Duck Beaks and Empiricism

My son was home for a visit and watched me feed the ducks as we talked. We have cement steps which go down to the pond, and I threw a bucketful of feed down the steps. “Why are you throwing their food on the steps instead of the grass?” he asked. “Because the ducks are like rototillers and the dig up everything when they eat, causing a mess and ruining the grass.” “But their beaks will be hurt by the …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management: Social Security

I had to file some papers with the social security people, and they are in a very nice area, between one of my cigar clubs and the spa where I get my massages. So I planned to hit all three the other afternoon. I was told that the SSA office is only open until 3, and only noon on Wednesdays. (Good hours, right? Imagine McDonald’s or Apple or Ford keeping those hours.) I arrived with a book and my iPhone, …


Don’t Cut Your Client’s Steak

I find consultants assuming they can improve their buyer’s behavior, even though that’s not part of the project. They listen to employees complain about the boss and figure they should “fix” the boss, sort of as a public service. That they have no hard evidence other than schoolyard gossip doesn’t seem to deter them. I once heard a woman who re-entered consulting after achieving an “empty nest” during the day say she was worried, out of force of habit, that …



DASM: The Doctor’s Office (Dumb-Ass Stupid Management)

I had to change an appointment with a very good dermatologist I’ve been seeing once a year for over a decade. Here’s the discussion with the woman at the office: Her: Dr. M’s office. Me: I need to change an appointment, please. Her: Can you hold on a second? Me: Okay, if it’s not too long. TWO Minutes later: Her: Last name? Me: Weiss Her: First name? Me: Alan Her: Date of birth? Me: In this an interrogation? Do you …


Sorry, I’m a PROFESSIONAL Victim

A guy registers for my new Power of Personal Worth program to begin in September. He did this when I had a discount offer a couple of months ago. But his credit card was denied. We sent him a notice and told him he’d have to resubmit. He wrote me two days ago to say the notice was just found in his spam folder, and he’d like to know how to get the original, expired, discounted price. So: He sends …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 8/25/14

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Just as businesses grow through the increase in business, not by cutting expenses (no one ever cut their way to market leadership), if we’re not growing we’re not living. Plateaus erode, due to entropy. We grow and help others to grow by investing. The notion that we should reduce, and cut back, and return to simpler times is as incorrect as it is impossible. We are smart enough, innovative enough, and resourceful enough to avoid the …


Fog

Here on Nantucket, the planes can’t land if it’s excessively foggy, which it often is. Whether a commercial flight, private jet, puddle-jumper, or whatever, the weather is egalitarian in determining if the wheels will meet the runway. There’s no place to divert, you simply go back where you came from and cancel your plans or try again later. There’s a fog surrounding many businesses. Potential customers can’t quite make them out. The lines blur. The benefits aren’t clear. It’s uncertain …



Shadows of Schadenfreude

 Shadows of Schadenfreude (Stuff I Should Probably Feel Bad About But Somehow Don’t)   • I want the kids in the surf who scream like banshees with every wave to get a mouthful of seawater until they stop, and for good measure I want their parents’ food to be stolen by seagulls. • I love it when the moron tailgating me on a city street can’t make it through the light after I do. • It’s rewarding when the cool …