Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Leaf Campaign

Have you seen the new ad campaign from Nissan? You can find the videos on YouTube and a Facebook page is home base – check it out. What I like most about it is that it asks a very simple question and does it in a way that I think makes an excellent business point with which to start the week.

The campaign raises the question “What if everything ran on gasoline?”  The absurdity of the things depicted in the videos (I like the gas-powered alarm clock myself) gets you thinking about your assumptions.  This, as you  know if you’re a regular here, is one of my favorite themes.  Why do cars have to run on gasoline?  Why do we do the things we do in business (or our own lives for that matter) as we’ve always done them?

This is going to be a brief post to start the week but that single question – why do we do things as we always have – is probably the most important one each of us can ask on a regular basis.  Challenging assumptions has always been the catalyst to big advances  – man can’t fly, there’s no cure for polio, etc.  Hopefully that’s what we’re going to continue to do together in this space.

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Managing And Grilling

Beef and Corn on a Charcoal BBQ grill

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Back to Friday and so back to food. When we go on the annual golf trip, my group likes to cook. There are plenty of restaurants in Myrtle Beach. The food they serve is another matter (with, of course, a couple of exceptions). So we cook; sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes out on a grill.
This year, we found ourselves in a situation where we had to share a large grill with another group. Actually, I don’t know that I’d call them a group – they were four young guys from Canada who had ventured south to play some golf.  They’d purchased themselves some steaks and when we found them they were trying to figure out how to cook them.  Clueless would have been an upgrade – they were totally lost.  Naturally, we insisted on cooking them for them, excellent international hosts that we are (and no one wanted to see them starve) and in the process teach them how to do it for themselves the next time.  Of course, there was a business point that came to mind as well.  So how about a quick grilling discussion for the holiday weekend and maybe that point too?

The keys in my mind to grilling a great steak are preparation, the proper environment, lots of attention, and doing nothing.  Yep, just like business and I’ll explain that.  The preparation is to season the meat before you cook it.  I generally will apply salt 15-30 minutes ahead and make sure the meat is at room temp before cooking.  You need to set yourself up to succeed with the right environment.  The environment I like is a two zone fire – one really hot area to sear and one area a bit less hot to do the grilling.  Lots of attention is obvious – things happen quickly on a hot fire so you can’t walk away and have a beer unless you want to eat charcoal.  But  doing nothing is important too.  You can’t keep flipping the meat or inserting a thermometer to see if it’s done.  You need to trust your preparation and that you’ve provided a good environment.  You must be attentive but balance that with giving things enough space for them to come together.

Doesn’t that sound like a pretty good management philosophy too?  It sure does to me.  Enjoy your holiday!

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Personal SEO

Ensure Website Visibility With Search Engine O...

Image by hongxing128 via Flickr

You might have read or heard about Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short.  While it’s not the focus of my consulting practice, it is one of the areas in which I offer advice.  In a nutshell, it’s about getting found.  I mean, when one thinks about how much STUFF is out there on the interwebs, climbing to the top of the results pages people get when they search for various information is kind of important.  After all, when was the last time you made it to page 3  of the search results?

So that’s kind of the answer to why one might want to practice SEO.  But I think some basic SEO principles apply to you as an individual and not just to your digital life.  Let’s see if you’re with me. Continue reading

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Where Ya Been?

Those of you who subscribe to this blog feed may have noticed a rare period of quiet over the last couple of days.  Yes, I took a little bit of battery recharge time and didn’t post.  As it turned out, the lack of connectivity (I don’t travel with a wireless hot spot) and focus on things other than business (I try to practice what I preach) for a bit caused the gap.  But I’m back now.  Miss me?

I was away with the golf group about which I’ve written before.  As they do each year, everyone’s thoughts turned to the following year’s trip.  I thought we might try something different next year and rent a house rather than a series of condos.  So I was happy to see an email this morning from one of the agencies I’ve used before to rent a place.  Let’s plan next year with this year’s concerns fresh in our minds! What happened next – not so much. Continue reading

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Peruvian Food

I was dining last night with some of the boys and the subject of eating Peruvian food came up.  Of course, since today is Friday, I thought this would be a perfect topic for Foodie Friday fun.  It happens to be one of the most diverse cuisines in the world, but, unsurprisingly, my buddies were focused on one element of it in particular.

“Don’t they eat guinea pigs there?” someone asked?  “Yeah, and beef hearts too, right?”  Well, it’s not really material to me what’s considered normal cuisine down Peru way, but the business point that they make just might be and I’d love your input.  Here’s my thinking. Continue reading

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A roll of punched tape

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When I was in high school, I learned BASIC programming.  We connected to a mainframe computer someplace by using a phone coupler and dialing in.  There was no monitor; every interaction with the computer was typed on a long sheet of paper.  Programs were written and submitted via punch-tape.  I know – ancient history.  But some of what I learned is applicable today and I want to discuss on bit of logic coders use all the time which has business implications (or might even be a best-practice): the “if-then” statement. Continue reading

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Stinky Cologne

Perfume bottle and stopper. Europe, 18th century.

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We were having dinner, my friends and I, when one of them came out with a rather profound statement I’d like to share with you.  Now, you don’t know my friend Spooge but trust me: he’s not given to profound statements, even after some very good wine.  However, the situation damn near forced him to dig deeply, and, as you’ll see, he did.

We were chatting about a fellow he knew who had behaved badly.  This guy had used some long-term personal relationships to act on behalf of people who were not really on the up and up.  His acquaintance had done so because he was doing what he could to ingratiate himself with these low-lifes with an eye toward employment.  In the process of doing so, he alienated a couple of guys – my friends – who saw right through him.  Intrigued? Continue reading

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