Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Simple Way to Solve Problems

Remember the space pen? It was the pen that was designed for NASA that allowed you to write upside down. Took untold amounts of research and testing. Viewed as a breakthrough. The Russians took a different route; they used pencils. No research or testing. Pencils write upside down, end of story, move on.

In my visits with numerous corporations as well as my experience at LABOV, we all try various methods and approaches to solving problems. We email, we text, we leave voice mails. There is a simpler, less technological approach that is the “pencil” in this case: Talk to the person now.

Talk to the person now, means if that person is in your building or nearby, physically go there and solve it now. If that person is across the country, the state or the world, then pick up the phone and talk now.

The pencil is a great invention. In fact, it’s the only writing utensil that I don’t mess with and break (I’m a disaster with pens; I play with them till they fall apart). Likewise, talk in-person now is a great invention, and it will be a superior approach that’s not likely to lead to breakdowns.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training
www.labov.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Change the Diapers

I’m a thrilled and excited new grandfather. My daughter, Laura and her husband, Trever, have welcomed Grayson, a fantastic little boy in the world. This post is not a gushing account of how much I love that little guy (my friends have to muzzle me about that). This post is all about business. And life.

When Carol and I had Laura and Alan, I surprised most of our family and friends by being the “diaper guy.” Every time there was the need to change one, I was up on my feet, talking to the baby, having fun and taking care of business. The baby and I had fun. I’d time how fast we could get the diaper changed and still get back to watch the game, etc.

The first time I saw my daughter smile was while I was changing her diaper (no, it was not gas!). I developed my closeness with our children by doing this and, by the way, my wife loved me doing it.

When Grayson arrived, I entered the room and noticed he needed a diaper change and went into action. The nurse came in and asked, “Who changed this baby’s diaper?” Stunned, I said it was me. She then told me this was the first diaper change of his life, an honor. As Grandpa, I’m going to remind that little guy of that for a long time...especially when he gets a little out of line with his mom or dad.

So how does this apply to business? We have to change the diapers and not leave them to others as a rule. Why not get your coworker a cup of coffee? Why not focus on the details of a project instead of handing it off? Why not clean up the board room after a meeting? Why not check with the client to make sure the invoice looks great? So often we say that “we don’t like the details.” Those details, or diapers, just may bring smiles, closeness and a lifetime appreciation from your clients and co-workers.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training
www.labov.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fear and all its friends

When fear visits us, it brings along a bunch of buddies—including rationalization, confusion, anxiety and defensiveness.

Leaders have to fight to have an environment where fear isn’t a factor. That’s not easy, because fear can come from the outside—a customer’s behavior or a supplier’s poor performance that could compromise a healthy situation.

It’s a daily fight to look at every response to challenges closely to make sure fear and its friends aren’t influencing your world.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training
www.labov.com