If the GM Board of Directors unanimously approved a decision on the first vote, the company's legendary Chairman, Alfred Sloan, would never accept the decision. Sloan believed that a board comprised of intelligent, monumentally successful captains of industry could never instantly agree on anything. He required opposing views, believing better quality decisions result from honest disagreement
How many times have you been in a negotiation when the first offer is patently absurd? You know the offer is unreasonable and so does the party you are negotiating with. The goal is to reach common ground, find a middle that will make both parties happy. But reaching a compromise based on an initial offer that is ridiculous is never really fair, reports Black Swan Group in a recent blog post.
Big data seems to be all the rage. And how can you use big data to help your business? By ignoring it, at least initially, writes statistician Cassie Kozyrkov in a recent HBR blog. She advises that a key to more effective decision making is to frame the context of the decision before looking at the data. Doing so helps to avoid confirmation bias and the Ikea effect. Confirmation bias influences decision making by using data to justify what you want to believe or “to selectively confirm the choice you have already made in your heart.” The Ikea effect is overvaluing something because you have put a lot of effort into it. It’s the difference between good work and hard work. If you have invested time, resources and intellectual capital in a new venture, new line new strategy development, etc. you tend to fall in love with the effort and the potential for a successful outcome. Because of your investment, your judgment becomes clouded, and that generally results in bad decision making.
Some walk the walk and others just talk the talk. When someone makes an effort to visit your showroom, what type of experience should they expect? What can you do to build trust and become an invaluable resource to your customers and prospects? Everyone claims that they offer great customer service. Great customer service is no longer a competitive advantage. To most of your clients, great customer service is an expectation.
How many times have you sat through a meeting and asked, “Why am I here?” In the meetings that you host, is there a possibility that your attendees ask the same question? In a fascinating and highly informative new book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya Parker takes meeting design to an entirely new and more effective level.
Parker advises that most people often misunderstand what makes a group connect and a gathering matter, and she encourages anyone planning a meeting to ask these questions:
My daughter spent her second semester of her junior year attending the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Sydney has been on my bucket list for many years. We took my daughter's semester abroad as an opportunity to visit the great land down under. Sydney did not disappoint. The city, its sights, attractions and citizens are fantastic. During our trip, we experienced an extraordinary act of customer service.
A half marathon was slated for the Sunday we were scheduled to depart Sydney. The roads around our hotel would be closed until 5 p.m. Our flight from Sydney on the day of the race was scheduled to depart at 10:20 a.m.
Recently, someone made a plane reservation for me on American Airlines. The ticket was under the name of Tom Cohn. When I noticed this the day before I was scheduled to leave, I had a scary thought. I do not have any identification that shows my first name as Tom. My license, global entry card and passport reflect the name my parents gave me, which is Thomas. Was that a big deal? I'm not sure. Certainly, I did not want to get into an argument with a representative of the Transportation Safety Administration. I logged into the American Airlines website to see what I could do to avoid a potential problem. The website advised me that my reservation could not be modified online. I was instructed to call reservations.
If you have a sales team, they need to be managed, and that responsibility generally is assigned to your showroom manager. And, did you know that half of all sales managers hired by the 100 largest manufacturing companies do not last more than three years. That statistic reveals that for large companies with dedicated HR teams and well-defined recruitment processes indicates one of two issues: effective sales managers are difficult to hire, or the hiring process for sales managers is broken or maybe a combination of both.
Most kitchen and bath showrooms don’t have dedicated HR teams that are responsible for attracting, vetting and retaining best-in-class talent. The hiring process is typically delegated to the owner. The key to hiring a showroom or sales manager involves the following:
Experiences matter. Momentum, an experiential marketing agency, recently surveyed 5,000 consumers around the world and concluded that people value experiences more than they do products. Consumer expectations have changed significantly in the last five years. In 2014, consumers wanted brands to deliver experiences that provided them with something useful, that made their lives easier and delivered a healthy dose of happiness. Today, those experiential requirements remain, but consumer priorities are shifting. Now, consumers desire experiences that provide connection.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." Dickens iconic introduction to A Tale of Two Cities frequently resonates in family businesses. Most business leaders confront the best and worst of times, and how both ends of the spectrum are dealt with often determines success or failure. In family businesses, conflict is taken up several notches, and that conflict can destroy personal and professional relationships. That's one of the reasons most family businesses do not survive to the third generation.
Josh Baron teaches a class in family business conflict at Columbia Business School. He relates to his students that both too much and too little conflict have equally adverse effects on a family resulting in limited growth, poor decision making, competitive disadvantages and in the worst case the sale, split or demise of the company.