Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Watch your language

I use aromatherapy oils to support me in staying alert and enthused during the day and relax in the evening. I've always felt uncomfortable with the one I use in the evening because it's called "Stress" which reminds me to ........ ahh yes get stressed - even though I know it contains oils aimed at relaxation.

I think the person who tweeted from World of Learning (#wolce10) today reminding us we need to concentrate on "well being" rather than "stress reduction" should speak to the originator of the stress oil. It would certainly be more conducive to relaxation if the name of the oil more closely resembled the desired outcome rather than current state.

I also read a blog today where the terms punishment and penalties were used in the same sentence as supplier relationship management. I don't know about you but most relationships I have don't include punishment and penalties. If they want to use such terms then can I suggest they change their desired outcome to that of a contratural arrangement. If it's a relationship they wish to foster then they may wish to rethink the language they're using.

What language are you using and does it support the outcome you want?

Developing common language within purchasing relationships 07770 538159

Friday, 24 September 2010

Stop accepting the unacceptable

I admire the athletes who this week have made the decision to not attend the commonwealth games in India. Not necessarily because I think it's the right decision but because it's the right decision for them and they didn't allow other factors to stop them from making the decision.

Many of these athletes have worked for years to prepare for this event - for many this might be the last time for them to perform in such an event - and yet they still made the decision to not go. It won't have been easy. I'm sure there will have been many trying to convince them otherwise. So hats off, hands clapped and backs patted for their making the decision and sticking to it.

In business I hear too many times that things can't change. Normally, just as with the athletes, it's because a lot of time and effort has been invested in the current outcome. Unfortunately until we start saying NO to the unacceptable and following what's right for us then the unacceptable will continue to claim the high ground (if that's not mixing too many metaphors?).

So next time you accept the unacceptable because it will....

keep the food on the table
make things easier with others
keep your stakeholders happy
make the company money
avoid you having to re do the work

...think again. It's time to start trusting and acting on your convictions not just thinking about it.


Alison Smith
Ensuring purchasing relationships trust and act on their convictions

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Are you using information as a tool for empowerment?

In a recent conversation about use of his Blackberry Barack Obama was quoted as saying "Information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool for empowerment."

The challenge of course is how to move beyond the distractions and diversions of the Internet to such a place of empowerment. Here's a few suggestions - I'd love to know how you manage this challenge.

Aim for humanly possible not technically possible.

Just because it's technically possible doesn't mean it's humanly possible. We can't ever hope to keep up with the technology only manage it effectively. There are still only 24 hours in a day and cramming more hours in on the Internet wont help.

20% of the effort will still deliver 80 of the information. Therefore notice when the law of diminishing returns kicks in and stop looking.

Move beyond the Information to Knowledge, Understanding & Wisdom
More and more information doesn't lead to increased understanding. It's the evaluation of that information that will provide the insights. More depth, less quantity.


Alison Smith
Empowering purchasing relationships in their use of information and data

Thursday, 9 September 2010

iPhone iPhone in my hand who is the ........

When considering who can help us make comparisons comes to mind. Although there are many more out there helping us compare more than meerkats. In fact anything you could wish to compare - finance, food, cars and what are the dating sites if not a means of comparing one potential partner with another. has even got an app named iSimples - so there's no getting away from the ability to compare what ever the technology you're using.

Many people who I work with, and I'm not immune either, have challenges around comparisons. Other people are often more this or that than them, or less this or that. With the increase in use of social media the ability to compare ourselves with others has increased dramatically. You don't really need an app to find the evidence to support your own belief about yourself - it's simple - just do a search on google and there you are a list of why you're not good enough........

Hold on a minute I wonder what a comparison app for our skills and attributes would be like......
....see link on RHS in Useful Articles for short story I wrote for those unfavourably comparing themselves with others with a little help from an iPhone app!!

Because we should celebrate our own uniqueness and accept our differences.
Helping you find passion in life.

Alison Smith 07770 538159