What’s the very best question you can ask your customers?

Why do businesses fail?

Sometimes it’s bad management or poor execution, but more often it’s a simple inability to create a product that people actually want to buy.

And how do you know what people want to buy? You ask them.

Getting customer feedback sounds simple enough, but in practice, getting useful quality feedback from customers can be challenging. I was asked in a recent session I was leading about how to assess customer assessment of  their companies performance.… Read more

Simplify your arguments to influence

A key skill relevant to leaders at all levels is the ability to positively influence people in such a way that others seek to follow you and act willingly —as opposed to complying with your orders because of the “authority” you hold from the organisation.  We discussed this last week as we reviewed how we could influence more using stories, emption and benefit to convince people.… Read more

Add some feeling into your reports

When reading a piece of business writing- whether it’s a proposal, a report, or a simple email- are you turned off by people who have invested more energy trying to sound smart than in trying to be smart?

Ideally, I’d like to read these where I don’t notice the author or the writing at all. The best writing is so transparent that it doesn’t obscure the underlying message.… Read more

The momentary joy of pushing buttons


Most products and services, almost everything we buy and use, has but one job—to make us feel better.

The fundamental reason we use technology of all sorts, from stone tools to the latest iPhone, is to improve our mood, our situation.

We can prove this- research documents the real impact of the placebo effect in medicine. But can we extend this to our everyday lives… are we made happier through the placebo effect in our lives?… Read more

Why good people resign; the 6 key reasons.

Losing a great employee is a terrible thing.

Form a Bosses perspective there’s the time and expense of finding, engaging, and training the replacement. There’s the uncertainty of how the new employee will work out. There’s the hardship on yourself and the rest of your team until the position can be filled. There’s the teams uncertainty if the new hire will succeed and work within the team.… Read more