Threats and intimidation won’t forge workforce passion, but conversation will

PayPal President David MarcusOn March 13, 2001, Cerner Corporation CEO Neal L. Patterson sent an email aimed at some 400 company managers, intended to “start a fire.” The email spread, first through the organization, then beyond.

Patterson’s letter began like this:

We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our K.C.-based EMPLOYEES. The parking lot is sparsely used at 8 a.m.; likewise at 5 p.m. As managers—you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are doing; or you do not CARE. You have created expectations on the work effort which allowed this to happen inside Cerner, creating a very unhealthy environment. In either case, you have a…

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Sophie Knutsson for Chief Funster: how Tourism Australia shines a light on its working holidays

David Spark and Sophie KnutssonTourism marketing usually involves images of exotic locales you’ll see when your eyes are closed long after you viewed the photo or video. In 2009, Tourism Queensland added a new spin to its usual assortment of pictures of the Great Barrier Reef. The organization used the scenery to entice people to apply for “The Best Job in the World,” caretaker of Great Barrier Reef islands for six months.

The campaign attracted massive attention and was even reintroduced this year as one winner “is regretfully handing over the keys to his island hacienda.” The new campaign will lead to a replacement.

The campaign worked so well at shining a light… Read More »

It’s time to break the broadcast habit

The habit of communicating via broadcast is hard to break. Even as some companies embrace the ethos of social media, they employ broadcast models in their efforts to participate in it. Facebook apps, for example, are a means of injecting a message into a medium used primarily for conversation. There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, a study from the American Marketing Association suggests a lot of people like ads and apps in social networks: 47% of social network users would use their network to download coupons and 45% would be happy to get information about store promotions.

But getting a message in front of people in a manner… Read More »

Customer reviews make a difference

It was a big deal when Wal*Mart announced that all of its products would be open to customer reviews on the big-box retailer’s website. While customer reviews have long been a staple of companies like Amazon.com, Wal*Mart’s adoption of the practice signalled that online customer reviews was going mainstream.

Reserach released recently (and found via eMarketer) suggests it’s a smart move in more ways than one. The “Social Commerce 2007” study, conducted by e-consultancy and Bazaarvoice, reveals that customer reviews increases everything from site traffic to sales.

Shel Holtz

Some results from survey respondents when asked about the impact of… Read More »

Lessig asks his readers to respond to NYT editorial

Author Mark Helprin, writing in The New York Times, has proposed a “perpetual copyright.” His argument revolves around the notion that other properties, like buildings, can be owned forever. Why not intellectual works?

For me, the answer is easy, as articulated by the Constitutional Law Foundation:

Patents and copyrights are grants to the holder, by the state, of monopoly powers, for a specific period of time, for a specific reason. The goal is to provide incentive for invention and art. The balancing concern is that one can stifle endeavor, raise the price of entry to enterprise, or lock away the ‘building blocks’ of science, art and…

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Nothing changes everything

I am overly tired of the “X is dead” redundancy. I understand the enthusiasm with which those who spout “X is dead” embrace what they believe in, but communication channels rarely die because of the advent of something new, even when that new thing represents a revolutionary, paradigm-changing development. Print didn’t replace face-to-face communication, after all, and television didn’t kill radio.

I’ll bet the first person to leave a comment who’s willing to take the bet $100 (US) that I’ll be able to buy a newspaper in 10 years. (We’ll exchange contact details and I promise to get in touch in a decade.) The newspaper I’m able to buy… Read More »

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