This blog post is not about food, BUT it seems like it could be about food. Local produce can not only change the quality of a meal, but can also directly impact the life of a local farmer as well as the community. Studies have shown that farmers markets can have a positive effect on the economy in its vicinity, with cities all over the country offering vouchers for women on the WIC program to be able to purchase their produce at local markets. However, this effect is still being studied, and the extent to which it affects the real estate market was not anticipated. Ok, it’s about food. And business.
Years ago sociologist Arlie Hochschild identified the core component of the emerging service economy by correctly noting that most people in this kind of economy are engaged in what she called “emotional labor.” That is, they are in the business of producing a particular feeling or experience for people. Often, this takes the form of hospitality (think, table servers at restaurant or the incessant “My Pleasure” response to any request at Chik-fil-A.) or happiness (think: Disney theme park workers) or some other desired state.
Information is so widely available- who needs experts? You can Google nearly anything. There are podcasts for all of the other stuff (including one I like quite a bit-The Bias Disruption Podcast), blogs like this one to fill in all of the other gaps.
In a well-documented trend, people are more wary of “experts” than ever before because simply knowing things isn’t enough to make you trustable. The pervasive exposure to information make it easier for anyone to claim to be an expert, and there haven’t been enough credibility checks and balances established to help measure if that’s so. Not to mention that just having knowledge does not make someone an expert. Knowledge must come with trustworthiness in order for it to expertise to be valid.
Meanwhile, the only people who seem to be bemoaning the death of the expert are, well, experts. And they clearly can’t be trusted to weigh in on this matter.
The subtle shift into thinking like a sociologist makes for relatively dramatic changes in how we approach the workplace. For example, there is a vast and growing literature about groups, teams and personality types. Essentially, the idea is that if we can know our employees better, then we can pair them up with people whose skills are complementary to create a super team where one person’s deficiencies are made up for by another person’s strengths but that there is enough overlap in terms of personality so as to squash dysfunction. The job of the manager is to identify these personalities and skills (often with the help of one of the myriad of assessment tools on the market) and assemble the pieces together.
Thinking about Millennials is bad for your organization. I mean, really bad. Here’s why.
At an event last week designed to help create engaging brand strategies for millennials I listened as one of the audience members went on and on about how difficult it was to deal with millennials because they are so entitled. These comments were met with much head nodding and agreement.
I got thoroughly excited by these comments because not only are they grossly inaccurate, but the audience agreement indicated a widespread bias. This combination of things meant that there was a precise need for what I do, and an opportunity to dramatically impact strategic development by shifting how we think about groups of people.
I recently had the opportunity to lead a company retreat focused on big picture, strategic thinking. The client needed something that would help the team to move their own thinking (and their customer’s thinking) away from simple tips and tricks, checkboxes and other, short term, tactical approaches. Instead, they wanted to focus on delivering real value through the implementation of solid strategic thinking.
The conventional wisdom posits strategic thinkers as possessing some kind of ineffable quality. Maybe they were born with the talent for it, or maybe they developed it along the way somehow, but it is often considered to be unexplainable. Some people just are big picture thinkers while others might be better at the day to day tactics.
I don’t believe this conventional wisdom.