Showing posts from March, 2013

Reputation: Why Ford's Indian Ad Affair Hurts Their Brand Even If They Had Nothing To Do With It

Images from a controversial Ford advertising campaign in India went viral on 22 March 2013, followed by a furious backlash against the company. Many people took issue with the image of people bound and gagged in the back of the car; others were upset by the image of Berlusconi during a period of difficult diplomatic relations between Italy and India.

Except that Ford didn't really have anything to do with it. The ads were created by employees at the JWT agency in India entirely on their own initiative without any input or approval from the agency or the client. The same individuals then uploaded them to a site where people in the advertising business post their work to be seen primarily by their peers. The ad was never requested, seen or approved by Ford or even their agency. [Update: there are different versions of the story. Some say Ford knew more than they say in the official version. See Ford Mess: Ford, JWT and WPP Have Overeacted. ]

Most people agree that…

What to do When Someone Asks You to Create Their Presentation

Earlier I wrote what you should do when someone asks you to deliver the presentation they have created (Seven and a Half Things to Do When Someone Asks You to Deliver Their Presentation). Now I hear more people asking what to do in the equally common situation where someone asks you to create a presentation that they will deliver. In most cases it is your boss who makes this request so assuming that this is the case what can you do? Here are three basic concepts you should focus on:

KNOW THEIR STYLE. Before you start you need to know something about their presentation style. It will not help to make a textbook perfect presentation if the boss feels uncomfortable presenting it or cannot deliver it in the way you expected. Personally I like to emphasize visuals and memorize what I need to say, but not everyone has the time or performing skills needed to do this so you might need to embed more of the content in the slides than is ideal.  Maybe you like to use "builds", where el…

Engineer Culture and the Transition to Management

When people talk about culture they usually mean national or regional cultures, but there are also important cultural differences between professional groups -- doctors, lawyers, pilots, managers and engineers -- and these cultures have an impact that is often underestimated.

Most people from a certain region will have similar values, beliefs and practices as the others from the same region, but within each professional subculture there are additional shared values and practices that are perhaps not shared by people in other professions from the same region.

One of the practical impacts of this difference in professional culture is the difficult transition from engineering to management.  In technology companies this is a problem familiar to managers and human resources professionals, and is also the subject of some training programs.  There are many factors involved but central to the engineering value system is the shared understanding that their world is strictly Cartesian, follow…