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Archive for the ‘Human Resources’ Category

HRPA 2016, Jan 19-22.

January 27, 2016

Brief nuggets of things gleaned at the HRPA Conference that I wanted to share with you folks…

Gender differences in processing information.

Scientific data proves men and women process info differently…if you want to make an excellent decision, include all stakeholders…a really good idea to ask women what they ‘see’ because of the way the process information. They have a more holistic approach with includes more factors, men in general have a quicker approach and make decisions faster based on the immediate factors they see before them. Both are equally intelligent, in different ways. Good decision making includes both approaches.

Mental health…

More and more an issue; panel discussion included famous lawyer (Malcolm McKillop was his name if I’m not mistaken), and Clara Hughes (6 x Olympian; Bell commercials raising awareness for this cause). She was plagued with these issues (father alcoholic, dysfunctional family interactions). She made a strong call to action for there to be more resources allocated to mental health, catching it in the nip. A timely intervention can make someone (she is an example) still be able to make huge contributions to society.

Creativity…

David Usher…singer, 6 time Juno winner. Consults universities, and other organizations as board member. Graduate of Simon Fraser University (Pol. Science). Son of Professor.

‘Creative collisions’ occur and composed of 95% work. We are all creative beings. You need a structure in order to use these creative collisions. There is no magic…creativity is mixing and matching to create that magic. He begins with a blank page and his source of inspiration (a picture of himself at 3 years of age with a bow and arrow) gleefully free to do (create) whatever he decided on.

Benjamin Tal. (Very educated economist who hobnobs with people like Greenspan (of the U.S.) and influential Bank of Canada representatives).

Yes the next year will be painful in that economy is dicey all over the world. However these are growing pains due to changes in the economy where money is shifting from oil to commodities. Ultimately, given that we’ve lost 10 to 20 pc of our manufacturing sector in Canada, opportunities will exist in the commodities sectors.

Gaming, gamification.

Gaming concepts are being used to provide training. This provides an interactive, fun and stimulating way for people to learn company material. You will see this more often being implemented in organizations due to its effectiveness and cost savings and other ripple effect benefits.

The above information helps us be calmer about the future (2016 economy) and opens us to what to expect in the near future (gamification – is this word in everyone’s dictionary yet?), as well as helping us to keep alert about mental issues (‘am I my brother’s keeper? Yes, I guess you are!). Free yourself to be your creative best in 2016 and use diversity to your advantage!

Best,

-Nilesh Shreedhar.

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What is a Thought Ninja? (More Vegas TM Content)

August 30, 2015

Here is a concept I learned from the recent Vegas convention I attended (I still have 14 or so more pieces of writing I want to post!)

Well you know the format…if you’ve been following….Here it is once again, in case this is a ‘one-off’ for you and you happen to have just ‘dropped in,’ so to speak (I hate hyphens, sorry). Let me reword that, I can’t be bothered….no hate involved. That wouldn’t be very equanimous…apologies…inside joke for Vipassana meditators http://www.torana.dhamma.org/) . LOL.

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Ed Young, Toastmasters, Las Vegas Championship Entry Speech.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

This speech was done by Ed Young and it was about keeping your promises, during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. As such, if it inspires even one person today, I think it will have accomplished it’s goal….

What is a thought ninja? Ed Young, asked?

He accomplished the commendable goal of staying sober for 16 years.

As I quickly tried to take notes at the convention, it soon became obvious that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the messages from all the different speakers. So I aimed for content….this one had a significant message:

The point of his story was that Ed was able to stay the with girl of his dreams….He did that by ‘assassinating the negative thoughts.’

So he called upon us to ‘dare to achieve your dreams,’ as he said, others may be depending on you….like a little girl, or a bride to be, someone who believes in you. Important to do so…so they keep theirs….too.

Before we let our dreams get compromised, analyze the content in your minds. Is it being sabotaged by little ‘thought ninjas?’ You must assassinate them upon contact!

Wonderful speech. Still a winning one in my books…for its content! So defeat your thought ninjas and achieve your goals, your dreams!

That’s today’s post folks!

Best regards,

Nilesh.

 

 

 

 

Aditya Maheswaran’s “Scratch” , 2nd place finish at Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.

August 20, 2015

Speech giver: Aditya Maheswaran

Organization: Toastmasters.org (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Once again, here is my mantra – the purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

  1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
  2. To Offer inspiration to people.
  3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
  4. To Effect positive changes in the world.

Congratulations to Aditya Maheswaran of Mumbai, India, District 41, on finishing in second place for his speech, “Scratch.”

This speech was given by Aditya Maheswaran…..called ”Scratch”….about lessons learned after buying a new car…then going out right after with the girl who made his heart sing….

Driving with Neha, in his beloved new car, he parked it at the beach where they walked together….. He looked back – what should he see?

Aghast, he saw the Man walking at the beach scratching his….brand…. new…car with a pair of skis as he walked by! Completely neglecting Neha….he forgot about her and attended to car instead, running off, not caring about her….until much, much later. Alas, the damage was done – and not just to the car!
Depressed and at home, still thinking about it, he also hurt mom as he was still upset about the car, which was hard to get over…even saying leave me alone to his mom! The next day, with a wise mechanic’s help the car – was looking new again! Once again beautiful, sleek, and elegant…..The mechanic proffered ‘a scratch stays only as long as you don’t polish it.’ Using this wisdom, knew exactly what to do! He hugged his mom. After so much effort – realizing the errors of his ways – he persisted, and called Neha…12 times! He sincerely apologized for his behaviour saying, “I’m sorry, you are my precious!”…putting to use the significant wisdom that he had gleaned only days earlier from a mechanic!

2014 in review – NeilShreedhar’s Blog.

January 31, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 790 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How to Improve Relationships – at work and at home.

January 29, 2015

Here are some useful Relationship Tips that I have gleaned from attending numerous seminars and workshops over the years….I hope you find them as useful as I do:

  1. Be sincere. There’s nothing that mends relationships better than being sincere…..
  2. Have faith. This goes hand in hand with the above. It takes time to change. The only real change is gradual. It is often so subtle that one doesn’t even realize it; until one actually sits down and reflects on journals of past days. You have grown by leaps and bounds since you were a toddler. In that time frame now do you see that?
  3. Mind the language. Often if we pay attention to language we can win our point with tact and diplomacy. Words like ‘manipulative’ are hurtful and loaded. No one wants to think of themselves that way and it creates walls around discussion. The person is still thinking about what you meant and isn’t really listening to what you say any more…what? J
  4. Listen to one another. A sure way to get on each other’s good side and improve relations is to show good reflective listening skills. So you mean…(’this’ – whatever it is). Then you follow through on whatever action is entailed on improving the relationship from your end!
  5. Assume positive intent. Nothing rankles with people worse than when you assume the worst of them. They then try even harder to meet your already low expectations! Don’t give them the chance! (This is Pepsi Co’s CEO’s advice – straight from her dad).
  6. Talk nice. Leave a person’s dignity intact. After a huge fall from grace, iIt may be the only shred he or she has left. So be gentle with one another…we’re all God’s children (and some of us have long memories!).
  7. Take ownership of your share of the problem. With a proper analysis you should be able to determine how things ended up this way….. Now you have the tools and can take ownership of your share of the problem (without beating it to death) and ensure that similar mistakes aren’t made in future. Then the road is made better for all in the process if someone is down, but not out!
  8. Remember that ‘this too shall pass.’ All of life’s mishaps are just passing phases. If this is kept in mind, true wisdom  is gained…( the “law of impermanence” – ‘anicca’ – the ‘Buddha’)

Please share this with one another – so that we are all on the same page…we live in a small global village. Nothing would make me happier than if we all got along nicely!

Thank you and best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com

http://neilshreedhar.wix.com/goodenergy

Four Ways to Deal with Conflict.

June 23, 2014

This information is relevant at any time. It always makes me wonder why people think conflict is actually abnormal given the fact that even in a given household where one would expect a fair degree of homogeneity, you have different values and opinions. So then why is it so unusual to find the clashing of opinions? Yes, mishandled it can be potentially disastrous, but not more than a festering wound left completely unattended – that’s even worse….Read on to find out how this might be so….

 

Refer back to your Conflict Journal and match the five different types of conflicts with real conflicts that you have witnessed or been personally involved with.  How were these conflicts resolved?  Pick one of the conflicts that you witnessed (i.e. were not personally involved in).  How did you know it was a conflict?  If you could have acted as the mediator, role-play the steps you would have taken to help resolve the conflict.

 

What follows is a reply to a question posed during a Conflict Resolution class I attended for courses I took a while back…It is insightful and immediately practical! Good luck with it…

One of the conflicts that I witnessed is one in which the employee complains about the employer and how he doesn’t like the way the employer manages the office, in other words, he feels that things shoud be done differently. This person is fairly experienced and makes valid points, but just may lack the full perspective that comes with positions of higher authority. He also feels that he is not being listened to, or that his (in his view valid) concerns are nto being addressed, just ignored.

 

Steps that I have taken include emphasizing the positive aspects of the relationship of workiing for the employer, requesting him to take a more active role in union representation so that he doesn’t get himself in trouble with the employer, and just staying positive with him, making recommendations to attend any type of training available, such as one that was recently offered on Change Management.

 

This seems to be the way to go about dealing with these issues, according to Howard Guttman, author of The Art of Managing Conflict, and who states that, When you stop to think about it, there essentially are four ways in which the players in a conflict-laden situation can deal with it:

 

• Playing the victim: saying nothing, acting powerless, and complaining. Such behavior clearly is corrosive and often subversive. It leads to griping and sniping and tends to drive discord underground. Injured parties can sap the vitality from relation stops–whether at home or in the office–as sufferers focus inward on their unresolved issues and reach out to recruit supporters to their point of view.

• Flight: physically removing oneself from involvement. Face it; walking away or leaving is always an option. We can turn our backs on our friends, get divorced, or quit our job and head for greener pastures. How many times can we run away however? It is better to learn how to mediate conflict.

• Change oneself: Move off one’s position; shift one’s view of the other party; “let it go.” Sometimes, we can change ourselves by changing our perceptions of a situation. For example, you might try to achieve a positive outcome by altering your “story” or interpretation of another person’s behavior. Of course, being forced to modify one’s story often rankles. Moreover, what happens at those moments of truth, when all the attempts to reframe your perceptions simply do not work? The only option remaining is to confront conflict.

• Confronting: addressing the issue openly, candidly, and objectively; communicating with the other party. This approach is ideal. One executive we know uses a colorful metaphor to illustrate the concept. He likened the tendency to let disagreements fester to having a dead elephant’s head in the middle of the room. It is unsightly, disturbing, and takes up a lot of space, but no one is willing to acknowledge its presence. It distracts people from more important work. The longer the elephant head remains, the worse its effect will be. The elephant head will not get up and go by itself. Only when people admit that this distasteful object is present and needs to be dealt with will they be able to remove it and move on to more productive activity.

If you decide to end your conspiracy of silence and work out your personal or business conflict by confronting, we recommend using the Four C’s approach:

Connecting. In conflict resolution, timing and location are next to godliness. Before attempting to connect with another person–to establish a rapport that is conducive to discussing your mutual needs–always check with the individual to determine the best time and place to have a meeting. Do not forget to set the stage. Make sure you have privacy; will not be interrupted; are in a neutral, non-threatening environment; have scheduled enough time to cover all the salient points; and that both of you have had adequate opportunities to prepare for the dialogue. At work, this might mean repairing to a neutral conference room. At home, you might head for the nearest Starbucks.

Using the proper phrasing

Finding the right words to begin a potentially adversarial discussion can be difficult. We suggest using “partnering phrases,” which convey the idea that you are ready to address the issue candidly and objectively and that you are serious about resolving it. For example, “I have some concerns about the way we are making decisions relating to one another that I would like to explore with you,” or “I have an issue with your attendance. You are not keeping up with your commitment. We cannot afford to let this continue,” or “I am having some difficulties with the way you are managing the ‘so-and-so’ project. They really are going to get in the way if we fail to deal with them,” or “I am uncomfortable with your approach to performance reviews, and I want to work my concerns out with you.”

Clarifying. All the breast pounding and good intentions will not rescue a situation in which clarifying is not employed properly. Static is an agreement buster. Encourage the other party to open up about the real concerns he or she has. Describe the behaviours and the reasons you find them troubling. Choosing the right words is crucial. Try these phrases: “Let us take a minute to clarify what we hear each other saying about the way we have been making decisions,” or “It is important for me to understand where you are coming from. What do I need to know to understand what has been happening with your attendance?,” or “Regarding the assigned project, what feedback do you have for me about my contributions to the situation?,” or “I want to know what you think. What is your point of view on performance reviews?”

Confirming. This entails summing up the facts, restating the issues to ensure that nothing has been misunderstood or omitted during your discussion. Equally important is a summary of the emotional progress that has been made–the commitment to finding a mutually agreeable solution. While both parties usually are eager to move to action at this point, investing a few additional minutes in confirming will make the next step much easier.

These are especially useful confirming statements: “Here is my understanding of our differences and where we are right now on the issue of the ‘so-and-so’ project,” or “Do you have any other concerns about our performance review?,” or “I really appreciate your willingness to work through this issue with me,” or “I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise here.”

Contracting. This is the final stage in managing disagreement by interaction. It entails finding the illusive win-win solution that both parties can commit to. Let us take this example from the business world. Deborah, the project manager at a major pharmaceutical company, has authorized overtime to keep a key project on schedule. Sam, her supervisor, has just learned about this from another manager. Sam might sound something like this in confronting his subordinate: “Deborah, when you authorize overtime without telling me, you put me in a difficult situation. I am the one who is responsible for staying on budget, and if there are any cost overruns, I am the one who will have to explain them. From now on, I need you to come to me before authorizing any overtime.”

Sam is using a three-part “I” response in which there are a trio of essential components: a description of the troublesome behavior; the disclosure of your feelings about the act; and stating the effect it has on you. In other words, the focus of the message is on “I” and not the other person.

At this point, Deborah is likely to respond with an explanation of her actions, such as: “You were away for the weekend; you said you could not be reached; and I had to make the call. I figured because you did not give me your phone number, you did not want me to bother you. If you want to make decisions, I have to be able to get in touch with you.”

Now Deborah is the one asserting herself, making it clear that she, too, has needs. The negotiation should proceed, back and forth, until both Sam’s and Deborah’s needs are met. If Sam is not willing to give up his privacy by leaving a phone number, maybe he will agree to call Deborah for a daily update the next time he goes away. Or, he may decide to give Deborah more leeway, arranging for her to authorize overtime up to a certain number of hours without his approval.

Some useful contracting phrases are: “I think the whole team/family needs to be involved in budget decisions. What do you think?,” or “Having you here four 10-hour days does not work for me, but having you come in at 10 a.m. and stay until 6 p.m. would. Does that work for you?,” or “One thing we can do to move the project ahead is …” or “What would you prefer that I do differently in the future regarding the way I conduct my performance reviews?”

Managing conflict effectively is a learned behaviour. Conflict-resolution skills are not part of any high school, college, or business school curriculum. Yet, the potential for discord exists whenever we interact with others. As Pat Parenty, senior vice president and general manager of Redken, U.S.A., points out, “Expecting people to resolve their differences without giving them conflictmanagement skills is like giving a computer to someone who has never seen one before and saying, ‘Have fun using this.'” Do not count on having a good time.

 

 

Proquest. Newsweek. Aug 6, 2007. pg. 43. A Math Makeover; OMG! Actress and mathematician Danica McKellar wants girls to know that being good at numbers is cool.; [U.S. Edition Edition] Retrieved  at 12:49 pm from http://proquest.umi.com.centhsally.centenarycollege.edu:2048/pqdweb?index=0&did=1312311471&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1185899880&clientId=10301

 

Reference:

Guttman, Howard M., The Art of Managing Conflict. USA Today Magazine, 01617389, Jan2004, Vol. 132, Issue 2704. Retrieved at 7:45 am on August 20, 2007 from:http://web.ebscohost.com.centhsally.centenarycollege.edu:2048/pov/detail?vid=5&hid=112&sid=b02acd8a-f7d1-4c0e-afbb-686e5d4ef027%40sessionmgr109

Love Works at Work…Joel Manby

June 16, 2014

Continuing where we left off….

What is love? 4 kinds: eros; philos; storge and agape love(s) as per the Greeks.

Agape is unconditional love. How you treat each other. All relationships are about agape. Joel: why do we exclude agape?

Joel never saw this in any of the previous of the companies he worked for. It’s not being ‘soft.’ (as it is incorrectly thought).

Go to Bible. 1st Corinthians: love is patient, kind, trusting, unselfish, truthful, dedicated, forgiving…Here is a useful formula to use at your workplaces.

Be unselfish – think of self less.

Think of yourself less…EU$ + CU$ = SIF$$$ (share it forward)…

Employee unselfishness $$ + Company unselfishness $$ = Share it Forward $$ for helping employees

Undercover Boss. Video clip. Powerful. (Search for it on Google). It brought tears to people’s eyes….

Two hard working employees featured (student working 40 hours to go to school for 10 hours. 2. Man living on $20000 and supporting five kids, including two  newly adopted ones and living in a make-shift after losing his home.

Scholarship…providing aid.

Unselfish love…loyalty and passion.

Your enthusiasm will never rise to higher than your employee’s enthusiasm. (Takes years to achieve)…

Employee’s love on customers and customers love on the company. There was an immediate positive response after Undercover Boss broadcast. Culture….crisis in leadership was apparent….. So now he speaks regularly about it.

Pastor Andy: do for one; what wish for all; people come for reason. Don’t let heart shrivel.

Help someone at least….

That’s all for now…more later! It’s become a Love Works series…LOL.

Dare to be Different; on Life, Lexus and Dell.

May 12, 2014

 

Reflective Journal #4

Differentiation

 

Prepared by:    Neil Shreedhar

Due Date:        Jun 02, 2007

 

Instructor:       Professor Mark Burgess

 

Course:            GBA 602 ­­       Marketing Management  

 

Differentiation

 

It is true that product differentiation is essential to the branding process. In choosing to differentiate a product, a marketer has the choice of form, features, performance quality, conformance quality, durability, reliability, reparability, and style. What follows are examples of currently produced products that have been differentiated and branded for each of these design parameters, a brief analysis and discussion of the example.

 

Definitions, examples and brief discussion of above marketing terms.

Conformance quality. Buyers expect the degree to which all the produced units are identical and meet the promised specifications to be high.

Example: Toyota’s are manufactured to stringent standards. Here is a mass produced item that practically revolutionized the car world. At one point in time it was difficult to get cars to start in cold winter weather, but now that Japanese automakers have resolved this problem, or perhaps with higher car standards have initiated the resolution to the problem, thankfully, it has become a non-issue.

According to ‘Mastering the quality staircase,’ Conformance, reliability, performance, and customization are the steps to climb on the way up to achieving competitive edge (Kim et al, 2007, p.1). In a step-by-step progression in order for its workers to understand the importance of quality analysis and problem-solving in the making of its car:

Toyota Motors trains its workers in these methods (Step one of the progression) for four months before they start to work (Kim et al, 2007, p.1).

No wonder they excel and garner a loyal customer following!

Durability is a measure of the product’s expected operating life under natural or stressful conditions, and is a valued attribute for certain products.

Example: Kenmore appliances. Sears has made an enviable reputation with the durability and the service attention that it gives to its appliances. It is evident that this reputation has also endured over the years since Sears has been selling appliances such as refrigerators since about 1910 (Sears Archives, 2007, p.1)![1].

Reliability. Buyers normally will pay a premium for more reliable products. Reliability is a measure of the probability that a product will not malfunction or fail within a specified period.

Example: Dell is another company known both for its reliable computer products and its ability to service these items:

Dell, EMachines, and IBM stand out on most reliability measures, while HP and Compaq often lag their peers. We’re treating HP and Compaq as separate brands (PC World, 2007, p.1)

 

  1. This is a measure of the ease of fixing a product when it malfunctions or fails.

Example: Microsoft. Despite all the woes that we seem to experience due to patches that have to be applied to prevent viruses from entering our computer systems, I am amazed at the ability that Microsoft has demonstrated to be able to resolve the issues of potentially millions of computer users. This is a phenomenal achievement when it is put into perspective.

Style describes the product’s look and feel to the buyer. Car buyers pay a premium for Jaguars because of their extraordinary look. Aesthetics play a key role….(Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.377).

Personally, I prefer a Lexus, and associate this car with esthetic beauty and class.

Example – Lexus:

 

Lexus has become synonymous with luxury since its introduction in 1989. By offering some of the finest quality luxury vehicles and providing benchmark customer service, Lexus has become the top-selling luxury nameplate in the United States for six years in a row. Lexus and its 217 dealers have repeatedly achieved high honors for both the products they sell and the customer service they provide as rated by the independent research firm of J.D. Power and Associates (FT Business of Luxury Summit, p.1).

The ‘style statistics’ seem to speak for themselves! Wow!

Conclusion

 

In sum, “to be branded, products must be differentiated. Physical products vary in their potential for differentiation. At one extreme… (there are)…products…that allow little variation…At the other extreme are products capable of high differentiation, such as automobiles” (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 376). This implies that in order for the consumer to keep clear which product he wishes to buy, and for what reason he wishes to buy it, it is important from a brand recall perspective that marketers learn to differentiate their products, no matter how small the differences, in order to be successful marketers.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Kim, K.Y., Miller, J.G. & Heineke, J. (1997). Mastering the quality staircase, step by step. Business Horizons. Retrieved on May 30, 2007 at 8:13 pm from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1038/is_n1_v40/ai_19369681

 

Kotler, P., & Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th ed.).  New Delhi:  Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.

 

FT Business of Luxury Summit. (2006). The Rationalization of Luxury – New Business Models, New Strategies. Retrieved on May 30, 2007 at 8:38 pm from http://www.ftbusinessofluxury.com/2006/Sponsors.asp?m_pid=0&m_nid=5805 – 37k –

 

PC World (2003).  Reliability and Service Report Card http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,112915-page,8/article.html

 

Sears Archives. Retrieved on May 30, 2007 at 7:59 pm from  http://www.searsarchives.com/products/questions/appliances/kenmore_refrigerator.htm

 

[1]Retrieved on May 30, 2007 at 7:59 pm from  http://www.searsarchives.com/products/questions/appliances/kenmore_refrigerator.htm

Starbucks experience 2007 to now.

May 10, 2014

  

Reflective Journal #1

 

Starbucks

Prepared by:    Neil Shreedhar

Due Date:        Jun 02, 2007

 

Instructor:       Professor Mark Burgess

 

Course:            GBA 602 ­­       Marketing Management  

 

 

Session 1         For this week’s entry, visit a local coffee shop or Starbucks and compare your local visit to the services provided in the opening vignette of the chapter.

Two teenage girls walk into their local Starbucks. One goes to the counter and hands the barista cards for two free peppermint lattes and purchases some pastries. The other sits at a table and opens her Apple PowerBook. Within a few seconds, she connects to the Internet courtesy of Starbucks’ deal with T-mobile to create wireless HotSpots at over a thousand Starbucks stores…(Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.3).

Does your local Starbucks or coffee shop contain wireless Internet access?

 

Situation: two friends decide to have coffee at a local Starbucks café shop.

 

Yes it does, through a special arrangement with Bell Hotspots. This is advertised prominently at the front of the store. We asked at the counter as well; the internet service doesn’t seem to be used very often and is probably fairly expensive, but it is readily available.

What is the climate of the establishment—friendly or hurried?

I went with a friend (Hany) to the Starbucks coffee shop located in a sophisticated area of Toronto. We were quite pleased with the friendly atmosphere and were greeted with a smile by a gentleman of Asian origin who asked us what we would like to order. The climate of Starbucks is usually very friendly. I have been there several times previously and this time was no exception – you are always greeted with a smile! This makes the whole experience from start to finish a pleasant one, or at least sets the tone for an excellent experience at this obviously well-loved establishment. (It is obvious that people are pleased to be there). You get the feeling that people can come there to hang out with friends and to enjoy a few laughs together. To make this possible, the staff are courteous and will often go out of their way to serve you, either to explain the different company involvements (to the best of their knowledge), or to give details about the different products that they sell, such as the specialty cookies and treats if requested.

Overall climate: friendly, easy-going; courteous, helpful; relaxed, brochures available; not cramped but space is well-utilized and includes a few comfortable couches and tables seating two.

Is marketing prevalent in this establishment?

Yes. There is coffee-related hardware that is available for sale such as coffee-makers and cups. They don’t look to be of cheap quality and add to the décor of the coffee shop. They seem to serve more of a decorative purpose and add to the ambience of the store but are also available for sale should anyone want to spend a whole lot of money buying one of these items. (Judging by people’s apparent disinterest in these items (they came there to drink coffee after all, it doesn’t really look like they get a lot of sales of these items, and I’m not sure they’d know what to do if someone decided to buy one of these machines, but I’m sure people do from time to time).

If so, how and to what extent are they exposed to marketing messages—keep a list of every marketing message you encounter.

Here are some of the (socially conscious, partially bilingual, due to the French-English heritage of Canada and business-related) marketing messages that we came across. These are just the brochures, and do not include the message advertising internet access or other signs that they may choose to display on their storefront from time to time, according to their corporate involvements and promotions:

Marketing messages: silk soy beverage and your health; some information and history about the noble soybean.

Que Pense—vous de Nous? We’d love to hear your thoughts. (Please take a moment to give us your suggestions and advice).

Trees Across Toronto. Dig in and Plant a Tree for Toronto on Saturday, April 28.

Welcome to the Starbucks Duetto**Visa* Card Quiz

Connect over coffee. Bell Hotspots™ bring high-speed Internet access to Starbucks.

Starbucks commitment to Social Responsibility.

Apply for the Starbucks Duetto Visa Card. One card. Two ways to use it. Lots of rewards.

Starbucks Careers. Create the experience. Starbucks.com/jobs

Starbucks—in our communities. Contribute positively to our communities and to our environment.

There are also the usual Starbucks banner and cute and colourful miniature picket signs advertising their specialty treats!

 

Other marketing messages received.

 

Compact discs are available for sale for example, a Nora Jones CD; such items fit in with the background of music playing which adds to the ambience. Food items available, specialty teas and coffees.

 

Interestingly enough, the following quote from the text validates our experience at Starbucks and also illustrates how Starbucks has stayed close to its values and mission:

 

Starbucks is a company that has achieved growth in many different ways….Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO until 2000…recognized an unfilled niche for cafes serving gourmet coffee directly to customers. This became Starbucks’ market-penetration strategy, and helped the company attain a loyal customer base…Once the company established itself as a presence in thousands of cities internationally, Starbuck sought to increase the number of purchases by existing customers with a product-development strategy that led to new in store merchandise, including compilation CDs, a Starbucks Duetto visa card that allows customers to receive pits toward Starbucks purchases whenever they use it, and high-speed wireless Internet access at thousands of Starbucks “Hotspots” through a deal with T-Mobile. Finally Starbucks pursued diversification into grocery store aisles with Frappucino® bottled drinks, Starbucks brand ice cream, and the purchase of tea retailer Tazo® Tea (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.48).

 

Conclusion

 

In sum we had a terrific experience at Starbucks when we went to peruse it from a marketing perspective. As one would expect from a company as successful as Starbucks, they are paying attention to the consumer and Jack Welch’s advise: “Change or die” (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.4). They are paying heed not only to the consumer, but to consumer advocacy groups who believe in Fair Trade Practices. After a careful analysis of the environment, they have successfully pursued excellent market penetration and product diversification strategies to become the world leader they are now.

 

Nilesh Shreedhar.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Kotler, P., & Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th ed.).  New Delhi:  Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.

 

“If you are Speaking, you are Selling”

April 9, 2014

Jeremy Tracey.  “If you are Speaking, you are Selling.”

Hazel McCallion C, Delta Hotel, Meadowvale, Ontario.Toastmasters Spring Conference.

April 5-7, 2014.

 “If you are Speaking, you are Selling” 

“Every time you speak, whether it is at your Toastmasters club or not, you are selling something,” so began the riveting learning workshop by Jeremy Tracy, one of Canada’s foremost professional speakers. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his speeches, by all means do attend, you won’t be disappointed.

I learned three useful formulas, including two useful acronyms, useful for daily life, in getting people’s cooperation. This includes that of spouses, children, family members, and almost anyone that you come across from home- to work- life.

Without further ado, here is one of those tips (more tips in later write-ups – I’m excited to share this with you):

In this example, let’s say you are trying to get your spouse to cooperate…for a specific example… maybe you desperately could use a vacation?

  1. Take them through your pain. (Make it bad).
  2. What is the benefit? (Make them want whatever it is you are recommending – tangible or intangible idea).
  3. Stop and Ask – what made the difference? (Engage the person(s))
  4. Share your long road. The person (or audience) will want to take the shortcut.
  5. Offer it up. What is the value of the tool or idea?

In brief and for general use, this can be summarized as PAIN, PAY, ASK, ROAD, OFFER.

What does it all of this mean? It means that before people change their way of doing things, they want to know how it will benefit them.

In order to see the benefit, they will want to ‘live’ through your eyes and experiences, so they can take a short-cut. Otherwise their traditional way will do just fine. After all, we are creatures of comfort!

Try the above method when you are ‘selling’ one of your ideas to someone – anyone! Remember, as one of the audience participants himself noted, after years of disliking those who sell, ‘sell’ is not a four-letter word.

Let me know how your results go. I will be sure to share other gems on this website on how to get more out of life and how to improve your overall results in its various areas. Wait for two more tips from Jeremy Tracey and good luck!

If you want more information about Jeremy and what he does, check out the following links: http://jeremytracey.com;

http://jeremytracey.com/if-you-are-speaking-you-are-selling/

 

 

 


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