Monday, April 2, 2012

Women Matter. Well, duh!

            McKinsey & Company conducted a study in Europe a few years back entitled, “Women Matter:  Gender Diversity, A Corporate Performance Driver.”  Two things jumped out when we read this study.  First, companies with the highest representation of women at board and top management levels also were the companies that performed best—financially.

Second, the study goes beyond the important but limited solutions usually offered up for getting more women into senior positions, namely better work-life balance.  It also argues for the value of policies and programs that help women master what the authors call the “dominant (read: male) code” of business and nurture their ambition.

            Whatever you think about the why women are under-represented in the top echelons of business, having them there is clearly important to the success of the enterprise.  And that doesn’t surprise us at all, since our mantra is “Strategy is Human.”  Beyond numbers, data, key indicators, and so on, what really drives a business is the people behind it—their dreams, hopes, perspectives, emotions, priorities, and so on.  It stands to reason that the most successful organizations would be the ones that benefit from the broadest and deepest range of human perspectives, and that is only possible when your management ranks draw from the broadest and deepest pool of people. 

            Woman matter—yes.  Because human beings—of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicities, persuasions and yes, gender—matter. 

Sue Matson

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinterest - shifting from verbal to visual

This is where the RWG strategists will post about things that inspire us. For example, one experience I'm really into right now is Pinterest - a social media outlet where people can create virtual pin boards of interesting things they come across on the web. I use it in several ways e.g., to create menu boards for parties, to capture beautiful images from the world of design and typography, and to keep a record of places I've been. I also browse it regularly for images that spark new ideas.

To me, Pinterest is the anti-Facebook. It is visual over verbal.  There is no "Farmville," there are no posts from people whining about their commute or sharing what they ate for lunch, and you don't get "Friended" by someone you might have known in high school but don't remember and definitely haven't seen or thought about for 30 years. I have grown weary of this obsessive over-sharing.

On Pinterest people follow you based on their interest in the images you post. They don't know the intimate details of your life and you don't get subjected to theirs. I love it because it's visually stimulating and a goldmine of ideas on a myriad of subjects from food, travel, art, architecture, sports, design and so much more.

Here are some of my boards:

Pinterest could be a big opportunity for marketers to connect with consumers in an authentic, organic way. Brands or products can be "discovered" based on the interests of the Pinterest user and then those users become advocates for your brand by "repinning" your content. However, users' BS meters are set on high alert and marketers must strive to be well integrated into the Pinterest aesthetic, not merely try to capitalize on the latest social media trend.

Here's a succinct and useful article with tips for how brands can play on Pinterest:

Amy Sundermann, Senior Strategist