Oh, good grief!

I have been acutely aware that I haven’t written a blog lately.  It’s not that I've not had the time it’s that I simply haven’t come across any one thing that got my ‘blood flowing’, as it were.

I did try to write a blog about the ‘Pareto Principal’ – you know the 80/20 rule - but having written it, asking Craig to proof it for me (twice) I decided to give up on it.  However, I will discuss the premise of my ramblings:

I recently helped a very dear friend of mine prepare some information for an agency website, which provides the vast amount of her business, as it does with the majority of its members.  The Agency is in the process of updating their website for what is a predominately web based sales business.  Each member was requested to provide very specific details for their profile.  In my opinion, there was no room for doubt – within the instructions provided – about what was required, which actually made it extremely easy to comply with, and provide the information well within the time scale.

We complied with the request made – in good time – but no revised information appeared.  What did occur was, unfortunately, probably quite predictable…a large of minority of other members took to social media to complain about the request and some even refusing to comply!

My sympathies on the development lay with both my friend – having complied with the request with no problems – and with the Agency.  You know what I'm talking about, we've all done it.  You make a simple request; providing comprehensive information so there was no room for misunderstanding and the next thing you know there is talk of revolution in the ranks.

I remember one particular instance when as the HR representative on an Employee Panel – I was tasked by the Panel with conducting a Poll amongst the rest of the staff about which make of coffee they prefer – choices being Nescafe or Kenco.  The Panel thought that costs should be cut and only one type of coffee made available free for staff.  I sent out the Poll via an internal electronic mail platform late one afternoon, explaining what the Panel – which was made up entirely of staff - wished to do and that the results would be considered at the next meeting.

By the time I arrived at work the next morning, I had had received a number of responses – but all paled into insignificance when I was made aware that there was a delegation in the manager’s office discussing a ‘walk out’ if their particular brand choice was withdrawn!  Which brand?   I hear you cry!  Well, both as it turned out.  Two wanted Nescafe and three wanted Kenco.

The Poll was withdrawn.  The company carried on providing two types of coffee, three brands of tea-bags, an assortment of herbal teas and a selection of squashes.  I was let out of the ‘dog house’ after about a week!

So, anyway – the original idea of the blog was to show that 80% of problems are usually caused by the 20%.  I also went on to say that according Pareto, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers.  As we know statistics can be used to prove whatever we like.  My point is that sometimes the little things cause the biggest problems - and all of us in business should always be on our guard for them.

If you are reading this version you can bet it’s been proofed and passed!