The Interview (100 Words)

When the grueling physical finished, two candidates made it to the face-to-face.

Hiring

The first guy went in.

Family background and social affiliation checked out; and, now on health and habits.

‘When do you go to sleep and when do you…?’

‘Oh, all of seven hours. Luckily, no kids’

‘What I wanted to hear.’

‘Yes…can’t say about him,’ throwing his hand back to the guy waiting outside.

‘Eh?’

‘He’ll probably tell you – has disturbed sleep and wakes up groggy. Advised him to see a doc’

‘You know him?’

‘Oh, neighbors, sort of.’

 

The other guy joined as a night watchman.

 

End

 

 

 

Source: Adapted from net and slide from slideshare.net/quintonstoneking/disney-interactive-proposal-team-beta-group

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A Must-See For Those Who Don’t Let Their Grandma Rest In Peace

 

End

PS: If you didn’t notice, this is from a hiring company/site presumably reaching out to guys caught in a rut of a job..

 

Source: Vide facebook.com/ssarun.subramaniam

 

Do Pigs Get Cheered?

There was a farmer who collected horses. One day, he was fortunate to find a specimen of a rare Arabian breed for sale. The delighted farmer paid an arm and a leg to acquire the horse.

A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian. The vet examined the horse carefully and finally declared:

“Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I’ll come back on the third day and if he’s not better, we’re going to have to put him down.”

Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation.

The next day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig approached the horse and said:

“Buck up, my friend, or else they’re going to put you to sleep!”

On the second day, the horse was given the medicine and left to recover.

The pig came back and said:

“Come on buddy, gather up or else you’re going to die! Come on, I’ll help you. Let’s go! One, two, three…”

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said to the anguished farmer:

“It’s mighty unfortunate. We’’re going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.”

After they left, the pig approached the horse and said:

“Listen pal, it’s now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage!

Come on! Get up! Get up! That’s it, slowly! Great!

Come on, one, two, three… Good, good.

Now faster, come on…. Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you’re a champion!!!”

All of a sudden, the farmer came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

“It’s nothing short of a miracle! My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let’s kill the pig!!”

End

Are you beginning to relate it to what happens in your organization?

Source: IIA Forum

Unimaginative And Imaginative – The Difference

Many products and services are not bought by customers for they think ‘it’ won’t happen to them. This is the ‘Invulnerable Customer’ syndrome. This is not something new in the market segments of Insurance, Healthcare, Vehicle and Home Safety. It is in this context, the following interesting story comes from Roger Dooley writing at: http//www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/invulnerable-consumers.htm

“…The prescription for this marketing dilemma was found in a hospital, of all places. Can you imagine a group likely to be more careful about hand-washing than healthcare professionals in hospitals? Not only are they well educated about hand hygiene practices and the reasons for them, but they actually see patients who suffer from the same kinds of infections that can be transmitted when hands aren’t washed properly. Surprisingly, according to Penn psychologist Adam Grant, even among health care professionals hand-washing practices leave a lot to be desired.

Grant attributes this behavior to a feeling of invulnerability on the part of the healthcare pros. This feeling is amplified by the fact that they are exposed to germs often in the course of their work but rarely become ill. So, Grant conducted an experiment by placing a sign next to a hand hygiene area. One version of the sign read, “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases,” while another version said “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.”

Bearing out the invulnerability theory, the sign that pointed out the threat to the healthcare professionals didn’t change their behavior at all. In contrast, the sign that changed just one word but pointed out the danger to patients (a group seen as vulnerable to disease) increased the use of soap and sanitizing gel by 33% and boosted the probability that the healthcare pros would wash their hands by 10%. (See Science Daily and the original paper. HT to Wray Herbert.)

Many products are sold on the basis of self-concern, and rightly so. But, if that’s not working with some customers, alter the message to reflect the risk to others!…”

Well, Insurance companies are already on this track talking about protecting near and dear ones.

How about relooking at civic-minded injunctions that presently score nil impact and may even be distracting like:

‘Do not litter here.’
‘Keep Your City Clean.’
‘Do Not Cut Lanes.’ …

And, throw in visuals too for drama and numbers for emphasis. Well, at places, statistics on road accident or run-away population count do appear.

There are numerous other scenarios, I’m sure, where this principle could be tried out. For instance, should we apply to pithy time-worn much ignored injunctions in ethics?

While the above expresses it as a sales/marketing problem and a possible solution, let me point out a interesting manifestation of this principle of concern for others in an entirely different area: Information Systems!

I recall how we designed an application for an insurance company. Our UI design experts claimed their design had taken care of many things: colors, images, etc. Shorn of these frills, the main business was done on a screen displaying a form to be filled in by the customer. And on this screen, the usual UI gimmicks meant very little as it was a plain and simple form-filling exercise. How can the user-experience be improved at all in this all-too-common context of form filling? I wasn’t happy with what we came up with though I could not put my finger on how it could be done better to push our experts.

That’s when I got onto the net and zeroed on software solutions providers in the same space. And I found my answers with one vendor! He had used two devices that vastly improved the interaction, I thought:

a) He called the column that we had titled as ‘Persons to be covered’ as ‘Beneficiaries’. A small thing, you would say. But the word ‘Beneficiaries’ is much more positive encouraging the user in what he is doing for his near and dear.

b) More importantly there was a small pie-chart that showed what is the coverage he is buying presently and what he has left out, prompting him to think about including more. The dreary form-filling chore now has a little more punch of value to the user as well as the service provider.

While these may not be the ultimate in what could be done, it certainly gives you a flavor of what could magic could be wrought by an imaginatively designed IS application. A small sliver of what is meant by IT as a business-enabler.

Let us not settle for less with our designers.

End

More interesting stuff at http//www.neurosciencemarketing.com.

Well, We Are Not In The Army!

How Army Policy Began:

Start with a cage containing five apes. In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it. Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the Banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the apes with cold water. After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result – all the apes are sprayed with cold water.

Continue until, when another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water.

Now, remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other apes attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original ape with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs. Why not?

“Because that’s the way it’s always been around here.”

That’s how Army policy begins…

End

Taken with thanks from ArcMax at http://www.arcamax.com/entertainment/jokes/s-1099159-422832.

Raising the bar: Steve Jobs style

There’s a wonderful example of how Steve Jobs caused the initial Apple iPod’s development team, to raise the bar. The story may or may not be true, but it’s said that the iPod development team presented Jobs with the first build of the new device, which they had worked on, around the clock, for months.

Jobs took one look at it and said; “It’s too big!”

The team leader said; “It’s as small as possible.”

Legend has it that Steve Jobs then dropped it into a fish tank. The design team gasped in horror.

Jobs then said to the team; “You see those bubbles coming out? That’s air. Make it smaller!”

The team responded by making another version, which was significantly smaller, even though they had originally believed the previous version was as small as possible, until Steve Jobs caused them to raise the bar on what was possible. Without the external influence of Jobs, the development team would have shipped a chunkier, less attractive iPod and the resurgence of Apple may have been very different.

End

Jim has stories such as this in his blog:http://jimsmarketingblog.com/

Add A Dash Of Inefficiency

This was a store that besides selling provisions in standard-weight packages, also sold grains in the loose. And customers were always backing up at the counter selling loose grains. It caught the eye of the efficiency expert from the head-office in one of his periodic visits. He decided to work on this one.

He observed the man at the counter, graying in his fifties, taking a long time to measure out grains on the scale. He was always short on his first attempt and getting it right on the third attempt, often on the fourth, adding a little at a time. This was always the pattern.

It was a little strange since the scoops were precisely sized. For instance, to weigh out one kilogram of wheat, the scoop in a fill would draw a kilogram and a little more for fine adjustment. Obviously he was not scooping a full fill on the first attempt and so goes back for the second, the third and the fourth. The expert decided to have a little lunch-time chat with the man:

‘I’m sure the line-up at your counter must be causing you concern as much as it does to us?’

‘Yes,’ turning a little coy, ‘they want to buy when I’m around.’

‘Me thinks it may not be what you think.’

‘You can check it up, if you wish.’

‘It could be that you taking longer to service a customer.’ The expert continued: ’You’re not filling the scoop to the full as enjoined in your training. If you did there would be fewer tries.’

‘I recall that bit in the training, but learnt something different on the floor.’

‘And what would that be?’

‘When I do what I do, folks thinks I’m being careful about what they’re getting. Going short and adding grains goes much better with them than going in excess and removing grains thereafter. When I add grains, I’m for them and when I remove, I’m the store.’

On that day, a piece of inefficient practice was written into the instruction manual for the men in the store.

End