Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Yeah, You Are Getting Screwed.

Believe it or not, there was a time when the CEO earned only 39 times more than the average worker

Believe it or not, there was a time when the CEO earned only 39 times more than the average worker
U.S. CEO pay in relation to the average worker's wage
Source: Thomas Piketty, and Emanuel Saez. 2007. “Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-2002.” In Anthony B. Atkinson, and Thomas Piketty, Top Incomes Over the Twentieth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How to Get Ahead: Lie, Cheat and Steal | LinkedIn

How to Get Ahead: Lie, Cheat and Steal | LinkedIn: How to Get Ahead: Lie, Cheat and Steal

For nearly 20 years, I've been listening to various theories about why companies have been so clueless in serving the needs of their customers... and why it often is so frustrating to work for a large, "successful" company.
I'd like to suggest that the #1 cause of both problems is the same: companies often empower the employees who - in countless small ways - lie, cheat and steal.
Reward takers, ignore givers?
To use Wharton professor Adam Grant's estimates, about 35% of the business workforce is comprised of takers. These are folks who are out for their own interest. Among their numbers are leaders who are driven more by ego than empathy. Some are self-promoters who are quick to take credit for the work of others, who twist reality to suit their interests, and who care about power more than people.
Yes, I'm being brutally honest here.
The vast majority of "customer-focused" initiatives reek of a taker mindset. Most of them are nothing more than thinly-veiled efforts to boost sales and/or automate marketing. They do not think of customers' interests first. They do not give major new benefits or services to customers. They seek to take more money out of people's wallets.
In short, these initiatives were designed by takers, and if you are a giver it is enormously frustrating to deal with the hypocrisy that surrounds you: your company says it wants to help customers, but its policies and procedures are designed to take from customers, not give to them.
Is "lie, cheat and steal" too strong?
The taking mentality creates systems that make it so hard for customers to stand up for themselves that it's easy for companies to "legally" lie, cheat and steal from them. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers superb book, Extreme Trust, details many such examples, even if their language is a bit more polite than mine.
One such example is charging customers monthly for services they haven't used in a very long time. (That's a big shoutout to Yahoo and Stamps.com.) It would be easy for such companies to proactively do the right thing - contact each customer and ask if everything is alright - but it is more profitable to remain silent and collect the cash.
Likewise, is it stealing when you take credit for the best ideas of your subordinates? Yep. Is it cheating when you blame subordinates for your own misjudgments? Yep.
Putting takers in charge of customer experience is like asking a bear to guard your honey.
The solution: hire, promote and empower givers
If you really, truly want to grow your company faster than your competitors, hire, promote and empower givers.
Givers are people who think of other people before they think of themselves. They are the people who should be designing and running customer-focused initiatives. They are the folks who have the vision and ability to grow revenues, because they are focused on the needs of others.
Help us test this theory
Adam Grant, Dane Barnes and myself are working on an online assessment that will allow companies to not only identify honest-to-goodness givers, but also evaluate other critical skills necessary for the owners of successful customer-based initiatives. These are qualities such as motivation, initiative, and a growth mindset.
The assessments won't be ready until later this summer, but we're reserving spots for companies who wish to be part of our beta test of this assessment program (it's free, in return for your feedback.) Let me know if your company would like to participate, and I'll be glad to provide you with details. My contact information is at the end of this quick summary:
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Bruce Kasanoff is co-author with Michael Hinshaw of Smart Customers, Stupid Companies. Bruce also has free ebook guides available at Kasanoff.com.

To see more of Bruce's articles on LinkedIn, click the "follow" button below, or follow@NowPossible on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How My Job Saved Me — Medium

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” — Robert Frost

Before
you roll your eyes at the idealistic nature of this title, know this
about me – I’m not one of those people who skips dinner to stay at the
office until 9:30 PM. I’m not the guy who won’t shut up about his job in
between sips of Guinness at Friday’s Happy Hour.
But do I love my job? Absolutely. Not only is my job itself extremely fulfilling, but I believe in what I’m doing, and more importantly, the people with whom I’m doing it with.
But
I also love having my toes in the sand and ending up with a spotty
sunburn. I love seeking out awful horror movies on Netflix and laughing
at their absurdity. I enjoy splitting a six pack with a close friend on
the back porch, with nothing but Duane Allman’s slide guitar to color
the gaps between our fits of laughter.
In other words, I’m just like you. And that’s how this story begins.“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” — Robert Frost
Before
you roll your eyes at the idealistic nature of this title, know this
about me – I’m not one of those people who skips dinner to stay at the
office until 9:30 PM. I’m not the guy who won’t shut up about his job in
between sips of Guinness at Friday’s Happy Hour.
But do I love my job? Absolutely. Not only is my job itself extremely fulfilling, but I believe in what I’m doing, and more importantly, the people with whom I’m doing it with.
But
I also love having my toes in the sand and ending up with a spotty
sunburn. I love seeking out awful horror movies on Netflix and laughing
at their absurdity. I enjoy splitting a six pack with a close friend on
the back porch, with nothing but Duane Allman’s slide guitar to color
the gaps between our fits of laughter.
In other words, I’m just like you. And that’s how this story begins.


How My Job Saved Me — Medium: How My Job Saved Me
My struggle with loss, identity, and finding purpose again.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Don't Let Collection Agencies Bully You

Guess What?
That Collection Agency Cannot Do What they say they Can Do.

1. They cannot contact you at “inconvenient” hours.
2. You can write a letter and tell them to stop contacting you at all (unless they are going to file a lawsuit and, remember, these guys aren’t making enough off you to pay a lawyer. They’re just going to sell the debt down to the nickle-on-the-dollar guys.)
3 A debt collector cannot call your place of work and, if you have an attorney, they can only contact the attorney.
4. Did they send you a registered “validation letter” confirming that you owe the money within 5 days of first contacting you? Bet you they didn’t—neither of the bozos who contacted me ever did.
5. They absolutely CANNOT use loud or threatening language, keep calling you day and night, threaten to publicize your debt, threaten to tell your employer. Basically, all those things that they are already doing are against the law. If you simply indicate that you are aware of your rights; they lose most of their power to terrify.
In the end, all they can really do is put a black mark on your credit rating. You can survive that.
Now I’ve been in both situations—where I knew I didn’t owe the money and where I was fairly sure that I did owe the money. Even when I paid, the bastards still put a record in the credit record so there’s really no hurry. If you can do it, I’d say pay them the money. If you really can’t, use the law to make them go away.
By the way, sometimes they say they’re a law firm—heck, they may even be a law firm. It doesn’t make any difference.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Woody Guthrie’s Illustrated List of Thirty-Three New Year’s Resolutions for 1942

This illustrated list of thirty-three New Year’s resolutions that Woody Guthrie made for 1942 really gives insight into what drove this brilliant and prolific singer, songwriter and activist. Of the thirty-three resolutions, here are a few of the more notable ones.
  • 1. Work more and better
  • 3. Wash teeth if any
  • 7. Drink scant if any
  • 16. Learn people better
  • 20. Dream good
  • 25. Play and sing good
  • 27. Help win war – beat fascism
  • 31. Love everybody
  • 33. Wake up and fight
Woody Guthrie's 1942 Resolutions

Woody Guthrie’s Illustrated List of Thirty-Three New Year’s Resolutions for 1942:

Woody Guthrie’s Illustrated List of Thirty-Three New Year’s Resolutions for 1942