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Posts Tagged ‘neil (nilesh) shreedhar’

Profound lesson learned from Darren Lacroix. (And Jim Rohn)

August 24, 2015

Speech giver: Darren Lacroix. (Toastmasters speaker, comedian, motivational speaker and general all-round super-hero good guy).

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

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 short speech (I think I actually may have shortened it to its essence), was given by Darren Lacroix, Key note speaker at Caesar’s Palace during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A. I’m not even sure that it had a title, or if, in giving you the title, due to its depth, conciseness and clarity, would just give away the purpose of this post! He in turn, learned the lesson from Jim Rohn….

Darren is a popular motivational speaker in his own right (StageTimeUniversity.com) and his information is at the same time profound as it is inspirational in that it allows people to move ahead due to its clarity, purpose and wisdom.

Anyhow, this is what I learned at the above venue from Darren Lacroix (think about it for a minute or two):

You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

Now that should cause you to think about who you think about, why you think the way you do, and even more importantly, why you are not achieving what you want to in life! Now that’s worth thinking about! Maybe even about those ’crabs’ in the bucket, that won’t let you out for whatever reasons, including insecurities of their own.

Maybe you should reconsider who you would like to spend most of your time with. In my view, this includes the books (‘friends’) you read, and the social media interactions (mine include Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress) that you ‘associate’ with. These can be wholly positive or detrimental to your future put in the above light.

Why not make wiser choices about how and with whom you spend your valuable time? Choose carefully!

Best wishes,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

NeilShreedhar’s Blog: https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com

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Amazon.ca – Best practices And Recommendations going forward.

January 7, 2013

Here is another paper (using Canadian English) that I wrote for my MBA which I still find interesting. I hope you do too! (Update: As we all know Amazon has grown by leaps and bounds…happy reading! The paper included topical questions asked by the Professor). 

__________________________

Just look at this Amazon’s advertising! It roars to be read, not only by adults (possibly ‘just big kids’), but also by the market it seems to be targeting young adults, who then sway their parents to buy a book from Amazon. In my view, the above advertisement is superb from a technical point of view! It colourfully advertises a popular product, discretely promotes the seller, offers a rebate, a guarantee, and a time-limiting feature, all in one fell marketing swoop! Considering just the artwork alone, it is outstanding and reminds us all never to judge a book BUY (no pun intended) its cover – NOT! In fact, we all do this, don’t we? The advertisement has great esthetic appeal to many.

What is part of the reason for Amazon.ca’s success?

Direct marketing has its roots in direct-mail and catalog marketing…it includes …television direct-response marketing (Home Shopping Network, QVC), and electronic shopping (Amazon.com, Autobytel.com) (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 506).

As we can see from the above quote, both television and electronic media have their place in the marketing revolution, but television seems to be ceding ground to Internet sites such as Amazon’s which represent the newest, latest, trendiest and hippest:

The newest channels for direct marketing are electronic.

Electronic marketing is showing explosive growth:…41 million U.S. households, (sic) could connect to the Internet…for swift downloading of dense video and music digital files (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 612).

Young, high-income, high-education customers’ total online media consumption exceeds that of t(elevision Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 613).

So the market is ripe for Amazon to dominate since traditional ‘troops’ are losing ground to younger, more vibrant and seemingly more creative ads from Internet sources.[1]

Fortunately, I did a small, informal survey to estimate user experience with the Amazon.ca website, using freeonlinesurvey.com. Here are the results: overall most individuals who took the survey had excellent experience using this website, which provided a useful and interesting method of buying everything from DVD’s and books,  to music, video, software and gifts! This attests to Amazon.ca’s success as an Internet entrepreneur. Surprisingly, many survey-takers had already tried to use the service. Considering the demographic (cohort and other students with Internet savvy) and the size of the survey (only 4 or 5 respondents), this wasn’t completely surprising, but was remarkable as an indicator that Amazon is headed in a very positive direction, at least in this market segment.

 


[1] For example, in the case of Axe deodorant – Winner of Business 2.0’s 2003 Sweet Spot Award for Most Innovative Campaign (using) a set of commercials purporting to be home videos and playing only on Axe’s Web site…(Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 612).

_________________

The Amazon site, in fact takes into account the basic tenets of an extraordinary website:

*     Context. Layout and design.

*     Content. Text, pictures, sound, and video the site contains.

*     Community. How the site enables user-to user communication.

*     Customization. Site’s ability to tailor itself to different users or to allow users to personalize the site.

*    Communication. How the site enables site-to-user, user-to-site, or two-way communication.

*    Connection. Degree that the site links to other sites.

*    Commerce. Site’s capabilities to enable commercial transactions. (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 613).

Specifically, here are my observations about the website which has:

  • A welcome page.
  • Important security features for payment purposes including personalization of accounts.
  • Frequently asked questions.
  • The Operating Agreement for Amazon to run as a conduit or “middleman” between seller and buyer including honourable regulations for the sellers to abide by.
  • Reporting of abuse.
  • Use of personalization features such as “your store.”
  • Inclusion of important tabs for the sale of its products.
  • The ability to allow associate membership and other personalized or user-friendly features.

What advice does one give to improve the success of a company which has already captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of subscribers? Amazon practically invented this type of marketing when Mr. Jeff Bezos resettled his family to enable him to be on the phone constantly to convince potential investors why the then just newly-formed concept of Internet marketing would work. Still, I suppose the key suggestions would be to keep a close eye on the environment and watch for what is selling by providing instantaneous reporting to the Chief of Marketing Operations (like Wal-Mart) to keep them abreast of the marketing situation at a moment’s notice using the advanced technological and Internet means available to offer a regular synopsis of sales. Here is what Amazon is already doing right:

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, strongly favors a customer-“centered orientation: “Amazon.com’s mantra has been that we were going to obsess over our customers and not our competitors. We watch our competitors, learn from them, see the things that they (were doing for customers) and copy those things as much as we can. But we were never going to obsess over them” (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 366).

Amazon took steps to replicate the features of a physical bookstore in its online channel (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p. 498). It succeeded exceedingly well!

Conclusion

In sum, Amazon.ca has a great many things going for it already, the least of which include terrific momentum, a fan-club, referent power, strong brand image, the ability to interact or recommend with other affiliates, and it allows the opportunity for the customer to interact with the website. It offers coupons. It is larger than life – its reputation precedes it. It is affiliated with other Internet heavy-weights such as Google. Amazon simply has to keep moving, adding to this established success through constant improvement.  In a broad sense, it should continue to do the things that it is doing correctly, keeping a close eye on its broad environment – legal, political, technological advances, societal and economic.

APPENDIX “A”

– Not included due to some technological malfunction…sorry! 🙂 . 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Amazon.ca. Retrieved on May 08, 2007 at 6:15 pm from http://www.amazon.ca.

Freeonlinesurveys.com. Availed survey capability of this website to get survey opinions of website using attached questions. . (Appendix “A”).

Google Press Centre. Retrieved on May 08, 2007 at 6:07 pm from http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/amazon.html

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

Shreedhar, Neil. (2007). Home Shopping Network vs. Amazon.caThreaded Discussion Question reply to: ‘TV advertising has faded in importance versus TV advertising is still the most powerful advertising medium’ from a marketing perspective. Reply posted on May 20, 2007 at 7:53 pm for course: GBA 602 – Marketing Management. Instructor: Professor Mark Burgess. Centenary College, NJ, U.S.A.

Shreedhar, Neil. (2007). Reflective Journal – Examine some of the main internet sites (such as Amazon.ca). What are your experiences with these providers in terms of customization from a marketing perspective?  For course: GBA 602 – Marketing Management. Instructor: Professor Mark Burgess. Centenary College, NJ, U.S.A.

Corporate Societal Marketing and Consumer Behaviour paper.

December 16, 2012

Here is a paper (using Canadian spelling) that I wrote for my MBA which I still find interesting. I hope you do too! (Update: After the Toyota recall I switched to Mazda and have remained trouble-free. These sentiments applied a few years back but still give some food for thought…happy reading! The paper included topical questions asked by the Professor)

_______________________

Corporate Societal Marketing
and
 Reflections on Marketing Management

How does cause or corporate societal marketing affect your personal consumer behavior? It is something that I keep a mental tally of subconsciously which helps me to decide whether I like doing business with a company or not.[1]

Do you ever buy or not buy any products or services from a company because of its environmental policies or programs? Why or why not?

In the example provided below of Toyota, knowing that Toyota is socially responsible, and cares for more than just profits, makes me happy, and pleased with my purchase(s).

Include a summary of what you learned from this course and whether you believe that your writing has improved.  If not, what can you do to insure on-going improvement? I learned to interact with my colleagues, (interpersonal skills), to express  my point of view in a non-confrontational way, and other transferable skills such as team building. I improved my writing and presentation skills too.

The success of the last major consumer product that I bought was affected by the five characteristics of innovation described in the text which seem relevant in the context of the question posed about corporate societal marketing. I am now on my fifth or so Toyota and now drive a Toyota Camry wagon and perceive a relative advantage over other cars. My experience is compatible with my wife’s, my family’s and my in-laws as well as we have all had great experiences with these cars. We all seem to expect high worth and low maintenance from a product that is not that complex to use since we prefer to drive automatics. The fourth characteristic of innovation – divisibility, or, in this case the ability to test drive the car, influenced its acceptance by both my wife and father-in-law. Finally communicability, including the accolades that I gave the previously owned Toyotas, assisted its approval by both my wife and father-in-law who hadn’t previously had such positive experiences with automobiles (Kotler & Keller, 2006 pp. 660-661).

I would say that subtly corporate societal marketing does affect my personal consumer behaviour demonstrated in the above example, because it subconsciously affects the attitude that I have towards the company which sells the product that I am looking to buy. If the company has made a favourable impression on me, as stated in the response to the threaded discussion questionnaire, (Shreedhar, 2007, p.1), I will be more inclined to buy from it. However, like a good scorekeeper, if the company has managed to annoy me by polluting the environment or just by making poor decisions like mismanaging stockholder

________________________…p.2 commences here…._____________societally-conscious

[1] Apparently I am in good company, as these are some of the top  companies that we like to do business with and that we rate highly: Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, Hewlett-Packard, Walt Disney and Microsoft among other favourites.

money, this will probably be remembered as well. In the case of Toyota, I have a very favourable impression, supported by the awards that they have received for cars which are often top sellers and from news briefs or evaluations provided by automobile experts such as those received on the Toyota Prius lately on its environmental soundness.

The fact that Toyota is at the forefront of managing pollutive carbon emissions from automobiles pleases me as I have always cared a lot about the environment,  even going to lengths to throw garbage in cans instead of in parks and or on highways. Personally, I would rather not buy a car from an automaker that didn’t care as much about the environment because I would think that they are only concerned with their pocketbooks regardless of future generations. This is not the real spirit of company ‘visioning,’ just short-sighted planning.

Conclusion

 In sum, I think that many of us are subtly affected by the social engagements and commitments that corporations make as this subtly influences us in our view of them. This impacts the image that we have of them and whether we perceive them to be good corporate citizens or not. These factors thereby subtly – either consciously or subconsciously affect our buying decisions.

The current Marketing Management course has been instrumental in helping me to improve my written and presentation skills and broadened my view of the subject, as well as helped me to work well with my colleagues and appreciate the depth of knowledge of the instructor in the subject concerned. I appreciate the opportunity to have taken the course.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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

Powerpoint Slide 22-8 – Top rated companies for social responsibility. Kotler, P., & Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th ed.).  New Delhi:  Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited. 

Shreedhar, Neil. (2007). Threaded Discussion Question: Think about the last new consumer product you boughtfrom a marketing perspective. Reply due by May 29, 2007 for course: GBA 602 – Marketing Management. Instructor: Professor Mark Burgess. Centenary College, NJ, U.S.A.

Toyota. Retrieved on May 28, 2007 at 3:29 pm from http://www.toyota.com/prius/ 

Various authors in MBA cohort. (2007). Threaded Discussion Question: Think about the last new consumer product you bought from a marketing perspective. Reply due by May 29, 2007 for course: GBA 602 – Marketing Management. Instructor: Professor Mark Burgess.Centenary College,NJ,U.S.A.

Shreedhar on Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

April 21, 2012

Event: Human Resources Professional Convention.

Date: 01 February 2012.

Location: Metro Convention Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Speaker: Paul Huschilt.

Topic: Humour in work and life.

Paul Huschilt’s Value of Humour Workshop

At the HRPA (Human Resources Professional Association) Annual Conference in February 2012, I was fortunate to be able to attend a seminar by another Canadian leadership/ human resources/ professional entrepreneur/ management guru by the name of Paul Huschilt.

As soon as I entered the workshop I knew I was in for a treat as I have always loved comedians and strongly believe in the value of humour in the workplace and in life in general. (To the point that I’ve actually started a humour book which is in a perpetual state of incompletion, sorry, I should be more positive, rather, it is a work in progress). LOL.

Paul entertained us with his poor man’s PowerPoint presentation which required a set up of two stands with flipcharts for both sides of the room. (This instilled the point of what ridiculous lengths Paul was willing to go to entertain us, but more importantly to remind us ‘not to take life so seriously.’ We all probably realize that we will live a lot longer if we inject a bit of humour in our lives, and Paul made this very clear as he yes, galloped across, umm, ‘to meet his time constraints’ from one flipchart for attendees on one side of the room, to another flipchart, for those on the other side of the room. It was hilarious! In his own quirky yet sweet fashion, (Paul possesses a unique voice, much like that of a comedian), he made the point of just how important humour really was in the grand scheme of things (work, life, leisure).

During his workshop he demonstrated the utility of staying upbeat and humorous in helping us to combat excess stress. As one of his takeaways he encouraged us to complete his “Totally Unscientific Stress Test,’ (TUST) which guided us to recall ‘I am exhibiting the following symptoms of Stress,’ providing a point tally for the amount of stressful situations we placed ourselves in (lack of exercise, not enough sleep and so on) daily. As he successfully demonstrated throughout his workshop he reinforced by his TUST which concluded with a worksheet of possible list of do’s and don’ts and solutions for stress such as: ‘watch TV, meditate, walk.’ He concluded this Stress Test with the following: ‘(This)…totally unscientific test….is meant as a self-exploratory exercise….designed to help you identify the following: what stresses you, what stress looks like for you, and things you can do about it.’ Don’t fool yourself; this was a very practical exercise and a wonderful tool that he provided us with as extra value from his workshop!

Even though you didn’t attend the workshop,  you may wish to try to reflect on the various stressful situations you find yourself in during your busy lives and then take some positive action by reducing that stress by injecting some laughter or some other fun activity!

In sum, Paul’s humorous workshop was not only educational, but inspirational and an important reminder that he who laughs last, lives longest; or as Mary Pettibone Poole put it: “He who laughs, lasts!”

Here are tips from Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook” along with some benefits of laughing….

Take time to:

Relax Simplify your Life Smile

and Laugh MoreGalileo* PrincipleDo Something Nice for someoneReward YourselfDare to be You!

Some Benefits: breathing becomes deeper, body temperature rises, making you warmer; pulse and blood pressure drop. (For complete list, see below).[1]

*He recommends taking an embarrassing moment and writing something funny about it thereby helping you to acknowledge that ‘you’ are not the centre of the universe!

To keep my own work/ life/ leisure balance in synch, and so that I can inject a little bit of humour into my own life (I love watching comedy on the Comedy Channel) I want to keep this posting reasonably short, but not without first mentioning the excellent takeaways that I got from this workshop. These gifts will be longstanding and a constant reminder that there is a silly (I mean that as the highest form of compliment to Paul) person out there who is willing to go the extra mile just to prove the point about the value of humour. Here they are: because of Paul, I now have a humour calendar at my workplace. It is not only humourous, but puts important facts about humour in place right on my work desk, where I realize how few things are worth putting your energy into i.e., not anger, frustration or discouragement, but rather positivity, wit, humour and general good-spiritedness.

I am glad I attended this humorous workshop as attending such a workshop every once in a while helps to put things back into perspective…..You will see at the end of this article a reference to a Harvard study which supports Paul’s claims. You may wish to have a look at it.

Here’s to our good health, or, as Paul says, “don’t forget to give yourself a hug!”

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.

https://neilshreedhar.wordpress.com; neilshreedhar.com or Google: Neil Shreedhar.

For more information: paulhuschilt.com (Tales, Talks, Training, Inc.)

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/2012-releases/positive-emotions-cardiovascular-health.html (Harvard study entitled: Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health).


[1] According to Paul’s ‘7 Humour Habits Handbook,’ other benefits include: 1.Muscles contract and then relax 2. Oxygen levels rise, boosting cardiovascular, immunity and energy levels while reducing tension 3. Activates T-lymphocytes and white blood cells that help destroy invading microorganisms. 4. Increases production of immunity-boosting gamma interferon and speeds up production of new immune cells.

5. Lowers levels of stress hormone cortisol which can weaken immune system 6. Releases endorphins – body’s natural pain killer (chemically related to morphine and heroin) 7. It is aerobic and gives diaphragm, thorax, abdomen, heart, lungs and possibly even liver a workout….LAUGHING ten minutes is like rowing 100 times.

Shreedhar on Glass’ Employee 2.0. Here is the future. Reimagine leadership.

April 12, 2012

Employee 2.0

With the advent of the rapid pace of technology and its seamless incorporation by business today comes Employee 2.0. (S)he has unique skill sets that forward thinking leaders need to learn to incorporate now. An employee with built-in capacity to instantly search information because (s)he comes equipped with links to information technology, the capacity to plan, coordinate and do jobs that would formerly take days to do, but which now can take mere hours to do, would likely be viewed with “muted enthusiasm (Glass, J., HR Professional May/ June 2011, p.54)” by employees who aren’t equipped in the same manner.

“Employee 2.0 is an individual who has internally integrated information technologies to enhance mental, perceptual and physiological capabilities…computers that fit inside a body are just a matter of time (Glass, J., HR Professional May/ June 2011, p.54).”

Other examples of breakthroughs in technology (nanotechnology, bioengineering, materials development, super-computing and robotics) include the following:

  • A ReNa chip developed in the Tel Aviv and      implanted in patients with Parkinson’s to control motor function
  • A University  of Calgarynanospray injection (computerized cells) designed to timely release insulin and which has cured diabetes in test patients.
  • Final-stage human trials of thought-controlled bionic limbs in theU.S.

These examples show the imminence of super-computers being fitted to humans with impending solutions required of leaders trying to maximize their use of human potential. Without planning, current employees will find it tricky to adapt to Employee 2.0 (E2) with enhanced capacities including critical thinking skills:

“Under this new paradigm, traditional patterns used to adjust human behaviour toward developing teams will cease to apply…(though a subject of debate in the workplace)…the enhanced skills and financial benefits will make (E2) a most sought-after skill set (Glass, J., HR Professional May/ June 2011, p.54)” according to Jacobs Scott, an executive search consulting firm in Victoria.

To adequately prepare for the coming of E2, organizations need to re-imagine leadership in the face of implications for future potential disruptions they can expect and prepare strategies for the new era.

This information is excerpted from an article by John Glass, featured in The HR Professional (May/June 2011).

– Nilesh (Neil) Shreedhar.


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