Monthly Archives: September 2008

Design = Meaning

A fascinating little snippet from a Fast Company article  Masters of Design by Bill Breen (June 2004):

Behind every design there is a thought process… every design process confronts a time, a material and a function problem… (Chris Bangle, BMW)… and every design has implications for your brand and your reputation.

Whilst Bangle is talking ostensibly about product design, the article goes on to say that the same is true for the design of customer and people management processes in the organisation.  Every process says something about our thought processes – our assumptions and beliefs about our people and our customers.

The article poses the question: “What’s your design [your thought process] – for your work and your life?

Great question to ponder as I work on a new management development program.

Would you be willing to try something?

Flicking through Robert Cialdini’s latest offering – Yes! 50 Scientifically  Proven ways to be  Persuasive and came across the section on the hypothetical questions.  I have long recommended it as a way to soften a request and avoid an outright “no”.  Cialdini and his colleagues Noah Goldstein and Steve Martin, say that there is an additional benefit to the hypothetical, – it encourages consistency, so people are more likely to be consistent with their hypothetical views.

So rather than ask “will you support this change?”, a hypothetical question asks “would you be willing to consider supporting this change?” and to cement the consistency, you can further ask “what do you think will be most beneficial for you about the change?”

So, would you be willing to try this in the next week? We’d love for you to try it and tell us what happens.

Gain control back from your inbox

Paul has been reading about new email studies which confirm the time is right for our new offering eORGANISING (TM).

1. It takes more than a minute (on average) to recover your train of thought after an interruption by email (see more at Dr Thomas Jackson’s research, quoted in SMH Next).

2. Over half of us spend two hours a day on emails because that’s how we receive the majority of our work/ news and over a third get more than 100 emails a day (see more at ClearContext, also quoted in Next)

Put these stats together and it means that you can lose over an hour of effort a day if you let new emails distract you as they come in.

If you or your team want to learn how to set up simple, efficient systems to control the inbox, rather than have it control you, please contact Paul on 0408 537 305.  He’s passionate about helping teams to gain control of their e-workload and reduce stress in the process.

Spring and passion is in the air

It’s spring, it’s passion month and I’ve just returned from the XL Entrepreneur Business School in Bali.  What did I learn – lots!

First, you cannot achieve anything amazing on your own.  The entrepreneurs who wanted to “own” all the ideas and way their business was going to run, has much smaller ideas that those who accepted input.  I know this and now I’m committed to supporting managers and businesses to make sure they have got team support, not try to do it on their own.  I’ve also come back with some great team processes, so if your team needs a top up, give us a call.

Second, you cannot excite people to contribute 110% if it’s only about you (or shareholders).  Those who had a purpose beyond profit were much more exciting to be around and got the most help too.  And the flip side of this, the feeling “what about me?” was a good indicator for me that I was feeling an incongruity between the business and its offering.

Third, I got clear that my passion really is to support social enterprises to flourish, so look out everyone, I will be beating the drum of “purpose beyond profit” to you in the near future.   Check out Buy 1 Give 1 if you want to find out more.

Hassle me – great for follow up

One of my favourite websites is www.hassleme.co.uk which allows anyone to set up regular reminders – at no cost.

When you click on the website it asks you what you want to be hassled about,  to what email address and roughly how frequently.

I have a hasslebot to hassle me to write a blog about every two weeks, and now I find my mind has been so well trained, I am anticipating the email.

Of course, as my colleague Greg Jenkins said today, the “final frontier”  is to take action and “implement” the idea.   Hence this post.

Celebrate International Passion Day everyday

Janet and Chris Attwood, authors of the book “The Passion Test” have declared 30th September International Passion Day and have challenged their readers to take at least one action a day to “follow our passion and begin fulfilling our life’s purpose”.

Well, with our business name, we had to rise to the challenge (and of course we wanted to).

Day 4 action – Sharon is writing this blog.  I (Sharon) am passionate about connecting people with ideas.    I also know that confidence grows when we take actions to support our passion, so this idea of taking daily action has double the benefits.

Paul’s passion – helping people get control of their workload – has been enhanced by adding new sections to the eORGANISING (TM) workbook. If you have recently done our course and would like to read the new hints, send an email to paul at apassion.com.au and he will send you an update.

Day 5 action – I had a powerful session with Julian Noel from Aware Business – tapping into my deeper knowing about my ideal clients and what value I can provide to them.

Day 6 action – Paul and I discussed our ideal clients and Paul visited one of his. Continue reading

Market to your Ideal Client or else…

A great interview by Coert Visser with David Maister.  The choice is starkly laid out for small businesses, especially Maister’s niche of professional services firms.  Paraphrasing his words – the better we are at identifying and marketing to our ideal clients, the more we get to work with interesting, likeable people and we get do work we find “fulfilling and challenging”.

The weaker our marketing efforts, the more likely we will have to accept work from anyone who will pay us, whether or not we respect them and whether or not the work is “enjoyable … or meaningful”.

Now that is a great marketing “call to action” -so we are off to the beach office to discuss our ideal clients!