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Friday, May 25, 2012

Appreciating Health

Over the Victoria Day long weekend, my husband and I worked four days straight in our yard.  Between planting, digging, weeding, lifting heavy bags of garden "stuff" and on and on, I imagined that I wouldn't be able to move at some point during the weekend due to the overuse of muscles that I just don't quite use sitting in an office clicking away on a "clackity box".  And, truth be told, I haven't been quite as active as I used to be and might have "attracted" a few new pounds.  Surprisingly enough, I really didn't experience muscle fatigue.   The only unpleasantness that I experienced resulted from dividing and transplanting more than 50 Irises.  The repetitive motion of digging and planting these lovely plants seemed to reactivate tendentious in one arm - but within 24-hours, I was back to normal.

All that to say that it made me very aware of my health and how I was feeling...and how good I was feeling.  It made me appreciate the fact that I could lift 33lb bags of manure and that I could dig and move huge amounts of soil.  I suddenly became aware of both my freedom and vulnerability all at once.  It was both liberating and intimidating all at the same time.  The one thing I know for sure is that I really appreciate my health.  Sure, I have allergies and the occasional headache, but overall, nothing too serious.

During the week I was reminded of how my appreciation post was going to be about health and good health, when a dear friend was impacted by a family member being diagnosed with a malady.  Thankfully for her and her family member, it is something that a few small food habits can more or less rectify.  Despite this however, no one ever wants to hear that they are being impacted by "something" out of their control.  You can't help but be concerned that it might get worse.  You can't help but think about the worse-case scenario.

We never know what we will be served as each day starts, so let's cherish and appreciate each and every day that we feel like we can move mountains and hills. closing...I have made an appointment at the gym hoping to get back into my old habit of regularly working out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Appreciating What You Have

For my Facebook friends, seeing appreciation posts from me is nothing new.  Some time ago I decided that I wanted to appreciate and thank those who have touched my life in some way – a good way.  It could have been a small gesture or it could have been a life-long relationship.  Regardless of which it is, the only requirement, for me, is that when preparing the post, the person, place or thing MUST evoke an emotional response from me.  The memory, the description, the process of sharing must be strong and profound for me.    I am hoping that in some small way that my recollection, my sharing of this personal experience will in a small way, touch someone else.  Perhaps it will result in someone else resurrecting an old relationship or reaching out to an old friend. 

Since starting my appreciation posts I have received so much positive feedback that I cannot begin to comprehend how my “little stories” has actually touched others.  Many of my posts have been about people no longer with us.  As a result, I am always so pleased at the comments that others also share about that person.  It has been a truly wonderful experience.

Perhaps the greatest compliment however, is just how many people have asked me if I mind if they copy my idea and start their own appreciation posts.  How wonderful!  Taking the time each week to stop, think and write about the people, places or things that have positively impacted their lives.  I love that I have been able to inspire others to do this.  I hope that they too will inspire others in their lives to do the same.

So, with this love fest in mind I have decided to take my appreciation posts to the next level – I am adding my posts to my blog.  So, stay tuned as I make this transition and please continue to provide your commentary, I really enjoy that.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who "Owns" the Customer?

In a Social Enterprise Asking "who owns the customer" is Not Only Antiquated, it is Ludicrous

Each day we have interesting and insightful conversations that get our juices flowing.  Sometimes we get a new idea or sometimes we exit those conversations just scratching our heads. I recently had dinner with someone I have a great deal of respect for, but I have to say that I left that conversation scratching my head.   I have known this person all of my life and I can say that he is usually very insightful and spot on when it comes to intuitively knowing that the customer wants.  In this conversation however, he was dead serious when he spoke of his organization and who should be making decisions about the customer.  His exact words were:  'Why should PR be involved in this issue?  This is a customer issue and therefore, it is our decision what to say or do when it comes to the customer.  They are our customers not theirs.  What do they know about customers?"

I have to say that I was floored - from two perspectives.  First off I have to state my bias.  I do come from the "PR world" and was integrated into PR when they actually controlled the message.  I also spent enough time in the public sector to know how the various interested parties want a say in the message, the timing, etc.  However, and thankfully so, I have seen the light.  Because of my passion for social media and the intrigue around the democratization of knowledge, I know that no one single person or business unit owns the message.  That being said, I also know from experience that no one single unit owns the customer.  If an organization approaches its customers from the standpoint that only the Customer Service department has a stake in the customer, then heaven help us. 

In today's social enterprise, we all have a stake in the customer.  We all have a say in how to communicate.  We have moved beyond someone thinking that a department owns the customer.  Or, at least I thought we have.

Over the coming weeks, I will explore some actual best practices that I was working on in my last organization and how these practices can move organizations to being social enterprises as opposed to anti-social enterprises.

If you have experiences that you would like to share as well, I welcome your thoughts and conversations.  After all, it is about being social.