What Makes a Good Marketing Operations Employee?

Marketing’s focus on measurement and ROI is challenging CMOs to hire employees into the emerging discipline of marketing operations who have skills and experience that have not been in the traditional domain of marketers. These attributes include technical savvy and systems-thinking skills, as well as a diverse blend of cross-disciplinary expertise and management skills.

What are some key attributes to look for in a marketing operations team member?

What CFOs Need to Know About the Cloud

“The Cloud” has become one of the hottest buzz topics in the industry this year, and what started out as a topic mostly of interest to IT executives is quickly moving to the radar screen of CFOs and Finance Executives.

Some of the advantages of cloud-based applications include improved time to value, reduced up-front costs, leveraging 3rd party skill sets and having a scalable environment to support future growth. Some of the considerations and risks include security, performance, integration of cloud-based applications with on-premise systems and long-term costs of ownership.

Find out more here.

Why Organizations Secretly Fear Creative Ideas

Why are creative ideas often rejected in favour of conformity and uniformity?

Does society really value creativity? People say they want more creative people, more creative ideas and solutions, but do they really?

For all the talk of creativity in business, industry and academia, there’s evidence that it’s implicitly discouraged in these areas as well. Although leaders of organisations say they want creative ideas, the evidence suggests creativity gets rejected in favour of conformity and uniformity (Staw, 1995 cited in Mueller et al., 2011).

The Chemistry of Enthusiasm

How is it that year after year, JetBlue Airways ranks first in J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study for the low-cost carrier category, with high levels of customer loyalty and advocacy? The key ingredient: JetBlue employees treat customers’ problems as their own.

Running late for a flight? You might be escorted by a JetBlue counter agent to an “employees only” security line, right through to the gate. Putting together a complicated multistop trip? The call center agent will work with you to arrive at a satisfactory solution, not rush you off the phone. JetBlue staff members focus intensely on making the customer’s life easier, and customers repay the courtesy by spreading the word to others.

Organizations have been trying for years to cultivate employee engagement. Like JetBlue, they persist in their efforts for good reason. One of the most powerful factors that spur customers to become advocates for a company is employees’ positive behavior and attitude.

But, how do you cultivate that culture in your organization?

Deep Flows the River Between Social and Business

It’s been quite a while since the world has been gripped by the Social Media fever . However, as is the case with any new concept that catches the masses by their eyeballs and wallets, social media too has turned into a big Gold Rush with many following suit. Suddenly, plenty of creative designers, copywriters, and account managers have now turned into peer-recognized and self-proclaimed social media specialists.

Yet, like every time the dust rises, it also has to settle down. When it does settle down, are we going to see despair as we did with the Dot Com bust in the 1990s? For everyone’s sake, I hope not, but, somewhere deep inside I sense a repeat of history.

Can Finance Have a Seat at the Strategy Table? Not Without Change, New Survey Reveals.

A NEW CFO PRIORITY: TALENT DEVELOPMENT WITH A FOCUS ON SOFT SKILLS In previous years, the finance function sat mostly on its own and “crunched the numbers” without having much input into daily operations or long term strategy. However, the finance role has evolved to one that needs to provide sharp and meaningful analyses to…

6 Ways to Kill Creativity

Want your organisation to perform poorly? Here are six ways to kill creativity in business, or anywhere.

Many organisations claim they want to foster creativity—and so they should—but unintentionally, through their working practices, creativity is killed stone dead.

That’s what Teresa Amabile, now Director of the Harvard Business School, found when looking back over decades of her research in organisations (Amabile, 1998). As part of one research program she examined seven companies in three different industries, having team members report back daily on their work.

After two years she found marked differences in how organisations dealt with creativity.

Inside Walmart Labs - How the World’s Largest Retailer Hopes to Sell More By Getting Social

One of the most head-scratching tech headlines of April 2011 was the news thatKosmix, a Mountain View, CA-based startup best known for building a Twitter filtering tool called TweetBeat, had been acquired by Walmart. Yes, that Walmart—the one with 9,000 big-box stores spread across the American heartland.

There was speculation that Walmart’s real interest was in Kosmix’s founders, Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, who have unbeatable pedigrees in the world of e-commerce technology. The pioneering comparison shopping site they co-founded in 1996, Junglee, was acquired by Amazon in 1998 for $250 million; inside Amazon, the pair helped to create the e-retailer’s huge marketplace of third-party retailers and came up with the technology behind Amazon Mechanical Turk. Perhaps Walmart—which paid $300 million for Kosmix, according to AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher—wanted Harinarayan and Rajaraman to work similar miracles for Walmart.com?