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Archive for June, 2010

The Prevailing Point of View

By Jim Whitt A friend sent me an article entitled In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers* in which the authors write about provocation-based selling. Being a professional provoker, I found the principles described in provocation-based selling to be congruent with my approach as a consultant and speaker. One of the things I really like about the provocation-based selling approach is that it challenges the prevailing point of view as opposed to aligning with the prevailing point of view. You can sell a lot of stuff to people using the prevailing point of view because it’s familiar to them. But you’re… Read More

June 30th, 2010 at 8:21pm

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The Real-Time Performance Review

By Jim Whitt On the list of things that are done for all the wrong reasons in organizations, performance reviews would have to rank near the top. They end up being “check the boxes” exercises that have little influence on performance because they take place after the fact. The typical performance review is the equivalent of landing an airplane and asking, “Now, where are we?” It’s a little late in the game for that question. One of the worst things about many reviews is the use of numerical values to rate performance. I’ve known more than one manager who refuses… Read More

June 23rd, 2010 at 9:40pm

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Leader of the Pack

By Jim Whitt If you’ve ever watched Cesar Millan’s TV show, The Dog Whisperer, you’ve seen some amazing transformations take place with dogs and their owners.  I’ve been reading his book, Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog and Your Life, and find many of Cesar’s canine principles apply to human behavior. For example, here’s a sad but true observation: “Humans are the only species that will follow a totally unbalanced, unstable leader.” Our species can learn a lot about leadership from a dog’s point of view. Cesar says the “alpha” dog is no more important… Read More

June 16th, 2010 at 4:41pm

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Are You Listening?

By Jim Whitt One morning three years ago a violinist stood on the platform of a subway station in Washington D.C. and performed six classical pieces on his 1713 model Stradivarius. Nearly 1,100 people passed within earshot of this early morning performance at L’Enfant Station but only a handful stopped to listen. The musician collected $32.17 in tips for his subway gig if you don’t include the twenty dollar bill from the one person who recognized him as Joshua Bell, the world-class violinist who played to a packed house at Boston’s Symphony Hall just three days earlier where tickets sold… Read More

June 8th, 2010 at 6:21pm

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The Cold Light of Day

By Jim Whitt Three years ago Nouriel Roubini played the role of a modern-day John the Baptist — a voice crying in the economic wilderness. He prophesied the world-wide financial crisis, the U.S. housing market crash and the partial collapse of the banking sector. He not only was ignored but derided by other economists who played the role of modern-day Caesars who fiddled while Rome was burning. “People asked me why I saw there was a bubble and my question was why others didn’t,” Roubini said in an interview. But then he answered his own question, “During the bubble everybody… Read More

June 1st, 2010 at 8:38pm

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