M/A/R/C Research
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Archive for May, 2013

The Most Important Decade Of Life?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

I was catching up with my college roommate a few weeks ago (always great to connect with K.W.) and for some reason the conversation got very deep and meaningful. No idea of the reason but all of a sudden I said, “I wonder if this is the most important decade of my life.” Here is my rationale for even thinking that way:

  • During this decade my kids will all be in their teens and if they are going to do something – let’s just say foolish, goofy or get off the right path perhaps – it is likely to happen during this time.
  • Time to get serious about retirement. No, I am not retiring tomorrow, next month, next year or even in 10 years, but it needs to be thought of, addressed and planned for.
  • My parents’ health – for me, this is probably the decade where declining health could potentially come into play with my parents.
  • For me – stay in shape and keep the weight off. My sense is right now it is easy to put on 5 pounds and somewhat easy to take off the same 5 pounds. After this decade it might be easy to put it on but very very hard to take it off.
  • Health issues with some of my friends – it happens all the time and way too early for some.

Those are my thoughts and reasons.

So yes, after reviewing my list and reasons, I believe that being in my 50’s will be the most important decade of my life!

  • Do you agree with me?
  • What is the most important decade of your life? Was it your 20’s, 30’s 40’s?

I look forward to reading your comments.

It Is Spring Time – Time To Prune?

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Every late February my landscaper comes by and starts the pruning process in our yard.  He is professional, knows what he is doing and does a really nice job.  When I think of the basic definition of pruning with regard to landscaping, pruning is the process of cutting back the tree so it will be able to successfully grow and be healthy the next year.

  • Doesn’t that apply in every business?
  • Should every business be pruning every year?

ISN’T THE ONLY ANSWER “YES”?!

Shouldn’t we all be pruning our systems, expenses, clients, prospects and staff every year! The real question is… How many of us do that?

If my landscaper doesn’t prune the tree or bush, it won’t be as healthy as it could be and it won’t grow as quick. In fact, it might die and need to be replaced.

I would say the exact same thing is true with every one of our businesses!

  • What do you think?

I look forward to reading your comments.

It’s Almost My Six Year Anniversary Of…

Friday, May 24th, 2013

June 7, 2007 was a special day for me. The sun was shining; I was in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, and at one of my favorite spots – a baseball stadium!  No, it wasn’t to see the Giants play (too bad because I love that stadium). It was to attend the Oakland A’s (remember S.S., A.H., J.L.) take on my beloved Boston Red Sox. Joe Blanton vs. Curt Schilling, the bloody sock guy himself!

The Red Sox were winning 1-0 thanks to a David Ortiz home run as we entered the bottom of the 9th. One and two outs passed very quickly and now the place is going crazy since Curt Schilling hasn’t given up a hit in 8 2/3 innings. A no hitter!!!! Wow! And I am here to witness it! To put this in perspective, I estimate I have attended over 800 baseball games in my life and I have never been this close.  In fact in the history of baseball, it has happened less than 300 times.

To say this is special is an understatement. As Schilling gets ready to throw his 95th pitch, he shakes off Jason Varitek and then as luck would have it, Shannon Stewart delivers the pitch into right field for a single… and breaking up the no hit bid!

Seven years later I still haven’t seen a no-hitter. In fact, I may never see one.

The questions are:

  • How close have you come?
  • Have you ever seen a no-hitter in person?
  • Have you ever watched a no hitter on TV?
  • Has  your child ever thrown a no–hitter?

I look forward to your comments and hearing your memories.

Why Does Research Not Get The Respect It Deserves?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Last month Ron Johnson was fired as the CEO of JC Penney after only 18 months on the job. Ron was a genius at Apple running their retail business and was brought in to turn around this struggling retailer. The interesting thing is Ron made a bunch of changes. He really tried a number of different strategies.

For that he does need to be complemented, BUT everything he did was based on his gut and had nothing to do with research and what his customers wanted. He did what he thought was right for the struggling business. I don’t want to focus on what he did or didn’t do. I would rather focus on why he has such little respect for research. Ron Johnson isn’t the only executive to not put faith in research to move the business forward.

The question for me is:

WHY DOES THE MARKET RESEARCH INDUSTRY NOT GET THE RESPECT IT DESERVES?

I really look forward to reading your comments and hearing your opinion.

PS – I am moderating a panel in a few weeks and this is a question I will be asking for sure!

PSS – This is a VERY important subject. Please don’t be shy. We need your response and thoughts.

Have You Used Google+ Hangouts For Interviews?

Monday, May 20th, 2013

If you are like me, you interview a lot of people during the course of a week and I am sure some of those interviews are in person but many are on the phone. It’s funny because I use Google+ and have been using Hangouts more regularly for presentations and training, but I don’t do it for interviews! The other benefit and valuable resource of using Hangouts is the video option that allows you to share your meeting with other members of your team as well.

For those of you who aren’t aware of Google+ or Hangouts – basically it is Skype. With hangouts you can see the person while you are talking over the internet. I find it very valuable and the picture & sound quality is really good. It is a very effective tool but for some reason I haven’t been using it for interviews.

I think I will start to change that.

  • Have you ever used Google+ Hangouts?
  • Are you using any cool technology for interviews these days?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Try And _____ Every Day!

Friday, May 17th, 2013

I tend to be a creature of habit. I am a little bit of a routine guy and really try to live my life that way.  Here are a number of things I try and do each and every day!

I try and:

    1. Call my parents
    2. Eat oatmeal
    3. Take my vitamins
    4. Drink two soda’s and NOT more than three
    5. Get to work by 6:15am
    6. Leave work by 5:15pm
    7. Think of ways to move the business forward

Since 7 is one of my favorite numbers I will stop there.

Your turn:

  • I try and ____________ every day?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time To Take A Quick Quiz And Let Me Know Who Is Funnier!

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I must say that kids are funny! In fact, very hysterical! No matter how much I tried, I could never be funnier than my kids.

Please take a quick quiz and rate how funny these statements are that were said by my kids.

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Did You Have A Secret Admirer?

Monday, May 13th, 2013

A few weeks ago my son who is in the third grade got a note from a secret admirer. The note is below and is very cute. He is so funny about it as well – probably a little embarrassed, flattered and excited all at the same time. Those are my words – not his – since he is probably too young to have big words like those in his vocabulary. Time to close your eyes and go back to elementary and middle school.

    • Did you have a secret admirer?
    • Did you send a message to someone saying you were their secret admirer?

I look forward to reading your comments.

How Do You Show Your Employees You Love Them?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

A few weeks ago I was flying into DFW Airport (the best airport in the world) and as we were flying over a warehouse, I saw a message on the roof in big letters: Container Store Loves Our Employees. Of course I paused and thought about the message. I didn’t relate it to the Container Store but rather to our company, the company I work for and am President of.  So I asked myself, “Do we love our employees?” I quickly came up with a “Yes” and then asked myself a follow up question – “Do we show it?”

I didn’t want to just go with a “Yes” but rather a list of things that I believe we do that illustrates how we feel. Here are the first 6 I came up with:

  • We have summer hours – meaning that from Memorial Day to Labor Day we work an extra hour Monday thru Thursday and get off at 1:00 on Friday.
  • I personally send every member of the team an email on their birthday & company anniversary and copy their boss.
  • Casual dress days on Friday
  • I have an open door policy and I am very accessible. If anyone wants to talk, I am available and will listen.
  • We have a business update every month and communicate to the entire company what is going on, review current strategy and financial numbers.
  • We recognize employees thru a number of programs we have in place. Those awards include Employee of the Month/Year, Select Award, Way To Go and Dine On Dubrow.

Company atmosphere and staff is and has always been a top priority of mine. I truly believe a happy staff leads to happy clients – and without clients you really don’t have a business.

Your turn:

  • How do you show your staff that you love them?
  • What special things does your company do to provide a great work environment?
  • What is the nicest thing anyone ever did for you at work?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention: Baseball And Sports Fans – Time To Take A Quick Quiz!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I must admit I love this time of year. The birds chirping, the sun shining and going to the ballpark to catch some baseball! The baseball season is off to a roaring start and as you read this post about 20% of the year is over.

Well sit back, take a quick quiz and give me your thoughts on these questions:

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to your answers.