Winning and Choking Against the Odds

It seems to me the Democrats and Atlanta Falcons are analogous. Both should have won. Both lost in the most bizarre way. For Trump to win the election (after being a huge underdog), and the Patriots to win the Super Bowl (after being down by a record number of points), Trump and the Patriots had to do a dozen things or so perfectly, not just well, but perfectly. And the Democrats and the Atlanta Falcons had to do a half-dozen …


Lifestorming

I find that too many “experts” are trying to identify the age we live in. Is it digital, or information, or global, or chaotic? At the time, no one knew they were in the agrarian or industrial ages. Retrospect and history provided those identifiers. Who knows what today will be known as in a hundred years? Who cares? We need to stop labeling things—particularly generations of people—as if they all can be categorized and dropped into a neatly defined drawer. …


Yes, But We Want More

I’m looking around my garage. Among the features on the various cars are: • Vibrating steering wheel when you cross a highway line without signaling first. • Self-correction and braking when you drive onto the shoulder without signaling. • Self-contained wifi. • Self-closing doors. • Remote opening trunks. • GPS. • Online contacts for navigation, emergencies, local dining suggestions, etc. • Alarm systems that disconnect the ignition. • Onboard diagnostics with monthly computer reports. • Indicators of service due. • …



You Can’t Fix Stupid

A woman writes to tell me she loves my free weekly and monthly newsletters, but she doesn’t like my occasional promotional mailings, so she has to unsubscribe. In other words, she feels it’s appropriate for me to provide free, high value help to others, but it’s not appropriate that I inform them of further help available for a price if they so choose. I’m surprised she knew how to unsubscribe.


Ouch!

Kim Wilkerson brings to my attention some guy in South Africa who is sponsoring an evening of fire walking and cocktails! I can’t imagine any potential problems there, can you? I recall not long ago so many injuries at a fire walking event that the onsite team couldn’t handle them all and the EMTs had to be called. I guess that particular group just wasn’t sufficiently motivated. Maybe they should practice the equally effective techniques of self-levitation.


Making Time

If you can’t respond to an email within 24 hours or a phone call within four hours, there’s something profoundly wrong. You may think I’m talking about your response time, but I’m really referring to your philosophy about your business. This is the marketing business, not the delivery business. Without marketing, there will be no delivery. In 30 years of consulting, for Fortune 100 firms, non-profits, educational institutions, government, and closely-held businesses, I’ve never been so engrossed in my work …


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 5: Myths

A memorial service to the many friends you lost when they went swimming 55 minutes after having lunch. Transcript: Hey, I’m Alan Weiss. This is about myths. Remember, we used to have monsters under the bed. I never found one; used a flashlight a few times. In the closets too, but we don’t read in the headlines people dying from monsters under the bed. So, probably not the case. Remember when we couldn’t swim for an hour after eating? We …


The Prime Question

The title of this blog is “Contrarian Consulting.” Let me offer you the prime contrarian idea in this profession, which really shouldn’t be contrarian at all: First ask, “What is in the client’s self-interest?” The answer to that question should readily set your direction. It’s not any of these: “How can I make the most money?” “How can I protect myself?” “Which part of my methodology can fit in here?” “Where can I quickly get referrals?” If you think about …


Lights, Camera, Little Action

My wife and I watched four movies over the past couple of days: Moonlight: This won the Oscar for best picture, and I wouldn’t even recommend watching it on a 16-hour plane ride unless you needed help sleeping. It’s unbearably slow, trounces its point into the ground, and is acted and directed with a sloth-like, glacial speed. Vastly overrated, I’m sorry I spent the time. It’s about an African-American kid with an addicted mother and no father and his homosexuality, …