Month: July 2010

The Lotto Game Presentation

Here is the presentation I made based on yesterday’s blog.  Let me know what you think.   You can also see on Slideshare.net

Play “The Lotto Game” – what would you do with your life if you won?

I am too much of an analytic to play the Lotto much.  The odds are just not there for me to spend my money on.  I might as well take my dollar and throw it out the car window – at least that way, somebody might find it and get some use out of it.

However, while I don’t play much – on occasion I do.

It is on these occasions that I make it a rule to play a game that I call “The Lotto Game.”  It involves spending time dreaming about what I would do with the money if I won.  Would I go out and buy a bunch of things?  Would I take a trip around the world?  Give it away to charity?

I can spend hours visualizing what I would do with my millions.  This way I feel that I am getting something for my money – the entertainment value of the dreaming.

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Unmotivated and staying that way

Are there certain people who just can’t be motivated?  Are there Wally’s who render the motivation fairy powerless?  While I would like to believe that isn’t the case, I have to wonder…

Motivation is Personal

One of the core beliefs that I have is that motivation is very personal.  People are individuals with different motivational triggers and drives.  While there are basic underlying motivational drives (see 4-Drive Model), those drives impact each of us differently and create a unique motivational profile.

This implies that if one can understand that motivational profile of a person, one should be able to understand what to do to motivate them…right?

That is the implication…however I believe reality is a little different.

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The Power of Communication II – How More is Often Less

While this is funny, it is also a little sad.   Sad because it actually happens – and not just at Microsoft, but across the board in industry today.

In our striving to add more and make sure things are clear and understandable, we “muck up” stuff.  I’ve witnessed this type of “editing” many times in the work that we do.

The intent is always good.  Clients saying, “we need to add in the eligibility rules to the PPT” or “the graph isn’t to scale and can we add some arrows in to show how people should read it?” or “can we just put an earning example in here?”

However, in the end, what started out as a simple, memorable, and I would say engaging piece – ends up to be just another jumbled piece that doesn’t elicit any emotion or change any behavior.  We tend to put too much in and don’t leave enough out.  I understand that compensation communication (or other “important” communication) needs to have the details – I just think that they shouldn’t be on the box (or in most PPTs or overview documents).

This means that some of our communication pieces are the “packaging” – they grab our attention; they create a feeling or expectation.  Other communication needs to be the “set up instructions” – these are the simple how to use directions;  the easy to understand graphics that show you how to plug it in.  Finally you need the “warranty and trouble shooting information” – those legal parts that get into the nitty gritty; the details of how things work so that those few who really care can understand.

Watch this and laugh – but think about how it applies to you and your business communications.  How much do you try to cram in?  Is it too much?

I am a big believer in the motto – simpler is better.  I also believe that emotion is more memorable than logic.   So make sure that you don’t create a Microsoft package when you could make an Apple.

Have you ever had this happen to you?  Give a comment and let us know.

Stuck

The plan was to take this week off and use it to get some much needed down time and relaxation.  I was going to use it as a mini refreshabattical and recharge my batteries, get a fresh perspective on the upcoming months and years, and maybe even have some fun.

I had intended to go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and actually get to spend time there without feeling rushed; take a few walks around Lake of the Isles or Lake Calhoun – maybe sit on a bench and just watch the people go by; spend a few hours in the garden; go to a daytime Twins game at the new stadium; sit back with a drink on the front porch in the afternoon and say hi to all my neighbors; go camping for a night with my four year old son; take some time to do some fun reading and writing…but then, real life comes crashing in.  A client  decides that they finally need to finish some compensation plan books that we started in January – and now there are changes that require significant rework.  Tenants call and complain about sash cords being broken – and need them fixed now (even though they’ve been that way for a few months).  Dissertation committee needs to have a draft of Chapter 5 – sooner than expected.

So much for my relaxing week.

I have to say that I started to feel pretty bummed out about this yesterday.  I had these expectations for this week and those expectations were definitely not being met (not even close to it).  Then I started to really think about it – was this week that bad?

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