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Browsing posts under "Miscellaneous Thoughts"

Interesting Site on HR Issues

I just stumbled onto a very cool site for our industry. It is www.about.com. Actually, I have known about this site (I use it to find out about urban myths), but I didn’t realize what a wealth of information was contained in it on a whole variety of HR topics from leadership to customer service.

Just poking around quickly, I saw an interesting article about the power of laughter.

I also uncovered a lot of interesting information on customer service.

I have bookmarked this site as a resource, and thought you may want to as well!

Posted under Customer Service, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Training Ideas by Stewart on Mar 21, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Desktop Learning vs. Classroom Learning

The newest trend in the training business has been to move instruction to the desktop. There are a lot of compelling reasons to provide learning at the desktop aside from the convenience. The learning is self-paced so it can work with everyone and it doesn’t require complex scheduling.

I also think that there are a number of problems with desktop learning:

  1. Interruptions. Let’s face it, we can have so many interruptions when we’re sitting at our desk. The phone rings or you hear the "bling’ of a new e-mail arriving in your mailbox. Someone comes by your cubicle to chat. You hear a funny joke. It can be both difficult and frustrating for some people to learn while having all these interruptions.
  2. No interaction. Some training topics have more impact when you discuss them with your colleagues. How do you deliver the best service to your customers? What are the unique challenges that your company faces? What really does diversity mean in your organization. How can we do a better job to meet the unique needs of our customers? These tough topics can benefit from a group discussion.
  3. Perception of importance. I am not sure of this, but it seems to me that people may not perceive learning at the desktop to be as important as a training session that is in a classroom. I wonder if desktop learning may be considered something of an afterthought while classroom learning may be viewed as a priority.

So, what to do? I think the best solution is a combination. For high impact training, the classroom may prove to be superior. For ongoing training, "refresher sessions," skills improvement, and other quick updates, the desktop is probably better.

As you approach your organization’s training priorities, you should probably consider using a mix of these different methods.

Posted under Miscellaneous Thoughts by Stewart on Mar 10, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Do "Work" and "Love" go together?

Love Your Customers Picture

I have been thinking about love recently. And not because it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s because we hear people saying the word love more often in the context of work. In the past, if you used words like love at work people would think you were... well, crazy. I first encountered it when I interviewed Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines, he said, "We would rather be a company motivated by love than by fear." Love? It seemed pretty unconventional. But you can’t argue with success.

According to author and Harvard Business School professor John Kotter, of the top 50 airlines in the world, Southwest has been the most successful in both market and financial terms over the last 25 years. It is an impressive record - and one that, according to its founder, is in large part due to... love. Love permeates everything Southwest does. The company is headquartered at Love Field in Dallas. They use a heart in their logo. And they passionately put employees first. They do this because they believe that satisfied, motivated, and energetic employees will deliver outstanding customer service and productivity.

The word love is still somewhat rare in the corporate world, but we are hearing both the word "love" and other non-traditional words more and more. We encountered these non-traditional words when we spoke with Kip Tindell and Garrett Boone, the founders of The Container Store for our PBS special "Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age." We also found it at the HealthWorks Kids Museum. It seems that people who are real innovators and leaders speak in ways that are non-traditional. Most recently, we found this when we went to film at the company Life is good.

Life is good is an apparel company started by two brothers, Bert and John Jacobs. Optimism is the driving force behind this company. The founders firmly believe that you can have fun while running a successful and thriving business. The brothers are motivaed by the the expression "Do what you like. Like what you do." In fact, you see this slogan on a lot of their cloting - and on banners all over the company. And it seems to reflect the sentiment of the people who work at the company, too. When we went to speak with employees we found that they passionately believe they can spread their optimistic message to customers and their vendors. If you want to see some video on Life is good, click here.

So, why are people using this new language to describe the world of work? Maybe it is because executives and managers are finally paying attention to the people side of business. The iconoclasts like Herb Kelleher have always understood that motivated and energized people can make the critical difference with customers. But other managers and executives might finally understand this important lesson as well. That is one of the reasons we were so excited with our new release "Love Your Customers." This program is hosted by John O’Hurley. You may be familiar with him from his performance in Seinfeld (as the cataloger J. Peterman) or from his appearance on "Dancing with the Stars." John uses his signature sense of humor to show that Love can really be used in customer service as well. This new release has fun with the word love, but the message is consistent. You can bring love into customer service. This is particularly relevant when the economy slows down and business gets a little more difficult. Don’t you want customers to rave about you and your company to their friends? Don’t you want them to say, "I LOVE that place!"? If they really love you and your service, then they will remain loyal when times are tough. The result? You can thrive in the good time and even do well when the economy slows down.

So, give LOVE a try...

Posted under Customer Service, Miscellaneous Thoughts, John O’Hurley, John Kotter, Tom Peters by Stewart on Feb 14, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

Welcome to the Enterprise Media blog

For some time, we’ve been talking about creating a Blog - and we have finally done it! We hope we’ll be able to share our insights and observations with you - and tell you what is going on in our industry. We also hope this will be an opportunity for you to share your feedback, ideas and suggestions with us.

We are not sure what topics will come to mind in this blog, but we do hope that we will try to provide you with some fun and useful information. In addition, we hope we will all be able to share some basic information with you regularly.

We will try to use this blog to tell you what is going on in the industry. Over the years, we have found that the top selling training programs track the interests and concerns of our customers (and of business leaders around the world). In the past, we’ve seen customers with training needs focused on change, diversity, ENDA, sexual harassment, and Total Quality Management. Of course, some training topics (like customer service, team building, leadership, and communication) are always in demand. We’ll keep you informed of all these trends.

We will also try to tell you about ways our customers use our programs to train and motivate their employees. In addition, we’ll tell what training technologies are popular. We’ll also share our thoughts about technologies that haven’t really worked (we’ve had our share of those, too!).

On the more fun side, we will try to share what is going on with the production of our training programs. We’ll share the fun things we have encountered as we film at different locations. We will try to give you an inside look at the production of these training programs. If there are fun stories, we’ll share those, too.

As always, we want to thank all of you for being loyal friends and customers. We really love working with you. We enjoy what we do and hope that we can help you make your workplace more productive and more fun!

Posted under Corporate, Miscellaneous Thoughts by Stewart on Feb 13, 2008 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

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