My new reputation cost 24 dollars and it’s shiny!

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Yesterday I posted a blog about $$$ to fix your reputation and got a great email. What if, the emailer asked the feedback pr4ovided on the Internet isn’t true? I asked the email sender ok fair enough but what if it is true and you obscure it?

He responded with the untrue feedback isn’t fair. I agree with that. If in fact someone posts something on the Internet that doesn’t mean its true. It also doesn’t mean that it should be hidden.

So we continue to consider the reality of reputation modification the fixing of bad feedback. There are two conversations that have to be had here. The right thing to do and the easy thing to do.

The easy thing to do is to pay someone to sweep the bad information under a rug. The problem is that some of the bad information you are sweeping in the end is real and justified. Some is untrue and should be removed.

What is the responsibility of the person with the Internet feedback in relation to that feedback? In fact what is the responsibility of a company to the feedback from their consumers. Years ago the complaint line was an 800 number. What happened after you hung the phone depended on the organization. Some merely wiped the tape with the complaints on it. The Internet suddenly gave consumers a new place to voice their opinions.

Reputation companies want to take us back to the dark ages of an 800 number and no response. Let’s see if in fact there is a balance that could be achieved. One where the untrue or perhaps the invalidated feedback could be moved to a place where it lives on but people only use it if there is no other feedback.

I have over the years of this blog spoken of several companies that I personally feel fail as customer service organizations. Not that the companies care, they don’t which is why in the end I posted them with their names in my blog. I do often check the companies I find distasteful on various systems. If my feedback is in the end never brought up by another person I remove my posts. I’ve done that once and that post from 2006 doesn’t exist anywhere even on my hard drive. The other 6 times I posted I found many other people also posted similar things about the same company.

In the end I believe there is a responsibility of the reviewer to verify the information he or she posts. I believe however there is also a responsibility by the company in question to NOT REMOVE BAD FEEDBACK with a reputation company’s help.

That balance is critical. Untrue feedback as my email friend called it is really bad. True feedback removed by a reputation company or pushed so far down the search ratings that you never see it is equally as bad. It is in the end the ethical responsibility of the person to make sure the review or complaint is reasonable. It is the responsibility of the company to ethical accept when they screw up.

It may just be $$$ to fake a good reputation. But in the end a fake reputation will cost you much more than the original $$$ spent.

Come one – come all and see the world’s biggest fake reputation. That’s right people this reputation was built on a sand castle and will topple at any moment. Hurry – Hurry you never know when it will fall…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

For $$$ I will fix your reputation! (did you want it to go up or down?)

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I was listening to a commercial on the radio the other day in the car. It was for a company that will fix your on-line reputation. They remove those pesky negative reviews and only show your good reviews.

For some companies that may be fair. But what happened to the old fashioned if someone felt they had bad service reaching out to that person and actually working on their issue? Sometimes people do post unfair reviews because that is human nature. But sometimes the review are real.

It’s the what’s in the hot-dog problem. But what ever happened to customer service that we are allowed to gloss over the fact that we add more filler than meat in our hot-dogs.

Sad.

Then I realized (tongue in cheek) what a good thing this was. You don’t have to actually fix your mistakes, you just hire the company that fixes your Internet profile. Why have good customer service when you can have a good obstruction policy?

I learned a long time ago in a class “do the right things and the money will follow.”

There isn’t a variation of that “hide the right things and the money will flow.”

Everyone has the right to complain. That right good or bad is something that needs to be supported. If someone is fraudulent or intentionally misleading then the organization should publish that information.

But on the other side if the organization has horrible products or even worse customer service than I think that should stay available for people to see as well. I have my bad customer service hall of fame. I do not ever deal with the companies in that hall of fame even if their product is better than the competitive products. It has to do with my personal integrity at that point.

There are companies on the internet that offer you a safe we review the companies we work with list. Of course there are risks there as well (they are in the business of making money). There are sites devoted to reviews that are unbiased and allow you to share your thoughts. I love Yelp personally. I use it all the time.

I follow the same rules on Yelp as I do in my blog. I only review products, restaurants and organizations I’ve used. (used is the operative word for some, used as in I did but do not nor will not ever again for some). The link to my personal yelp page is here http://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=94Spks2KcXSwNHIfVwLSmg

Not that I am the most unbiased great reviewer. There are many better reviewers. I only look for great service or bad service I don’t review companies that are in-between. But it is a chance to see what others think about the place you are considering.

Its only $$$$ to fix your reputation.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Expand your personal reach!

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We were talking yesterday on our family walk about the concept (and risks) of personal presence devices. So on a new marketing campaign I am starting they aren’t really personal presence devices. They are personal connection extension devices.

If you ride up in an elevator today most people are checking their phones. Looking at the tiny screens in their hands. Or they walk into the elevator deep in a conversation. Not that I think elevators are the 21st century water coolers but that sense of disconnection permeates our world.

Therefore personal presence devices should be know as presence extension devices. So that you can be 1000 miles in two places at once. So that when you are remote but you call your family or friends at least there is video of you, smiling and making gestures.

It’s interesting to me the disconnection we are experiencing. Its also interesting to me to see the explosion of devices capable of extending our presence effectively.

I read an interesting post yesterday (before the walk) that smart homes are the next smart phones. That the reality of personal extension devices and the connected home will be the next big thing. Automation systems that once were only featured on very expensive cars are now on virtually every car made. With the Zigbe protocol staying clean and out of the WIFI ranges it makes the world of home automation possible even with an existing home.

Automation of the frustrations is the next big thing. Aren’t home? Connect to your personal extension device and you are. Want to connect with friends 10,000 miles away, log into your personal extension device and connect with theirs.

Did I leave the garage door open? No problem connect to your home automation system and close the door. Did I leave the iron plugged in? No problem log in and turn off the electrical outlets in the room where the iron is. Did my washer hose burst? You can check that via your home automation system. You won’t come home to a flooded house. Oh yeah, and letting the plumber in to fix that leak? You open the doors remotely so that he or she can enter the house – and in an automated home the doors lock automatically. Once the plumber leaves and shuts the door you simply make sure it locked behind him or her.

From personal presence to home security the world of automation is growing. But in the end I think the article missed the point overall. It is not that automation is the next smart phone. It is that automation is the next extension of the personal productivity device that we call the smart phone.

I like to think it’s the next step in extending your personal reach.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Slow your roll my friend…

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I took yesterday blog, cleaned it up and posted it on my Linkedin Publication site. Not because I didn’t want to finish the though here rather that I like to place good arguments on my Linkedin Profile so that people can argue them out.

It gives me a chance to sit down at lunch, eat my food and polish the idea more. It also relaxes me.

That got me thinking yesterday as I finished my lunch. Why does blogging relax me? It’s really an inner monologue that I am sharing with the world, that of course defeats the purpose of an inner monologue but oh well.

It’s a conversation that transfers to comments or emails, sometimes even parts of my posts shared with the world by others. It’s something I started doing more than 25 years ago wow now that I think about it nearly 30 years ago with the Society of Dead Teachers. The aim and goal of that group was to help educators be successful. The ideals and ideas of that group became a component of my EDUverse section of the Syncverse (on Amazon if you are interested).

It’s about building high preforming teams. Not that I am by any stretch of the imagination good at it. It is a learning process that I will continue to consider the rest of my life. I find that certain theories fit into my personal growth. The other thing I find is that the introduction to those new theories come from people I trust. I trust people quickly and for me the learning environment is created when the people I trust return that trust.

“Feedback not delivered to a person directly isn’t feedback. Its Hearsay.” Sandler Boggs.

It is a quote from an essay published a long time ago. It is one I suspect that Nils Christensen would have said. It is one that Christine Nelson would have said. Both of those authors wrote for the Hoosier Science Teacher. They were outspoken and opinionated but often spot on. They were both by the way members of the Society of Dead Teachers.

It is all about in the end, finding the path you can walk. Once you start down the path it is about making sure you don’t trip and fall. Oh yeah and its about being open, honest and forthright.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

The way things are is the way things are…

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Great email comment yesterday –on Scott’s OODA blog loop. That is actually what she called my last series of blogs. We have argued for years about the state of leadership in many companies. As consultants we have worked with a large number of companies and government agencies. In the end as she reminded me we were arguing about the decision making process ten years ago.

OODA loops for me however represent as much a description of the problem as a way to move out of the problem. People don’t deal well with two things:

  • Someone moving way faster than they do
  • Change that results from moving at all

I am not trying to be mean. Simply that people get so wrapped around what their job and role is they forget that sometimes you can’t do the job in front of you. An OODA loop gives us a place (orientation) where we can modify the current state to evaluate and lay in parameters of the future state into our observations. It is a way we can take what we know and begin to apply it effectively to make good, fast decisions.

We do still however have to worry about the two bullets above. In the Civil War the person way out in front was usually the first person shot. It has been that way in warfare for thousands of years. Sometimes though, the person way out in front ends up surviving and thriving. It’s a balance and you have to be careful. If you are way out in front, make sure everyone else is following you.

Change however is a tough thing to get around. People like their comfort zones. They like their warm soft beds and their fuzzy bunny slippers. So changing anything makes them nervous. After all there is a little of the cow in all of us. (Babe (the movie) the cow peers in to see the pig (babe) in the house acting as a sheep pig. The cow turns to the camera and says “The way things are is the way things are).

It’s tough with an OODA loop to overcome the cow without changing the orientation. There in lies the rub. “We’ve always done it that way” is neither a decision or an action its an orientation. It’s probably the hardest orientation to overcome in any organization or loop.

Remember the Apple TV commercial of 1984? or the book 1984 by George Orwell. What happens when we step out of line?

(more to come as a Linkedin post).

.Doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

OODA Loops and Inclusive teams…

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We’ve been through the OODA loop once now. The next thing is to consider how can we better orient people to get faster (better) decisions of quality and actions driven from the decisions.

There are a million leadership and how to build effective team books. The first thing and perhaps the most important thing is you have to help the people on the team understand clearly their roles. Not their places – that is where many leaders go wrong. People aren’t their current place. They are filling a role and as a leader the most important thing you can do is help them move past the role they are in (unless they love that role in which case its to help them be the best at that role).

How do you as a leader empower people to make effective oriented observations that lead to fast high quality decisions and the right actions?

I’ve read many leadership books and they focus on core communication and quality of communication often. That is critical in creating an environment where you can be effective in filling your current role (and growing into whatever you wish to grow into).

Effective Communication:

  • Its ok to attend meetings virtually. Why? Because the leader will always send out notes and will make sure everyone gets to share their opinion equally.
  • Meetings start and end on time. With an agenda. (Seriously)
  • It is an inclusive environment.

A good friend of mine many years ago introduced me to the concept of an inclusive environment. It comes from not just an acceptance of different styles but rather of a blending of all styles. I struggled with the concept for a long time after he introduced me to it. Its kind of political correctness but not a because you have to be PC but because instead you want to be PC.

Inclusive teams can grow or shrink rapidly and yet are able to react to the change effectively. They can bring on new people and absorb them quickly into the Borg.

She also pointed out to me the concept of inclusive team leadership. Where at any level you can alternately be the leader, or the follower pending the role you take on the specific project. It is really hard to build an inclusive team.

more to come…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.

Leave them wanting more…

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Returning to the OODA Loop (I guess in the end looping back is a better phrase). I’ve covered the three of the four letters Observe, Orient and Decide. The system being built to reduce the time to good decisions. (its easy to increase the time to bad decisions – just let people decide in a vacuum). The last component is Act.

Its interesting when you consider action. There are people while driving or doing other activities that observe, orient and decide on an action but never complete the action.

People often call action based on a decision reaction. It is still action however. The goal of course is to move the system to a place where it can act quickly.

OODA loops are standard systems with inputs and outputs. The processing occurs in the orient phase and the two phased output is critical (decide then act) as it in the end requires the person to commit to the decision.

They can be infinite as well so it is critical that as you speed up the first three components you have a plan for speeding up the actions as well. For fighter pilots that is often training. For the board room or a presentation/sales meeting its training as well.

Avoiding the Action Freeze

  1. Plan for failure: in cloud computing we call this design for failure but it does require that you consider your endeavor will fail.
  2. Plan for a negative accept: We’ve all been in the meeting that was negative and that our product sucked and then at the end they said yes we will buy when can you start. Be ready for a negative accept.
  3. Plan for the positive rejection: the meeting is a love fest everyone is happy and at the end the customer says no.

There are more but these are the three quickies that I have seen people freeze. It follows along the solution sales rule that I learned many years ago. Never leave a meeting without a to-do. If you have a to-do out of the meting you have something to follow back up for.

The natural tendency of course of technical people is to answer all questions. So if you take a technical person make sure they understand that leaving questions unanswered as long as it doesn’t hurt the view of the produce is a good thing.

More to come…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow