“You can have it done cheap, fast, or right. Pick two”

“Project management for networking geeks” by Greg Schaffer (Computer World Mag, 23 Feb 2009, ComputerWorld.com). The irony for this post is that Schaffer was trying to teach geek dogs new PM tricks, but his lesson was simple enough for it to be shared with all. Consider this a refresher course more that a new ground breaker. And who can disagree with the classic: “You can have it done cheap, fast, or right. Pick two”.

And while we’re on the topic of PM, “Excerpt: Agile Project Management” as pulled from Karen R.J. White’s “Agile Project Management: A Mandate for the 21st Century” as offered by Consulting Magazine (Jan / Feb 2009. ConsultingMag.com. In a nutshell agile is a buzz word for being prepared for things not to go as planned and responding to get things back on track.

Trading your privacy for Google freebies

Goggle this… Goggle that… Google. Google. Google. There is no doubt the new evil empire has a lot to offer. Here are two thorough articles to help you slash your way through the Goggle jungle. But be warned, you could end up traversing down a link to link to link blackhole.

“Learning about Google via Google” by Steve Arnold (KMWorld Magazine, February 2009, KMWorld.com)

“State of the Art: Geniuses at Play, on the Job” by David Pogue (New York Times, Thursday 26 February 2009)

“No one really likes change. Let’s call it improvement.”

Truth be told we’re all being forced to dig a little deeper and find inspiration. Thankfully this is exactly what the doctor ordered. “All I see is opportunity” by Denis Storey (Benefits Selling, March 2009, BenefitsSellingMag.com).

The entire article is highly recommended but here are Wells Fagro’s Mr Tracy Dieterich’s 10 Steps Every Salesperson Should Follow:

1 – It all starts with your attitude
2 – Have written goals
3 – Change yourself
4 – Hard work
5 – Set deadline
6 – BOR Letters
7 – Be willing to fail
8 – Give back
9 – Have fun
10 – Build a team

As is so often the case with these type of posts, anyone – on or off the clock – can benefit from Tracy’s list. Kudos Tracy! We gladly embrace your example.

p.s. Also take a moment to check  out (this one pager)  “Is honesty always the best policy?” by Dan Norman which is also in the same issue.

Measure it. Manage it.

“The No-Stats All-Star” by Michael Lewis (NY Times Sunday Magazine, 13 Feb 2009).  Please pardon the cliche of using sport to discuss business, but this article was particularly interesting. On one hand there’s the element of statistics and using numbers to stud, evaluate and squeeze out that last ounce of victory. On the other, there’s the idea of team – collecting the right people at the right time and producing a result where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Finally there’s the realization that the “HR” departments of many well financed sports teams fail to produce winners. Not only do they have the budget to acquire talent, they have the budget to acquire the talent that helps to pick the talent. Next time you feel like you’re coming up short with your “team” remember that you’re not the only one.

How will your book cover be judged?

“The Psychology of Web Design (and Putting It Into Practice)” by Peter Prestipino (Website Magazine, 5 Feb 2009).

“Play.com Tops U.K. Customer Experience Survey” by Kevin Zimmerman (1to1Media.com, November / December 2008).

A simple pairing to help enable you to be more guest-centric.

It’s not over til it’s over

“Five ways to make leads count” By Senior Market Advisor (Published 1 Feb 2009 in the Feb 2009 issue of Senior Market Advisor Magazine, Seniormarketadvisor.com).  Whether you think you’re in sales or not, you’re in sales. We’re all in sales. At the same time, we are all prospects / potential clients of someone else. Check these couple key pull quotes:

“Salespeople often default to the standard, ‘Are you ready to buy yet?’ phone call as their preferred method of follow-up, but clients today want to be informed and engaged, not just sold to,” Hayden says. “If you can become a trusted source of information and a friendly voice in their ear, prospects will welcome contacts from you rather than avoid them, and you’ll also receive many more unsolicited referrals, even from prospects who haven’t yet worked with you themselves.”

Bellevue, Wash.-based advisor Douglas Nickson knows first-hand how that can work, based on a meeting that came out of one of his seminars. “One time a couple years ago, I met with a fellow who really liked his stockbroker and just wanted a particular thing tweaked. I informed him exactly what to tell his stockbroker to make it happen and that if that’s all he needed, he really did need me. As I was leaving, he mentioned I was seeing his good buddy, who also attended my seminar, a couple days later. His buddy and wife turned out to be a $500,000 client, and I always figured the first guy must have called him and told him that I was a straight shooter.”

Did you know what 50% of people met their current mate / partner via friends. There’s is every reason to believe that referrals work the same on the clock. Look at the example above – you never know where that next great deal (or new friend, etc.) is going to come from. Don’t be small minded.

In short, resist thinking about what you’re trying to” sell”.  Instead orient yourself around a means  that not only focuses on what the other person might benefit from buying but also how they would like to buy it. Is that not the way you would want to be treated?

“Intelligent life”?

“What Are the Odds a Handy, Quotable Statistic Is Lying? Better Than Even” by Barry Gewen (New York Times, 3 Feb 2009). A must-read article on the new book by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot, “The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, Politics, and in Life.” In short, statistics are often used to bend the truth and sometimes lie. Not only can’t we believe whatwe hear or read, we can’t believe what we see either. Too often the associated graphic representations of the (out of context) data are also often misleading. Unfortunately, as more and more people are “outsourcing” their critical thinking, analysis, and ability to question “the facts”. Thinking is a gift and we should never be too busy to count that blessing.