Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/20/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Here we are at the culmination of Hollywood’s grand excess in self-congratulation, the Oscars (which follow awards bestowed by SAG, Hollywood foreign press corps, and on and on). Is Ryan Gosling or Denzel Washington a “better” actor this year? Is Fences or Hacksaw Ridge a “better” movie? It’s kind of ridiculous and also somewhat incestuous. I’ve received and been denied my share of awards. My most prized are my high school senior poll award, “Most Likely to Succeed,” which gave …


Royalty and Ancient Ritual

Watching the marvelously-acted “The Crown” on TV, I’m stunned at the protocols of the British royals and I understand why Americans want to watch and savor royalty at a distance, but not at home. I think the same holds true for many organizations. They adhere to almost ancient protocols that have no place in modern times and are merely subsidized without return on investment. Most companies are too “top heavy” with senior management; they funnel customers into a maze of …


The Sky Is Falling. I Think. Maybe Tomorrow.

Look, I understand political outrage. I grok unhappiness when your candidate loses an election everyone merely assumed she’d win (which is exactly why she lost). I think Trump’s behavior, most of the time, is appalling. But I’d like to see people put as much time, energy, and investment into volunteerism, good deeds, business improvement, and family relationships as they do into their daily apoplexy over Trump. The election is over, there are no impeachable offenses (and petitions can’t impeach, only …



Work This Out

Does running in the morning improve physical fitness but reduce mental acuity? Immediately after a blizzard, with roads partially cleared but no sidewalks cleared, I find an occasional runner, outfitted in ski gear, and plodding along at a slow trot in heavy shoes. One slip and they’re under the wheels of a passing car. This isn’t fitness, it’s obsession, an addiction to adhering to a discipline despite the adverse consequences on a particular day. 2. In the club level lounge …


Do Me A Favor, Get A Life

Here’s what I received today from someone I don’t know: “I have a favor to ask. I (sic) trying to get my book on the Amazon bestseller list. Today only, I am selling a digital Kindle copy of my book XXXXXXXXX  for only 99¢. I am very proud of my book, I hope you can help me. Also, if you know others who would like a great business book, please forward this to them.” This is what it’s come to: gaming …



Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/13/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Some universities now include warnings about “micro-aggressions” in their orientation programs for new students. As I understand it, that’s an unintended sleight, such as saying “you guys” as a plural, when some people present are female. Of course, every new anchor and on-air reporter I’ve seen says “Back to you guys” every broadcast. You’re not supposed to ask Asian students to help with your math homework if you don’t know them, nor ask a tall person if he or she …


Invisible Influence

We are explicitly and implicitly influenced daily, continually. A Times headline in response to the North Korean ballistic missile test: “Trump shows uncharacteristic restraint.” If it were Obama, the headline would have read: “Obama shows admirable restraint.” (Extrapolate this: “Obama walks on water!” “Trump can’t swim!” over the exact same supernatural event!) My guest at my April Consulting Convention is Jonah Berger, the author of Invisible Influence. It’s not so much “fake” news, it’s “editorial” news that we’re facing.


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

Barrington Middle School in Rhode Island has decided to cease publishing honor students’ names, another example of the great surrender to making everyone feel good instead of honoring excellence. Everyone is talking about the novel 1984 today, but it’s best exemplified by the politically correct language and actions of those who want to homogenize us. Did Hillary Clinton receive a “participation award”? I’m bored by every theater company proving its chops by doing Shakespeare—I know the ending. But Festival Ballet …