Monday, September 21, 2009

Imaginative Customer Service

Imaginative Customer Service to “Take their Breath Away!”

If you’re looking for a way to super charge your team on what real customer service means, we highly recommend "Take Their Breath Away(TM): How Imaginative Service Creates Devoted Customers” by Chip Bell and John Patterson, customer service specialists.

Successful companies know that excellent customer service is the standard for good business relationships. In today’s climate: “you have to take their breath away!” Excellent isn’t enough!

Chip and John write:

“The brave face of serving needs to shine through no matter what’s going on with the economy. "Keep your eye on the prize" that's the "wowed" client! Proactively solve problems for your client with "them in mind" when you offer your services or products. Always focus on helping – serving. If the experience of working with you and your company is "more-than-they-could-have- imagined-they-read-my-mind" they'll share and keep coming back for more. We all do.”

This is why we love them! Couldn’t say it better ourselves! Don’t miss this one!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Resetting Innovation -like Edison!

Resetting Innovation –like Edison!

As the economy begins to show glimmers of improvement, we would like to share a great article in a recent newsletter about "Resetting Innovation" by our friend, Sarah Miller Caldicott, Great-Grand niece of Thomas A. Edison. Referencing in her newsletters the power of Edison's Five Competencies that stand as a spot-on timeless beacon for us all as we strive in these days of change and "resetting" to stay on point to be innovative in our organizations, whatever our businesses:

Sarah writes:

"Resetting" is a crucial skill for every innovator. Edison continually reset his goals, rapidly forming new ones when others had been achieved. He even reset his work environment from time to time. These shifts were always done with the intention of creating new pathways for innovation."

"Instead of having all chemists or all mathematicians on a team, he (Thomas A. Edison) mixed the chemists and mathematicians together with the physicists and machinists. Shifting your organization's team design is one of the most powerful steps you can take to begin innovating faster. Through multi-disciplinary teams, Edison uniquely harnessed the intellectual and creative power of his employees, and drew cutting edge thinking from each one. He then banded employees of diverse experience levels together in clusters of 2 to 8 people, and gave them the latitude to discover new insights that would either create new markets or improve existing products. This approach to multi-disciplinary teams was baked into Edison's business model. Without these team structures Edison's operating culture would have collapsed, and key discoveries would have been lost."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Huge Art Installation coming to Grand Rapids, MI

I'm sure most of us think that nothing all that cutting edge happens in Michigan, but I have to beg to differ. Deborah Adams Doering recently won a juried spot in ArtPrize 2009, an international art exhibition and competition taking place in Grand Rapids, MI on Sept. 23 - Oct. 10, 2009, with her piece titled: “Code for the Grand River, Grand Rapids_09.”

Her earthwork will contain over 200 of her “Codes,” eco-painted on the 500 x 100 foot
expanse of lawn in Ah-Nab-Awen Park, centrally located between the Grand River and
the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids.

The first installation will be on view from September 23 – October 1. On October 1,
the installation will be mowed, leaving a grassy expanse for a weekend wedding.

(If you missed the “wedding” episode, please go to then click
“News,” then “
Link: WOOD TV8 video and article ArtPrize Entry Almost Derails Wedding”).

On October 4, a second installation will be painted, referencing the first installation
and the wedding event.

ArtPrize is a radical art competition. Awards will total $449,000, reportedly the world's largest
art prize. Part arts festival, part social experiment, this international art contest is decided
solely by public vote. Voters must register at an official ArtPrize Voter Registration Site in
Grand Rapids to vote.

For more information about ArtPrize, go to / enter “Doering”, or go to

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crowdsourcing an Opera - Taking Collaboration to a Whole New Level

From Jim Stewart:

Micro-blogging service Twitter and London's Royal Opera House may not be seen as birds of a feather. Founded hundreds of years apart, one represents a stronghold of traditional high culture, the other the fizzing surface of contemporary communication. But the tendency of culture to respond to new technology should never be underestimated—over the past three weeks the ROH has been using Twitter to crowdsource the libretto for a new "people's opera".

"The Twitter Opera" is to be performed as part of the ROH's
Deloitte Ignite Festival at the beginning of September. The libretto will consist entirely of 140-character tweets that the ROH has received from members of the public since the project was launched. It will be set to original music composed by Helen Porter, along with some more familiar classics. Simply put, the goal is to help attract a wider audience. Alison Duthie of the ROH summed this up: "It's the people's opera and the perfect way for everyone to become involved with the inventiveness of opera as the ultimate form of storytelling." The plot, which is now complete, begins—fittingly—with a man being kidnapped by a flock of birds.