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And the Winner is…High-Quality Content! March 7, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in Communication, Creating Marketing Materials, Creativity.
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In early March of 2011 Google confirmed for all time what I contend has always been the foundation of success in any medium: high-quality content.  Scrolls, books, magazines, newspapers and all other content delivery vehicles before the digital age have always lived or died based their content.  All Google did was declare war on sites that deliver low quality content that offers little use for readers.

As a creator and user of information myself, I’ve always been critical of content vehicles (digital or not) that offer little or no useful information.  In the digital world, the art & science (more art than anything because Google keeps its algorithm a secret), of “search engine optimization” or SEO, has created players who would rather game the system than provide you with solid content.

So it’s nice to know that the rules of the content game remain safely the same.  If you want to develop content of any kind, it must be created and engineered so that people easily recognize and value it.

I’ll throw in three basic tenants for developing content that I’ve learned over many years of trial, error, and success.

Relevant:  The content must be a match to the reader or user.  People will search for content in any delivery vehicle (magazine, website), which is material they instantly recognize as useful in the context of their interests.

Engaging:  High-quality content engages the reader by pulling their minds in directions they delightfully didn’t expect to go…but are glad they did when they get there.  Content that challenges and inspires the mind on a subject has always been a jewel.  High-quality content should be a great experience.

Insightful:  Content, whether written, verbal, or visual has to have enough depth to allow the creator to draw out any number of valuable insights.  My bias is for content to have insights that have a practical and actionable nature for the user.

Creating and sharing high-quality content is a timeless way to provide valuable information for both prospects and clients.  Google’s war against low-quality content just reaffirmed what we knew all along.

Finding Innovations for Your Business: Podcast 3 June 14, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Big Dogz Podcasts, Creativity, Innovation: Not Just for the Big Dogz.
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So…you understand just how innovation can help to differentiate your business from your competition. You also understand how the right innovations can lead to producing high value products or services that customers want and pay for. Now the question is, where are the sources of innovation? In this podcast, we explore a few obvious and not so obvious sources for the creative ideas you need to fuel innovation in your business. Not every great idea is a practical innovation, but you need to find the many in order to implement the few.

Listen in as Dave discusses his thoughts on resources for creating potential innovations.

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I don’t know it all…and I’m so thankful for that! March 18, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Confidence, Creativity, Grow your skills, Solving Business Problems.
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dirksphoto.jpgAnyone who believes they have arrived and know it all, are just about DOA in my book. I don’t what your age is, you can always learn, do, read, think, and ask more about anything in life. Pity the people, and you probably know more than a few, who just can’t seem to invest anything into their business life that would give them an edge. The Big Dogz, at least the majority of them, invests in making themselves even sharper on the business edge.

Taking some time each week to read, watch, or study about some dimension of your business world is key to your long-term survival. Want to learn how to deal with a recession successfully? Then find out what the Big Dogz do to succeed in tough economic times.

I read a lot. In between career and kids, I read everything I can get my hands on.  Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time readying books on leadership and innovation. These are two topics that I’m investing more time in understanding and learning about. Why? Because I’m interested in them and, while I know a lot about them, I don’t know it all. Not even close. So, while I do my morning commute, I’m listening to audio books on those subjects.  Thank goodness for Audible.com!

To stay on top of the latest marketing and sales trends, I read a lot of business magazines. I relish the opportunity because invariably, I’ll get some fresh insights into these subject areas. Ideas begin to pop up as I move along. It’s my SONY digital recorder that captures certain ideas/concepts as they come along in my reading time. Capturing thoughts and ideas has become a necessity; otherwise I’d lose most of those thoughts to memory loss of some kind!

Workshops or seminars are another great way I learn and invest in myself. It’s an opportunity to get out of the business mayhem and into a learning environment. Exchanging ideas with those who take those courses are invaluable to me.

What topic could you pick that if you invested some time for yourself to learn more about, would help enrich your overall business experience and success? If you can’t answer that question, you have other problems.

Find the time, no matter how small in amount, that each week you can call your own. Life is too short to have called it ‘quits’ on learning. When you finally check out of this world, you can stop learning (at least here). Until then, get going and get learning.

Generate creativity in your employees January 23, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Creativity, Management Principle, Uncategorized.
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p5130012.jpg   Want innovative solutions that are implemented by enthusiastic employees? The Big Dogz know how to get these solutions. They use what I call the principle of creativity. Here it is:

 Deliver problems down, solutions up. 

What typically happens is that the leader defines a problem to the employees, and then suggests a solution. It goes like this “Here is a problem we need to solve; here is what I think we should do about it.” Usually this is followed by “What do you think we should do?” Of course the result is that everyone agrees with the solution proposed by the leader. Why not agree? 

It is obvious this is the solution preferred by the leader and if we do what the leader says we have no accountability. If this solution fails — well, it was the leader’s idea to begin with; don’t blame us. If this solution works — well, we worked hard to make it happen; give us the credit. This situation is a no risk proposition for your employees. And besides, their enthusiasm for the idea is low because it is not theirs. 

What the Big Dogz do is present the problem to the employees without a solution. They ask “How do you think we can solve this problem?” The Big Dogz will do this even when they know the optimum solution. The Big Dogz know that when the employees come up with a solution, they own it!

Their personal commitment will be high and if they have an ineffective solution, they will quickly modify it to be effective. People do this correction because they want to successful. It is no longer your problem, but their problem. 

Effective leaders monitor the solutions to problems. They warn employees when they are making dangerous moves. They encourage creativity and risk taking by supporting employee solutions. Sometimes you as the leader do not get a choice of solutions.

You are given a problem and a solution. When this happens, present the problem, and then let your people know you have been given a solution. Then ask “What can we do to make sure this solution will work?”  

The Big Dogz know that by always giving their people a voice in the solution, the people will be engaged and committed to the solution. Try applying this principle over the next thirty days to see if you can be one of the Big Dogz.