Over the summer, I read Forbes Editor Rich Karlgaard’s The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success and it had some very interesting insights. I have written many blog posts on optimization, how to get the most out of your customers, etc., but Karlgaard points out that all good companies are optimizing. To be great, you have to find transformative gains.
As Karlgaard points out, the “innovation response” in companies is very much like a healthy immune response in living organisms. People who enjoy long-term health don’t have episodic bursts of health. They are healthy nearly all the time. In great companies, innovation is a natural response to threats. According to Karlgaard, a healthy innovative response comes from a deeper place within your company, what he calls the “Soft edge.” Continue reading “The Soft Edge for building a great business”
In a time when people are very cynical about businesses, earning the trust of your customers or players is increasingly important. Trust gives validity to your marketing messages, allowing you to communicate with your customers, inform them of new products and features and thus increase their long-term lifetime value (LTV). Conversely, if customers do not trust you, there is very little you can do to retain them or reactivate them other than just compete on price.
A recent article, “How Do You Know if a brand is TRUSTworthy?!,” polled readers to list what makes a brand trustworthy. The responses are very enlightening in terms of building trust for your company or product:
- Create social media content that is not simply marketing. By creating useful content, not just sales collateral, you are building trust with your customers.
- Handle negativity well. Rather than ignore or avoid problems, get in front of them and clean up the issue.
- Do not worry about simply getting a large number of followers, focus on getting followers who are truly engaged with your product or game.
Continue reading “How to make your brand trustworthy”
Although there are many tricks and buzz words thrown around to help people become great leaders, the single most important attribute is trust. A recent article on the Psychology Today website, Why Trust is Foundational to Sound Management, provided the evidence to support my claim. It also provides evidence that although trust is incorporated into many (if not all) companies’ mission statements, it is not showing up in practice. A recent
Gallup workforce survey asserted approximately 70 percent of employees are disengaged. For those who do not think this is an important statistic, Gallup points out that work units in the top 25 percent of engagement have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings while suffering lower turnover and absenteeism.
Achieving trust with your team is one of many things easier said than done. When things are going well for your group or company, it is much easier to act trustworthy. Last year I wrote about how someone reacts to difficult times is the true measure of that person
and the same principle applies to leadership, your team will judge you by how trustworthy you are in trying situations. Continue reading “Trust as the foundation of leadership”
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Is it Better to be Loved or Feared, reaffirmed what I consider the best way to lead. The article discusses the age old question, probably first contemplated by Machiavelli: “Are leaders better if they are more ‘lovable’ or ‘fearsome’?” These are generally mutually exclusive approaches to leadership, so trying to be both will be less effective than taking one approach and doing it well. However, the research cited in the article suggests the best way to lead is with warmth and trust.
Why put trust first
Although it is important to demonstrate competence (and be competent), you need to build a foundation of trust so that your team or company not only outwardly does what you say but also actually adopts—in a sincere and lasting way—your values, culture and organizational mission. The article points out that workplaces or teams lacking trust often have a culture of every employee for themselves; where they are more vigilant about protecting their interests than working towards the good of the company.
If warmth and trust are put above fear and proving your own competence, your team is more likely to make a positive judgment towards you and follow your instructions. Behavioral economists have shown that judgments of trustworthiness generally lead to much higher economic gains. Continue reading “Why it is better to be a loved than feared leader”
I want to share some thoughts from the first day of the Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference (BDRM). There were several interesting presentations that have relevance for the social game space.
Continue reading “My takeaways from BDRM 2012, day 1”