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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Have you ever asked your customers what they would like you to measure?

by Rick Baker
On Apr 5, 2021

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

You probably think about what your customers want.

You probably measure what you think your customers want.

But, do you ever ask your customers what they want you to measure?


Marketing | Measure & Monitor | Questions?: The Art of Asking Good Questions | Sales | Thought Tweets

Automated reporting tools only work when managers are doing the right things.

by Rick Baker
On Aug 31, 2020

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Reporting tools: at the interface of management people and process

If managers are doing the right things then automated report tools provide value.

If managers are not doing the right things then automated tools simply add to the confusion.

Put another way - An injection of automation won't remedy management inadequacies. 


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Measure & Monitor | Thought Tweets

Don't let your desire for metrics and measures overrule your common sense.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 11, 2020

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Measurements help us understand our progress.

Measurements are of little value when managers fail to exercise common sense and good judgement.

Measurements are of minimal value when basic supervision processes are not practised.


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Measure & Monitor | Thought Tweets

Criticism, Adrenalin Spikes & Improving Relationships

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2017

Some people naturally repulse criticism. These people may show outward signs of their repulsion. These people may not show outward signs, or their repulsion may hide so well it would take a professional observer to notice it. Regardless, internally, these people churn in reaction to criticism. For these people - even small, innocuous pieces of feedback can trigger intense internal reactions, floods of adrenalin – adrenalin spikes.

  1. Do you know people who show vehement reaction to tiny criticisms…people who have zero tolerance for incoming criticism?
  2. Do you know people who, at first, show no outward reaction to criticism then, later, strike excessive reactionary blows against the person who delivered the criticism?
  3. Do you know people who have the habit of claiming they are the victim of undue criticism?
  4. Do you know people who repulse criticism yet deliver it to others with gusto and righteousness?

These are four common reactions to criticism.

I have personally exhibited at least three of these four reactions to criticism…and, probably, many people would think I’m selling myself short by not admitting to all four.


Why would I have had such reactions to criticism?

Not having much knowledge of physiology or biology and only dabbling experience with psychology I answer that question this way:

  • When people criticized me, I experienced adrenalin spikes [or was that cortisol?]. I felt strong, churning, tightening sensations in the gut…quickly followed by combinations of anxiety and anger, often intense anger...then excessive negative thoughts and behaviour.
  • This reaction must have started when I was a very young child. I have no memory of reacting any other way to criticism [until the last decade, that is].
  • Perhaps, my criticism-repulsion was are due to genetics? Perhaps, my childhood environment? Perhaps, my early experiences with authority figures? I expect it was some combination of these things.

Here’s a curious thing. When you experience criticism-repulsion as a child you can be quite oblivious to other people. And, this can cause challenges…a large variety of interpersonal challenges. Left unattended, these interpersonal challenges can last a lifetime.

Here’s some good news. It is possible to gain self-understanding and create strategies to overcome the interpersonal challenges. The starting point, or at least one starting point, is recognition of the physiological changes that signal less-than-ideal reactions to criticism. People, perhaps most people, can alter their bad habits [including adrenalin spikes] if they choose to make the changes and do the work required.


PS: Perhaps, the people who experience the criticism-repulsion I have described are most capable of identifying it in other people? ... and helping others?  


by Rick Baker
On Dec 14, 2015

Before you can accurately measure you must learn to observe.

Isn’t it interesting that we have been taught much about measuring, using tape measures etc., yet we have been taught little about how to observe. Observing is an art-skill that apparently goes without saying so it is mostly left to chance.

We rarely teach how to see [use our eyes], hear [use our ears], or feel [use our sense of touch].

We rarely teach how those ‘senses’ work with our brains to deliver information to our minds.

For example - enhanced civilization has brought to us nano-accuracy in measurements...coupled with the inability to identify trees and their flowers or birds and their calls.

Yes – of course we admonish, "Pay Attention!" We began to hear that from figures of authority when we were very young.

We rarely teach anyone How to Pay Attention…

…Let alone Why they ought to Pay Attention.

[For example – Has anyone ever helped you understand the huge advantages you will experience if you understand both Why you should improve your observations and How you can go about learning the good habits of skilled observation?]

And, another key consideration: How can you fully engage and employ your Talents if you lack the skills and habits of observation?

The answer is simple enough: you cannot; in fact, without development of observation skills you cannot even understand your Talents let alone put them to constructive use.

The good news is it is never too late. You may have never received observation education or training. Your children may have never received observation education or training. That is not a problem. That only becomes a problem if you now choose to ignore the need for observation education and training.

Being graphic -

If you choose to think there is no need for improved observation skills then you are wrong-thinking.

If you choose to think there are no methods for improving observation skills then you are wrong-thinking.

If you choose to 'live and let live' or 'live to learn another day' then you are wishful-thinking and setting the stage for life-long mediocrity.




"Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them."

Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor ('Meditations', circa 180 AD)




More bite-sized success

by Rick Baker
On Oct 30, 2015

Most people fail because they quit. 

Most people quit because they get frustrated. 

Most people get frustrated because they don't know how to measure success. 

Most people don't know how to measure success because they never took the time to think about how they might be able to accomplish that measurement.

Most people don't understand the value in breaking work down into bite-sized tasks, which can be measured.


When we break success into bite-sized pieces of action we can measure it. 

When we measure actions we can see small successes. 

When we see small successes we can celebrate them. 

When we celebrate small successes we self motivate. 

When we self motivate we increase our chances of future successes.

When we measure and understand our small successes we see they are accumulating and we gain confidence.

When we gain confidence we increase the likelihood of ultimate success...achievement of our long-term Goals...attainment of our Vision. 

This is the sort of logic that allows us to understand the value embedded in goals, specifically when vivid long-term vision is built upon measurable short-term actions.

first version posted on Oct 21, 2014


Goals - SMARTACRE Goals | Measure & Monitor | Vision: The Leader's Vivid Vision

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