Top of Mind Thursday Memo Archive

Top of Mind Thursday November 2, 2017: This Service Just Doesn’t Fly

Top of Mind Thursday

I spent an extra 5 hours in O’Hare airport in Chicago last week on my return to San Francisco. Well, actually, since I experienced 10 30-minute delays, it felt like an extra 50 hours in the airport.

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This started with a finicky backup system on the original aircraft. We boarded the plane and were told we could fly without the backup. Then we were told we needed the system, but it would just be a few minutes to fix. Then we had to deplane because we needed a new plane. Then we had to wait for the plane, then for the crew, then for the rest of the crew, then for a takeoff slot…next thing you know you’ve got a real 5 hour delay.

Problems happen and safety should always be paramount. But here’s what I don’t get. One would presume that, like other major airlines, United has at least their fair share of experience in these situations. Why then does it seem like the customer service people on the ground have no idea what’s going on or how long it will take to resolve? Nor did they understand what to do with a jumbo jet-load of delayed passengers. Food vouchers were only handed out after passengers started complaining.

As tempting as it may be to fixate on United, this problem is not limited to them, or even to airlines. Why do mortgage brokers assign you a staff member who appears to have never closed a mortgage before? Why do some cities in the snowbelt appear totally flummoxed when a dusting of snow hits the ground?

Flight delays due to equipment issues are endemic to the airline industry. So why not have a plan in place to deal with this effectively and efficiently before 300 irritable people converge on a hapless customer service agent? If you normally expect snow in the winter, why not have contingency plans ready in advance of when the storm hits?

We obviously can’t forecast all eventualities. But the more we can help customers when known issues surface, the more they’ll trust us and remain loyal in the future.

Acting like you’ve never seen a problem before may be the catalyst that convinces your customers to fly the coop.

Nearly 85% of Puerto Rico still does not have electricity. Help us get insulin coolers to diabetics in San Juan. Learn more.

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Top of Mind Thursday October 26, 2017: Making Great Music Together

Top of Mind Thursday

This week I am in Bennington, Vermont for my annual week of piano immersion at Sonata piano camp.

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One of the highlights of camp has become our annual Friday evening duet concert. All week, we work on ensemble pieces–two people on one piano, one person on each of two pianos, piano and another instrument (such as flute), and sometimes even four people on two pianos at once.

What becomes readily apparent is that even the best soloists need to adjust their playing style to work effectively in a group setting. No one wants to hear two people dueling to play the loudest, fastest or most difficult music. Instead, ensemble performance requires knowing where your partner needs to lead, when you need to step back, and how the two (or more) of you will work effectively together.

These skills are critical in all kind of other environments. We’ve seen sports teams where the best individual player isn’t able to work effectively with the rest of the team–and, as a result, another team walks away with the championship.

What are you doing in your organization to ensure your best performers understand how to harmonize effectively together? Only then can you create the kind of sweet music that brings about success.

Nearly 85% of Puerto Rico still does not have electricity. Help us get insulin coolers to diabetics in San Juan. Learn more.

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linda@popky.com
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Top of Mind Thursday October 19, 2017: If You See Something, Say Something

Top of Mind Thursday

Perhaps the most alarming thing about the tidal wave of allegations against famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is how most people in the know were not shocked.

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Weinstein was fired from his eponymous production company after a string of women came forward and accused him of sexual assault or rape. This was followed by scores of Hollywood insiders, including many famous actors, saying they had been accosted or knew someone who was. Even Weinstein’s brother said this didn’t surprise him. So if so many people knew about this why wasn’t anything said till now?

Probably because many of these women didn’t feel like they would be believed. They felt when it came down to their word vs. that of a man with the power to make or break their careers, they had better go away quietly and not cause trouble. It appears Weinstein’s firm actually budgeted hush money to make these problems go away. And the problem is not unique to Weinstein, or to Hollywood.

Most of us know better than to ignore a strange lump or chest pains–we know the consequences to our health can be dire if we don’t take action. Yet, how many times in our organizations do we turn away from a sign that something is not quite right? How often do we choose not to pay attention to that we really don’t want to see?

The security people tell us, if you see something, say something. That’s a value we need to instill in our organizations as well–for the good of all of us.

Nearly 85% of Puerto Rico still does not have electricity. Help us get insulin coolers to diabetics in San Juan. Learn more.

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Contact me to find out how to get heard above the noise


Marketing Above the NoiseCheck out the new video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

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Limited time to devote to marketing? Check out our weekly Just a Moment for Marketing videos. They only take a minute.

Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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Top of Mind Thursday October 12, 2017: Up in Smoke

Top of Mind Thursday

It started Sunday evening with a few sparks. High winds knocked down power poles, and the live wires sparked brush fires. Within a few hours, whole swatches of land were on fire.

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Four days later, the firestorms in California’s wine country continue to rage unchecked. More than 25 people are dead, over 3000 structures destroyed, nearly 200,000 acres burned, tens of thousands of people displaced, and whole towns evacuated.

Over 8000 firefighters are battling the worst fire in California history. The combination of ongoing high winds and low humidity, combined with very dry conditions, makes this an incredibly frustrating task for first responders.

In just an instant, a lifetime worth of possessions can be destroyed. Yet, the people who have escaped are thankful they escaped with their lives, and that their families are safe.

Thousands of others are on watch–waiting to see if they’ll need to leave their homes. They, too, know that the possessions they leave behind can be replaced if necessary, but lives cannot.

The outpouring of response from the community to this latest in a string of disasters has been amazing. Belongings may have gone up in smoke, but concern for our fellow man remains strong. And once the fires are out, we will all rebound together.

Nearly 85% of Puerto Rico still does not have electricity. Help us get insulin coolers to diabetics in San Juan. Learn more.

To subscribe, please click here.

Contact me to find out how to get heard above the noise


Marketing Above the NoiseCheck out the new video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Download a FREE chapter now.

What are people saying?

Buy now.


Limited time to devote to marketing? Check out our weekly Just a Moment for Marketing videos. They only take a minute.

Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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