In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

Every morning I go to my website and click on the menu button that says “Discover Alan.” But my introspection never improves. Everyone tries to spell my name “Allan.” We were poor. My parents couldn’t afford two “l”s. The early bird may catch the worm, but it’s the early worm that gets caught. Has anyone bothered to think about this from the worm’s view? Somehow “We have prime rib tonight” is a lot less pretentious than “Chef will be preparing….” …


The Platitudinous

Which of the following are actual quotes from famous authors, statesmen, or philosophers? (Answer far at the bottom.) To love one’s country demands the love of diversity. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. Animals can be ruthless, but no one considers them to be criminals. Repent no more, you’re excusing the deed. The sea can’t be a woman, it is not sufficiently ruthless. We breathe the same air but do not exhale …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

Baseball fans: If my dog brings me his leash at the door, would that be called an “intentional walk”?   Am I crazy, or does this election seem like it belongs in Honduras, or San Marino, or Atlantis?   If I sign all the bank forms, but not the form indicating I’ve been given and have signed all the other forms, what would happen? Is that like the drunk who said, “I didn’t walk in here and I’m not leaving”? …


When in Rome….

• I’m waiting for the elevator in The Hassler Hotel on the fourth floor, going up to the lounge on the seventh. It arrives with an all-too-typical American man: pot belly, tee-shirt, raggedy shorts, flip flops. With him is his daughter, about 12, who says as the door opens, “We’re going UP!” as if I’ve stopped it while trying to go down. “Thanks for the information,” I respond, “I’m going up.” “It stops at every floor,” she whines over and …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

• If Global Entry can whisk people through immigration in 60 seconds, why is it that TSA pre-check can’t simply process people without searching them at all? • Not everything was better in the “old days” (medical care, highway safety, pollution) but some things were, and not simply because it was the “old days” (civility, appropriate dress, a family dinner table). • I realize we have “revolutions” in music, but the Beatles frightened people because of their long hair and …


The HR Non-Revolution

This is from someone named Ben Whitter on Linkedin: “The never-ending debate about the future of Human Resources took another major twist as Airbnb, a company valued at $25.5 billion dollars based in the shared economy space, recently announced that they are redefining their HR function in terms of what it is and what it does with the appointment of a new Global Head of Employee Experience to oversee and connect everything to do with their ‘workplace as an experience’ vision, which …


Business Basics

Some things to bear in mind: • The next time you hear a human resources person ask for a result rather than a deliverable, check your blood alcohol level. • The average article posted on LinkedIn is titled something like this: “Six Reasons Why You Can’t Follow the Normal Six Reasons to Run Meetings.” • Culture consists of those beliefs which govern behavior. Culture will not change if the beliefs do not change. (Ergo, “lip service.”) • No ethical person …


TED: Terribly Erratic Discussions

I follow no one on Twitter. I don’t choose to learn or get my news that way, but I do provide what I consider value daily to the 7,500 people who read my Tweets. Some people are upset that I don’t reciprocate with followers, but they must have a Twitter etiquette book I’ve never seen. Besides, when I see someone “following” 20,000 people I simply don’t believe it. And, it’s a nice contrarian touch to follow no one. I think …


High Speed, Low Service

I’ve traveled in first class on the high speed trains in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy. They all go faster than the US Acela, which can reach 186 MPH in theory, but usually only hits about 150 MPH and then only on limited stretches of track. (To give you a comparison, my Bentley is rated at 205 MPH, and let’s just say I know it can go over 150 without breathing hard. It’s faster than the train without traffic.) …


Pick Up the Check

I’ve had people in my workshops order internet in the conference room so they had access and attempt to put it on my bill! I’ve had people who ordered special food—lattes, or eggs—to augment what I was offering, and charge it to me. I had one guy, who thankfully left my community for good when he was ostracized, try to order Louis XIII when I offered after-dinner drinks on one occasion (it goes for $250 a glass). I’ve seen people …