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Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World

Are you prepared to get vaporized? During the past twenty years I’ve worked with companies all over the world, big and small, helping them to craft a strategy so they can transition from the old world of producing physical products to a new world in which most things tangible – products, devices, stores, and even companies – will simply disappear forever to be replaced by invisible software.  I call this getting vaporized.

My motto is “Whatever can be vaporized will be.” That means any part of your business or product that can be replaced by pure digital information almost certainly will be.

You can’t stop this transformation process because dozens or even hundreds of other companies are already working on it. They are catering to the two billion consumers wielding smartphones who demand instant access to apps and services.

For start-up ventures with no stake in the old physical economy, this poses no particular challenge – just a wealth of opportunities.  But for old-school bureaucracies, it’s a scary new world that requires managers to rethink the basic principles that govern established businesses.

From health care to handbags, no industry is immune. At least some portion of every firm’s activity will be transformed from the old-school physical industrial process into a vaporized state of information available on demand. You won’t be able to stop this process, but if you react soon enough, you will at least have the option to determine how and when you will respond.

The secret to success when technology is driving change rapidly in an established industry is to envision possibilities that many consider unthinkable: to make an effort to envision what a disruptive change might look like, and how it will transform the entire business process. That’s easier said than done. To do so, you have to set aside everything that made your company a big success and focus on the changes that will wipe all of that success away. This is not an easy exercise for anyone.  To get started, ask yourself the following questions:


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About the Author

Robert TercekRobert Tercek invents the digital future. He has launched satellite TV networks, the first video on mobile phones, multimedia games, and live interactive learning programs. He provides strategic insight to Turner Broadcasting, InterPublic Group, PBS, and other firms. He previously served in executive leadership at MTV, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and most recently as President of Digital Media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. And is the author of VAPORIZED: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World, For more information, go to: http://www.roberttercek.com/

Do You Know What Your Boss Wants From You?

As an executive coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of people in all types of organizations. Each person has their own story, of course – a unique narrative that includes their skills, experience, strengths, weaknesses, and relationships. While every engagement is different, these people all have one thing in common; their boss always plays a central role in the story. That’s why my first coaching question is “what does your boss really want from you?

Now, some of my clients have great bosses, so we discuss the relationship briefly and move on. However, a lot of my clients don’t work for a great boss. They’re not clear about his views, or don’t understand what she really wants… and all of this is impacting their engagement, performance, and happiness.


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About the Author

Steve Arneson is one of America’s top executive coaches and corporate leadership speakers. His follow-up to the best-selling Bootstrap Leadership is What Your Boss Really Wants from You. Both books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.

How to be an Effective Manager

Effectively managing people, processes, or both is in many ways a balancing act. Some would even describe it as an art form. There are many variables in play simultaneously which determine if somebody will ultimately be successful in a leadership role.

Before a manager begins to understand all of these nuances they must learn one of the major underlying principles if they are going to recognize their full potential as leaders. They must learn to walk the tightrope between being personal and professional at the same time. It is important to be personal and on good terms with your team members because this is the only way to ensure teamwork and peak performance, but you must also be professional to be respected and trusted. Be too friendly and you may be taken advantage of or not taken seriously, be too buttoned up and ‘professional’ and you risk coming across as uncaring and stubborn.


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About the Author

Gabriel Bristol, president and CEO of Intelicare Direct, is one of today’s most versatile CEOs, having led remarkable turnarounds for several large corporations as well as helping establish rapidly growing start-ups. Gabriel’s success has been well documented, with features in Forbes and other publications throughout the country. To read Gabriel’s complete biography, click here.

Three Strategies to Synchronize, Backup and Protect Your Business Data

Virtually every type of company generates valuable data that must be updated, retained and safeguarded, including ‘secret sauce’ information on company products, employee data and sensitive customer information. As a company leader, it’s your responsibility to create and implement a strategy to make sure your information is synced to enable collaboration, backed up to ensure retention and secured to make sure data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

If your company started out small, it may have seemed easy at first to manage your data. Maybe you saved it all on a server, and only a few employees had access to it, so you felt you could keep an eye on it easily. But as companies grow, they get more complex. And these days, more and more businesses store information on the cloud so they can scale their infrastructure as they expand and enable employees to access data on the road or from multiple locations.

Syncing data is critical if you want to make sure everyone has access to up-to-date information, which is especially important for companies that manage mobile workforces. Otherwise, you’ll end up with different versions of the sales data or data silos will develop on separate hard drives that result in only certain employees having access to information that everyone needs.

Synchronization needs to encompass all types of devices, including tablets and mobile phones, laptops, desktops, servers and external drives. The type of data sync approach your company should pursue depends on your unique business needs, your workforce and your technology assets. Broadly speaking, there are three different categories of data solutions to choose from; here’s a brief overview of each:


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About the Author

Bill Carey is Vice President of Marketing & Business Development at Siber Systems Inc., which offers the top-rated RoboForm Password Manager software.

Breathing Life Into Your Values-Based Culture

What does your company’s culture look like? Can you clearly define it and how it contributes to the overall success of your business? Could your culture benefit from some special attention? Throughout my 25 year career, I’ve admired certain companies that consistently outshine their competition. What is their secret ingredient? I’ve arrived at an undeniable conclusion? company culture.

But when it comes to building and establishing that culture, where do you start? I’ve learned that one of the most essential steps is determining the difference between your company’s priorities and values. Priorities are the day-to-day demands of our jobs. They can shift and change constantly. In contrast, values are the glue that bind us together. Our values must not change; they are non-negotiable. Our daily decisions are grounded in our values, and the key is discovering what is most important to us. I learned where my values lied when I was working for a former employer. My boss was a headstrong individual who would lock in on an idea, lobby some employees to join his cause, then push his ideas on everyone else until he got his way. His behaviors led to some ill-conceived and financially dangerous decisions.


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About the Author

Brian Fielkow is the author of Driving to Perfection: Achieving Business Excellence by Creating a Vibrant Company Culture and owner of Jetco Deliver. in Houston, Texas. He and has presented to thousands of people across the country on how to establish a healthy culture. To continue the conversation, contact Brian at [email protected], and learn more at drivingtoperfection.com.