In our culture ambition is both celebrated and frowned upon—not always in equal measure. Ambition is encouraged and rewarded, but only to a point. Perhaps it’s not ambition itself that’s the problem, but rather, our narrow definition of it? We aspire mostly to the ambition of accumulation. We want to be more and have more.…

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When a once beloved brand under new management, repeatedly relies on flash sales and deep discounts to boost sales, it’s obvious that the organisation’s goal is to massage the numbers on the next quarter’s balance sheet. The leadership team are designing the business for the outcome they want—short-term growth, on paper. A short-term strategy doesn’t…

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Voting is compulsory here in Australia. To make it easier for people polling places now open the weekend before election day. Early voting in our state and local council elections opened last weekend. As we lined up at the entrance to the polling place we were met by representatives of all candidates and parties. Each one…

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Few organisations look past the data to see the humanity of the client behind the numbers. Few companies act as if it’s a privilege to serve their customers. Few people take time to listen twice as much as they speak. Few products are made with love. In a world where we are doing our best…

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When we imagine our ideal product launch we picture attention, applause and armies of customers beating a path to our door. Successful companies hardly ever launch with a big bang. Most hits begin with the slow and steady iteration of a product or service that’s improved by getting it in front of, and in the…

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We live in an age when it’s easier than ever to get your message in front of people. Many businesses have a strategy for getting their message seen and heard—far fewer have a plan for being believed and understood. It’s one thing to get in front of people, and another for them to choose to…

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It was hard not to get swept up by the Serena Williams, US Open final story this week. It was difficult to avoid joining the debate about how it could all have played out differently if only this had been said or that had been done. That time spent thinking about what should have been…

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One day you will find a design you laboured over, taken and copied or several lines of copy you crafted, used and unattributed. And you will rant and rave until you realise, that there are things you can say and do that can’t be copied because those things are only true for you. We spend…

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In a challenging marketplace, it’s tempting to compete on value by aligning with what other businesses do. The companies that will win and keep customers in the future are the ones who do the things their competitors won’t do. It’s easier to keep step than it is to go the extra mile. That’s why it’s…

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The design and layout of a department store are deliberate. The sum of a thousand decisions, choices made to optimise the customer experience and maximise profit. Cosmetics on the ground floor, furniture on the top. The fewer people shopping for big-ticket items invest time ascending six floors. You could argue that the customers who go…

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