Archive: Sep 2014

  1. Finding A Balance: Leadership and Family

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    “As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.”

    Max Schireson’s resignation letter

    CEO of billion-dollar database company MungoDB just stood down to spend more time with his family, and it has rocked the HR and business worlds.

    In a post on his blog, entitled, “Why I’m Leaving The Best Job I Ever Had”, Max Schireson detailed how travelling 300,000 miles a year, and commuting from Palo Alto, California to New York ever 2-3 weeks was depriving him of any time with his ‘3 wonderful kids’ and his ‘brilliant’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘infinitely patient’ wife.

    In his resignation letter, he extols the virtues of a ‘special company’ with ‘amazing customers’ ‘a great product’ and ‘the strongest team.’ He acknowledges, too, that this decision may cost him his high-powered career and millions of dollars in potential earnings. For Schireson, though, it is simple.

    Family must come first.

    His break from the accepted mould of a male CEO, and his heartfelt resignation has gone viral across the web, and prompted us to think about leadership and how it can be balanced with family.


    Balancing Leadership and Family


    “Time for work and for family are both very important components of a full, meaningful life.”

    Huffington Post


    Max Schireson decided that to have a fulfilled family life, he had to give up high powered leadership. But does it always have to be a choice of one or the other? Can leadership and family be balanced in well-rounded life?

    The first mistake leaders make is to see work and family as opposing forces, each draining time and energy from the other. It is important to manage your time so that when work ebbs, you are proactively fitting in meaningful family time, and vice versa. Sometimes work will have to take priority, which is okay, as long as family takes priority other times.

    Do you have any secrets for balancing leadership and family effectively?  We’d love to hear about them.

    According to a recent study by Forbes, there is good news for those of us working in corporate communications – we make the top ten list of professions with the best work life balance!

  2. How To Run A Successful Product Launch

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    A successful product launch opens up new markets, brings in new customers and increases business with the existing ones.

    Successful internal brand and product launches depend on three things: planning, preparation and employee involvement.

    Success relies on employees understanding the key selling points and advantages of the new brand or product, and being able to communicate those benefits to customers with passion, personality and confidence.


    “A high proportion of product launches fail because of poor planning”

    Prepare an in-depth and detailed launch plan, including a clearly defined budget. Don’t leave any aspect of the launch to chance. Control expenditure, and assign one person with the task of keeping the launch on track.




     Be prepared.

    Make sure employees and sales representatives are thoroughly briefed on the product, the target market and the benefits of the product or brand that they are launching. Make sure they are aware of the aims, goals and benchmarks of the launch.

    Have your press releases prepared and invite the key journalists and members of the press. Launch your advertising campaign well in advance and make sure existing customers are informed of the new brand or product.

    Most importantly, create buzz, excitement and enthusiasm around your launch.


    Employee Involvement


    “Typically, if someone feels ownership in a product, he tends to take pride in its success.”


    How do you involve your employees in an internal brand or product launch?

    As we have discussed a lot in the past, involvement is about taking ownership of and pride in your work. Involved employees means productive employees, which also means happy customers. The same applies to internal brand and product launches. If you can get your employees involved in the success of the launch, then the chance of success is much greater.

    The first step is to make sure that your employees know the product or new brand inside out. Immerse your employees in the product until they are confidently able to champion it to others. Show them that they are valued by implementing their thoughts and ideas, rather than prescribing a new set of guidelines that must be followed.

    Empower your employees to market the new product or brand launch through social media, and through their individual roles. By allowing your employees to post pictures, information and tell others about the brand or product launch, they’ll spread the word without any extra cost to you.

    Gamify the launch process, and offer incentives to those who show the most commitment to the success of the launch. Leaderboards, incentives and prizes have a proven effect on involvement.

    If you would like to know more, or read about how we helped major companies nail their internal brand and product launches, then click here.