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Myths, lies and management

 26 August 2019     Donald Cooper 

Much of what we believe about our customers, our staff, our future and our bottom line is simply not true.  Some of it never was true. Some of it was but isn’t anymore. As business owners and managers, we’re making important decisions based on myths, lies, and false assumptions – and it’s killing us.

How do we come to believe all these dysfunctional myths and lies? They’re in our culture. We repeat them over and over until they become ‘real’. We pass them on to others as business advice. We even pay consultants to assure us they’re true.

For example, most businesses believe there’s no such thing as customer loyalty anymore, when the truth is, we’re all desperately searching for businesses to be loyal to in every part of our lives.

People are loyal to what’s best for them or what they assume is best for them. So, are you the ‘wise choice’ for your target customers? Are you ‘best’ for them? If not, stop whining about there being no customer loyalty anymore and do the work to be the wise choice.

What compelling functional, emotional and financial value can you create and commit to consistently deliver that will ‘grab’ your target customers, clearly differentiate you from your competitors, make you famous and grow your bottom line? That’s what it takes to deserve loyalty. Mediocrity is no longer an option.

Another myth is you can’t get great staff anymore. But the truth is the best people have to work for somebody – it’s just that you have to deserve them. Do you deserve great staff? Do your working conditions, business culture and career opportunities attract, engage, excite and challenge top performers? Are you a talent magnet? If not, stop whining, take ownership of the problem and fix it. Take two pieces of paper and set aside 40 minutes.

On the first piece of paper take 20 minutes to describe in detail the kind of business in your market and in your industry, that the best people would want to work for. How would it recruit, welcome, pay, train, coach, mentor, encourage, reward, ‘hug’, thank and celebrate each employee? What kind of management style and culture will attract, engage and retain top performers?

On the second piece of paper take another 20 minutes and document in detail what you have to get off your behind and do to become the kind of business that you just described on the first sheet of paper.

That’s it, 40 minutes and two pieces of paper to take ownership of and start to solve one of your biggest problems. Get your team involved in this process to help you. They know stuff and they hate it when you don’t ask.

There are many other myths and lies that are holding us back and hurting our bottom line, but these are two of the biggest.

Through keynotes, intensive workshops and business coaching I help business owners and managers around the world identify, address and solve these myths and lies. To chat about how I can be helpful, just e-mail me at [email protected] or give me a telephone call at (416) 252-3703.

Here’s a little something else to thing about:
We need more of this kind of innovation. H&M, the global fashion chain specialising in affordable apparel, is producing garments from a silky fabric made from orange peel waste discarded by the orange juice industry.

Robotic coffee comes to Shanghai. There’s a new ‘robotic coffee shop’ in Shanghai, China where an infinite number of custom coffee combos are created by a robot at the rate of 100 per hour. This robotic barista is consistent and reliable – and never takes a coffee break.

So, how will automation, robots and artificial intelligence (AI) change your business in the next five years? Will you be a technology leader, a nimble follower or a stubborn resister who quietly disappears?


Sealy Canada
Phoenix AMD
This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.


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