Monthly Archives: March 2009

Education Matters More Than Schooling

I embark upon this with a wee bit of trepidation. I hardly think we as a nation or a planet, can claim to be ‘overschooled’. In the United States, schooling is often catastrophically poor. Bulging classrooms, over-extended teachers with dubious qualifications, indifferent students who have been conditioned to think of attending school as a ‘necessary […]

Three Generations of Exquisite Taste

Each of the Zagat Vintage Dinners have allowed superb, world class chefs to locate a theme, and then execute it…with all their imagination and passion. We dined last night at the penultimate Vintage Dinner held at Jean Georges, with lovebirds and wonderful artists in their own right, Maxine and Andrew. The evening was a paen […]


Companies are to some extent a series of conversations that either take place, or don’t. We created the concept of Leadership Journeys to allow leadership teams to travel together, experience a locale and culture together, and engage in conversations that needed to take place, but for whatever reason, weren’t. In a radical (read ‘root’) experience […]

Frightful Flight Nonsense

Here’s more fun and exasperation from the ‘friendly skies’ courtesy of BOTH British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. While we snicker…and wince, let’s run a lint brush over our own businesses and see where we may be equally culpable. Let’s remove a few such ‘passion killers’ from the experience of our own customers and we’ll amplify […]

It’s More Than Optics

AIG that perpetual money sucking ‘living dead’ insurer, deemed ‘too large to be allowed to fail’, had a dispiriting announcement of huge bonuses. While ‘outrage’ has been expressed on both sides of the political aisle, AIG has claimed contractual commitments as a defense. People have said however that taxpayers who are hurting are unlikely to […]

What Happens When You Don’t Have Customers

I’ve just spoken in LA on the sound stage that usually houses Bill Maher’s show, which formerly hosted The Price is Right, and is just up the hall from The Young and the Restless. We manhandled some quarter-million-dollar cameras out of the way, and I addressed the “studio audience,” comprising professional speakers.  My wife and […]

Back To The Beatles

A few mornings ago a TV commentator mentioned that when he was young he was an avid Beatles fan. And when he had his heart set on a particular Beatles Album, it became a matter for great anticipation…excitement though tempered inevitably with a need for patience. If  he did his homework well for a time, […]

In Itself Of Itself

When my co-author Alan Weiss and I dined together at Per Se we were tickled by Thomas Keller’s choice of names for his restaurant. One of the definitions of the term ‘Per Se’ I love most, is ‘in itself of itself’. It is something quintessential. The restaurant manages elegance without stuffiness, cuisine as a high […]

The Things People Say

Back in New York after a whirlwind tour…good to be home! When I landed at JFK my assistant had managed to persuade the officer in charge of the Global Entry Program I had enrolled in (which allows ‘trusted travelers’ to clear immigration via an electronic kiosk using fingerprints) to schedule my approval interview 45 minutes […]

Emergency Vacation!

Here in Dubai I was given a call about a  meeting with a manager of a business seeking my custom. His colleague regretted that he’d be unable to keep the appointment, saying he had been called away on an ’emergency vacation!’  Wow!  Bordering on the oxymoronic as it may be, her tone suggested that deep […]