Attention to Detail, Richard Branson’s way

So you have an idea for a business — one that you believe has the potential to alter the industry. You put together a straightforward proposition, raised the necessary capital, gathered a team and publicized your new venture by every means available. What happens next?

It’s time to deliver on your promises. And the only difference between merely satisfactory delivery and great delivery is attention to detail.

Anyone who aspires to lead a company must develop a habit of taking notes. I carry a notebook everywhere I go. Most of my entries are like this one, from a Virgin Atlantic flight years ago: “Dirty carpets. Fluff. Areas around bow dirty. Equipment: stainless steel, grotty. Choice of menu disappointing — back from Miami, prawns then lobster (as a main course) in Upper Class. Chicken curry very bland. Chicken should be cut in chunks. Rice pretty dry. No Stilton available on cheeseboard.”

What’s most revealing is this final note: “Staff desperate for someone to listen. Make sure flight staff reports are actioned IMMEDIATELY.” I’m pleased to say they now are. This is the key to getting all the other items on the list done — employees are better able to report problems and get them fixed before I come along with my notebook.

And as you decide how best to deliver your product or service, keep in mind the company’s core business values, the medium-term strategic considerations and where the industry is headed in the long term. Make your decisions on the micro level in light of that bigger picture, and your business should be headed in the right direction.

This problem-solving process should not be limited to the launch. Owners and leaders of established companies should sample their business’s products as often as possible. Many bosses regularly speak to staff at all levels, but often they do not follow up on problems they uncover. This means their employees never learn what importance the CEO places on getting the details right, or see just how necessary and possible it is to address the everyday problems that come up. If you foster a culture of waiting for someone else to solve problems, the company will suffer the consequences.

Great delivery also depends on great communication, which should start at the top. Be brave: hand out your e-mail address and phone number. Your employees will know not to misuse it or badger you, and by doing so, you will be giving them a psychological boost — they will know they can contact you anytime a problem comes up that requires your attention.

Instilling attention to detail throughout your new company will prove especially important when the business begins to gain ground. Employees across the business should be focusing on getting it right all day, every day.

A few years ago, I saw warning signs that we were starting to stumble when I received a letter from a couple who had planned to travel on Virgin Trains in Britain. We had seen a rapid 50 percent increase in passenger numbers, and suddenly people were finding it difficult to get a seat on the busier routes. The letter writers had not realized that they now had to book seats in advance. When they arrived at the station, they found the staff unhelpful. Given that the husband was disabled and needed assistance, this was pretty terrible of us.

I personally helped them, and in the process became concerned about the bigger picture for this company. I asked Ashley Stockwell, the brand and customer service guardian for Virgin Group, to take a look. Thanks to our renewed focus on delivering great service and attention to detail, we got better and soon received plaudits.

Finally, if you do start to see success in the form of new and repeat business, remember to keep a cool head. You’re delivering change, and if you are succeeding, other businesses are probably getting hurt. They will try to shut you down.

Be sportsmanlike, play to win, and then befriend your enemies. If you do fall out with a partner, colleague or competitor, call that person a year later and take him out to dinner. It is likely you have a great deal in common. After all, why did you both get into the business in the first place? To deliver change, serve customers, and reform an industry. Now, what can you create together?

This is an edited excerpt from Richard Branson’s book Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur (Virgin Books, 2010).

Original post/article from  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219510#ixzz1LarpNYM0


10 Things to learn from Japan

Its not that we have no good examples, but this is not from an individual/s. It is the entire population and all elements within that showed collective learning.

1. THE CALM
Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

2. THE DIGNITY
Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

3. THE ABILITY
The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.

4. THE GRACE
People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

5. THE ORDER
No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

6. THE SACRIFICE
Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

7. THE TENDERNESS
Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

8. THE TRAINING
The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

9. THE MEDIA
They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

10. THE CONSCIENCE
When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly


Blogging at Posterous

Finally managed to find a little time to write something and post it for #postaweek !

This time its about www.posterous.com , Interesting the staff at posterous has made life so easy so that you don’t even feel like you are posting to a blog.  Its more like sending an email.

Yes that’s exactly what you will be doing, you will compose a mail and just send it to a specific address which will in return do the gimmicks and have your mail posted as a blog post, which includes pictures too.

Now when we discuss about finding time to post a new blog or write something, isn’t this a easy idea, just compose a mail send it and come back and edit or transfer to your actual serious blog. Specially since its just a matter of sending an email. Can everyone send emails? I m sure everyone can. Hence, well posterous can be used as an easy way to blog and as and when they learn more things and use more features they will gradually be able to go on to a WordPress or any other blogs, but hey, wait a second, why not you maintain your posterous account in the side while still maintaining your WP account. Of course you can post to both at the same time with one emails isn’t it. So its writing just once and publishing in many pages / sites. In fact just like Blogger or WordPress you can create multiple pages as well.

Other than that unlike WordPress or any other account you don’t have to keep thingking of how to work out the theme etc. In this you can just start blogging and as time goes you can change accordingly and the data would remain as it is, I presume. On the other hand, the most beautiful features are not having to worry about sending pictures, sound clips or movie clips and then later having to worry about if everyone can see it. You just have to email and the rest is taken care by the good guys at posterous team. Of course you are not limited to just one type of file and you can upload anything and everything thats the best part of it.

I really like and appreciate the feature where you can send any amount of pictures and posterous making it into an album including thumbnails on its own and making life easy and really saving your time.

Well now do you have any reason to stay away from it? nops. Unless you really want to create excuses just for the sake, well if you managed to then that might not be a real excuse when someone tells you two or easy steps to follow to achieve it. For me I have been casually blogging for a while on Blogger and recently at WordPress. The funniest thing is that I set a target to myself of writing one article a week before I got into shared hosting / self hosting. Well did I achieve it? Regrettably not done yet. But to think of it, this was just like sending an email didnt have to think much. In fact I wouldn’t even read this for the second time, may read at some other point of time and edit. Probably! Cheers, Deen 2010

@ksheriffdeen – twitter


30 Seconds but effective speech by Bryan Dyson (CEO of Coca Cola)

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass.

If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.

They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.”

~~~

How true is what I have been thinking. In life most of the time we tend to give the explanation I m doing this for a better future for my children and better future for us while loosing the present and neglecting them. By the time we are gone, they might or might not enjoy what we did for them, but they definitely would miss us with the thought like ‘he / she did everything but never enjoyed’

Life is now and enjoy it. Of course we need to work but we should always maintain the work life balance in such a way we don’t lose focus on whats more important? what will come back to us and what will not come back to us? What are we losing forever and what is the reward against the struggle? etc.

This is a short post to be continued in the future! basically getting back to postaweek2011 back in track🙂

~~~~

Don’t foget to follow me on twitter @ksheriffdeen


Nokia N8 Photograph – Sunset

I am two weeks behind my postaweek2011 commitment, however lately I revised it to 52 blogs within this year to cover it up.  So bloggers here goes one to cover and two more to go before the end of this week.

I would like to take an easy time on writing this blog by posting the pictures which were taken with Nokia N8.  These are just raw pictures without any editing. Even the scene was set to auto, actually the landscape option didn’t come to my mind at that moment. I made a mental note to ensure that next time whenever an opportunity present with this sort of a beautiful moment, I should ensure that I get the maximum. Oh I love photography and would definitely like to learn more. May be a part time income might come through that who knows. For the time being enjoy the pictures. There are more pictures to come and of course I will categories them or have some sort of a theme before uploading.

Okay, I had a facebook update saying all I want for Christmas is an N8, i definitely didn’t get it for Christmas though, eventually I got it. lol.

This might help me learn photography to the next level, and of course might get on few peoples nerves for shooting pictures at every given opportunities, but then again, I love taking photoes. Therefore, they can complain and I can still take pictures lol.

Why did I want an N8 at the first place, very simply for the Camera and after going through the reviews many times over and over again in various different sites the other features really convinced me that it is the phone I should be having and then it was decided I either stick with what I have or have an N8. Having used it for a while I would really like Nokia to have the option of scrolling up and down the screen when you are browsing using + or – key (just a loud thought)

At times people say be careful of what you wish for it may come true, that’s exactly what happened to me on this occasion.

That’s a short blog of mine to cover it up for one of the lost weeks!!!

Cheers


Has Social Media taken our real social life?

Human beings are by nature social creatures  and cannot live alone unlike some other species or animals in the world. We seek more and more opportunity to socialise and make use of every opportunity we get.

If we think from the beginning, we had friends and neighbors and buddies at school.  Later we start to enroll ourselves in sports or societies or some sort of a group and by the time we leave this earth we have made more than enough friends, enemies, admirers, and so on. All whom we have personally met!

However, for us to do all this we had to stay / visit one place to get to know more people and socialise with them.  Now almost everyone I know has a Facebook account. Before this what did we do?

We asked address to send post cards than for a phone number to chat. After that we wanted yahoo id to chat, then we passed through various other online communication tools and now we ask for facebook id to add them as friends and keep in touch. We even do that to people we met for the first time, even if we don’t ask just think how many times have you checked if a certain person was on facebook just after you met him/her? How many times did you go and look for an old friend of yours on facebook? How many new friends did you make on facebook? Do you know all about all the friends who are in your facebooks friends list?

Now move a little away from the internet. Do you know whats happening at your neighbours or a friends house who is not on your Facebook? Think of it. If your answer is no, doesn’t it mean you have been concentrating and developing networks on the net despite knowing exactly your social life is taken by the computer and its not a real social life? Suppose if you die today how many of your facebook friends would attend the funeral? Apart from that how many people that you know will attend are not in contact with you or you don’t know what there status is right now. Think of it. Think of the number of times you have written on others walls and now compare it with the number of times you have greeted, stopped to chat with people you know in real life!

In a way Have the Social Media and social sites have taken our real or actual social life. Can this really be a substitute? Can the person whom you chat and looking forward to chat or whom you have never met in person or for a certain degree that you will never meet be a person who is in your social circle? Are we or are we not looking to socialise in the wrong place?

Well having said the above, of course I do use facebook, twitter etc extensively and keep in touch with everyone there! But I ensure I keep in touch with those who are not in facebook but in real life too to ensure its balanced. I m not objecting or asking you to go and knock your neighbours door or write on their wall in the middle of the night but just a suggestion to think of it!

Just some thoughts to ponder!

Cheers,

Deen

P. S. This post would be edited further in due course, however as of now I have kept my #postaweek2011 in tact by posting this.

P. P. S. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @ksheriffdeen

Please leave your comments to enhance the contents of this post ~ Thank you.


A Beatable Challenge #PostAWeek2010

A Beatable Challenge is what another blogger‘s comments were.

The question; Is it beatable? Yes, of course, it is beatable, I m sure everyone can write at least a paragraph or two every week, at least that will ensure and remind us that we are still blogging and of course the total number of blog post and stories would have drastically increased by the end of 2011. We will also come across different view points and ideas during the course of the year which will give topics for others to write. Now the above said bloggers comment on my previous blog triggered this title.

Presently bloggers supporting each other to achieve this goal is something that shouldn’t phase off before the years phases off.

Its beatable in terms of blogging / writing / updating your blog. True but would everyone think of that in the same manner i. e. quantity of blog post or otherwise. Some will want to write quality blogs for which they might even do a research for a considerable amount of time and some will not post until otherwise they are happy with their contents. For those bloggers this task of #postaweek2011 or #postaday2011 would be even more challenging. Some bloggers, however, are more used to writing every thought that comes to their mind and they are good at it or possess an inborn skill, as for other it might have to be developed or keep searching for things and ideas to write about.

Now I would always opt to be the one who wants write something quality and interesting, however I m also very much flexible to ensure I stick to PostAWeek2011 (I know last week of this month I might not be able to hence I have personally bent the rules  as minimum 52 blogs by the end of this year). In a way directly or indirectly this challenge is going to refine me just like it would refine other bloggers. So for me this will be a training ground just like I m learning everything else including trying out new themes everyday :) etc.

How to blog every week?

  • Look for topics all around and be open to anything that comes to your mind.
  • Note down the respective topics (don’t trust your memory), jot it down, on the phone, on a separate password locked page on WordPress, in a 3×5 card which you carry in your wallet, some where.
  • When you sit down to write go through entire list and find the best topic you can write about at that given moment.
  • When you go through the entire list, your mind would be mapping few more thoughts and will be refining the existing thoughts, which one day will look the best topic for you to write
  • If you really don’t find a topic sit down with a cup of coffee/tea and list down few topics.
  • When you read a book look for those chapter titles which are more interesting and note that down.
  • Draft few topics at once when you find time and save it for a rainy day.
  • Refresh review and rework on the things you might have written something about few years back.
  • Give clues, tips, how to ideas
  • Always ask yourself Who What When Where How and Why.
  • Write about current news.
  • Write Thank you notes
  • Bless those who are suffering
  • Write about a cause you support, or why should we support?
  • Write about Pros and cons of the same thing
  • Write about Good things that happened and bad things that happened
  • Write about Good / Bad services you have received.
  • Write about the Jobs you have done including appreciated  or otherwise.
  • Be determined and committed.
  • Write about this idea ;)

As you see there are plenty of things to write about and I m making a separate list of topics to be written in future which I will share with all of you.

Good luck, Keep Blogging and don’t forget to follow me on twitter.

Happy Blogging Everyone

Mr. #PostAWeek2010 we are going to meet you head on and beat you with more than blog a week!!!!

Cheers,

Deen


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