Gossiping

Is there a place for gossip in the new normal?

Social chit-chat is a vital part of being human. But how does that fit in with the new normal of hybrid or home working where our physical contact with others is limited?

As a manager, I recall an occasion where I interviewed a lady for a job opportunity in my team. She was a good candidate, but not the most qualified for the position, so missed out on getting the role. Some days later, one of my team said to me “I didn’t know that you interviewed my sister for a job here”, to which I replied, “No, that’s her business if she wishes to tell you, not mine – those things are confidential”. Over the next few days, I heard this story repeated (in various versions) through the office “grapevine” with the message that, “Bob can be trusted to keep confidences”.

Corporate Culture
Corporate culture - have we lost our touch?

Corporate culture - have we lost our touch?

"Have you lost your touch?" were the words my wife said to me as I struggled with the latest PC plug-in gizmo. For some reason her use of the word "touch", started me thinking about all the Zoom meetings we're having now. And working with a number of family business owners during and since Covid via Zoom, Skype, Windows Teams etc., on how to manage their businesses, I've noticed the difficulty people have in making real connections when they use these virtual communication tools.

Have we in fact "lost our touch" when it comes to connecting with others?

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The demise of the Blackberry and its link to Covid

The demise of the Blackberry and its link to Covid

In January 2022, the Blackberry, the iconic phone of the early 2000's and the item that first allowed us to send and receive emails on our phones (about five years before Apple and Samsung did so), ceased to operate. The company is no longer supporting the phones, so they now become a perhaps nostalgic paperweight (for those "lucky" enough to have had one – often provided by their employer).

Now, you may be thinking, what's the link between the Blackberry and the Covid pandemic?

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What happens when we can’t shake hands anymore?

What happens when we can’t shake hands anymore?

What happens when we lose the handshake? During and post Covid-19, we’ve been asked to avoid touching other people (outside our bubble). That, and being almost fanatical about cleaning our hands and social distancing, have put us (in New Zealand) in the enviable position of probably having the best results in the world for tackling the Corona virus pandemic.

But there may be downsides that we’re not yet fully aware of. Let me backtrack for a moment.

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The Trust Bank is open all hours for deposits – and withdrawals!

The Trust Bank is open all hours for deposits – and withdrawals!

The Covid lockdown precipitated a strange phenomenon for businesses, emblematic of what happens when organisations are under external threat.

This phenomenon has two distinct phases: cooperation, then discord.

Advice for businesses handling this phenomenon may seem counter intuitive. However, there are some simple answers.

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Honest conversations – the heart of the family business

Honest conversations – the heart of the family business

We all know that well-worn cliché, ‘honesty is the best policy’. We also know that it’s far easier said than done.

How can family members when working together in business, have open and honest conversations with one another?

It all depends on the hat that each wear!

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Family businesses continually tap into a rich vein of ideas and innovation

Family businesses continually tap into a rich vein of ideas and innovation

There’s a great example of what innovative local businesses can do when the ‘chips are down’. Steve Stannard of the Cyclista Espresso Bar and Roastery in Palmerston North, NZ, knew that after four weeks without, Kiwis really wanted their good, barista made coffee. But how to get it to them from his café in George Street, Palmerston North without breaking the Level 3 restrictions?

He could, as others have done, start a phone or online initiated delivery service – but with limited resources, this was not feasible. As a successful business owner, Stannard also knew something that often other businesses forget – it’s not just about the product or service, it’s the experience. "Part of getting coffee is the experience. It's not just about getting your coffee; people like to come in for a chat" Stannard said.

Pondering this conundrum during Level 4 lockdown, Stannard got the brilliant idea of

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