Your Other Strategy; A Memorable Memo; Days of Disruption: The End of the Beginning; Econ Recon; Gratitude Sampler

“There is one day that is ours.
Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.

 O. Henry
American Short Story writer

“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.”

 Elie Wiesel
Holocaust Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

“Gratitude is the sign of noble minds.”


Your Other Strategy

When it comes to strategy we usually think first of our marketing and sales strategies (whether intentionally created or not). But in this economy, you need to focus as much on your talent and human capital strategies as those designed to drive revenue. If you haven’t reevaluated yours recently (or taken time to create it) in this seller’s market for labor you are courting disaster. (Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 31, there are a record 7.1 million jobs open in the United States and only 6.2 million available workers to fill them.)

Vistage members are already being approached by competitors to acquire their companies, not just for their top line, but for their people. If they can’t buy your people wholesale, they’ll do so one at a time without cutting you in on the deal.

If you’d like some guidance to assessing your talent strategy, or creating one intentionally for the first time, Vistage Speaker and Human Capital Expert Kathleen Quinn Votaw offers a checklist in her excellent article 9 guidelines for recruitment strategies in 2019, published by the Vistage Research Center.  First thing on Monday, get your C-Level team together and see how your strategy measures up to the guidelines offered by someone who’s helped many Vistage members do the same.

Another great resource is Vistage Speaker Eric Herrenkohl’s book How to Hire A-Players. Have your chief talent officer read it and report back to you!

A Memorable Memo

Most executives can’t escape the need to write a memo from time to time, but most don’t enjoy it. One reason may be they’ve never been taught how to write a good one.

Marketing blogger Seth Godin in a one page blog posting, “Get Your Memo Read”, offers five quick tips to make your missives memorable to your two most important constituencies: customers and employees.

He offers a great example of his tips via a link in the posting to a  “before” and “after” memo that Hyatt sends to guests before checkout. It is definitely worth the time to review.  Are your company’s memos to customers, and others, as good as this one?

Days of Disruption: The End of the Beginning

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Benedict Evans of VC firm Andreesson Horowitz borrowed Churchill’s famous quote to title his recent talk at the a16z’s annual tech conference. He notes that  “close to three quarters of all the adults on earth now have a smartphone, and most of the rest will get one in the next few years. However, the use of this connectivity is still only just beginning. Ecommerce is still only a small fraction of retail spending, and many other areas that will be transformed by software and the internet in the next decade or two have barely been touched”

Evans observes that “the ‘access’ story is finished but the ‘use’ story is just beginning…. “Most people are online, but most of the money is not.” His 23 minute talk “The End of the Beginning” explores how much opportunity lies ahead, but how different it may be from what you’ve seen to date. The change you’ll be facing will be one of kind, not degree. How much change does your business require?

If you don’t think this kind of change can happen to you, Evans points out that Amazon’s 1994 business plan promised: “No warehouses, no stock, no shipping.”

Econ Recon: Fake Economics

Fake Economics: The term “Fake News” has entered the lexicon in recent years. Dr. Brian Wesbury urges us to beware of the same thing in the economic sphere when politicians (and sometimes economists) propose policies underpinned by questionable economics. Dr. Wesbury warns about  Fake Economics” and provides several examples to be on guard against.

Mid-Term Post Mortem:  Vistage Chief Research Officer Joe Galvin asked ITR Economics President Alan Beaulieu to share his thoughts on the recent mid-term elections’ effects on tariff’s, taxes, trade and the economy.

A Gratitude Sampler

This week, take some time to be thankful ….and hopefully acquire the habit of doing so every day going forward.  To assist you in your reflections, here are a dozen of my favorite Thanksgiving quotations:

My wish for you is that you continue to let gratitude be the pillow  upon which you kneel to
    say your nightly prayer.”

          Maya Angelou

 “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

          Marcus Tullius Cicero

   “Gratitude is one of the least articulate of the emotions, especially when it is deep.”

          Felix Frankfurter

“One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.”

          G. E. Lessing

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.”

          Jacques Maritain

“If the only prayer you say in your entire life is ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.”

          Meister Eckhart

 “When something does not insist on being noticed, when we aren’t grabbed by the collar or struck on the skull by a presence or an event, we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”

          Cynthia Ozick

   “Gratitude is indeed a duty which we are bound to pay, but which benefactors cannot exact.”

          Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”

          Albert Schweitzer

   “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone who has done a lot for you.”

          Gladys Bronwyn Stern

   “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

          William Arthur Ward

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