Tips & Trends

Thunderbird thought leaders spot trends before they are recognized as the next big thing. They see situations from a global perspective, asking the right questions and sharing their insights. Tips & Trends provides a sampling of these contributions.

GE: A Brand in Motion

Successful companies change, evolve and innovate; this was the message Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of GE, shared with Thunderbird students during her campus visit on April 8, 2014. Her talk, entitled GE: A Brand in Motion, sums up her message of how important advancement and perpetual change are for a brand. “To stand still is to die,” states Comstock.

“Customers rely on brands to know what’s next,” she says. “Know thyself, know the customer and innovate.” 

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Fusing personal branding and storytelling in your professional bio

By Bernadette Martin ’84

Personal branding is identifying, clarifying and communicating what makes you unique. Storytelling, as a way to communicate information, is proven by brain research to have amazing impact, not only to captivate and engage audiences, but to increase memory. Using effective storytelling in a professional bio is a powerful way to make your personal brand come alive. Here are five things to consider.

1. What is a bio?

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Sen. Kyl gives graduates five guiding principles

Retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl has decades of experience as a public servant, but he spoke to Thunderbird graduates on a more personal level as commencement keynote speaker on Dec. 13, 2013. “No father or grandfather can resist giving advice,” he told the group of 197 graduates from 26 countries. Kyl, who received an honorary doctorate of international law from Thunderbird prior to his remarks, focused on five guiding principles for aspiring global leaders.

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Simple is hard, Intel advertising exec tells T-birds

Simple is hard, Intel’s Vice President of Advertising and Digital Marketing Kevin Sellers told Thunderbird students during a campus visit Nov. 21, 2013. Sellers said the best brands have a simple message, which breaks through the competitive clutter. “The average consumer is hit with 5,000 messages a day,” Sellers said. “Great marketing is about simple and repeated.”

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Selling yourself in the interview

Not everyone likes sales or trusts salespeople, but the art of persuasion is an unavoidable part of corporate life. Project team members must sell ideas within their groups, vendors must sell products and services, and leaders must sell strategies for change. All this selling starts with the job application, when candidates must sell themselves to prospective employers. John Brambert, an executive coach with Trinity Performance Group, shared a three-pronged approach for students at Thunderbird School of Global Management on the eve of their 2013 campus career fair.

Teach: Brambert said memorable candidates do more than answer questions about their backgrounds. They deliver insights about industry trends, market challenges and best practices. They bring new ideas to the table and find appropriate ways to teach. They also look for opportunities to tell stories that show themselves as responsible, accountable, coachable, productive, flexible and cooperative. They approach the interview as a two-way conversation.

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Working in the cloud: Five ways to maximize online collaboration

By Lawrence Masle ’94

In June 2010 a group of innovative thinkers set out to create a new type of agency to deliver strategic and creative services using all the advantages of cloud-based computing. UP, the organization that emerged, has no offices or employees. Just high-powered collaboration and a growing list of satisfied clients. Here are five lessons we have learned about maximizing performance in the cloud.

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Five strategies to thrive in Asian markets

By Rajeev Merchant ’79

Emerging markets in Asia offer lucrative business opportunities for diversification and growth. Navigating these economies successfully can be challenging, especially when critical information for planning and decision-making is often unreliable, outdated, or just not available. Here are five strategies to cope with uncertainty, manage risk and increase your probability of success:

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Harvard Business Review: Join the global elite

By Gregory C. Unruh and Ángel Cabrera

You’ve read about and admired them, maybe met some of them. You’ve certainly benefited from their work: The growing elite of global businesspeople who are helping to define today’s international commerce. They are creating immense value for their companies and themselves — and, in many cases, making the world a better place. Most of these leaders have extensive international experience, speak multiple languages, and can tap into worldwide professional networks. But what really defines them is their ability to create value by helping their organizations adopt a global perspective. Read the full article, “Join the Global Elite,” in the May 2013 issue of Harvard Business Review. Access the online article here or download the print version in PDF format.

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A user-friendly tax guide for U.S. expatriates

By Larry Lipsher ’65

The United States always functions best when it has an outside enemy, and the U.S. expatriate is often the chosen target. Many U.S. corporations set up foreign subsidiaries in low-tax havens to sidestep the IRS, which leaves expatriates like you and me as the ultimate payers abroad. This constitutes taxation without representation, but there is little we can do.

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