Blog & News

Tag: Values

Thinking Outside the Box

Why is it that when organizations ask its employees to think outside the box, they continue to confine them in a box? Organisations who are demanding creativity, innovation and new thinking need to focus on the environment and condition they create for thinking outside the box.  Both in physical and organizational structures.  Look around you and take notice of what is important to you.   Your values, do they align with the organisational practiced values? Do you like your working environment and culture?   Does your environment lead to thinking out the box and learning?

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Wake up and smell the roses!

Wake up and smell the roses, a phrase that’s is often used for one to awaken up to life and take time to notice this world or wake up to the reality of life or a situation.  Michael J Gelb in his book ‘How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci’ writes about the use of our given senses that we often ignore. I would like quote from his book. Aromatic Awareness All day every day we are confronted with a smorgasbord of smells. Our five million olfactory cells can sniff out one molecule of odour-causing substance in one part per trillion of air. And we take about 23,000 breaths per day processing about 400 cubic feet of scent-laden air.  But most people have a very limited vocabulary for describing aromatic experience: “It stinks” or “that smells good” are the most common references. Aim to increase your discrimination of and appreciate for smell by expanding your olfactory vocabulary. Perfumers categorise smells as floral (roses), minty (peppermint), musty (musk) ethereal (pears), resinous (camphor), foul(rotten eggs) and acrid (vinegar). Use these terms and make up your own descriptions as you explore the following exercise. What do you smell rights now?  – Describe it a vividly as you can…… Make “smells” a theme of a day – Record what you smell how it affects you through the course of your day. Olfactory Cornucopia – Assemble arrange of items with distinctive aromas,.. use a blind fold and ask your friends to describe what they smell and their reactions. Make your own perfume–  check out pure essential oils and find out what you like best –  (I would suggest only the best – Young Living Essential Oils)   Study Aromatherapy – Aromas of plants and herbs were used for healing by ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, and Chinese. Popular in classical times and in Leonardo’s day, the therapeutic application of natural herbs and scents is enjoying a rebirth So why not, wake up and smell the roses in your world!

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The Little Hobo – First Class for Customer Service and Food

You may remember this post I wrote back in April 2014.  The great news is that they have been voted the best restaurant in BC. CHECK OUT THIS LINK – News clip Well Done Crystal,  Steve and  Team. The first time I visited the Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich Shop for lunch I could not have been made feel more welcome. “Hi, you are very welcome, what can we get you? What’s your name for your order? Thanks Mel, we will have that right over to you and have a piece of fruit. It comes with your order.” My lunch was great, especially the soup. As I was leaving. “Hey Mel, thanks for coming in today. We really appreciate it and hope we see you again.” The second time I visited was about two weeks later. “Hey Mel, welcome back what can we get you?” I inquired into what was cooking on the stove.”They are special Proggies.” A voice from the kitchen shouted back, as well as the ingredients and how he was cooking them. “We are so sorry Mel, they are already all sold.” “That’s okay,” I replied. “I just never saw or had one before.” I placed my order and sat down. In about 5 minutes my order and a large Proggie arrived. “I did not order the Proggie,” I said. “That’s okay Mel. There was an extra one and it’s on the house. Enjoy!” replied Crystal. Wow, it was great, especially Steve’s secret sauce. Just the other week I stop off again at the Little Hobo for a quick sandwich. When I went to pay I had forgotten my wallet (good one Mel, nice try I hear you say). “I’m really sorry I have to go and come back, I have forgotten my wallet, I explained rather foolishly. “That’s not a problem Mel, no need to do that. Here you are and when you come in again you can pay me,” said Crystal This was only my third time ever visiting the Little Hobo. So guess what? Where will I keep going for lunch when I am in town? Little Hobo for Customer Service and Friendliness have earned on my scale 10 STARS (service, food, friendliness and great place to visit) Thank you for your lovely smile and the welcome Crystal and Steve and especially your trust. People are quick to tell you about bad service. It is more important to talk about good service – Well done again Crystal and Steve. The place to go Little Hobo Soup and Sandwich Shop

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Still Waiting since April 2012

My complaint to Safeway made on the 17th  April regarding service at the bakery counter- read their response   –  Mel Clifford Thank you for your recent correspondence. We appreciate the time you have taken to share your feedback. Your comments will be directed to our Public Affairs Department for further review. Mel, should you require further assistance, you may reply to this email or phone us at 1-8007-723-3929 and reference Contact ID XXXXXX (ID removed). One of our associates will be happy to assist you. Thank you for shopping at Safeway. Sincerely, Safeway Customer Service Team Still  waiting to hear from “our Public Affairs Department” Oh! nobody in Customer Service seems to have a NAME? Oh! well its Friday – have a great weekend.

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Was it GREED or What?

It seems to me that what we read and what we hear in the Irish media continues to paint a much prettier picture than what actually exists.  My question is why?  If one questions this opinion are they seen as negative and condemned for not having a positive attitude towards “Green Shoots”.  It is raining quite a lot here in Ireland and everything looks greener but that’s growing from the ground not growing in the economy.  Having worked for many years at senior level in the retail sector, paying attention to what was happening at ground level was important and how customers were engaging with your business.  Not what Head Office thought from their comfortable offices. Before 2008 the banks and mortgage companies could not wait to lend you lots of money and yes the money was accepted with open hands.  The majority of decent individuals borrowing to support their families to get on the “housing ladder” or following the advice to invest in property, or bank shares (“safe as a house”) to support their future pensions.  Let’s not forget the lending decisions were made and signed off by professionally qualified risk assessors and qualified experienced lenders who were rewarded handsomely for their decisions. This September we will enter our fifth year of the “Irish Financial Crisis” commonly known as “The Recession”.  If we pretend that it’s all OK out there and that you are made feel you are the only one not able to meet their payments then the Banks and Mortgage companies supported by other professions can continue to harass individuals as much as they like.  It seems to me the more stress that is placed on individuals the better it is in the hope that you might just have that heart attacked and died.  The banks and lending agencies are covered in full as they insisted that you take out mortgage protection our other insurance policies?  Less hassle all round, except for the insurance companies.  They too must now be looking for some get out clause not to pay out. Small business and home owners who are honest and decent individuals are in critical financial difficulties.  They have worked hard and contributed to the development of the country.  Their borrowings were not for greed, they are worried sick that they will never be able to pay back this debt in their life time. They don’t have the high powered legal professionals supporting them in their corner. Could it be worse – yes it could always get worse – but pretending it’s all good and not dealing with the truth gets the country nowhere. Who stands to benefit from this crisis? Where are those individuals now that were entrusted with protecting its citizens and who presided over this crisis? “you can’t handle the truth” comes to mind, the truth hurts – maybe some more than others but will it ever come out? Read John Humphrey’s article – Sunday Times 24th June – On Greece

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What will make Micheál Martin different?

Firstly let me say that I have no affiliation to any particular party in Ireland. Listening to Micheál Martin over the years all I can seem to remember for some reason is “Me Me Me” or “I”  “I” “I” coming out of his mouth.  This would suggest that he has a major self ego which does not fit well for team work or accepting faults and blame.  Reminds me of the “it wasn’t me it was all their fault” – childish attitude.  I often write about valuing the child within but in this case I think you know what I mean. I have one question for the new leader of Fianna Fáil, is what makes you any different from the rest?  Please don’t tell me you party policies or what you have done or better still what you presided over for the past 15 years, like it or Michael you were part of the problem.  So back to the question what makes you any different? When will he have trust and honesty in the political system?

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Mission Statement

After reading a book which contained a summary of articles published from regular Newsletters I came across this Mission Statement below for the Carnegie Centre. The Centre is situated in Downtown Eastside Vancouver and most of the articles are written by and about the people and community of Downtown Eastside.  Following the post about the words of the His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama I thought if every country implemented this Mission Statement it might move us and future generations to a better place for us all.  The critical issue is for each of us to make a start and implement the guiding principles outline below. Paul Taylor has been the volunteer Editor of the Newsletter since its beginning and from what I have read championed excellent work.  As outlined in many of the stories and poems there are many individuals who should be ashamed of their actions towards the community and centre. Carnegie Mission Statement 2001 Our Mission is to nature mind, body and spirit in a safe and welcoming environment.  Through the leadership and participation of our volunteers, we provide social educational, cultural, and recreational activities for the benefit of the people of Downtown Eastside. Guiding Principles To treat one another with respect regardless of  race, ethnicity, colour, religion gender or age To accept and celebrate a diversity of  lifestyles and cultures To listen and to strive to understand one another To settle differences and misunderstandings through patience and goodwill To respect the personal and private space of one another while offering friendship and inclusion in the life of the Centre To build on one another’s strengths. Skills and natural abilities To contribute to the work of the centre while enjoying the benefits of the Centre To ensure that people in our community are supported in finding their own voice, and in participating in the life of the Centre To serve the community inside Carnegie and in the Downtown Eastside

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Values in Business

Ask yourself, “Why am I working with the organisation I am employed by?” Or ask the question, “What are the values of this organisation, and do they match my values?” If within this organisation you happen to be responsible for leading the way and you are the CEO or owner can you answer these questions? Once answered, is there a difference between the values written down and the demonstration of these values in your workplace? If there is a mismatch what are you doing about it? For if you are an employee, CEO. or owner – you have the responsibility to make the change that will bring the values into line with each other. Too often I have seen weak leadership, in what people say are their organisation’s values and how they behave against these communicated values. Here are some values. They may not be perfect but who is? They may not be the most well written values, but does this matter? The important issue is that we live by them. Our Values are about: Having excellent communications with each other and our clients. Having the discipline, commitment, and determination to deliver for each other and our clients. Having care for our own personal growth in our business and personal environments. Having trust in our colleagues and building trust with our clients through honesty. Having and creating fun in all that we do.

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