Merge's Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Be prepared to show what you “sell” – 2nd edition

Celiac Supplies, a gluten-free grocery store in Brisbane Australia has made worldwide news this week, but not necessarily for the right reasons.  Earlier this week on March 26, in response to a photo and post by a Reddit user, the Adelaide Now newspaper ran a story about how the owner of this store has decided to charge potential customers $5 for “just looking”.  Since then, the story has gone viral.  The owner’s reasons — she was spending hours each week giving free advice to people who were then leaving and buying the similar product elsewhere.  In her words “I’m not here to dispense a charity service for the Coles and Woolworths [large grocery stores] to make more money.”


[Photo: BarrettFox/Reddit]

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Successfully doing business with international clients

CGA0304-2013CoverDoing business with international clients comes with many benefits, not the least of which is huge opportunities for growth.  In my practice as well, we’re finding increasing interest from overseas clients in my leadership development programs.  But don’t kid yourself — as great as the potential might be, the journey forward can also be fraught with danger.  If you’re not alert to different workplace environments, dissimilar cultural norms and diverse working styles, then you can quickly crash and burn!  Continue reading

Focus on the present in order to achieve big things in the future

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

So … you’re busy!  Welcome to today’s world of work – whether it’s a current crisis that needs immediate attention, a burgeoning email in-basket, phone messages waiting to be returned, preparation for this afternoon’s team meeting, or an issue summary that your manager needs by the end of the day, it seems like you’re on a never-ending treadmill with no end in sight.  And this doesn’t even take into account the long-term strategic goals you need to develop and plan and implement. What usually happens to most of us is that we spend our days dealing with the crises (the pebbles in our shoes), and it’s the important (but not urgent) things on our to-do lists that tend to slip.  Yet it’s these very things, these mountains facing us, that will lead us to long-term success, to soaring heights and new achievements. Continue reading

A little competition can be good thing!

In the latter half of the 20th century, elk populations in the United States’ Yellowstone National Park ballooned out of control. You see, back in the 1930’s, the wolf population in the Park was completely eradicated due to over-hunting and other reasons. The absence of wolves was a boon to the elk because despite other minor predators such as bears, cougars and coyotes, the elk flourished and proliferated rapidly. But their success upset the natural ecological balance in the park, takings its toll on other plant and animal species. In 2001, in an attempt to return the ecosystem to a natural balance, Park ecologists reintroduced the grey wolf. And their efforts were successful, and in more ways than they had expected! Continue reading

Don’t let your business relationships become rusty

Do you remember playing with magnets in physics class in high school?  I do.  That “thunk” as magnet and piece of iron came together was always greatly satisfying.  Yes, I know, science nerd :), I embrace the label!  But did you notice that the attraction between the magnet and the piece of iron was never as strong or powerful when the iron was rusty?

Something worth considering when it comes to building and maintaining business relationships.  Recently, a colleague told me about an email he received from one of his past business associates that he had not spoken to in years.  Continue reading

Strategic thinking – both right-brain AND left-brain needed!

Last month, Terry Blaney joined us as a guest blogger with his thoughts on what it takes to really think and act strategically.  I promised we’d have him back to give us a follow-up post.  You will recall that Terry has been my business colleague for many years, going back to our years together at the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in Canada.  Terry is now based in Shanghai, China where his thriving consultancy practice focuses on strategic thinking and planning, primarily to the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.  In today’s post, Terry offers us a different perspective from what he said last time … well sort of!

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Communicating decisions you don’t agree with – Tip #5

For the past three weeks, I’ve been video-blogging about what you can do as a leader when you find yourself charged with implementing changes or decisions that you don’t necessarily agree with. In the final analysis, you have a job to do, which means that you need to get past your own reservations and emotions and move forward with what you have been given responsibility for. In this final video in this five-part series, I lay out the final verdict.

So, in summary, here they all are listed below:

  1. Honestly assess where you are in the change response cycle
  2. Make sure you understand the reasons for the change
  3. Uncover your own reasons for resistance
  4. Identify the pain of not changing
  5. Take accountability for the decision anyway

Well, you now have them all. Agree or disagree? What did I miss? Please keep the conversation going.

Communicating decisions you don’t agree with – Tip #4

This is the fourth in a five-part series of short videos about what to do when you find yourself having to communicate or implement changes (made by senior management in your organization) that you don’t concur with.  Often, the unfortunate truth is that even if you don’t like it, the decision has been made and so you need to get over your own reservations and move forward.

Well?  Too harsh?  Or am I just being realistic? Would love to hear your Comments.