Friday 29 November 2019

Musts, oughts, and shoulds

Doesn’t every daughter at some point look up to their dad and want to be just like him? 

Being so very different from my dad it wasn’t something I had ever done. Until at my dad’s funeral last year I realised we shared very similar work values. 

My dad was a bank manager at a time when bank customers knew the bank manager’s name and they knew yours. He retired in the early 80s. Imagine my surprise that 35+ years after that retirement some of his bank customers attended his funeral. 

“Your dad saved our farm” said one. “Your dad saved our business” said the other. 


“He argued our case when the theory said we were too risky”. 

It would seem not paying attention to all those musts, oughts and shoulds and, instead, listening to our inner wisdom and doing the right thing is a family trait.

How do you want to be spoken of at your funeral?

Friday 15 November 2019

What’s your trigger for action?

What’s your strategy for refuelling your car? Or more precisely, what’s your trigger for action?

  • Seeing the fuel indicator get to 1/4 full?
  • Maybe it's reframing the dial and seeing that it's 3/4 empty?
  • Hearing the alarm tell you the tank is nearly empty?
  • When you notice a cheap price?
  • When you pass your favourite petrol station (for a while I frequented one with a M&S food shop on site). Are you aware of the decision-making criteria that you're using to support this trigger?
  • Lowest price?
  • Lowest total lifetime cost?
  • Retain maximum resale value for the car?
  • Managing cashflow?
  • Engine friendly?
  • Minimising disruption to your day?
  • Efficient use of time?

Criteria that each result in a very different trigger for refuelling.

I’ve also resisted refuelling the car and my strategy has been the sound of the indicator telling me I have x miles ‘til I run out! Little did I know, whilst using this example on a supplier management workshop, that in addition to helping expand delegates’ thinking about the triggers suppliers might have for taking action to avoid problems, it would help me solve my own resistance to refuelling.

Understanding the decision-making criteria and arising trigger people use for action can be a very useful tool for problem solving.