Monday, May 31, 2010
Let's go out and have some fun!
Thank someone today who has stood Watch or is standing Watch.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Is your business still using Betamax, why?
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Sarah Needlemann writes about a law in New York state that will most certainly spread to many other jurisdictions.
Business owners should also consider the possibility that they might actually be bullies. One telltale sign: A high turnover rate, says Gary Namie, co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an employee-rights group in Bellingham, Wash. "You're creating a place that reasonable people don't want to stay in," he says. "You've probably focused on whatever it is you make or sell and don't have an incentive to get management skills."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The thalamus region of the brain, the authors noted, is a kind of filter for information before it moves on to the cortex region, which handles understanding and reasoning.
The researchers pointed out that people with highly creative skills have previously been shown to also have a higher likelihood of having mental illness in their family. Creativity itself has also been associated with a modestly higher risk for both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
Only put three items on your to-do-list. I find this entire process immensely satisfying. For starters, a three-item list seems very manageable. Doesn’t matter how busy I am, I know I can accomplish at least those three things.
What’s more, it may sound silly, but drawing a line through a completed task feels really good — much better than clicking a checkbox in Outlook or an online to-do list. And at the end of the day, crumpling up that sheet makes me feel accomplished — even if I have 10 other tasks that didn’t get done.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
"The next biometric identifier will be reading the veins in your hand." Average employees will have their hands scanned to sign in for work.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
- Sorry about the wait.
This is a redundant message that customer services operators are forced to say at the start of a conversation when the customer has been hanging on the phone for too long.
The people saying it aren’t sorry. Nor should we expect them to be — they’re just doing their job, after all.
But, when they open their conversation on a such a false note, it’s hard for the customer to take anything else they say as authentic.
Of course the business is really not sorry because the wait means the business is flooded with business. I agree that in all cases it is not genuine.
- RULE #6:Help the customer build the customer’s own business.
- RULE #7: Think end-of-time friendships not end-of-month totals.
- RULE #8: Define your niche and position yourself as the expert.
- RULE #9: Translate what you offer into the customer’s business results.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
...This week, keep a log of your most inspired ideas, intuitions, and dreams. When something pops for you (an inspired thought, an inkling, a sudden insight) write it down -- even if it doesn't make sense. Then, at the end of the week, read your log.
And the victims of the Bust of 2008-10? They’ll do what the steelworkers and the bankers did as part of the cohorts of 1990-82 and 1980-82: they’ll search extensively for new jobs, retrain, relocate or, if they are over fifty, confront the possibility that they will never work again in their accustomed field, perhaps not work at all. They’ll reduce consumption, explore the social safety net, titrate their savings, move to their second homes or sell them, take part-time jobs on spec, or simply capitulate to a life of leisure sooner and with less income than they expected, and cultivate their interests.
This is an exaggerated version of a fate that, in varying degrees, awaits almost all retirees in Western Europe and North America in the next twenty years, as modest tax increases and benefit cuts become general. We should view with sympathy those who are in the van. A somewhat reduced retirement, sooner or later, will happen to us all.
The reality is that all your employees or vendors are better at some things than others. A lot of your personal success comes from recognizing what people are good at and letting them do it. The problem of course is that your myopic because you have a relationship, be it with a vendor or employee based on them performing a specific function. Before you discard them entirely perhaps it would be beneficial to give them other duties.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The association plans to announce Friday, at its annual convention in Chicago, a website and a menu of insurance plans in Pennsylvania and Colorado and then expand into California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and several other states within a year.
"This is a business issue for the restaurant industry," said Dawn Sweeney, chief executive of the influential restaurant group, which represents about 380,000 employers nationwide.
"Because of the narrow profit margins of the restaurant business, it has been an ongoing real challenge for our industry to find affordable [insurance] products they could offer to employees," Sweeney said.
Sweeney, who began the push to create an insurance partnership more than two years ago, said the association's members had identified healthcare as a top issue of concern.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
About 60% of CEOs polled cited creativity as the most important leadership quality, compared with 52% for integrity and 35% for global thinking. Creative leaders are also more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise and revenue models, and they are 81% more likely to rate innovation as a "crucial capability."
The pilot restaurant is run by a nonprofit foundation. If it can sustain itself financially, Panera will expand the model around the country within months. It all depends on whether customers will abide by the motto that hangs above the deli counter: "Take what you need, leave your fair share."
Panera hopes to open a similar location in every community where it operates. Other nonprofits have opened community kitchens, where customers set the price, and the idea has spread among food enthusiasts and philanthropists. But Panera brings new scale to the idea — its community restaurants will use the company's distribution system and have access to its national food suppliers.
I totally applaud the effort
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The second is ‘the nutrition transition’: generations that once lived on grains, pulses and legumes have been replaced by more prosperous people with a taste for meat and dairy. Crops like maize which once fed many of us directly now feed fewer of us indirectly, via a costly diversion from which they emerge in the value-added form of meat. Global production of food – all food – will have to increase by 50 per cent over the next 20 years to cater for two billion extra people and cope with the rising demand for meat.
Whether it's because of a restaurant's style of food or the lack of a liquor license, more Bay Area restaurants are investing time and energy in creating unusual liquor-free drinks to serve their patrons.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
It turns out that Shakespeare was really onto something when he imagined Lady Macbeth trying to clean her conscience by rubbing invisible bloodstains from her hands. A few years ago, scientists asked people to describe a past unethical act. If people were then given a chance to clean their hands, they later expressed less guilt and shame than people who hadn't cleansed.
This finding fascinated Spike W. S. Lee, a psychology researcher at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He wondered if hand washing could restore more than just a sense of moral purity. After all, "cleanliness is next to godliness," but people also often talk about "starting over with a clean slate."
"Maybe there is a broader phenomenon here," says Lee. "Anything from the past, any kind of negative emotional experiences, might be washed away."
How do you as a small entrepreneur handle the ride? Clearly you have no control over the events and it does impact your business?
Keep calm and carry on!
This pattern continues into other areas of life. How often, for example do you silently negotiate in conversations about who speaks when? Issues of power, fairness and need are resolved through action rather than explicit discussion.
As a general persuasion point this is worthy of reflection. If you can consciously navigate what are normally subconscious negotiations then you can become a lot more successful at changing minds
Moderated by RCA Immediate Past President Harry Crane (Kraft Foods, Inc.) and joined by influential panelists including Robert Okura (The Cheesecake Factory) and Rick Tramonto (Tru Restaurant), this highly anticipated session will feature a notable panel of industry professionals each having value-engineered menus at operations ranging from QSR’s to fine dining. They will share their savvy approach to Culinology®, the successful blending of culinary arts and food science.
All NRA Show attendees are invited to attend this educational session, taking place on Saturday, May 22 from noon to 1:30 p.m., room S403a, McCormick Place , Chicago .
Executive Chef Culinary Resources & Strategy, Kraft Foods, Inc.
Executive Chef, Applebee's Services
VP of Culinary Development/Corporate Executive Chef, The Cheesecake Factory
Manager Product Development/Research Chef, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
Director of Food and Beverage Innovation, Chili's Bar and Grill
Executive Chef/Partner, Tru Restaurant
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Others that have actively competed for the strongest beer title include Dogfish Head in Delaware and the Boston Beer Co., whose Utopias is also one of the most expensive beers, at more than $150 retail.
Most mass-produced American beers, from Budweiser to Samuel Adams Boston Lager, rarely top 5% alcohol by volume (ABV). A typical Belgian ale, by contrast, runs closer to 8% or 9%, which can be accomplished using traditional brewing techniques. Even barleywine-style beers stick in the vicinity of 11%, well shy of most Chardonnays.
So, if these extreme concoctions are so rare Joe Six-Pack will never taste them, what's all the fuss?
Experimentation plays a key role in the beer industry, says Greg Koch, CEO of Escondido's Stone Brewing Co., one of the nation's largest craft beer producers.
"It's definitely an attention-grabber," Koch says about the high alcohol level. "But it demonstrates what's possible in the world of beer. We like anything that shows people the diversity in beer."
It takes extreme measures — and temperatures — to brew a beer as strong as liquor.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Stealth upsell is a failed strategy that only angers your customers. Yes it will increase check average in the very very short run however it has a long term detrimental effect on your business. Why am I continually running into this strategy?
Give it up entrepreneurs, the strategy sucks!
Mix that with the service charge / tip strategy and you have the ingredients for a grand experiment
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The five trends include
1 Bigger, better, harder
3 Green credentials and unconsumption
4 In the know and skills
They close with this tidbit.
Because man’s vanity, ego, his yearning to be recognized, seen, admired, heard, envied and lusted after knows no boundaries, there will always be new ways to help him/her stand out from the herd, as long as you keep a close eye on societal changes that lead to shifts in what constitutes status.
- Develop a better understanding of who (and how) your customers are trying to impress. If you find your brand is still mainly focusing on BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER, but your customers aren't, then you obviously and urgently need to start exploring the rest of the STATUSPHERE.
- If you already actively serve a diverse crowd of status seekers, figure out how you can help them to better show off their new status symbols or better tell their status stories. While they're used extensively in the BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER realm, elements like showcasing, visibility, and story ingredients are still often overlooked in the GENEROSITY, GREEN, IN THE KNOW & SKILLS, and CONNECTIVITY realms.
Monday, May 3, 2010
The science of economic analysis has taken a leap forward with the discovery of a new, highly accurate economic indicator: The Nordstrom Shoe Index.
Economists were intrigued to find that statistics on consumers' attitudes toward the economy coincided with the actions of a single consumer in Chicago. Taking a closer look, they found that they could track consumer confidence and its resulting influence on the nation's economy simply by following this consumer's interactions with the shoe department at Nordstrom.
- Greater self-awareness. Executives want managers who understand the impact they have on the performance of others.
- Development of more practical skills. Today’s managers should come equipped to lead teams, run meetings, deliver effective presentaions and give performance feedback.
- Understanding the big picture. Modern organizations are complex organisms, and leaders, to be effective, must understand the context of how decisions are made. It’s often better to find a good solution that can be executed easily rather than the ‘right’ solution that would be disruptive to implement.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Sixty eight percent of clients who leave do so because they feel unappreciated, unimportant, and taken for granted.
Remarkable. So while you are working on the quality of your product, your pricing, and performance, give some thought to your customer service.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Greg Burns' article expounds of the youthquake taking place,
For years, technology gurus have predicted a revolution in how Americans connect, but it never seemed to come as fast as they expected. In mobile wireless, everything from long service contracts to spotty infrastructure and the slow pace of smart-phone adoption confounded them.
The iPhone's debut in 2007 coincided with less visible advances driven by mobile messaging. The new iPad, fitting between smart phones and laptops, adds to the momentum.
"We have the right devices, the right networks and the right applications," said Roger Entner, senior vice president of research and insights at the Nielsen Co. "It's finally happening on a massive, massive scale."
It's a youthquake. At the end of last year, the average wireless subscriber sent fewer than three texts for every phone call, while teens age 13-17 sent almost 18 texts for every call.