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Spend some actual time on your website’s FAQ page

Every company you ever speak to is somewhere in the process of redoing something about their website, and usually doing it mostly wrong — i.e. focusing on bells and whistles, and/or “something they saw on a comparison site,” as opposed to the actual cornerstones of “good user experience.” (Look, if your website is impossible or impossibly hard to use, people won’t come back to it unless they absolutely must come back to it. It’s that simple.)

A lot of redesigns can get caught up in very specific issues, usually related to the key stakeholders. These typically include the home page architecture (makes sense), the navigation menus (ditto), font/image sizes, and things such as those. I’ve been a part of 6-10 of these at various companies (some huge, billion-dollar companies) and here’s one thing I’ve never heard mentioned at any type of high level on a redesign: the FAQ/contact pages. Most people view those as an afterthought, if anything.

Maybe they shouldn’t.  Read more

1992-2006, mortality rates for women rose in 42.8% of U.S. counties. For men? 3.4% of counties.

Think about this: for the most part, people are living longer — except, perhaps, African-American men in Mississippi — but yet, U.S. women aged 15 to 54 are dying at a very high rate. This Washington Post article, where I first came across this information, tends to pin a lot of the trend back on prescription painkillers (which are opioids), noting this:

Prescription painkillers, or opioids, have become increasingly easy to find over the past two decades. Prescriptions have increased tenfold since 1990, according to a Harvard Medical School report. Medical providers wrote 259 million prescriptions in 2012, “enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills,” the CDC estimates.

In 1999, 3.3 out of every 100K white women died from opioid complications (typically overdose); by 2011, that was 15.9 per 100K. It essentially quintupled, then, in 12 years. That’s not a good trend.  Read more

Leadership = focus on accomplishing the goal, not advocating for your way to the goal

At the end of the day (terrible business buzzword concept, and I’m sorry I opened this post that way), isn’t the goal of a leader to accomplish a specific goal, or specific set of goals? You have deliverables, and you need to hit them. Right? So maybe you edit a magazine, or maybe you deploy trucks to locations, or maybe you coordinate weddings, or maybe you run a sales and marketing lead generation program. You probably do something, and that something has a goal (even if you can’t see how your goal ties back to the broader goals — i.e. purpose — there’s probably still a goal that you have). While there’s a whole host of bullshit things that play into your eventual evaluation as an employee, ultimately it should be based on some goals that were laid out for you.

Hopefully we’ve now established that one concept of leadership is to accomplish goals, even if goal-setting in organizations can be tangibly murky.

So why is so much of leadership seemingly about a leader advocating for their way to the goal, often in spite of the goal itself? Read more

Why do meetings necessarily need to be about a specific topic?

I’m going to make an argument here (and probably do so poorly), and the argument is going to be a little bit hard to follow (I think). Bear with me. I think there might be something here.

  • (Generalization to start) A lot of men love sports; that might be one of the main touch-points of Stuart Scott passing away.
  • Men tend to be “business leaders” at a much higher rate than women, even though that makes no sense.
  • Men often deify the idea of the intersection of “athletics” and “business” to the point that we have a concept called “The Corporate Athlete.”
  • One of the biggest ways you spend your day as a business leader is in meetings, which are generally pretty ineffective.
  • Meetings aren’t actually work; meetings are almost the prep for the work. You discuss stuff, theoretically get on the same page, and then different people have different deliverables. (That’s the ideal way it should work; it very infrequently actually works that way.)

Now we need to shift to a more semantic argument, which is where it might get confusing. Many people in the working world view meetings as “necessary evils,” and not as “training.” They view the concept of “training” (such as going to an off-site or lecture or having a coach come in) as “training.”

But in reality, if you want to extend this “Corporate Athlete” idea, meetings are like trainings. The game is the actual work and trying to achieve in what you produce.

So now stop and think back one step.  Read more

CMOs will spend more money on analytics, yes. But will they do it right?

Via TrackMaven, here are some key takeaways from the 2015 CMO Survey. In general, marketing spending will rise — and especially on analytics, which may double:

Marketing Analytics Spending

By “double” in this case, though, it’s still only slightly above 1/10th of the entire budget. It’s not that huge of a deal.

It would seem that “an increase in marketing analytics spending,” which is what the chart above is proving, is a good thing. But, er, maybe it’s not.  Read more

Santa Fe is the best place to own a business as a woman

Aside from the whole “They may have limited access to water” concept, New Mexico is a place everyone should consider moving in the next eight years — and especially women who want to own their own business. This comes from NerdWallet, who do a lot of mostly-interesting-but-maybe-I-don’t-know-if-there-is-a-broad-takeaway studies. Here’s the one on female business owners, complete with this chart:

Best Places For Women-Owned Businesses

Read more

Here are the 10 most economically-powerful cities in the world; yes, NYC is No. 1

Methodology here, but this tries to be fairly comprehensive and looks at these elements:

  • Overall economic clout
  • Financial power
  • Global competitiveness
  • Equity and quality of life

The study uses those five indicators. Within each indicator, they rank 10 global cities 1-10. No. 1 gets 10 points, No. 2 gets 9 points, and so on down the line.

Here’s what they found.  Read more

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