Merge's Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2013

It isn’t always about the money – sometimes fun trumps money!

Continuing with the topic of fun at work that we started earlier this week (see If it’s fun, people will do it!), here’s another experiment sponsored by Volkswagen.  Again, recall that the premise is that “if it’s fun, people will do it”.

Experiment #2: The question: despite the lack of financial incentive, would more people recycle their glass bottles if it was fun?

As you can see, the answer was once again “yes”.

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If it’s fun, people will do it!

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it: if it’s fun, people will do it. When employees have fun at work, they are more engaged in their work responsibilities and they perform better on the job. In fact, I consider this leadership wisdom so important that in the past, I’ve offered five specific ways to create a fun, humour-filled workplace.

Still don’t believe me? Today, and in the next two instalments of the blog, I’m going to feature a series of experiments sponsored by Volkswagen that set out to prove this very hypothesis – “if it’s fun, people will do it.”

Experiment #1: The question posed was “Can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do?”

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Leadership from afar – 4 keys to making it work

BCHRMA_logoThe reality is that remote workers are becoming the norm. Whether it’s people working at home for one day a month, a week, or even full time, or staff who are geographically remote from the bosses, or even salespeople who operate mainly out of their vehicles, virtual leadership is a fundamental necessity in today’s world of business. Employees feel left out and managers and supervisors find communication more of a challenge. But long-distance leadership IS possible … Continue reading

We’ll be back on October 24!

We’re making some huge changes behind the scenes on my website this upcoming weekend and it may carry over into Monday.  It won’t affect your access to information, but it means that our really smart tech gurus don’t want me adding more information while they’re doing their thing!  So I’ve agreed not to post a blog on Monday morning like I normally do, just in case they need the time to get things organized back there!

But … I’ll be back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on Thursday October 24.  Promise.

Celebrating accomplishments is important!

HSBKioskToday’s blog post is a brag moment!

Like most of you, I too find it hard to brag about myself.  It’s easier to gracefully accept a compliment from others than it is to toot your own horn.  But … just about a year ago, one of my staff members pointed out to me that I am constantly pushing and encouraging the leaders I work with to always celebrate their successes. After all, we get so busy in our work lives that it’s not often that we stop and take the time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished. And celebration of achievements is so important to both employee morale as well as future success.   Her point was well taken!  So last fall, I celebrated with all of you, out loud, when I delivered my 1000th presentation as a professional speaker and trainer!

Well I’m celebrating again.  Continue reading

Air Canada’s public relations blunder – what can leaders learn?

I’ll start by saying that usually I’m an Air Canada fan. Usually. In fact, I’ve even blogged about them in the past (See Good leaders listen to customers and employees and Good leaders respond to customer feedback). But last week’s major gaffe by one of their PR staffers, a senior one no less, has me shaking my head. In case you haven’t read or heard the story, here’s a short version.

LarryDogLarry, the 2-year-old Italian greyhound, was moving to Canada to join his new adopted family. Last week, while awaiting his delayed flight in San Francisco, a local staff member opened his cage to check on him, and the dog bolted. Sad as this is to an animal lover like me, this is not what has me disappointed with Air Canada. No, that came later. You see, a local CBS affiliate in California contacted Air Canada inquiring about the lost dog and received a response saying a ground team was doing its best to locate Larry. The reporter then emailed a follow-up request asking a few additional questions. Imagine her surprise when she received a response from Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada’s Manager of Corporate Communications: “I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.” Clearly, the email was intended for a co-worker, and Fitzpatrick accidentally hit “Reply” instead of “Forward”. Oops! Continue reading

What does it take to “connect” with your employees?

Last week I was working in Honolulu HI (yea I know, tough :)) and as I took a walk one evening, I came across this homeless man taking a quick nap on the sidewalk.


I realize the picture isn’t completely in focus, but if you can’t read it, his sign says “Why Lie, Need Beer.  Mahalo.  God bless.”  After I laughed out loud, I stopped for a few minutes to observe other people’s reactions.  In the five minutes that I stood there, unseen in the shadows, I saw 17 people stop and read his sign, and (this was the one that surprised me) 14 give him their spare change.  Continue reading

To become a better leader, find a “mirror”

TwoMirrorsLeadership growth is a voyage of discovery and learning. And one very useful ally in your journey is a trusted colleague (or mirror) who is also in a position of leadership; someone with whom you can discuss issues, celebrate successes, share challenges and commiserate about disappointments.

Don’t underestimate the value of such a partner. Consider this: two mirrors placed directly across from each other create an infinite number of reflections. When you have someone who can listen with an understanding and empathetic ear (because they “get” your issues and difficulties), this person can reflect what you are doing and saying, and offer insights to your situation that you might not have considered yourself. And you can offer them the same in return. Continue reading

2 keys to 21st century business success: relationships and trust

PaulineFlemingPauline Fleming is the Chief Inspiration Officer at Leaders Who Care, as well as my professional colleague, and I am delighted that she agreed to guest on our blog today.

One of the biggest struggles leaders often face is with confidence. Confidence with and from others in particular. People only follow the lead, believe in or buy from those they trust and have a solid relationship with.

We live in an age where money isn’t the only essential currency anymore. Relationships and trust are as important as the money your business works for. They’re more important than anything that you can track on a spreadsheet. Without the people asset, all the other assets don’t matter.

How do you earn and save when it comes to relationships? Continue reading