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Embracing Risk July 27, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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The latest big news in the healthcare industry has been the recent law providing for Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco as a drug. While it may not affect you directly, the law of unintended consequences is likely in full effect here, and it remains to be seen just what the eventual outcomes will be. Aside from the legislation itself, however, we can observe how a high-profile organization has attempted to shift government regulation—normally considered something of a risk—into more of a marketing tool. (more…)

The Flip Side – Camel Guest Post July 23, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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From my “Manage a Camel” guest post in the UK:

It isn’t hard to find resources promoting effective management – whether of projects or people.  From IT to manufacturing to engineering, one of the most common recommendations – nay, directives – is to delegate.  To believe some of the various posts, the job of an effective manager entails continuously foisting work off onto subordinates in order to have time to “manage” the job.  And if you are one of those subordinates, it is usually pretty obvious when one of your many bosses has recently read about the latest fad and decided to send all the unpleasant work your way.  But that isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.  MORE…

Personality Management July 17, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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One of the most difficult transitions in many professions—especially engineering—is that of moving from a strictly technical job into management. Whether management means supervising one person or overseeing an entire project, significant psychological adjustment is necessary to manage human resources as well as technical ones. This difficulty is nothing new. Long before many of the well-known quality management and coaching principles were developed, firms recognized that technical experts did not necessarily make the best managers. Recently, there have been many comparisons between management and leadership, and an emphasis that they are indeed two different attributes that require different skills. (more…)

Seeking Compensation July 11, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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It is common for service professionals to be sought out for advice “on the side”.  I regularly might provide some helpful insights into a particular situation, but any such advice is usually not worth much more than the recipient is paying for it.  The problem is that for someone to spend enough time on a particular problem to provide a truly helpful and customized answer fairly requires that they be compensated for it.

While it’s hard enough to broach the subject when your “client” is an informal acquaintance (perhaps someone you just met at a conference for instance), it’s all the more difficult when dealing with close friends.  Then there is the additional question of whether a bit of upfront pro bono work will lead to a longer term (and profitable) relationship.

A recent question came up in which an experienced professional was having trouble turning his expertise into a “going concern”.  He was experiencing a recurring case of providing some value to at least one other party (usually a larger corporation considering particular strategic decisions), but couldn’t figure out how to transition it into a paying job.  The following is a very loose summary of my advice: (more…)

Who Moved My Economy? July 9, 2009

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My latest “hard copy” article in RM3 magazine here in Billings (scroll down to the last post on the page):

Who Moved My Economy?

…PDF version coming soon!

Engineering Your Marketing July 2, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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One of the most important activities we can undertake is marketing our engineering services. But, what about the other way around: Can marketing be “engineered”? Marketing is simply the application of various tools to improve a business’s exposure to its clients and the public. Similarly, engineering is the application of various physical laws to the natural and built environment.

For those not long out of school, or otherwise sheltered from business management, the two disciplines could not seem more disconnected. Many may have learned the similarities the hard way—with the marketing equivalent of watching a bridge collapse. What would it take to synthesize engineering methods with the tools of the marketing trade? (more…)