Markovitz Consulting

Why Having More Meetings Is Not The Answer

Markovitz Consulting

One of the participants in my Conclusion Trap class was grappling with a persistent problem at her company: their website regularly crashed after upgrades. She believed that one of the primary drivers of the problem was poor communication between two teams.

The Lockdown Unlocks Real Work

Markovitz Consulting

Peter Drucker once quipped that, “Much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.”

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Pay Attention to the Trenches, Not the Stars

Markovitz Consulting

Prior to the Super Bowl last Sunday, you couldn’t pick up a sports section without reading about the duel between Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, and Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the game today. But it turns out that the battle between the two big name quarterbacks was much less important than the battle between the Chiefs’ offensive line and the Buccaneers’ defense.

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COVID-19 is the Best Thing to Happen to Your Company. Seriously.

Markovitz Consulting

You’ve heard it countless times before: “People don’t like change.” Change is hard.” Change activates people’s lizard brain. They’ll fight you or run away.” People don’t mind changing. They don’t like being changed.”

Reaching Unreachable Candidates

Speaker: Patrick Dempsey and Andrew Erpelding of ZoomInfo

What is ZoomInfo for Recruiters? Find and connect with the right talent to fill roles fast with more data, basic search, advanced search, candidate and company profiles, and export results. Watch this On-Demand Webinar today to see how ZoomInfo for Recruiters can work to get your talented candidates results.

One Easy Way to Squander Time, Money, and Credibility

Markovitz Consulting

Just in case 2020 wasn’t challenging enough for you, here’s a brilliant example of how to waste time, money, and credibility in 2021. The HR department at a company approached me recently about teaching employees process mapping. This company recognizes the utility of process mapping in continuous improvement and decided that a class would be a good place to start. Sounds sensible.

Why Ping-Pong Post-It Notes Are Bad For You

Markovitz Consulting

One of my clients, a physician in an academic medical center, has been struggling with her personal kanban.

What is a Healthy Company?

Markovitz Consulting

What is a healthy person? We can argue over specific metrics, but we’d all agree that we have to account for physical as well as mental/emotional health. What is a healthy organization? As with individuals, there will be disagreement over metrics, but clearly we have to consider financial performance, internal stakeholders (employees), and external stakeholders (community).

The Conclusion Trap Workbook Is Out (and it's Free)

Markovitz Consulting

Response to my latest book, The Conclusion Trap , has been strong, but I’ve heard from some readers who that they’d like a workbook to accompany it. You can download the Conclusion Trap Workbook here. For free. Gratis. No charge. dollars.

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Avoiding Bureaucratic Snapback 

Markovitz Consulting

Last week, I wrote about how the pandemic lockdown and work from home have made employees more productive by removing some of the bureaucratic barnacles that keep them from doing high value work.

Going to Market Smarter in the New Economy

In 2021, as companies continue to move more functions online, employees will take a more virtual -- and flexible -- mindset and lifestyle in parallel to the digitization of businesses. To succeed, you must change the way you conceive and build new products as a digital business. Download the report today to discover more!

Zoom? Slack? Phone? Text? Smoke Signals? Don’t Use a Hammer When You Need a Wrench.

Markovitz Consulting

Zoom is the new email—something we love to hate, indispensable but painful, both the bane and the boon of our work existence. I’d argue that it’s not only due to the inherent mismatch between normal human interaction and the limitations of technology.

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(Value Stream) Map Your Way to a Better Post-Covid Future

Markovitz Consulting

At some point, the COVID pandemic will pass, whether that’s due to a vaccine, a 2-minute test, or herd immunity. But if you want to thrive in the post-COVID world, you’ve got to start working on operational improvements now.

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Avoiding Bureaucratic Snapback

Markovitz Consulting

Last week, I wrote about how the pandemic lockdown and work from home have made employees more productive by removing some of the bureaucratic barnacles that keep them from doing high value work.

When Leaders Torture Their Employees

Markovitz Consulting

Pity the employees at a Starbucks in midtown NYC. In a misguided attempt to improve quality, the management posts monthly scores on a variety of metrics. without understanding anything about effective use of metrics.

The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q2 2021

In our 24-criterion evaluation of B2B marketing data providers, we identified the 11 most significant vendors — Data Axle, Dun & Bradstreet, Enlyft, Global Database, InsideView, Leadspace, Oracle, SMARTe, Spiceworks Ziff Davis, TechTarget, and ZoomInfo Technologies — and researched, analyzed, and scored them. This report shows how each provider measures up and helps B2B marketing professionals select the right one for their needs.

I'm Teaching an Open-Enrollment Time Management Class on Apr 17-18

Markovitz Consulting

How often have you started your workday with a clear plan and objectives.but by the time you pull your head out of your inbox it's lunchtime (or later), and you haven’t actually accomplished anything important? Do you lose precious time hunting for files or emails? Do you wake up at 2am panicking about something you forgot to do? It doesn't have to be that way. Imagine finishing the day with your desk clean and your mind clear.

The road to hell is paved with metrics.

Markovitz Consulting

Michael Harris and Bill Tayler wrote a terrific article in the new Harvard Business Review on “metrics surrogation”—the tendency for people to mentally replace their business strategy with metrics. Although these metrics are supposed to reflect the company’s progress towards its goals, the focus on metrics can destroy an organization.

Open Enrollment Class for "The Conclusion Trap"

Markovitz Consulting

Do you (or people in your organization) jump to solutions? Is it hard to get people to slow down before making decisions? Do you want to get better at solving problems? If so, you’ll be interested in an open enrollment class I’m teaching at the Stanford Continuing Studies program on July 11.

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Are Your Values Worth the Paper They’re Printed On?

Markovitz Consulting

The unprecedented technical, logistical, and financial stresses placed on organizations today make the coronavirus crisis a crucible for an organization’s commitment to its values.

4 AI Hacks to Make Sales Teams More Efficient

Over the last two years, there’s been a 76 percent increase in AI adoption across sales organizations. For sales teams, AI opens up a world of new possibilities, including automating outreach, identifying best-fit buyers, and keeping CRMs flush with fresh data. Read on to learn the four AI hacks sales teams need to improve their performance. Download the eBook today!

Want To Be On The Leading Edge? Forget About It.

Markovitz Consulting

Don’t be seduced by the siren song of the leading edge. While it’s a nice concept, it’s not nicknamed “the bleeding edge” for nothing. All too often, companies that strive for first mover advantage bleed their products—or their entire organization—to death. Peter Golder and Gerard Tellis’s seminal study of 500 brands in 50 product categories reveals that almost half of market pioneers fail.

COVID: A Golden Opportunity to Move Forward

Markovitz Consulting

At some point, the COVID pandemic will pass, whether that’s due to a vaccine, a two-minute test, or herd immunity. But if you want to thrive in the post-COVID world, you’ve got to start working on operational improvements now. After all, if you’re walking to the starting line while your competitors are already settled into the blocks, you’ll never catch up.

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Markovitz Consulting

Taiichi Ohno said, “Data is of course important in manufacturing, but I place the greatest emphasis on facts.” You can leave out the word “manufacturing,” and apply the concept to anything in your company or your life. Facts are more important than data. When he talked about his preference for facts over data, he was urging people to go and see for themselves. Gathering facts comes from close observation of people, of objects, of spaces.

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Can a Public Company Ever Be Lean?

Markovitz Consulting

Can public US companies really embrace lean? Well sure, they can deploy lean tools here and there, but the whole socio-technical system that comprises lean? I don’t think so. Wall Street pressure for quarterly profits competes fiercely with lean principles, both inside and outside the company.

How to Overcome the Pain Points of Your CRM

CRM software is a powerful tool when used correctly, yet another obstacle to a sales team’s efficiency when it’s not. Leveraging research and commentary from industry analysts, this eBook explores how your sales team can get back valuable time by overcoming some pain points with your CRM, such as low adoption rates, integrations, and data quality.

"The Conclusion Trap" is Out! (Copy)

Markovitz Consulting

(Note: this is the same article from yesterday, but with a corrected link for my website.) I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my newest book, The Conclusion Trap , is now available for sale on Amazon. The book is priced to move — $7.99 for the Kindle version, $9.95

New Workshop: Avoiding the Conclusion Trap (and Other Pitfalls)

Markovitz Consulting

Need a break from the tedious bickering over the presidential election? Can’t stand the thought of talking heads bloviating about the cataclysmic importance of the upcoming Georgia senatorial election? If so, join me in January for a workshop on better problem solving. I’m joining forces with the fantastic folks at the Iowa Lean Consortium for a 4-part, 4-week workshop based on my new book, The Conclusion Trap. Why Do You Need This Workshop ?

Why I Was Wrong About 2 Second Lean

Markovitz Consulting

It’s time to admit that one of my consulting approaches has failed. I’m a huge fan of Paul Akers’ 2 Second Lean philosophy. It’s simple, easy to understand, and has an intrinsic appeal: “fix what bugs you.” Figure out how to do your job two seconds faster each day.” Who wouldn’t sign on to a lean program that promotes that mindset?

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How Scientific Thinking Won the Women’s World Cup Title

Markovitz Consulting

In the glow of the US women’s national soccer team’s World Cup title—and the long record of success the team has had over the years—it’s easy to forget that victory didn’t always seem quite so inevitable. Although the team dominated and won the World Cup in 2015, a year later it lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. Coach Jill Ellis noticed that Sweden employed a fundamentally different strategy than she expected. To add to the problem, many of her key players were getting older.

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4 Data-Driven Steps To Drive Successful B2B Demand Generation

Fact: Good data lives at the core of every successful B2B demand generation strategy. Without quality data, it’s nearly impossible to identify and segment your target audience and create messaging that speaks to their values and interests. Whether you’re stepping into a new position or you’re new to demand generation, learning the tricks of the trade can be, well, tricky. In this eBook, you’ll discover how to improve your demand generation program—and your bottom line.

Leadership in World 2.0 is Going to Look a Lot Like World 1.0

Markovitz Consulting

Bah humbug! I’m tired of hearing about how much business and leadership is going to change in the “World 2.0.” It’s not. The fundamental principles of good business transcend the effects of COVID-19, the shift to work from home, new technologies, and all the other changes we’re living with now. To be sure, if you own cruise ships, an airline, or a live concert venue, you’ll have to deal with serious changes to your business models for a while.

Better Managers Isn't Enough for Higher Engagement

Markovitz Consulting

(Note: this article first appeared in Industry Week.) A recent article by Sam Walker in the Wall Street Journal argues that better managers are the key to delivering better results. Walker cites research by Gallup showing that the quality of middle managers determines 70% of the variance between high-performing and low-performing companies.

Don't Let This Happen to Your Work From Home Colleagues

Markovitz Consulting

A client of mine has started to bring some of their employees back into the office. They’re not ending their work from home policies, but increasingly higher ranking staff are coming back to the mothership, particularly for important meetings. This shift makes sense for many reasons, but it’s having three unfortunate side effects.

Shorter Hours Is the Kaizen Mindset

Markovitz Consulting

Are businesses finally starting to question the assumption that more hours at the office equals more value for the customer? Back in November, I mentioned that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both ran articles on the productivity benefits of reduced work hours. Not to be outdone, NPR reported that Microsoft Japan moved to a four-day workweek this summer while increasing productivity by 40%. Last week the Wall Street Journal hit the topic again.

The Modern Customer Success Playbook

The evolution of every high-functioning, effective customer success strategy centers around three C’s: connected experiences, an engaging customer journey, and a culture built on customer-centricity. Satisfaction won’t cut it. Quarterbacking your customers to long-term success and growth is proven to combat churn and transform customer success teams into revenue-drivers. But where do you start? Download the playbook today!

A Better Way to Visualize Hoshin Plans

Markovitz Consulting

The hoshin kanri X-matrix makes my head hurt. I mean, kudos to the person who invented it for creating something so incredibly compact and information-dense. But I’m not sure it’s the easiest way to convey the information in the hoshin plan. Small dots in three locations on a spreadsheet with text running in two directions isn’t a recipe for easy digestion. image via kanbanize.com. (I I was gratified to learn from Katie Anderson that Toyota doesn’t use the X-matrix.