Archive | 2011

Persuading People to Keep Appointments

Have you ever made dinner reservations at multiple restaurants and then forgotten to cancel the ones that you didn’t use? While multiple reservations might be convenient for diners, no-shows cost restaurants thousands of dollars per month. The most common way to reduce these losses is to take customers’ credit card information at the time of…

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No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. In English, this is a popular phrase that suggests you can’t get something for nothing.  (Readers, is there a similar saying in other languages?)  Like many common phrases, its origin is shrouded in mystery. At the heart of the phrase, the concept of a “free lunch” refers…

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Orchestrator or Autocrat?

This weekend’s Wall Street Journal contained an article by former Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz called “Life Lessons from a Car Guy.”  Lutz believes that different kinds of organizations require different kinds of leaders.  A loosely-connected conglomerate like General Electric requires a leader with vision and portfolio management skills; investing/divesting lines of business,…

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Spell Cymotrichous To Win

At the 84th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, Sukanya Roy, a 14-year-old from northeastern Pennsylvania, correctly spelled cymotrichous to win the top prize over 274 other spellers after 20 rounds. Cymotrichous? I had no idea that word existed, let alone what it meant. Cymotrichous, which means having wavy hair, isn’t even recognized by the spell checker in Microsoft…

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Be Brief

In a blog and twitter infected world, you would think that we have all learned to be brief. A never-ending parade of 50 slide ppt decks, run-on emails, and hour-plus lectures reminds me that we haven’t. It’s hard to get to the point. If you’re guilty of long emails or verbose marketing copy, remember the…

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