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What Comes First

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What Comes First
October 31, 2018 Father 5 comments

Process design can fall flat on its face when sponsors forget two very important principles: First, the 'want' has to be clearly distinguished from.

When the subject arises, managers and CEOs often speak of diversity and inclusion in the workplace together. Diversity and inclusion have come to represent two sides of the same coin, as they should. But all too often, too much emphasis is placed on the diversity aspect with the assumption that inclusion will follow. But is this really true? Does diversity in the workplace naturally lead to an inclusive culture? What about inclusion-focused managers? If the attention is on inclusion, does diversity organically develop? Few would argue that both diversity and inclusion in the workplace are important. However, examining which one is the greater priority can help businesses better position themselves for success.

What is Diversity and Inclusion?

Let’s start with diversity. Diversity simply means a workplace that has diverse members with different characteristics. These characteristics can be group together based on demographics, experiences, and even individual perspectives. For example, demographic diversity describes people of different races, ethnicities, gender, socioeconomic backgrounds, age, and other personal attributes. Diversity in experiences involves the different paths that people have taken through life. And varied perspectives can include diversity of thought, beliefs, and opinions. Why is this important? Because research shows team diversity in the workplace can boost performance by as much as 35 percent!

Defining inclusion is also fairly straightforward. Inclusion is simply a workplace that makes everyone feel included in business activities. They feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute and express their own views and opinions. Having an inclusive workplace has powerful effects also. Studies show that inclusion doubles your business’ chance to reach its financial targets. Likewise, inclusive businesses are 8 times more likely to achieve their goals. Clearly, diversity and inclusion are both important to businesses in today’s marketplace. If nothing else, the performance statistics cited drive diversity and inclusion as key attributes that managers want in their firms.

Diversity Without Inclusion

While diversity and inclusion are combined goals for businesses, achieving these goals can be elusive. For many businesses, managers and CEOs assume a diverse workplace will naturally foster an inclusive one. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. Certainly, diversity brings heterogeneity and variety to the table. But without an inclusive attitude, staff may be hesitant or even fearful to contribute new ideas and views. Being diverse is one thing, but being accepted for one’s diversity is another. Both diversity and inclusion are essential to realize business success in today’s industries.

Too many businesses today focus on achieving diversity numbers in an effort to boost performance. Diversity simply becomes a targeted cost center for the firm rather than a means to develop a creative culture. Other firms seek diversity as part of their compliance objectives or public relations goals. These firms are missing the point, too. Having employees from different backgrounds, thoughts, and experiences is important. At the same time, a business environment that invites sharing these differences is essential. Diversity and inclusion should go hand-in-hand to maximize a business’ potential. But simply investing in diversity alone does not mean an inclusive workplace will follow.

Inclusion Without Diversity

When pursuing diversity and inclusion, managers may find it easier to hire diversity than achieve an inclusive environment. However, some businesses do achieve inclusive cultures without focusing on employee diversity at all. These situations can cause major problems. In workplaces that lack diversity, groupthink can become commonplace. The “group” makes decisions by consensus, and individuality is never expressed. In time, the same approaches are used over and over again, even if they are not entirely effective. And in the process, business performance and the firm’s competitive advantage decline.

Managers who create workplace environments where everyone feels included and respected is important. This encourages employees to be engaged and participate. But when barriers to diversity exist, the same ideas and perspectives resurface over and over again. No creativity, no innovation, no challenge to the status quo. This is why managers must focus on both diversity and inclusion in the workplace. When both diversity and inclusion exist, employees and the firm enjoy tremendous opportunities to grow and excel.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace – A Whole Greater Than the Sum

When examining diversity and inclusion, identifying which one should come first is difficult. It is clearly a chicken and egg sort of problem. Diversity without inclusion is like a champion fighter locked in a room unable to attend the fight. Inclusion without diversity lets the fighter out of the room only to find the fight doesn’t exist. Diversity invites differences that foster innovation and creativity through conflict and resolution. Inclusion invites the opportunity for these differences to be shared and expressed. When both diversity and inclusion are present, the results are incredible. But one does not guarantee the other. To reap the rewards, businesses must focus on both diversity and inclusion simultaneously.

Biesta, G. (). Pragmatism and the philosophical foundations of mixed methods research. In Tashakkori, A., Teddlie, C. (Eds.), Sage.

What Comes First: Sales or Marketing?

What Comes First

One of the toughest challenges for founders — and especially technical founders who are used to focusing so much on product features over sales — is striking “product-market fit”. The concept can be defined many ways, but the simple definition shared in this episode is: it’s when you understand the business value of your product.

And that comes down to users, which is where the concept of “product-market-sales fit” comes in, observes Jyoti Bansal, founding CEO of AppDynamics (which was acquired by Cisco for $3.7B the night before it was to IPO). Bansal shares this and other key milestones and frameworks for company building in conversation with a16z general partner Peter Levine; enterprise deal team partner Satish Talluri (who was a director of product and growth operations there); and Sonal Chokshi.

So in that shift from product-market fit to product-market-SALES fit, how much should you optimize your go-to-market for product… and even the other way around? What does this mean for product design and product management? When should companies offer services? As for pricing, how do you know you’re not leaving value on the table? Again, it comes down to product-market fit: If your business case is strong, you will not be leaving money on the table, argues Bansal in this special podcast series on founder stories and lessons learned in enterprise go-to-market.

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What Comes First

Sales and marketing. Marketing and sales. Chicken. Egg… Which comes first? Are they even separate things?

While sales and marketing are often grouped together in one role, particularly in smaller organizations, they are actually very different business functions that require different skill sets. There are a million ways to define marketing, but at its core it can be defined as promoting a product or service to a targeted audience. Sales, on the other hand, can be defined as the exchange of money for a product or service.

Even though sales and marketing should be looked at as two separate functions, they need to work together to ensure the success of a business. Marketing leads to the sales process much like the passing of a baton in a relay race. Even though each leg of the race is run by an individual, all individuals are needed to win the race, and they all have to work together to do it.

Here are all the differences you need to know between sales and marketing:

Brand vs. Customer

Marketing focuses on market positioning, brand development, and telling the story. While this is based on careful research of customer behaviours, the focus in on the brand. Sales will focus more specifically on the customer because they are looking to persuade them to complete a purchase.

Needs vs. Persuasion

Marketing is all about identifying and filling customer wants and needs by showcasing the product and benefits, while sales is about persuading customers to buy into the benefits that you can provide. A sales team will use research and materials provided by marketing professionals as tools to help with customer conversions (purchases).

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Evolution vs. Static History

Even though channels might change, sales in itself hasn’t really evolved since the door to door salesman. Marketing is constantly changing to meet target audience needs when it comes to communication channels, the types of message, and values and ethics. It used to be more of a one way announcement of information, now, with the introduction of new technologies, marketing is designed to create dialogue that will more easily feed into the sales funnel.

Relationships vs. Transactions

A sales person will focus on building lucrative relationships with clients and prospects, however, the focus is still on the transactional aspect of the strategy. Marketing is purely relationship-driven, building communities on and offline, building loyalty, creating brand ambassadors, etc. Because of the transactional nature of sales, sales people are more quota and objective-driven. That’s not to say that marketing departments won’t have overall objectives, but sales-related objectives will be different than those of the marketing strategy.

Groups vs. Individuals

While personalization is creeping more and more into marketing strategies, the overall strategy is still focused on groups of people – the intended target audience. These audiences are identified and segmented based on research. A sales transaction is generally focused on an individual person and the exchange of money for goods/services.

Differences don’t mean separate. In the case of sales and marketing, they have to work together. Marketing generates interest, which creates leads – sales then takes those leads to convert to paying customers

How do your sales and marketing strategies work together?

A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications Blog.

Author: Candace Huntly

Candace Huntly, a marketing & PR expert and strategy addict, is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications. She is a firm believer that you can put creativity into the simplest marketing tactic.
SongBird is a Toronto-based, award-winning, boutique consulting firm that creates integrated marketing and communications strategies using…
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Poll any marketer and they'll tell you website projects rank up there with root canals and visiting the DMV. The end result is (mostly) great, but the process to get.

Forget 'Chicken' and 'Egg,' What Comes First With 'After' and 'Before'?

What Comes First

Finding the best method for creating websites is very challenging. What comes first: Wireframes or the content? Perhaps, there is no right answer, and it’s all about personal preference.

Last week during our Twitter Question of the day, we discussed whether to create the wireframe first or outline the copy and then do the wireframe based on it.

Did you miss our Question of the Day session?

Don’t worry! Read on to discover all of the fantastic insights shared from our community during the discussion.

From the community:

Marko Aleksic, Product Designer at Jatheon

Andrew Schar, Founder of Black Forest Labs

Ivo Ruijters, Owner and UX Designer at Around Seven

Zhenya Rynzhuk, Cofounder of Sochnik Design studio and Awwwards judge

Julius Koroll, Freelance Designer

Alisha Truemper, Human Centered Design Lead at 1904labs

Esteban Pérez-Hemminger, Product Design Lead at IBM

Robert Bradford, User Experience Designer

Makenna Smutz, Product & Content Marketer at TAIA translation

Gopikrishnan Sasikumar, UX Designer at AriveGuru

See the full discussion of this topic here!

What did we learn?

To have meaningful wireframes (and ultimately good design), knowing the content for each page is beneficial. It’s kind of a chicken or the egg conundrum.

On the one hand, it’s hard to know what to wireframe for a page when you don’t have a good idea of what content is needed. On the other hand, it is hard to produce copy for a site until you know what the pages look like.

Based on all answers, people prefer to have at least some content before they start with wireframes. And, what works best for you?

Thank you so much to everyone who participated for sharing such great insights!

Have an idea for a question or topic you would like to discuss? Leave your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear it!

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What Comes First
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