Blog

1
Apr

Make Sure Your Systems and Service People are on the Same Page

The internet in our home died earlier this week. After cycling the modem a couple of times, I called the service provider’s toll-free number. The digital assistant told me to cycle the modem and it would text me in ten minutes. I did so once again and after ten minutes the system informed me that I did not have working

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24
Mar

How Does This Place Make Money? Part Two

In the last post, I illustrated the value of asking the question, “How does this place make money?” But exactly how can you do that without breaking the bank or disrupting normal business function? The strategies I’m going to recommend are remarkably simple and can be accomplished with a smart-phone and a bit of money spent on editing and design.

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16
Mar

How Does This Place Make Money? Part One

That’s the question I have challenged employers to ask their people for years. Sadly, most people can’t provide an answer that demonstrates they really understand the business model of the firm for which they work. Generally, they’ll say something like, “We sell software,” or “We deliver stuff to restaurants.” If you ask them to drill down on that and provide

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3
Mar

Getting to Neutral

“Often, I lie in wait in meetings, like a hunter looking for his prey, ready to spring out at the first moment of silence. My gun is loaded with preestablished thoughts. I take aim and fire, the context irrelevant, my bullet and its release are all that matter to me.” William Isaacs, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together –

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25
Feb

Improving Performance Does Not Have to be Rocket Science

Sometimes it’s the basics that produce the best results. A while back, I met Bob a manager for the Hot Topic retail chain. You’ve probably seen one of their stores in the mall. They advertise themselves as Pop Culture and Music Inspired Fashion. Target market? Well, just visit one and you’ll get the idea. Most of their patrons are ages

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11
Feb

The Cowardice of “My Hands are Tied”

On December 23rd of last year, a young man attempted to make a withdrawal from his bank, hoping the $1000 due in his account had been deposited. The clerk he spoke to told him that she could see the money had been credited. Unfortunately, it would not be available until the next day. On the morning of the 24th, he

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29
Jan

Does Your Workplace Suffer from Brittle Decisions Making?

Not long ago, I went to return a tool I hadn’t used to the hardware store from which I had purchased it. Unfortunately, I could not locate the receipt. “I’m sorry,” the clerk said, but unless you have the receipt, I can’t issue the refund.” “It’s unopened and it’s the store brand,” I responded. “Yes,” he replied, “But you could

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21
Jan

People Stay When They Understand the Role They Play

As part of my research in preparing to work with an employer, I will sometimes walk up to random employees and ask, “How does this place make money?” Most times, I get a mixture of confusion or some general statement like, “We sell widgets.” When I ask how much the company makes, most will say, “A lot!” The truth is

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14
Jan

Just because you can measure something . . .

One of the blessings of digital technology is the access it provides to so much information. But that’s also one of its curses. As we all battle daily decision fatigue, the exponential growth of accessible data has begun to overwhelm us. A colleague of mine serves as dean of education for a university. Part of her job is responding to

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7
Jan

Don’t Take Stats at Face Value

I was listening to Colorado Public Radio the other day. In a story about the challenges facing today’s high school students, the host said, “Twenty percent of Denver Public School students deal with some sort of mental illness.” My first thought was “Wow! One in five students. That’s terrible!” But being part social researcher, my mind then went to: “Says

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