The Sock Thief

I once operated a bakery cafe where we made all our pastries from scratch. Because our top-seller was apricot danish, we kept a large stock of tinned apricots. One evening when reviewing our supplier invoices, I noticed we were buying more tins of apricots, which was strange as I knew our sales of apricot danish had remained pretty constant. The following day I instigat 
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This is No Joking Matter

While I love to run workshops, it’s even more fun learning from wise colleagues and teachers. Moshe Lang is one of these, a highly experienced psychologist with a strong interest in humour. Moshe is also one of Australia’s leading family therapists. Last weekend I attended a workshop he conducted on the use of humour by psychologists. While the room was hot and stuffy, (the 
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Name it to Tame it!

I’m just back from the IFA Convention in Las Vegas where I gave a talk on how to increase franchisee engagement in group meetings and conferences. In this Tip I’m going to share the most important point I made, which is to identify what’s important to the people in your audience, and then name it. In the 1960s, Ursula Le Guin, a talented science fiction writer, released 
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Confessions of a So-Called Expert

When I was 12 my dad brought home a vinyl LP record containing a live lecture on life skills by a well-known New York psychologist, Dr Murray Banks. I was fascinated by the ideas and the light-hearted way these were communicated. As I repeatedly listened to it, I remember thinking “what an awesome way to earn a living”. Fast forward 50 years and I am grateful to have been a 
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Lessons from a Leprechaun Taxi Driver

As part of a European speaking tour, I’ve been staying in an old rambling hotel in Dublin, formerly a monastery. It’s been fun wandering around the underground corridors, filled with so much history and character. This morning, while checking out at reception, I was pleasantly surprised to meet what I can only describe as a leprechaun taxi driver. I had just asked how I get 
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No, I’m Not Jesting

I’m in Europe at the moment for some client conferences, so I thought I’d do a Tip on one of my favourite European characters — the Jester. I’ve always had an unusual fascination with Jesters. It’s not their musical or acrobatic skills that interests me. It’s more their role in speaking the truth, and naming the political shenanigans that people in power often use to  
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Would You Like a Portrait With That?

We all love an interesting customer service story, so I’m going to share two contrasting experiences from similar businesses. The lessons are compelling. But first a big thank you. Last week, FRI was awarded “Supplier of the Year” at the Australian Excellence in Franchising Awards. These Healthy Franchise Relationship Tips are a small, but important, part of what we do to f 
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Making Your Board Effective

Recently at Natadola Beach in Fiji, I ticked an item off my bucket list. I wobbled all the way to shore on one of those 1960's longboards. That night as I walked along the beach, reflecting on my surfing prowess, I had a phone call from a colleague who was having a very different board experience. The Board of an organisation he was involved with had been disbande 
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Are You Mindful or Mind-Full?

I recently sat in a workshop on Mindfulness led by a psychology colleague. Later, while chatting about her work, she said how stressed she felt and that her head was overloaded with the stuff she had to do. I couldn't help myself and quipped, “Sounds like you are more mind-full than mindful”. We both laughed. You've probably noticed an upsurge of interest in the benefits of 
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Please Make a Note of This!

I was meeting with a senior executive who said he wanted to learn about franchising best practice. Although he was polite and asked some good questions, I soon realised we were both wasting our time. Despite several very specific suggestions targeted to his company’s situation, this guy had not written anything down. Taking notes is a pet topic of mine. This is because  
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