Waiting Rooms, Use Thereof

I’ve spent a lot of time in waiting rooms – especially since my wife had her stroke.  And while waiting rooms, particularly doctors’ waiting rooms, are not the most fun atmosphere, I find waiting rooms very useful because I’m always prepared.

How do you prepare for a waiting room?

I prepare […]

SpokaneAMA: How do you recruit?

Here’s our first question from the our latest Spokane Ask Me Anything (SpokaneAMA):  We have too much to do and not enough people. How do you recruit? We are all volunteers.

Recruiting is a lot like dating – both parties must find something in the relationship that benefits them.

For the […]

SpokaneAMA: How secure are secure sockets (https) and how can you tell?

This is a question we received at the Spokane Ask Me Anything sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners held on June 12, 2014.

This can get to be a very technical discussion which I don’t think is your desire. I’ll try to keep it non-technical.

I’m going to […]

#SpokaneAMA Question: Posting Pictures

By Frank Hutchison
Can I legally post pictures of guests on my Facebook Business page without written waiver?  Can a verbal be OK? 
This question has two answers – Yes and Maybe.
Yes, you can post pictures of guests on Facebook or elsewhere if the pictures are:

Taken in a public forum – […]

#SpokaneAMA Question: Where to find free photos and images?

By Frank Hutchison and Deanna Tiemann, Guest Blogger

#SpokaneAMA Question: Where do you go to find free photos and images?
First of all, we have to make a distinction between personal and business use of images, whether they are photos or graphics.
Personal use is given greater latitude primary because it’s just […]

Escaping Buzzwurgatory: Part III – What to Ditch and What to Keep

The company I used to work for did this “Annual Tour” where bigwig executives got us together at night, paid for a catered dinner, and gave these long winded presentations about the company. We played a drinking game – one sip for each use of the word “synergy”. 

Nobody made […]

Customers & Value: Framing the Mona Lisa

I recently got to think about something that I never thought of before– the frame that holds the Mona Lisa.  It was brought to my mind by the new Brad Paisley song Mona Lisa where he is talking about willing to let his lover (I’ll assume his wife) […]

5 Ways to Spot Shady LinkedIn Profiles & Bogus Endorsements

Every time I log in to LinkedIn, I’m assaulted with bogus endorsement notifications. 

You know the ones:

“Joe Shmoe has endorsed you for Business Planning!”
or “Jane Doe has endorsed you for financial management!”

Every time it happens, I roll my eyes and think “What the what? I’ve never worked with Joe on […]

Why Customers Don’t Want to Buy Your Stuff

Years ago I heard a story about the president of Black and Decker who stunned an entire convention center imto deadly silence when he declared,“Our customers don’t want to buy our drills – they just want to make holes!”As someone who owns nine drills, most of which are used […]

Crisis University: Five Books to Make You a Crisis Management Expert

photo credit hereThere’s a rule in our house that’s absolute: No books in the bathroom! My wife and I agreed that if we ever had books in the bathroom, we may never come out. We love books – as is evidenced by the filled bookcases and […]

Oreos and Jedi: How to Look Smart When Someone Challenges Your Data

So, Nabisco just got publicly shamed by a bunch of high schoolers. Dan Anderson, a consumer math teacher in upstate New York, was trying to help his students get a better grasp of the subject with a hands-on experiment: determining whether or not Double Stuf Oreos really contain double […]

Educating vs.Marketing – What Modern Customers Need to Know Before They’ll Buy

Customers view most marketing content with the same wariness we all have for blind dates – we never know if we’re going to get someone really interesting, or get stuck with some self-involved idiot who talks about himself the whooooollllle tiiiiiiiiime. That’s the problem with most marketing – a […]

LISTEN NOW: The First Rule of Explaining Complex Concepts to Customers… Without Boring the Crap Out of Them

photo credit here

Ready for an audio awesomeness double feature? 
Frank and I are almost ready to start releasing audio and video content!

That’s right – we are actual people who move and talk with voices you can even hear and everything.

Crazy – I KNOW.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you […]

Godzillas and Frogs: Understanding Potential Crises

Photo Credit: here

Whenever I tell people that I deal in crisis management, their response is, “What type of crisis?”  I can answer with descriptions of personnel, management or even moral crises that I’ve dealt with, but almost every crisis that I have dealt with over the past 30+ years […]

Rebuilding Trust with the People Who Matter in a Crisis

Yesterday, I told you about the Australian military sex ring scandal and shared Lt. Gen. Morrison’s brilliant response, challenging decades of entrenched military culture (you can click here to watch the video on YouTube). He did something else in that three minute video that everyone must do during a […]

Personal Lean Day 3 – Four Brutal Truths for Dealing with the Elephant in the Room

Photo Credit: John Mallon Iphoneography via Flickr

Everyone is going to spend some time hanging out with denial. Yes, that means you. I promise. Something completely unexpected and messy and scary will suckerpunch you, and it will threaten your self-image. You’ll watch in shock as that elephant squeezes through your […]

Personal Lean Day 2: Four Deadly E-Mail Sins That Waste Time and Make You Look Dumb

Photo Credit: kajarno via Flickr

1. Never, ever use email to avoid 
having a difficult conversation with someone. 
A lot of people do this, and they usually give the same excuse: “I feel that I express myself better in writing.”  It’s a self-centered justification that doesn’t actually improve communication. What they’re really saying […]

Personal Lean Day 1: Easy Breakfasts for Entrepreneurs Who Suck at Mornings

Photo Credit: r.nial.bradshaw via Flickr
Why is a business consultant blogging about breakfast?
Find out by reading the first part of this series
Personal Lean: Why Entrepreneurs Who Skip Breakfast as Hypocrites

So I forget to eat. 
A lot.

Which is an idiot thing to do, because low blood sugar makes me craaaaaaanky like a […]

Personal Lean: The Proper Care and Feeding of Entrepreneurs (or, Why Entrepreneurs Who Skip Breakfast Are Hypocrites)

But Mer, why are business consultants blogging about breakfast? you ask.  Because most entrepreneurs I know suck at taking care of themselves. They take care of their employees, their clients, their children, their parakeets and ficus plants — but they forget to consume a few calories every 4 hours […]

Four Leadership Lessons from the Guys Who Made Godzilla’s Suit

Successful Leaders Accept Limitations & Work Within ThemNo one wanted to use an actor in a suit to play Godzilla. It was old school, basic, and low-tech – kind of like using a typewriter these days. In the early 50s, everyone was obsessed with stop-motion animation, puppeteering, and miniature/model […]