Open your ears and shut your mouth: lessons from social media

Let’s start with an excellent example from Facebook!

Friend 1: Hey everybody, I’m looking for nice silk flowers! Anyone know where I can find some pretty ones?

Stupid answer #1) Real flowers are so much nicer!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! If I ever catch you doing this as an entrepreneur I will slap you!

Or

Friend 2: who knows some good mediation CDs?

Stupid answer #2: google it!

Really? Because I didn’t know you could do that on the Internet!

If you really want to be helpful online please for the love of God take the time to ask yourself the following question. ” Is this useful to the person I am taking the time to answer? Or am I just trying to fill up space?”

If you believe that you are being helpful please do so. However, to do so you must be answering the question and not some variation there of!

These two examples are both people attempting to use social searches to fill a lack of knowledge they have a question to witch they want their friends and social peers advice! They do not want:
-Your criticism for their choices!
-Your advice on how to automate the process!
-A joke at their expense that belittles them!

So as a person and perhaps as an entrepreneur or business person please think, are you listening or just talking, before you type!

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Equal pay for equal work…point by point! Équité salariale

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Pay equity or as they say in French Équité salariale is one of the more interesting things that our government has produced is a way of measuring the value of a category of work for a given business. This system is supposed to be used to eliminate inequality between stereotypically gender biased job types…i.e. secretaries are girls and mechanics are boys. And since boy-work is harder mechanics are paid more…

While sexism is an important issue, the real value of this process is to give management a clear view of how much their employees are making relative to how hard their work is, inside the company!

The boring part here is the mechanics…but here’ a brief explanation.

So the above graph shows the median pay for the enterprise in question which we’re going to call The Most Amazing Stuff Ever Made inc. or MASEM inc.

We distribute points to six sub factors, training required, experience required, intellectual effort, environmental factors, physical risk, physical difficulty, and responcibility. We then weight these sub factors and assign a value to the category of employment.

Looking a the chart we see MASEM has 9 different categories of employment. Five blue, that’ for boys, and four pink, that’s for girls. Then we follow the x-axis and see points between 400-820. That’s a measure of how hard the job is based on a number of sub-factors that we use to assign points to a category.

On the y-axis we measure the money distributed to the different categories after taking into account hourly wages and benefits. Oddly enough there is a rather consistent internal logic in this company as the lowest earner is getting around 16.50/hr for 430 points of value attributed the their work; and the highest earners in the company are making around 33$/hr for their 820 points of work value. But we see there are categories that are over paid for their work and people that are under paid for their work…. Oddly enough it’s the boys that are penalised in this company.

Something for MASEM management to consider the next time they have to consider their pay raises and annual reviews of their employees.

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If it’s profitable it is morally right! My father-in-law said it first!¯\(°_o)/¯

If it’s profitable it is morally right! That is the credo of the modern age! We have become a people who looks to their pocket book to decide on what actions to take. Once upon a time we looked out and decided things based not on reports and figures but on morality and common sense.

This era has passed us by. I remember walking through ikea with my 87 year old grandmother….she never looked at the price she always looked at where it was made! And her purchases went basically from Western Europe out. The closer it was made to the centre the higher her opinion of the quality. People who buy based on quality and not cost are a dying breed.

In his new book entitled “I spend therefore I am“, which I look forward to reading soon, Philippe Roscoe, speaks to the means by which our society has become a society entirely beholden to the pseudo science of economics.

It is our responsibility as entrepreneurs to make decisions that fulfil the triple bottom line and not jus the top one. We are pillars of society the ones that take things on and make them happen! Entrepreneurs make jobs security and families possible. We are what helps to hold the fabric of modern society together. So we must always ask does this help people, our Environnement and does it make our business viable? When all these things align we have a great business going. Then it’s moral.

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Don’t let no stop you, use those objections as a plan!

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I’m going to show you two things here…so wait for it! Patience is good for the soul!

So I’m sitting down in front of one of my favourite clients and he’s coming back to me with the agreed upon check list of things that he had to do.

Just to set the scene for you a bit: this client works in a highly restricted field of activities…lots of regulations and laws controlling the way that their work can or cannot be performed.

Now, together, we hatched a super plan that required the assistance of a key partner to make my client’s product available in a new way. Then my client had to go talk with his key partner to see how they could start this new line of sales!

Back to my client’s check list,

“Aaron I have bad news.” He says ” we can’t do it. They have to have a unique contract and must be paid directly from the buyers account.”

“Okay.” Says me. “Why does that stop us?”

My client looks at me perplexed.

” your partner has just told you how to do what you want.”

“Huh?”

Aren’t we dead in the water you say? Never! There are two things we have going on here one as a leader in your organisation your job is to be unstoppable. You are responsible for creating results. So you have to see what is behind a no. Perhaps we have hit the wall that everyone has hit before, or perhaps, we have proposed something so new that no one knows how to handle it.

So when the rep said “no, it can’t be done.” he was offering the menu how to do what we wanted. By doing the opposite of what he said.

Client needs a unique contract = annex to partner contract with second signature.

Client must pay directly from account = split payment from the buyers account. One for partners fees and one for venders fees. But the total is the same!

So objections are the opposite of what you need to do or they tell you what the client really wants. (I.e. Your rep was rude = be polite; your chairs are uncomfortable = use better chairs; you can’t use one contract = you need two signatures and a unique contract which could be an annex. )

So you can see that solutions are often hidden right in front of us. Don’t take no as failure and most of all don’t take objections as walls without doors, the answers are right there…95% of the time they are easy to I implement as well.

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Avoiding Conflict Management!

People don’t want to deal with conflict in a “healthy society.”

No Need for conflict mangement! HA!

What are the greatest creators of innovation in the world? What things lead to industry and innovation like nothing else? Simple:

-Sex and
-War.

We have the internet thanks to the army and we use it thanks to sex.

Let me illustrate. In the 60s the army wanted to develop a system that would support a node based communications system that would decentralise communications to allow for people to stay in touch even if major centres were destroyed. So we inherited an interconnected network (internet) from the army…big deal.

As the internet became more accessible through universities and centres of education more and more people began to have access…and what better way to gain access to discreet material than anonymously over a digital system…gone we’re the plain brown paper envelops for personal material. It was a fiesta of access, but it was slow…. And so we’ve gotten faster access and even streaming video largely thanks to the investments of the adult entertainment industry….

What’s your point Aaron? Simple, the things that create movement that cause shifts towards progress are not clean. They’re dirty they make messes and they are things we are ashamed of and try and hide; because civilised people don’t talk about these things!

What got me started here was a training that I was quite pleased to attend with a group of social workers. During this session the trainer set out three circles, pictured above, and they asked what do you want to get better at, black beads for like, yellow for need.
Not one person selected conflict management! Not one! Social workers!

Conflict, or the difference of opinions, is the ultimate motivator. If you have a single winning fibre in your body somewhere there is the desire to be right and that desire is one to encourage, in the respect of others. An organisation that is able to encourage healthy competition or well managed conflict is going to be successful. And if they record their successes and their failures, (I’m going to use a bad word here) in other words “statistics” you will see the winning ideas not on the intern but by your clients. Because it has to be your clients that tell you which idea is the best not your team while they look deep inside their own belly buttons.

It is conflict and competition that allows us to try and risk new and better ideas with out this we get a society that plateaus. If you learn how to manage this in cultivating respect and fun we create innovative solutions and improvements from our profound and unending imaginations that need an outlet. The thing is this process isn’t safe…but it is fun!

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Customer Satisfaction By Designing Satisfied Clients

If you like selling things, which you should in business, you want to make a business that is there for clients. One of the things that I know that I do when I set up a business is I set it up for myself. This is a mistake because you are on the other side of the wall. You need to break through the fourth wall and think like your audience. You can’t set up the perfect production process without confiding the people that are going to buy what you have to sell.

So we have to stop and think. We engage in a design process to make our business revolve around their clients and their expectations, or the jobs that those people have to get done. I want to have something to do in the car on the way to work…I’ll buy a milkshake; I want to be respected in my neighbourhood…I’ll buy a lawnmower; I want to be warm when I run…Marino wool undergarments!

It takes an understanding of what our customers want and what they need to be able to accomplish. When we have completely integrated this knowledge into our business model then we have a business that is set to go gangbusters because we are meeting our customers expectations and, today, even exceeding them!

This is the approach of the social age.  By being what your clients want they will talk about you and then they will promote you and you will succeed in a more organic and enduring fashion!

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