Thinking Out-Of-The-Book








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Maths Going Awfully Wrong!


One day a mathematician decides that he is sick of maths. So, he walks down to the fire department and announces that he wants to become a fireman.

The fire chief says, ‘Well, you look like a good guy. I’d be glad to hire you, but first I have to give you a little test.’

The fire chief takes the mathematician to the alley behind the fire department which contains a dumpster, a spigot, and a hose. The chief then says, ’OK, you’re walking in the alley and you see the dumpster here is on fire. What do you do?’

The mathematician replies, ‘Well, I hook up the hose to the spigot, turn the water on, and put out the fire.’

The chief says, ‘That’s great, perfect. Now I have to ask you just one more question. What do you do if you’re walking down the alley and you see…

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What Is Innovation?

From here:



Every interaction with a customer including complaints is an opportunity to build or strengthen our bridges with our customers.  Very often we find our customer-facing staff blowing away this opportunity that lands on our lap for free. To better understand this gift recall what we go through when we go out to engage a customer unsolicited.  

And how do we blow it away? Usually by keeping our interaction down to a crisp and a minimal response demanded by the context.  Technically flawless, business-wise not so wise.  Of course at the other extreme, we might have a loquacious rep overdoing it pushing the customer to annoyance.

What then do we do with this opportunity? Well, there are several avenues to be explored: we could gain useful insights into his decision making process (why or how did he settle on our product?), his experience with competitors, his post-purchase impressions, what else would he like to see as features, does he see enough of our brand publicity… If it is a complaint, information about events leading to the failure could be collected.  Did he have other issues/signals before the failure occurred?  Does he have thoughts on how this failure could have been possibly averted? Of course what would work depends on the temperature of the call.

All of these cannot happen without orienting our customer-facing staff adequately, constructing different possible scenarios and outlining avenues for enriching the interaction.  

Note outsourced call-centers are optimized to enhance calls handled in a day rather than quality engagement with the caller, at once totally eliminating this opportunity.

Incidentally all of the above apply to our interactions with prospects too.

Here’s a short well-written piece from Art Petty on this same theme exhorting us to have transformational interaction instead of transactional. A personal experience included. So why settle for less when its potential benefits could be dramatic?


Businesses Without Assets







Via: Internet


peruse this short and very readable article here – an update adding a seventh technique, Principle of Unity’, to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s much acclaimed earlier reference work on  communications/persuasion.

A useful and ready checklist to see if our collateral’s, presentations, sales-pitch, web-sites employ one or more of these techniques. Of course cognitive research keeps throwing up new insights all the time.

No doubt we are consciously or otherwise using all along some of these in our social and family interactions. And it’s the right place to remind ourselves  even if we’re not professionally selling, we’re all the time pulling it on our friends, colleagues at work-place, neighbors, spouses, children…no running away from it. So, no harm in helping ourselves with a refresher,  eh?

If you appetite is sufficiently whetted, here is more stuff on RC’s six techniques.

Though can’t say what it would do to unrequited love…:-)




Silent Teachers


Outside a hospital:


This security guard’s duty is to instruct people to remove their shoes.

Why he was arranging shoes in the rack?

“Sir, this seat is my office and I want to sit in neat office.”

He also greets worried visitors with a reassuring ‘Everything will be fine, your patients will soon go home with you.’

In all likelihood he would not have had the benefit of any level of schooling.



Source: Adopted from facebook.com/groups/101024580247213/ posted by Gautham Iyengar (here)