Vulgarity at the core

corrupthear-no-evil_see-rudy-life-blogspot.com_I have had some very interesting conversations with a diverse group of people regarding what is most needed to restore Barbados to its former economic and social dynamism. Interesting, because many telling points emerged despite the fact that the insights came from parties who were of diverse socio-economic and political perspectives.

I am very saddened by the continued politicization of Barbados’ Continue reading

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The ultimate marketing strategy

barbadosIt’s that season again. The time when the air is filled with discussions related to tourism. These include the concessions granted to Sandals, the partial reopening of Almond Resort, projections on the trend in visitor arrivals, the likelihood of the Four Seasons revival and how our tourism marketing approach needs to change.

I am particularly intrigued by the Continue reading

Recognizing emotional needs

 

3d green tick

Communication is the lubricant in everything we seek to achieve. Successful communication is characterized by collaboration on mutually beneficial outcomes. Leadership, service excellence and human development are key endeavours that are currently struggling with communication breakdowns.
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Service Economy

moverFor the past two weeks I have been moving my residence and business offices. While I had hoped to minimize business disruptions, almost every “worst case scenario” happened. As a precaution, I provided LIME with more than a month’s notice, regularly checked on the progress and intentionally avoided the end of the month bulge. When the transfer of service date arrived, I was left with a complete loss of land line and broadband services. Continue reading

Telephone tag: global style

MP900387823Not that long ago, telephone conversations, email messages, fax messages, couriered packages and of course, “snail mail” were the principal means of communications in business. I remember being impressed when a major transnational client placed me on their intranet. Even then, the most important meetings took place face-to-face, which involved extensive travel on everyone’s part. Continue reading

A promise made is a debt unpaid

Stressed Over MoneyIn our work, our firm relies heavily upon clients and colleagues to contribute to achieving successful outcomes. Ideally, these contributions will meet agreed qualitative standards and be delivered on time. Unfortunately, there are more instances of unfulfilled promises than ones that are kept. Ironically, the ones in the greatest and most frequent deficits are service providers.

The promise “debtors” are often persons of high integrity who are fully capable of what is required. Certainly, when I am a “promise debtor”, I am filled with remorse and apologies. Nevertheless, the damage is done, especially when I become a bottleneck in the delivery of our famed “Supreme Service”. I know full well that reliability and responsiveness rank highest on the customer’s definition of quality but there are times that I miss.

In the “old days” of time and motion study, workers did mundane, repetitive work so it was easy to define productivity. Then, a good worker was someone who came to work every day, on time and responded promptly to the factory whistle that signalled times to start and finish. The assembly line kept moving. When I see awards given today for good attendance and long service, it represents a bygone era.

With the ratios of work becoming increasingly focused on the application of knowledge, there are more unpredictable elements in today’s work. Even tasks we might have performed frequently have nuances brought on by new information, which can delay our response times. Is it realistic to expect every promise to be kept? Where is the line drawn when we become unreliable and non-responsive?

We don’t expect perfect performance from professional athletes, doctors, politicians or any other group that earns our respect. We do get concerned if there is a high margin of error for pilots, surgeons, architects and others where public safety is involved and back this up with requirements for additional safeguards. Personal resilience, flexibility and a commitment to continuous learning have now become our assurance of authenticity.

How much of the decline in public trust can be attributed to an erosion of our commitment to bring our best game every time? I have seen many instances where the least productive employees provide orientation to new employees. They say them “Here’s how we do things around here; if you want to get along, you will work at the pace we set”. This always results in a de facto performance standard that is lower than that for organizational success.

What if we are now entering a period where there are no more employees and everyone was a freelancer? In truth, the demands of the marketplace are causing more functions to be outsourced and contracts are more specific about what is to be delivered and for how much.  With this trend, what does your “best game” entail?

Somehow the word “professional” comes to mind. Typically, we associate this term with fields that have prescribed educational and ethical criteria such as medicine, law etc. but it also serves to differentiate from amateurs.

Therefore, I submit that all of us should promise to be professionals in whatever we do. This means that we will strive to be reliable, responsive in our efforts to achieve goals that are mutually beneficial. We will recognize “stumbles” as learning opportunities for self-improvement and actively seek to improve.

God bless.

I have a dream

Why Martin Luther King, Jr. did NOT say “I have a plan.”

In the past week, I have been reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march on Washington DC; the one where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. I won’t claim to have been present though I was at the time, in Boston, labouring in the community development trenches. I was more inspired by the speech than the march itself. I took pieces of it with me every day and used it to start conversations and to encourage others to believe in what it described.

During the week, I encountered an article (posted on my Facebook page and LinkedIn company page) written by Daniel Burrus, entitled “Why Martin Luther King, Jr. did NOT say “I have a plan.Continue reading

Trust me?

Finance Minister Chris Sinckler delivered the Budget and Estimates to an anxious nation wondering what drastic measures could be effectively applied to turn things around?

Key phrases such as “institute a sequence of managed structural adjustments and reforms”, “until global growth and recovery is evident, an 18-month programme of fiscal adjustments and specific growth initiatives will have to be implemented to pull our economy around, stabilize and grow the international reserves and create new jobs through major private and public investment” and finally, the theme is of BGDS 2013-2020 is “Adjustment, Reform, Recovery and Sustainability”. Continue reading

Just enough to get by

 

In these times of economic distress, we hear many calls for: “all hands on deck”, “shoulders to the wheel”, “bring your A game” and exhortations of that order. Everyone is being asked to dig deep and think of the common good. Why is this necessary? Continue reading

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Observe – Describe – Disclose

An antidote to ass/u/me (making an ass out of you and me).

MP900382971The problem with making assumptions is that it leads to errors and mistakes. Far too many people make assumptions and the result of this is that people are not in the habit of observing.

They get into talking about what should have happened, what did not happen, what they would have done, and what went wrong. They have low skills in observing what actually did happen. Continue reading