The Vital Catalyst

A Purpose Driven Company

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Apple vs Google's Mission Statement

What Happens in Vagueness…Stays in Vagueness

By on February 8, 2016

You can always bet, that what happens in vagueness…stays in vagueness. Especially when defining your company’s mission statement.

Managers typically pride themselves in letting the details sort themselves out with their teams, but be very careful in confusing operational details with mission details. Leadership should establish the guiding light that make sure their teams stay on target over the years.

Having a clearly defined mission statement and purpose will a least give your teams the ability to discern what fits and what does not.

A well developed mission statement should be product or market agnostic so it will allow to be carried forward irregardless to shifts in the market place.

Google has a well defined mission statement: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

For a contrasting mission statement that directly reflect recent history, take a look at Apple’s current mission statement: “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.”

Vs. during Steve Job’s influence, “To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind.”

On the surface, it may seem that Apple’s current statement is more precise than Steve Job’s version, however, I would argue Job’s version would allow the company to navigate any changes in the marketplace. Not to mention, Job’s mission brought more enthusiasm to the table.

Apple’s current mission statement talks about all its current products. However, this would mean that the emphasis is given to the products over the mission of the company.

What if the market leads to the eventual convergence of the ipod with either the iphone or ipad, for example? This is much the same trap Kodak set for itself by stubbornly holding onto film processing while the digital revolution left the company in the waste bin.

If you look at Google’s mission statement as better example, its see its efforts in organizing the world’s information which may result in many different products or services. All of those products and services could move their independent life cycles without effecting the direction of the company. But still it offer’s the entire company a guiding light to focus on.

What are your thoughts on the importance of the mission statement?

 

You can always bet, that what happens in vagueness…stays in vagueness. Especially when defining your company’s mission statement. Managers typically pride themselves in letting the details sort themselves out with their teams, but be very careful in confusing operational details with mission details. Leadership should establish the guiding light that make sure their teams stay […]

How to Catch a Liar

By on January 21, 2016

Vanessa Van Petten, from the Science of People, performed a wonderful summary presentation about the universal body language all human share and how they can be used to detect liars.

This has become a personal passion for me as using micro-expressions and body language not only allows you to better communicate with others, but as well allows you to spot those people that are “just picking up a paycheck.”

As we build world class organizations, it is crucial we get the right people in the right chair. Sharpening your skills here makes all the difference to reduce distractions from people that are just telling you what you want to hear.

Micro expressions come from the lifetime effort of the world renown psychologist, Paul Ekman. Ekman studied stone-age cultures, as well people blind from birth and was startled to find we all share the same facial expressions while we are showing emotions.

Even more fascinating, he discovered through documenting the research that the reverse is also true. Making the facial expression will make your body feel the emotion.

In her presentation, she goes over 6 main clues to when someone is lying to you:

  1. Voice Tone: Sudden voice change
  2. Ticks: Shoulder shrugs, swallows, rapid blinking
  3. Overly still body (trying to focus on words)
  4. Eye-contact (focused to see if you believe them)
  5. Adrenaline: Sweating, dry mouth, shallow breathing
  6. Coloring: Blanching or reddening

As well she reviews the 6 common facial expressions (Anger, Fear, Happiness, Contempt, Surprise, & Sadness) to show you when someone is trying to fake an emotion. The significance of micro-expressions, is only a tiny fraction of the population can fake them (and they are probably all working in Hollywood).

Sign up to our email list if your interested in learning more about how this skill and many others could transform your organization.

 

Vanessa Van Petten, from the Science of People, performed a wonderful summary presentation about the universal body language all human share and how they can be used to detect liars. This has become a personal passion for me as using micro-expressions and body language not only allows you to better communicate with others, but as […]

The Move to the Social Era

By on January 18, 2016

Most generations till now only lived through either a single era, or depending on the timing, they may have witness the birth of a new one.  I always considered myself lucky to be swept into the wave of the Information Era, but I paid close attention to the death of the Industrial Era only because it did bring so much pain to families caught in the wake.

I remember during the 80s & 90s, many of my own family members were laid off from well-paying factory jobs late in their lives and and felt disenfranchised and lost. Witnessing that pain, lead me to study the changes that happened from the Agriculture to Industrial Era’s trying to build up some patterns in my own mind to make sure I was never caught by surprise myself.

One of the red flags that was apparent during the change overs, was seen in supply and demand. There is typically a huge disconnect in supply markets. You will see a huge supply of old era solutions with dwindling demand, and then in turn, building new era demand with little supply. That becomes reflected in prices as well as the attitude in sales across those products.

To give you an example, when I first was involved with web development in the late 90s, a simple website for a business would fetch an average of $4,000 as it had to be coded by hand. Demand was so high, there was never any haggling over the price and finding good developers took time as skilled ones were scarce. Web developers at that moment, were all self taught as there were no education programs churning new ones out.

Fast forward to today, and schools are pouring web developers out into the marketplace. A simple Google search allows for hundreds of options, but for an apples-to-apples comparison that same website that was $4,000 in the the late 90s can be done for about $300, or less today.

The glut in information technology solutions is also apparent in the attitude in their sale approach. You can expect 5-10 pitches a week from some kind of web, software, app and/or hardware solutions from a hungry sales person with a pushy approach.

All companies need a sales and marketing apparatus, but desperation from falling revenues typically pushes companies to be more aggressive. I don’t personally see anything wrong with competition and companies trying to win in their markets. I only bring this up as a normal sign that things are about to change.

Take a short step back in time to the first personal computer manufactures. History does not pay that much attention to the losers, but you may remember companies like Commodore, Compaq, Packard-Bell, Gateway, and Texas Instruments. Hundreds of others were beaten out by a select few of now global dominant players like Apple, HP, Acer, Dell and Samsung.

You can also draw the same parallels to the early automobile manufactures that fell out leaving the global players we have today. This is just a normal business cycle of boom & bust that efficiently brings the best solutions to the consumer.

So why will the Social Era be the next frontier?

Just as the Industrial Era first focused on building machines for the sake of machines, eventually items came forward like the automobile and kitchen appliances that truly revolutionize life for the common person. Those two areas brought forward the need for better roads and homes to be built in accommodation.

Today, you have mobile and wearable devices that connect us to each others in ways never imagined before. What will be analogous to the roads and new homes that will need accommodate these new platforms? I believe the market is already starting to bring them forth, but they all revolve around social benefits:

  • Commoditized Entertainment – New social gaming and plentiful programs on every possible subject to make sure boredom is a thing of the past.
  • Commoditized Education – New e-learning tools & videos are bringing education on-demand at our convenience
  • Motivational Systems – These systems don’t just bring efficiency to our tasks, but also motivate people to get more done in a day going well beyond just typical organization.
  • Mind/Body Wellness – More and more systems are taking into account our well being, especially around wearable tech that gives information on our daily habits that were unseen before.

There are also new demands from labor that are surfacing, that parallel with the rising peak of Industrial Era. As demands grew for higher wages from unions and workers striving for that life with a new car and house full of appliances, companies were forced to make their workers more productive to maintain profitability. This made assembly lines and specialized tasks common place when the Industrial Era finally got into its stride.

So what will come in the Social Era for the modern work force that will bring forward the necessary productivity jump in labor? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Most generations till now only lived through either a single era, or depending on the timing, they may have witness the birth of a new one.  I always considered myself lucky to be swept into the wave of the Information Era, but I paid close attention to the death of the Industrial Era only because […]

Do Our Bodies Change Our Mind?

By on January 14, 2016

We all know that our minds change our bodies, but evidence is now coming forward that your body can change our minds as well.

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

She has a wonderful story near the end of the video where she say, “Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”

We all know that our minds change our bodies, but evidence is now coming forward that your body can change our minds as well. Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, […]