General rants

Nobody Cares About Your Mission Statement

writing rules provoke response

I’ve stated many opinions in this space, but few are as likely to trigger as intense a reaction as the headline of this article. Among many executives, mission statements are a sacrosanct cornerstone of corporate governance. But I’ll stand by my statement. Now, I’m not saying that your mission statement is unimportant. After all, a … Read more

My most frustrating meeting

bad words upset her

We’ve all sat in our share of frustrating meetings, but I can still remember the meeting that very nearly did me in. It took place in 1987 in a Chicago boardroom. A group of automotive industry CEOs (you’d recognize most of the company names) was meeting with a pair of representatives from a social services … Read more

Messages that unwittingly unravel your marketing efforts


Businesses invest quite a bit of time and money into sending messages to their customers. Unfortunately, most don’t realize that many of their actions result in other messages that may be inadvertent, but are also pretty dangerous. Financial institutions are particularly adept at delivering the wrong messages. After going through the semiannual ritual of gathering … Read more

Better ways to choose freelance writers and other creative suppliers

talk to a writer first

Freelance writers and other creative suppliers are accustomed to taking calls about the services we deliver. While the calls I receive focus on learning more about what I do, they also give me great insight into the sophistication of the callers and whether I really want to do business with them. Prospects often lack experience … Read more

Seven smart strategies for delivering bad news

bad news expression

We all have to share news we’d rather avoid now and then. Could be a cost increase. Perhaps it’s a layoff. A cutback in business hours. A product upgrade that’s been pushed back. Worse-than-expected earnings. Or a security breach. How you communicate bad news has a significant impact on your organization and its reputation. In … Read more