Multi-tasking is the rage, the norm, and seems the only way to manage in our crazy fast-paced world. We applaud it, take pride in our abilities to do it, and often suffer the consequences. Multi-tasking is capable of providing significant productivity gains, but it may also slow you down, reduce the quality of your work, or kill you. (more…)
I was on the Chesapeake shore recently looking for one gorgeous night on the water before sailing the next day. I found a Hilton practically surrounded by water and told the receptionist I wanted a balcony and the best view. She was excited to quote me a great special rate and checked us in. The room was great but the view from the side of the hotel was disappointing. I could not believe there were no rooms on the back where the view would have been fabulous.
When walking to dinner on the adjacent wharf, I discovered there were. Why hadn’t we been given one of those rooms? They certainly weren’t occupied. Was the receptionist so sure price was paramount that she was deaf to my request? I essentially told her I wanted to pay more and I was ignored.
This is not uncommon these days. In fact, my husband is quite tired of me pointing out the frequent occasions where we’ve had to press a clerk to give us information on something other than the cheapest option.
Check your own assumptions and those of your employees! Have you convinced yourself that price is all your customers care about? Now, more than ever, with this economy in turmoil, I hear businesses talking themselves into this doomed mentality.
Focus on your customer and what they value, not on price. Listen carefully to their wishes and needs. Don’t make this Hilton’s mistake. They lost money AND made me unhappy!
We have been taught to be careful and thorough. We have been graded on accuracy. We are encouraged to be consistent. But being careful, thorough, accurate and consistent can be time consuming, counter-productive, and boring. There are only 24 hours in a day and we have only one life to live. We will get better results and live better lives if we are careful, thorough, accurate and consistent where it counts, and speedy, efficient, and satisfactory everywhere else. “You can’t be too careful” does not always apply. (more…)
More and more organizations are talking about value. This is good, because business success depends on offering something of value to those who value it and thus, are willing to pay good money for it.
But then I hear those same organizations talking about the tough economy. Suddenly, it isn’t about them and the value they provide. Business is down because of external factors beyond their control.
Of course there are external factors beyond their control! Always have been. Always will be. Always a little different from the time before. Change is inevitable. Neither good, nor bad, just inevitable. And a tough economy is just one type of change. (more…)
Why is it so much easier to talk about the means than the ends? Undoubtedly we simply prefer inventing, creating and acting to analyzing and disciplined thinking. The evidence is everywhere.
I recently attended an annual meeting of an organization where the group argued about the contents and format of an internet survey. As a newcomer, I just listened until I could stand it no longer and then I asked what they were hoping to achieve with the survey and how they had been using the data from the paper survey up until that point. Silence descended. Finally, a brave, or clueless, soul said that they just thought it would be good information to have. The argument resumed. (more…)
Keep your mission to yourself! Your vision too, for that matter! And I don’t want to hear about your values either.
As a customer, I’m sick of all the words. I prefer evidence.
Give me good value, helpful service, on-time delivery, and a reliable product or service that fits my needs well, and I will be back. Furthermore, I will tell my friends.
But tell me how great you are, and how great you are determined to be, and I will just wish you spent all of that talking-time answering my questions, getting the job done, and preventing problems.
Deliver on your mission! Doggedly pursue your vision! Live your values! And then you won’t have to tell me about them. I’ll be able to tell you.
There are only 24 hours in a day for each of us. Those who use them wisely, get where they want to go. Those who don’t, are left to dream. If you carve out enough time for the right things and then focus on getting them done, you too can achieve your goals.
Follow these 10 steps to significant results and less stress: (more…)
April 25, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Uncommon Clarity, Inc.
EASTHAMPTON, MA – Ann Latham Completes Million Dollar Consulting® College
Organizational performance expert, Ann Latham, has recently graduated from Alan Weiss’ Million Dollar Consulting® College in Newport, RI. This is a rare achievement in the consulting profession, with fewer than 150 graduates globally. Weiss is the author of 26 books and is widely recognized as the most successful independent consultant in the United States. Admission to and graduation from the College is difficult and widely sought. (more…)
How do you win and retain customers?
Perhaps you are better than the alternatives. With superior or breakthrough products and services. Providing more value for the money. Exactly what your customers need.
Maybe you are convenient, easy, friendly – a standout for all those “free” intangibles that customers enjoy when doing business with you.
Or perhaps you are someone’s habit. The phone number on the notepad. You once had an edge – a superior offering, the best location, a great brand – but now you are not so sure. Inertia and familiarity may be your greatest assets. (more…)
“Why can’t my employees make decisions? Why do they always have to come to me?”
Busy clients ask me these questions frequently. Are their employees unwilling, incapable or simply indecisive? The following tips will not only answer those questions, they will also help you dramatically improve employee decision making.
1. Does the employee understand what decisions you expect him or her to make?
Don’t laugh. It is not at all uncommon for people to complain that someone is unwilling to do something they don’t realize they are expected to do. Unclear expectations are especially likely if you have been making certain decisions all along. Are you sure you have made it clear that you want someone else taking responsibility?
Even if you have been clear, your employees may not really believe you. If they don’t think you trust them to make the decision, they simply won’t believe you really want them to do it. “I know he says it, but he doesn’t really want us to go ahead without his approval.” (more…)