Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

convergence....

the word convergence has really come into it's own the last couple of years. what does it mean in the context of technology?

connected anywhere, any device is a great start...using voip on your laptop while using an embedded webcam at a hotspot and simultaneously working on a document with your global team at a wiki site, then once you're done your $4 nonfat, half-cap.....blah blah blah you can switch to bluetooth and a cell phone to continue that work with hardly skipping a beat.

business is changing because technology is changing the way business is being done and has been for over a decade now, this is an obvious statement and you have to ask yourself. how have you changed your habits and are you keeping up? do you care?

really, convergence means flexibility and speed and ultimately opportunity for those who can leverage it. there are two groups in the convergence world, those who embrace it and those who don't. let that sink in and consider what side you're on, soon however, you won't have a choice, life will have converged....it's enivitable. web2.0, wireless, voip, podcasting, holographic storage, wind-up laptops, entire hardrives on a usb so all your work is plug and play and virtual, highly cool.

i predict that one of the toughest challenges we'll continue to have is actually escaping to a place where we can be entirely off the grid...a pipe dream i know.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

picking on big companies...

i've been picking on large companies of late and for good reason. despite the fact that large businesses have a tremendous amount to offer the marketplace. they move too slow, they cling to old practices and they can't help but stumble all over themselves. words like cool, strange, free wheelin ventures are too dramatic, too wild card, too risky.

also, i feel there's a difference between wealth and graceful wealth. operating with honor and being solely motivated by greed, trampling all over the customer. time to break new ground, break the mould, change may not be enough. making mistakes is where it's at.

when skiing or snowboarding you can always tell the ones who are pushing their limits, they're the ones falling down. pretty soon they don't fall over as much, so they look for a steeper pitch and then a high cliff to jump off of.

time to let loose....push limits, stop looking for incremental advancement and blow the doors off expectations. even small and medium sized businesses could be better at this, they have to be if they really want to grow. large business on the other hand is still much more about moving in inches.

some do get it, and more are getting it everyday. and it's getting easier to identify the ones who don't get it...those guys i will continue to pick on. sears for example.........

Friday, March 24, 2006

now here's to all of you mid-level managers.....

who just "got it." my question to you, are you going to stay in the cubicle with a the new job of paddling up river under the guise of creative expression and renewal.

or are you going to take your act to the marketplace and start-up a new highly cool micro-competitor?

hmmmmmm......i know which i would do.........come on champ, you can do it.........

new definition of a mid-level manager.....

how do you turn around a division that's struggling?

tap into the intellectual capital that already resides in the division way more effectively, allow them to run free a bit. you know who i'm talking about, those mid-level managers for example, who have really no authority whatsoever to sign anything that isn't spoon fed them, all the while sucking the life out of the division.

they know they're working for a dinosaur where most of them sometime soon will be looking at their box of dusty desk ornaments and useless corporate squeeze toy collection on the steps of the office tower they used to spend a lot of time in and wonder, "now what?"

there's so much waste to eliminate, processes and divisions are being streamlined, it's no longer acceptable to have decisions and documents sit on a mid-level manager's desk for a day or two. nope, not even for hours, so one large drain on struggling divisions is...you guessed it, mid-level management and the processes they're tied to. am i saying anything amazing here - no.

however, here's a couple ideas on what to do with that intellectual capital, set them loose on figuring out how to generate profit, turn them into a tactical team of creative geniuses and let them sit and think about how to provide amazing customer service, amazing process improvement, amazing next generation solutions for supply management. they know your business extremely well from their perspective. they can tell you why there's an exodus of staff, why legacy systems aren't working. capture their idea's as effectively as you can.

make highly cool creativity their job and remove the no-mind decision processes and tasks from their desk and insert that into software. sprinkle these tactical teams throughout your organization and give them resources, provide them with a portfolio to attend to, then switch it every quarter for a fresh look at things. here's a thought, send them to spend time on site with your customers observing processes and daily business, unite your services with customer needs more effectively. careful, if you keep that up, these guys might just increase revenue for you and cut fat.

not only will these staff members become so well educated about your company and its customer base, they will finally be challenged and rewarded enough to potentially keep them from jumping off a bridge or jumping over to a competitor. you were probably going to have to let them go at some point and in an environment of human resource shortages too, that's the dinosaur way of solving the problem.

don't just cross-train, extreme cross-train, then listen and then act.

sears........continue not to listen.......please........

good just isn't good enough....

sears is on the way out, and not because they've insulted me and my family. no they're on the way out because they're archaic and unable to change. combating other more interesting retailers is a game they're losing.

being good is mediocre, i would ask brent hollister, ceo of sears canada, why isn't sears absolutely amazing? why not find ways to ensure that every sears customer raves like crazy about how amazing sears was in the way they treated the customer, especially after a mistake has been made and clearly admitted to as was the case here.

apparently, $100 bucks is amazing. apparently wasting copious amounts of my time is amazing, apparently ensuring that you never get to speak to top level management is amazing. WRONG! i've listened to several of the corporate brainwashed employees who have absolutely nothing special to offer customers. i feel for them, they work in a place of boring cubes, headsets and software that doesn't effectively speak between departments. they listen to people all day who have very little in the way of positive comments to offer, and they are virtually powerless to do anything of any worth other than refer to someone who has listened to more complaining then themselves. can you spell dead-end job? void of creativity, void of empowerment, void of any real serious life changing, world changing value. don't get me wrong without these people, there would be no one for those of us who get disrespected by lousy sears or big corp customer service to talk to. i suppose someone in a dead-end job is marginally better than the even worse automated system.

did you know....sears has at least 5 levels of customer service buffer. when you ask a customer service rep at sears who the top boss is, they refer you to their immediate supervisor and say they don't know the name of anyone higher, who then only knows their immediate manager, who reports to another mid-level manager but who does not know the big boss either. in fact, when i asked each employee who the ceo was they couldn't tell me. i actually looked it up in a annual report online while i was on the call and educated the sears employee. later i found out from another employee that the notes in my file revealed that they told me who the ceo was.

a manager for all of customer service is revealed, her name is carol but she was out of the office so "penny", who just is just below the top manager phones and when i talked to her, she refers me to the "president's line," that's what happens if you want to continue up the food chain at sears.

the president's line, i was told was a line i had to call where nice ladies would listen to what i had to say but couldn't and wouldn't do anything more than the letter and $100 bucks. basically even more wasted time and run around.

the more i analyze this type of customer service the more my firm will be better equipped to arm competitors of sears and other dinosaurs just like them, contributing to loss of marketshare.

only the top companies who understand and react to these types of issues should survive....get into being amazing because your competitors are and the marketplace changes so quickly that the garbage sears is suggesting as top level customer service won't last....because good just isn't good enough.

rss feed....

Thursday, March 23, 2006

down with sears, the dinosaur.....

sears, generally thought of as a decent retail outlet. i call it a dinosaur and i feel it should go the way of all the other dinosaurs...eventually ending up in the gas tank.

here's why:

many large companies do not do enough when a customer complaint comes in, why? we as consumers do not assert ourselves to a point where they take us seriously on a mass scale. oil companies raise prices and if we don't complain they keep the price at the higher level. here's a hint: when the price goes up, complain like crazy to every gas station, oil company you can so that they understand that the next billion dollars made out of market manipulation is unacceptable. don't think they manipulate the market, you're living in a dream world....why do you think they shut down refineries?

sears is of the opinion they're doing a bang up job and that i as the customer should be very pleased that 1. they called me back at all and 2. they're offering me a letter of apology and a gift card. well, i suppose if i valued first myself as a customer as well as the stress, embarrasment, general discomfort that my family felt when i was insulted by they're sub-contract staff member and all the time lost while talking to sears on a call (THEY INITIATED with me looking to take a complaint I wasn't going to place) at $100 dollars, then I guess I would be very pleased they lifted a finger at all. that's not the case for me and i'm sure lots of other consumers.

the problem, is that "penny" at sears "customer service" spent my time apologizing and saying in the same conversation that "there's no way, you'll get any more than $100 from them." "i'd be happy i got a phone call back at all, since many large companies don't even do that," penny also said. "are you saying we should give out $500 dollars to everyone, if we did that we'd be out of business," penny exclaimed.
my reply. "if you're doing so poorly you have to give out that much money....YOU SHOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS!"

I'm leaving a lot of the conversation out here but not to worry more will be coming....

and much more to come on the issue of how large companies like sears don't really value their customers, it's all about marketing and perception rather than substance. lazy and lousy customer service versus amazing customer service. and how my favorite sentence was used during this call. "that's they way we've always done it." (at sears was her comment)

i'm now committed to making sears my business case example for all of my future speaking engagements, thank-you sears for proving my point about why many large companies are dinosaurs that must parrish.

For context....read past entries.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

incredible people...

fusedlogic is looking for a few amazing people. we're so busy that we've put a stop on all new business and must locate top and incredible people right away if we're going to continue to grow.

maybe you can help, for an example of what we value in people who will join our tactial team go to our website. www.fusedlogic.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006

fun...

i went to my second networking event at the sherwood park chamber this morning. a TON OF FUN! we laughed a lot, there's a tremendous amount of really cool and fun people there. i've been to a lot of these over the years but this group is by the far and away the best.

way to go sherwood park chamber members...i wish my schedule allowed me to attend more often. looks like this will have to be my regular thursday morning coffee and meeting place. www.sherwoodparkchamber.com

have an amazing day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

LAUNCHED...!!!

finally, after a lot of hard work by a lot of people the completely redeveloped fusedlogic website has been soft-launched today. we'll make a big deal out of the site in the coming days and on-going as content will evolve and stay very fresh.

view this cool piece of work by mediashaker.com at www.fusedlogic.com

Saturday, March 11, 2006

the soul...

many business owners forget why they're doing what they're doing. either the reason, focus, ambitions or something else has left them, and they turn into a drone.

STOP IT!

JUST STOP IT, RIGHT NOW!

quit being a "paycheque player" - Jerry Maguire.

i admit i was once exactly that, always looking for the next opportunity to make money and only that.

i stopped being consumed by it, and i have as a person, evolved. further, as a result have now found "it"(money)everywhere and in everything it seems.

this is as powerful as it gets.

if this resonates for you, consider yourself very lucky as i do. and for those of you who think this line of thinking is "OUT THERE," well, you have a ways to go to catch up unfortunately. right now you might just be "listening", not truly "hearing" the message. just like me, several times in my life, i wasn't ready. eventually you'll come to the realization that life truly is mean't to be a mountain more than the utility called money. when it isn't flowing like a river, it's easy to fixate on it, that being said, it's also tough to ignore it's power.

to win you must do exactly that. be immune to its powers.

good luck with your struggle and for those of you for which this was a common place statement, continue to consider yourself amazingly fortunate to have been already privy to this massive gem for as long as you have and continue to cherish it.

i'm not sure why this is on my mind today but it is so here you are.....

Friday, March 10, 2006

psychologically archaic organizations...

let's look at the large organization psychological profile. what words would describe it? archaic, slow, bloated, frustrating, stuffy, pitiful, sluggish, strict, hermetic and ridiculously overburdened with process and administration - hopelessly bureaucratic and doomed to fail.

To speak about these issues publicly and bring attention to this ongoing gong show can be treated as heresy. So staff continue to slog away under this fallacy of an open door policy that is really a method of passive aggressively appearing to care, when management is really just using a mechanism for identifying whistle-blowers and complaining staff.

Want to go crazy, work as a public servant. this is an environment where unions allow provide protection for lot's of really excellent people to coexist with losers who get to keep jobs, bully and hold positions they have no business being in, not all public servants fit this category but just enough to bring the organization to a complete hault. they're mostly strategically placed in mid-level management positions. take the Edmonton Public Library for example. rife with losers who hold management positions with NO business management skills whatsoever and in addition operate under the agenda of passive aggressive bullying. in this case the woman i'm thinking of is a poster child for passive aggressive female bullying who reports to another suspect manager who manages a group of employees that love the status quo. the word "change" is used for such really intelligent initiatives as NEW name badges for all employees, a several thousand dollar tax-payer expense no doubt deemed critical to operations.

government and government organizations, this is the perfect lab for how NOT to run an organization based on innovation, accountability, progress and immediate amazing results. let's all set goals that are safe and that will easily allow us to spend our budgets and to be awarded our large tax-payer bonuses under the guise of a job well-done.

how many original Standard and Poor's 500 companies are still around from the beginning in 1957? According to work performed by Dick Foster and Sarah Kaplan of McKinsey - only 74 still exist today - 426 are history and rightfully so.

large organizations as spoken about by Tom Peters, who by the way is a genius, suggests that they should all be blown up and die. only to be replaced by lean, mean fighting machines that operate on the bleeding edge. I COMPLETELY AGREE.

Tom Peters is a guru of massive proportions, go get every book he's ever written and read them a dozen times each in order to save yourselves.

rather than focus on "good management" let's focus on incredible innovation and design management that challenges the status quo.

what's conservative innovation? death to all those companies that believe in it. if you're going to be truly innovative, you've got to go all the way past the edge sometimes.

i owned a t-shirt company with a partner when i was 19 and one of the shirts i designed, was titled "outrageous" and on the back it said simply - "you live on the edge, i live past it!" given my comments above you can plainly see that even at age 19 and as a young business owner i recognized that in order to win you had to push the limits.

taking the gloves off....

there's a breakaway happening right before your eyes. there is rumbling out there, some businesses are getting it - most still are not, may they rest in peace.

what's needed is quirky, funky and rebellious, blowing up the business plan, fire all risk adverse automatons, stop listening to your banker, your accountant and start listening to ph.d's from street fighter university, forget mba's and stoggy 90's management consulting, they're dead, changing may be too hard after all. fresh, coolest, diversions, don't just tweak it, blow it up and rebuild

if you don't start realizing right now that competitors are out there (as you're reading this) thinking so radically, activating the most incredible off this planet ideas; the market will shift out from under you and you're toast. wake-up and smell the burning incorporation documents.

how about design being a central theme, forget the technical gargon garbage; start capturing their hearts. impact emotions, inspire the desire to tackle the toughest challenges possible and let your team go do it. it's not about power but empowerment, park your ego at the door and roll up your sleeves and for goodness sake, when it comes time to close the deal - GROW SOME BOLTS AND ASK FOR THE FREAKING SALE. commercialization is king, research without it is whimpy and universities typically have little clue for all their genius on how to actually maximize a business deal. if you're a professor or scientist on top of the next big thing, the last thing you should do is let the university negotiate. if that's your intention, sign over the rights to your technology to me and i'd be happy to give you 15% which would be an increase of 10% to you.

want to dramatically increase your revenues? THINK - if all I did was follow you around all day ensuring you pushed the envelope whenever possible, most amazing year ever - guaranteed!

send the suits with the frameworks packing, if they don't stand up to you and challenge your assumptions with some sort of original thought outside of their diagrams, spreadsheets and best practices, fire them on the spot. they should look you in the eyes and say you're full of it and here's why and how we fix it. best practices? it should be most amazingly, completely up-to-the-minute coolest idea from any employee practices.

if you let even one customer have a poor experience that's one too many. quit being lazy and fix it. when was it ever wrong to do everything possible to not only ensure that this customer is incredibly happy but that you inspire and compel them to as a result of your actions bring back 10 more just like them. oh and that goes double for your employees, all you penny-wise and pound foolish employers who first of all, under pay your staff and secondly, think it's only about the money; should be spanked.

take some pride in being absolutely amazing at customer service, beg them to tell you how to make yourself better and reward them handsomely when they do.

i'm so tired of large companies hiding behind their size for being so utterly stupid, lazy and inaccessible by customers, it's pathetic and it has to stop. Citibank, Sears, Direct Energy, Atco Gas you guys are some of the worst offenders of the run around. there's so many in fact I'd take up giga-bytes just listing them.

how many members of your board are under the age of 40? start mixing youth in with your dinosaurs or die, think i'm being too harsh? i'm actually holding back.

if your shareholders knew how much money you were losing everyday...they'd drop you like a telemarketer's phone call. you say you're not losing money, that you're in the black. i say you're losing 80% of what you could be doing if you weren't so busy stumbling all over your traditions and conventional thinking.

i give you IBM as the business case. imagine your company does 90 billion in revenues a year and that's despite the fact your divisions fight to market to the same large clients and like the true conventional thinkers they are lose billions in new business in the process. still want to hold on to their stock? correct me if i'm wrong but don't they have a consulting division.....further rest my case. this is the largest bunch of stumps i've ever had the amusing perverse pleasure of coming across. here's a suggestion, figure out how to generate just one more billion a year (start by doing the complete opposite of evey suggestion made by your consulting division) but instead of putting it in the bank account, feed and educate as many children with it around the world as you can. now that's a stock i'd want to own.

so now go figure it out and start destroying all the processes you hold so dear and that are holding you back from seizing greatness.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

when to engage...

Many people ask me "so what does fusedlogic do?" My answers can sometimes frustrate people because they like to pigeon hole a company quickly so that it makes sense within conventional thinking.

so for all you conventional thinkers out there, here are some of the things we are not, because that's just more fun at this time of night.

We're not: management consultants, technology consultants, marketing consultants, business consultants, life coaches, accountants, software developers...

We generate ideas, passionate innovation and innovative solutions, disruption of the status quo, facilitation as change agents of rEVOLUTION when required. we focus on results, commercialization, business development, operational efficiencies, global thinkers and doers, we're specialists at getting the job done and putting smiles on the faces of our clients. Never mind what tools we use to accomplish the objective, we have many and that's not important, all you need to know is that they're legal. What's important is that the solution not only fixes the problem but that your company is completely amazed and amazing after we're done. The results are what's important not the label.

Want to know what we do? Give us your toughest challenge, a budget and get ready to collaborate on really cool work. Think of us as the tactical team you always wish you could afford to build internally.

We bring that highly cool concept to you directly for a fraction of the cost.

We are: fused-logic

so what separates us?


so what separates the good business owners from the not so good ones and the down right terrible ones? execution, vision, and the courage to believe in their true purpose. start some provacative conversations today and see what happens.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Delete

I've deleted my other blog as I was ignoring it for the most part anyway. Also, I think it's a statement about who I am. My whole being is about business and my family, so I'm going to combine the two here.

You'll see from time to time comments about my family as it directly impacts my business life. I'm sure it's the very same thing for you...

Procrastination kills....

Monday, March 06, 2006

A critical mission...

Business should be about exploration. Exploration of your soul, your humanity and improving the lives of those around you. I don't care what type of business you run, show some conviction to improving the planet and people around you.

Stop thinking small and realize you and you're business are only insignificant if that's how you position them in your mind. It doesn't have to be that way. The globe is your battlefield against evil, the hearts and souls of your customers are at stake.

You have forgotten what it's like to truly make a difference, I see it in your eyes.

CHANGE NOW: Everytime you sell a flower, you impact and enrich a spirit. Everytime you sell fuel, you allow customers to get to their families easier, everytime you deliver a meal to a table, you're helping to create fond memories of friends and family together, a new business deal, a celebration of life itself. Anything less is a commodity and a waste of time and effort. Operate your business as if it is a critical mission. Create the most unique customer experience you possibly can.

Ohhh I'm sorry, am I boring you? You've heard this all before right?

THEN WHY AREN'T YOU ACTUALLY DOING IT?

You know nothing!

Go run and hide in your boring existence, don't come back until you're ready to elevate yourself to the next level. Lucky for you there are all sorts of excuses to keep you heading down that dead-end road, feel free and pick any one of them you like, make sure you repeat it to yourself as many times as is necessary until you start actually believing it - which shouldn't take much. It's too much work to change, too expensive, too risky, too idealistic, I'm unsure how to proceed....blah, blah, blah. You're the business case for how to waste an incredible gift....talent, intelligence, being alive and being an entrepreneur are the gifts you're wasting.

Many will continue to live these negative and restrictive statements because it's safe, others, maybe only one of you will want to take action. Good for you - do it, make it your highest priority. Can you feel the energy? All of sudden life has........purpose. Imagine that. Purpose with laser like focus and imagination can be unstoppable.

Live it everyday and then come and chat about your experiences, otherwise beat it, you simply aren't ready for the big leagues, such a shame to be so talented and yet stuck in the minors. Although, I guess if you were really talented you'd figure out a way to make it happen...

I have the best job in the world, I'm doing precisely what it is I was designed to do.... help clients find their way to becoming unstuck and find the other 80% of business and life they're missing.

THAT'S MY CRITICAL MISSION...

Wrong Answer...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Back from Washington

What a trip! Let's start with the weather...brutal driving conditions going down, even worse coming back. Closed highways, rain, snow, sleet, ice, sand, snowplows and many many vehicles in the ditch. Luckily I was able to navigate through all of it and make it home to my loving wife and 11-month old daughter safe and sound. My trip, working for a client, took me through Idaho and into Spokane, then off to Seattle, down to the Washington State Capitol of Olympia, back to Seattle, back to Spokane through the Snoqualimie Pass and then returning the way I came through Idaho up to Canada, the Crowsnest Pass, north to Calgary and eventually Edmonton.

Now on to the really fun and exciting topic of business. There is an incredible amount of to be had and done down there. Washington is filled with friendly, smart and engaging business people. At each step along the way we had several meetings with terrific people, including Washington State Representative John McCoy.

Rep McCoy is a deep feeling and thoughtful man who feels very strongly about the things that matter most, our children and the quality of education they receive.

We were able to set in motion or continue in person multiple discussions worth millions of dollars, this is really exciting and empowering work.

Helping people always is!

The hospitality from the folks we met was tremendous and I look forward to a return trip to follow-up with all the work that exists as a result of our successful efforts over the last week and a bit. The phone has been ringing off the hook since I returned with questions, comments and discussions on moving forward. Now it's simply a matter of continuing to make sure the rubber meets the road...in more ways than one.