Tag Archives: Nokia

Two More Ways We Help You Improve Your Speaking

We are always excited about helping professionals speak better.  You are likely aware that we have recently concluded two offerings of our Speech Class Refresher workshop.  That is not the only way that we help.  Here are two more:

SpeechCoachingPicture1If you would like intensive micro-skill practice that will greatly improve your performance as a speaker, we offer a 2-day program entitled “Speak Up!  Speak Out!  Say It Well!  This program is limited to six participants  You will practice each skill, then immediately, receive coaching on video with one of us.  We have taught this in major companies, including TXU Energy, L-3 Communications, Resource One Credit Union, Nokia, and Dr Pepper / Snapple Group.  We will guarantee that you will see dramatic improvement.  Our next public offering of this program is contingent upon the interest we receive.  Please let us know if you would like to do this, and we will get back with you about potential dates, and answer any logistical questions you may have.

If you have an intact presentation that you would like us to give you intensive coaching for, we SpeechCoachingPicture3are able to do that for you.  This is particularly useful if this presentation is one that you give regularly, or that you are about to give in the very near future.  The coaching session is one-half day, to allow for several trials, and also some start-stop repetition to allow you to master some specific skills.  We also record the speech, and review it with you during the session.   In addition, if you would like us to attend an actual presentation that you will give for a live audience, record it, and provide you with feedback afterwards, we are glad to do so.  Please note that we are unable to offer the attendance option if you have not completed the coaching session with one of us first.  Let us know of your interest in this.

You can reach us at:  .  We are happy to answer your questions in an e-Mail, or call you back to talk.


CCN is a Fit for Professional Associations

At Creative Communication Network, we enjoy speaking to professional associations.   They seem to love us! 

We had the chance to do this last week at the Nokia Leadership Association, when Randy Mayeux and I presented book synopses of two major best-sellers.

I am pictured below at the front of the room after getting the participants to laugh at a funny item from the book.

We have spoken to many professional associations over the years.  We have many topics and presentations that will interest your attendees, and they are not only books!  We have some excellent keynotes and training programs that will work.

If your association has interest in booking us for presentations such as these, we are happy to speak with you.  Contact us at:  .


Whittington’s Leadership Book Gets It All Together

You may have missed a wonderful book that was published in August by Dr. J. Lee Whittington, a Professor of Management and a former Dean of the Satish and Yasmin College of Business at the University of Dallas.  I have known Whittington for 17 years at the university, and he succeeded me as a consultant on a project for Nokia in 2004.  He now leads the DBA program for the school.

His book, Biblical Perspectives on Leadership and Organizations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), fills a substantial gap in both management and religious scholarly literature.

His research has been published in The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Management, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Managerial Issues, and the Journal of Business Strategy.

This is the description of the book:  Despite increasing interest in the spiritual implications of work, employment and organizations, there has been little research linking biblically-based principles to the study of organizational practices. Biblical Perspectives on Leadership and Organizations integrates findings from contemporary research to address this gap in the literature by examining motives and spiritual leadership from a biblical perspective.  Grounded in the Christian scriptures, this book offers a unique perspective on the spirituality of leadership and organizational life. Whittington draws heavily on his scholarship within the sphere of management, spirituality and leadership, as well as the broader domains of leadership and organizational behavior. While based on a Christian perspective, the models and principles developed in this book will interest and inform scholars from all faith traditions.

On Innovation, Paradigm Shifts, and Intentional (Or Unintentional) Blindness

Here’s an article by Ryan McCarthy that describes how Nokia could have been ahead of the game on the iPhone type phone, and then dropped the ball: Counterparties: Why big companies are bad at innovating.

…as early as 2000, the Finnish phone maker had designed a proto-iPhone – complete with a color touch screen and geo-location, gaming, and e-commerce capabilities.  

This McCarthy article, quoting Peter Thiel, (actually, this “criticism” is kind of swirling around on the internet right now) describes how big companies might just get too big to innovate.  The bigger they get, the more “set” they become, and the more blind they become to a great new idea – even if the idea comes from someone within their own company.

This has been written about by many, with years of recommendations about “skunk works,” secret teams…  But it is just further proof that we get so very , very set in our ways.

It reminds me of the story of the invention of the battery powered watch.  I listen to it from the “Paradigm Shift” guy, Joel Barker, every semester, on his video The Business of Paradigms.  He tells how a man in a Swiss watch company invented this new fangled watch, and then showed it to the folks in his company.  “That can’t be a watch – it doesn’t have a mainspring,” went the refrain.  Well, the rest of the world saw it at some international watch convention, Seiko ran with it, and the Swiss lost their dominance in the blink of an eye.

Yes, there are a lot of bad new ideas out there.  And, I assume that someone at Nokia said “this is a bad idea” with that new fangled phone.  What we know is that they did not develop the idea.  But others did.

And the rest, as they say, is history.


Never Aim for the Middle — Wisdom from James Surowiecki

News item: Apple Sells Out iPad Pre-Order Inventory As Launch Nears.


James Surowiecki is the author of the influential book, The Wisdom Of Crowds (one of the books I have presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis), and a regular columnist for The New Yorker.  He is an astute observer of the trends and changes in our culture.  Here’s his latest.

In a big-picture scheme of things, we have two groups that are healthy, and one that is in real trouble.  The two healthy groups are the “very best,” and the “good enough.” It is the “middle” that is in real danger.  This is the premise behind his article SOFT IN THE MIDDLE. Here’s part of his opening paragraph:

Starting at five hundred dollars, the iPad is significantly more expensive than its competitors. But Apple’s assumption is that, if the iPad is also significantly better, people will happily shell out for it (as they already do for iPods, iPhones, and Macs). That’s why when Steve Jobs first introduced the iPad he said that, if a product wasn’t “far better” than what was already out there, it had “no reason for being.

At the other end of the spectrum is the “good enough — adequate.”  Here’s a paragraph about this group:

On the contrary, companies like Ikea, H. & M., and the makers of the Flip video camera are flourishing not by selling products or services that are “far better” than anyone else’s but by selling things that aren’t bad and cost a lot less. These products are much better than the cheap stuff you used to buy at Woolworth, and they tend to be appealingly styled, but, unlike Apple, the companies aren’t trying to build the best mousetrap out there. Instead, they’re engaged in what Wired recently christened the “good-enough revolution.” For them, the key to success isn’t excellence. It’s well-priced adequacy.

And though these two examples are about different ends of the consumer world, they have something in common:

These two strategies may look completely different, but they have one crucial thing in common: they don’t target the amorphous blob of consumers who make up the middle of the market.

Surowiecki concludes with this:

According to one estimate, Nokia has nearly twenty times Apple’s market share, but the iPhone alone makes almost as much money as all Nokia’s phones combined. But making money by selling moderately good products that are moderately expensive isn’t going to get any easier, which suggests a slight rewrite of the old Highland ballad. You take the high road, and I’ll take the low road, and we’ll both be in Scotland afore the guy in the middle.

Here’s my take.  A while back, I read (and presented) the Robert Bloom book, The Inside Advantage.  In it, he spoke of the importance of these two questions

• Who is my core customer?
• What is my uncommon offering?

From the Surowiecki article, we learn that it may be much easier to answer these questions for the upper and the lower end of markets, and a whole lot harder to target the “amorphous middle.”