Pathos, Poppies and the Torch

Poppy_day_wallpapers_greetings_wishes_rememberanceday(www.picturespool.blogspot.com)_05

Last month, during the week prior to November 11 (Remembrance Day in the UK; Veterans Day in the US) I watched several documentaries about World War I that included actual films taken on the battlefields. It was impossible for me to view those films without a deep sense of pathos for the soldiers in the trenches.

Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliant Actions, Musings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes Speed Just Slows You Down

Given a choice, most people traveling from Edinburgh, Scotland to London, England would choose to fly. A jet airplane is a more modern form of transportation and it’s certainly faster: 1.5 hours in the air vs. 5 hours on the rails. I chose the train.

Here’s why:

Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliance, Brilliant Actions, Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

The Keys To Scrupulous Customer Service

A scrupulous person is one who pays extreme attention to detail. When I was in high school, I was taught the word scrupulous came from the Latin word scrupulus, a small rough stone or pebble. When we have a pebble stuck in our shoe, it’s difficult not to pay attention to it. We become fixated on that small detail.

Unfortunately, scrupulous customer service, service where every detail is attended to, is a rarity. Many companies attempt to be scrupulous about their service but too often a tiny detail is missed. Then it’s the customer who becomes scrupulous – bothered by a minor detail overlooked by the company.

Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Customer Service, Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creativity Thaws Polar Thinking

On a morning walk, I noticed two similar bumper stickers. The bumper sticker on the top appeared just four parked cars ahead of the bumper sticker on the bottom. The fact that both bumper stickers were black, gold and white was not, in my opinion, a coincidence.

Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliance, Brilliant Actions, Communication, Logical Thinking and Argument, Thinking Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Meers Advertising and the Modern Mad Men of Creative Thinking

Few businesses do what they do as well as Meers Advertising, a stellar and fast growing agency based in Kansas City.

Advertising agencies are under significant pressure today due to mobile computing, social media and better informed and more demanding clients. Rather than “ride out the storm,” Meers decided to host a panel discussion on the topic CreativEvolution.  The topic encompassed what Meers and other Kansas City’s agencies are doing, or could do, to lead the trends in advertising.

Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliance, Brilliant Actions, Communication, Creative Thinking Techniques, Customer Service, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

How to be a Charismatic Leader

Before we delve into the topic of how to be a charismatic leader, think about this for just a moment: why do you want to be a charismatic leader? Serious question – please write down your answer before reading further.

Okay. You’ve decided why you want to be a charismatic leader. Now let’s consider how to be one… Read More »

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliance, Brilliant Actions, Communication, Leadership, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gone to the Dogs as a Copy-Cat – how not to do culture change

A member of a LinkedIn group I belong to posted this question: “can you copy a culture”? The answer is no, and a follow-up question is: “why would you want to?”  You can’t do culture change by copying someone else’s culture.

When we think or talk about the topic of group culture, it’s easy to fall into the logical fallacy of reification. Reification, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, is when we treat an abstraction as if it were real and concrete. We’re considering something theoretical as if it were some thing.

Culture is the name we give to a collection of behaviors. Each behavior originated at a particular place at a particular time for a particular reason. We can’t copy a culture like we can a document nor can we put culture on like an article of clothing. The best we can do is imitate the behaviors that take place within a culture we emulate. But the question remains, why would we want to do that?

A better approach might be to ask: what is it about that particular culture that I would like to emulate and why? Let’s say we want our culture to be like Apple’s. What is it about Apple that we value? Their ability to innovate and delight their customers. The next questions should be: what behaviors do we need to take on, modify or eliminate to enable us to become more innovative? What we should avoid asking is: what do we need to do to be Apple.

We can’t be Apple just like we can’t be another person. We accomplish more of what we value by remaining true to who are. If we embrace behaviors that fit our vision and values we activate a culture of unique brilliance.

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Brilliance, Brilliant Actions, Leadership, Logical Thinking and Argument | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Problem With Philosophy

Actually, the problem isn’t with philosophy – it’s with being a philosophy major. I had the opportunity to do work in Charlotte recently and spotted the bench you see in the picture below:

 

It was a beautiful day in North Carolina and it would have been lovely to have had a seat on that bench and enjoy the weather. Unfortunately, being a philosophy major, I ended up reading and contemplating the words on the bench and never did enjoy sitting on it.

Since the bench was placed there by the UMAR Arts Center, I’m confident the message on the bench was an endorsement for the wonders of art itself. But if we were to take the message as more than a clever promotion, we would have to say that Albert Camus, the French existentialist, would have corrected the message to read as follows: Earth without art is the Absurd. Or we could take a religious point of view (an easy point of view to take in Charlotte, NC) and suggests that since the Earth is God’s creation, the Earth is superior to anything that mere humans could create (such as art). Or perhaps we could argue that humans are a creation of God and therefore whatever humans do is also natural (of Earth). In effect there is no distinction between Earth and art.

You can see that being a philosophy major has its problems. But it does keep me from being bored. I’m afraid, however, it doesn’t always keep me from being boring, eh?

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Musings, Thinking Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

One Thing At A Time – the power of focus


We can be brilliant thinkers: problem solvers, innovators, great communicators. And in a fast changing world, we’re challenged to do all of that. All at once, all the time. Problem is, we can’t.

Michael Michalko, the famous author of Thinker Toys, demonstrates the limits of our thinking in a recent Psychology Today article. As he points out, our brains aren’t designed to multiprocess. But when we’re focused, like the cat pictured above, we can do phenomenal things.

To activate our brilliance, we need to slow down and concentrate on one thing at a time. And you know what? It’s not only a more effective and productive way to work – it’s a better way to live. Be focused. Be brilliant. Enjoy.

 

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish–a cautious tale about customer care

Two blocks from The Idea Loft (the galactic headquarters of Brilliance Activator) you’ll find a handy little grocery store (market). In addition to selling essentials, they prepare sandwiches to order. It’s a great place to go when you need lunch and are short on time.

Recently I ordered a sandwich and the total came to $4.24. I handed the clerk a five dollar bill and a quarter. While the clerk was entering the order on the cash register, I was thinking about what I would do with the penny I’d soon receive. There was a little container near the register that held pennies for customers who were short a cent or two. I figured I’d put my penny in that container.

Then the clerk handed me my change: a one dollar bill. No penny and no explanation. Now I know this sound incredibly petty, but I was really bothered by that. In the great scheme of things a penny isn’t worth much, but it was my penny and what value it had belonged to me, not the grocery.

That tiny failure of customer service left a sour taste in my mouth. And my trips to that market have dwindled.

Why didn’t I question the clerk or say something? I don’t know. But it’s a fact that most dissatisfied customers don’t voice their dissatisfaction. They just stop patronizing the business. They leave and seldom return, often for reasons no more dramatic than my reaction to a missing penny.

Customer care is a delicate matter. As I discussed in my post on Dismal Delivery (Episode Four of The Seven Lemons of Leadership), your organization can provide the best quality product or service possible yet if it’s delivered in a poor or lackadaisical fashion–the quality is forgotten.

In our efforts to improve the bottom line we have to avoid being penny wise and dollar foolish.

Brilliance Activator helps leaders uncork the creative power of their teams to develop products and services that delight customers, increase repeat sales, and improve their profit margins. Receive regular insights and information from Brilliance Activator by subscribing to our free newsletter.
Posted in Customer Service, Musings, Seven Lemons of Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Get Adobe Flash player