Archive for the Category ◊ Technology ◊

• Monday, January 13th, 2014

NEWS FLASH: We have a new blog home page!

We are still Ask The Strategist, only now, the site is autonomously run by the Publisher/Editor, Kesi Stribling.

“The decision to move Ask The Strategist from the direct affiliation with KSG Strategic Consulting enables us to reach a wider audience, many of whom are current fans and followers of our media brands outside of KSG,” says Stribling.

The newly refurbished Ask The Strategist will continue to feature posts on business, entrepreneurship, careers, and women, however, one of the additional benefits is a group of new guest bloggers, who will provide content on a number of industries and specialties, including diversity and nutrition.

Our first guest blogger, Delise, is a college student who will share her experiences navigating her internship and school during her semester-long stay in South Africa, beginning in February 2014. Her video blog will be housed under the new section on careers for college students.

What does this mean for you, our subscribers?

All subscribers on the current Ask The Strategist blog (www.ksgsc.com/AskTheStrategist) will be sent a link and instructions for subscribing to/following the new site for Ask The Strategist (http://askthestrategist.wordpress.com). Support is available to answer any questions, or resolve difficulties signing up for the new blog, although a smooth transition for subscribers is anticipated.

Follow the new Ask The Strategist Blog now

Read our first post on the new site:
Ready, Set, Compete: American Express OPEN Forum Shares Tips  to Maximize 2014
http://askthestrategist.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/ready-set-compete-2014

NOTE: We are still in the process of migrating most content over to the new site. Until we have completed this process, archived blog posts may be retrieved from the former blog website. The site will be discontinued and inaccessible once this process is finished with, or without, advanced notice.

Thank you for your support, subscription, and reading our posts since Ask The Strategist debuted in 2011. We look forward to your continued interest and feedback.

Sincerely,

ASK THE STRATEGST Blog Team
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. I am a current subscriber to Ask The Strategist. Will I be automatically added to the new site?

Because subscribers have to opt-in to receive blog posts, we ask that you visit our new home page, enter your email, and click “subscribe.” You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Once you do, you will begin receiving new blog posts from Ask The Strategist.

>>> Click here to subscribe now

2. Will I still receive blog post notifications from Ask The Strategist?

If you opt to continue your subscription on our new site, your blog notifications will not be interrupted. Once you have subscribed to the new blog, we will terminate your subscription on the old site.

You will also receive one final notification from us if you have not subscribed to the new blog by January 31, 2014.

3. How long do I have before I have to switch to the new site?

We are still migrating pertinent content over to the new Ask The Strategist blog site. You are strongly encouraged to activate your subscription to the new site as soon as possible.

The site will be shut down once we have completed migrating posts over to the new Ask The Strategist home page. So, don’t delay!

4. Will Ask The Strategist share my information with sponsors and advertisers?

No, Ask The Strategist will never share your contact information with our advertisers and sponsors.

5. I would like be a guest logger on Ask The Strategist. Whom should I contact?

While we have most of our guest bloggers for 2014, if you have demonstrated writing experience on issues that would be a good fit for the blog (i.e. entrepreneurship, careers, health, community, diversity, current events, youth, and women), please contact us. Be sure to include links to your blog or writing samples.

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community,
and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST
blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing.

• Friday, August 24th, 2012

 

When branding goes wrong, and what you can do about it

The blogosphere has been abuzz with Microsoft’s newly unveiled logo, which replaces the former visual image created twenty-five years ago. While reaction from technology experts and graphic designers has thus far has been mixed, the change brings to mind another logo that so outraged customers, that the resulting hullabaloo led to the company to revert back to the original branding image.

What does your logo represent?

Gap is a shining example of a #fail when it comes to designing a new logo. When the company launched the refurbished image in 2010, customers complained so much that the clothing company went back to “iconic blue box logo” in less than a week after unveiling the new one.

Updating the company logo can be risky if you do not consider loyal customers or followers’ perception of the new branding, and the message you intend to convey. So, how can you know if a new logo will positively resonate with your audience? There are no guarantees that the image will be positively received when it is altered, however, keep the following considerations in mind:

 

  1. The new logo should capture the essence of your company, organization, or event. If your company provides childcare, you may not want to have a tattooed rocker as your image (yes, it has happened). There are other creative ways to develop a logo that appeal to a younger, hip clientele, such as an image of a stylish mom pushing a European baby stroller, rather than the typical cartoon character.
  2. The final logo should reflect collaboration from internal and external constituents. A focus group to review the top logo choices before selection should include employees or consultants who work on your company’s marketing, customer service, R&D, and program delivery, as well as interns who often bring a fresh approach. Most important, your group should include a few customers who can provide great feedback and impressions of the message your potential new logo conveys.
  3. Engage a designer who is open to input, change, and takes direction well. Whether the graphic designer creating the logo is in-house or contracted, there should be a sense of give-and-take during the creative process. Regular discussion, flow of ideas, and edits to the creation before finalizing are essential.
  4. Make fun of it! Your company can poll customers and fans by asking them to vote on the logo they like best. The campaign, which does not take long to implement, can be posted on the company website, in an eNews alert, or on social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Your customers, fans, and followers can vote on the logo they like best, and allows the company’s team to monitor voting trends. Ultimately, the company should select the best logo to reflect the organization’s image, even if crowdsourcing suggests a different choice.

Talk back to us: What do you think about the new Microsoft logo? Do you have a success story about your new or re-designed logo, or is there a logo that you absolutely love? Let us know about by leaving a reply below.

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

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DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that addresses business, career, workplace and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by Ask The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC on Twitter. Post your questions/email your conundrum/send your question via video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Thursday, August 25th, 2011

 

Apple names former COO Tim Cook as top leader (photo: official Apple portrait)

What Steve Jobs’ resignation letter reminds company leaders to do

Although Steve Jobs’ seemingly sudden departure yesterday as Apple’s CEO comes as no surprise to technologists and business leaders who have been following Jobs’ health concerns, his announcement continues to leave the global technology world reeling.

Steve Jobs’ resignation letter: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and   expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee. As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple. I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are   ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role. I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”

The part of Steve Jobs’ resignation that is most striking to me is not the declaration of his intention to resign from his current position. I am fascinated by the immediate launch of the succession plan the company already had in place, in case of emergency, such as the departure of its Chief Executive Officer – former Chief Operating Officer at the company, Tim Cook is already listed on Apple’s website as CEO. Whether it is a health issue, corporate restructuring, or merger and acquisition, the succession plan, if constructed and implemented well, causes minimal disruption to the flow of business. A company like Apple, as the unarguable leader in global technology with the iPad, the iPhone, and iPod, cannot afford the perception of an unstable entity – there are billions of dollars in sales and stocks riding on the organization’s smooth transition.

But, how many companies or smaller nonprofit organizations have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and sketched out a workable succession plan before a major event or upheaval?

By definition, a succession plan encompasses the process for identifying current employees to fill key leadership roles in the event that there becomes a vacancy. The executed plan minimizes a lag in leadership, allays employee worries about corporate uncertainty in the midst of transition, and provides as little disruption to the production of goods and services at an organization as possible.

 Following are key issues to consider when developing a succession plan that we have used to aid clients in this daunting task:

SUCCESSION PLAN PRIMER

Elements of a succession plan

  • Identify potential scenarios that would require the execution and implementation of a succession plan, such as funding changes, death, illness, corporate reorganization, merger or acquisition, physical move
  • Start with internal areas/departments that are most immediately affected by sudden change in the organization, including the executive level of leadership, customer service, human resources, program management, and fundraising
  • Assess employee knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) required to successfully handle the position, including technical skills, fiduciary and budgeting skills, knowledge of foreign languages, exercise sound judgment, and oral and written communication skills
  • Consult with department heads and employees to develop a list of individuals with promising leadership ability, their skill sets, and performance highlights to begin developing a list of potential employees to fill key roles
  • Engage the Board of Directors or Advisory Board and allow them to participate, as appropriate, in the succession planning process
  • Review your organization’s training programs and ensure that there is a methodology to capture employees’ KSAs, document them for future reference, and use them in the succession planning process
  • Conduct scenarios that enable selected staff to demonstrate skills and make critical decisions prior to transition into a new role, including managing projects, developing complex budgets and forecasts, employee supervision, and organizing a press conference
  • Document employees, their strengths, KSAs, and feedback from staff about the prospective leaders in a company database so that it can be referred to as needed to identify internal talent
  • Include a standard operating procedure (SOP) in the succession plan, so that if the plan needs to be implemented for a division with little warning, there is a step-by-step guide for selecting the employee, transitioning that person, and acclimating him to the new role

While these elements of a succession plan are not exhaustive, they will help get your organization started on the right track when developing or tweaking the plan. The most important thing to remember is that once the succession plan is cultivated, it should be available to all leadership within a company, and updated as needed.

Does your company have an outstanding succession plan? Leave a reply below to tell us about it.

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