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Great story and very well told. We all have 'Teds" in our lives, if only we can recognize them. The other message I got was to always say 'Thanks" to our Teds. They usually don't expect it or want it. But knowing that others appreciate what you do for them is always valued, even by the most humble Ted.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Mentor Monday: Don’t Wait a Lifetime
I was rereading "The New Positioning" by Jack trout and Steve Rivkin when i chanced upon this little gem. It's relevant to the Yahoo situation.
"Chances are that when a new CEO arrives, you're looking at a would be hero. Obviously, any piece of thinking that was around before he or she arrived is suspect."
"The New Positioning" was first published in 1996! Hmm.......
12 months ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?
I imagine that about 100 years ago, managers were asking each other , "Will telephone conversations replace face to face talking?" I subscribe to that old fashioned idea that to get the "right" answer you must ask the "right" question.
Maybe we should be asking something like "How can we best use technology to ensure that we still retain the benefits of in person meetings without the associated disruptions and inconveniece?"........or something similar.
It's occurred to me that children don't really need to go to school for five days a week any more. With modern technology and modern instructional design techniques, sitting in a classroom with a pile of other kids is no longer the best way to learn stuff. Not only that, but every child could have the best possible quality of instruction designed and delivered by the best teachers without classrooms.
We'd still need to address socialization issues. And we'd have to find viable uses for all those buildings we call schools. Let's face it. There's no good reason why school should last 12 years and post secondary education a minimum of three. That;s merely an administrative convenience.
OK! OK! I'll return to my burrow to plot more challenges to the cornerstones of Western civilization. But one thing's for sure. Businesses no longer need gangs of supervisors and technical experts whose main purpose in life is to ensure that lesser mortals "do what they're paid for."
Make sure you have fun
1 year ago on Can Technology Replace In-Person Meetings?
Far be it from me to tell the Yahoo CEO how to run her business. But I think she needs a good dose of Ricardo Semler of Semco. Apart from that, I've been preaching for some time that the future of management lies in making employees totally responsible for running the business on a day to day basis. It's the only way managers will ever get enough time to run their businesses.
Only last week Ezine Articles published a lengthy missive of mine on this very subject. I'll send you a copy separately.
It really doesn't matter where employees are or what they do. I know that's outrageous heresy to some. In the final analysis, what counts is the measurable contribution employees make to the sustainability of the business. As Semler says, "I just want them to go home and be proud of their work." Perhaps if they're already at home........
1 year ago on Yahoo! Letter: Was Their Communications Team Consulted?
@AmyVernon @Leon Amy,
Thanks for your good manners and sound response. I'm happy as long as you don't shake your "freakin" fist.
And tell that Danny Brown to wash out his foul mouth with sump oil soap. Norman Mailer had similar problems when finding a publisher for "THe Naked and The Dead.' Perhaps we should print some "Erika loves Norman" bumper stickers.
But how would I know? I'm just an Aussie curmudgeon!
1 year, 2 months ago on Bacon Jumps, Kills and Eats the Shark
@Danny Brown @Leon I'm soooooo excited. I've written the Ultimate Blog Commrnt: not even Danny Brown can understand it! Wow!
I myself couldn't understand it. But that's OK. I wrote it. I see lots of blog comments that the writers can't possibly understand.
And in the true spirit of blog community Danny, I value you honesty greatly.
Let's see, who can I tell about this fuggin good fortune..........
Whackp the chook!
1 year, 4 months ago on Move the Fuck On
In more graceful--and literate-- times Norman Mailer spelt it "fug".
If you don't know who Norman Mailer is........Fug!
And in the spirit of great American literature, shouldn't 'punk" be spelled "pfunk?" Have you noticed that a lot of bloggers spell "fug" as "freak?"
This timid little Aussie curmudgeon--check spelling in your Pfunk and Wagnalls__is like the people of Hoboken: feeling all at sea. What a disrespectful way to treat the Great Sinatra's home town. Jersey Boys indeed!
Is this what Marcus means by "establishing you voice?" Danny B and Erika N: the only bloggers who spell fug correctly. You win free tickets to "Midnight In Paris." Ernest and F. Scott and the rest are waiting. They may have been unable to spell "fug" but they could certainly demonstrate it!
Now you can write a blog about how one tiny misspelling can create a a torrent of illiterate rambling.
Fun aren't they/
Did you see the post on my blog yesterday? It was called "Customer Service: Why Flower Girls and Mindsets beat Training." I wont repeat all that I say there. But there is one crucial matter.
Customer service is every employee's responsibility. The moment that organizations set up Customer Service departments with specialist customer service staff, their customer service goes to hell.
The department and the specialists effectively absolve every other employee of responsibility for satisfying customers.
Customer service starts with the state of mind of the CEO or at least one member of the top management team who's willing to "ride herd" on the whole issue.
In case anyone else is interested among your readers, you'll find the article at http://staffperformancesecrets.com/2012/10/customer-service-off-topic/
Keep having fun.
1 year, 4 months ago on The Art of Great Service and When We Stopped Listening
Until employees run the day to day business of the company, managers wont be able to manage. It really is that simple. Of course that means we have to discard a whole bag of much loved bureaucratic constructs such as performance appraisal, classroom centred management training, individual based employee development andinterpersonal relationship training to mention a few.
And we'llhave to rethink many favourite hobby horses such as motivation, HR and PR.
I'v always liked Ricardo Semler's take on this. "My job is to motivate employees so that they go home every day proud of their work."
Have you heard of the worlkbeing done by Salman Khan and his Khan Academy in Silicon Valley? Our whole idea of learning and performance must change too.
Still goota have fun though
1 year, 5 months ago on Social Business and Cult Think
@HowieG @ginidietrich @belllindsay
I'm just so flattered to have attracted you attention; not only flattered----really honoured. Really! But I'd prefer my candle to have eucalyptus regnans aroma. I'm sure that you can arrange that. You could even write a post about ungrateful Aussie curmudgeons who peer intensely into the mouths of gifthorses.
I've often wondered what an "AHA" moment was really like. Now I know.
I'm quite overcome. I also have a 12th Commandment "Thou shalt arrange Howie to respond to your blog comments"
1 year, 5 months ago on The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette
And..... "thou shalt shake in your shoes and bubble in your boots if Gini D catches you breaking one of these commandments. Love the list
Have more fun.
When I was about 15 years old, I became very interested in politics. One of our two major parties, the ALP--read Democrats in USA- was going through huge ructions that ultimately kept it out of office for about 20 years.
I complained to my father about the spin and even blatant lies that the politicians involved were telling. He replied, "Don't worry son. They're only politicians."
That happened over 50 years ago. The older I get ,the more I understand how smart my father was.
To quote one of your better known dramatists: "it comes with the territory."
Have fun, Best Wishes
1 year, 5 months ago on Spin Sucks…Even in Political Ads
Yeah man.I reckon that one of the biggest favours I can do for managers is to show them how to stop saying "leave it with me." Instead I suggest that they say, "What do you think we should do?"
The best way to replace "talking" with "doing" is to constantly ask about doing. At least it's a start. And never permit anyone to suggest something without ensuring that they make a commitment to do something about it.
And paraphrasing is a very effective and useful technique for ensuring that employee ideas and suggestions receive adequate attention.
"Simple" can work very well.
1 year, 5 months ago on The Difference Between Talking And Doing
You warm the cockles of an Aussie curmudgeon's heart. For years I've been telling clients: don't ask for written applications and resumes and always include a statement such as "do not apply for this job unless" or" only alpply for this job if" in their job ads.
And you've given me an excuse to use one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes; "It aint what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for certain that just aint so."
1 year, 6 months ago on The Negative Side of Social CRM
Of course it's not dead! I've run a business for over 30 years. I coined---I think_--- the phrase "marketing isn't everything but everything is marketing." a while back. Lots of people seem to like it includins Al Ries and John Jantsch.
I suspect that lots of managers have lots of different ideas about what constitutes "marketing." So I'm a tad suspicious about surveys tellling us what CEOs think of marketing.
It's also true that surveys may not provide the totally objective data they claim
A survey done here in Australia a couple of years ago suggested that about 70% of surveys came up with a result consistent with the position of the organization commissioning the survey. They didn't say this was deliberate. But Self Fulfillling Prophecy is a reality. Incidentally, neither Steve Jobs nor Henry Ford believed in surveying customers about their requirements for new products. When asked about why he didn't conduct a survey to see if people were demanding a motor car, Henry's said to have replied, "If I'd asked them they'd have wanted a faster horse."
A long-standing client of mine recently conducted lots of workshops in country towns for small- medium business owners and managers. He himself has built a very successful business. Over coffee recently he told me that far and away the biggest single problem these managers had was lack of focus.
Marketing may or may not be dead. But even if it is, really successful businesses still need a crystal clear focus and a narrow specific target market. Just ask Borders.
Make sure you have fun.
1 year, 6 months ago on Marketing is Dead?
I first became serious about direct mail about 20 years ago, One of the things I learnt was the importance of using the word "you" in all its forms.
Of course, to use this word most fruitfully, you need a clearly defined, narrow target market: what you define as the "ideal client." I remember Al Ries and Jack Trout saying years ago that you should spend all your marketing money only on prospects in your target market. Don't spend a cent anywhere else.
I wonder if the real problem is that some bloggers don't have a very clear idea about theis "Ideal client".
1 year, 8 months ago on Dear Blogger – Remember Me?
, Way back in the 1980s the great Tom Gilbert told us that the biggest single reason that employees don't perform is that they don't know what's expected of them. The Noone Corollorary states "But their managers think they do."
So......tell people exactly what you expect of them in measureable, performance terms. Then tell them how their performance will be measured.
And always remember.....the prime responsibility that a manager has toward his or her employees is to put systems in place that make it impossible for them to fail.
1 year, 8 months ago on Maybe Your Employees Are Too Stupid For Social CRM
Your post is so important. For my sins, I've been a published author for over 50 years. Article writing, including blogs, contains three elements. Content, clarity and presentation. We sweat blood over the first two. Do we have something worthwhile to say? Is our writing cogent and lucid.? That's great. But in the final analysis, whether we are read largely depends on how easy it looks to read. Not, may I point out, how easy it is to read but how easy it looks.
If I might add a couple of things...... always justify on the left. Readers abhor caps. Use red only as a colour to attract. Readers don't like to read red. As a general rule, each time you change a font or a size, you'll lose readers.
Thanks for the tip about Jim Connolly. I'll follow up. And i'll send some more material to you direct.
1 year, 8 months ago on Remember Reader Experience