I am going to rant on a few items. I am 100% certain that you have experienced some, if not all, of these items. I will not just whine, I will offer a few thoughts on a more positive outlook or action you can take.
- People that do not obey traffic signals when it is not busy cut corners in other aspects of their life. How do I know? Well, the driver training car that rolled through the stop sign and almost hit me because I had not yet stepped on the sidewalk? Would you take lessons if I gave you the name?
- People that roll through stop signs when you are standing waiting to cross and you wait to see if they stop, and you have a flashing red light in the middle of your chest, and you are walking a big dog, and you are wearing a bright orange toque! And they give you the finger when you yell “stop!!!”
- Companies that do not change their outdoor signage when a special event, like Thanksgiving or Halloween, is at least two weeks past. How can you not get a new message about something great you have done for a customer or have inside?!?!
- Retail staff that are asked one question, answer something completely different, and when you ask one more time they say “I don’t know, I just work here.” Seriously, any manager should be absolutely ashamed and embarrassed about this. I will phantom shop your business and you will be surprised what I find!
- “Our menu has changed…we may monitor your call for quality assurance purposes…” When has anyone ever received a follow-up call about the quality of their call experience? And only in the name of company-first productivity would the menu options be created. Listen to your own menu options and I am sure you will shake your head. Dumb structure justifies renewed focus on AI.
- I stay one night in your hotel and you sign me up for an immediate room upgrade, and I automatically receive your newsletter. And then I get this message when I unsubscribe “Your unsubscribe request will be processed within 10 business days. If you choose to opt back into marketing updates including offers, giveaways, event notifications, visit player services to add your email address.” I don’t think so!!!
- I sign up for your newsletter or download the white paper in four seconds, click the button and confirm on the opt-in email, and it takes at least 5 business days for my unsubscribe request to be processed. As if…
- A sales trainer that suggested you wing it in your sales presentation to a prospective client, “no preparation needed” because you want to appear natural. In sports, this would get you cut. And it should get you fired in business. Prepare properly because there are many of your competitors that will not and you will gain an advantage.
- Companies that think they can turn on and off the advertising tap when they are too busy to handle the customer traffic, or they need more customers. Riddle me this Batman…is that how you shop? As David Ogilvy said, “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.”
- Marketers that have never studied marketing. As Prof. Mark Ritson said, “https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/07/12/mark-ritson-maybe-its-just-me-but-shouldnt-an-expert-in-marketing-be-trained-in-marketing/
- Everyone that gushed over all the digital platforms that are now being seen as evil empires. From Facebook to Google to Twitter. They take so much of our personal data (why do we let them?), sell it to others, and then claim they are not a media platform. Read any post from the Ad Contrarian, including the most recent.
- People that do not clean their vehicle windows after a snowfall. I have no idea how they think they can see and they are a danger to everyone else. There is a snowbrush at any store or gas station.
And there is so much more that I will save for another day.
Find a counterpoint when you see something that you agree with. Expand your thinking, and your organization’s thinking, by using critical thinking. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” Dave Trott may consider this upstream thinking, looking at the situation from a different perspective to find an alternate solution.
If people understand why they are doing what they are being asked to do, their job will have meaning and they can become intrinsically motivated. The commencement speech by Admiral McRaven is so inspiring he made it into a book. The first message about how to change the world begins with making your bed each day. And the lesson is that if you cannot do that properly how can you be trusted to properly do a job with anything more important.
Any of the situations I ranted about above are fixable. And in some cases it is not a big correction or major expense. It simply takes focus, a will to accomplish the task and to be a more responsible person.
The answer is in you.