Welcome to the middle of October; we’re racing through Q4 for a strong finish to 2010. Are you meeting your goals for the year? Today we have a #kaizenblog chat and Skype conversation on setting goals and designing actions that work. It’s great to have goals, but you have to be able to act upon them. And it’s not just about working harder.

Speaking of turning goals, here’s an excerpt from a book about how the iPod became reality. It provides insight into what you need to foster innovation. In this case, it was the right mix of people and the right timing and passion. We take the iPod for granted now, but they had significant technical hurdles to overcome at the time.

We talk about showing real ROI in social media and Peter Kim gets right to the point. It’s all about the money. He offers some really good thoughts here as we move from the feel good ‘let’s connect online’ to how we translate those connections into money. But that doesn’t mean the principles of Social Media go out the window. It’s more about how successful platforms still require big money behind them – and companies are starting to figure that out.

I’m a major consumer of business books in the quest to expand my ability to apply the latest thinking on branding, customer experience and business to communication strategy. Hat tip to @bethharte for this one – an insightful book I’m going to pick up about building your business strategy from the outside in – yes, focusing on the customer first – and doing so during a recession. Get a glimpse in this interview with the author George Day.

If I read nothing else during the week (rare), I make time for Valeria. And so should you. She offers pretty sound advice for how businesses can meaningfully promote. Hint: It’s not about shouting louder from the hilltop. In this post, she talks about how PR can build on your company’s story. Yes, it’s about telling a story – even with your next product launch.

Effective relationship marketing requires technology automation to help drive the process. Specifically automating some aspects of email and integrating with all of your channels. The key is developing a comprehensive integrated marketing program and executing well on all of the details. Don’t leave anything to chance.

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