Gary Szenderski

Gary Szenderski is a branding specialist, internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. Mr. Szenderski frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands and companies in transition. In addition, Gary is a published author, often quoted marketing expert, public speaker and teaches marketing and branding at the University of California in Irvine. You can email Gary at garys@szen.us.

Recent Posts

Transformative Learning and Leadership

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." This quote sums up many volumes of research and understanding on the subject of creating successful transformations. It recognizes the primary force that is present against all change – the status quo. Change management expert Kurt Lewin has created a Force Field Analysis Change Model, which has become a staple for change agents, managers and...

The New World of Work

Let’s start with the obvious: the digital disruption that is upon us is having a dramatic impact on professional services and creative marketing firms. Because so much of the project deliverable can be digitized, it means that the information that’s being created and distributed can be moved quickly and easily from anywhere, anytime. Therefore, it stands to reason that the people who are moving this information can be anywhere as well. A strong signal and a laptop is all that’s needed to...

Mentoring for Success

Julie Kantor of the Huffington Post asks the question: “What increases employees education and learning; saves company high turnover costs; develops leadership and management skills; and saves people time and money to focus on the big priorities?” Her answer is mentoring—more specifically, mentoring in the workplace. In this blog we’ll review some key aspects of mentoring and why it’s become so popular. We’ll also explore why mentoring for people that do not know what their career goals...

Optimism and Trust: Guideposts for a Changing Global Economy

A new study by PwC on the mindset of CEO’s indicates a very high level of Optimism. And optimism requires a level of trust. Trust by clients and trust in one’s own abilities to deliver. We’ll look at both.

Navigating Your Career

If you work in the creative or professional services industry, you have probably developed some pretty well-tuned people skills. So much of the work in the services business takes people skills. Whether it’s project or resource management, or running the creative team, it’s a sure bet that you have to collaborate and find ways to work with others. These skills that you’ve developed are valuable, and they provide options for promotions and movement within your organization or perhaps...

Basic Principles for Leading Change (Part 2)

From project and resource management to creating an operational system of record to training and morale issues, change is not typically well received. In fact, the status quo can be a company’s most profound challenge. For the services industry, where people are the product, the challenge becomes even greater when it comes to initiating an effective and positive transition. In the ebook Five Trends Shaping the Future of Services Delivery, the report opens with this statement: “Delivering...

Basic Principles for Leading Change (Part 1)

What are the rules of engagement that leaders must adhere to in order to create effective and positive change in their organizations? How did Lou Gerstner, former chief executive of IBM, lead one of the most successful business transformations in history? How do leaders of professional services organizations in today’s global, networked and competitive economy create change that helps their company operate better? The short answer is that it’s different for every company because of the...

Injecting Purpose into an Organization

How do leaders inject a higher purpose into their organization—something that will propel the team to its greatest version of itself with motivation and a common sense of destiny? What can I do to get them more interested in their work? These questions were tackled in this month’s Harvard Business Review. In their article “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization,” authors Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor provide some keen insights indicating that it might be the approach and not your people:

How to Transform Your Mindset in Today's Digital Revolution

We have written here many times how pronounced the digital revolution has been and its impact on professional and creative services firms. We’ve referenced articles and research on transformation and the agents of change that have been manifested in what most would agree is a disruptive landscape and industry that is struggling to stay current with today’s most sophisticated best practices. There continues to be much said on the nature of disruption and debate over what are the best...

Reaching Digital Maturity

Two new studies this year reflect a fast changing digital landscape where the separation between forward thinking, mature organizations and all others is widening. The pace of business globally is accelerating, putting enormous pressure on all types of industries, especially professional services. To get ahead of the digital curve, companies not only need to adapt and adjust to new technologies—they also must identify the leaders and champions within their organizations that can navigate...

The Misunderstandings About Millennials

I’ve had a chance to observe Millennials at close range in their natural environments. My work places me smack in the middle of a sea of young people, all striving for success. I can see how important relationships are to them, and I understand that what they see as important—like how the companies they work for and the brands that they consume should positively impact the world and society—is often out of sync with where they are today. Many just seem out of sync period.

Networking Icebreakers

There has definitely been a trend over the last decade to use distributed teams as part of most professional services companies’ project delivery systems. Technology has enabled seamless interactive and collaborative communications, which makes working remote extremely easy, both for the company but also the employee or contractor. And just as this has become an accepted model for marketing and professional services firms, it has also spawned a number of new networking venues. It appears...

Keeping Good Employees

In the professional services world, it’s all about your people. Your clients pay for their knowledge, experience and wisdom. Your people are definitely not a commodity. They are the defining forces of your brand, and each individual adds to the collective image of your firm. To keep your team engaged means having a thriving culture that supports who they are and allows them to grow and succeed. Yet, even if the culture is considered “great” people still leave. In this article we’ll explore...

Timing is Everything: Keys to Successful Marketing Performance Measurement

When the customer is ready, the message will appear, or maybe it “should” appear. So says a recent research study prepared by Bain and Company. They interviewed 1700 marketing executives globally in both consumer and business-to-business industries. The goal of the research was to determine what the leaders were doing that the laggards were not. The answer is simply a matter of timing.Time for a Change

Digital Transformation Meets Generation Z

“At its most fundamental level, digital transformation is about the ability of organizations—and their leaders and employees—to adapt to the rapid changes created by evolving digital technologies,” explains Gerald C. Kane, professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. “The challenge is that the gap between what is possible technologically and what companies are actually doing is growing wider,” says Kane. Can a new generation that is truly a...