Drops from the Fire Hose – September 6, 2012 – “5 Rules”

It’s relatively common (especially in the popular business print!) to write an article or post that has some number associated with the content of said article: “The 5 rules for …” “5 things you shouldn’t forget when…” I came across a few of these in the past couple of days, so I thought I do a themed version of the “drops” today. As the title hints at, there are “5 drops” today.

5 Rules For Making Your Vision Stick — Fast Company

If you spend a lot of time in company headquarters like I do, you will often see organizations’ visions, missions and values written down somewhere, often in the main lobby for you to ponder as you go through the “sign in here, wear this nametag, your host will be right down” process. Other likely spots: the employee cafeteria, coffee mugs, and the corporate website.
Yet, senior executives are often blind to the reality that these guiding principles should play–and how well understood they are outside of the executive suite. If you asked the average employee who passes through the lobby, eats in the cafeteria, or drinks form the mug, my guess is that they might not even know the mission, vision, and values, much less how to use them to inform their work.

5 Simple Tools That Make Email Suck Less — Fast Company

The inbox, for many, is not only an invaluable communications tool but also a burgeoning to-do list. There have been many attempts to better the email experience, but for now the inbox shows no signs of extinction. What we do have access to is a growing number of smart add-ons and plug-ins that can improve your email work flow. Here are some of the most useful.

Richard Branson’s 5 Rules for Good Business — Entrepreneur

But during the radio interview I found myself arguing that while the world may be changing quickly, the steps to building a good business have not. The five simple guidelines we followed when we started the magazine and then Virgin Music remain as valid and useful as they were in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

1. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do.
2. Be innovative: Create something different that will stand out.
3. Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers.
4. Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis.
5. Be visible: Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras.

Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now — Inc.

The word “etiquette” gets a bad rap. For one thing, it sounds stodgy and pretentious. And rules that are socially or morally prescribed seem intrusive to our sense of individuality and freedom.

But the concept of etiquette is still essential, especially now—and particularly in business. New communication platforms, like Facebook and Linked In, have blurred the lines of appropriateness and we’re all left wondering how to navigate unchartered social territory.

The 5 Unwritten Rules That Will Kill Your Business — American Express OPEN Forum

It goes without saying that as business leaders we enforce rules that “go without saying.” You know what I’m talking about—those unwritten rules like “The customer is always right” and “Hire only A players.” These apparently obvious business success rules aren’t necessarily written in corporate guidelines or HR manuals, but they obviously work. Or at least that’s what we thought.

BONUS DROP: (Why? Let’s say because it’s September 6th)

5 Classic Strategies For Growing Your Brand Equity — Co.Design

Once a brand has been established, one option for growth is to stretch itself into different categories. This usually takes the form of extensions–new, spinoff products that seem like natural outgrowths of what’s come before. That’s a tricky business, but to simplify matters, companies could benefit by asking themselves this: “What’s the business of my brand?”

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