17 August 2007

A New Chapter

For the past 1.5 years, I've been writing something on Downside Up, and it is time to do something new. Starting next week, I'll try to prove one thing, that everything at the end of the day comes down to touchpoint experience. I'll do this by relating the books I'm reading to Downside Up.

Below gives the list of books I bought recently.

01) The Obivous by James Dale
02) Be Unreasonable by Paul Lemberg
03) Gut Feelings by Gerd Gigerenzer
04) Mind Set! by John Naisbitt
05) Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard
06) Ready for Anything by David Allen
07) Satisfaction by Chris Denove and James D Power IV
08) One Great Insight Is Worth a Thousand Good Ideas by Phil Dusenberry
09) The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
10) Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger
11) Influence without Authority by Allan R Cohen and David L Bradford

If there is any book that you would like me to glance through, let me know.

13 August 2007

90/10 Principle Beta

"Admission of ignorance is often the first step in our education." Stephen Covey

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.

What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your REACTION.

You cannot control a red light., but you can control your reaction. Don't let people fool you; YOU can control how you react. Let's use an example.

You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse.

You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home. When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is D.

You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day. Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It's ok honey, you just need, to be more careful next time." Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why?

Because of how you REACTED.

You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.

If someone says something negative about you, don't be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don't have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel? Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them?

WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive? Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it. The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle. The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache. We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!!!


Still reading... because of Covey's principle?

What Covey suggests is nothing new but positive attitude.

Mature Beta

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." Henri Bergson

Wilson Learning, a pioneering enterprise that guides organization to success by inspiring, developing, and transforming people, identifies 12 attributes of a mature person.

A person who bends... who is responsive to changing conditions and who is adaptable in the face of diversity or the unexpected.

A person who is aware of what is going on and is willing to learn from others... who can see merit in challenging traditional ways of doing ways.

A person who is able to make decisions and judgments... who is not unduly influenced by others.

A person with keen empathy... who strives to be aware of the unspoken thoughts, feelings, and needs of others and accepts individual differences.

A person who focuses on goals... who has intense motivation to accomplish objectives, even in the face of obstacles... who is not easily discouraged.

A person who is comfortable with the contracdictions of the real world... who rejects over-simplification, and isn't overwhelmed by complexity.

A person who stretches ideas out into the future... who is not limited by the models of today.

A person with a healthy, spontaneous zest for living... who is able to "let loose" and communicate real feelings when the situation is appropriate.

A person who is willing to risk... who does not avoid anxiety and guilt, but uses them constructively... who acts with sustained initiative.

A person who likes to explore new ideas by asking questions and analyzing data... who is always on the lookout for new solutions to problems.

A person who properly values his or her own honor and dignity... who is constantly striving to become as much as he or she can be.

A person who is guided by principled thinking... who makes decisions that are fair and just.

What if a person who does not all 12 attributes but is ready to take responsibility, knows what he or she is speaking, takes good actions, has his or her goals set to accomplish the future ahead?

A person with all 12 attributes is way beyond mature, but a great leader instead!

09 August 2007

The Origin of Winning Part III

Experience is a personal and unique feeling that an individual senses at every touchpoint.

Experience is personal. Even the exact same event will deliver different experience to different individual due to different background. Experience is unique, because no experience is the same. It is like a river: "upon those who step into the same rivers, different and again different waters flow." Heraclitus says that nobody can step into the same river twice. This applies to everything, especially experience.

Every touchpoint makes a difference, based on experience.

Positive experience is about consistent expectation breakthrough. It is not easy to deliver and maintain experience consistency due to expectation escalation. When the first touchpoint experience is positive, people expect better experience, if not the same, from the next touchpoint. If it cannot be maintained, then the next touchpoint experience will be negative, even when efforts put in second touchpoint is the same as that of first touchpoint. Consistent positive touchpoint experience leads to winning.

Neutral experience is about expectation breakeven. It happens when touchpoint does not yet exist, when expectation is just met, or when people have had enough negative touchpoint experience from the past and finally give up completely on the touchpoint chain. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. When the experience is indifferent due to complete disappointment with past negative touchpoint experience, the touchpoint chain is already terminated. The chance of chain re-activation is minimal.

Negative experience is about expectation breakdown. One negative touchpoint experience can ruin all previous efforts in building positive touchpoint chain, especially in the world of information rich and time poor. People show no mercy to even mildly negative touchpoint experience.

Relevance is an indispensible ingredient in creating the first touchpoint. Without relevance, it is almost impossible to initiate anything. Commonality makes irrelevant relevant, and it is built by understanding needs and wants. Understanding requires communication and empathy, and one critical component of communication and empathy is active listening, but not just hearing.

Relationship, or touchpoint chain, is built on consistent positive touchpoint experience.

The article is also available on www.customerthink.com/blog/the_origin_of_winning_part_iii.

08 August 2007

Geese Beta

Fact #1 – As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one bird flew alone.

Lesson Learned – People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the strength of one another.

Fact #2 – Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Lesson Learned – If we have as much sense as geese, we will stay in formation with those who are ahead of where we want to go and be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to others.

Fact #3 – When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson Learned – It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

Fact #4 – The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson Learned – We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging, and not something else.

Fact #5 – When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again, or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or they catch up with their flock.

Lesson Learned – If we have as much sense as geese do, we too, will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Crafting marketing strategies in the Internet era

This is an article posted in China Daily by Li Jing on 05 April 2007.

When BMW put a selection of action movies featuring its cars on the Web six years ago, they became a big hit and boosted car sales. The auto giant might not have realized that the $10 million investment would lead to a brand new form of markting-digital marketing-with which companies can reach their target audience or manage their brands online.

Since then, digitization has typically been used a s driect medium in marketing.

People-or "users"-only log into a few key new portals for the latest news. Conversations about brands, products, or experiences are limited to newsgroups and mesage boards.

Search engine markeing meant adding a meta keyword tag to your homepage, submitting your site and hoping for the best. Knowing where target audiences congregated, what was being said, and how best to influence was, frankly, just easier.

But things have changed in the past few years. Today, the digital world has grown increasingly complex. While industry observers devote much attention to blogs, wikis, podcasts and other forms of personalized media, these trends merely symbolize the complexity of the digital landscape.

Digital challenges

In this new, complex digital environment, where anyone can be an influencer and we are all influenced in new ways, there are exponentially more users, there are more conversations and more places where users can congregate to converse.

"This environment allows for more opportunity to influence others and build brands, of course, but it also presents challenges," says John Bell, managing director and executive creative director of 360 Digital Influence at Ogilvy.

He says detecting that one rumor before it snowballs into a brand-damaging crisis is more difficult when there are 5,000 sites instead of five. Deciding where to seed a viral marketing campaign is harder when your target audience is dispersed across a larger number of channels online-or when those channels are in continuous change. As for bloggers, you can't control what they say and can't control what they do either.

To overcome these challenges and maximize benefits from the vast digital landscape, Bell suggests a company should first monitor what digital channels and websites are more effective at reaching target audiences, what is being said on these sites, and then develop a digitial marketing strategy.


The next step is for a company to craft an engagement strategy. "Engagement is where we take action," Bell says. The digital spectrum includes not only personal media such as blogs and wikis, but also search marketing, content syndication, website design, online contests and more.

"Sometimes the engagement is defensive, such as if someone says bad things about your product or brand, and sometimes proactive, such as building relationships with some bloggers because they know all about the technology that you sell, and getting involved in the conservation."

He says there are different levels of an engagement strategy. Buzz, or word-of-mouth publicity, can help raise awareness for a brand or idea but does not often engage very deeply. And it does not last.

But active discussion, which involves people on a deper level, has a long-term effect. Bell cites Lenovo, a client of Oglivy as an example. Lenovo launched a series of blogs by its leading designers for carrying on active discussions with customers, influencers and even fans.

"These are ongoing discussions. Participants get to know and trust the authors of those blogs. That trust transfers to the brand," Bell says.

The most exciting idea is co-creation, which is at the deep end of the engagement pool, Bell explains. "A brand can invite its customers to help create part of its services, such as a new mp3 design or a new coffee flavor. The same can be true in business decisions. Say, when you open a store, you can invite people to talk about it," Bell says.

"If you listent to their suggestions and incorporate them like Samuel Adams did with Longshot Homebrew Challenge or LEGO did with Mindstorms NXT, you can build loyalty."

Active discussion and co-creation are powerful in dealing with Web criticism, Bell says.

"You should demonstrate quickly that you listen to them and know what they say. You should find ways to get into the conversation or even hold the conversation, rather than hiding behind public relations and legal departments.

"The key is that you should demostrate that you are willing to take their comments to heart and change the ways you do things. Then, criticism can be turned into a great opportunity for growth."