Business Wisdom


Hopefully each of the pages and posts you encounter here at BDS represents at least a smattering of wisdom that you can use to improve the fortunes of your business. That said, some posts run deeper than others, so here are quick links to a few of our most insightful musings. They might not all be white papers, exactly, so feel free to think of them as “white posts.”

Progressive Capitalism: Tocqueville, RJ Reynolds, and Taking Back Our American Birthright
Business doesn’t have to be bloodless and exploitative, although it probably looks that way some days. Instead, history provides us with powerful lessons about self-interest rightly understood.

The Macro-Succession Crisis
Boomers are retiring. There aren’t enough prepared Xers to cover all the bases. The Millennials aren’t ready for mid-management. And nobody seems to be paying attention. Several posts here – start at the bottom and work your way up.

The Myth of the Customer-Centric Corporation
Mr. Lip Service, meet Mr. Reality.

Target, Generation X and the Value of “Overthinking”
Think deep. Think long. Think big. The value generated by your insights will dwarf the costs associated with “overthinking,” guaranteed.

The Target/Minnesota Forward Debacle: Seven Principles for Corporate Giving
It takes years to build a brand and seconds to unravel it. This seven-step guide will help you chart a winning course and then stay on it.

Gallup poll reveals that public questions PR industry credibility: are PR practitioners to blame?
Thanks to a dramatic crisis in American journalism, our country has a serious problem when it comes to understanding what’s going on in the world. Unfortunately, professional communicators are making it worse.

Customer Service: the “Desk Jockey” Past vs. the “Service Ranger” Future
Sometimes new ideas have been around for years.

The Problem with Measurement
Research is important, but numbers have been known to lie – especially to people who trust them blindly.

Social Networking: the Next Generation
The next wave of social networking tools need to do a better job of reflecting actual human relationship dynamics.

The Smartest Shopping Cart that Ever Lived
The future is closer than you think. And scarier.

Desperate Times Call for…Measured Thinking
Opportunism can be the enemy of strategy.

When Goals Attack! Setting Objectives that Work for You, Not Against You
Plenty of research illustrates that organizational goal-setting can work against you in powerful ways.

Slaying the Credibility Trolls
Why it’s critical that your business communications acknowledge the reality that the audience already knows.

Changing a Corporate Culture: Getting the Monkeys Off the Bus and the Right People on It
There’s no easy way to fix a corporate culture, but any working solution begins with your people.

Fear and the Organization
Bad leaders cultivate (or at least tolerate) an environment of fear. That may have worked for Machiavelli, but in a contemporary context all it’s going to do is undermine the organization at every turn. A couple articles to consider:

Do We Really Know What We Think We Know? How Can We Know?
The Black Swan teaches us that we probably don’t know as much as we think we do. But if we approach the task of learning and predicting critically, we have a lot better shot.

Of Tigers and Dogs and the Howling Jackals of the Press: What the Woods Trainwreck Can Teach Us About Public Relations
Tiger Woods’ self-inflicted crisis was more than an overworked soap opera. It was a case study in the choices facing public figures when the wheels fly off. The lesson: your life may belong to you, but your brand belongs to the public.

Lessons of a 23 Year-Old Waiter
Sometimes we learn things we don’t even know we’re learning, and my days as a waiter back in the ’80s turned out to be more valuable than I ever imagined they would be. Branding, management, organizational skills – finally my career provided me with a chance to reflect on experiences that were more useful than they were fun.