• Manage your company’s reputation by starting a two-way dialogue with consumers. Example: Chevron’s “Will you join us?” campaign, which deals with the challenge of meeting the world’s energy needs without creating more environmental problems. By asking the public to join the conversation on a web site and offering interactive tools, Chevron boosts its reputation in a more nuanced, credible way.
— Adapted from “Rebuilding corporate reputations,” Sheila Bonini, David Court, and Alberto Marchi, McKinsey Quarterly.
• Follow the recipe of Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising, to increase productivity. First, use the phone. He calls the CEO of each major client every day, and always answers calls from employees. “I like the directness of phone conversations,” says Zimmerman. And cut down on sleep: “Sleeping isn’t living. You sleep when you die. I get up at 3:30 every morning and I’m at the gym by 4. Then I ride 25 miles on my bike before breakfast. Being in shape is what gives me energy.”
— Adapted from “15 Ways to Be More Productive,” Inc.
• Be more innovative by spending at least 15 to 30 minutes per day jotting down questions that “challenge the status quo” in your company or industry, recommends Brigham Young University Professor Jeff Dyer, one of the researchers behind a study called “The Innovator’s DNA.” (The study surveyed more than 3,000 entrepreneurial, inventive executives.) Visionary leaders are much more likely to ask “what if” questions.
— Adapted from “BYU study looks at how business innovation happens,” Lesley Mitchell, Salt Lake Tribune.
• Avoid travel fatigue by following this refreshing tip from Carol Margolis, founder of SmartWomenTravelers.com, an online community. “When I’m on the road, I work 24/7,” she says. So she requests a shutdown call—like a wake-up call but two hours before bed. “Left to my own devices, I’ll work until I can’t see.”
— Adapted from “Want an Upgrade?” Little Pink Book.