Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Guest Blog: How’s All This Technology Working for YOU?

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Do you feel better because you are always “plugged in” or have more stress because you are?

When was the last time you;

  • Arranged a meeting outside your office
  • Picked up the phone to talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Gave your fingers a “rest” from texting
  • Hand wrote a letter
  • Turned off the Smart Phone on the weekend
  • Took time out for yourself to recharge
  • Exercised, did yoga, meditated or read a book?

Yes, using technology is a necessity for survival and economic growth in today’s world without borders.  The challenge as Jerry Bridge of LifeWorks Education said is:

“…to learn how to use the technology we have invented rather than allow it to use us, so that it improves our human connections and does not replace them.”

Remember those human connections when we used to shake hands and meet people, talk on the phone, write letters, go to trade shows and conventions – today it is all about being LinkedIn, Blogged, Tweeted, Meeting On Line, Skypeing, and being tied to the Internet! I yearn for the days when phone calls were private – now everywhere I go I am bombarded with people’s conversations on their blue tooth enabled phone that I have no interest in hearing and topics that should not be shared in public. Put them behind the wheel of a car, and now you have a one-handed driver distracted by a phone conversation, when they should be focused on the road and drivers around them.

Today’s generation has evolved to have the fastest fingers on a mini key board, but they are challenged when it comes to composing a letter or holding a conversation! As a father of Gen X children, I am a prisoner of unanswered phone calls, but text messages keep me in-touch with loved ones through their chosen communication medium. Although this fills my glass half full, I miss the sound of their voices. Texts and emails can be so bland and one dimensional, while in a conversation you can detect subtleties, emotions and laugh together – replacing them with LOL and OMG is just not the same!

The same applies to business, where the email has become the standard with its own lexicography and rules. Be careful not to CAPITALIZE words though or you could be unintentionally (or intentionally) sending a message you would think second about doing in person. The thoughtful writer puts that difficult email into their Draft folder, and reviews it the next day to make sure it communicates the desired message. Unless it is critical it can wait 24 hours, because as we all know once you push the Send button you cannot pull it back!  Some of the most admired and successful companies today – SouthWest Airlines is the first one that comes to mind – have instilled a culture that combines the various techno-mediums with human touch to make the individual feel special and valued. If you really want to “WOW someone,” send them a hand written note to say Thank You for their time, hospitality or business, and renew that human connection!

peter_dehlinger-79x80Peter J. Dehlinger, MBA is President for Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Inc. and can be reached at 1.888.428.3577 or email: pdehlinger@gatekeepersolutions.com. Gatekeeper Business Solutions, Inc. specializes in a proprietary suite of software tools (lms.net) that includes time and attendance, scheduling, and integrated payroll processing for midlevel private and public sector companies. To learn more, visit http://www.gatekeepersolutions.com.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

Club Resources International – Management Resources for Clubs!

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Susie’s Lemonade Stand

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Verizon Wireless is now running its second round of Susie’s Lemonade Stand TV advertisements.  The commercials feature actress Michelle Bennett playing cute-as-a-button Susie whose product and business acumen combine with Verizon to build a successful small business – all seemingly overnight.  At the end Verizon triumphantly announces, “The small business with the best technology rules!”

But the ad, which tells a great little story with a great little actress, is based on a false premise.  Technology by itself, never rules.  In the highly competitive and complex world of modern business, it is only the judicious use of carefully selected technologies by highly-disciplined people and organizations that rule.

Jim Collins in his groundbreaking book, Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, states categorically that “good to great companies used technology, as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.  None of the good to great companies began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers of the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their [Hedgehog Concept] and after they hit breakthrough.”  This statement is all the more cogent in that it’s based on careful research and empirical evidence, not cuteness and feel-good emotions.

In The Quest for Remarkable Service this author pointed out that, “Alone, technology can do very little, but as the capstone of the other carefully crafted and consistently implemented disciplines, it becomes a powerful partner in a club’s quest for remarkable service.”

Lastly, in an article entitled Do You Know What Your Club Management System Can Do? I reported that, while CMS companies provided feature-rich software, most of those features went unused by club operators.  What seemed to be lacking was not technology, but knowledge of technology and the discipline of how best to use it.

Don’t get me wrong, Susie’s Lemonade Stand is a great ad!  It tells a warm and fuzzy story of a winning character’s entrepreneurial spirit and success, but it doesn’t tell the greater and truer story of the underlying disciplined efforts necessary for that success.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

Club Resources International – Management Resources for Clubs!

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