Diet Fads Are Bad For Management

I was talking to a group of managers earlier this week about increasing team productivity when one asked “What’s the latest thinking on this?” It didn’t surprise me as I’ve become used to team leaders and even CEO’s wanting to have the “Latest fix or fad” believing that it’s bound to be better than the previous ones.

Management can’t be like a diet fad
It’s like watching compulsive dieters trying the latest diet craze for a while before moving onto the next. Examples would be Total Quality Management in the 1980’s, more info

followed by process reenigineering and culture change. The difficulty for managers is implementing change so that it’s always beneficial to the organisation.

The expectation that the latest fad will increase profitability through competitive advantage can’t be true when every other company is adopting the same fad. I recently was interviewed by William Buist on this exact topic and a short clip from the YouTube video can be seen here

Resisting fads until they are proven to be useful might be a good strategy…but needs nerves of steel


Stephen Harvard Davis

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Customer bites back!

Over the past week I’ve been amazed at the response of companies to negative comments on Twitter. In the “getting complaints resolved fast” it seems to scare companies far more than threats to complain through official channels!

It takes 50 days to post a form
At this point I’m not going to mention the companies concerned (look through my previous blogs and tweets if you want to know the who) but to say that one complaint was after I was informed that to post me a form that needed completing could take up to fifty days to post…yes that’s right fifty (50) days to post out a form!

Brand protection
Within an hour of the negative tweets complaining of the poor customer service I was being contacted by teams of people wanting to resolve my complaint to prevent further negative tweets being made. Now, one has to admire the protection of the brand image and how effectively the complaint was handled but my main question is why let the situation where a customer is frustrated or angered occur in the first place?

So, perhaps the advice if you have a complaint about a company should be “Tweet first, blog next, mention it on facebook and if that brings no satisfactory result then complain officially”.

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Queen’s Jubilee…better in 1952 or at the end?

As the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee approaches we are likely to be bombarded with comparisons of the “then and now”. Commentators will be lecturing us saying how much better off we all are than in 1952!

People worked harder
Doubtless they will mention that people worked harder in 1952. Yet in reality communication and technology mean that we work faster and more effectively now than sixty years ago.

There will be statistics showing that more women are employed than ever before and regrets that “company loyalty” has disappeared. Forced redundancies, company closures and so on have meant that people are prepared, often out of necessity, to change jobs and careers more often than sixty years ago.

Is comparison pointless?
Yet comparisons are rather pointless. During the past sixty years the world has changed beyond recognition for most in the UK and the USA and it’s undeniable that the general standard of living of Briton’s has improved.

The real issue
The real issue for discussion with commentators, politicians, business leaders and bankers should be not whether things are better now than in 1952 but instead if things will be better at the end of the reign than they are now?



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