Monthly Archives: September 2007

Most employees dread annual reviews because A) the review session fails to offer them meaningful feedback or a clear path to advancement, or B) they get surprise negative feedback that frightens them, provides justification for no compensation increase, and foreshadows a time of being watched. Most managers dread them because they’re time consuming, managers aren’t sure what positive feedback to give, and they hate giving negative feedback. Continue reading

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A number of articles in the early 2000s – and a book called The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz – have explored the over-abundance of choice across all product categories and the stifling effect too much choice has on consumer decision-making. Many retailers began the process of cutting their SKUs. But until 2005 no quantifiable research had been published on the subject. Then, research was published that demonstrated that, while offering large assortments is costly, reduction in the number of SKUs reduces overall store sales. Continue reading

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If your next-door neighbor advised you to put butter on a raging burn on your child’s hand, you wouldn’t do it. You’d recognize they were suffering from the inability to distinguish an old wive’s tale from good first aid. But what do you do with the business-person who is unable to distinguish between their opinion and good business? How do you make sure that person is not you? Continue reading

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Once the words are written and edited, design the graphics. If you’ve done the hard work, you’re probably in love with your copy. Beware! The role of graphics is to further reduce the need for written or spoken words. If a graphic can convey the ad’s mood or personality better than adjectives, drop the adjectives. If a graphic can clearly and powerfully convey action, you might drop a verb or a directive sentence. If you’re too in love with your words, the graphics won’t be allowed to make their full contribution. Continue reading

Posted in merchandising and marketing | 2 Comments

This practice holds promise for anyone feeling unchallenged or unsatisfied in their present work. We can break free of a rut, reinvigorate a talent, or just find out what they do in that other part of the building. Trying to see things differently can give us back the manager we used to get along with so well, the co-worker we once thought understood us. What the heck – it even lets you keep your same old, comfortable husband and still date that dreamy hunk – without having to go to confession afterwards. Continue reading

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What incredible permission, to stop being so careful with our ideas, our creations, our relationships, our work. We have more confidence in things that have been stress tested. Stress testing them on a regular basis allows us to find their weaknesses. Continue reading

Posted in personal development | 1 Comment

Years ago when I was in advertising, an art director, aware that I was frustrated trying to manage a group of what seemed to be overbred, tightly wound creative types, told me that I had to learn how to “ride the white elephant.” He explained that white elephants were believed to be as royal as kings, and moreover, they knew they were as royal as kings. So you couldn’t manage them like regular elephants, because they would refuse to participate. Continue reading

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When you work really hard every day for success and the universe throws you a bone once in a while, you know you’ve been lucky. You celebrate, you’re grateful . . . and you get right up again in the morning and work hard, because you’re under no illusions that there will be another bone thrown today. Continue reading

Posted in general business | 1 Comment

We have to understand our motives – really understand them – to make good business decisions (well actually, any good decisions). Too often, rationalizing is an unhappy accident that leads to loss of market share, loss of profit margin, loss of jobs, and loss of a business. Unintended consequences are expensive. Continue reading

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How hungry is your heart? If you can’t tolerate going to bed at night with a flutter of anxiety, if you can’t stand the idea of working 80 hours a week and still feeling like you haven’t done enough, if you can’t tolerate the idea of being unsuccessful with this venture, there are other career options for you that would be better than this one. You could buy a franchise. I’d suggest Chik-fil-A if you can get past the screening process. Continue reading

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