-Sirius/XM Satellite pricing games. These geniuses consistently offer the service for next to nothing for 6 months and indicate in the fine print that after the promotion period, you will have to call to cancel the service or regular rates will apply. Face it, your pricing model is the promotional price and you incur excessive overhead and you tick off good customers who have to navigate your customer service agents, multiple departments and several sales pitches every six months. You’ve created a game that destroys credibility around your brand.
-Everything about queuing up at airline gates. From the poorly designed and managed processes to the lousy speaker systems that guarantee that no one can hear the announcement to the lines that block access to the ticket counters and finally, people who can’t follow simple directions, it’s a symphony of base human behavior, poor management and miserable customer service. Let those who need help through the line. Get out of the way of our people in uniform. Learn and grok the number on your boarding pass that indicates your boarding priority and stay out of the way!
-When management teams confuse the work of strategy with budgeting or tactical planning. Strategy is about the hard questions surrounding what to do and what not to do in pursuit of serving an audience and creating some form of advantages versus competitors. There’s little that’s comfortable or predictable about the work of strategy. Senior teams often start down this path and then course-correct when the going gets tough. That course correction is almost always wrong.
-Microsoft. That was a lot of razzle dazzle for an operating system that is about as interesting as watching corn grow here in the Midwest. How much money does it take to become relevant again? (The answer may be…that it doesn’t matter because it’s not possible.)
-Alleged professionals who don’t know you and send LinkedIn invitations and don’t take the time to tailor the default greeting. No context for how they know you. No stated reason for connecting. Seriously. Decline.
“Around the table” update meetings. These earn my nomination for the biggest, most painful time-wasters in a world all-too-filled with painful and wasteful meetings. It’s fine to pull groups together periodically, just focus on having people bring something of relevance…a critical update…an ask for another group, versus sharing what everyone has been up to since the last meeting.
-Blackberry (Research in Motion). From world-changer to capitulation to irrelevance.
-Business books that offer a solid premise but end up as uninteresting as watching Microsoft’s latest release or watching corn grow here in the Midwest. Most business books should stick with the introduction (usually the most important part), the first chapter or two and the conclusion.
Blog posts that outlive their usefulness… .
Enjoy your week wherever your travels take you.