Self Praise Is No Praise

Joey Barton is a strongly-opinionated English footballer. He is also (in)famous for certain reasons – most recently for getting sent off in the last game of the season between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers. And it wasn’t just the sending off – before leaving the field of play he “embellished” things by kicking a [...]

Those Dreaded Evaluation Forms

Yesterday I facilitated a workshop on market research for a group of farmers seeking to diversify into new businesses related to conventional farming. At the end of the session – we were discussing evaluation forms. One of the participants said “I hate those bloody forms!”. I asked him to continue. Interestingly, he didn’t talk about [...]

Are you available to your customers?

Are you available to your customers? Can they reach you by phone? Can they expect a return call within a reasonable timeframe? Or are you like companies such as Google, Facebook or Twitter who make it notoriously difficult to talk to a human being? (There’s a great article on those companies’ approaches here.) Now if [...]

Ask, Hear, Listen & Act

Do you ask your customers how you’re doing? If not then that might be something for you to think about! Even if you do though ask for their assessment of your company’s performance – do you hear what they’re saying? Or do you ignore what they say, congratulate yourself that you’ve ticked that box and [...]

Monument To The Absence Of Market Research

I was having a coffee recently with a colleague and we got around to talking about the causes of business failure. Obviously the environment is severe – with customers buying less and with credit harder to come by. But another reason for business failure is that some businesses were never viable to begin with. The [...]

Making Life Easy For Customers

This past week or so, as I log into Skype, it’s asking me if I want to upgrade. That’s it – not one iota of context is given! There’s no detail on security concerns that the new version might address. Neither is there any mention of additional benefits that might accrue from the upgrade. But [...]

Good report writing

Earlier this month Adobe published a study that claimed to be a “global benchmark study on attitudes and beliefs about creativity at work, school and home”. It makes interesting and accessible reading – including nice pie charts and bar charts and attractively presented text. You can see it here. The problem is that it’s not [...]

No shirking!

I support Leeds United Football Club. They’re having a mediocre season – currently languishing in 12th position in England’s second tier Championship – 8 points adrift of the playoff positions. In February they fired their manager Simon Grayson when they were in 10th position – 3 points adrift of the playoffs. You can do the [...]

Lukewarm chips and dried-out sausages

We were in a hotel yesterday for lunch – breaking the journey for the kids on a long road-trip to visit my wife’s Aunt. It was shortly after noon – and the carvery lunch had just opened. In typical fashion our two boys chose sausages and chips which were quickly served up. While I waited [...]

I was chatting yesterday with a friend about his plans for the weekend. He was planning to fly early this morning to Liverpool with his wife and two sons to see a soccer game. The game was to be between his and his sons’ favourite football team – Everton FC and West Brom – two [...]

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