Clarity Nudges

Yesterday I had another encounter with one of the people I wrote about in the Feedback Makes Me Angry post.

The person said that they still didn’t understand what I was trying to do with one of the initiatives that I’m leading. He asked if I could explain what it was, why we were doing it and what value it gave to him, our faculty and to the workforce that we serve. I have to admit that I couldn’t do it. Perhaps if I hadn’t been in the midst of an interrogation, I might have been able to blurt something out. But, these conversations can incapacitate my speech capabilities. A photo with a flower under a magnifying glass

…for a few minutes.

The real concern is that the person was having difficulty sharing the message with his leadership. So, he was a bit frustrated that I hadn’t clarified it for him so that he could clarify it for his leadership.

I was a bit annoyed because I had gone to such great efforts to create presentations, hold meetings, etc.

But, I did go home and create a draft executive summary. After all, I’m the Chief Nudger. I should be aware when people are trying to nudge me in the right direction. (-:

Inspiration for this draft came quickly. I even stayed home until my first meeting so I could focus. Was it perfect? Heavens no. Draft mode for sure. But, it was the act of putting it down that helped me start to clarify what the message was and how we could go about sharing it.

Tonight I have an even better draft and I think I’ll send it out to some co-workers for modifications and discussion. After all, I need them to understand the message so they can share it with their stakeholders and leaders.

Be grateful for those that have the courage to be honest with you. They help you more than you know.

In fact, some of the lessons learned in that environment are helping me clarify what I want to do with Nudge Village going forward.

Stay tuned!

Anything You Want!

Just finished a great book. Remember? It is the book I ordered directly from Seth Godin’s blog post without even finding out what it was about, who the author was, etc. Now that shows Seth’s influence!

It is a cute little book. You can read it in an hour.Picture of a boy sticking his head out of the sand on the cover of Anything you Want

By Derek Sivers – Anything You Want!

Derek is the founder of CD Baby, an extremely profitable business that enabled any musicians to get started in the world of sharing their music instead of waiting for a big name to pick them up. He’s since sold the business…and the story about that is also in the book.

Why do I love his little book?

Derek is REAL. He made mistakes and shared them. He doesn’t pretend to be this power CEO that must hobnob with the big boys. He encourages all entrepreneurs to follow what makes them happy. And, that will be a different answer for each one.

He is open in sharing that you will have to make decisions along the way that may make you less money, but will make you more happy. It takes guts to run a business this way.

So many great little thoughts, but one I really liked was “Being, not having.” So often we think we need to make more, grow bigger, and have widespread influence. Instead of trying to grow big fast, focus on enjoying what you do and creating value for your customers. Figure out what you really want to spend your time doing – do you like being out and about all the time networking or do you like to keep it small and manageable and immerse yourself in the actual work? “To each his own” so to speak.

One of his business mottos was to do whatever it takes to please the customer. Derek shares the story of how he changed his feedback forms to include a space for customers to ask for whatever they wanted. Someone asked for some cinnamon gum. So, CD Baby had a worker pick up a pack at the store when they ran an errand. They included it in the customer’s order. Another asked for a squid. They complied.  How awesome is that! You think you are just filling space with some weird request to get a reaction and the company actually gets it for you!

I’d venture to say that those customers are still with him. (-:

Go buy the book! It is under $10 and worth the read. Plus, who wouldn’t like a book with this cover? A cute kid stuck in the sand.

Reminds me of a picture of my own, but I wasn’t so happy. (-;

Link to the book Anything You Want on Amazon

Oops, I did it again – why I buy what Seth buys

Yes, I did it again. No, this has nothing to do with Brittney Spears. Yes, it has to do with Seth Godin and books. A few months ago Seth mentioned that he had a new book out in his blog post.

Picture of a boy sticking his head out of the sand on the cover of Anything you Want

Poke the box.

I knew nothing of the book until reading the blogpost from my iPhone email. Yet, I clicked over to Amazon and purchased it without even thinking.

Yesterday, my RSS feed delivered another blogpost from Seth and he was touting another book – Anything You Want by Derek Silvers. Did I know anything about the book? No. But, I clicked over to Amazon and bought it.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936719118/permissionmarket

Wow!

And look – here I am marketing this book and I know nothing about it. All because I trust Seth Godin.

Do you make products or provide services that make people say “Oops, I did it again?”

Why I’m mad about Spanx!

So, the other day I bought my first Spanx product. I’d seen Spanx a few years ago on “The Big Idea” with Donny Deutsch. However, I had never purchased them. And, after a while they were on so many episodes of “The Big Idea” that I just turned it off and moved on to another channel.

So, back to the other day.

I opened the package and the Spanx story was written on the inside of the package.

Here it is if you’d like the true source:

http://www.spanx.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=4399478&clickId=article_aboutsara_text

http://www.spanx.com/corp/index.jsp?page=sarasStory&clickId=sarasstory_aboutsara_text

Basically, Sara cut off some nylons and started to see the possibilities of using them as slimming undergarments without the confining foot coverage!

Why am I mad about Spanx?

I invented this over 25 years ago! I cut off nylons all the time and experimented with different lengths under different types of clothing. I did this all through junior high and high school.

The difference

The Spanx founder (Sara Blakely) ACTED on her idea, SHARED with friends, ASKED for feedback, EDUCATED herself on the process of producing, RISKED it all to go sell it and MADE millions.

I ACTED on my idea and KEPT IT to myself and …now I buy her Spanx!

Which side of the equation do you want to be on?

Act on your idea today!

Inspirational Quote – Action and Inspiration

Twitter is a great place to share information – if you use it properly.

@NudgeVillage tries to connect to like minded people that are entrepreneurs, but also to some people that just plain share great quotes all day.

Here’s a quote found on Twitter this week that caught our eye:

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”

 – Frank Tibolt –

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

A few weeks ago, on of the directors of our division gave me a book that he thought I’d enjoy. He asked me to read it and give him feedback. He also said, “apparently people really love it or hate it – engineers hate it.” Well, if that isn’t motivation, what is?Orbiting the Giant Hairball book cover

So, book in hand I got on my flight across the country to my brother’s wedding.

And, I loved the book!

It is called “Orbiting the Giant Hairball” by Gordon MacKenzie.

It is about a creative guy that worked at Hallmark for MANY years. But, he moved around a lot and started a lot of great things within the company – an intrapreneur.

However, this book offers great ideas on taking action if you are an entrepreneur as well.

As an example, Gordon (the author), moved with a small group to a new work area. Instead of defaulting to the same desks and a Dilbert type cube farm, he asked for something different – to find furniture at thrift and antique stores.

After the “not sures” and the “you can’t do that” people died down, the right person gave him permission to move forward.

Each person ended up with their own unique desk, decorations and lighting.

The cost? A little less than if they had created a cube farm.

The cost for the employees? What is the MasterCard ad? – Priceless! They were motivated, they were focused, they were creative and ….other divisions wanted to do it too.

The creativity cost less than the typical model and productivity went up.

Gordon shares this story, and many others, in a creative array of book pages – some are plain, some have little doodles, and others are just plain written like they are a sheet of notebook paper. So, the guy practices what he preaches on creativity.

When you get a chance, buy a copy on Amazon.

Part of the table of contents of Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Excerpt from the Table of Contents

P.S. Guess I’m not an engineer. (-: