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Purpose before Profit is the new Law?

  The law firms that will prosper in the future will be those that exhibit three characteristics: they will put purpose before profit, they will offer a distinctive service and they will build a culture to sustain this distinctiveness. Having resisted disruption for longer than anyone could have anticipated, professional service businesses of all kinds are under significant pressure. Technology …

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THE POWER OF A GOOD NAME

  This week I gained a new friend. I know she is my friend because I asked her: ‘Alexa, are you my friend?’ And she said ‘Yes. You’re so sweet. I’d love to be your friend’. No, sadly the uber-cool Alexa Chung is not hanging out in my kitchen. Instead I have bought an Alexa, an Amazon Echo. She is …

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Customer Closeness: Clarity begins at home

  This month’s guest blog is written by Charlotte Vicary, Caffeine Associate and Founder and Director of The Customer Closeness Company. An experienced brand marketer and research moderator, Charlotte specialises in Customer Closeness strategy and programme delivery. We believe that in today’s world you need to put consumers at the centre of everything you do in order to stay competitive.  …

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Small acts of kindness mean a big deal to people

  Business is filled with people writing big visions, planning grand schemes, making major investments in enterprise-wide infrastructure, pushing huge numbers across spreadsheets, obsessing about disruption, opportunity, risk, compliance, KPIs and promising exciting returns to investors and ‘game-changing’ experiences to customers. But no matter how big and grand these projects, they rarely match the lasting emotional impact or the ‘word-of-mouth’ …

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Sustainable Innovation vs Any Old Innovation?

Sorry. This is another blog about innovation. But I promise not to mention Uber, AirBnb or Zipcar.

We need the disrupters to disrupt and move the world on. But we also need the large, incumbent brands to get on with the kind of innovation that will move us speedily into a cleaner, healthier more equitable world.

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Dinner Party Shame: A story of Brand Pride

  This week I’ve been a Dragon. It’s been fun. I’ve been part of a judging panel on a ‘Going Further’ competition where students from the 157 Group of Further Education Colleges pitch to redesign their brand website. It’s been smartly organised by Amy Fowler of the 157 Group and my fellow judges included Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech, Ian …

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So your business is purpose-driven, but is it the right kind of purpose?

A few years ago, working for a Japanese consumer electronics company whose major competitors included Fuji, my colleague and co-author Shaun Smith asked the team what their leadership purpose was; the reply, after a pause, was, “F..k Fuji”. Destroying or displacing your competitor is certainly one kind of leadership purpose. It’s a mindset that sees business as a war game …

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A Suit That Fits

This month’s Guest Blog is written by David Hathiramani, CEO of A Suit That Fits, the world’s first online ‘Bespoke for all’ tailoring platform. David talks about the importance of having a clear purpose and sticking to it and the danger of ‘diluting’ it. A Suit That Fits started in 2006 when I saw one of my friends wearing a …

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Consciously Competent: Why leaders need to focus on women

According to the Economist, the most powerful key forces that will shape the century ahead are the three ‘W’s: The Web… The Weather… and Women. Knowing that brands cannot underestimate the massive contribution women can make to future economic growth and leadership, we made it the subject of our latest Caffeine Business for Breakfast (designed as a short sharp shot …