216 slides?!? Presentation Purgatory …

Don't try this at home ...

Death by PowerPoint.  Many of you probably recognize that term and can feel the pain.

216 Slides?!? Presentation Purgatory - Mike Russell

There have been years of talk, many articles, what seems like a billion blog posts, and even books about improving slide presentations.  Why then do we still see, for instance, insanely long presentations like the one referenced in the title?

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How to guarantee disconnects with your customers

The power of language, again

Language is critical to success in business and life.  It is easy to talk “our” talk.  However, we need to talk in language our customers can understand.  That is the only way we can successfully connect with them and vice versa.

How to Guarantee Disconnects with Your Customers - The Power of Language - Mike Russell

Conversely, we can guarantee disconnects and discontent if we forge ahead, talking our way and in “our business” language.  And disconnects can lead to ruptures and outright customer loss.

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Cargo cults in the workplace

The dangers of imitation without understanding and mindset

Do you have any cargo cults operating in your business?  I have used the cargo cult concept often in the past as a teaching illustration.  However, just in the past two weeks I have had several discussions about cargo cults with clients, colleagues, and even in responding to a media query about creating an awesome culture (see http://www.mikerussell.com/2016/05/03/how-to-create-an-awesome-work-culture/).

Cargo Cults in the Workplace - The Dangers of Imitation Without Understanding or Mindset - Mike Russell

The name derives from the belief that various ritualistic acts – which are actually imitations of others’ acts – will lead to a bestowing of material wealth (“cargo”).[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult]

The same belief leads to cargo cults in the workplace:  that performing certain acts or practices will produce the same results – “material wealth” – commonly in the form of productivity gains or cost savings – as attained elsewhere.

Imitation without understanding and appropriate mindset is dangerous.

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How to Create An Awesome Work Culture

Where's the magic wand?

Culture.  The word brings to mind many things and images when thinking about organizations.  With the heavy publicity that companies like Google and Facebook receive regarding their “fun” environments, the idea of an “awesome culture” often means ping-pong tables, free food, and the like.

How to Create An Awesome Work Culture - Mike Russell

But do those things create an awesome work culture?  A journalist recently asked for feedback about creating one:

  1. What is a work culture? What goes into creating one?
  2. What are your favorite tips for creating culture?
  3. Can a good culture ever compensate for other shortcomings – like lower pay
    or longer hours?
  4. What are the risks of ignoring your culture?

Here are some starting points for awesomeness:

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