Tag Archives: Awareness

How Do You Deal with Management Infighting? Five Points

Situation: A company has two key managers who battle constantly. Recently these battles have escalated. Both people are valuable, but this has become a significant distraction. What’s the best way to handle this situation? How do you deal with management infighting?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Talk to the two people individually. Acknowledge company awareness of the situation and ask what’s going on.
    • Listen – make sure you understand what’s going on.
    • After you listen, coach. The message: I need you to step up. The company counts on you.
  • Both parties must feel empowered by the conversation.
    • Focus on behavior only, not the person.
    • Make sure that each feels validated but with clear direction to change behavior.
      • Acknowledge each individual’s value. Point out the problem, but make it clear that nobody is indispensable.
      • At the same time, be firm as to what is expected of individual behavior as well as individual performance. Set the expectation: either you act in a way which does not harm the company environment, or I will take your notice in 30 days.
      • If either individual can’t agree to this, then that individual is the problem.
    • Revert to guiding principles and values of the company. Raise the conversation to a higher level.
    • Establish what the individual wants from the company. Are their needs currently being met? What can be changed to better meet their needs?
    • An important end point of the conversation – because both are key players – is for each of them to value the other.
    • If, after providing time for the two to resolve their difference, they still can’t make peace with each other, you may have to make a hard decision.
  • Be careful – it may be necessary to take a different approach with each individual.
  • It may turn out that one individual is the instigator and the other is simply reacting to the first’s provocation. In this case, get a 3rd party to coach each of them.
  • Another company recently had this same problem.
    • The CEO sat each person down – talked about impact, big picture and what this does to their image in company.
    • This worked!

How Does a Professional Services Firm Get Known? Seven Ideas

Situation: A professional services firm has opened a new office in Silicon Valley. Their immediate priority is building clientele in their new market. They have an excellent reputation in their other markets, but are as yet unknown in in either Silicon Valley or Northern California. What can they do to create buzz and local awareness? How does a professional services firm get known?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Hire a part time PR person who is familiar with the local community. For example, this may be an experienced Mommy Tracker – a woman who puts priority on being a mother, but who is also interested in working part-time with a flexible schedule. The role will be to schedule speaking engagements with local organizations, groups or companies.
  • Think about publishing a book, whether yourself or with a professional writer. Tweak it to include a section on start-ups and do a book speaking tour in Silicon Valley.
  • Consider sponsorship of prominent local organizations. In Silicon Valley this could include incubators or entrepreneur groups. These are companies who could benefit from professional services.
  • Offer seminars to target clients, or those that invest in target clients – for example venture capitalists or angel investment groups.
  • Write articles for Red Herring (redherring.com)
  • Get to know the WI Harper Group (wiharper.com) – connected with Walden International. This is a San Francisco venture capital group with limited partners from China, and with a focus on US/Asia technology transfer.
  • Highlight past success in helping clients to gain funding.
  • The suggestions outlined here can be applied to opening a new office in any new location.

How Do You Aggregate an Audience? Three Strategies

Interview with John Hollar, President & CEO, Computer History Museum

Situation: Traditional media for reaching audiences – television, newspapers – have broken down. Audiences are atomized and increasingly “what you want when you want it.” How do you aggregate an audience in this environment?

Advice:

  • Develop partnerships that align with you both in terms of audience and purpose.
    • We just finished a $20 million expansion. With 1.5 million technology workers in Silicon Valley, how do we spread the word?
    • We work with corporations in the tech sector, corporate alumni groups, tech retailers, convention centers, hotel concierges, and schools.
    • Our new campaign – Silicon Valley Starts Here – encourages Silicon Valley visitors to start their Silicon Valley journey with us.
    • School field trips are booked through the end of the year. Local foundations support transportation costs.
  •  Leverage the digital world to expand your presence.
    • Everything physically present in the museum is also available digitally to a global audience.
    • We use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to generate viral networking.
    • Live events are captured in HD and broadcast through our YouTube channel to 2 million viewers.
    • We update our Facebook page and tweet daily. Facebook is fun and playful with “Today in Computer History” and Friday YouTube films.
    • Tweets include a quiz – “Who Am I?” – of famous figures in computer history with prizes.
  • What are the implications for companies and institutions?
    • We must embrace the notion of living in parallel worlds – having both a physical presence and a broader digital presence.
    • Expert knowledge is here, but we must be able to access an increasingly digital audience that is global.
    • Digital capabilities can’t just be bolted on to an old structure. This must be a marriage that connects our knowledge and expertise organically to our audience, their needs, and the knowledge and expertise that is happening in the world.

You can contact John Hollar at jhollar@computerhistory.org

Key Words: Media, Audience, Partnership, Purpose, Awareness, Campaign, Digital, Presence, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Inflection Point, Digital Lifestyle