Do You Periodically Step Back And Get Perspective? I Do.


Sales aren’t recovering while the economy is, and now CEOs and boards are doing something about it.

2014 Market perspective: It appears that many companies realize that a financial recovery is underway but that their own sales efforts are not bringing in new business as expected.  In some industries like healthcare, structural and regulatory pressures make improvement critical, and still firms that can help physicians groups and hospitals are having a hard time getting an audience.  It’s common to point the finger at either strategy or execution when sales are not coming in, but often it’s both.  Here are some examples.

Large public companies.  I have been asked to lead a taskforce for a large public communications company and we don’t know the answer to the strategy vs. execution question.  Our task is to learn from what is working now (or not), group-think about changes and enhancements, test and learn.  This is a very familiar challenge for me; my team will meet specific goals while building capability in the commercial sales organization.  If you recognize this challenge, I’d like to hear from you. 

Early stage companies. I am working with a newly launched marketing platform to get traction for proving its worth and for outlining an opportunity that investors will like.  Here again, we are testing market receptivity, discovering what manufacturers and distributors respond to, creating effective methods for marketing and selling this innovative new technology, and of course getting customers.

Consultancies.  Recently, I told you about my collaboration with a direct marketer helping marketing and consulting firms expand or recover their businesses. I’ve been helping and advising marketing firms, and a hospital consultancy thru diagnosis, coaching and execution assistance.   Just in the last few months we have captured initial executive level meetings with Con Agra, Boeing, Sun Edison, Hy-Vee, Momentive, Hamilton Beach, Computer Sciences Corporation, Great Plains Energy, Lockheed Martin, Wells Fargo and others.  The meetings are with a group of diverse company executives responsible for marketing, operations, sustainability, investor relations and hospital profitability. 

We’d like to help you too.

In my opinion, while the economy was in its worst slump in decades, CEOs just hoarded cash and hoped that when the economy recovered, so would sales.  Now that the economy is recovering but sales are not - -  executives and boards have decided to do something about it.

Innovation Perspective:  Around this time of year I also like to get perspective about innovation.  Are there innovative new companies that are aimed not just at incremental change, but that are materially addressing important problems that need to be solved?  Are there new products in your pipeline that are worth working on or are they just someone’s neat idea of how to make money if not from the market, then from investors?

I’d like to tell you about just a few Edison Awards winners this year, and my personal reasons for liking them.


One reason I think about this especially in May each year is because it’s Edison Award time and as a screening judge, I can see all the applicants and I get to weigh in between them. I look for nominations that can make a difference. Here are just a few of the Edison Award 2014 winners.

Emshield by Nanocomp Technologies
Emshield™ sheets are the world's first/only carbon material that saves weight, energy, and money while dramatically increasing structural performance-enhancing protective armor for soldiers/police and honeycomb core structures for aviation and space-and conductive performance-e.g. electro-magnetic interference shielding for aviation, thermal shielding for fire protection and resistive heating elements.

Also, read about their manufacturing process which also won an award.  Nanocomp’s work could be a game changer in materials.

Why swing when you can rock?™ The 4moms rockaRoo flips the traditional swing on its head. Literally.  It rocks like a rocking horse, which maximizes the sensation of motion for your baby. It features five speeds, an MP3 hook-up and removable toy balls.

Selfishly, I especially like this rocker because of a new baby in our family! 

Vantage Frac (Waterless Fracturing) by GASFRAC Energy Services Inc.
GASFRAC's LPG fracturing service provides enhanced recovery of hydrocarbon reserves in an environmentally responsible manner. By using a fluid (LPG) natural to the reservoir we are able to improve recovery from the hydrocarbon reserve while eliminating the use of scarce water resources and providing a sustainable process.

Does this address many of the fears about the side effects of fracking? What’s your opinion?

Small Business Funding by Kabbage, Inc.
Kabbage has pioneered the first financial services data and technology platform to provide funding to small businesses in less than 7 minutes.  Kabbage leverages data generated through business activity such as seller channels, social media, shipping data, and other sources to understand performance and deliver financing options for small businesses.

As a former Citibank and Dun and Bradstreet exec, I think that Kabbage has much-improved methods for making and monitoring small business loans.  They also have an opportunity to build up-to-date databases of small businesses.   I love this business.

RobotsLAB BOX by RobotsLAB US Inc.

Imagine being taught quadratic equations by a quadcopter. The RobotsLAB BOX is a revolutionary teaching-aid demonstrating math and science's abstract concepts using robots. The easy-to-use tablet includes 50 hours of interactive and standards-aligned lessons, in-class quizzes and instructional videos, helping students understand why math is relevant to their world.

Sign me up!  Is this good for all ages and genders?

My extensive work in Malaysia last year surfaced other opportunities for strengthening education and ties to the business communities in Asia

I hope you like these award winners too.  I love working with Edison Awards and every year I learn something new.   Read about more winners at


Perspective in education: There is a dramatic movement toward education that produces graduates with useful internships under their belts and employable skills.  If you have children who are recent college graduates, you probably recognize this challenge. 

The year started with an invitation for an assignment in Vietnam - - unfortunately interfering with the new baby in my family.  I am waiting to hear if October will be possible instead.  I continue to be committed to working internationally, especially by bringing my extensive business expertise to developing countries and I am exploring       opportunities to do that. 


Gail is a proven business builder who brings to clients a 30-year track record of creating new business and profitable growth for companies like Citibank, IBM, and Dun and Bradstreet as well as early-stage technology companies. She is a rare professional who is comfortable talking business with CEOs and technology with CIOs and engineers.

As an executive with Citibank and Dun and Bradstreet, Gail built sales organizations and delivered programs that generated over $400 million in new business. As a consultant to technology companies, she has successfully launched products into new markets, constructed alliances, captured marquee customers, and facilitated investments from investors. 

Gail has been a judge for the EDISON AWARDS since 2009 and a screening judge since 2011.  She is on the FULBRIGHT SPECIALIST Roster, US State Department with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and sales.

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