Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/30/12

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

April 30, 2012—Issue #136 This week’s focus point: Never assume that one instance of poor service represents the entire organization or its leadership. If you were the owner, wouldn’t you want to know about poor performance at the customer level? Inform leadership and allow them the opportunity to improve and make restitution. At a restaurant last evening I felt I owed it to the owner to inform her of a really poor and rude server. When a CEO told me …


How To Avoid Being Blown Out Of An Office

Quite a few consultants find themselves out in the cold after seeing a buyer without even knowing what happened Here are some situations to be aware of and avoid or deal with more productively. • Your first meeting with the buyer has others present. Try to insist that the first meeting be one-on-one. Some buyers feel the need to “posture” in front of subordinates, and some subordinates see their role as undermining ideas “not invented here.” Tell the buyer that …


Winner of WOLFoundation 2011 Essay Competition

I serve on the board of the WOLFoundation, a global non-profit focusing on environmental issues. We recently judged entrants for the 2011 essay competition, and this is the winning piece. An Orange County Almanac: adventures in suburban ecology By Jason M. Brown, Utah Valley University Abandon nature all ye who enter here! My non-stop flight from New York to LAX is arriving and the crackle-soft voice of the flight attendant shifts me in my window seat. Through the small window …


Chase Scores

Last week I noticed two small charges on my Chase MasterCard bill which didn’t look right. Sure enough, they were “pond scum” charges: Internet sites that trick you into a subscription, hoping to charge thousands of people a small sum for months until they catch on. (My wife sent someone a greeting card and now was charged $3.99 a month for the “benefit” do doing it again whenever she pleased. The Chase system was awful. Dozens of prompts intended to …




Gaining More Referrals

• Once a quarter, contact everyone on your list, remind them of your value proposition, and ask for introductions to those who could profit from it. • Provide a description of your ideal referral, e.g., heads a profit center, manages a sales force, owns a small business, chief operating officer of health care organization, etc. That will increase the quality of suggestions. • Call referrals on the phone, never send an email. Cite the referral source in your conversation or …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/23/12

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

April 23, 2012—Issue #135 This week’s focus point: There is no substitute for judgment and enthusiasm. You can’t teach them and it’s difficult to coach people to improve in these areas. Clients are often struggling to “force” more enthusiasm (“We need a motivational program”) or to “improve” judgment (“Let’s train them in decision making”). Yet this is more of a “buy” and not “make” decision. Most significant leadership jobs require both, and if these traits aren’t present they are unlikely …