Category: Personal development

An oasis in a parched land

I’ve just been spending some time with our daughter at The House of James Christian Bookstore in Abbotsford. What a great place. It has something for every stage and part of your life.

It’s so wonderful that we still have stores like this among the masses of media and materialistic things pumped into our lives. If you’re in need of refreshing and uplifting input to your life, visit your neighborhood Christian bookstore.

Re-energizing your brainstorming sessions

What meeting?

What meeting?

Wonder why your brainstorming sessions are a bust? Mitch Ditkoff (Ideachampions) gives us some of the most common reasons:

  1. Poor facilitation
  2. Wrong (or poorly articulated) topic
  3. Unmotivated participants
  4. Insufficient diversity of participants
  5. Inadequate orientation
  6. No transition from “business as usual”
  7. Lack of clear ground rules
  8. Sterile meeting space
  9. Hidden (or competing) agendas
  10. Lack of robust participation
  11. Insufficient listening
  12. Habitual idea killing behavior
  13. Attachment to old (“pet”) ideas
  14. Discomfort with ambiguity
  15. Hyper-seriousness (not enough fun)
  16. Endless interruptions
  17. PDA addiction (Crackberries)
  18. Impatience (premature adoption of the first “right idea”)
  19. Group think
  20. Hierarchy and/or competing sub-groups
  21. Imbalance of divergent and convergent thinking
  22. No tools and techniques to spark the imagination
  23. Inelegant ways of capturing new ideas
  24. No time for personal reflection
  25. Pre-mature evaluation
  26. No follow-up plan

Now that you’ve finished nodding your head 26 times, check out some of the excellent advice to make your next brainstorming session a success. 26 Reasons Why Most Brainstorming Session Fail (and what to do about it)

Blogs for customers, not companies

Blogs are written for all sorts of reasons. Most are a labour of love viewed by a small band of readers. Corporate blogs on the other hand can and should have a much broader reach. They can be an important part of supporting an organization’s brand.

So what makes a successful corporate blog?

First and foremost is the realization that a blog is for the customer’s benefit – not for the company’s. It’s important to remember readers will only come back if there is value for them. That’s right value for them. Not value for the company. Readers don’t care if you are providing a nice, efficient press release site.

Rick Burnes reminds us of the real reason for corporate blogs in a posting at ZDNet.

Blogs for Customers, Not About Companies

If you look closely at the search results you pull up every day (and even some of the Alltop corporate blogs), you’ll see that an alternative model of corporate blogging is beginning to emerge. Instead of writing about themselves, companies are following the lead of the other company blog in the Technorati Top 100 — Signal vs. Noise. They’re beginning to create content that’s not about their business, but that appeals to their buyer personas.

Whole Foods is going beyond their blog and publishing recipes. American Express is publishing small-business advice. Indium Corporation is writing about thermal interface materials.

In each of these cases, the company is attracting a broad audience by focusing on content that is interesting to the demographic it serves rather than content about the products it sells.

Every company that is considering starting a corporate blog should spend some thinking about how this effort can support their brand. Otherwise publishing the blog could be wasted effort.

Tom Peters and Seth Godin – Open Forum

Looking for the edge in today’s economy? Trying to increase employee engagement? Don’t forget your employees.

In this interview Tom Peters and Seth Godin tell us if you have loyal employees the loyal customers will come.

There are more interview excerpts on the site “Inside the Entrepreneurial Mind”.

Check out New Perspectives on Business. Also take a look at the other sections: “The Business of Technology”, “How the Biz does Business”, “The Business of Food” and “Richard Branson”.

The site is Open Forum, sponsored by American Express.

Life is not so linear

We often thing that life is a journey that we start at A and finish at C with very few decisions or opportunities for change along the way. In reality there are many decisions we can make. We have a tremendous amount of information available to us that provides opportunity to make a change.

Check out this 2-part video blog “Life is not so linear” from

Part 1

Part 2

Beachwalks with Rox is a great video blog that provides some insightful reflection and personal development. Lots of great episodes on the site.

Lessons for life and business in 50 words

With Twitter we are forced to be short and to the point. 140 characters and your done.

But could you communicate a deep and meaningful thought, a short story in just 50 words (and only 50). Rajesh Setty can. He has published some of his mini sagas together with a fitting photo. Check out Mini Sagas: Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business.

This set has 15 mini sagas – check out “Lost” and others.

Sometimes we are lost

Sometimes we are lost is a great site that has a variety of thought provoking manifestos.