Over breakfast this Saturday, my wife and I discussed various home improvement projects for our new place. Very early into the conversation, we realized how little we knew about the house. What’s under the carpet? Can the toilet be moved easily? How long will it take to remove the wallpaper?
Answers that can only be found inside the space – and tearing up the carpet.
One of the principles of Kaizen is to be in the environment you’re attempting to improve.
Yet, many conversations I have with clients, especially early-stage meetings, take place outside of the environment in question. Many teams feel pressure to nail down times, processes, and schedules before their first step into the space.
I highly recommend Jeffrey Veen’s Seven Steps to Better Presentations
My personal favorites:
- #3 Don’t Apologize.
Apologizing for your own performance so directly and swiftly weakens.
- #4 Start Strong and #5 End Strong.
I was in a sales presentation recently where the main presenter apologized 5 times in as many minutes. From the audience’s perspective – it’s painful, frustrating, and transforms what could be an engaging conversation into an unfortunate waste of time.
As a follow-up to my earlier post on lunches, I submit this announcement from Duluth, MN’s mayor Herb Bergson.
Bergson plans to visit one classroom each Friday and take a tourist to lunch that day. He also wants to meet with different small-business owners each Friday to see how the city can help them grow.
A very public effort to see his city through its citizen’s eyes. Kudos. If you’re planning a long weekend in Duluth, give Mr. Bergson a call.
In my experience observing organizational behavior, especially start-ups, what happens at lunch is a key indicator of an org’s health. If people go out, for a walk, and talk about non-work stuff – Congrats.
If they brown-bag it and eat alone at their desks – something is very, very wrong
Laurent Bossavit agrees with me (courtesy bBlog). Formally expecting regular lunches with the team is great way to say you care about your org’s health.
I remember one “lunch” I had with a creative director – when I arrived to his darkened, barren office, he was in the corner eating a Hot Pocket off a paper plate. No…he didn’t share. Unhealthy in so many ways.
Finished reading the The Adrian Mole Diaries over the weekend.
Ahhh, to be an oblivious, self-involved teen again. It really took me back. The formal English, as it often does, amplified the humor. Not such a complementary view of Americans, but I could relate to it also.
It took me 2/3 of the book to get involved and wanted more when the last third was over. Worth a visit to the local library.
It troubles me that Adrian Mole isn’t a real person. I can’t call him up and see how he’s doing. That just might be the issue I have with fiction. It’s very difficult to find more information on the imaginary.