Delighted by Zazzle

I’m not impressed with the care and feeding of customers very often. Usually the opposite is true. On Sunday I ordered a custom screen printed T-shirt, from Zazzle, as a present for my girlfriend. The website said it would take 3-5 days to make and I ordered 2 day shipping. I received a shipping notice on Tuesday night and they upgraded the shipping to overnight. I had the shirt Wednesday morning! A very nice job of under promise and over deliver.
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It's Just Our Culture

Does your company know why it does what it does? Is there a good reason for all of the policies you follow? In most organizations, the answer to both of these questions is no. Here’s a test. Open up your HR manual and look at the section on sick days or paid time off. How many days do you get off for sickness? Can you use that time to take care of a family member or for a “mental health” day? Do you need a doctors approval to return to work?
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Neuroscience Meets Introspection

This is your brain on Science! What if there was a way to understand and influence the way your mind works so that you could start having better outcomes and more innovation? Well, there is! A few weeks back I discovered the budding field of neuroleadership. It uses neuroscience to understand how things like insight, social pain, attention, autonomy and other “soft skills” work. It helps us understand what happens in which part of the brain, why it happens and under what circumstances. It also gives us some tools and techniques that can be used to influence outcomes.
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Push Decisions to the Edge

This last Saturday I stopped for a bagel. I went to the bagel chain named after a relatively smart guy. I ordered an everything bagel with chive cream cheese, my favorite! I then asked if they had chai and the clerk said, “All we have is coffee.” I looked up at the wall and from the list there I ordered an iced mocha. I’ve been doing the low carb thing and wanted a treat - Saturday is my cheat day. The clerk replied again, “All we have is coffee.” I pointed to the wall, with a confused dog look on my face, and he told me that, “corporate made them put the sign up even though they can’t make any of those fancy drinks and won’t let them take it down.”
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Are Rules and Incentives Killing Health Care?

Do you believe your doctor puts your health ahead of profits? Does the red tape of health care affect the quality of the care you receive? These questions and more are addressed in a new book by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe called, Practical Wisdom. They say that professions like medicine should be a calling, not something that you do to make money. Doctors need income and considering the cost of medical school and malpractice insurance it needs to be substantial, though money should be a side benefit for practicing medicine, not the primary motivation.
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Practical Wisdom and Why Education is Doomed!

Our children are being systematically turned into automatons that pass tests. That is, if their teachers think they have a chance of passing the test this time around, otherwise they’re left to ferment in the classroom. I don’t usually write about a book until I’ve finished it and then I do a Reading List entry first. I received an advance copy of Barry Schwartz’s and Kenneth Sharpe’s Practical Wisdom just before Christmas and it’s been making me crazy!
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We Know What Needs to Change

It’s that we don’t know how to do it. With the empirical research that’s been done on Self Determination Theory and Optimal Performance we have more than enough data to tell us what works as far as engaging and motivating employees is concerned. We also have over 20 years of business success to back up the research.
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