We are inundated with opinion, theories, views, speculation, ‘can’t’, nonsense, spin, flim flam, alternative facts and fiendish marketing treachery masquerading as ‘advice’.
Now that we are old and wise, the obvious stuff no longer fools us. But some of the tips that we get from magazines, newspaper headlines and motivational speakers seem plausible … or maybe they’re complete nonsense? It’s hard to tell. I mean, much of it you could say in a conversation and no one would correct you.
My friends, who of course know that I am in the motivational speaking business will sometimes call me up and say ‘Give me some motivation. Ha ha!’
I say ‘Sure. Drink some coffee’.
Apparently there is, and it’s 5:1. That is some researchers are arguing that for every barbed remark, or true-word-spoken-in-jest you have to patch on five positive (and presumably sincere) comments for that relationship to be repaired.
A few years ago I was looking to get into property investing. Feeling like a wounded penguin swimming with a pack of leopard seals I paid for advice from a self-declared, but high profile, property guru. I opened the newspaper recently and found that the same man now lives in a tent in a traffic island.
In the accompanying blog I argued that Air NZ has just made changes to its trans-Tasman ticket pricing that have seriously undermined its customer loyalty program. I made the distinction between ‘reward’ and ‘loyalty’ programs and said that rewarding customers is always going to be difficult to sustain but that loyalty was easier.
Is a value statement just more cynical hissings from the corporate snake pit? More business monkey spank double speak? Or is it a valuable tool to help shape culture and create a competitive advantage?
All choices are evil. The most evil choices are those that require denying short term gratification, and unfortunately they are everywhere. Put down the garlic and crucifixes and battle those zombies by changing your environment.
In my blog 'Choice is evil - deliver yourself from temptation' I raised the idea that decision making is hard and painful– and that has a number of consequences. In your personal life it means that you can increase performance by changing your environment. In the same way companies can improve performance by changing their systems and culture. Just like Super Nanny.
When I cast off from the shore of the Canary Islands to head across the Atlantic I was struck by the similarity this moment was to every other time I had gone out in the boat. And how I wished I had paid more attention to every detail of those practice rows.
This blog is about practicing. It’s not about a big challenge, its about an everyday one.
The recent Walter Isaacson biography mentioned Steve Jobs’ tendency towards binary thinking – how he would put people in one of two camps, ‘very good’ or ‘very bad’.
Is this another powerful management technique from the polo necked guru?
No. He’s being a jerk.
By my reckoning changes just made to Air NZ’s trans-Tasman ticket pricing have disemboweled its loyalty program. Untangling the logic behind what they have done helps clarify the differences between loyalty and reward and how (infuriatingly) branded customer service trumps them both.
My iPhone screen broke the other day. Fortunately I have opposing thumbs so I assembled the correct tools and sat in front of my computer closely following the steps of a YouTube video.
All was well until, just when my phone was in all its separate pieces and the dozens of microscopic screws were gently falling into the carpet, the man on the video deftly and invisibly tucked some tiny connector into some hidden slot and then continued on. But now the rest of the video was impossible to follow.
UPDATE: An extraordinarily generous donor has offered to match the next $5k of donations! Every dollar you put in will be matched by the same amount. So those of you waiting to deliver the killer blow and get me into the tutu now is your chance! We can get there twice as fast. This is an incredibly generous offer but you have to act now! Only the next $5k will be doubled!
Last Saturday night I went to bed in NY. I thought I was relaxed then I was up at 2am, then 4am, then finally at 5am to get ready for the marathon. I brushed my teeth with hair gel.
The night before the sky had been a grey dripping sponge. Great weather for albino, arctic ducks. Now it was just cold (around 5 degrees and very windy). The immense start area on Staten Island was like a refugee camp, as runners huddled in groups out of the wind or waiting in long snaking lines to use the loo.
After two nights and no sleeps on planes I have finally arrived into a cold and wet NY city. There is a big snow storm mauling the coast that means tomorrow morning (early Monday morning NZ time) on the start line the 'Real Feel' temperature as they call it here, will be below freezing, with a strong cold northerly blast that’s definitely going to put a tilt in my tutu.