Recently a colleague of mine shared with me an observation that his supervisor is not replying anything to “hi” when passed by in the corridor. Does not replying to greeting, or even not weaving a hand sound familiar you?
If so, you’d better change it quickly and consider spotting people’s presence when they are within the reach of your sight and your views might cross. Say “hi” when you are close enough to hear each other without shouting and exchange the handshakes in case you stop to talk for a moment.
The “ritual” of exchanging handshakes has a profound meaning deriving from ancient times. Showing you have nothing in your hand meant your intentions are sincere and you do not plan to harm the person you are meeting with. This is also the first thing you do when you start building relations. So remember to keep your drink in the left hand at the business cocktails to have your right one free, dry, and ready to introduce yourself. It shows that you are a professional.
I hope I don’t need to even remind, that you handshake should always be firm and confident. If you started talking and the heated conversation keeps rolling as new people are joining, remember to make an eye contact with them at least, so they don’t feel ignored.
The first rule of being a gentleman or a lady is that no matter what happens to you, you should never your problems someone else’s problems. You should preserve an upbeat and unshakeable attitude at any time.
So what do you do when asked “how are you”? You reply politely and ask about the same the person, who asked you about it. If constantly replying “I’m fine” sounds boring for you, make yourself a challenge to answer the question differently each time. There are so many adjectives and phrases expressing great attitude that you can impress others with.
So instead of saying “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?”, consider going with I’m:
So how are you?
Basing on own experience of participating in Professional MBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at WU Executive Academy in Vienna, Austria I can openly admit that it is internalization of students and professors and unconventional teaching methods, which make MBA studies unique experience. What you shortly observes is that you substantially change the way you analyse business, makes decisions and your network of contacts starts growing exponentially.
On pretty critical path of “mastering creative destruction” at WU Executive Academy I learned that real business strategies are definitely not what companies communicate at their websites, that if you don’t have data enable to decide clearly, it’s the skill of building “well-educated guesses”, which is essential, that story-telling communication with allegories and metaphors is the way to win minds and heards of your audience and make speeches convincing and memorable. Fortunately you can learn here these a lot.
Being considered as experienced in running various business initiatives and doing management consulting for a profession, or having graduated from PhD studies in Economics before I joined MBA programme I can frankly say that joining WU Executive Academy was one of the best development decisions I made ever and kind of investment which pays out immediate dividend.
Should you like to know more about the programme reach out directly to programme managers or to me.
As entrepreneur you know the meaning of “make it a December to remember” and after the final sprint you think about New Year’s eve as of good moment to drink champagne and dance on the table.
They say that it is also a good moment for making some plans, resolutions and wishing they come true, therefore you may find below list useful and inspiring:
1) Studying new ways to make your first sale, e.g. by taking comprehensive course in ecommerce and learning from start-up specialising groups at LinkedIn.
2) Participating in challenges for entrepreneurs, not only for financial rewards and fame, but collaboration with gother reat minds, who think alike, greater good of society and innovations looked for.
3) Gathering professional feedback on your business to make it more agile, viable and ready for market take-up. Consider reaching to Venture Capitalists in area of your focus and ask for business opinion. An example of VC focused on life science innovations is Black Pearls.
4) Boosting your business by co-financing from EU funds available at national level in EU member countries and additionally under SME Instrument planned for 2015 under Horizon 2020.
Consider inspiring your local government to create challenges for entrepreneurs like you from their area. Why? Because it’s impactful, good for people and image of authorities as well.
Think how to make your place healthier, greener, good to live and make business. Take a look at Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2015 for inspiration.
Remember Zohan Dvirr, who was considered one of the most effective Mosad agents’, but in the long run really wanted to… cut people’s hair and make them silky-smooth?
If not, then you’d better catch up with “Don’t Mess with the Zohan”, as the story brings pretty to what is nowadays called customer’s experience. And it is customer’s experience making them buying from you, not competitors, especially when you offer goods or services which seem to be common. Besides Adam Sandler is a great actor and another movie not to miss with him on your entrepreneurial journey is “Mr Deeds”. Especially if you are somewhere between speed of the processor and poetry of everyday life 😉 But hey, the post should be about customer experience, right?
Customer experience and customer centricity lies at heart of IT corporates like Cisco, which five-point scale of measuring customer satisfaction after all customer-facing operations in company is considered as business classic. Annual salary bonus at Cisco depends on answer their Clients to the question “What is your overall satisfaction with Cisco”, and all employees know that non regarding their position at the company, in order to maximize this indicator, they have to cooperate putting Client first and not leaving the issue raised by Clients for themselves.
The results had been analysed by Experience Engineering team consisting of futurologists, psychologists and culture anthropologists to discover what exactly their Clients see and feel at every stage of car renting. Experience Engineering team analysed body language, tone of voice and language when the Clients went emotional, they performed in-depth interviews with Clients and employees of Avis looking for unarticulated needs and inspirations referring to even smallest details. They cut process of renting car into 100 pieces, which elements had been thoroughly analysed and enriched.
As a result of this undertaking Avis installed monitors informing about arrivals and departure of the planes in places of car rentals, as it was discovered that car renting process might be stressful due to lack of access to this information. In Avis car rental spots special doors adjusted to nonstandard language of their Clients had been constructed. Avis also set up “communication centres” in the airports to enable Clients to work with their laptops, do phone calls, use Xerox machines or just sit and wait.
The most important thing resulted for Client’s experience audit was creation of service omitting car rental spot at the airport enabling to go straight away to the place where the car is parked. Experience auditors found out the need to change the Client’s outfit from formal too casual after the journey and Client’s going to the airport toilet’s to do this. Using this observation Avis installed changing rooms in their car rental spots making preparation to the journey painless and friendly. Above that they introduced option to rent a car with chauffeur and installed in their cars a system automatically calling for rescue once the airbags in the car had opened or remote diagnostics of the car.
You may think that incorporating large company practices into growth of your emerging organization offering minimum viable products is not very business-wise approach. But what if there are large, profitable companies, active on highly competitive markets, which actually work like start-ups?
I assume that as business enthusiast you understand the concept of supply and demand ;-), so in terms of tickets pricing, Southwest uses dynamic pricing, meaning that when demands for “products” increases they charge more for them, and when the demand is low they sell “products” almost for nothing . It keeps their revenue stream flowing and they offer other revenue-generating opportunities once they catch the “product user”.
They avoid crowded airports, so their “distribution channels” are smaller, cheaper and not congested ones and enabling to “release the product” on time.
In 2009 their received almost 100 000 resumes and employed less than 100, what makes them more prestigious than the Ivy League. Herb Kelleher in attached video explains what they value in the people they look for most, and whom by all means they would not employ 😉
What they also practice besides rewarding going the extra mile to provide great customer service is celebration of the successes. There are 100 000 photographs in company headquarters’ in Dallas commemorating company’s moments of joy.
This is the moment you spotted it refers not only to you, but also about the people thinking with you together how you are going to win. As Jim Collins,author of “Good to great”, once spotted, gathering right people to the bus is far more important than knowing where the bus should go. Therefore reaching out and inviting people, who will make your dreams come true seems pretty important, right ?
Let’s be serious and agree that people who offer joining new business ventures on volunteer basis may not have enough experience you look for. But hey, who said that some kind of experience is important at all?
Whitehead once said that whole European philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato. Having studied hundreds of books on contemporary management one may came to a conclusion that they consist of footnotes to Peter Drucker, and his intellectual output encapsulated in “Management” from 1970’s.
Drucker is not only father of remark that business has two, and only two basic functions: marketing and innovation, but also other essential principles on managing teams and delivering work in productive way, which is the first test of management’s competence.
Drucker gives a lot of clues on how to make wise decision. Becoming part of top management you’ll constantly need to ask yourself the question “What is our business, and what is not?”.
Drucker describes illuminating decision making stories, incl. those when Sloan Jr said at one of GM top committees “Gentlemen I take we are all in complete agreement to the decisions here – then I propose we postpone further discussion on this matter until our next meeting, to give ourselves time to develop disagreement or perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about”.
Drucker will explain you that spirit of performance in a human organization is in fact an act of creation of energy, as company’s energy output is larger than the sum of efforts put in, and that the purpose of organization is to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Are you pitching large caps or just wondering how to make the first contact? Proposing value to large company is easier, if you start thinking like you’re in one and crack down its internal structure. To do this nothing is better than “Bag the Elephant !” by Steve Kaplan.
“The Business Model Innovation Factory” rules of Saul Kaplan:
1. Catalyze something bigger than yourself