The True Secret to Effective Networking
Apr 2012 29

How to Use Networking To Accelerate Your Business Success and New Job Search

Mark Granovetter

A personal hero of mine. Stanford Professor, Mark Granovetter - author of The Strength of Weak Ties (1973).

“Don’t talk to strangers” the protective parent warns her children. Wise words perhaps for vulnerable youngsters, but perhaps the opposite advice is what those of us in business need to hear?

“Talk to Strangers”

If you don’t talk to strangers how will you ever meet anyone new? Did you know the power of adding new people to your network?

In 1973, Stanford Sociology Professor, Mark Granovetter published his seminal paper on the spread of information networks, “The Strength of Weak Ties.” This work went on to become a truly ground breaking paper and has now amassed over 19,000 citations.

Despite its academic beginnings in Granovetter’s Ph.D thesis at Harvard University, you don’t need a higher degree to be able to apply and benefit from the power of the concept. I first read the paper while I was in Business School, back in 1999, and I can honestly say that since then, applying what I read in the library that day (the same content I’m sharing with you in this blog post) has changed the course of my life… [..]

Mary Portas – Rule Britannia – Please!
Apr 2012 29
Mary Portas British Knickers

Rule Britannia. Can we have more from you please Mary? Loving your work!

Can we have more from you Mary, please?

Here in the UK, Mary has long been our ‘Queen of Shops‘ consumer champion and as the nation’s number one Retail Consultant she’s a familiar face across the media. But did you see her recent series “Mary’s Bottom Line” on Channel 4? The series follows Mary’s audacious attempt to bring clothing manufacturing back to Britain.

I get that this was edited for TV, but it was a moving account of selecting the right people – and giving a chance to some who may not have been the ideal employee on paper – and trying to revitalise the once bustling and productive British Rag Trade.

You can watch the show now on 4oD. [..]

Tropicana Natural Energy – On Trend!
Apr 2012 29

Q: What happens when science class meets a massive consumer trend?

A: Maybe a little bit of magic!


You may recall discovering energy in fruit in your own science classes? Here fruit juice giant, Tropicana take the simple science experiment and add the trending consumer desire for natural energy food and the all important media ingredients: street theatre, social media and a catchy little tune… Et Voila! [..]

Delivering Your Personal Best
Apr 2012 15
Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend - Newcastle University graduate and Commercial Director of London 2012, LOCOG - The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the London 2012 Olympics just weeks away, focus is turning to personal performance. So are you regularly delivering your personal best? Chris Townsend thinks you should be … and he’s been learning from the Olympic athletes themselves …

As Chairman of the London Branch of the Newcastle University Business School Alumni, I’m excited to attend a rather special event this week.  Newcastle University have somehow managed to secure space in the diary of a rather busy man: Chris Townsend is a Newcastle University graduate (’74) and Commercial Director of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

On Wednesday 18 April he’s addressing the University Alumni at the St Pancras Grand. I for one am looking forward to the stories he’ll be sharing of the makings of The Greatest Show on Earth. If his material is anything like this answer, we’re in for a treat…

Chris was asked what advice he would give to a Business School student or alumnus hoping for an [..]

“The Last 10 Feet” Amen Starbucks. Thank You!
Apr 2012 10

I love this! Starbucks doing what they do best: Coffee Passion. I just saw this on the Starbucks site and they’re telling the same story I learned when I was in the coffee business at Kraft Foods.

Months and months of effort, careful systems and care go into growing, selecting, harvesting, buying, transporting, roasting and preserving the perfect roasted coffee. Yet all that effort, all that investment, all that care, can be destroyed in the Last 10 Feet. Spill it. Fail to put the lid on properly. Forget to smile and thank the Customer for their business. So many ways the brand impression can be destroyed in the Last 10 Feet. How can your brand learn from this brilliant Starbucks mantra?

Here’s Jack to explain exactly what I mean. When you listen he’s owning the brand experience – practically Romancing The Bean… Amen Jack!

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