29 Jan 2018

Succession Planning: A Threat or a Promise? When the King died the King’s heir would take over and rule. Since the King seldom survived much over 50 in the old days, this was generally a sound plan. The Prince would still be young, strong and, one would hope, clear thinking. If the King had no male issue a right royal barney would break out with the last man standing declaring himself t...

28 Jan 2018

You and your partner are out to dinner at a fine restaurant. The leather-bound 16-page menu arrives with multiple options for hors d’oeuvres, mains and dessert. The wine list is overwhelming. The discussion is dominated for some time by the complexities of choice available until, with some hesitation, decisions are made. The conversation meanders until, after a lengthy wait, the hors d’o...

16 Oct 2017

You don’t need to be a regular churchgoer to often hear one of life’s most sensible maxims: "Do unto others as you would be done by” It is this maxim alone, more than any other that epitomizes the principle of customer service - simply provide the level of service that you yourself would be happy to receive if the roles were reversed. If you can bump it up a notch to the delight facto...

19 Jun 2017

Communication: When I attended boarding school in the early 70’s I’d painstakingly write a weekly letter to my parents, typically 3 pages long with my news. I’d fold it carefully, place it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and make sure it reached the mail bag in time for the weekly mail collection. Five days later my letter would be delivered in Cape Town, 1,000 miles away. I could expe...

15 Apr 2017

A mother asks her teenager to please lay the table. She receives no response. Twenty minutes later it still hasn’t been done. Now what? Was the request heard? Was the teenager busy or just preoccupied? Is he still intending to do it? Mom, herself once a teenager – she reminds herself, ends up setting the table herself. Some time ago there was a request for a proposal from us to conduct ...

14 Apr 2017

Don’t you just love requests for information by email with a name, but without a signature? If you don’t know me personally, at least supply that vital bit of information that identifies beyond a name who you are, who you represent and a choice of contact details including location. Your signature or lack of it determines how seriously I take your enquiry. The less information, I have fo...

13 Apr 2017

Being human we experience a powerful compulsion to retreat from conflict that is not of our own making. Put simply, if it’s not my problem, why should I have to deal with it? Answered simply, there can be many lasting benefits to approaching conflict as an opportunity – rather than as a barrier to peace. Conflict in both our personal our business lives is not only unavoidable, it is ine...

13 Apr 2017

A pool company commissioned an online sales campaign generating fresh leads that were forwarded to their sales team according to area. Leads were allocated to sales folk in their designated areas. However, failure to convert that lead within a month resulted in that lead being re-allocated. The process was that an appointment would be made and the potential customer would be visited. Par...

11 Apr 2017

It’s an established customer service motto that it’s great for business to delight one’s customers. After all, no one raves about “good” anymore because good is the expected norm. In striving for better than good why not go for 100% all the time? There are some contexts in which 100% is entirely possible. For instance many car assembly plants manage to push out hundreds of brand new m...

01 Apr 2017

Here’s the main difference between the written and the spoken word: When you speak, your voice communicates various nuances through tone. Therefore, the spoken word is subject to interpretation much more than the written word. Hence the frequently heard “Well I thought you meant…!” Well, what did I say? Perhaps more important – how did your words come across? The meaning of a sentence ca...