How to Scare Away a Customer

How to scare away a customer? Simple. Make mistakes, and waste every opportunity to correct the mistake and surprise the customer. Yes, making mistakes is human, and it can happen. But, obviously, this can harm your customer, generating discontent. However, more often than not, it will not be the error itself that will determine the customer’s frustration, but rather the Organization’s (and the people who represent it) attitude towards this error. Often, the way in which the Organization corrects the error, may even increase customer loyalty, if Continue reading “How to Scare Away a Customer”

The Long Tail Strategy

The Long Tail Strategy

Chris Anderson was born in London, but as a child he moved to the United States, where he graduated in Physics. He started his career as editor of the scientific magazines Nature and Science. In 1994, he started working as an editor for The Economist magazine, where he stayed until 2001, when, then, he started working for Wired magazine, where he stayed until 2012. While he was editor of Wired, he wrote his famous article “The Long Tail” that gave rise to his bestseller The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More, published in 2006.

In summary, the author’s thinking unveils a new Continue reading “The Long Tail Strategy”

Policy for the Use of Smartphones in Organizations

Policy for the Use of Smartphones in Organizations

The use of smartphones became increasingly popular, according to the 29th edition of the Annual Survey of the Use of IT, from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, and coordinated by Prof. Fernando S. Meirelles, the number of smartphones in use in Brazil reached 220 million in May 2018. In addition to the obvious communication facilities, this also brings an alert situation for Organizations, due to possible indiscriminate uses by some people, such as, diversion of attention during meetings, or distractions during working hours caused by unproductive browsing, in addition, of course, to information security problems, arising from the incredible ease of filming and photographing.

Interested and curious about the subject, I searched for some research on smartphone usage policies in Organizations. As I didn’t find them, I decided to do a search myself through the Brazilian plant management portal GestaoIndustrial.com. Responses were obtained from 18/04/2018 to 01/06/2018, totaling 164 respondents. See the following results. Continue reading “Policy for the Use of Smartphones in Organizations”

Generations Over Time

Generations Over Time

“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

George Orwell – British writer, best known for his book “1984”.

Defining Periods

When it comes to defining the period of generations, there is no absolute consensus. For example, the Merrriam-Webster dictionary defines generation Y somewhat loosely, as that of those born between the 1980s and 1990s. The Gallup research institute defines generation Y as that of those born between 1980 and 1996 (reference: Millennial Banking Customers: Two Myths, One Fact), while the global consultancy EY defines the period from 1981 to 1996 (reference: Americas retail report: Redefining loyalty for retail), which is the same period adopted by the Pew Research Center (reference: Defining generations: Where Millennials end and post-Millennials begin). However, another great social and market research consultancy, Australian McCrindle, defined Generation Y as being born between the years 1980 and 1994 (reference: Generations Defined), this period being the one we adopted here, as it represents better the next generation (Z), who was born in the personal computer environment. Continue reading “Generations Over Time”

15 Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview.

15 Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview.The moment of the interview is, without a doubt, a crucial moment, where you have to demonstrate your skills, give confidence to those who interview you, but, at the same time, try to understand the characteristics and peculiarities of the new opportunity. To facilitate this moment, I list, next, 15 questions that can help you understand some of these most important aspects. Continue reading “15 Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview.”

Discipline is Freedom!

Discipline is Freedom!

Renato Russo, lead singer of the Brazilian band Legião Urbana, wrote, in the last verse of the lyrics of the song “Há Tempos”, the following words: “Discipline is freedom, Compassion is strength, Being kind is having courage” – a free translation from the original in Portuguese: Disciplina é liberdade, Compaixão é fortaleza, Ter bondade é ter coragem. Continue reading “Discipline is Freedom!”

The Pygmalion Effect on the Workplace

The Pygmalion Effect and Its Impact on Work

Pygmalion is a character in one of the books of the mythological work Metamorphoses, by the poet of ancient Rome, Ovid. Pygmalion was a king of Cyprus and a sculptor, and, disappointed with women, had decided to be celibate. However, after sculpting a statue of a woman he considered ideal, he fell in love with her, wishing she had life. The goddess Aphrodite then granted his request. In the previous figure, you can see the work of the French artist, Étienne Maurice Falconet, depicting Pigmalyon and the statue.

The Pygmalion effect is the phenomenon in which, a higher expectation in relation to someone’s performance, effectively leads to better performance; and the inverse is also true. The Pygmalion effect is the result of Continue reading “The Pygmalion Effect on the Workplace”

The Peter Principle and How to Avoid Failed Promotions

The Peter Principle is a concept that says that, in a hierarchical system, every employee tends to be promoted until he reaches his level of incompetence, and was created by Canadian educator Laurence J. Peter, author of the book entitled The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong, published in 1969, co-authored with Raymond Hull. Continue reading “The Peter Principle and How to Avoid Failed Promotions”

The Dunning-Kruger Effect and The Impostor Syndrome

The Dunning-Kruger Effect and  The Impostor Syndrome

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” This is a phrase from the character Touchstone, from playwright Willian Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” and it represents very well two concepts of psychology which we can find, of course, in the corporate world: the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and Impostor Syndrome.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a concept derived from the study “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments“, published in 1999, by two Cornell University professors and psychologists, David Dunning and Justin Kruger, which says Continue reading “The Dunning-Kruger Effect and The Impostor Syndrome”

5 Habits to Increase Work Productivity!

One of the biggest challenges for today’s professional is to be productive, that is, to use their time well, to be effective in their actions, and to achieve the best results with lowest energy. In a survey that my Brazilian Portal GestaoIndustrial.com did in 2015, about waste of time at work, respondents pointed out that 61.5% of this waste is linked to unproductive meetings and excess email. The key word when it comes to productivity is “habit,” of course, good habits. And the habit comes from discipline, determination, and awareness. Continue reading “5 Habits to Increase Work Productivity!”

The Jevons Paradox

The Jevons paradox was described by the English economist William Stanley Jevons in his book “The Coal Question”, published in 1865. In his analysis, the author noted that advances in the efficiency of steam engines, which provided a lower consumption of coal to produce the same amount of energy, led, however, to an increase of the total consumption of coal due to higher demand. Thus, the Jevons Paradox occurs whenever the increase in the efficiency of use of a given resource leads, not to a reduction, but to an increase in the total consumption of that resource. This is the effect produced by an elastic consumption curve*, that is, the one in which the cost reduction causes a proportionally greater increase in its demand. Continue reading “The Jevons Paradox”

The Innovation Dilemma

The Innovation Dilemma

Even companies that have good management but always seek to innovate their products within the same standards can fail precisely because they do not innovate outside the standards. If the industry had focused solely on developing VHS technology, it would never have come to DVD. This is the core concept of Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, published in 1997. According to Professor Christensen, not investing in disruptive technology (one that breaks the current paradigm ) can be the differential between the failure and Continue reading “The Innovation Dilemma”

The Good Management, Naturally, Displeases Some People!

That’s it! A good manager is not the one who acts to please, but rather, is the one who does what is right. Sometimes your decisions can please some, sometimes not. When a manager establishes discipline, requires compliance with procedures, demands professionalism, asks for competence, demands commitment, receives results and give feedbacks, this will certainly displease some. It will displease, certainly, the most negligent, the most incompetent, the most incapable, the most inefficient, and the least committed people.

Look at this example that happened to me. I was responsible for Continue reading “The Good Management, Naturally, Displeases Some People!”

When Less Is More in Marketing!

When Less Is More in Marketing!

Offering various consumer options may not be a good strategy. Have you ever been in doubt which shampoo to choose. See the options that a renowned brand offers on the supermarket shelves: restoration, hydro-cauterization, fall control, hydration, extreme smooth, defined curls, strength and reconstruction, hydra-vitamin curd, extreme shine, rejuvenating repair, smooth and silky. Easy to choose? Not necessarily! Anxious decision? Very likely!…

Barry Schwartz addresses in detail the question of the choices we make in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. Barry says that Continue reading “When Less Is More in Marketing!”

Key Questions to Ask Before Closing Strategic Planning!

Key Questions to Ask Before Closing Strategic Planning

Often, an effort put into productive meetings and discussions to create an Organization’s strategic planning may not have the desired effect, simply because it does not address 3 fundamental issues: reasonableness, objectivity, and communication. To ensure that these points are met, we must ask 3 questions before we consider finished the elaboration of the strategic planning. Here’s what they are: Continue reading “Key Questions to Ask Before Closing Strategic Planning!”

Your Posture Says More Than You Think!

Your Posture Says More Than You Think!

Your body posture tells more about you than you think. This is because, your body posture not only influences others, but, yourself. Posture is something so important, but so often neglected.

Your Posture Influences Others

Imagine the following scene: the manager is on the shop floor, walking with his head down, stopping to talk to someone, leaning his body on a column, scratching his head; then slipping his hand from his forehead to the back of his neck. Okay, now imagine this: the manager is on the shop floor and walks with his head up (not arrogantlly, but naturally), looks sideways, stops to talk to someone, puts both hands on the waist, looking on the person’s face. What do you think of these two scenes? It is blatant that the first manager seems Continue reading “Your Posture Says More Than You Think!”

10 Reasons Why Project Delay!

10 Reasons Why Project Delay!

One of the most common problems in an Organization is the delay in projects. Here are 10 important causes of project delays:

#1 – Weak Management: One of the main causes, undoubtedly, is poor project management, caused by lack of experience of the project manager, or even by incompetence. To avoid this, we must seek a project manager with the appropriate experience according to the size and importance of the work. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Project Delay!”

The Basic Competence for Success in Sales

While many organizations are concerned with various aspects and characteristics of their sales force, the most important of them is often overlooked. Credibility is the most important skill of a salesperson, and this is proven in many researchs and specialized studies. There is a very interesting quote from the American writer Rebecca Solnit, who expresses well the importance of credibility in people’s lives: “Credibility is a basic survival tool.”

In a study by Brian H. Flynn and Kathleen A. Murray, entitled “Your Sales Force Could Be Your Weakness,” published in 1993, in The Journal of European Business, which evaluated more than 1,000 senior managers, pointed out that Continue reading “The Basic Competence for Success in Sales”

How to Build a New Habit?

How to Build a New Habit?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, habit is a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. Then, to establish certain actions as habit presents a series of advantages, among them, a greater efficiency in the action (by the repetition and constancy), and the own benefits from the repetition of actions that we consider good.

Forming Habits Takes a Certain Time

There is a 21-day kabbalistic number, widely propagated by various Neuro-linguistic authors, like Sir John Hargrave in his book Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days. Although much mentioned, its origin is not known for sure. Very likely, it was incorporated by the book Psycho-Cybernetics: The New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, by American plastic surgeon and researcher Maxwell Maltz, who noted Continue reading “How to Build a New Habit?”

7 Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of Corporate Training

7 Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of Corporate Training

Training, in addition to its original function of developing the skills of employees, works as an excellent motivational tool, and is one of the pillars of the formation of Organizational Culture. That is why we must give it due attention, trying to do it in the best way possible. Furthermore, adult education (andragogy) is not the same as children education (pedagogy), so, there are basic differences that we have to pay attention, such as the ones I describe below:

  • Teacher / student relationship: while in pedagogy teaching is centered on the teacher, in andragogy it is student-centered.
  • Reasons for learning: While pedagogy follows a particular standardized curriculum, adults learn what they really need to know, with a practical approach to solving certain problems.
  • Learning orientation: children learn by subject, as adults learn by competences.

These differences require different approaches to teaching the professional, so the tips we will see gain even greater importance, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of corporate training. Continue reading “7 Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of Corporate Training”

The Hawthorne Effect and Productivity in Organizations

The Hawthorne Effect and Productivity in Organizations

In 1924, the National Research Council, at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company in Chicago, began a series of experiments to see how much lighting affected productivity. It was verified that with each alteration in the lighting, there was an improvement in productivity; however, when returning to the initial lighting conditions, productivity remained high, indicating that the attention given to the work environment was the predominant factor, not the luminosity itself. Over the years, studies and experiments in Hawthorne, which lasted until 1932, greatly expanded the initial focus, also addressing aspects of Continue reading “The Hawthorne Effect and Productivity in Organizations”

A Great Question to Uncover Ethics Behavior in a Job Interview

A Great Question to Uncover Ethics Behavior in a Job Interview

Ethics Concern

We know that ethics is a big concern in work environment. Among others, the study conducted by Daniel Johnson, from IBE (Institute of Business Ethics), shows that ethics concern is getting more importance. The Institute, headquartered in the UK, has been doing research on ethical issues in the UK since 2005, and from 2012 included other countries. The responses shows that, from 2005 to 2015, some ethics issues like having written procedures, means to report misconduct in a confidential manner, support advice, training in standards of ethical conduct, have been dealt with more and more attention.

Make a Question

So, a great question to make for a candidate in a job interview is: Continue reading “A Great Question to Uncover Ethics Behavior in a Job Interview”

Keep An Eye On That, Always!

Keep An Eye On That, Always!

“Shit! Why I didn’t do that?”

That has likely happened to you sometime! Well, the good part is that it teaches us priceless lessons. If you think you should do something, you probably have to. In management, we can face this kind of situations everyday. So, pay attention on your feeling, and don’t lose the proper time to do the right thing.

A Useful Story

See the following case that has happened in a certain company: Continue reading “Keep An Eye On That, Always!”

Emotional Balance

Emotional Balance

Emotional balance is the capacity you have to control yourself in stress situations, and is a key competence for you to grow in your career.

A very powerful way to keep us balanced is the mental predisposition, which means, how we consciously think and propose to react to certain situations. It’s like a mental programming. When we are predisposed to act with balance when this or that situation happens, we are much more prepared to face the stress of that moment.

Mental Control

Here I can give a personal testimony: Continue reading “Emotional Balance”

4 Easy Ways to Deal with Provocative Comments

4 Easy Ways to Deal with Provocative Comments

From my own experience, after years and years of working in various organizations, I can say that there is a kind of “colleague” of work who is the expert in causing disturbance in the environment and creating discussion. He is the one who moch, ironize, and denigrate the work of others. This guy is the corporate provocateur and usually is an envious person, but he can also be the unreasonable competitive, or the aggressive compulsive. Dealing with such people requires, first and foremost, emotional balance, and some tips on how to respond to such provocations can be very helpful in avoiding discussion. Continue reading “4 Easy Ways to Deal with Provocative Comments”

What to Do with Toxic People in the Workplace?

What to Do with Toxic People in the Workplace?

Rudeness, annoyance, incivility, bullying or toxicity, no matter the word you want to use, the subject is an important concern in a work environment. A toxic person is the one who deliberately harms other people and the workplace. It is a serious concern because just one toxic person has a tremendous power of destruction in a workplace, that’s why a proper actions has to be taken.

Six characteristics of toxic people

Continue reading “What to Do with Toxic People in the Workplace?”

How To Build a Winning Team?

How To Build a Winning Team?

This is probably one of the biggest questions in the leadership area. I have probably known dozens of good leaders, but dozens of bad ones. Some of the bad leaders were, not just bad, but terrible, and most of them, probably, thought they were good. If you want to know how good one leader is, just look at his team.

I believe there are some rules to follow when you want to create a winning team. You have to establish some key points that can drive you towards a good team results. I call these 10 key points as part of the Virtuous Circle of the Winning Team. Let’s see them:

Continue reading “How To Build a Winning Team?”

3 Things To Do as a Must in a CEO First Day!

3 Things To Do as a Must in a CEO First Day!

That’s your first day as a CEO? Ok, it doesn’t matter if you are new in the Company, or not. There are 3 things that you have to do as a must! Check the balance sheet? Talk to the managers? Visit customers? Visit suppliers? Make a speech to the entire company? Have a meeting with the staff?

No! Definitely, none of them!

The 3 things you have to do as a must are: Continue reading “3 Things To Do as a Must in a CEO First Day!”

Why New Quality Programs Faill?

Why New Quality Programs Faill?

The news come first from the CEO to the Managers, and then, to their team:

-We have to indicate few people from our area to start a new Quality Program Training.

People look each other, trying to understand what is that. Some of them find excuses for not doing the training, others think about it.

People chosen, training done. Now, the worst part! Manager speaks to the team:

-Guys! Our CEO wants to show to the board some cost reduction got from the new Quality Program.

Who can believe this will really work? Continue reading “Why New Quality Programs Faill?”

Why So Many Managers Like To See People Doing Overtime (If That’s Not Productive)?

Why So Many Managers Like To See People Doing Overtime (If That's Not Productive)?

Imagine the following scene: it’s seven-thirty pm, and we still see some employees working, in some areas of the Company. Managers leave their roons and go home happy, because they know these people will stay working some time more. Consider that the regular time is from 8 am to 6 pm. So, do you see anything wrong with that?

Hopefully you said “yes”!

This scene is very typical in an industrial environment, and you will find all reasons and explanations possible for this people to be working overtime. So, why they are working overtime? Why most of managers like so much? And finally, why is it wrong?

Follow me step by step: Continue reading “Why So Many Managers Like To See People Doing Overtime (If That’s Not Productive)?”

How to Lead Meetings Effectively?

How to Lead Meetings Effectively?

Certainly, in a management role, you will have to be faced with the task of leading meetings. Although they are important and fundamental in various situations of corporate life, when poorly led, meetings can become destroyers of productivity and wasters of time.

When people ask me if I recommend doing meetings stand up to be shorter and to the point, I ask: Do you have lunch standing up?  Continue reading “How to Lead Meetings Effectively?”

What I Learned From My Business Trip To China

What I Learned From My Business Trip To China - The Bund

I was in China during the month of April, in 2010, and had the opportunity to know some of the culture and way of life of the Chinese people. What you will read next is purely my impressions after this experience.

People – The people are very friendly. An occidental guy gets a lot of attention, anywhere in China, mainly out of the biggest cities, but that’s not uncomfortable, at least I have never felt bad because of that. It is common to be Continue reading “What I Learned From My Business Trip To China”

How to Create a Culture that Supports Change?

How to Create a Culture that Supports Change?

A Challenging Scenario – The globalization was the phenomenon of economic and socio-cultural interaction more intense between countries, beginning, notably, in the 90s, and has demanded a higher standard of quality, not just for the products, but also for business professionals. The globalization has been driven by greater political freedom, due to the end of the Cold War; by the reduction in transport costs, arising from market openings and the modernization of the means of transport; and also by the ease of communication with the advent of the commercial internet. Thus we saw, in the industrial field, a big cultural change as market consumers began to have more product options and, with it, the producers of lower quality had basically two ways: Continue reading “How to Create a Culture that Supports Change?”

The Right Steps to Organize Effective Meetings!

 The Right Steps to Organize Effective Meetings!

It’s widely known that meetings are one of the biggest time killers in the business environment. The web site Salary.com (IBM) has been making surveys about time waste at work and has been showing that meetings are one of the top reasons.

The best way to plan and organize an effective meeting is to pay attention on some key points:  Continue reading “The Right Steps to Organize Effective Meetings!”

How to Hire a Good Worker?

How-to-hire-a-good-worker

I have interviewed and hired uncountable people, along over 13 years of experience in management, and I don’t think there is a magical question to use in the interview for finding the right person. Actually, more than the answer itself, I am interested in the way that is given. I am really interested in gesture, eyes contact, voice level and the differentiation according to what is being said, and, of course, the whole package of what I am learning from the individual I am meeting in that moment. I use to say, to do a good job, you better be a good person.

I believe, there are two main points to think about (or rethink) when you interview your next candidate:

Continue reading “How to Hire a Good Worker?”

The Best Way to Evaluate People at Work Ever!

 

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Working at several different companies, and visiting uncountable others, I have already seen a lot of methods for evaluating people at work. Using spreadsheets or sophisticated softwares, these companies try to measure the achievements and behavior of the employee.

Measure the employee behavior is nonsense! Try to give a score to someone, to evaluate communication, attitude, commitment, or responsibility. Continue reading “The Best Way to Evaluate People at Work Ever!”

Do You Know the Difference Between Manager & Leader? Really?

 

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In my first job in a management role, in 1997, as a production supervisor in a big engine manufacturer, my challenge was not just startup production in a new global and competitive environment, but at the same time, startup my own management career, and like me in that time, you probably heard about the advice: anyone can be a manager, you have to be a good leader!

 Seriously? Anyone can be a manager?

Continue reading “Do You Know the Difference Between Manager & Leader? Really?”