Archive for November, 2018

Brexit Brouhaha

Friday, November 30th, 2018

You have to laugh when political commentators get so wrapped up in their political bubble, they are prone to making ridiculous statements. The BBC’s political reporter, Laura Kuenssberg, described Brexit, “As the most important decision we have had to make since 1945”. Excuse me, what about the decisions to go to war in the Falklands, Afghanistan twice, Iraq and multiple other situations. Aren’t life and death decisions rather more grave?   

Blind Customer Service

Friday, November 30th, 2018

I called my opticians asking to order some more contact lenses. The receptionist responds, “sorry sir, we don’t seem to have your records.” After giving a few more details, she responds “let me go and speak to one of my colleagues.” She returns saying, “I found your details, I am sorry they are out of date on our system. Bear with me, do you think you could come in for a new eye test, such that we can update our records?” (I’d only done that 6 weeks ago). Then the conversation moves onto suitable appointment times, three of my suggestions are met with “I am sorry we have no availability”. She asks to put me on hold (we’ve been speaking for 11 minutes). We finally get a convenient date agreed. 

Opticians as with dentists and vets businesses are feted for their clients loyalty, the predictability of recurring business and their earnings. When customer service is so derisory, how long before those “strengths” evaporate and then is no “magic” left?  

Morose Events

Friday, November 30th, 2018

I speak at 10 events a year, attend a further 35 events a year and probably get invited to 250 globally. I find there to be a direct correlation between the number of “paid for speaking slots” and boredom. Yet a great many event hosts cannot see it or marvel at “I love what she had to say….”, expecting me to be a cheerleader for their false excitement.  Let me share a blunt truth: people predominantly pay to speak, as a shortcut to getting their ideas out there without any validity or authority.  

Speak Up

Friday, November 30th, 2018

I am at a private event earlier in the week with Matthew Hancock, the UK’s Health Secretary, Adrian Gore, the visionary South African founder of Discovery (Vitality Health) and executives from Apple, when the subject turns to preventative healthcare. 50% of long-term illnesses (cancer, heart disease, kidney failure) in the western world are directly linked to our DNA. Our aptitude to learn and apply the wisdom we gain from genomics is fundamental to our welfare. Yet I am struck how few politicians will share the home truths about individuals taking responsibility for managing their own personal health risks. Watching the nightly news we excessively focus on funding and resources for our healthcare systems in the UK, US and elsewhere. Why so silent about preventative healthcare?    

Insular Incumbents

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Hidden Consequences 

Businesses don’t become insular, their leaders do. When leaders are so focused managing “in” their business that they overlook or are increasingly disinterested in the changes taking place around them (clients, markets, products, technology), they’ve made a deadly choice. Defending what they have is a bigger priority than embracing new ideas and new ways to evolve.  No surprise then that the “inwards thinking” permeates down to middle managers, who see little or no incentive in promoting experimentation on the front line. Faced with more effective alternatives, clients walk, and the brightest employees walk. By the time, the “alarm bell” is sounded, all too often it is too late, particularly in small businesses.     

Referral Learning

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Before you instantly try to tear apart a business colleague’s, a client’s or a friend’s suggestion to meet with someone or explore a potential business opportunity, sit back and listen for a minute or two. There is three learning points: (A) the size, immediacy and relevance of the specific opportunity for you, (B) the individual’s current understanding of a high potential referral for you (clarity and accuracy) and (C) their current capability to be an immediately useful and relevant source of help, in ways you never imagined (who they are hanging out with, what they are immersed in and so on).  

Entrepreneurial Wisdom

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Would you seek to cross the Atlantic without a substantial support system? Might bet is you’d loudly shout “no”. Yet there are daily, entrepreneurs, some having early success, who insist on taking even more perilous risks with their own business ventures and won’t take advice from anyone. They intuitively know better. That is fine until the seas get so rough that faced with imminent capsize, they scream “help”. Why be so churlish? Get the best qualified help you can afford, pay them on equitable terms and that them as a partner in your future success. 

Something For Nothing

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

If you are seriously confident about the prospects of your business growth, and the impact of our potential collaboration, why do you insist on asking me for “free” help and to assume the overwhelming risk? Is it that you are “cheap”, don’t trust me, fearful of the future or broke? Those are the only viable conclusions. 

Phone Dependency

Monday, November 12th, 2018

If you are feeling compelled to “sit” on your phone while in the middle of family time, at dinner, at the theatre or the sports event, you ARE the problem. Not your boss, not your client, no you. 

Building Trust

Monday, November 12th, 2018

When you rush to “sign up” a prospect as a client, an adviser, an investor and so on, counterintuitively you lessen the prospects of profitable business. Why? This is the relationship business. Foregoing time taken to properly build a trusting relationship gnaws away at the benefit of doubt the other party gives you, their accuracy in helping you make smart decisions and their commitment to help you prosper (reciprocity). Take a pause, invest quality time and keep offering reciprocal value.