Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Staples invents online "Chat on Hold"

Today we were doing a bit of price checking on Staples. We were put on Chat Hold!

So we picked up the phone and... were placed on "Phone Hold"!

If I were in a Staples store waiting for service while on my phone and online with my iPhone, I could have had a never before seen Trifecta of Hold!

What is service coming to!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dragons' Den

Tonight I attended a special event hosted by the hit show Dragons' Den. They are in Vancouver for the next few weeks taking auditions for the upcoming 6th season. 
Small Business BC hosted the event at the very impressive Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (Woodwards Bldg) downtown. The evening has moderated by Dragons' Den Executive Producer Tracie Tighe, with guest speakers and Dragon Jim Treliving, surprise Dragon Guest Brett Wilson  and past pitchers Brian & Corin Mullins of Holy Crap breakfast cereal and Doug Burgoyne of FROGBOX.
The event focused on demistifying the journey of auditioning, preparing, pitching and post deal on the Dragons' Den. The panel offered lots of tips and stories of their experiences from past seasons. The last hour of the three hour event was open mic, and the audience had a chance to pepper the panel with some great questions such as how the Dragons measure valuation or what happens during post deal due dillegence. Auditioning for Dragons' Den is something my business partner and I are researching for a new business venture we are building at the moment, and we feel much more prepared now.
Auditions wrap up in March, so we are planning to give it a try in time if we can get our product ready in time. The business we are going to pitch is an eco business, and not part of Costless Express.
Stay Tuned!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just back from an internet conference in LA.

First, the weather was a gorgeous 26 degrees. Hummm... dreams of a SOCAL lifestyle. But I have to say that I received so many compliments on Vancouver from people at the conference. As we know, they thought it was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Still nice to hear while travelling.

The conference was filled with speakers who highlighted the best in current and future technology innovation but there was a standout from all speakers.

Blake Nordstrom - President of Nordstrom.

Blake is an extremely sought after speaker, yet only gets on stage once or twice a year. He noted that more important that talking about customer service was actually doing it, so he feels his time is best spent in the stores. This was the best picture I could snap on my phone from the front row.

His talk was based around the old school notion that offering the best customer service, getting to build life long relationships with customers and offering a unique customer experience will make your business successful. "Who Knew!!" One point that jumped out for me was when he said a customer complaint is the best opportunity - "the customer is saying, I want to love you but I can't right now".

Blake went on to talk about where he sees technology and social media entering the retail environment. Imagine walking into a Nordstrom store, your smart phone beeps with a text saying "Welcome back" and informing you of the latest specials in the sizes and styles you prefer. You click on a few items right on your smart phone, and the items are picked off the floor and placed in a dressing room by a Nordstrom personal shopper. BING - your dressing room is ready - door #3. Now as you try on your choices, you would like to see the matching pants/different color/size, and you tap your smart phone to have these items brought right to your dressing room. Need help deciding on your outfit? How about seeing what your friends think as you send them a "like" email or how about accessing your very own webcam from right in your dressing room. Friends can login and offer live opinions from anywhere in the world. OK, all done? Your personal shopper can check you out right from the dressing room using their smart phone or you can scan your choices yourself with your phone and just walk out of the store. Although much of this scenario does not currently exist, it is just a matter of time.

As you see, innovative retailers are not fearing online selling but instead embracing it. Nordstrom currently does over one billion online, but Blake feels that the sales channels will become more grey, and offline and online will work in harmony to offer great Nordstrom customer experiences.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tribal Leadership BNET video

When Tribal Leadership was initially released, Dave Logan recorded this brief 6 minute video that effectively explains Tribal Leadership and the "Five Stages of Culture."

If you haven't watch the video yet, this can simplify your view of Tribal Leadership and provide a great resource to send people to when they want a quick overview.

What is Tribal Leadership?

written by Julian Bergquist, Director
Leadership Programs | CultureSync

Sometimes I get a little stumped trying to effectively explain to someone what is Tribal Leadership? I was recently asked to speak to a group about TL and was prepping up my notes.

There are so many things you could say about people, leadership, tribes, culture, values, greatness, creating results together, and triads.

The past week there has been a lively conversation on LinkedIn, answering the question "What is Tribal Leadership?"

There were 30 answers, all beautifully dancing around the answer. What I learned from the discussion is that Tribal Leadership is one of those rare, great ideas that can't be boxed in and reduced to a single definition.

Soon CultureSync, the creators of Tribal Leadership, will be sending out fresh materials simplifying the view of Tribal Leadership. I highly suggest you sign up for their blog.

In the meantime, I've included below my five favorite answers from the LinkedIn discussion.

Which is your favorite?

Top Answer to "What is Tribal Leadership?"
  • "Tribal Leadership is the empowerment of a community for a noble cause with the mutual respect for core values." -- Nasar Aboubakare
  • "Tribal Leadership occurs when a group of people evolve to a point in their communicative/social dynamic where they gel on collective values, share information laterally for the benefit of the group, and work together as a team to inspire, accomplish, strive and create. Tribal Leadership is less about the leader being the star of the show and more about the whole group's ability to perform. Through tribal leadership we can create effective organizations that are based on equality, integrity, competence, function, and joy." -- Kimberly Johnson
  • "Tribal Leadership is the path that generates the the kind of workplace culture that most people long to be in, yet believe can never happen."-- Robert Cornish
  • "Tribal Leadership is about surrendering yourself to the tribe. As the tribal will is embraced and carried out throughout the organization, the Tribal Leader fuels the development of the tribe who in turn fuel the development of the leader. Everyone evolves and builds value together, both individually and as a collective business." -- John Sedivy
  • "Tribal Leadership is playing the game called creating partnership with anyone and everyone wherever they are at, getting good at it, and having a good time while doing it! It's simple and brilliant." --Brian McFadin
Click here to read the other answers or discuss on LinkedIn.