Wednesday 31 August 2011

The Fear That's Holding Back Your Business

Too often, entrepreneurs or executives hesitate to reach out to others — even people who like them a lot.

Sometimes it's because they don't want to be intrusive: "She's so busy, I don't want to bother her." Other times, they'll self-deprecate ("she won't remember me") or shrink from perceived conflict ("he'll be angry I want something from him"). Or they may take the "high road" and profess a distaste for self-promotion, vowing that their reputation will speak for itself and quality will eventually triumph.

Unfortunately, those are all excuses: they're scared.

By: Dorie Clark

Link to full article

From: Harvard Business Review

Outsourcing your services - the questions you should ask

Housing managers need to think carefully about whether outsourcing will actually solve their problems - or whether it could exacerbate it.

Link to Guardian article

From: The Guardian

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Watching but not seeing

Each day managers throughout the world are provided with the same reports they’ve had for years (with all sorts of apparently business critical numbers on). After seeing the same report regularly, managers begin to take the data for granted, make assumptions about the figures and risk missing out on the real information.

Don’t believe me? Then try this…

Without looking at it, take your watch off and put it in your pocket, in a drawer, somewhere.

Now either draw or describe the watch face, clasp and strap in as much detail as you can.

Take as long as you like. (Bearing in mind that you see the watch dozens of time per day)

Now study the watch and see how much information you got right in your drawing/description.

How much information are you getting each day from the reports/systems you use? If the answer’s not much then it’s probably time for a refresh. Before you miss something important…

You might be looking, but what did you see?

We do the same things day after day - but do we take in the whole picture?

Take a look at this clip (you'll need the sound up too) - and remember to count the passes!

Link to YouTube video

Monday 29 August 2011

The Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behaviour being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.

Wikipedia - The Hawthorne Effect

From: Wikipedia

A refreshing beverage - made easy

Even buying your favorite coffee can be designed so that it is easy and quicker for the barister, and right first time for the customer.

New standardised Work at Starbucks


Make problems go away - design them out

Another simple solution - and the problem goes away.

Are there any like these in your workplace?

Quitting a Software Application: Safari vs. Chrome


Design the problem out

When a fast food restaurant faced with the problem of customers disposing of valuable and reusable trays, rather than putting signs up to admonish careless customers (and in the process trying to make the loss of trays their customers' problem) this famous restaurant chain simply designed-out the problem.

Don't fix the problem - design it out so it can't happen in the first place.

This is a lovely example - where could you apply it?

Simple Brilliant Error Proofing at the Amazing In-N-Out Burger