Monthly Archives: February 2010

Bing’s Right. Stop Apologizing!

I agree with Bing. Please, Tiger, don’t apologize anymore. But it’s not just Tiger I want to stop apologizing. Unless you have a reason to apologize to the public, unless you mean it, and unless you have a way to fix it (if it needs fixin’), please shut the hell up and stop clogging all the news channels with bullcr@p. Most of us are too damn busy to keep up with real news. We don’t need your insincere whining, and the endless media commentary, clogging up the TV, Radio, and Internet news feeds 24 hours a day. We just don’t. (And those twits on Twitter don’t need anything else to OMG GES WHO S@ID SRY about either.)

If you screwed up, and it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care. If you hurt someone, and you’re truly sorry about it, apologize to them. If you did something really bad, and it affected the public, like allowing salmonella laced food to hit the stores, melamine milk to hit the shelves, or cars of death to hit the streets, then you should recognize your error, apologize for it, mean it, have a plan to fix your mistake and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and convey that plan with sincerity — or keep your mouth shut and disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. Because all insincere bullcr@p does is feed the bullsh*t PR machine, and us bloggers despise that.

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Learn from Obama’s Five Collaboration Mistakes — Don’t Repeat Them

A recent article over on the Harvard Business Review blogs addressed Obama’s Five Collaboration Mistakes that are representative of many of the common collaboration mistakes that prevent cooperation efforts from ever bearing fruit. If you understand them, you can take steps to prevent them, and have a much better chance of seeing results from your efforts.

Use the Right Language with Rank-and-File

Don’t do like his Chief of Staff and call them F@cking Retarded. They might not have your understanding of an issue, but it’s not their fault, it’s yours. You should be educating them, at their level, so they can see the full glory of your vision and, hopefully, get behind it. As per this experiment at Standford, the choice of language has a considerable impact on whether your people will cooperate or compete. It’s really up to you.

Collaborate, Don’t Delegate

Yes, it might be their job, but, as a leader, you need to stay actively involved, be there to help when they need, or want it, and give credit where credit is due.

Reach Out to Opponents

If you truly want to succeed, you need to make your most vocal opponent your biggest proponent. And that’s not as ludicrous as it sounds. Usually when someone reacts strongly to a change in strategy or technology, it’s because they believe that the new strategy or technology is not addressing one or more critical requirements that they need to do their jobs effectively on a daily basis. If you can show them that you understand their issues and that the new strategy addresses their issues, though possibly in a different, but better, manner, you can often win them over. Once they see that you’re trying to help them, they might just get behind you and help you win over the silent opposition.

Be Prepared for Hard Compromises

Sometimes, as pointed out by Nilofer Merchant’s The New How, that I reviewed here on SI a few weeks ago, hard compromise have to be made. You need to be ready, or risk having your project stalled indefinitely as key stakeholders will refuse to get on board if you’re not willing to concede to at least some of their demands.

Create a Compelling, Common Goal

Sometimes you have to shoot for the moon, even if you know it might take eight long years of hard, backbreaking work to reach the goal. As long as everyone is united along the way, you will make progress.

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Will Ariba Trade SpendMan for Speedy Gonzales?

I know Ariba is pretty fond of their SpendMan superhero, but I have to wonder, now that Speedy Gonzales is getting his own movie, if they’ll trade up.

After all, who has more credibility, a made up “spend superhero”, or a classic Warner Brothers cartoon character who has been beloved by generations since 1953 and yells “Ariba, Ariba, Ariba, Andale” every time he outruns and outwits a foe. Just watch this classic Speedy Gonzalez vs Sylvester clip on Youtube and then check out the rather unexciting comics on Spendman‘s Facebook page. I don’t know about you, but I know where I’d be putting my advertising dollars!

Zero Rupee Notes … Not Just for India Anymore?

Recently, boingboing ran an article about a Zero rupee note that Indians can slip to corrupt officials who demand bribes. The idea of the note, pictured below, was to shock grafters into honesty. Given all of the recent bribery scandals north and south of the 49th parallel, I’m wondering if we shouldn’t have a $0 Dollar bill that honest businessmen can slip to politicians who demand bribes and kickbacks before awarding contracts. Or are our some of our politicians just too corrupt?

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