Dale Carnegie’s Advice In The Age of Social Media

Dale_carnegie_-_winning_friend
Dale Carnegie’s book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” is a classic (1936) and has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.
Carnegie was an expert in techniques for self improvement and he conducted corporate training to make people better with other people. 
Dale Carnegie’s focus on the human capital side of management was a breakthrough in his day when many other management gurus like Frederick Taylor, Henri Fayol, Edward Deming and  others were focused on the maximizing the production side of management through time and motion studies, functional specialization, and quality management.
Carnegie recognized that to really get things done in the organization or out, first, we need to be able to get along with others–make friends and influence people.
His ideas are principles that are as true today in the age of social media and telework as in the days of line production.
Some examples and how these might apply today:
1) “Don’t criticize, condem, or complain”–It’s easy to put somebody or their ideas down, but it’s infinitely more difficult to be constructive by offering alternatives or a better way. Today, we try to focus on contributing something positive and being solutions-oriented whether through crowdsourcing, answering questions where you are a subject matter expert, innovating improved business processes or technical solutions, or even just rating or liking what you think is a positive idea or share.
2) “Become genuinely interested in other people”–It’s easy, especially today, to become self absorbed in the world of social media, putting out new pictures of yourself, slideshows from your work, videos of your doings, and newsflashes from every moment of your life, etc.  However, as Carnegie would point out, this will not make you popular or influential. Rather, use the social web to learn about others, interact with them, and build relationships.  In the end, it’s not about you, but about building more “we” and “us”.
3) “Begin with praise and honest appreciation”–I remember learning in one of the oodles of management and leadership classes that I have been fortunate to participate in that we should always sandwich criticism between two layers of praise. Unfortunately, the praise in this context is usually not of the highest quality and sincerity, or deeply felt. But today, in an age of social media, I think we are learning to all be more open and honest with each other. Heaping praise on people, products, and services that are outstanding and putting criticism where it is due to hold unscrupulous vendors and poor quality products to answer publicly online.
4) “Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires”–It is not always easy to see things from some else’s vantage point. We all walk in our own shoes and usually can’t stand the smell of someones else’s. But in the age of sharing and collaboration, it is not really enough to put your ideas out there and always be right; instead we need to look at things from multiple perspectives, vet ideas, put them to the test, let others improve upon them, and build a better “widget” or decision collaboratively. By sympathizing with where others are coming from and looking for the merits of their points of view and why it is important to them, we can better negotiate a solution that is a win-win for all.
In a sense, I think this is really what Dale Carnegie was trying to get across when it came to winning friends and influencing people, it’s not creating a win for me, but about creating a win-win for each other, where we all walk away from the table feeling good that we were not only heard, but also understood and worked with. Then, we all own a piece of the solution; we have skin in the game, and we can work together to implement it as a team of one.

(Source Mind Map: here)

>HP and Enterprise Architecture

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Enterprise architecture is always looking for ways to improve results of operations through business process improvement and technology enablement.

Joseph Juran (1904-2008) was a man who dedicated himself to these goals.

In the Wall Street Journal, Remembrances, 8-9 March 2008, it states about Mr. Juran: “Pioneer of quality control kept searching for ‘a better way’ to make and manage.”

While Edward Deming is perhaps better known for statistical methods of quality control, Joseph Muran emphasized the management aspects. Both worked at the same time for Western Electric Co.’s mammoth Hawthorne Works manufacturing plant, making telephone equipment for Western’s parent, the American Bell Telephone Co.

“Having noted that a small number of problems produce most quality complaints, Mr. Juran formulated his ‘80-20’ rule, which stated that 80% of a firm’s problems stemmed from 20% of causes. Management should concentrate on the ‘vital few’ rather than the ‘trivial many’. He called it his Pareto Principle.’”

Mr. Juran’s phrase was: “There is always a better way; it should be found.” “Although producing higher quality goods might seem costly, he argued it could pay for itself through fewer repairs and a better reputation in the marketplace.”

All too unfortunate that many companies these days, bowing to their shareholders’ desire for a quick buck and looking to maximize their executive paychecks, have cut quality to cut costs and have blasphemed the term “made in America.”

Here is a telling example of how corporate America has abandoned the teachings of the true quality pioneers, like Deming and Juran:

Just recently, I purchased a HP all-in-one printer and paid a pretty dollar for it, but I thought, hey it’s an HP, it’ll be worth it. Oh boy was I surprised when I got it and it printed horribly (not like the HP printers I remembered). I thought it must be the cartridge (even though the cartridge was also HP). So I bit the bullet, spent the money and ordered a new cartridge. Lo and behold, I received it, installed it, and the exact same lousy printing quality came out. I contacted HP after a little more than a month (since it took time to get the new cartridge) and when I called them, they basically told me too bad–no refund allowed past the 21 day refund period. Then they gave me another number for technical support (they couldn’t connect me) and I had to provide all my information all over again to the HP rep there. Then they told me they would connect me to a technical specialist for this particular printer, at which point I had to for the third time now give all my information yet again. They apparently had no customer records to access or note. It was appalling and pathetic for a company that is as large and at one time prestigious as the old HP to be so completely customer and quality berserk. HP’s Tech support put me through the ringer: testing pages, downloading new firmware, unplugging and plugging, and then finally, they had the gall to want to charge me $49 (which they finally agreed to waive) to get an exchange for the defective product they sold a month earlier.

HP did end up sending the replacement; they sent instructions to return the defective printer through UPS, but sent along a FedEx shipping sticker (yikes). They told me they would call me the day the new printer was to arrive to confirm that everything was okay, but called a day later (ok, so what?). They told me that the replacement printer would come with a replacement cartridge and it didn’t (another boo-boo); when I told the technical rep, he checked on this and said he had made a mistake. Upon request and after a prolonged phone delay, he agreed to send me one because of their error.

While I appreciate the friendly and very decent technical rep that I finally worked with on the phone, HP as a company has become customer and quality clueless.

I used to love HP, so I hope they work to improve their quality and customer service.

Juran “lamented that quality control in America tended to consist of a limited project, while abroad it was treated as an evolving process.” The all too often shoddy state of quality of many American-made products (and poor service) these days has left people shaking their heads in disbelief. Unfortunately, those companies that seek short term profit at the expense of quality and service, damage their brand and put their long term survival at risk.