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We were out and about yesterday doing our weekly errands, we thought it would be different to start eating out to help local businesses and save myself from cooking.
The local restaurant is a franchise of a large chain and owned by a young entrepreneur couple who moved to Canada 11 years ago. This couple is commendable in their attitude towards the reopen and how much of their effort is building confidence with their customers by showing how they approach the preventive measures.
Confidence-building is essential in every customer interaction especially in this time. It shows that you are on the ball and are committed to ensuring that they can count on you for safety as part of their experience with your products, services, and programs.
Exuding confidence is like a balm on a very itchy skin. It assuages and builds further confidence that is required if you want to keep more business coming. The right mindset is always an optimistic one-one that is pragmatically positive.
Who can tell you need confidence? We all need confidence. We all need to be boosted up one way or another. We all need a word of comfort and acts of solidarity. We all need to know that others care for us and we care for our community.
Small business owners are particularly hit hard with today's recession. They are the unsung heroes of our community. Every lay-off is a difficult decision especially when a staff has no other options on the horizon. A lot of workers do not have the cushion of savings to rely on during temporary setbacks. Last March, 2M people lost their jobs.
Despite these, they are open and they are serving us with a smile and a confident demeanor that they are ready for better times ahead.
What are you doing to exude confidence and build trust with your customers and stakeholders now?
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This time no one wants to feel isolated especially those who are in business.
Some of your suppliers, partners, and clients are hurting at the moment.
This is the time to reach out and tell them you care, you know that there are shared experiences, and you are there to help.
I have been doing that in all of my community members.
Because number one, you are not working or dealing with an organization, you are dealing with people.
People are scared, afraid, and unable to make sense of what is happening.
Provide that support and leverage your mission and resources to have that extra-customer service that they would need at this time.
During crisis time, it is not ethical to be sleazy and capitalizing on someone's pain.
But you need to be present and make the effort to be relevant with results.
Commiserating is good but working with them towards practical solutions is way better
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Do not believe what you hear from people.
They do what they want to do, despite being presented with the evidence that an opposite or alternative behavior or thinking is better.
They say what they say, but action speaks louder than words.
What institutions/organizations do inside their walls manifest outside in the most flagrant way.
What institutions/organizations project outside their walls reflect what they do inside.
How are they inside/ how they are outside?
Is there a dissonance? an asymmetry? a camouflage? a game of smokes and mirrors?
Too much hype, no credibility. Too serious, no creativity. Too scared to play, they run around in circles, no clear way forward.
What comes around, goes around.
It is not because of lack of trying but they trying the wrong kinds of things.
It is not because they lack persistence; they persist on maintaining those things that should be discarded long time ago.
It is not because they lack the good heart to serve, benevolence is not enough.
People trust on the basis of actions, never on promises or empty commitments.
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Seriously? Yes, this has followed me throughout my career. Any time you bring that added enthusiasm in all your conversations, which I would do most of the time, things just fall into place.
I remember when I was working in a government organization, they were hiring for the HR Director. I heard it was quite an intense process. I heard who eventually landed with the job. She was brimming with a lot of enthusiasm and she stood out from the competition.
Enthusiasm is contagious, so it says.
All things being equal in intelligence, experience, knowledge, competencies, the next step is who has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for this job/business?
That is one defining quality that can really create a huge difference.
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Why is it that negative critics always dominate the conversation about a brand, company, organization, or product while the rest of the happy, satisfied, and loyal customers are not heard from?
According to a study done in Texas, negative feedback is 11th times likely to be dominant than positive, satisfied comment. This 11 dissatisfied people will then talk to at least 5 (average) other people about their dissatisfaction.
This goes to show that perception is malleable and can be shaped on the basis of who is doing what to whom. Word-of-mouth works if it's positive, it could be fatal if it's negative and totally based on misinformation and has the purpose to damage the reputation of your organization, brand, or products. To say, in this world we live, going viral- can be both a bane and a boon.
The lessons in corporate and management history suggest that we need to take a stock, monitor, evauate, and strategize how we are projecting ourselves out there, what kinds of things are being said about us, and how we can favorably turn those conversations to our favor and advantage.
This is not about propaganda or fake news, this is an honest-to-goodness management of public relations. If you can't control how you want to be perceived, some one will create it for you and that is the least comforting things as an idea.
When was the last time you heard from a delighted customer? Why don't you toot your own horn, and harvest your own successes and achievements. You are not making it up, there is social proof on every thing that you will declare out there. What is worst is that the deluge of uber-the-top negativity has been allowed to poison the minds of those who are just fence-sitters and observers? There is so much on the line here.
That has to stop and you can make concrete, tangible, and long-term commitment to making it work. If you can post your comments on Facebook and Twitter account everyday, you can do more on this area than just being passive and reactive.
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I called the bank one day hoping to speak to a banker about my lack of access to my online account.
I called the toll number and I got these options:
Press 1: For banking hours and locations
Press 2: Credit card questions
Press 3: For loans, insurance
Press 4: for other products
Press 5: for loss of card, etc.
Press 6: For online banking
I pressed 6 I got led to a number of options
Please dial your number
Please dial your birth date followed by a # key
Oopps, sorry I didn't get your number, try again.
I tried again and then the line went dead.
Can we just talk to another sane human being who has a moderate level of intelligence, can understand our frustrations, and can handle our issues adequately?
Enough of these robocalls!
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A few years ago, I was a victim of the 'management by walking around' practice. Having been a staff myself, it confused me tremendously why management and executives have to do the rounds by walking around, pretending to be really curious and interested of personnel's work. What exactly can be derived by walking around the hall other than disturbing staff' precious time focused on real work and getting into chitchat with those that have nothing to do at the moment.
Visibility is good when there is a strategic purpose to visibility. Visibility alone is nothing.
Creating real genuine interpersonal relations is good but when it gets down to work, your boss is not your friend and vice-versa.
Also, this family vibe in many companies and organizations is also fake. This is not a family relation, this is business and you have a job to do and will get appraise at the next six-month mark.
There is a tremendous waste of monies and time on team building exercises meant to look like everyone is having a happy time, fetching water, building sand castles, catching people up when they fall, rappelling down ravines -all in the name of team work. There is no team work in that superficial encounters.
Real team work is about solving real problems and challenges as a team and experiencing satisfction from joint accomplishments.
He found me cutting some papers for my program activity for children. "This is work," I told him and he said, "good job," and turned around.
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What is communication without strategic purpose?
It is like a cymbal being beaten incessantly without rhyme or reason.
It is the spam you don't want to receive.
It is the advertising in the television that you want to skip when it's on.
It is your company newsletter that is telling all the good news but not taking time to consider what bad news needs to be communicated too!
It is the talking without the regard for the needs of listeners.
It is empowering to talk and communicate in itself without the higher purpose of fulfilling one's life mission or organizational mandate.
Stop wasting your resources on one-way communication. It is good to build skills on communication but without alignment to the strategic objectives, it becomes a self-development crusade. It is just 'good-to-have.
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Value-based governance and leadership is the newest breakthrough these days.
The underlying belief that the values of the staff and stakeholders match the values of the company and therefore, it is the best test for the cultural fit and the drive behind excellent performance within organizations.
Values-based has gotten to be practiced in extreme. CEOs telling human resources to pick certain types of people who are more compassionate but do not have the skills set for the job means that cultural fit trumps other considerations when hiring.
Cultural fit although very important in the success of the employee and the company together cannot be the end-all and be-all of effective hiring, retention, and training process. The competencies for the job is critical for that person to succeed or feel fulfilled. Certain types of employment and occupations call for a balanced combination of skills, competencies, and values appropriate. Those social types without the structure of the job will not be capable as the fish in the aquarium.
But values are intangible? How to govern through value-based leadership? Values are demonstrated through beliefs, beliefs are manifested through attitudes, and attitudes form part of overall behavior. We can influence the values of a person to a certain extent, but it is mostly an individual choice and a product of their context. We cannot shove it on their lungs to become a worker that values integrity, compassion, and excellence if they don’t have it in their DNAs. The right ‘fit’ as they say.
Training and development programs in companies do not tackle the belief systems of individual workers and their teams but are typically looking for short-term remediation in performance, addressing behavioral issues that arise, and keeping it topical and on-point as part of the Return on Investment on Performance.
The following questions should be asked when you are working on value-based governance/management?
1. How does your value-based leadership impact behaviors that are helpful for the organization?
2. How does your value-based leadership measure behavioral performance that are good and not good for the organization?
3. How does your value-based leadership reward great performance over bad performance?
The starting point is to check on behaviors that manifest those traits that demonstrate great performance over mediocre ones because the latter are latent and can be observed with the naked eye. The best training and development programs are those that address behavioral problems with adequate, effective, and compelling rewards and non-rewards systems that align with company culture and ethos.
Only when great behaviors are consistently reinforced and aligned, then beliefs and values will align to behaviors.
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I am popping a lot of bubbles lately.
There is a tendency by the rank-and-file to project a certain aura of greatness about their companies to the point that when the rubber hits the road, tries to defend their stupid policies and procedures and leave the customer wanting to obliterate them out of the face of the earth!
A classic example of a website form that this organization is promoting to spur up public involvement and engagement with their programs. I put out my hand and expressed interest and started engagement. Well, they have a convoluted and archaic policy of internal referrals and Board approvals, aka 'insider trading.' I called the BS and they can't fail not to admit that if they want to remain exclusive at their own peril, they do not have to bother public citizens like us with these fake forms.
Another classic example of that is the fact that organizations whose mandate is to create public engagement end up actually creating exclusionary and elitist programs that bar interested people from actually being able to participate. Who would have thought that entrepreneurial programs espousing the values of community, transparency, collaboration are those that pretty unfriendly to newcomers and new entrants. This perpetuates the old-boys network mentality and creates incestuous relationships amongst actors in the space. Incestuous relationships are very harmful to organizations and individuals. There is no fresh air coming in.
Whether it is from the public and private sector, citizen leaders like us should refuse to accept the BS, call it for what it is, and get the attention of the decision-maker of the organization. Whether it is an airline, a grocery store, a non-profit, a church, or whatever, bad policies, procedures, protocols, or whatever systems have to be resisted with gusto. Organizations that fail to make corrections are set to suffer from many troubles or count their not-so-long shelf lives.