August was a busy month. Hence, the delay in this month’s E-News. It was travel time for me again after about four months. I travelled to about six countries in about three weeks. I once again had a chance to learn so much about the world.

Now to the E-News:
The Service Factor
The Middle East boom and the issue of Talent
Rooting for Obama
Bringing FUN & Passion back to the workplace
Automating Appraisals
SMR Group News
The Service Factor

I had the opportunity to travel with six airlines during my three week trip to six countries. I have often wondered why is it that some airlines are consistently tops on the service provided. They are just outstanding while some are brilliant in flashes. Some are just forgettable.

On one of the sectors, I was served beef as that was the only option available. Chicken and fish options were no longer available. As I do not take any beef, I was left starving for the entire flight. I asked to see the In flight Manager but she just did not show up. I had to go and see her to register my complaint but the seven hour flight was over.

I took a flight from London to Chicago and often wondered how these airlines can preach about service to others. They did everything right to the basics, showed us how to get out of the aircraft in the event of an emergency and served us food as a mandatory task. They did not care how customers were treated or felt. No smiles, no eye contact, no thank you, no feeling that they wanted customers. They certainly made us feel that customers were a nuisance. Contrast to some airlines such as my personal favourite which is the Singapore Airlines where they really live out the mission – a great way to fly.

How can we get the service staff to demonstrate a sense of ownership and a customer service orientation is an issue I am sure predominant on the minds of most Chief Executives.
The Middle East boom and the issue of Talent

The Middle East economy is booming with the petro dollars. I think the powers to be have got it perfectly right with the continued and consistent focus on education and talent development. The persistence to bring out the best among the local population is evident from the global partnerships the Middle East has forged with world class universities and consulting companies. Talent is a scarce commodity and throughout my travels, I emphasized the need for looking after the B players rather than just focus on the A players.

Rooting for Obama

I am rooting for Obama. After the economic mess in the United States and the continued problems in Iraq, there is a need for urgent change. The US has been plagued by eight years of misrule and missteps. Obama promises freshness, new ideas, a linkage with the current generation and more importantly a sincerity to do what is best for the USA and the world. The talk that he has no experience, he is a leftist and an orator are just propaganda. Here is a person who has the best advisory team around him. He will be another Lincoln, Kennedy and a person who will leave his mark on the world. It will be great for the US to have Obama as the President. I look forward to celebrating the election of Obama as the next president of the United States of America. This is the first time I have been so open about my preference. This is simply because I think we need a person to rally the world around peace - not more war and economic mess.
Bringing FUN & Passion back to the workplace

I had the opportunity to speak at this conference organized by Asia HRD Congress. How do we get people to move from TGIF (Thank God, its Friday to Thank God, its Monday)? We can create the passion by ensuring great workplaces. This simply indicates the need for great people to work with. Read Robert Sutton’s book No More Jerks at the Workplace. I have reworded the book title to avoid a profanity. It also requires the person to be connected to his or her life purpose. Is the competency connection present? When people are connected, we call them Rainbow Creators. Click here for more details.
Automating Appraisals

With the year end approaching, it is appraisal time. This is a dreaded activity often seen as a chore by line managers. Our new on demand software is unbelievably cheap and on demand. No need for expensive purchases, just use the software as a service with readymade templates. There is no need to learn, just read the objectives and competencies, rate the individual and run the reports.

Please visit www.smarteappraisal.com or email gerry@smrhrgroup.com.
 
SMR Group News

We are all excited about the HRD Congress being organized in the Middle East now and the new version of HRDPower.net®. For more details, please email gerry@smrhrgroup.com.

I will be in touch next month.

We wish our Muslim friends - Eid ul-Fitr.

Best wishes,
Palan
September 2008
Asia HRD Congress 2009

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