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Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Ideas

To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question

The Great Social Tweet

By Brian Swinden
To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the ‘Net to send out
The slings and arrows for outrageous fortune,
Or to make posts of cats against a sheet of bubbles
And by clawing pop them: to ‘Like’, to tweet
No more; and by a tweet, to say we brave
A heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a communication
Devoutly to be wished. To ‘Like’, to tweet,
To tweet, perchance to stream; Aye, there’s the rub,
For in that tweet of mirth, what trials may come,
When we have shuffled off this wi-fi band,
Should give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of paltry life:
For who would share the whips and scorns of time,
The Oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s Contumely,
The pangs of despised Love, the Law’s delay,
The insolence of Office, and the Spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his Quietus make
With a YouTube vid? Who would followers bear,
To drink and whine of thumb-typed weary posts,
But that the dread of something after login,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather share those ills we have,
And fly to others that we know not of.
Thus dissociation does make experts of us all,
And thus the native hue of communication
Is sicklied o’er, with the vivid lack of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard their intentions turn awry,
And lose the name of Action. Soft you now,
The fair Tweeter? Not in your mobile be
All my sins remembered.

 

 

Brian Swinden is the Owner of Brian Swinden Productions Winnipeg, Canada

Marketing and Advertising

Good Ways to Build a Brand Name Using Social Media – For a new to the market product

By Bogdan Sava

The Social media environment helps a brand interact quickly with the existing/new customers in a transparent, non-expensive, creative way, stimulating the transmission of the brand benefits to its market and generating discussions among customers about the brand advantages, usages, purchase possibilities, ways of improvement, feedback and so on.

Of course, taking into consideration the industry, the type of product/service, type of customers, the social media marketing environment must be taken into consideration in the frame of the overall strategy and marketing business plan, being used along the other environments, on-line or offline.

WHAT FOR: For a new brand, the social media environment can be used for targeting, positioning and ENGAGING the customers into discussions about

-> The new brand benefits;

-> Advantages related the other competing products;

-> Experiences from using the brand offer, shared with other existing/potential customers;

-> Ways of purchasing the new brand product/service, ways of providing customer support and feedback;

-> connecting the new brand either with other brands (of products/services) that would improve or would make easier the customer experience;

HOW:

-> Write articles of practical situations presenting experiences through which customers get the best benefit from the new brand;

-> Ask questions about the way customers use the brand in the every day activity;

-> Make contests, challenging customers to imagine themselves using the new brand product/service, ask them what they to share their best/worst experience and give pieces of advice to other potential customers;

-> Have community opinion leaders (bloggers, journalists, managers, media people, users from the industry of the new brand, etc.) use the new brand product/service and present their story about how they used it and what they liked/disliked, challenge other users to present their opinion;

-> Create creative viral campaigns about the usage of the new brand in funny/unusual situations and determine normal Social media members share the campaign to others;

WHY: -> Through the Social media marketing environment, a new brand has a potentially unlimited cheap, creative means of promoting itself to a virtually unlimited number of potential clients. The only limits are the CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION of the brand owners.

Examples:

1) A Provider of shopping groceries and delivering them directly home: can use Social Media to explain how it offers more spare time, shopping efficiently to clients interested in its service; to engage and present additional benefits, the Provider can present stories or organize contests about the best ways to storage the purchased groceries or the best recipes contest;

2) A bicycle manufacturer: can use Social media to engage people passionate about riding bicycles in outdoors, in nature, can present different challenging events about bike contests and the best ways to improve or take care of each buyer`s bike.

Bogdan Sava

ePayPoint/Gi Group

Bucharest, Romania

Information Technology and Services

Guanxi – Learning something very useful from Chinese culture?

A word about which is probably the most known Chinese word in the business sphere,  ‘guanxi’.  Anhd how you might use the concept, not only in International Marketing, but in Western business – as a strategy.  It will fit in very well with relationship building I think

 

This word merges a lot of ‘social rules’. From the western point of view, it has been usually understood such as some kind of corruption. Of course it could be, but ‘guanxi’ not only means ‘give a favour back’ but also means some kind of mutual help. The Chinese societies, including those who are living abroad,  have been using ‘guanxi’ for starting their businesses for centuries. The Chinese people’s guanxi is related to their social relationships, and they spend a lot of time in order to improve their ‘guanxi’, and it’s not only about their professional sphere but also about their personal one.

 

Making things happen ‘step by step’ is also related to their social relationships and their personal ‘guanxi’. You know, ‘guanxi’ is a really wide concept and condensing this word just such as a kind of corruption is a miscalculation. Western cultures usually think that our lifetime is linear, Eastern cultures think that their lifetime is circular; it’s a holistic point of view. It could sounds like an ‘easy philosophy’, but it’s much more besides this, it’s a whole way of living and way of thinking, where everything is related to one each other, where you are not always allowed to do a borderline between your personal life and your professional life, where the ‘harmony’ rules everything and where the Chinese history comes into play. It also happens in our western cultures, it’s not only property of the Chinese culture, but going into this culture usually means start from scratch because our cultural bases are completely different.
Chinese culture is worth to knowing, they are borrowing many things from our western cultures and they are adapting them in order to make them match to their reserved culture. Maybe we should do this as well. Learning a different way of living can offer a totally new way of working.

Interested?  You might want to check out the new Doing Business in Asia group on LinkedIn

Do you use social media to communicate with your staff?

Do you use social media to communicate with your staff? How do you do it?

 

New plans, announcements, organising, leading, controlling, updates, recognition, sending memos, conveying news. Communicating instantly and effectively within your organisation can make the difference between smooth sailing or chaos, between performance success or failure.

Communication is your company’s life line.  Benefits of bettering your communication:

*Better communication will play a big role in altering an individual’s attitude, because being better informed translates into a better attitude than being a less-informed individual.

*Improving communication will quicken the decision-making process as it helps identify and assess possible alternative courses of actions.

*Using today’s social media technology is also a wonderful way to inspire your workforce’s attitude about their work.  Helps you “guide” the organisational culture

*Socialising your workforce improves your organisational community and culture.

*The controlling function of the management process is improved when communication improves. Levels of hierarchy and certain principles are guidelines that your employees, your team must follow. Guidelines that can include organisational policies, job roles, work problems and grievances to superiors.

What are your thoughts and Ideas?

 

The Benefits of Socially Responsible Branding

Adding Cause to Branding

The benefits of being perceived to be socially responsible are varied and many. Understandably brands want to be perceived as socially responsible. Being associated with a good cause is a quick way for a brand to be gain the tag of being seen as ‘socially responsible’. This shows the brand to be responsible and caring and these are indeed good qualities for a brand to have. While some brands are inspired by a genuine sense of social responsibility many brands look at the image of being socially responsible as helping in building brand stature. The conscious employment of resources by a brand to aid charitable causes in order to develop image, associations and identity benefits is called cause related branding.

There are 5 main reasons why brands associate with charitable causes other than from a socially responsible perspective:

Builds brand preference: Marketing sense states and some research studies confirm, that ceteris paribus, consumers would prefer buying a brand that is associated with a good cause than from other brands.

Justifies a premium: Consumers often do not mind paying a premium for a brand that is known to be generous to a well-known charity as consumers feel that the brand deserves the premium. The knowledge that a part of the money paid to a brand is going to a good cause adds to the positive emotional component of the brand.

Reduces negative connotations associated with the brand: Liquor and tobacco brands often associate themselves with causes as a means of negating a part of the disrepute associated with their industry.

Provides the brand with desirable values: Brands that are seen to possess a very commercial and greedy image may wish to develop a softer image by showing a softer nicer side by donating to charitable organizations.

Useful for raising money: Brands that plan to approach the money market for raising money from the public often show the warm side of their personality by publicly supporting charitable causes. Investors who are not doing extensive research on the brand may invest because they believe a brand with good intentions can be trusted.

As is obvious from the advantages mentioned above, cause related branding has a lot to offer brands and therefore this route is being used by many brands. There are several successful examples cause related branding working wonders for brands it must be understood that a poorly developed cause strategy will lead to no little or no benefits for the brand. The days when a brand could merely tie up with a well-known charity and earn brownie points are over and the intricacies involved in making cause related branding work are worthy of careful consideration.

In branding, adopting a strategic perspective is critical. In cause related branding it becomes even more critical as the process of establishing an association with a cause takes significant investment of time, effort and money. Reaping the benefits of the association takes time and delinking from a cause can have strong negative repercussions for a brand and the involvement of the highest echelons of management need to be involved in decisions involving cause related branding.

There are three levels of decisions that brands need to look at and the implications of each category of decisions is to be understood before planning for any kind of cause related branding:

Deciding the category: There are a wide range of categories of causes ranging from care of deprived children to restoration of dignity of seniors. Categories are wide and can encompass a wide range of sub categories. Within the cause category of care for senior citizens there are sub categories addressing issues such as care for abandoned elders, medical treatment of senior citizens, etc. It is important to choose the right kind of category and sub category as a prelude to deciding a relevant issue to back within this category.

Deciding the specific issue: Categories of causes consist of different issues. Issues are specific such as programmes to aid restoration of dignity of senior citizens that feel deprived of dignity following their old age. Focussing on specific issues is important for brands as it helps fine tune the values that flow from the association.

Deciding the specific institutions: Unless the brand is willing to create a trust that handles the responsibilities of the cause it will have to depend on institutions to run the operational aspects involved in the execution of cause related activities. Aligning with an institution that caters to a specific cause can provide a brand with strong associations however there are times when brands need to ensure that they are not overshadowed by charities that are stronger brands than their sponsors.

These are some of the aspects that need to be studied before a brand decides to associate with a charitable cause.

What is the relevance of the cause to the brand’s consumer segment?: Association with a charitable cause does not immediately mean that consumers will immediately hold the brand in high esteem. Consumers must find the cause relevant to their value system before the brand receives any approbation. For example: Not all consumers may be equally supportive of a cause that looks at providing food and shelter to immigrants/refugees. These consumers may be more supportive of causes that benefit their countrymen.

How different is it?: Many people are inured to causes and even associations with a good cause like Cancer Care may neither draw much attention to the brand or to the cause nor would the association be very memorable. Finding a cause that is relevant and yet different would help in enhancing the memorability of the brand and cause. For example: A trust that looks after veteran entertainers suffering from terminal diseases can be seen as a worthy cause to support as it appreciates people who once entertained and gave others happiness.

Can the cause be owned?: It is normally difficult to own a cause as this would require immense investment of resources. A niche cause like the one mentioned in the above example may not require huge investments and may not see many other brands supporting this cause. The task of guarding the cause associations may not be very tough nor may the cost of running such a trust be very high.

Will it hold enduring relevance with this segment?: Some causes are contextual. These causes appear to touch a sensitive chord with consumers and then suddenly seem to lose their appeal. Often charities in India catering to cyclone victims suddenly find their support waning in the wake of a fresh new tragedy in a different part of the country. Public sympathy often veers towards the more current tragedies.

How will the relationship be positioned?: The nature of the brand’s relationship with the cause can influence consumer perceptions of the brand. A brand that extends it relationship beyond the financial support to also provide investments of time and talent would most likely stand to gain greater credibility from the relationship than would a brand that only provides money. Brands that appear to only offer financial support may be seen as ‘forced’ or ‘insincere’ and this could in some cases prove counterproductive.

Controversial issues: Brands need to be careful while handling causes associated with controversial issues. For example: A ‘euthanasia’ support foundation campaigning for change in legislation towards euthanasia may be seen by some as a worthy cause but association with this cause may lead to the brand supporting it being embroiled in controversy at some stage of its association if public opinion suffers from the occasional mood swing. While some brands court controversy through short term associations with controversial causes this could be risky as well as counter productive as the issue could turn ugly and taint the brand or it could grow far bigger than the brand.

Cause related branding works best when it is driven by the core values of the brand. Like anything else that is forced, cause related branding could prove counterproductive if it is not a ‘natural’ facet of the brand. When it is not ‘natural’ to the brand then the cause related activities are de-prioritised and lose focus often with corresponding effect on the brand.

In an increasingly cynical world, the value of genuinely sensitive acts is extremely high. There are several cries for brands to show greater responsibility and to share a small part of their wealth with the less privileged. The current economic strife created by schizophrenic brands that show dissonance between their different actions has led to lower levels of consumer belief in brands. Cause related branding performed with genuine intent can help restore consumer trust and build brand equity

Like this short article?  Please comment.  And have a look at other articles  in our sister blog http://smartamarketing.wordpress and checkout the smartamarketing posts on SlideShare. (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

What Good Political Leaders Need

Most people have a poor view of “politicians”.  Many think that business people would do a better job.  I recently said to someone, that it is important to have political leaders who understand the realities of politics.  Very few business people do and would need to learn on the job.  Do we want to pay these learners big bucks while they learn?  And few will succeed.

 

Of course what we need are “good” politicians, but how do we determine the right qualities?

There are three qualities that Weber (1919) said that all politicians should have.

Passion

Politicians should have a clear commitment to a cause, for which they can sustain necessary passion. It is often based on faith, where the politician has a vision for the future and seeks to make it come true.

Politics is not straightforward and the road to change may be a very crooked path. Passion provides the energy to keep the politician moving and overcoming obstacles.

Passion is also a great persuader. If you are passionate about a cause then others may be infected with your enthusiasm. Impassion and lack of care seldom sells.

Being able to feel passion is not enough. Passion without responsibility can lead to revolutionary fervor and crime. Passion without judgment can lead to ineffective or dangerous decisions.

Judgement

Politicians make decisions that affect many lives, including their own. A poor political decision can be professional suicide.

Political judgment includes when to keep things secret and when to go public. It is also important to be able to judge the hidden self of other people.

Judgment alone is not enough. Judgment without passion gets nothing done. Judgment without responsibility does not serve the politician’s constituency.

Responsibility

Politicians serve a wider community and so should always consider others and have their best interests at heart. It thus needs an understanding and adoption of of social values.

Without responsibility, the politician becomes selfish and interested first in their own careers and goals. Vanity and narcissism tends to reduce responsibility, although it can also lead to the politician needing to appear responsible.

‘Power politics’, in which the acquisition and use of power is a distracting end in itself, is typical of a lack of responsibility. Beyond this, the ‘politics of violence’ justifies war and other acts against the body to achieve desired ends. Politics encompasses many paradoxes and dilemmas, making it easy to justify acts of power and aggression. This makes a strong sense of responsibility even more important.

Responsibility without passion does not lead the change. Responsibility without judgment leads to ineffective or dangerous decisions.

I would add:

Political knowledge and ability

Politics is about the art of the possible.  None of the above will work unless the incumbent knows how to be an effective politician and get things done

It is not enough for a leader to know the right thing.  They need to know how to make that thing work.

 

Weber, M. (1919). Political Writings, ed. P. Lassman and R. Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

How Do You Foster Creativity?

By John Harrington

As a Creative Director for 20+ years, I’ve learned some tricks that help amplify creativity in any department of a company.
1. Create an environment of praise instead of fear. Nothing dries up creativity faster than rampant negativity and fear of making a mistake.
2. Don’t give people a million rules, give them a few absolute ones then let them have
free rein on everything else.
3. Don’t take the credit, give the credit.
4. Praise the behavior you want loudly and often.
5. Be fair, but don’t tolerate non-performers. Keeping around dead weight demoralizes the people who are trying really hard.
6. Don’t compete with your underlings. If you’re always trying to one up your staff, they
will quit trying eventually. If they don’t solve the problem exactly the way you would have,
GREAT!!!
7. Give people a clear, simple, lofty vision of where you want to go. BE VERY CONSISTENT TO SUPPORT THAT VISION.
8. Don’t worry so much about watching the clock on employees. If they accomplish the goals you want, let them figure out creative ways and times to make it happen.
9. Try in inject some aspect of fun into everything you do right down to the office space.
Just look at the offices, benefits and the results that Google has.

Do all that and you’ll have the best and the brightest lining up to work on your team.

 

John Harrington   is President at Blackbox Advertising and Owner, Blackbox Advertising

Kansas City, Missouri

Build Your Personal Brand

Dr. Brian Monger

Branding is not just for products. ‘Personal brand’ has become an increasingly common phrase. Just as traditional product branding helps organisations to draw market awareness, public recognition and customer loyalty to them, building your own personal brand can have a positive effect on employers’ and clients’s attitude to you as a professional. Let’s take a look at how to build your brand

Your personal brand needs to show in everything you do and are involved in.  It’s about your value (offer) to others.

Your personal brand represents what you mean to others.  How they feel about you and how they value you

Focus on who (your target market/audience) you want to connect with and impress.

You don’t need to impress everyone (you never will BTW) You want to impress and be meaningful to who matters to you.  You need to understand your audience/target market(s) in-depth, so you know what will make a positive impression.

Your brand should reflect authenticity and the value that you have.

Focus on what you can deliver; what you want to deliver.  Do not try to be what you cannot be or what will be too hard for you to deliver.

In your personal brand, highlight what value you believe is needed in the market and that is pertinent to you.

Use your brand to demonstrate to clients and employers what benefits and value (that’s what people want and buy)  you’d be adding for them (first) to their organisation (second if they choose to go with you.  Be clear in your understanding of the market and their need for people like you and for what it is you can do for them.

Differentiate your personal brand from other offerings

From a long-term (strategic) point of view, personal brand effectiveness will only work if your audience/target market(s) can differentiate you from the competition.  If they cannot differentiate you from everyone else in the same market you become just like any commodity.  You will not be noticed or appreciated.  You can compete only as a low price commodity.  So don’t use the standard terms everyone else is using about themselves.  Here again it is vital to really know and understand your market/audience.  And if you are being truly authentic as well you will of course be different.

Consider the right medium/media for conveying your brand message.

The digital world is prominent these days, but it is certainly not the only, or even necessarily the best medium for your message.  First you need to know what media your audience/target market(s), use and fight credible.  And do not forget face to face is often the best media.

Think as professionally as you can to develop your personal brand and your brand message 

Your personal brand is about presenting yourself in an effective and professional way, so act like one.

Dr. Brian Monger is a marketing specialist with over 4o years experience.  He is a recognised expert on branding and social media.  He can advise and assist in developing effective personal branding. His professional profile and recommendations can be found on Linked In (Dr. Brian).  Contact him via info @marketing.org.au.

See more articles on marketing and management – smartamarketing.wordpress.com.  Add visit our website http://www.marketing.org.au  or our groups on Linkedin – MAANZ Smartamarketing and MAANZ International

What Should you Charge Clients?

Charging What You’re Worth for Professional Consulting Services

Two of the perennial problems that many consultants face are how to set their prices, and how to convey to potential clients the value in working with them, buying your service product.

Lack of clarity as to what you are worth to clients will undermine your confidence and often lead to trying to compensate by over delivering and over promoting.

Here are some simple ideas to help you get clear on the value you deliver, and to charge fees that are in line with that.

1. Not all clients (customers) are the same.  Your value to them will be different.  That is why it is important to think like an effective marketer and segment/target.  And segmentation needs to more than Demographics/Firmagraphics.

Value is specific (and perceptual) to each market/segment and situation.  You need to create a market segment profile for each target market.  The more detail, the better your understanding.  If it is only a few words, you do not understand your market well enough.

If you are struggling to make a useful segment profile (it takes a bit of knowledge and time) – seek help.  Also check out http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com for ideas about effective segmentation.  You will find other useful and free ideas in the many ideas there as well

2.  What value do you offer? An effective exercise is to list 30 results that your clients get in working with you. Your Product is both goods (tangibles) and services (intangibles). Be sure to list the tangible as well as the non-tangible. Dig deep. If you’re new to your business, then look at the results that are typical of your particular profession or industry, and ask yourself how you can help people create that.

If you are struggling to make a 30 list (it takes time) – seek help

3  Once you have made your basic list, look at it from a client’s perspective.  What benefits are there for them?  Clients/customers buy benefits (intangible services – supported by tangibles).  Put yourself in their shoes and ask “What’s in it for me” (WIIFM).

4. Determine a Price.  Determine not what you think you are worth – but what your prospective clients are prepared to pay.  What clients think may be wrong, but that is what you need to work with.  If you think they should see you as being worth more, then you need to work out how to persuade them of that fact.  While your costs are important in determining an asking Price, Clients don’t care about your costs except where it offers them some advantage.  Adopt a good marketing approach when looking at your cost decisions.  Ask “How can this benefit my clients in such a way as I can add it to my value offer”?

Create Price Lines – that is different asking prices for different segments and offerings.

Price different offerings (Products) differently

4. Don’t stop researching, thinking and planning about your offering. Be sure to ask your clients (frequently) what they value most about working with you or your competitors.  Don’t just assume that what you think is goog is good for your clients – find out.

5. Think strategically as well as tactically.  Tactics – short term plans and action to suit the particular situation are needed, but to get ahead consistently, you need to also think strategically about your business. Look for (and create) value offerings that will differentiate you from your competitors.  If your offering is undifferentiated, it is a commodity.  Commodities only compete on price – or luck.

Thinking strategically means looking at the whole Marketing Mix (eg. 4 P’s) not just Price.  It is also about establishing an effective Brand in your market place.

6. Do your prospective clients know about you and what you can offer them?  Now that you know what you should offer to clients, it’s important that they become aware of it too. How you can let them know is another (important) topic. This is also where knowing a lot about your target segment will pay dividends.  You will know what media they use; what key ideas they want to know about – and how you can effectively communicate with them (not just to them)

Check out the other articles on the SmartaMarketing blog (http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com and https://smartamarketing2.wordpress.com); visit MAANZ International (www.marketing.org.au) and look at the short courses on offer.  Or contact me for specific advice and projects you are looking at

It is how you can build your business/consultancy

Dr. Brian Monger

info@marketing.org.au

Success is about learning to deal with failures – Part 1

Part of a Discussion started by Dr. Brian Monger

Brian Monger LinkedIn Profile – http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=28112234&authType=name&authToken=IRUg&trk=anet_mfeed_profile

Success and Failure Discussion – The Harvard Business Review group on LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=171471823&gid=3044917&commentID=102677789&trk=view_disc&ut=24JIplDdPQPBs1

Comments:

Aditya Madiraju • “Isn’t it time you learned how to treat failure differently? Isn’t it time you changed how you’ve been changing?” —

“Geeze this is not the plan I have invested in” – that is what I call failure. In general there are 4 types of failures — cognitive; social; financial and spiritual. In my experience the social failure that bites the most.

Dr. Brian Monger • If you are afraid to fail, don’t start?

Dr. Brian Monger • If you are afraid to fail – overcome your fear and start anyway?

Anthony M. • Thanks for the post Brian. The ideas around failure, what it means, how do we process it and can vs. should it be avoided are really interesting (there is similar discussion on the fourm and it’s insighful to see the diverse opinions and what it means for organisations)

There is a book by Michael Roberto called ‘Know What You Don’t Know – How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen’. In the book there is a chapter titled ‘Encouraging Useful Failure’ which explores this concept really well using case studies. In here it takes about what failure is important and the costs of culture that doesn’t deal with failure well.

‘Built to Last’ by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras also has some great discussion, with case studies, around this idea.

As someone once recently point out to me this ides is (or at the very least was) very popular in the ICT sector – where the mantra of silicon valley is ”Fail often, fail early, fail cheap”.

Someone once said to me the mantra of those who use failure

Dr. Brian Monger • Good comment. No-one knowingly sets out to fail.

Robert Pratt • My experience is full of failures as well as successes. I personally think a person can not really taste either, without having tasted the other. Probably, they last about the same amount of time. However, failure always seems to be eternal when it really is not.

The best way for me, (and I have to remind myself constantly) is to treat failure as a bad dream, and forget it as soon as I am awaken.

Anthony M. • What if by forgetting we also forget what we have to learn?

Robert Pratt • Is there a need to get burned twice to know what fire does? But, also there is also no need to be afraid of fire. Fire, has many uses and benefits. I do not know if I am making any sense. Failure = Fire. It has its good use, but if you stay to close for too long well, you will be well done. Same goes for failure if you let it stick to you, it will drag you down.

Anthony M. • Thanks Robert. We could be talking about two different things. I don’t find the idea of equating fire to failure helpful – it seems to imply we should be afraid of failure and try to avoid it because it is somehow painful, could lead to harm or other form of discomfort. If this was idea then progress and achievements made by people from James Dyson (5126 prototypes for his vacuum cleaner), Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Michael Jordon and many others wouldn’t never of happened. (See the link below – great list)

http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/02/16/50-famously-successful-people-who-failed-at-first/

Maybe this is not what your saying though – are your implying we shouldn’t let our past failure be barriers to us achieving in the future. Don’t get bogged down in the past so to speak or let fear of failure adversley impact our future decisions? Or worse still choose to repeat our past mistakes not learning the right lessons from the first time.

Robert Pratt • Exactly to the second paragraph. I think of failure as a great teacher, but as students we should surpass the teacher. Learn from it, not dwell on it.

Aditya Madiraju • Brian, I think failure stems from 2 facts – not being upfront somewhere at the beginning and covering one lie with another. As long as these 2 are taken care of. I think failure is just a matter of “agreeing to disagree”.

We have to give the person the option to articulate their reasons. Only way to learn from mistakes.

Dr. Brian Monger • I think there is a phrase – success has many fathers while failure is an orphan

Aditya Madiraju • @Anthony, Many take waiting times as a proxy for failures. In my part of the world capital is such a scarce resource, people make ridiculous tradeoffs.

Hi Brian – I agree that is a popular saying most would have heard. The big question for each of us then is to we proscribe to it or do we own our failures. Even if it means we are the ‘only father’ so to speak.

Aditya Madiraju • Instead of going to Harvard AMP, they go to a less branded AMP 🙂

Dr. Brian Monger • I am always amused when reading the case studies of successful companies/people. Rarely tells us of the original plan, the many failures. I think most case studies are filled with lies really.

Dr. Brian Monger • If one studies battles, you will note that they rarely went to plan.

Anthony M. • If you look at the case studies in ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Good to Great’ they’re littered with the companies failures and there rarely is a grand methodical plan. More like a general idea followed by trying a whole pile of different stuff until they found what worked well.

Rashid Basheer • Success is learning to deal with failures, but to fall for the same mistake someone else has fallen for is not the right idea. We need to fall for new mistakes and failures so that the failure brings value to us. We neednt find something, others have already found. Learn and add value to the world, not merely learn.

Georgi Paleshnikov • Nice article, Brian.

Seems we are on the same wavelength on this issue. In another nice thread in this group, namely “Self confidence is it nature or nurture?” by Peter Gerlach, some of the followers, including me, express the same idea.

Failures are inherent in all spheres of human activities – both personal and professional. The way you deal with them determines your path in life.

We all speak mainly of successes and failures are not that much discussed, if they do not become a public issue, i.e. affect large groups of individuals. I think we would all agree that success is generally a chain of failures. Strangely though, our society rewards success and punishes failure as a rule. Isn’t this a peculiar paradox?

Georgi Paleshnikov • Success and failure are a strange though common duality, like good and bad, ugly – beautiful and many other things.

Just to finish my previous comment, I will cite an old Roman thought which says:

Ut vincas, disce pati, ut vivas, disce mori.

In order to win, learn to be patient, in order to live, learn how to die.

Everyone is free to make his conclusions.

Aditya Madiraju • @Rashid, in corporate world one can find fall guys. So at least experience provided has to be different even if the reason is similar.

Naela Blosh • we many not normally look upon failure as a good thing, but it is!! Of course, we don’t wish failure upon us , but if we do fail, there are just so many things that we can learn from it. Failures always teaches a person valuable life lessons. It prepares us better and makes us a more complete person. If we look back at our many failures, we would realize that had some of those failures not happened to us, many of the good things that subsequently happened wouldn’t have happened either. It is surprising that the thing that we thought at the time as the worst thing to have happened to us, turns up becoming the best thing .

Sanjib Chaudhuri • Whether it is success or faliure it is a judjement. its is matter of meeting some targetss/deadline. We are more concern about how otherss are viewing it.

So in my opinion ihoe we handle our critics is matter most otherwise most of us know to learn from our mistakes I repeat mistakes

Binod Atreya, Ph.D • How success is measured? For commercial organization it could be profitability. But at individual level, how we measure success? Is it a better situation than yesterday ? Is it the happiness? Learning from failures will shed on light to move forward positively. Individuals needs emerge once we satisfy the immediate ones. If the next need is not met, one could argue being unsuccessful. Therefore, what could be possible indicators for measuring success?

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Binod Atreya: Good point, Binod!

Last year I came across something on the internet exactly on this issue. It could be interesting for this discussion. I am sorry for not being able to quote the source (I can’t quite remember where it was from), but here is a part of it:

[…] There is a dependence between the social-economic status of those, taking care of the kids, and the cognitive potential of those kids. People having low or middle level of social status have a quite different concept about the world. The IQ, a way to measure the intellectual potential, depends equally on both the genes and the circumstances, in which a child is being raised.

There exist several indications, characteristic of those who are “programmed” to be poor. Aptitude for regretting oneself – people susceptible to poverty, regret themselves and assume that they are not destined to be rich. Some people regret that they are not from the opposite gender, or that their figure is not perfect and this prevents them from getting the desired job. Some regret that they are not yet married, others – just the opposite. Self-regret is a means to anchor oneself to a certain position in life, it stops you on the way of personal development and thus eternal poverty is secured.

Greed – the drive to total cost-cutting and saving is not a sign of prudence but an indicator, that your income and expenses are not balanced and you try to solve the problem with the wrong tactics. When all your energy is concentrated on the search of promotions and discount sales, it is a sign that you possess the second feature of the poor. A person, programmed to be rich, is ready to pay the real price on things and services, and to reward generously his collaborators and employees, but expects the same from all the others.

It is often the case people work something they hate actually, no matter what, driving them in displeasure, just because they have to pay bills, loans or something alike.

These people are ready for the hardships of poverty and the cause of this are the feelings, driven from the necessity to do things, which are unpleasant for them.

The key point of escaping this habit of poverty is to do something not because you have to, but because it gives you satisfaction. This is the only way to improve yourself and achieve excellent results.

A “beggar” measures success only in terms of money. He is convinced that only owning a certain sum of money in the bank account could bring him happiness. Money has to make him happy because of the clothes he can afford, journeys around the world, independence of the partner, or indeed quitting the hateful job.

But practice shows that happiness never comes this way. A successful person measures happiness in different units than just monetary ones, and everyone decides for himself exactly which they are.

Calvin Wilson • Failure I believe is an imperative criteria or in a general /alternate term ‘experience’ which also coincidentally also projects its relevance to “success” – experience good or bad, success or failure has to come across ‘hands-on’, enabling us to learn, adapt, develop and apply strategies and efforts to ensure or minimize any repetition of past failures (experience) – learning is an infinite process.

Vangelis Vandoros • i think success is to learn to leave with wins or on the orher hand simply you can be a successfull loser just by learning to leave with your failures..just a simple thought.

Thomas Schildbach • I guess “try and error” is not a problem as long as the “error” is optimizing the number & quality of “tries” for reaching a target. Is the only success to reach a target or is it already successful to tune the “tries” and learn how to do this for future targets? Depends largely on the culture, the view angle and the individual satisfaction level, I would say. Some people say that the journey is the reward (and this is true, at least sometimes).

Dr. Brian Monger • Binod – success, personal or corporate is measured against definitions and objectives.  You define it, I can measure it.

Dr. Brian Monger • Trial and error is sort of OK. If you use some skills. Otherwise the error may well kill you. Actually or otherwise

Dr. Brian Monger • We try to manage so that the likelihood of success becomes greater.

If we do the planning (process) well then when we do stumble, we are better able to stand up again and continue

Rizvan M. Jaldeen PhD, CPM, MSLIM, MBA, FSSAM • Failure is also caused by some trying to reinvent the wheel. may be one can innovate the wheel but there is not need to invent it because its already there. Yes those who know how to deal with failures are the real managers / leaders

Managers who know how to deal with failure manage better and become better leaders. hosted a discussion on the same topic a few weeks ago.

Henry Obi Okwo some have alluded to, I have learned much more from failures than successes. If you are not failing enough, you are not challenging yourself to the max. How you react after failure is what counts the most. Risk and Failure go hand in hand, organizations should encourage employees to push beyond their comfort zones and take more risk without fear of failure.

Binod Atreya, Ph.D • @ Georgi and Dr. Brian: Yes, Georgi, you have touched the hearts and minds of millions people living in this world for those success means different things depending upon the situation and circumstances they are bound to live with. I agree with the last para people measures success in their own way.

Dr Brian, I agree with you that success can be measured against the definitions and objectives. Let me share an example of my own. Having a Ph.D degree was one of my objective and the day I was honored with the degree, I felt a great success in my career. Presently, the success for me could be different objectives and definitions and these go on changing once we move in our career. Do we measure success with the past?

Aditya Madiraju • Thanks Georgi for your comments.

Your comment – “There exist several indications, characteristic of those who are “programmed” to be poor. Aptitude for regretting oneself – people susceptible to poverty, regret themselves and assume that they are not destined to be rich.” really resonated well. I have found similar arguments in other Linkedin groups focused exclusively on Sales and discourse on Self-Confidence in this very group.

In the context of this discussion… I have to wonder if the attribution of failure is really because of “regretting”. Many people do use more exaggerated language many times…..

Dr. Kulbir Bhatti • Success is what we yearn for & failure is what makes us who we are today. As the famous quote by Francis Bacon goes-

“Prosperity discovers vice; adversity discovers virtue.”

To put it in the language of management-

“True success is Continuous Quality Improvement, taking failures as a feedback mechanism!”-

Thomas Schildbach • How can failure making & learning be turned into a success? Actually the basis is, that failure are allowed and are ok as long as you learn. Starts with a positive feedback…people receiving only negative feedback or comments for failures will try to avoid them or hide them in the future. A missed chance for development.

You observe this when you have kids..the processing of failures or negative scenarios makes them more experienced, self-confident, robust. Failure are simply an important factor for development.

Karthik Chinnasamy, MBA PMP • @Henri Obi – I think you are spot on Henri! How you react after failure determines what result it is going to give. One can decide to take it as a huge hit on their pride, their ability to succeed, etc., and go with fire on all cylinders to do whatever it takes to succeed. Or, there are a few who gets depressed, come to a conclusion that failure would be inevitable and do not take the risk of putting the efforts to be successful. Personal circumstances do matter, but at least one should constantly try and achieve smaller things by taking calculative risks rather than not trying at all due to the fear of failure.

Robert Pratt • It depends. If circumstances allow it, then the experience can be use it right away, and apply it from this point forward. Sometimes circumstances do not allow for immediate rework.

Aditya Madiraju • Analytically speaking Trial & Error is also known as Champion Challenger framework. Which when used effectively does create a platform to fail cost effectively. But I find very few takers for disciplined implementation.

S. Soner Selçuklu • I think learning from mistakes does not work well all the time, it is not a cost effective way to live your life. Also, we can’t know whether the alternative action would be the correct one. Countless alternative actions can exist. Plus, even if we promise ourselves that we won’t repeat the mistake, it is likely that we will make the same mistake again. On the other hand, using problem solving and thinking techniques that help to forsee potential consequences and learning from other’s mistakes and good experiences are actions that can help us to avoid failure.

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Soner Selçuklu • You are quite right, Soner. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others, not from their own. That’s why history IMHO exists in the first place.

But world changes constantly, becomes more complex and thus more fragile. Plenty of room for new mistakes. Everyone prays it won’t be him. But after all, someone has to go the wrong way in order that another one finds the right one.

Dr. Brian Monger • Was it Eddison who said something like “I made 990 mistakes before inventing the light globe?

Dr. Kulbir Bhatti • A great point by Mr. Georgi & Dr. Brian here.

Just to simplify it a bit for novice minds like myself-

It is the virtue of successful people to learn from failures of others, BUT at the same time if the realm is an unexplored one, there are no lessons to learn from third-party failures!

In such a situation there is no other option than to be prepared to face the failures, learn from them. That’s how you deal with failures & eventually succeed.. just like Edison!

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Brian & Kulbir: Excellent points!

When I said that “…someone has to go the wrong way in order that another one finds the right one” I did not exclude the option that this “another one” could be the person, who actually did the mistake. It depends on the way he deals with it.

If something does not kill you, it makes you stronger.

This is Part 1 of a very good, long Discussion.  More to come shortly.

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