1 very simple question to radically improve performance.

Do not ask who, ask why. Piles have been written about changing culture as the means to improve performance. Most of it misses the point. Learning organisations, teams, mutual obligation, and all the rest, but when it comes down to it, the core is about people wanting...

5 Psychology strategies used to increase sales

Success in sales is not just about getting the other person to like you, and trust you, although that helps. It is about how you employ human psychology. Robert Cialdini articulated 6 rules in his seminal work 'Influence' in 1993, Reciprocity, Social proof, Commitment...

How to understand the answer to a question.

I ask questions for a living. No, I  am not a policeman, journalist, or a head-hunter, all of whom need good questioning skills, but in some regards I am a detective. My job is to see what can be done to improve the performance of businesses, and to do that...

Budgeting: The crappiest time of the year

It is that time of year again, budget time. In most businesses around Australia, at least those that will be around in a year or two, people are wondering where they will find the time to do the budget preparation for the coming fiscal. To make it easier, following...

Consider the moment of Opacity

We are all familiar with the 'lightbulb' moment, that time when suddenly, all seems clear, the idea that has been buried in the depths of your brain, unable to be born, suddenly sees the light. Ever thought of the opposite? The moment of Opacity? That moment when you...

The 70/25/5 rule of business turnarounds

Most of my time is spent working with medium sized manufacturing businesses that for one reason or another, and usually many reasons combined, find themselves struggling. The people running these businesses are often reluctant to spend money on consulting....

Are you solving the customers real problem?

Marketers spend huge amounts of effort and money trying to define the problems they solve for their customers and potential customers. Often they fail simply because they do not understand their customers motivations sufficiently well, or they are overwhelmed by the...

Decision time for manufacturers of ‘disposable’ items.

I have used the term 'disposable' to mean that the consumers investment is low, so purchase risk is limited. Buy one and find it does not deliver, and little is lost. Over the weekend I had a casual conversation with an acquaintance who runs a small business selling...

Why the accepted notion of ‘Brand Loyalty’ is rubbish

Brand loyalty, and one step further, finding those few  users of the brand who will use no other, and demand their networks do the same, is the holy grail of most marketing. It comes up in almost every marketing brief ever written. However, there is almost always a...

4 foundation ideas for business improvement.

Having spent many years involved in one way or another in business improvement, as you may expect, I have some thoughts. Primary amongst them is the dismay I feel when I meet another medium sized business owner  who has had a bunch of expensive Lean or Six Sigma...

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