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How Much Should I Invest in Innovation?

Apple invests about 5% of its annual revenues in R&D. Facebook invests over 13%, Google over 16% and Amazon now invests more than 28% in R&D. So how much should you invest innovation?

In this blog post I'll share a few perspectives and methods to suggest how much money you may want to invest in innovation.

Rather than an abstract investment figure, I normally recommend aligning your innovation investment with your revenue goals. Successful innovation programs leverage methods and metrics to make innovation measurable and correlate investment to payback. Key performance indicators that I track with every innovation project include investment allocation, ROI, vitality and Research Quotient. More innovation budgeting ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer   Calendar 10/7/2018   Trackback Permalink   Hashtag Keyword #coaching   Filed In Posted in CRM Improvement

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Coaching Delivers Management's Biggest Business Impact

Good managers recognize their greatest power is to grow the contributions of each of their direct reports and achieve a workforce multiplier effect. This is also the fastest path to increase productivity and scale a company.

However, too often personnel development reverts to administrative and operational compliance rather than staff advancement. Compliance is important, but growing staff is a precursor to growing the company.

Management coaching is an effective but under-utilized method to increase staff confidence, productivity and business performance. When I implement culture-based employee experience or sales coaching programs I find that coaching is intermittent or hap hazard because managers aren't sure when or how to coach. They also don't fully grasp the differences between coaching, facilitating, mentoring and training – all of which are unique and collectively contribute to staff development and business growth.

Below is some explanation to bring clarity to these important management tools. More coaching ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer   Calendar 9/9/2018   Trackback Permalink   Hashtag Keyword #coaching   Filed In Posted in CRM Sales

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The Final 4 Competitive Advantages

Being competitive starts by understanding how customers make purchase decisions, what they want from their suppliers, and how you use that information to create or expand competitive advantages.

No company can invest in everything, nor be the best in everything, so it's important to focus on the areas you choose to be best, be certain those areas matter to customers and will grow your business, and that you can create or extend competitive advantages in those areas.

Competitiveness used to be gained from operational excellence, with capabilities such as leaner manufacturing or superior supply chains. But now these competencies are table stakes.

Competitive advantages used to be things like products, price, staff, service and location. But in the minds of customers these are all easily substitutable and highly commoditized.

Consumers top decision-making criteria have evolved to wanting innovative products and services, providers that know how to engage and build relationships with them, and providers that know how to deliver consistent, rewarding and memorable customer experiences. More competitive advantages ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer   Calendar 7/29/2018   Trackback Permalink   Hashtag Keyword #competitivness   Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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A High Performance Corporate Culture Point of View

There are a lot of things the company can do to drive business growth. But the one thing that will directly impact everything else is corporate culture. A high-performance growth culture is a prerequisite to business agility and sustained company growth. From proven research and my own experience, I'm an advocate of high-performance growth cultures, and support my advocacy with a 5-point corporate culture point of view.

Point 1: For most organizations, company culture is the single biggest untapped asset to boost staff productivity, employee tenure, company growth and profits
It's disappointing to see business leaders put more time and planning into a single project than their company culture. The most common reason for this is they don't fully comprehend the impact and payback of a high-performance culture. Fortunately, the research is available and unequivocal. Harvard professor Dr. James Heskett and Dr. John Kotter measured company cultures over an 11 year period and found that when compared to lower culture peers, higher performance culture companies achieved an average 516% higher revenues, 246% higher net income growth, 827% higher employment growth and 755% higher stock price growth. More culture POV ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer     Calendar 7/4/2018     Trackback Permalink   Hashtag Keyword #culture     Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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The Productivity and Payback of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a top contributing factor to high performance company cultures and an undeniable producer of productivity and payback. But what exactly is employee engagement?

There is no consensus answer. However, I generally define employee engagement as the measure of an employee's personal investment, sometimes called discretionary investment, in their job. Gallup defines it as "involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace." And Gallup should know, as their most recent engagement survey collected data from over 195,000 U.S. employees.

The survey results were published in the State of the American Workplace report, and found that only 33% of employees are engaged in their work, a trend that has been disturbingly flat since 2000. According to Gallup CEO, Jim Clifton, "At the other end, 16% of employees are actively disengaged, they are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build. The remaining 51% of employees are not engaged, they're just there." More engagement payback ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer     Calendar 7/1/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #culture     Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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How to Achieve a High-Performance Corporate Culture

Culture is both the biggest enabler of strategy and business performance, and the main obstacle to change and transformation. But most business leaders know that. What most don't know is how to achieve a high-performance growth culture that energizes staff, increases productivity, improves employee loyalty, boosts revenues and grows the company.

We know a high performance culture when we see it – in a business, a sports team or any group that competes. They consistently deliver results, and have fun doing it. What most don't know is why it works, how you can have fun doing it and how to create it. To answer these questions, below is a summary of the Culture By Design™ framework. More culture framework...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer     Calendar 5/20/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #culture     Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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A Better Way to Forecast IT Projects

Too many IT projects begin without a solid business case or clear return on investment. This information is needed to demonstrate alignment with the company’s top priorities, forecast accurate payback and prioritize the project among competing alternatives.

Without alignment to the company’s priorities, the IT project is at risk of being viewed as a departmental or siloed effort. Such a project may have value, but will fail to deliver a material impact to the business, and is thereby at risk of early cancellation when budgets get squeezed, competing interests emerge, or there is a change in company priorities.

Without a calculated payback, an IT project is little more than wishful thinking, has little basis to survive scrutiny and even when completed, is at much higher risk of failed user adoption because the perceived business disruption is greater than the uncertain benefit. Further, without a forecasted payback, it’s impossible to calculate an ROI and justify the investment relative to alternatives. More Better IT forecasting ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer      Calendar 4/21/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #bva    Filed In Posted in CRM Improvements

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Why Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Business management guru Peter Drucker coined the phrase "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." While few business leaders dispute this wisdom, far fewer understand why.

Company culture and strategy are separate but symbiotic. Culture will either contribute or undermine the strategy. In fact, while there are a lot of things the company can do to drive growth, the one thing that will directly impact everything else is culture. Company culture is the human performance engine that drives the level of success, or failure, for every business strategy, revenue initiative, operational performance or change transformation. Culture is a precursor and top contributing factor to anything and everything that requires staff effort.

Unlike strategy which is generally created from a defined and recurring process, culture is too often developed over time, by happenstance, more so than design.

Every company has a culture. Most low performance cultures are a consequence of unplanned actions, unforeseen behaviors and random outcomes. In contrast, high performance cultures are intentional, proactively designed and in a constant state of awareness and improvement. They do not leave employee productivity and business performance to chance. More company culture ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer      Calendar 3/10/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #culture     Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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How to Measure Customer Centricity

Customer-centricity is integral to culture, a precursor to strategy and essential for sustained customer growth and retention. However, companies don't get to decide how customer-centric they are. That's decided by their customers.

For companies to understand, manage and profit from customer-centricity, they must implement an objective scoring system, create a performance baseline, and report results to know when customer strategies are working or course corrections are needed.

Customer-centric goals are not sustainable without correlation to company objectives such as revenues, margins and profits. Therefore, the results of customer satisfaction measurement programs must be linked with business performance measures such as customer share, customer retention or similar factors that directly correlate with financial performance.

Because customer satisfaction is a leading indicator of purchase likelihood and loyalty, more advanced companies will design predictive analytics to model changes in customer programs and view the pro forma impact to company performance objectives.

There are several customer measurement programs, but two that stand out for their simplicity and effectiveness are CSAT and NPS. More customer centricity ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer      Calendar 2/25/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #centricity    Filed In Posted in CRM Improvement

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How to Build a High Performance Company Culture

A high-performance culture uplifts strategy and is precursor to business transformation. In my three decades of consulting, from the Fortune 50 to the Fortune 5000, I've never witnessed sustained business growth or successful business transformation without a high-performance culture.

While strategy delivers a roadmap to move the organization from vision to action, culture delivers the informal ethos and norms to move the organization from the status quo to something greater.

And while strategy is precisely measurable, culture is implicit in the shared values, unspoken behaviors and social norms that recognize what is encouraged, discouraged, rewarded and penalized. But despite the imprecise measurement, most leaders recognize culture is far more powerful than strategy. In the infamous words of Peter Drucker, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast."

There is no single path to a great culture, however, there are five pillars common among high-performance cultures. More culture ...

Author By Chuck Schaeffer      Calendar 1/28/2018     Trackback Permalink     Hashtag Keyword #culture    Filed In Posted in CRM Strategy

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