Essence of CRM

I've read a lot of books and papers on CRM. All complicated theories on how to combine business strategies with analytical workflow applications, that are all focused on customer retention.

Today Kathy explained it to me in plain english and clear pictures. Just keep flirting with your existing customers, as much as you do with potential customers.

This isn't so much about software applications as it is about understanding and appreciation. We want to be understood as a new customer, when buy a product to fulfill a specific need. But we just as much want to be appreciated for being an existing customer. If a company can understand that and act on it, they are halfway in implementing successful CRM.


Changed by blogging

Seth Godin makes a nice point about blogging.

It does indeed force you to be clear. Clear in your writing for one, but also clear about yourself. Who you are and what your point of view is. I'm only just starting to become aware of that aspect of blogging and it's enlighting.

But it also makes you wonder about you added value in life. Can you provide insight to others or are you just a rambling fool? Anyone care to comment?

Speed reading

In this day and age we are being overwhelmed by ever increasing amounts of information that we need to effectively work our way through. Even though we are experimenting with other forms of information like video or audio, we receive the majority in written form.

But how do you tackle those textual torrents? Speed reading.

Tony Buzan gives some excellent techniques on how to improve your basic reading speed and Spreeder let´s you train those techniques on any text, but that´s only th tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Real speed comes from a combination of skimming and scanning, which means quickly going over the unimportant stuff and only reading that which matters. We waste a lot of time reading that which we already know or that we don't need to know. The only problem is that we were taught to read a text from beginning to end with equal intensity and understanding. While this may be true for novels, it hinders us with everything else we read.

For example, articles on a work related subject usually want to make one or two specific points, but they also give and introduction, provide some background and add arguments to prove their point. All this is excess baggage if you're already up to speed on the subject. In that case you only need to read the point being made. The combination of skimming and scanning lets you jump over the extra's to get to get to relevant part of the text. Once there you can use your basic reading speed to take in the passage, capturing all the information in only a fraction of the time.

Community websites

Last week I did it. I took the next step in Internet usage and signed up for Digg, del.icio.us and Technorati all at once. Yes people, I entered the world of tags and ratings!

And do you know what I found? The bald head of Britney Spears ... *sigh*

Apparently if you ask the world what is 'hot', what it is that we really 'digg' the most, it's the freshly shaved head of a woman who didn't have a normal childhood and is now paying the price for it.

It made me think about the reason why I started[first post] this blog and realised that the future that Sloan and Thompson predicted is here earlier than expected. EPIC is already online and it's producing what they dreaded it would; "merely a collection of trivia."


Bye bye my sweet sleep

Oh, what a week it has been. My daughter had a stomach flu of some sorts and it didn't seem to bother her during the day, but was all the more interesting at night. You know that time when you are supposed to be asleep.

I´ve changed and washed her sheets and her pyjamas about six or seven times now, after carefully removing the terror that used to be her diaper and washing her from head to toe. All this in time frames of an hour to an hour and a half. This means that I have effectively missed a nights sleep this week.

That hurts.

I don't know about you, but losing this much sleep really wreaks havoc on my capacity to function during the day. Which wouldn't be so bad if I could sleep a hole in the weekend, like I used to in the good ol' days. But those days definitely belong to the past. My saturdays and sundays start at about seven, when my daughter is sure she had enough of that sleep thingie and continually cries out to tell me about it. Of course during the week my alarm clock is basically telling me the same; No more sleep for you mister!

They say it gets better when they older. But that's coming from the same people who neglected to mention that you won't get any sleep in the first few months ... years ...

But then again. When she's washed and fed again and is curling up in your arms at two in the morning. Smiling without a care. You get al warm and fuzzy and alive ... and enjoying EVERY minute of it, whether you like it or not.


'Guide Decision'

That is the essence of an IT Architect. Your job is to provide a decisionmaker with the best possible option with the least consessions, having assessed the facts, the risks and the demands

Some architects argue that they are merely facilitating the decision making process, but that's selling the profession short. Facilitation stops with a layout of all the given options, including their pros en cons.

But the true passion of an architect lies in conceiving an option that is best for all parties concerned and advocating this option. That's what constitutes the guidance that you are obligated to give, whether it is asked for or not.