Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
January 2012

The Power of Procrastination

Procrastination has been defined as the act of replacing high-priority or important actions with tasks of lower priority, and putting off important tasks to a later time. Some industrial psychologists consider it procrastination if the action is counterproductive, needless, and delaying. Others consider it procrastination if a course of action is voluntarily delayed despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.

Regardless of the definition, procrastination and procrastinators are generally viewed in a purely negative light. However, the truth is that every person procrastinates sometimes. But, according to Psychology Today, only about 20 percent of people are true procrastinators… those who consistently avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. How do you know if you or one of your employees is part of the 20% that are true procrastinators? And, if so, is procrastination always a bad thing? Continue reading

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Be Unreasonable!!

In business negotiations and political discussions, people are often urged to ‘be reasonable’ if they stake out a position that seems untenable or challenging. Being reasonable is billed in polite society as a virtue. Indeed, most people would consider it an insult, or at least an affront, to be accused of being ‘unreasonable.’ Reasonableness is seen as the quintessential characteristic of a civilized and educated person. We always want to be reasonable and seem reasonable to others.

The only problem is that being ‘reasonable’ will only get you so far in life. If you want to go further and take your business or career — or some other equally important aspect of your life — to a whole new level (not just the next incremental level), you need to go far beyond being reasonable. To achieve a great breakthrough or make a quantum leap forward, you need delve into the realm of the unreasonable. But how and when is it okay to be unreasonable? Continue reading

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Competition: The Best Medicine

Ask most any business owner or manager about their competition and they are likely to spout off a litany of criticism and complaints about ‘those other companies’ and probably particular rant about one rival in particular. Entrepreneurs who take the high road and conduct themselves with dignity may not tell customers what they really think of their competition, but you can bet that privately they can list every shortcoming of their fiercest competitor. In fact, in certain industries – where the fight for market share or even survival is most fierce — C-O-M-P-E-T-I-T-I-O-N is the longest four-letter word in the English language. Just ask anyone who works at Mac about IBM. Lays Potato Chips vs. Doritos. Harvard vs. Yale. Coke vs. Pepsi. They don’t call it “the cola wars” for nothing.

Most organizations think of competition as the unavoidable and most unfortunate evil of doing business. There probably isn’t a business leader alive who hasn’t thought, at least once, ‘If only my product or service was the only game in town.’ The thought is that doing business would be paradise were it not for competition… or a particular competitor. After all, while competition may be great for customers – offering choice and driving down price — it is really nothing but a pain for business owners. Right? Wrong. The truth is that competition is the best thing for any business. Continue reading

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Something Old; Something New; Something Borrowed… and Now Something True Blue

For the last two weeks, we took an old English rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, And A Sixpence in your Shoe.” and applied it business. We started by examining the old – but valuable – marketing strategy of PR to promote brand continuity and investigated a new, related marketing trend called Brand Journalism that is helping customers connect to businesses in a new way. Then we borrowed the strategy of Corporate Giving as a way to help businesses connect with and engage consumers.

However, sometimes the smartest thing a business can do is go back to the basics. Despite the many changes in technology, communications, and marketing over the last 25 years, the fundamentals of running a sound business remain unchanged. This week, we’ll look at some ‘true blue’ business practices essential to any organization. These ten strategies are a must for long-term business success. Continue reading

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After Something Old and Something New…. Something Borrowed

Part 2 – Borrowing the Successful Business Strategy of Corporate Giving

The old English rhyme “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, And A Sixpence in your Shoe.” was told to brides on their wedding day. With a look toward 2012, we tried to apply this wedding lore to a bright business future. We started last week by examining an old – but valuable – marketing strategy to promote brand continuity and investigated a new, related marketing trend that is helping customers connect to the business brand in a new way.

This week, we’ll look at ‘something borrowed’, symbolic of happiness borrowed from a new family. We’ll borrow a wise business strategy – that of corporate giving – as a way to connect with the community, engage consumers and stand apart from the competition. It is a strategy that has proven profitable for many companies, large and small… and even for one savvy start-up. Continue reading

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