Posts in category: Business Practice

Humanising technology

Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) is showing off a new tagline: humanising technology. DSE is one of the larger retailers of computers, home entertainment equipment and DVDs. Some stores also carry electronic parts and kits. They are part of the huge Woolworths group of...

“We say we do” vs “here’s what we’ve done”

GIO Insurance’s advertising ends with “we don’t just listen, we do”. Contrast this with my post on NRMA’s ads which detailed exactly what they have done (number of claims paid, families helped etc) in the aftermath of...
Baby or career? Talk to Karen Miles

Baby or career? Talk to Karen Miles

Are you scared by the idea of having to choose between a baby and your career? Is your business interested in retaining and leveraging the huge talent pool that is the work-at-home mothers? I just came back from a wonderful and inspiring afternoon coffee with my...

Gently coaxing the best from people

“The business people whose insights I value mostly think that business is complex, that there are few universal recipes for success, and explain that much of their time is spent gently coaxing the best from people. Such entrepreneurs do not make it onto the...

The best brand differentiation ever

Nick asks: “If we guarantee products, why not service? How can you claim a commitment to customer service without being willing to back it up with a guarantee?” He then goes on to use U.S. Bancorp as an example how a service can be guaranteed. Read the full post on...

BPM* hypocrisy

From Stilgherrian’s post: The tyranny of the ideal: Design idealised processes, safely away from the people doing the work. You are the consultant, you know best. Idealised processes make great flowcharts to present to the board (the people paying your fees) –...

Actions speak loudest – go NRMA

NRMA Insurance is running a series of simple TV and radio ads at the moment. All they do is list stats about how many claims they have paid out, and how quickly, in response to recent floods in parts of New South Wales. Nothing about how much they care about customer...

On Chinese manufacturers

This excerpt from a recent conversation I had with a friend: “…I know what you mean about products from China [being ill thought-through]. It is not that they lack the ability. I think they are so used to making bits and pieces in isolation for western companies, and...

A spoonful of sewage

“If you put a spoonful of wine in a barrel of sewage, you get sewage. If you put a spoonful of sewage in a barrel full of wine, you get sewage.” Schopenhauer’s Law of Entropy The nasty few wrecks it for everyone else. Or: A few demeaning creeps can...

Effortless action

From The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff (ISBN 0-416-19526-1), this story illustrating the Taoist principle of Effortless Action or Wu Wei: The Old Master and the Horse A horse was tied outside a shop in a narrow Chinese village street. Whenever...

Processes

Hi, Your wisdum really gets me through the day zern. You are the guru of gurus. I picture you as a rich man who sips cocktails all day while wearing sunnies and board shorts with heaps of beautiful ladies around you while you’re typing business wisdom on your laptop...

What price self-esteem

I gave a talk this week to several hundred high school students at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research where the Eating Disorders Foundation had their Youth Forum. My talk was about body image – specifically how fantasies are literally manufactured in the media,...

Fitness First in-gym advertising

The gym I go to, Fitness First, has their own slick in-gym music TV channel with commercials. OK, so we cannot escape advertising. Not such a big deal right? But what if I told you that some of the commercials Fitness First runs in the gym, while you are working out,...

The end of ecards?

If you haven’t noticed, there’s currently a spate of spam or PC intrusion attempts using emails disguised as ecard notifications. You know, the ones that say “you have received an ecard” with a link to click on. Which presumably then causes...

Psychological salary

Smart Company posted this: Can’t afford to give your staff a pay rise? Boost their egos instead with a significant sounding title. … it could well result in them getting a better job with more pay somewhere else! Good grief. How much more dishonest and...

How to appear big

Great advice from the SmartCompany agony aunt to a small business owner who lost a tender because his company was not big enough. My take: Just be who you are. It is too hard to pretend otherwise. If a client discriminates against you because of your size, do you...

Moral Intelligence

Moral Intelligence – Enhancing business performance and leadership success. By Dough Lennick and Fred Kiel PhD, ISBN 0 13 149050 8 Some highlights: Moral intelligence – the mental capacity to determine how universal human principles should be applied to out...

Fear still driving

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the originator of TQM (Total Quality Management), put forth 14 points of organisation behaviour change towards better performance. Stilgherrian’s post on being real on the web brought to mind Deming’s eighth point: Drive out fear....

Hard work

Glenn Kelman said on Guy Kawasaki’s blog on entrepreneurship: “It’ll always be hard work. Most start-ups find an interesting problem to solve, then just keep working on it. At a recent awards ceremony, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tried to think of...

Consultant, coach, and counsellor

I have been increasingly uncomfortable with the word “consulting” lately… I wonder what the alternatives are? Consultant: “I am the expert. I will tell you the right answers. I will implement for you the right solutions. You hand me the responsibility to fix it.”...
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