Friday, June 30, 2006

A State Lottery Gets It's Ticket Punched

Many of you who know me, know that I'm a news hound -- world reports and news of the weird. While on the road for our weekly extended family dinner, this is one I heard.

Get this. In 1996, an Indiana man bought a $2 lottery ticket. When he learned, several months later, that it was a $5 winner, they said "Too late."

Annoyed, he sued. Overjoyed, he won $15,000.

It cost the state $450,000 in legal fees, the $15,000 settlement...and the $5!

Great googily-moogily!

Don't We Wish!

If you've ever seen a laptop take a tumble (hope it wasn't yours), you'll appreciate this.

Sometimes, Bad Things Happen to Good Laptops

Worse than being stolen, you can plug yours in and have this happen!

LNB #013: The Laptop Lament (laptop security)

Laptop Thefts of Note:

  • Veterans Administration: 26.5 million records (including those critical for identity theft)
  • December, 2005: Ford employee lost a laptop with 70,000 records on workers
  • January, 2006: Ameriprise laptop missing with 215,000 records on workers and customers
  • February, 2006: Deloitte & Touche auditor left laptop in airplane seat pocket
  • March, 2006: HP lost a computer with 196,000 records on employees

Thefts Stats:
In 2003, the Safeware Company reported that 600.000 laptops are stolen annually. The Gartner Group reports a 1 in 10 chance of being a victim of laptop theft. The FBI reports that the chances of you getting your laptop back are a dismal 3 in 100!

Key Areas of Day-to-Day Vulnerability:

  • Coffee shop (inside and in the parking lots)
  • Conference centers
  • Hotels
  • High-end restaurants (where visiting business people take clients while on travel)

Keep Your Computer Safe

  • Back up your data with Data Life Boat. Be sure to tell Ken that you heard about them from this podcast.
  • Use a laptop security cable. Try this one from Kensington: Kensington Master Lock Universal Notebook Security Cable (Black). Use it when you're at a cyber cafe (even if you don't plan on leaving your computer, when you're at a conference (don't believe them when they say your stuff is safe) and when you have to leave your computer in your hotel room.

    Duration: 19:15 File Size: 4.62 MB

    Listen Now:

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Keep It Simp....Oh, Hell With It!

This week, I spoke with several business owners who shared the same lament: They had no internet presence (aside from their email addresses) and they wanted one. Their thinking was similar as well – that it would take lots of resources (time and money) to get a website done, that they weren’t internet-types (no DIY here) and that they didn’t know where to start in engaging a firm to do this work for them.

Now, I admit that from-scratch web design is challenging even for the most adept designer and that there are websites that all but read themselves to you (and some that do that, too). Until I changed my thinking, putting my own website together myself was like building a Hummer with a set of dental tools (very hard). I found I really wanted to know why they believed it had to be hard -- what had them on the squeaky gerbil-wheel, trapped into a solution that they just knew they couldn’t execute? After some good exploration, they both discovered other options that got them into action, using blogs (free) and 2-3 page webs (simple and inexpensive) and had a whole new way of looking at where they got trapped in their thinking.

Gerbil-wheel mindset isn’t limited just to dealings with the internet. I’ve found that each of us has our own places where we limit our options because our thinking is limited to a few (or one) choices when there is a world of options. One attorney I spoke with explained that “everyone did it”, when talking about the way he managed his client interactions. Trouble was: it wasn’t working for him or anyone else in his practice of law to operate the way he did.

There’s an old story I don’t like much, but it’s illustrative. It’s the story of the young women who, after baking hams for Sunday dinners exactly the way Grandma did, finally asked the matriarch, “Grandma, why do we cut off the ends of the ham? We’ve been doing it for years, but we don’t know why.” Grandma’s answer: “Because my pan was too small and I had to cut it to fit.” Ouch!

Question is: Where are you cutting off the ends of the ham, doing something the hard way without challenging your thinking to come up with new options? Dig in and find one and then go to work on it. Dare you!

Friday, June 23, 2006

LNB #012: Mean People Suck! (Workplace Bullying)

Remember the bumper sticker? The one that proudly proclaimed that "Mean People Suck?" Well, we do. Workplace bullying sucks the life, energy, time, effectiveness, money and morale out of companies.

Bullying costs you. Talented people leave. Your company becomes known for bad workplace culture, making it more difficult to find good people. Your company pays more in health-related costs like medical insurance and Worker’s Compensation. Productivity plummets as the Bully's Target becomes less inclined to be there (coming in late and leaving early), performs poorly or requires more and more supervision, while Bullies stir-up other workers into back-room conversations about the Target that take valuable time away from productive work. As bullying continues, bullying costs companies in legal fees they can ill afford.

This podcast will help you understand how bullying can manifest itself in your organization and some steps to take when it does.

As a wise person once said: "Don't confuse fear with respect."

Duration: 32:18 File Size:7.75 MB

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Friday, June 02, 2006

LNB #011: The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing, Pt. 4 (Interview with Leighton Haynes of Twin Phoenix Marketing)

Still messing up your marketing? Listen into an interview with Leighton Haynes of Twin Phoenix Marketing for tips on how to thwart this 4th Deadly Marketing Sin.

Find Leighton in Washington, D.C. at 202-468-5069.

Duration: 18:18 File Size:4.39 MB

Listen Now