Learning vs Arrogant Organizations: A Lesson in Survival

Learning organizations grow and live. Arrogant organizations die while looking back at the glory days. In my work as a consultant I can quickly assess if I am dealing with a learning or arrogant organization. No matter the size or age, learning organizations find themselves relevant to their audiences, while arrogant ones might continue to provide a product or service that fewer and fewer people seem to want. But when asked, no business, church, ministry would identify itself as arrogant. But here’s how I differentiate between them. Learning organizations ask the right questions. While we all want to do what we do better, sometimes that’s the wrong question to ask. “How should we do what we do better?” is a good question but “what should we be doing?” is a better one. You can improve your product or experience to the point of, not only diminishing returns, but obsolescence. You…

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How to Decide If You Can Trust Someone

There are times you instinctively know you should not trust someone. I have learned to trust my first gut reaction after getting in a business or personal relationship with someone I had second thoughts about only to be burned by them later. While I don’t think I can teach anyone how to develop an intuition on such matters, I can share some of the signs I look for in a person when I first meet them.  Here’s what I watch for: How they treat people whom they perceive “beneath” them. I watch closely the reaction to a restaurant server or an assistant when he or she messes up or fail to perform to the person in question’s standards. I remember one man who wanted to invest in one of my ventures yelling at a woman who served us the wrong beverage. It was an honest mistake. His reaction was clear…

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Selling Tomorrow’s Ideas to Yesterday’s Generation

“How do I convince my boss to try new ideas and technology?” That is  one of the most popular questions I get during my speaking engagements. It’s often the young staff from businesses, churches, and organizations wanting to venture out into a social media campaign or a dynamic new mobile tool or app who face push back from leaders who don’t understand or are threatened by the new and unfamiliar. So how do you get your point across to yesterday’s generation without frustrating them and getting shut down? If I have learned anything in 20 years of marketing is this: you must speak the language of your target audience. And that goes for the people you have to help adopt a new vision or strategy. Often you have to use yesterday’s language to sell today’s idea to accomplish tomorrow’s mission. Church marketing is a perfect illustration for this principle. While…

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The Mobile Church: Text Giving

Text giving is an important tool for the growing church. This post is part 1 in a new series, The Mobile Church. In this series, we explore the way the mobile phone is changing the way people connect and the way churches minister. What was once seen as a potential threat to community is now the great connector of people, creating new opportunities for churches and ministries to reach audiences, minister, and raise funds. Follow this series to learn about the trends in technology that can no longer be ignored. Jennifer is a 26-year-old loyal churchgoer. Each Sunday as she leaves the house, she checks to make sure she’s not forgetting one thing – her phone. She doesn’t bring her Bible and notebook. She certainly doesn’t bring her checkbook. She follows along with the sermon on her Bible app, tweets a verse that stood out to her, then texts her…

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Bad Church Signs Get Their Own Music Video

I love church signs. As a matter of fact I have shared a few posts worth of some of my favorite signs over the years. But this video is simply brilliant. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. What’s the funniest or most inappropriate church sign you’ve seen recently?

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32 Reasons to have a Mobile Marketing Strategy

While one of two reasons should be enough for us to pay attention to our mobile marketing, here are 32 reasons to have a mobile marketing strategy:   1. In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage 2. Adults spend more time on mobile media than they do on newspapers and magazines combined 3. 91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7 4. 81% of U.S. cell users will have smartphones by 2015 5. 75% of mobile users use their mobile device for shopping 6. The global mobile market will grow from $3.4 billion in 2010, to $22 billion in 2016 7. Close to a billion smartphones were sold in 2013 8. 53% of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day 9. Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop 10. Over 75% of mobile users respond…

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My Loss of Entitlement Saved My Future

I know entitlement first hand. My Brazilian mindset had prepared me for a privileged life where I expected my parents to pay for college, find me a high-paying job, pay for my wedding and set me and my future bride in a new house they would build for us. Nice, isn’t. But that’s not the way it all happened, and for that, I’m most thankful. On my 19th birthday I got a call from Brazil letting me know that the government had frozen any money transfers going outside the country. And even without that restriction in place, my parents could no longer afford to pay for my college education. Therefore goodbye, free college education wedding, first house. easy job. I was crushed. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I have thanked God for that disappointing news many times over the years. In a conversation, my…

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The Danger of Being a Critic

Negativity always comes with a price. A big one. It’s easy for me to be a critic. I grew up in a family that prided itself in finding what’s wrong with the world and each other. It was sort of a sport around the dinner table to see who would outwit the rest and deliver the best put down. We all laughed, but someone always got hurt. Now I’m a professional critic whose livelihood is partially funded by my ability to discern what’s wrong or what’s not working and help organizations figure out how to communicate in order to move to the next level. Being a critic is dangerous, and I’m very aware of the negativity that can creep in and suck the life out of every experience. I have to work hard on being positive because cynicism and negativity are the first ones at my gate. I don’t want…

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Persuasion and the Two Types of Motivation

What motivates you? That’s the fundamental question for every communicator, sales person and for all us in marketing and communication. While there are a lot of different motivators in our lives, we all fit in two big general motivation categories: 1.  Those who look at what they can gain from life: what can I get out of this? 2. Those who look at what not to lose in life: what am I missing and how can I avoid loss? Often both groups  of people will come up to the same conclusion and course of action, but they will arrive at their decision through completely different motivations. This classification goes beyond the “half-full or half-empty glass” perspective of positive and negative people. In my experience, those who look at life for what it has to offer them are always trying to push their personal and professional boundaries in search of the…

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Why We Need Humor

We need humor because we need laughter. It’s a part of what it means to be human, and I believe it’s a great gift from God. Researchers have found that laughter has health benefits beyond the psychological well being it generates. From WebMd.com In the last few decades, researchers have studied laughter’s effects on the body and turned up some potentially interesting information on how it affects us:   Blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.   Immune response. Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response, says Provine. Some studies have shown that the ability to…

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