When we are sick, we think that a pill will make us feel better, and so it does. Its the famous placebo effect.
This effect goes beyond medicine, and right through your businesses door everyday.
You enter a company’s lobby and think, This must be a great place to work. And so it is. You meet a prospective candidate for your department and decide that she seems smart. And so she is.
We are surrounded by placebo effects, constantly working their alchemy. We have the experiences we expect to have, based on our perceptions that preceded those experiences. Our perceptions create our expectations, and those expectations so influence our experience that we can say this.
Our expectations, change our experiences.
Social scientists call this Expectancy Theory . Continue reading
We are in the world of the midnight cowboy. In that film of the same name, John Voight plays an unsophisticated Texan in New York. As he walks New York’s streets – a song captures the felling of being a simple person in an increasingly complicated world.
He hears the words ” Everybody’s talking at me”. What happens when everyone talks at you? The next words of the song answers that.
“I don’t hear a word they are saying.”
No one can hear when everyone is talking.
[shareable]So when everyone talks at customers, no one can hear, so everyone stops listening.[/shareable]
This has several implications for your business, and how you market to your customers. Continue reading
Forget bench-marking. It really only reveals what others do, which rarely is enough to satisfy, much less delight, today’s clients.
Forget studying critical success factors, although the Japanese built an apparent economic dynasty by focusing on them.
That dynasty was merely apparent, because their foundation question was flawed. The question “What has made companies in our industry successful?” leads you to the old answers – which leads you to copy and refine rather than to innovate.
Next time you ponder your businesses strategy, ask :
- If I ran a competing business, how would I beat ours?
- Which weakness would I attack?
- What would I do to distinguish this new firm and seize business from our current one?
Then do this :
Eliminate that weakness.
It is your soft underbelly – the reason you are losing some business.
Then build that distinguishing strength – before someone else starts doing it.
Always ask : “How would i beat us?”
What does it mean to have a “career”? For the past 100 years or so, it’s meant finding a company that will pay you a fair wage to do the same thing over and over again for 40 years.
No one seems to want one of those anymore. In fact, the word “career” seems to elicit more of a gag reflex now than feelings of pride.
But I’m a hold out. I want a career – a great one. I think that when you decide to dedicate your life to something and spend 14,600 days doing it over and over again, it doesn’t really matter what it is – you can accomplish something amazing and amass a body of work that truly changes things. Continue reading
Warning: This is long – 4 times as long as most of my articles – If you don’t have time to read the whole thing right now, bookmark it and come back when you do. If you want to understand my strategy for getting the very most out of my life, it’s worth the read.
Here’s an idea: rather than waiting the rest of your life to write your biography, why not start now? Sounds odd, right? I’m fine with that. Odd is what I’m all about.
Truth is, if you don’t start pre-writing your biography right now, you probably won’t have much to actually write when it comes time to.
Even though some of the most interesting and accomplished people on Earth lived for the moment, they also held a strong vision of who they could become. They knew what they wanted to do, and then they went out and did it. Continue reading