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BY THOMAS BARTA

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Keynote: When is your moment (to be brave)?

Keynote: When is your moment (to be brave)?

Everybody inside an organization can be brave. In fact, for success, executives have to be brave. Not always—but when it matters. This inspirational keynote builds on my latest global research, involving over 1,000 marketing and business executives, on what makes for a successful brave leader. The talk helps people realize: In business, bravery is more than a buzzword—it’s powerful, and it’s possible.

April 7: Marketing Leadership Masterclass

April 7: Marketing Leadership Masterclass

On April 7, we’ll be back with the Marketing Leadership Masterclass. For 100+ days, you’ll be with a group of friends who can help you tackle the real issues–for less than the cost of a conference ticket.

Keynote: Ditch your job description

Keynote: Ditch your job description

Why do so many firms struggle to innovate? What’s the hurdle? Too many executives feel tied to their job descriptions. Job descriptions, in many firms, have become job restrictions. It’s time to fight back and ask the most important question: what’s your real job?

Why firms need more marketers—now

Why firms need more marketers—now

It's 2020 and for many in marketing, life is tricky. Reports of layoffs, budget cuts—and plenty of uncertainty. When you think about it: it's odd. Marketers live to help the firm find customers,...

The time for marketing is now (again)

The time for marketing is now (again)

For marketers, a massive window for change has just opened—and the prize is big. Let’s face it, marketing missed its last slot. Digital technology should have given marketers unprecedented...

How will life look after the crisis?

How will life look after the crisis?

Marketers are facing a major problem. Post-virus, how will markets change? What are the trends?  Trends are a simple way to plot the future. More video meetings, more online courses, more home...

Never let a good crisis go to waste

Never let a good crisis go to waste

Making change happen is tough. New products? Too risky. Agile working? Maybe next year. Better digital tools? We’ll look into it. Why change when life is good?  Toys “R” Us, Pan Am, Nokia,...

What could you create in 90 days?

What could you create in 90 days?

Business life is a rat race. So many meetings, presentations, emails. Breakfast to go. Working lunch. Late dinner. It’s crazy. Then, all of a sudden, things grind to a halt. The meetings get...

Complete this sentence about the future

Complete this sentence about the future

It all started in 2020. The world was just beginning to grapple with a pandemic. Shops and schools had to close. Events were cancelled. Firms asked people to work from home. Global travel ground to...

Thrive, don’t fail

Thrive, don’t fail

Who thrives? The people who have more than just ideas. The people who figure out how to make stuff happen, how to mobilize people, how to ship. A few days ago, I sat down with Rusty Pepper for a...

Look beyond performance

Look beyond performance

Fran Crippen loved the water. The US long-distance swimmer had beaten his competition many times. 7 medals in 6 years—one gold, four silver, two bronze. Olympic games in reach. Expectations were...

Five secrets of marketing career success

Five secrets of marketing career success

A few days ago, The Marketing Society asked me to share with their senior marketers the insights from the largest ever study on marketer success. Seats were arranged in a circle, so I could see...

How to get promoted

How to get promoted

Making it to the next level can be exciting. More responsibility, more options, more pay. But how to get promoted? Perhaps your firm has a fixed promotion schedule, and it’s either “up” or “out.”...

Do your numbers

Do your numbers

When the numbers don’t add up, business dreams evaporate, change movements stall, projects die. Perhaps people love your idea. Perhaps no one asks if the numbers work out....

The hidden power of the marketing funnel

The hidden power of the marketing funnel

Last weekend, my partner and I took a bicycle tour to a small village near our home, called Adendorf. Each year, it hosts an iconic garden exhibition – a sales show with plenty of champagne and...

The CMO Fellowship is back

For the sixth year in a row, The Marketing Academy, McKinsey, Wisdom 8, and I will help 20 blue chip marketers on the way to CEO. This year - for the first time - we'll run a U.S.-based program in...

Ask customers for feed-forward, not feedback

Ask customers for feed-forward, not feedback

Who’s the most powerful person in a firm? The CEO? No. The CFO? No. The head of sales? No. It’s the customer. When a customer complains, the CEO sits up. When a customer wants to leave, the head of...

To instigate change, first build credit

To instigate change, first build credit

“You can help us build a love brand. I want to hire you,” the CEO said. Nina was thrilled. Her last years in consumer goods had been tough. Tight margins. Aggressive competitors. A firm, in which...

Make the middle manager cool again

Make the middle manager cool again

Who wants to be a middle manager? Not many people. It’s nice to be the trainee – young and cool; it’s nice to be the CEO – with all the power. But the rest? Stuck in the sandwich’s middle. No longer...

Have more skin in the game

Have more skin in the game

Everyone in the boardroom turned to me in anger. I spent much of my former career doing two jobs: leading large brands and running major marketing transformation programmes. I loved both. And in...

Don’t recruit yourself

Don’t recruit yourself

We love the familiar, the recognisable, the known. And when it comes to picking a team member, many people are looking for a clone. Men recruit men. Creatives recruit creatives. Number crunchers...

Thrive in a matrix organisation

Thrive in a matrix organisation

Do you thrive in a matrix organisation? In a matrix, everybody is in charge--and nobody has all the power. The person who can tell sales what to do, doesn't exist. The person who can tell product...

To make change happen, ditch your ego

To make change happen, ditch your ego

Trust in politicians has evaporated. Consumer trust in brands is at an all-time low. And too many executives don’t trust their bosses. What’s the problem? Perhaps it’s professionalism? Brexit, for...

Beware the ‘binfluencer’

Beware the ‘binfluencer’

The internet is great. If you know something and you want to write a blog that 100,000 people read, you can. If you want to do a podcast that 100,000 people hear, you can. The internet is also great...

Three ways to be a bolder leader

Three ways to be a bolder leader

Brave leaders change the world. Air traffic controller Anthonius Gunawan saved the 160 souls on board Batik Air 6231, by staying in the tower, so the plane could escape minutes before the earthquake...

To drive change, walk the halls

To drive change, walk the halls

You are in the business of change. In fact, we are all in the business of change. We try to get customers to accept our offer. We try to get colleagues to support our cause. We try to get friends to...

Tackle big issues

Tackle big issues

Hard work is appreciated. Or so people hope. That’s why they put in the long hours, go the extra mile, give their best. But then, things go nowhere. The big meeting gets cancelled, budgets get cut,...