One of the most powerful ways to connect is through listening. It’s a lesson I learned from my parents who ran a bakery where the customer was king. “Listen to what they like by what they actually buy,” Mom used to say as customers admired the delicate pastries but went for the chocolate chip cookies. Smart businesswoman, my Mom.
As Father’s Day approaches, it’s naturally a time to think about family. Relationships with families can be tricky at the best of times, but even more so when you add in wealth, fame and power. Whether you’re Mars, Comcast, or any number of large or small business dynasties, balancing the needs and expectations of generations of descendants from the original founder isn’t easy.
James Brett, J. Crew Group, Inc.; Michael Mauler, Gamestop; Tom Hayes, Tyson Foods; and, John Flannery, GE, all have something in common. They abruptly ended their tenure as CEOs of major public companies in less than two years. Mauler exited after only three months. Such is the C-suite environment in today’s public companies.
While connecting digitally to employee audiences is an essential component of how to communicate with today’s workforce, there’s an “old-school” management concept that should also be considered as part of an integrated, multi-channel approach with an objective to engage and activate employees.
A more rigorous approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is a hot-button topic for Boards of Directors, CEO’s and other senior leaders of publicly traded companies.
An old English literature teacher of mine once talked to me about the fact that a story I had pulled together didn’t really have a beginning, a middle and an end – at least not in the classic sense of the word. I mean, it started and it finished, and there were likely some other words in between, but I guess my structure didn’t quite live up to the expectations that had been set by many centuries of storytellers who had come before me. Little did this person realise that I would spend the best part of my career writing and telling stories for a living.