What makes your customers safe?

We have attorneys, insurance, OSHA, safety regulations, procedures, safety gear, training, etc to help us protect our business, while keeping our staff members & customers safe. We know that in some markets, someone still might get hurt despite all our preparation, training, safety equipment, etc. If you run a hotel with a pool, offer zip […]

When customer service consumes a business

Recently a software business came to me looking for some help with sales emails. During the initial discussion, they hinted at being a bit overloaded on support. While explaining the big picture situation that provoked their request about the emails, they revealed some details about support tying up development. This was also keeping them from […]

The scary thing about artificial intelligence

The phrase “artificial intelligence” might bring politicians to your mind’s eye, but today, we’re talking about the real thing. Maybe you own an Alexa (or five of them), but I’m guessing many of you don’t have one. As with most “new” technologies, you’ve probably seen a number of articles that seem bent on inspiring fear […]

Ever asked WHY you’ve always done it that way?

In the programming world, there’s a term called “technical debt”. Technical debt is refers to work created by existing systems, processes and methods. You might call it maintenance, upkeep, re-work, refactoring, re-design, etc. The term “technical debt” is typically used when discussing programming, but as a friend reminded me a week or so ago – […]

When problem solving, look for simple solutions

Problem solving discussions on news broadcasts, in newspaper op-eds, on social media, and in political speeches have a consistent thread: “We can fix it by changing (one thing).” Most problems are not particularly simple. Societal and economic problems are incredibly complex, even in a small community. Winning a game of chess against Bobby Fischer or IBM’s […]

Why would you want remote employees?

A friend who owns a manufacturing business recently decided to hire a remote software developer – his first remote employee. He asked if I had some advice for managing remote employees as he knows I’ve done so. In fact, I’ve managed remote team members in some way, shape or form since 1998. While the folks I […]

Planning got you wrapped around the axle?

It’s that time of year: Time to assess the year as a whole, work-wise, and figure out how to go forward with what you learned. Yes… it’s time to finish next year’s planning. Yes, finish it. If you haven’t started, carve out some time over the next two weeks. I know, the holidays are here […]

What does freedom mean to business people?

When you ask business owners why they started their company, you frequently hear these words: Freedom and opportunity. Opportunity tends to have a narrow definition. Someone sees potential in a market and goes after it. Opportunity may also mean the ability to make more than they could make at a job. Freedom’s meaning seems to […]

Quality management’s slow ROI

We talk about numbers, metrics, & dashboards from time to time. One of the more difficult things to measure, much less manage, is quality. Is there a single measure? Some might suggest Net Promoter Score as an ideal single measure. NPS ranges from -100 to 100. It represents the willingness of a company’s customers to […]

Went to the gym once. Didn’t work.

You’ve probably heard about things that didn’t work in someone else’s business. The story probably included an assertion that whatever isn’t working for someone else also wouldn’t so won’t work in yours. The tool itself is generally irrelevant. More often than not, the problem is a lack of consistency. Execution isn’t easy. We do the […]