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11 posts from May 2014

Consider the wages of nice

If you're very clever, being nice is a chore. However, when you need to influence people--it's a requirement. I think Penelope has the right approach in the article below: tap into your own good intentions and generosity. It's hard work but it's not less important work. Tq140513sd

Penelope Trunk Careers: 5 Ways to Make People Think You're Nice, 2014-Apr-28 by Penelope Trunk

it turns out that creativity is to McDonalds salad as kindness is to the Big Mac: people always tell market researcher they want a salad at Mc Donald’s, but once they are at the counter and actually ordering food, they order a Big Mac.

Which is to say that I am figuring out new ways to make people think I’m nice, since creative by itself isn’t cutting it.

Why culture is a by-product of action

One of the best ways to control ourselves is to establish processes which can become habits. But in a company, these processes can become deadly. People follow them without grasping their meaning. So leaders have to find meaningful ways to display their values by taking actions, over and over again. Do your actions display your values?

Only Dead Fish: Don't f**k Up the Culture, 2014 by Neil Perkin Tq140512cd

Culture, [Brian Chesky] says, is "simply a shared way of doing something with passion...By upholding our core values in everything we do. Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times." It is far more than lots of well-meaning words that then are not lived or evident in the environment in which people work every day, which somehow seems to happen so often. It's a difference summed up nicely in this quote (via Undercurrent) from Jason Fried:

"You don’t create a culture. Culture happens. It’s the by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, and you give them the freedom to share, then sharing will be built into your culture. If you reward trust then trust will be built into your culture.

Get ready to dig up customer memories

In order to better understand your favorite customers, you have to get at the values which drove their purchase decision. For political or Tq140509dd self-image reasons, people may not automatically share or even really know the true reason. But a good interviewer can dig down during an interview. This article gives you an entire procedure and tips on pitfalls to avoid.

I remember when innovation guru Clay Christensen first introduced this idea, and it's still used heavily for product development. But marketing communications needs to dig it, too. You cannot convince prospects if you don't really understand what convinced the customers you already have.

Medium: A Script to Kickstart Your Jobs to Be Done Interview, 2014-Apr-14 by Alan Klement

There is, however, something else going on when we start with questions like the ones above… besides asking easy, non threatening questions, our goal is to help our customers, not only remember, but to get them used to the feeling of remembering.

Most of our memories are made and recalled though association between places, people, things and our senses. If I asked you what the weather was like yesterday, you may struggle to remember; however, if I asked you what clothes you were wearing, you might remember how your feet got really wet because during your walk to work, it unexpectedly rained and your feet got wet because you were wearing sneakers...

Negotiating like you hate it

Nothing is more annoying than trying to reach an agreement with someone who enjoys negotiating. Even if you do, please dial it down and take these minimal steps to protect your interest, from Whitney Johnson: Tq140501yd

  • Signal that you are transacting
  • Sit on both sides of the table
  • Power up
  • Disentangle negotiation from updates
  • Excise emotion
  • Look to the horizon

HBR Blogs: 6 Tips for Reluctant Negotiators, 2014-Apr-24 by Whitney Johnson

It’s also a little scary to think too far into the future; that requires a long game and the confidence that you actually can navigate to that future. But understanding where you want to end up is critical, because it gives you power to own your career and to be seen as a strong visionary who knows what she wants and how to get it.