Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Does your organization give off a negative vibe?

Recently I read Ralph Heath’s 2009 book on Celebrating Failure. He opened chapter 23 by telling a story about investigating rental of a local meeting room.

First, the customer service representative in the corner ignored him. Second, when he said he’d like to book it from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM she replied that no one was there before 9:00 AM. Third, she added that they were closed on Mondays, although Ralph hadn’t even mentioned Monday. He found another venue, and then mused that a leader might have helped her to quit being completely negative (and win him as a customer).


When I walk to the main public library, I cross the Boise River Greenbelt, which has paved trails on both sides of the river. As shown above, the sign on the south trail communicates that people should both enjoy themselves and behave responsibly. It says both what to do and what not to do. (There is a similar National Forest sign here).

Less than a hundred feet away is the old Eighth Street Pedestrian Bridge. Look at the sign mounted on the left side at the south entrance, which says that six different activities all are prohibited. I’m still puzzling over how you could surf on a bridge with a wooden deck, and what was changed before adding the last two items.

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