Trust / Credibity



Volkswagen is a highly recognizable world brand. They are being investigated for misleading emissions control data.

The impact is great….VW has set aside $7B in reserves. 

What makes this even more significant is that they will lose the trust of their customers. Will VW recover from this misdeed? They probably will….yet, it make take years and perhaps a complete corporate reorganization.

Two key issues:

  • Leadership responsibility….someone, somewhere authorized the incorrect data and software.
  • Customer trust is hard won and also easily lost.


First Impression

Duck Donuts

Most people don’t judge a business by appearance….I do!

There are three successful businesses in this 3 unit center….Duck Donuts….Firehouse Subs….and Chipolte Mexican Grill. There is also heavy traffic in and out of this center.

On a recent visit, the parking lot was littered and landscaping almost non-existent. Perhaps the owner is satisfied that there are three good tenants and thus does minimal upkeep.

Whenever I visit a business, appearance counts as a pleasant appearance reflects on the business (in this case Ducks, Firehouse and Chipolte). At least the managers of these businesses, should spend a 1/2 hour or so during the day to spruce up their parking area….and present a pleasant appearance to their customers.

Perhaps others don’t notice….but I do!



Marou Chocolate – Vietnam

Marou Chocalote

From:Knowledge at Wharton:

Making luxury chocolate in Viet Nam is certainly a risk. However in developing countries there is risk and reward.

The key points in the Wharton Business School article are:

  • The opportunity existed
  • The supply source was close at hand
  • The decision to make a premium product
  • The importance of design

It’s always about better and different:

“It’s going against the grain, against the flow that … makes us stand out.”




Writing TrueNorth is a marathon not a sprint.

Effective writing requires continuity….otherwise it loses its effectiveness. While other media forms are available….they are not as effective as ongoing, meaningful posts (not 140 characters).

Seth Godin is the best example of continuity….he posts almost daily. TrueNorth has a minimum of ten posts per month….not quite up to Seth’s standards!

Maintaining an internet presence requires continues updating. Many businesses create a website and do minimal updating….the site loses its effectiveness.

Continuity in business is constant, ongoing and present….every day the door opens and great companies start fresh and ready for business.




We are in the midst of presidential candidate debates.

The debates hopefully convey the quality of a candidate and his/her subsequent nomination.

The debates are also a prime example of communication. Communication is as important in the business/organizational environment as well as it is in the political arena.

A popular commentator analyzed the candidates and their qualities as a communicator. One candidate was authoritative and elegant. The one description that stood out was the ability to speak with authority and dignity.

Authority and dignity are good qualities in a political candidate….and good qualities in a business leader.


Business Key Value


Over the years, It seems that a fundamental core value is the ability of a business to deliver a consistent product/service.

When a customer/client begins to experience inconsistency….they start to explore other options for doing business.

It is easy to be inconsistent….difficult to be consistent. I would like to believe that in our business we delivered quality both in products and service.

Afterall our name was consistently on the business.

Dynamic Aviation

Out of the Way

Dynamic avaition

There are numerous little known companies that have unique businesses….many are located away from larger metropolitan areas.

Dynamic Aviation is one of those companies….located in Bridgewater, VA.

Bridgewater, VA is situated in NW Virginia…..close to but not too close to Washington, DC. Certainly, Dynamic Aviation has government contracts. There are, I would suspect, many more companies like Dynamic Aviation doing some interesting work….and out of the way by design.