Originally known simply as “Peak XV,” Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet, offers views from the highest point on earth. In this blog, our leadership team brings you up-to-date and relevant perspectives on industry happenings, what’s in the media and executive insights. Read on, and enjoy the view from the top.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Cirque Du Jour

With all due respect to Cirque Du Soleil, the magnificent stage show that take fantasy dreams and turns them into reality, I have now become accustomed to the Cirque Du Jour. This is the daily circus of what might be staged events of strangeness "Don't Tase me Bro" or strangeness just being played out in real life, like the R-rated soundtrack of OJ retrieving his sports memorabilia, and all of which are almost immediately posted on YouTube.

If Britney's life isn't bizarre enough, literally out of nowhere ESPN Sports announcer Mike Patrick asks viewers watching the Alabama - Georgia football game in tense overtime on national TV, "What is Britney doing with her life." If you really want to know about Britney just watch the Cirque Du Jour productions of the "Leave Britney Alone" guy or the multiple counterparts such the "Leave OJ Alone" guy. I noticed a video link on CNN (Cirque News Network) that the Leave Britney Alone guy now thinks he is star material - well maybe a falling star.

When every bizarre incident is now instantaneously immortalized on YouTube, and then is promptly satirized it leads to me to exclaim "Don't Tube me Bro." I am beginning to realize that a day without OJ (and Britney) is like a day without...the Cirque Du Jour.

In the PR businesses, we need to realize that the old adage of “any press is good press” may not be true anymore. What’s painfully obvious with Britney, OJ, and the internet characters they spawn, is that all of them lack ANY sense of self-awareness, assuming that everyone’s laughing with them when we’re all actually laughing at them. How is your audience connecting with your message? Are you just excited to have people talking ABOUT you, or are you actually aware enough to engage your audience in the conversation about your brand and help shape their perceptions?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Are you ready for the climb (and challenges) of your life?

Have you ever faced a challenge and thought that the best bet might be to give up--but the cliché about how “Winners never quit and quitters never win?” won’t stop ringing in your head? Well, my new favorite book finally gives permission to be a quitter; to say “I give up,” cut your losses and know when to fold. Now, before you go celebrate your new found freedom, I recommend that you read The Dip by Seth Godin, a book that is on the New York Times Bestseller List with more than 100,000 copies in print in just one month.

The Dip is a must-read for everyone in business. We have all faced challenges when quitting makes more sense, but our genetic programming keeps us pushing forward–only to find that we would have been better off to cut our losses and walk away. As Godin explains, pushing forward through a challenging situation means understanding the difference between “the dip” and a dead end. It is about knowing when to stick it out, and asking (and analyzing) the tough questions at the right time to get to the top.

“Getting to the top” reminds me of leaders who have learned the art of perserverance, such as Oprah Winfrey. In her recent “What I know for sure” column in the September issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, she writes about a more literal climb to the top of a 3,000 foot mountain in Hawaii.

Oprah observes that mountains always look easier to climb when you are at the base. I couldn’t help but think of our tagline at Moore Consulting Group: “What’s Your Mountain?” More than just a tagline, this question helps guide our approach to client servicing. It is an approach grounded in analyzing the challenges clients are facing, implementing the right communications solutions, and asking the right questions along the way to help them conquer the mountains they face.

With any mountain that is in your way, it’s important to know when to keep climbing and when to realize that the challenge you are trying to conquer may not be the right one. Decisions like these can be difficult, but in the end, it comes down to getting the most out of your time and energy.

No matter what mountains are in front of you, take it from two of the business world’s finest: be sure that there is pleasure in the climb, don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions along they way, and—most importantly—enjoy the view at the top.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The New Tune of Digital Harmony

Usually around this time of year the sound heard all over Florida is either that of storm winds blowing or stadiums filled with football fans. Thankfully our "climate challenged" season has been mostly fair weather thus far and in every part of the state football season is well underway.

If you listen closely what you can hear is a new sound in the sunshine state, no not the legislature convening another session, but rather the sweet sounds of progress in the form of innovation and digital harmony. For me the sound became crystal clear at a recent summit, "Imagining an Innovative Economy" organized and facilitated by the Florida Chamber Foundation and held in Orlando, but that sound really got started with the launch of the Digital Harmony project in Tallahassee a few weeks earlier.

Digital Harmony is an innovation initiative in Tallahassee where every sixth grader at Nims Middle School has received a Dell laptop loaded with school related software for the student's use during the entire year, at school and in their homes. The project was lead by Tallahassee City Commissioner, Andrew Gillum, who enlisted the help of the Tallahassee Technology Alliance and Comcast to make this a reality for the Nims sixth graders. Comcast donated and installed cable modems in each student's home and is providing Internet access at no charge, while leaders from the Tallahassee Technology Alliance helped load and install software on all the laptops. What makes this special is that Nims Middle School, located in Tallahassee' s southern sector, received an F rating last year, but under the new principal, Kay Collins, the schools has vowed to become an A rated school by year-end. The transformation of this school and this section of the community has to begin with innovative and positive life changing projects like Digital Harmony.

While attending the Florida Chamber Foundation's Summit on an Innovative Economy, several of the speakers echoed the need for projects like Digital Harmony. The meeting was a gathering of the who's who of innovation with leaders from IT, life sciences, state government, business and higher education. Florida's former Lt. Governor, Toni Jennings, set the tone and the challenge for Florida to work as a successful enterprise when it comes to collaborative innovation. Jennings said that fostering economic development of jobs is important, but we must make the early investment in human capital - our students and prepare them for jobs.

The advent of corporate digital harmony was evident at the meeting with the CEOs of Torrey Pines Institute, Scripps Florida, Burnham Institute and SRI all sharing the same stage and calling for the need of a strong workforce with skilled and educated talent from the state. What was interesting to note was that several speakers said Florida's brain drain and talent drop off begins in our state's middle schools.

To hear the united voices of our state's top leadership in innovation, education and business imploring the audience to invest in the best education and engagement of our students, not at their college graduation, but rather in middle school, made me begin to hear the tune of Digital Harmony with much more clarity. What really sounds good and would be innovative would be for all sectors of Florida's economy to each play their part, becoming a fine tuned instrument for Florida's future symphony of Digital Harmony - in the classrooms and as a world-class economic enterprise. A united effort for an innovative economy in Florida maybe tuning up right now, but it sounds like a masterpiece in the making.