Unsilo Your Knowledge

Unsilo Your Knowledge

Featured, Improvement, Innovation
It is common for people to try to stay up-to-date in their chosen profession. I.T. people study up on the latest technology, marketers keep up with the latest marketing techniques, etc. The most successful businesspeople go beyond their silo. They learn things unrelated to their work. By doing so, they take their abilities to a new level. Taking knowledge from other fields and jobs allows you to innovate in your own. Knowing how other people in your organization work, allows you to make project transitions seamlessly. Knowing what challenges other people face can give you ideas on products or services to solve those problems. Read up on history, programming, design, science, art, engineering, or any other topic that captures your imagination. You never know where your next big idea will come…
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A Tale Of Two Customer Service Calls

A Tale Of Two Customer Service Calls

Communication, Featured, Improvement
Bad customer service is ubiquitous. Recently, I dealt with two companies. One who was a perfect example of what not to do and one who blew me away. The first company is Adobe. I have used Adobe software for over twenty five years. Periodically they institute anti-piracy solutions. These solutions have always had a fatal flaw. When you make a change to your computer (i.e. updating your system software) their system flags your software as pirated. After a recent system software update, it happened again. I called customer service to have them reset the account so it was correct. This is something I have done dozens of times. This time my call was routed to a customer service rep in India. Not only was English not his first language, he…
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What Goes Into Your Pencil?

What Goes Into Your Pencil?

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Customer, Featured
When was the last time you really thought about your pencil? It sits on your desk until you need it. Let's face it, you probably take it for granted. Take a moment and think about what had to happen for that pencil to get to you. Graphite had to be mined and refined. Lumber has to be chopped down and milled. The graphite and wood have to be transported to the factory. The pencil is manufactured, packaged and shipped to the retailer. That's all before you purchase it and it arrives at your desk. Why are we examining a pencil? That pencil is just like your business. Your customers don't know what goes into the products or services you provide them with. They don't know how you agonized over each…
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How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

Featured, Improvement, Process
The bathroom tends to be one of the most overlooked areas in a business. This also makes it one of the most telling places. Your bathroom tells a lot about how you do business. The bathroom represents the attention to detail. Is it clean? Is it pleasant to be in? What about the storeroom? The coat closet? These aren't areas that people think of as having to be presentable to customers, but it says a lot about your business if they are. If you are paying attention to all the little things, the big things are done better. If your filing system is impeccable, when a customer calls with a problem, you'll be able to find all the information they need quickly and effectively. If your customer feels secure that…
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In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

Featured, Improvement
by Eric Lopkin In the book "Take The Stairs" author Rory Vaden talks about the difference between cows and buffalo when a storm hits. Cows instinctively run from a storm. When the storm overtakes them, they continue to run in the same direction, maximizing their exposure to the storm. Buffalo, on the other hand, run directly towards the storm. They run through the storm at full speed, effectively minimizing the time spent in the storm. Unfortunately, most people act like cows when trouble comes. We try to avoid the trouble and prolong the time we are dealing with it. In an effort to minimize the impact of a problem, we end up having damage inflicted over a longer period of time. When a problem arises, face it head on. You…
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The Key To Success Is Action

The Key To Success Is Action

Featured, Improvement, Process
For many years, books like The Secret have popularized the idea of the law of attraction. The idea that putting your thoughts out into the universe to create results is a compelling one. It is also an important way to maintain a positive mindset. However, despite what many books and coaching programs would have you believe, it is not a complete solution. It is the starting point, not the end point. Putting your thoughts into the universe is useless if it is not followed by a strategic plan to achieve your goals and the action necessary to implement that plan. You can think that you want more customers all you want, but if you don't let people know about your business, no customers will come. Your positive mindset and visualizations…
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Rely on Others to Improve Yourself

Rely on Others to Improve Yourself

Featured, Improvement
There’s a common misconception that individual development needs to happen…individually. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite our common cultural notion of “self” improvement, the most successful efforts to self-improve have other people at their core. If you’re looking to gain a new skill or break a bad habit, seek out people who are looking to do the same, and meet regularly. You can also join online learning communities, discussion groups, or courses. By exchanging empathy, success stories, and “Watch out for…” insights, you can build the confidence and commitment to push through setbacks and accelerate the adoption of new behaviors. You can also help each other out of ruts. Most important, you create a sense of ownership over one another’s success that results in momentum for change.
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