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By the rules

The USA has a new president. But many people are still surprised that in a democracy, the candidate with a higher absolute number of votes, did not win. This is because of the US system with “electors”. Rules and regulations, but also processes and procedures are always created with a certain goal in mind. The challenge is to create a set that indeed leads to the goal that was intended. And without thorough thinking, wording (and often rewording) and testing (and/or reviewing), sometimes unwanted side-effects can be created. A classic example is calculating the bonus of the sales person based [...]

Crossed wires – same words, different meaning

All industries have words or phrases that are unique to them. Being ex-military and Police, I can tell you that there are a number of phrases used in these professions that are rarely used elsewhere. For instance, the term RVP  (Rendezvous Point), is used by military and police personnel, both inside and outside of their work hours. While the majority of us would say “Where shall we meet?” my ex colleagues would ask, “Where’s the RVP?”. When abbreviations are commonly used within the same industry then there is little room for confusion, or at least that’s what I thought. A [...]


I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently. On the face of it, it was about conflicts of interest but in reality it was about the unnecessary fear of wrong doing. My friend explained that his wife Jennifer worked for a multinational that regularly employed freelance IT contractors. My friend is a partner in a small IT company and is always looking to build business with new clients. He asked Jennifer if she knew how he could approach her company with the idea of developing business with them.  He was a little surprised when she told him that should [...]

Not giving up!

Many years ago I read an article that said “the real challenge of sales begins when the client says ‘no’.” At the time it felt shocking. The concept of being encouraged to be a nuisance by interpreting a clear ‘no’ for a ‘maybe’. None the less, the phrase stuck and I learned to interpret it to mean ‘if you believe in something don’t give up until you have given it your utmost best’. But today, as I prepare for a tricky meeting where I need to convince two of my client’s employees not to be upset by a little set [...]