The bookstore in Albert Park had just opened when Thomas, dressed as Batman, and his mum walked in. They headed straight to the children’s section at the back.  They were shopping for a present for Ben, who was having a superhero birthday party that afternoon. ‘Let’s get Ben this book about Brazil. Then he can…

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The Friday evening tram was jam-packed with commuters, our bodies so closely pressed together you could feel the heat from the passenger standing next to you. As the tram made its way up Collins Street, the people travelling alone avoided eye contact.  Two women next to me were chatting about the black jacket the younger one…

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What are the top three reasons customers choose you? What story are you giving those customers to tell—not just to recommend you, but to trust and value, prefer and remain loyal to you or your company? You can make assumptions and best guesses about what’s motivating the people you serve, or you can ask for…

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One of my first jobs was working as the manager of a little Dublin cafe that stood at the intersection of two busy city streets. It was a lot of responsibility for someone in their late teens, and I loved it. There was something magical about opening the shutters first thing in the morning when…

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Our financial advisor, who lives in another state, almost 3,000km away, stayed for dinner after our annual appointment last night. Sarah spent time catching up with our boys, chatting to them about their plans for summer and beyond. We exchanged dessert recipes and movie recommendations. Of course, Sarah could have spent those three hours on…

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We are sometimes in the dark about what our customers want, so we make assumptions or ask them in the hope of happening upon the truth. There is a third way to get closer to our customers—one we regularly overlook. People’s actions and reactions can reveal more about their internal dialogue than their words. When…

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What’s the one unanswered question you believe would unlock the most value in your business? Why does it matter? How would knowing the answer change your strategy? Where can you find the information you need? What’s stopping you? Image by Derrick Story.

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A friend recently posted a photo on social media of a star chart pinned up in her son’s classroom for all to see. You will have come across one of these before. Maybe the one you remember had your name clearly written in neat handwriting on the left alongside a blank column to the right,…

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Joanne is a small business owner. She operates a catering van that travels to local industrial estates, serving workers who don’t have easy access to high street cafes and fast food restaurants closer to town. Joanne’s business lives and dies on what she knows about her customers. So she makes it her business to know…

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The air stewardess in the business class cabin was busy, but not overrun. She spent the majority of her time with one executive passenger in her section throughout the flight. A friend who was returning from an overseas holiday asked for a cup of tea. Ninety disappointing minutes and four more requests later it eventually…

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