Posted in Recruitment on February 14th, 2012 by Paul McArdle – Be the first to comment
Again on the topic of recruitment, I was interested to see these three true job interview questions posted by George Bradt on Forbes some time ago, but more recently bounced around my contacts on LinkedIn.
For ease of reference, the three questions are here:
Q1 = Can you do the job?
This, George says, is all about what they call “Strengths” – whereby he references the Gallup series of books, but places equal weight on a Talent + Knowledge + Skills combination.
When reduced to a single question, it sounds quite simple – though I’m sure many have found that it’s like those board games of yesteryear that are “a minute to learn and a lifetime to master”. I surely have.
We have, however, improved markedly in the process - and will be looking for a further improvement when we kick off our next recruitment effort, shortly. read more »
Posted in Personal Development on February 13th, 2012 by Paul McArdle – 2 Comments
Given that we’re gearing up to recruit our Chief Revenue Officer shortly, I picked up the book “Discover your Sales Strengths” again, to see what notes I might have made when I read it a year ago.
A few loose pages fell out and surprised me – printed results from when I used the code in the book to take the “Strengths Finder” test online.
Reviewing the results now, it seemed that it might be useful to post about the five signature themes the test ascribed to me – as it would be one more data point that potential applicants might consider.
read more »
Posted in Event Review, Leadership, Management on February 3rd, 2012 by Paul McArdle – 1 Comment
The summer break was a good time for a bit of rest and reflection, especially given the down-and-up year we had in 2011.
Naturally for me, part of this time was spent with a couple of books borrowed from the growing office library – a couple others much harder going than this one here:
What we thought
“Great by Choice
Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All”
by Jim Collins and
More food for thought
Having previously read “Built to Last”, “Good to Great” and “How the Mighty Fall” by Jim (and others) I was not disappointed with a few more points of insight the authors have added with this latest piece of analysis. read more »
Posted in 04 - Sales & Marketing, Article Review, Role of GM M&S on February 1st, 2012 by Paul McArdle – Be the first to comment
As we gear up for an intensive recruitment effort to find our new General Manager for Initiating, Opening & Sustaining Client Relationships (which others might call a GM for Sales and Marketing) it was timely to see this “8 ways to build customer loyalty” article posted on Inc.
Maintaining a high retention rate is critical to our business, and something we’ve done reasonably well over the past 12 years – but there’s always room for improvement (it’s not 100%).
These 8 pointers will be another useful reference in the months ahead…
Posted in 04 - Sales & Marketing, Role of GM M&S on January 22nd, 2012 by Paul McArdle – Be the first to comment
We have no department for Sales and Marketing.
Though 2 very busy years has elapsed, not much has changed (in that respect) from when I drew this diagram back in early 2010:
It was obvious to us, then, that we first needed to overhaul our department for “Discerning, Developing and Delivering what the customer wants”.
This took some time, but we have done so (as such, that side of the organogram looks very different now). As alluded to here, we’re starting to see early signs that clients are being delighted with product upgrades again.
Given that we’re now gearing up to make our first hire at the top of our department for Sales & Marketing, it was a good coincidence that I happened upon the article “Ending the war between Sales and Marketing” published in HBR back in 2006.
read more »
Posted in 02 - People & Culture, Mission on January 19th, 2012 by Paul McArdle – 1 Comment
At the same time as we reflect on some gains made, and wins achieved, through the 2011 year, we must also remain constructively conscious of the ongoing threats that confront our growing business, moving forwards.
This recent article from the Economist about the contrast between Kodak and Fuji presents some thoughts worth pondering about.
Brings to mind both:
(a) the Andy Grove message that “only the paranoid survive”.
(b) the Jim Collins statement about “confronting the brutal facts but never giving up”
I’m not familiar enough with either company (or the industry) to really know about the truth of some of the conclusions drawn in the article. Leaving that to one side, for the moment, there are a number of thoughts that occurred to me that are relevant to us.
read more »
Posted in Company Results on January 11th, 2012 by Paul McArdle – 2 Comments
A few weeks off over the Christmas and New Year break has given me some time to reflect on the year that was, in 2011.
We started that year very wet, and with a few jitters as well (with floodwaters from the Brisbane river threatening our offices).
At the end of the day, our office escaped any inundation (whew!), though we lost quite a bit of productive time waiting for power to be reconnected, and sorting through everything that had been hurriedly packed for the evacuation (still not finished unpacking, to tell the truth).
The important point to note here, however, is that through it all we continued to (seamlessly) supply data feed to hundreds of people around Australia, and across a number of continents – testament to the numerous layers of redundancy built into our processes, and the resilience of our people.
read more »
Posted in CEO's Philosophy, Personal Development, Recruitment on November 25th, 2011 by Paul McArdle – 3 Comments
My twelve year journey with this company – seeing it grow its customer base, and product range, from nothing to be quite substantial – has been one of great learning for me.
Of my greatest areas of learning has been with respect to others within in the company. I have struggled, at times, due to my lack of prior experience and preparation.
For some time I’ve been pondering the apparent paradoxes across a variety of books and other materials I’ve read – with respect to the concept of Strengths and Weaknesses.
Where I have read this, it has been with respect to an individual’s own strengths and weaknesses – however I believe that the pointers that I’ve learnt are also applicable at an organisational level (where a strength is more commonly termed “competitive advantage”).
After quite a bit of reflection, it currently* seems that to be truly strong, an individual (or a company) needs to have the right combination of all three of the following factors:
* I say “currently”, as it seems that the learning journey I am on almost guarantees that my view will become even more nuanced in future.
read more »
Posted in Book Review, Motivation on November 17th, 2011 by Paul McArdle – 4 Comments
Picked this book up some time ago, perhaps after seeing Daniel Pink give this presentation of the importance of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
Read it back then, and have re-read recently as I’ve been casting my mind forward to the next recruitment initiatives.
The content of this book is very much along the lines of the talk at TED – which means that, if you are not aligned with the belief that Intrinsic Motivation is more important than Extrinsic Motivation (after watching the lecture), then the book will probably do nothing further for you.
read more »