"…keeping you great"
GOOD NEWS (First):
$450 Million — congratulations to Scott Tannas, founder and CEO of Western Financial Group, for the sale of his company to Desjardins Financial Group (with over $172 Billion in assets) for US$450 million. Scott will stay on as CEO. Many of you know their team – always the largest group at our Summits sitting in the very front (17 at the Growth Summit). Scott has been relentless in investing in the executive development of his team (one of the founding members of our G200 initiative of monthly forums and education) and the results show over the 15 years we've been working together. Again, congrats to Scott and his team – job well done! For the details.
Google's Chairman on Meetings and Hiring — in these short 2 – 4 minute McKinsey videos, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google ($30 billion in revenue), discusses in detail how he runs meetings and his strategy on culture and hiring. He also discusses Google's "mobile first" business models and addresses joblessness and education reform. You'll have to register on the McKinsey site (you should be registered anyway) to view. The first clip entitled "Hiring and Recruiting", which also discusses meetings (2:02 in the video), is worth watching if you only have a few minutes (NOTE: go to the link provided, skip all the verbiage, and scroll down until you see the video screen). Show this clip at your next weekly meeting!!!
Discord and Deadline — if you didn't watch the video clip (go back and watch it – 5 minutes max!), Schmidt makes a key point that if there's no discord in a meeting, there's really no need for the meeting! And the key is what he calls "discord plus deadline" – his formula for driving a consensus and business results. As for hiring, they were putting some candidates through 8, 9, 10 different interviews and then not hiring them – ugh. So they studied the situation and found that they should know if someone is a go or no-go in 5 interviews – I just love that Google cares enough to study stuff like this. It's because they have that they are successful. Again, more detail in the short video clip.
Avoiding a Lawsuit — Why invest in a lawsuit to defend your business when you can use social media for free? Nurse Next Door did just this when unfairly attacked by a competitor. Following the advice of Summit speaker David Meerman Scott, author of Real Time Marketing, they chose to match mediums, rather than use the courts, to force their competitor to remove some inaccurate and defamatory information they put in a blog about Nurse Next Door i.e. if attacked in a blog, use your blog to attack back. Take 3 minutes to read their case story in the May issue of Inc. Magazine.
Latest SpaceX Update — Elon Musk chose to do the same as Nurse Next Door and address his critics in his latest May 4 blog post entitled "Why the US Can Beat China." Founded in 2002, SpaceX has spent $800 million to date building three launch centers, a manufacturing center, and several rockets. They've been profitable since 2007 and have a backlog of $3 billion. If you want a dose of inspiration and innovation, take 2 minutes and read Elon's post where he shares some staggering figures and notes that for the first time in 3 decades the US began to take back international market share in satellite launch.
Next Insights Thin or Missing — with 5 Summits on 3 continents in the next three weeks, my apologies ahead of time if the Insights are a little sparse or missing in May. Yet, with over a thousand execs attending our Summits, I look forward to catching up with many of you around the world. Keep out-learning the competition!