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From Strategic Plan to Execution – The Grand Canyon of Business Gaps

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strategic, work together

Have you ever noticed the similarity between strategic planning and a dental visit?  Both fall in the category of “must do” (or for some - “should do”), and both activities are strongly disliked due to a very normal human instinct called pain avoidance.  For many leaders, planning means pain – which is unfortunate given the very high return on investment that is possible when planning is done well.  Why is the experience painful? (A question we like to ask new clients about their previous strategic planning experiences.)  “Boring”, “Uncomfortable drawn out process”, and (the real kicker) “No impact/outcomes as a result of two days in a boardroom.”

Conventional Wisdom: Truly Wise or Dated Advice?

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“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” - “The customer is always right.”
-  “Lowest price wins!”

We’ve all heard the tried and true adages that govern our business environment.  These knowledge nuggets have been around for decades, and continue to be quite widely accepted as “truth.”  Yet, the business environment we experience today bears very little - if any - resemblance to that of the previous millennium when these insights were initially shared. 


Customer Experience and Customer Loyalty – $B Dollar Insights from Oracle and Sprint

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“Customer experience (CX), customer loyalty… honestly Lesley I cannot keep track of the buzz phrases.  Isn’t this just customer satisfaction presented with different language?”  This was a question posed to me recently from the CEO of a growing government contracting firm who was genuinely convinced that the management consulting practitioners had created yet another “paradigm” to capture the essence of what we already know.  Fair enough – there is no shortage of old ideas dressed up as new insights when it comes to business advice!

Exceeding Expectations - Giving Too Much?

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loyalty road

“Here is a simple but powerful rule … always give people more than they expect to get.”  -Nelson Boswell

First Hear to Be Understood

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listening

“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them”  – Albert Einstein

One Good Question is Worth a Thousand Half Baked Answers

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answers not questions

It was roughly two years ago when a highly intelligent, and successful prospective CEO client of ours slammed his papers on the boardroom table and pronounced “I cannot lose one more client to the competition”.  Imagine our surprise, given the only question we had asked at this early point in a preliminary meeting was very simply this: “What has been critical to your success and growth over the last few years?”  Naturally, questions raced through our heads: Were we having two entirely separate conversations?  Had we lost him to an unrelated train of thought?  It can be a challenging moment for a consultant, when it appears your prospect has left the station, so to speak, without you. 

When Objections Give You an Advantage

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wall as obstacle

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”  -Michael Jordan

Networking: Your Best Self-Marketing Tool

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networking

This was written for and first published by JustinBradley in their 10/24/12 Newsletter.

Satisfaction Guaranteed – So What?

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customer satisfaction or loyalty

Did you know it’s time to throw out the old notion that having satisfied customers is the path to a successful business?

To the Moon (High-Performance Cultures)

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To the moon team performance

In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy stated that he wanted to send a man to the moon and bring him back safely by the end of the decade; a pretty lofty goal. Senator George Smathers from Florida agreed with the “lofty goal” part. So, before voting to secure funds for the initiative, he wanted to make sure he made the right decision. He visited Cape Canaveral to do a bit of detective work on his own. After much time, observation, questioning and exploration he still had not made a decision. 

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