably a ton) on this stuff - breaking out is a GOOD thing!
  4. recruiters are the first stop for everyone in transition. Not hearing back from them is EVERYONE'S story. Just remember that RECRUITERS DON'T CARE. It's not their job. Recruiters are paid by clients and they will care when you have something the client needs.
  5. stop being a generalist! almost everyone we meet is walking around with content, knowledge and experience that makes them unlike anyone else out there - yet how do they want to position themselves?? like everyone else out there! the world has enough change agents, strategists, leaders and motivators! there's no credibility any more. A lady we met recently was all those - and wanted to be all of those - but she also had a PhD degree in mathematics - now THAT's differentiation - the world can always use a leader who gets the #'s!!
  6. LinkedIn is amazing! but it's not a silver bullet. And using it to keep your name high profile by repackaging everyone else' content gets old fast. Instead - start writing your own content, producing your own videos, developing your own tools, creating your own ad campaign. We haven't met anyone yet not smart enough to operate brilliantly on their own - unfortunately many social media tools make it too easy to hide behind others - and, while that's a great way to ease into blogging and tweeting - it won't get you a gig.
  7. you can't be half pregnant - and consulting isn't for everyone. While the freedom and lack of corporate BS seems attractive, staying busy is like non-stop finding a job! It's tough. So inevitably we see people stuck in between - wanting to be consultant but unable to afford it. Like anything, if you're going to consult  - or find a new corporate gig - you have to commit to it - over time.
  8. almost no one we meet in transition is putting in the effort they should - yet almost everyone we meet is busy, busy, busy. here's how we think people should spend their time - 1) figuring out what they want to do - like consult, get a job or just mess around 2) defining their space in the market - consult in what?, work at what?, be differentiated how?, and 3) going for it - having a story and telling it everywhere - through networking, publishing, interviewing, speaking, creating, volunteering, mentoring, coaching, interning. even to recruiters!
  9. being in transition takes a lot of people a long ways from what they're good at - and what they're used to. For someone who's climbed the corporate ladder their whole career, being in transition means big changes - being without a team, having to learn to sell, having to make the coffee, having to write the presentations. That is where networking groups or the what we do here at Boardroom Metrics can really help - learn new skills in  a safe environment - and be part of  something.
  10. for those without huge severance payouts saving money is a huge deal initially that tapers off over time - which seems counter-intuitive. Why? first because most people think they will have a job in 6 months and don't want to invest unnecessarily. second, because it takes a while to realize you can live on less and get comfortable with it, and third - because no one is desperate enough in the beginning. Desperation starts to set in after about about 6 months - putting lots of people 6 months behind investing in themselves.
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How can Boardroom Metrics help?
  • If you're having trouble figuring what makes you great and different try our personal branding assessment. We'll work you through it. You'll come out with greater clarity on who you are and what your plan is.
  • If you've figured out why you're great and where you're going, we can help you get there. We have a powerful web and social media platform you can tell your story from. We network all the time and we bump into opportunities. Our platform gets stronger the more talented people who take advantage of it.
  • If you just need someone to talk to - a mentor, coach, ally, team - we're happy to support your efforts and occasionally kick you in the ass. Let's face it, we all need that every once in a while!
Here's the Boardroom Metrics website. Boardroom Metrics Twitter. Boardroom Metrics Facebook page.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Something Knotty Going On

Ever wonder how the wire on your earbuds for your smartphone or Blackberry go into your pocket semi-organized and come out knotted into an untangleable jumble?

Me too.

It's actually quite freaky. Cords sitting in drawers seem to do the same thing. There's actually a competition based on how long it takes for people to untangle their technology cord jumbles.

So what's up?

I Googled it. Here's part of the answer:

the fundamental ubiquity of knots comes from the fact that they tie themselves: knots are generated by the combination of a long string with some sort of random motion. This is a sort of derivative law of nature stemming from the Second Law of Thermodynamics (maximize entropy) as applied to long floppy things: Long Things Get Tangled.
Wow!

And there's more:

 the knot forms in two stages: First, a loop or series of loops come together, and then the free end finds its way through the tangle.

And surprise - the tangles aren't random. They're predictable:

Among the issues now coming to light is that spontaneous knotting is apparently not a random process.
  See, we knew that!

There's great news though. Here's the solution:

if you don't want the drawcords on your venetian blinds to knot themselves up, get some stiffer cord—or a smaller room.
Stiffer cord and a smaller room! Perfect. Start wearing tight jeans.

That way, no more 5 minute delay untangling some unrandom knot when you decide it's time for a little smartphone music!

Stay tuned, I'm about to Google "what happened to my other sock?"!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

RIM: I Can't Stay Quiet Any Longer

Last week I did a personality assessment that showed I don't always blab what I think. Great news! I wasn't sure.

I've been pretty quiet on the RIM front for the past few months. Discovering I was known for my dim point of view on this Canadian tech 'icon' seemed to slow me down a bit.

Well, today I can't take it any more. 

Anyone who doubted whether this company is done or not shouldn't have a lot more to think about. Three days of world-wide service interruptions that have killed email and bbm (and other web services?) should be more than enough. Blogs and newspaper reports (never mind the Facebook updates) out of RIM's last remaining key markets like India and the Far East reflect a tide that is turning brutally against RIM.

It's one thing to have an antiquated and underwhelming interface, operating system and app selection - it's another thing to shut your users out of a service they view as being essential.

Over the last few months as RIM has been dying, it's been fascinatingly sad to watch Canadians in particular stand up - against all odds including Apple, Android, even Microsoft (Microsoft?!) - for their beloved Canadian technology dream.

Too bad. Because RIM hasn't deserved any of that loyalty.

Listen. Seriously.

RIM got lucky.

They truly innovated a brilliant technology - and a lucrative revenue model. But that's it.

At the end of the day RIM was/is nothing more than another tech start-up.Their leadership is/was egotistical and distracted. Their infrastructure and organization was hastily built and poorly lead. They valued technology over customer experience - and ultimately customer preference. They were late to the marketing game and what marketing they had was amateurish and feature, not benefit oriented.

Now they've unveiled the ultimate weakness. Reliability.

Incessant knocking of RIM's inferior handsets was always met with smug reassurance that RIM's network architecture was somehow more secure - and reliable.

Now that's bullshit.

I'll say this again. I never wished RIM's demise. What I always wished is that they would somehow smarten up - stop being so arrogant - read the signals - and get with it.

That's never happened. And now it's too late.

It's sad.

Really. Sad.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Social Media Strategy for CEO's

By now we've seen a lot of CEO reactions to social media. And, combined with the results of our own experiences, we've formed some straightforward conclusions that CEO's considering social media may find helpful.

They're captured in this Skype interview with Andrew Ambrose of  Paragon learning.

Big thoughts for CEO's and social media:
  • Social media is a tool. 
  • Don't jump on the bandwagon unless you know why. 
  • And measure the tactical stuff first. ROI will come.

Other thoughts:
  • good social media starts with your website.
  • Then YouTube (there's a good chance your company is already there), 
  • then blogging (painful but worth it), 
  • then Twitter (better than you can imagine).
If you're a CEO doing some thinking on what's the appropriate social media strategy for your organization, check out the interview with Andrew here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Top 10 Apps on My iPhone July 2011

Someone once told me that despite the millions of apps available we generally use only 3 or 4. Not me. I use a bunch. Here are my top 10, must have iPhone apps.
  1. Leme Cam - Leme Cam got me back into photography. It's a funky combination of lenses and filters. Instantly turns out way better photos than anything I can do on my own.
  2. Waze - Waze (ways) is super-cool. It's Foursquare for commuters. Truly useful social networking. Not only the whole GPS route mapping thing - but up to the minute road conditions, police spotting reports, accident and other road, location information from other users on the route. It is fantastic. You can even join commuter groups! My local community group has 58 members!
  3. netTalk - netTalk was recommended by the sales person in the Bell store for saving money on my phone bill (??). Free calling all over North America. Works perfectly.
  4. Yelp - Yelp is the best way to find a new restaurant or store - or whatever, where ever. Up to date. Lots of user comments, ratings. Great tips. Even deals.
  5. Skype - Yeah. Skype. Do a video call anywhere. This is becoming a standard business practice!
  6. Dropbox - Dropbox has turned out to be a saviour. Sync my Windows laptop to my iPhone to my iPad. Fastest way I know to go from Powerpoint to Keynote.
  7. ooTunes - ooTunes is a radio app. There are a bunch. Any radio station, anywhere in the world.
  8. Cinema Times - is Cinema Times!
  9. Where Z Timmy - As in Timmy's. Hortons. Coffee. But also includes Starbucks, banks, gas stations, fast food, beer, liquor stores, etc. Love it!
  10. WeatherEye - From the Weather Network. The forecasts are great but the it's the radar that makes it a serious golfers friend!
Other cool apps. Qik (live streaming video app). QRReader (for QR codes). WebEx (conferencing). Hashable (hash tag anyone!).  foursquare (love the other use tips once you check-in somewhere). Natalie MacLean (wine app that even reads bar codes and provides wine info). Air Madness (air traffic control game).

What have I missed? Other favourites??

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Burned-out, summer mind-gazing

Yeah, I am feeling a little burned out. I wouldn't trade places with anyone, but the fun and stress of what we're doing with the Company does seem to take a toll occasionally. Fortunately, I seem to be pretty good at grabbing a beer and a lounge chair when that happens.

So, some thoughts. Sorry to hammer the RIM theme. I know it's getting old. But just an interesting observation. Everyone I meet lately seems to have this sense that helping RIM is their patriotic duty. I met someone again yesterday who told me they'd work free for RIM. Just to help them. Wow!

That's interesting - and a little....sad? Unnecessary? The RIM boys don't want our help - and isn't it time we started focusing on some other great Canadian tech businesses. Without looking around very much, what about Open Text? They're also from Waterloo. It seems to me those guys have gone quietly about their business, built a global leader and get modest recognition. I'm betting they like it that way. Probably the last thing they need is to become the next great Canadian tech hope.

Next. Honesty. I see my buddy John posted a comment on my last post tweaking me to remember that being honest isn't always easy on the people who are on the receiving end. He's right. Some can take it. Some hate it. And me. I've even considered changing my approach (but am apparently genetically incapable). Recently I saw a 'lessons learned' piece in some biz magazine by a bunch of high performing CEO's. One CEO's point was that having truth tellers around is necessary but not easy. And that they won't be very popular. Hmmm.

Golf.  Allan - I'm confused. We golf every Saturday morning. But you have us booked for tomorrow? Isn't tomorrow Friday? Have you accountants been thinking outside the box again?! :)

Back to the RIM thing. Best quote of today. "Sorry. I couldn't watch your video, I had my Blackberry." Uggh!

Final thought. Is Molson 67 better for you than water? I think it might be. God knows what's in the water!

Enjoy the heat!

PS try getting to the Molson 67 page from the 'signature brands' navigation button on the Molson Coors website.  How do you feel about filling out your birth date and location so you can look at one of their brands?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What We Get Known For

Yesterday I met someone for lunch that I hadn't seen for a while. The first words out of their mouth, not even sitting down were: "I see you're not much of a RIM fan.". Geez, a couple of honest blogs! I didn't even know people read them!

Actually I did, and lately I've thought a little about what I am known for and what I would like to get known for.

Here's what I think I'm known for so far.

First, yes RIM. People blame me for their demise. I'm pretty sure that's not true. I was just trying to help.

Second, my views on cancer fund raising (stop giving). My video rant this weekend is the first time I've mentioned it here but anyone who's hit me up for a donation over the past two years knows my feelings.

Third?? Not sure. Maybe my personal views on consulting? I've been a consultant for a long time. I don't hide the fact I think that most consulting dollars are wasted.

What I'd like to become known for?

How about this? Get over your taxes. Roads and medical care and garbage pick-up aren't free. If we don't pay for them, we won't have them. I'd like to think that putting everything in the hands of private business is the answer - only buy what you want and trust businesses to provide it efficiently - but lots of services don't and won't work that way.  The American model (no taxes ever) DOESN'T work. Just watch - and check out Minnesota (Minnesota?!!) which has been shut down already for the past 2 weeks. I'm not sure Toronto is that far behind?

Beyond that I guess I'd like to be known for at least having, and exploring a point of view. My sense is most people don't have one - or if they do - they're either afraid, too lazy, or not sure how to share it. That's ok. There's less stress that way and perhaps the benefits of being known for something aren't that obvious?

I'm pretty sure that won't stop me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smarten up on Cancer - Follow-up

Surprise. I got some basic #'s wrong in yesterday's video post on cancer funding.  It's important to get them right because the right numbers don't change the point at all - they just reinforce it. The correct number are this: the Canadian Cancer Society spent $48 million on research - out of a total budget of $223 million - that's 22%. Some would argue that's surprising - and too little.


Also a  challenge - what ways are you finding to cut out the middle men and donate directly - and efficiently to important causes? See the follow-up video here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Smarten up on Cancer

Cancer and diseases like it will never be cured if we keep mindlessly donating to the middle-men we trust to fund research. This week's news that the Canadian Cancer Society spends a measly proportion of their dollars on research shouldn't be a surprise. Fund raising - not curing cancer is their business. And they do a great job.

We need to wake up. Start saying no when someone asks for our dollars. Start demanding accountability and results. It's the responsible thing to do.

With holding dollars will drive results. More dollars won't. Let's smarten up. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wanna be Cool? Stuff You Need to Know About

The Blackberry is done. Get over it. The boys blew it. Time to move on.

You can't hang on to this stuff. It makes you look old, out of it. Fuddy duddy (of course if you're rich and out of it you don't give a crap - texting your kids from the cottage is all you care about anyways). But for the rest of us...

How about this? The other day I took my iPad golfing with me. Video'd my perfectly horrible swing. The video is fantastic. It explains why I score the way I do. I uploaded it to YouTube. It's listed as 'comedy'.

iPads are cool. If you wanna be cool you should consider one. Of course my 78 year old mom also has one. But that's kind of cool too (forget the Playbook. Playbooks are not cool. They tell everyone you are trying hard to be cool but that you have no real idea what you're doing - or that your company got a great deal and is giving them away free at conferences).

Wanna be super cool? Get something with an Android operating system. Even me and my mom aren't that cool.).

You wanna be cool? You need to learn about Google+? You haven't heard of Google+ have you? Google it.

You've heard of Facebook right? Remember, the kids were pissed when you signed up for Facebook (my mom's on it too)? Well. Surprise! It's done now. Going the way of the Blackberry.  Thanks to Google+.

You need to know this stuff. Here's some info on it. If you're going to a BBQ this weekend use it. Even your kids will think you're cool. And they know better.

Of course if you can get a Google+ invite......woah! You've made it.

Finally, you wanna be cool?  Check out a Katy Perry concert (woohoo, Regina, July 13! - how cool is that?!). Then sit at your Club and yak loud enough so that everyone within patio range can hear you rant on about how your daughter was busy but you went with her friends, and bought them all beer, and Katy Perry touched your hand, and...).

Katy Perry is hot. Her concerts are amazing. And you will sound like a complete, cool, dufus.

And we will all (mostly) be envious of you. Because I'm not going to Regina. And I didn't know Katy Perry was still cool. When did that happen? A few rubber dresses and I thought she was done!

I am so out of it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Competitive Advantage

At Boardroom Metrics we've embraced social media. We use it to profile our people, find people, find work.

It works and it's free / really cheap.

So it's always refreshing to still hear lots of people - and organizations - say that social media is a waste of time.

That point of view used to bother us. We used to try to fix it.

Now, our advice is 'go with it'. Ignore social media, don't learn about it, don't put any effort into trying it.

Leave the competitive advantage to others. Abandon that particular opportunity to differentiate. Make it one more easy tactic for your competitors (they could be people, or companies) to win the hearts and minds of your target audience.

Social media doesn't work. It can't be measured. There is no ROI.

Yes, go with that thought.

Please!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's Your Snow?

I was talking to Andrew yesterday about the demise of RIM. I was telling him how it makes me angry because it was so obvious that it was coming. But everyone covered it up.

Andrew was telling one of his dad's great sayings - "that when the snow melts, all the shit rises to the surface".

It's a great line. In RIM's case there was lots of snow. Like covering up declining North American market share with 'overall smart phone growth', or 'growth in other parts of the world', or 'but they will never lose the enterprise space'.

Frigging DUH!!??

How smart do you have to be to understand that if you're getting killed in your home market - and your enterprise customers are 'testing' iPhones, hanging success on 'undeveloped' markets and business customers  is downright stupid??


Yet that snow covered that shit for the last 2 years.

Surprise!!!

So what's your snow? Where's the white, fluffy stuff straight out of a Warren Miller ski movie in your business? Where's your Waterloo(!)?

At the end of our conversation I told Andrew his COO role has a new accountability - snow removal. He is officially in charge of spotting - and melting - all of the white, fluffy, killer snow that's covering the crap in our business.

The future depends on it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Confused blogging and what's your risk?

I haven't blogged here for a while. And the truth is I haven't done a lot of blogging. But I am still blogging. Here at Boardroom Metrics....and occasionally here at First Time CEO.

Over at Boardroom Metrics the guys at Dreiden have done a fantastic job mashing together personal home pages for our team. Each of our Accomplished Executives gets their own unique personal URL (eg, /jimcrocker)and the functionality to post personal content from anywhere (YouTube, Twitter, etc), including a WordPress blog built into the site. So I've been blogging (a bit) from this blog link.

Over at First Time CEO - I've discovered there's interest from CEO's...and first time CEO's. However, while the content is unique, my real goal is to get readers over to Boardroom Metrics (because who has time for 3 blogs?).

John my SEO guy isn't a fan of me blogging here because it really doesn't do anything to freshen content over on our Boardroom Metrics site. But that aside, this blog still sends a decent amount of traffic over to BM.

 What's Your Company Doing?
Which reminds me - I'm hardly a search marketing, social media guru - but wow - I'm still amazed at the lack of web, search and social media knowledge in the businesses we deal with. I would say it still approaches 100%!!!

Ignorance may be bliss but it's not smart. If you can't be found on the web or don't do business on the web - in 2011 - you are risking your business. If you're the CEO - you should care!

We've got some great resources if you need any help.

See you over on Boardroom Metrics - and here occasionally.