The Workplace of the Future

The Workplace of the Future.001

If the place where you spend most of your time does not cater to your spiritual needs, then it is time to make some changes and switch it up! The Workplace of the Future is where Profit, Passion, Meaning and Purpose meet.

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Knowledge Capital & Personal Development

Since more than 3/4 of the top-developed nation’s working population are engaged in the service sectors, the intellectual capital and varying levels of development of these people are a major factor in a nation’s competitiveness.

And so it is between competing firms.  They do similar things, with the same people, for similar clients, using similar technology at more or less the same prices.  However, data shows that there are wide differences in performance between competing firms.  Why is this?  What is the key factor that is different?

A business is comprised of a group of people who have come together to play a specific role in the success of the business.  If the business is to grow, then its people must grow.  If the people are small-minded, unmotivated and not very creative – then the business will reflect this.

On the other hand, if the team members see themselves as vital, contributing, and able to excel, then the business will reflect this also.  Many organizations invest time and money in the professional development of their people; however, they neglect their team’s personal development.

Investing in the ongoing personal development and training of your team is one of the best investments you can make.  If someone makes $50,000 a year and can generate you $500,000 in value, why not take this person and increase their skill, ability, talent, attitude and education, so that they can add a million dollars in value?

A $50,000 investment that brings a $1 million return is a very, very valuable asset.  There is no better investment that companies can make than in the education and development of their own people.

Areas of personal development include:

  • Relationship skills
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Emotional health and self-esteem
  • Personal responsibility
  • Self-motivation
  • Financial intelligence
  • Personal Leadership

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Project Work & Multifunctional Teams

A dramatic change in the structure of modern organizations is transforming the very nature of work.  The traditional position descriptions that are part of a formal, rigid, hierarchical organizational structure are changing into loosely structured, multifunctional virtual project teams.

These virtual project teams work across time zones and borders as part of multiple project teams.  They can be easily assembled and dissembled at the completion of the project.

Project work requires very different skill sets from traditional work styles of the past.  In the past, the organization was static, management was hierarchical, everyone met at the same location, and a lot of the work done was not measurable.

The organization of the future has little hierarchy, is flat in structure, and project oriented.

Attributes of project work:

  • Leadership can rotate from project to project
  • Team members work on multiple projects at any given time
  • Each project is a profit center
  • Relationships are formed instantly and may be disbanded at the completion of the project
  • Less infrastructure is required as support activities are more easily outsourced
  • Project work is more efficient as the outcomes of each team member’s work is readily measurable
  • As a team member’s skills improve, they can easily advance and perform different roles on future teams
  • Project work is exciting and stimulating for the team members
  • Each team member experiences a sense of completion when the project is fulfilled
  • A team member can be located anywhere on the plant
  • Knowledge is readily transferred from one project to the next
  • Each team member takes individual responsibility for the outcome of the project
  • Team members are self-motivated and take initiative

The most significant benefits of organizing around multifunctional project teams is the ability of the team to respond to change, to innovate and to produce a higher quality result for a lot less cost than the traditional structure.

“Organizations aren’t the visible, tangible places which they used to be. You can describe what they do, but you can’t see it.

If information is the raw material of the work, then there need be no common space at all. Place and time are now independent of one another. Global organizations will pass a project to a chain of groups around the world to keep pace with the time zones.

Some organizations are, in reality, little more than “boxes of contracts” with suppliers, agents, and specialists of one sort or another, with no visible presence at all.

The new organizations are always tending to be slightly out of control, their structures flexing, their people innovating.”

– Charles Handy

It is important to note, that this new organization structure doesn’t replace the existing traditional infrastructure – they coexist side by side.

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How to Create New Sources of Income

The purpose of this article is to go over a few key points that are important if you are serious about adding new sources of income.

This information is an EXTRACT from the content of the Optima Business Archives from 2002. Still relavent today!

IF YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER, you need to add new sources of income personally — and also within your business. We have found that most businesses rely on one primary source of revenue, and if you look across your industry, you will find that most business within the same industry follow the same pattern.

HOT TIP: Look at the ways other business from different industries find new customers, and sources of revenue. Ask yourself this question: “How could I apply the same method to my business?” Don’t say to yourself (like most people do) “that will never work for me, my business is different.” You would be surprised at how this one thought, can get in the way of new money-making ideas!

If you keep an open mind, you will discover new ways of marketing, and new sources of income that you had previously never considered before. And here is the best part — most other businesses within your industry won’t be doing it that way! So you will gain an instant advantage.

Here are some additional sources of revenue for you to consider for your business:

  • Direct Mail
  • Special events for your customers
  • Meetups
  • Social Media events
  • Advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Direct Sales
  • Referrals
  • Host Beneficiary
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Joint Ventures
  • Licensing techniques or technologies

If you are thinking, “oh, I have tried some of these and they haven’t worked,” the best question to ask yourself would be this one: “how could I get them to work? is there something that I don’t know, that I need to find out?”

HOT TIP: The key here is in the questions you ask. For example, if you look at a brand new building for your office and say to yourself “I can’t afford it” — then you are right. However, if you ask yourself this question: “how can I afford it?” you will find that your mind will begin to come up with lateral ways of doing it, ways that you couldn’t think of before.

HOT TIP: Study sales and marketing, because you have very little downside risk, and virtually unlimited upside potential. Here is an example: It cost you the same amount to run an ad that generates 10 sales, as it does to run an ad that generates 20 sales. If by changing the headline, you can double your sales — then you have doubled your return on investment. What if you could get that same ad to generate 100 sales? Your risk is the same, and yet your upside potential is virtually unlimited!

Once you get an ad that works (by testing one ad versus another, or one headline versus another) you can then repeat it over, and over. Why stop doing something if it is working?

If you have tried advertising before, and found that it didn’t payoff for you, perhaps you should consider testing different approaches? Getting an advertising specialist to help you?

How can you apply this same concept to the other sources of income that are listed above?

Train your mind to see opportunity everywhere, by asking the money-making questions…

FOR EMPLOYEESdon’t rush out and quit your job! You have to get some experience first. Experiment with adding first one additional source of income, then a second, then a third. When you finally have enough passive income to cover your current lifestyle — then you are in a position to quit.

What most people do is they get so excited about the freedom of their own business that before they have the basics handled — they cut off their primary source of income! This throws them straight into emergency, and makes them very desperate. I don’t know about you, but when I am desperate — I can’t think, and I end up making unwise decisions that are short term.

Build your sources of income, get some experience, then you can decide in your own time — if and when you want to resign from your job. THIS IS TRUE FREEDOM!

HOT TIP: One of the fastest ways to get experience is to find someone who has already mastered what you want to learn, and go study with them, go ask them to teach or mentor you. Most people would be flattered by your interest. Just be careful not to abuse their generosity. Be respectful and appreciative.

Time spent learning from masters — is possibly the best investment you can make.

HOT TIP: Always get clear on what the exchange is — before you begin. If you are asking people to support you to; come up with ideas, write a business plan, help you raise money, do research, mentor you etc. Always agree on what the exchange is — right up front.

HOT TIP: When you agree on an exchange, it doesn’t have to be money. It could be for goods, services, holidays, time, contacts, knowledge etc. Money is only one of many methods of exchange.

HOT TIP: If you exchange a product, or service (in return for what the other person is going to do for you) that costs you say $1,000, and the retail value of the product/service is $5,000 — you could exchange it for say the equivalent of $4,000. The other person gets a product/service valued at $5,000 for $4,000 of their time (or whatever they are giving you) and you are getting their support (or whatever they are giving you) valued at $4,000 for the equivalent cash value of $1,000. If you had paid them cash, it would have cost you $3,000 more!

This is why exchanging money, can often be more expensive than exchanging products or services.

The key here, is to think of alternatives and to train yourself to look for opportunities to make money, and to save money.

OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME FOR EMPLOYEESIn addition to the sources of additional income listed for business owners, here are some additional ones for you to consider:

  • Art (like painting, writing poetry, pottery etc.)
  • Royalties from licensing your ideas to others
  • Buying and selling a product or service
  • Exchanging your time and skill for a profit share, share holding, revenue participation or a fee
  • Commissions on connecting people, or on making sales
  • Commissions or a share holding for helping people raise capital
  • Licensing patents, and selling the patent
  • Acquiring the rights to new technologies, and on-selling them
  • Acquiring the rights to new products and finding distributors
  • Publishing information, articles, reports or books
  • Manufacturing
  • Plus, many, many more…

HOT TIP: There are only two things to focus on, when considering which product, or which potential idea you want to pursue:

  1. How does this make others more money.
  2. How does this save others money.

The key idea here, is that people will spend money to make money, and they will spend money to save money. Most people never stop and think of what the end result your customer gets from buying from you. Once you can clearly identify what the benefit is, and can explain it simply in terms of saving money, or making money — you will get much faster results.

If you want to get a pay rise, think in terms of how you can make more money, or save more money for your employer. They will then be happy to pay you more money! There is no exchange in simply asking for more money…

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Playing to WIN or Playing Not to LOSE

In the game of life and business, you could easily assume that most people play the game to win. Why play at all if it isn’t to win? After all, that is the purpose of the game, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t play to win — they play not to lose. You may have heard people say, “I hate to lose.”

When playing to win, you understand and accept that losing is sometimes part of the game. However, you do whatever it takes (legally, ethically and morally) to win.

When playing not to lose, you feel that you must not lose — no matter what.  You play conservatively and avoid risk because your desire not to lose is greater than your desire to win.

And here is the rub… other players will exploit your unwillingness to lose — which will have you losing!

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It Is Unwise To Pay Too Little – Huh?

“It is unwise to pay too much, but it is unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much, you loose a little money; that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything. Because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.

The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”

– John Ruskin 1819-1900

Bisphenol-A Resolution

It is interesting that the world’s largest beverage company is still producing cans with Bisphenol-A. Commonly known as BPA, the chemical is used in many plastics that have been found to leach into the liquid contents.  The FDA discovered it could cause many medical problems including cardiovascular disease, liver disease and diabetes.

Many organizations have recalled products using BPA – but not Coca-Cola. Don’t get me wrong – I am not anti-Coke per se.

What interests me is that it’s taking the shareholders pushing a resolution to encourage the company to remove BPA from Coke cans. There can be only one conclusion as to why Coke is lagging the industry with regard to BPA…

Read the Shareholder Resolution here >>>

If you are interested in this subject, check out this site for a list of 2010 Shareholder Proxy Resolutions, where the shareholders are promoting changes in various companies via resolutions >>> and also a short description of Shareholder Activism >>>


Rules of business (1)

This article is for Passionate Revolutionaries who are focused on leading and inspiring others to create innovative products, services and business models that add meaning and purpose to people’s everyday lives.

If you are not a business owner or executive, please read this with an open mind and ask yourself, “How can I apply that?”

There are 12 Primary Rules that are some of the most important, immutable Rules of Business:


It may sound strange, but if you want a quantum leap in your results — the first place to begin is to take a good look in the mirror. The focus of this article is on YOU and your relationship to your business.

Many people start a business to make money, others want to make a contribution or to express themselves. Whatever your reason is, you will find that the basic, fundamental rules of business have not changed for thousands of years.

The pace of change has increased, new technologies have changed the way we do business and have increased our potential markets as well as our competitors. How fast you learn is now a competitive advantage.


Your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, values, goals, strengths, weaknesses, management style and philosophy all show up in your business. If you have a belief that you have to work 16-hour days in order to be successful, then you will end up working 16-hour days. And you may or may not be successful.

If your leadership style is disrespectful of team members and customers then the energy of the business will reflect this. Only second-rate team members will be attracted as you will only attract people who are OK being disrespected and not appreciated. Your company will only achieve a fraction of what is possible. The leader’s style will set the tone for the entire organization through the multiplier effect. Everything is reflected back to you multiplied, exaggerated and often dramatized.


That means if you want the business to change, if you want your team to change, if you want your results to change… It all starts with you and asking yourself what you have to change.

Many, many people work on the business, on business development, training their team, building their sales… And leave out the most important factor in the entire equation…


The leader of the company is the key person whose vision is the vital element, élan vital (French for Life-force), the driving force behind the company and everything it does.


The vision sets the tone and the agenda. The vision provides the team with a focus, a purpose, a guiding star to follow.

The number one function of the leader is to catalyze a clear and shared vision for the company and to secure commitment of the team to the vigorous pursuit of the vision. A clear sense of purpose comes directly from a clear vision of what it is supposed to look like in the end.

When a leader is not clear on the vision, and this vision isn’t clearly communicated to the team members, associates, suppliers and customers, then the company languishes and is mediocre. The company struggles and the team works harder and harder.


If you are like most people, you grew up with the “work hard” ethic. From the time we were young children, we were told by people that we loved, trusted and respected, “If you want to get ahead in life, you have got to work hard,” or “If you want to make lots of money, you have got to work hard.” And this is simply not true.

The gardener works harder than the company executive, he toils all day in the hot sun, he gets his hands dirty… However the executive works no more hours, but makes many, many times more than the gardener.

According to the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Inc. Magazine, Markus Frind, the founder of the website Plenty of Fish, based in Vancouver, Canada works one hour a day and pays himself an annual income of $5 million. Clearly he is not working hard! The question I ask myself is, “If he is working 1 hour a day and making $5 million, how much could he make working 8 hours a day?”

I am sure you will agree that hard work alone is not going to solve anything (although it is a start). The key is to undo the training, programming and conditioning that tells us to work hard; and to replace it with a different philosophy of life and work that takes into account what you work hard at doing.


This means that we are responsible for our results. No one else is. If the economy is bad and your customers aren’t spending as much as they used to, then you have got to do something different. Simply blaming your lower results on the economy won’t do anything other than keep you stuck. Forget excuses, justifications or blaming anyone else.

Your results tell you how you are doing.

The key is to get more done in less time. To be ever more efficient and effective. To produce a better quality product for less cost to you, which you then pass on to your customers. What many companies do is lower their cost and instead of passing these savings onto their customers, keep it for themselves. This may work in the short term, however, it increases the risk of your competition gaining an edge on you.


Because its purpose is to acquire and satisfy customers, your business has one and only one function: to add value through innovative products and services. If your product and service is the same as your competitors, how are you going to add value in a way that your customers will continue to buy from you?

To innovate means to make changes, to bring in new methods, ideas, and ways of doing things that benefit your customer — saving them time or money. This requires leadership and the constant pursuit of creative and imaginative solutions to both new and old problems.


Marketing is all about attracting people to buy your product or service, getting them to come back again and again, and getting them to purchase more when they do come back.

It includes sales, advertising, product design, public relations, and many other ingredients that are less obvious. Without marketing, you lose customers. Marketing can make the difference between the life and death of your business, and yet it is one of the least understood and most under-utilized facets of business.

Most businesses have been reduced to a commodity. No one can buy their materials for that much less than anyone else. Advertising costs about the same. Even a second or third shift doesn’t give your business that much advantage.

However, if you make your salespeople out-produce your competition’s salespeople by two or three times; if you can make every advertisement you run produce ten times more than your competitors do; if you can get a customer to buy 50% to 200% more “on average” from you than they do from your competitors…

Plus, if you can successfully figure out how to resell each customer numerous “additional” times a year and sell them multiple products or services with higher profit margins each time — your business will grow exponentially — even in a down economy.


A corporation is a legal entity that was incorporated to fulfill a specific purpose. As a legal entity, a corporation has the same rights as any other citizen of the country within which it is incorporated. A corporation can own property, buy and sell, manufacture products, and bring lawsuits as if its members were one person.

Ownership in the corporation is divided into a certain number of shares, and the corporation issues stockholders one or more stock certificates to show how many shares they hold. The stockholders own the company and elect a board of directors to manage it for them.

The board of directors determines basic company policies and appoints the executive officers. These officers include a chairman of the board, chief executive officer, a president, and a number of vice presidents. They are responsible for carrying out the decisions of the board of directors and the stockholders. The executive officers also select the managers of the various departments of the corporation.

Stockholders may sell their stock whenever they want to, unless the corporation has some special rule to prevent it. The price of the company’s stock changes according to general business conditions and the earnings and future prospects of the company. If the business is doing well, stockholders may be able to sell their stock for a profit. If it is not, they may have to take a loss in order to exit.

When the corporation has made a profit, the directors may divide the profit among the stockholders as dividends, or they may decide to use it to expand the business. Dividends may be paid only out of the corporation’s profits. When profits are used to expand the business, the directors and stockholders may decide to issue more stock to show that there is more money invested in the business. This new stock will be divided among the stockholders as a stock dividend.

Stockholders in a corporation have limited liability. If the corporation fails, they can lose no more than their investment, because the corporation’s debts are not their debts.

The founder of a corporation may be a stockholder and a director — but this is not necessary. Any corporation may raise funds to establish the company or to increase the available capital for investment, growth or ongoing operations.

Funds may be raised by selling stock (these investors become stockholders), acquiring debt or through revenue participation, etc.

The challenge for most founders who are also stockholders and directors is that they can “over identify” with the corporation. They end up living vicariously through the success and failure of the corporation. In many cases the founder does not pay themselves a salary during the startup phase on the basis that they are the owner and are building an asset. This is a mistake as it undervalues the founder’s contribution and makes it more difficult to replace the founder by hiring an employee.

The key here is to understand that you are not the business, and if you have an employee role within the corporation, that you pay yourself a fair market salary. To do this requires that you have enough capital to operate the business, cover all the expenses with some excess for unforeseeable circumstances — especially during start up or high-growth phases.

Nothing is more difficult to do than to grow a company on a limited capital base — using cash flow for a source of funds. And then if your personal success or failure is connected to how the company performs, you may be seduced into making personal guarantees, or to invest more of your personal money than you would like to in order to keep the company going.

While this may sound admirable, it is a recipe for a downward spiral, reduction in your personal wealth and an emotional roller coaster. You are not the business, so keep your personal finances separate from the business and respect it as an investment that MUST pay for itself.


This is a very controversial topic. Most founders operate from the opposite — pay yourself last. And this is exactly what happens, once all the expenses are covered there often isn’t anything left over. So you end up working for free and justifying it by saying that you are building a business.

“Pay yourself first” means to include yourself along with all the other salaries and to follow the advice of the “Richest Man in Babylon”:  a part of all I earn is mine to keep. No matter how much money you are making, it is important to maintain regular investing habits. The amount isn’t important, but the habit is.

And when you make yourself important and commit to paying yourself no matter what, a mysterious thing happens — you end up creating enough cash flow to pay yourself.

If you are willing to work for free — you will end up working for free.


The difference between the leader who struggles all the time, has no free time, is surrounded by drama solving crises after crises and the leader who appears to have lots of free time, makes more money each year and seems to have the golden touch… is the team that they are a part of.

You are only as good as your team!

And your team isn’t limited to your employees. Who is on your board of directors? Do you have a formal board of advisors? Do you have a personal mentor or coach? These are people who will tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear.

Unless you are willing to be surrounded by people who expect more of you than you do, you will have people telling you what you want to hear and confirming that you are right — when you may be wrong.

Your team can even include your suppliers and customers.

If you aren’t part of a winning team — then you are working too hard.


Investing in the ongoing development and training of your team is one of the best investments you can make. If someone makes $50,000 a year and can generate $500,000 in value for you, why not take this person and increase their skill, ability, talent, attitude and education, so that they can add a million dollars in value?

A $50,000 investment that brings a $1 million return is a very, very valuable asset.

There is no better investment that companies can make than in the education and development of their own people.

If you are looking for help along the way, are committed to change and are ready for the most fun you can have as an adult in a crafted learning environment… check out the 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more flowing and lucky leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

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It’s All About the Vision

It is time for some Corporate Reinvention!

The most common reason why most corporations only achieve a fraction of the possible potential available to them is the lack of a worthwhile, meaningful, inspiring and compelling vision that magnetizes and motivates the entire organization.  Many of the vision statements hanging in the boardrooms are old, out of date, not well communicated and uninspiring.

This is especially true in times of economic recession.

Corporate Reinvention is about refocusing, reorganizing, reframing and redirecting your organization.  And the most important component of any organization is the VISION.  Next is aligning the people, marketing, systems, policies and procedures behind the vision.

How do you do that if your organization is in a crisis that is threatening its survival? Do you really have a choice?

Reasons to consider engaging in a Corporate Reinvention process:

  • You are not achieving your goals
  • The industry has changed, margins are down, competition is fierce
  • Economic crisis, sales are down, financing is scarce
  • Acquisition/merger with another organization requiring complete restructuring
  • Dramatic changes in your product or service due to technological developments
  • International expansion
  • Downsizing of the organization
  • Reorganization, sale or IPO
  • New CEO, board or senior management

An inspiring vision should infuse passion, engage the hearts, minds, bodies and souls of the people working within your organization, your clients, your suppliers and your shareholders.  Every person should know what the vision is and how their daily activities contribute to the vision.

<<its all about the VISION>>

Our Most Precious Assets: People

In today’s competitive and fast paced world, our most precious assets are our people, our relationships and our time. Most executives and professionals are familiar with W. Edwards Deming’s concept of optimization and fine tuning a system to achieve the optimum output and results.

Few people apply the concept of optimization to their lives, people strategies, systems, policies, procedures, marketing and management practices.

Leading a team of people in today’s highly competitive, technologically sophisticated and connected world is very different from the command and control style prevalent in the preceding centuries.

Intangible assets such as people, know-how, systems and intellectual property are valued at many times more than tangible assets. Traditional management training and methods are severely lacking in “people knowledge” and an understanding of a world that is more and more intangible.

A new style of leadership is required for the new paradigm economy of today and the future.

Creativity Killers

Many of today’s leaders are operating from an old leadership model that could be described as “leadership through domination.” This style stifles creativity and inhibits innovation.

It is impossible to think of new ideas that defy old ways of doing things if we are afraid of making mistakes and are constantly worried about the real or perceived threat from a leader whose style is based on autocracy, coercion and punishment.

Creative and innovative people require creative and innovative workplaces that are fluid, flexible, fun, nurturing, supportive and enjoyable.  No longer is economic success dependent on natural resources, manufacturing excellence, and scientific or technological prowess.  Today, the terms of success revolve around an organization’s ability to mobilize, attract and retain creative human talent.  Every competitive dimension depends on creativity and ingenuity of the people that make up the organization.

Leading a team of creative talent is very different from leading a factory line of workers who do similar tasks repetitively.  It simply does not work to command creativity!  Can you imagine Mozart or Picasso being told to produce or else, “You are out!”  Leadership in the creative economy requires vastly different skills.

Today’s new model of leadership involves partnership, cooperation and team.

The Culture of “Blame”

One of the biggest blocks to most people stepping into personal leadership and responsibility is that they are so afraid of making mistakes that they won’t take the risk of being responsible and accountable at the same time.  Most people inaccurately see responsibility as another way of laying “blame” – or finding who is “at fault” when things go wrong.  Combine this with the fear of losing face, and you have people who won’t speak up – even though they know the solution!

Encouraging people to speak up requires building trust and safety.  Before people will take the risk of speaking up, they need to know that they won’t be punished for expressing themselves and stating their opinions.

WOW Experience

Have you ever had a positive experience that you couldn’t forget? One that made a lasting impression on you? We call these “WOW Experiences.”

Over the c0ming years, we will be writing more about WOW Experiences and how you can create these in your everyday life, relationships and business.

The below article is from 2002 however, it is as relevant today as ever!

From Service Economy to Experience Economy

For years now, the world’s developed nations have seen a steady migration from producing goods to providing services.  Based on current figures available, on average the service sectors represent 65% to 80% of total GDP, with Industry around 30% and Agriculture ranging from a 1% for the United Kingdom, 1.7% for the United States and 7.4% for New Zealand.

Much of the manufacturing has moved to the lower cost emerging economies, which have seen a migration from the Agriculture sectors to Industry.  As the emerging economies have competed with each other for manufacturing business, their competency and capacity to add value through services have increased and become a strategic competitive advantage.

In the United States, 65 of the top 100 companies are from the service sector and the Bureau of Labor Statistics figures for the decade ending in 2010, predicts that goods-producing industries (like mining, construction, and manufacturing) will create 1.3 million new jobs, compared to 20 million for the service sector.

So the service sector continues to provide the majority of new jobs and fuels economic growth for most of the world’s economies.

The most significant trend in the service economy is the move towards experiences.  It is no longer enough to provide an adequate service that meets or even exceeds expectations.  In order to build a long-term relationship that compels clients to return over and over, it is necessary to provide a WOW Experience that is unforgettable and has them telling all their friends and associates.

WOW Experiences, are the strategic differentiator that will have one service provider stand out from another.

Here are some examples of WOW Experiences in action.

On a business trip, we checked into one of our favorite Hotels – the Ritz-Carlton.  We stay with them frequently so they have gotten to know us, and our preferences.  On this occasion, we not only paid the lowest rate possible for a standard room but were automatically upgraded to a $750 a night Club Suite.  One of the best features of this property is their Ritz-Carlton Club.  They serve complimentary drinks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between.  We proceeded to have back to back meetings and not only had our meetings in the Club meeting room, but our guests also helped themselves to meals, drinks, and cappuccinos all day.

We were fully expecting to be billed for the extra guests and at the end of our stay the Club Manager winked and said don’t worry about it!  WOW!

On another occasion, we were at the Ritz-Carlton Resort & Spa in Bali.  This has got to be one of the best resorts on the planet!  The Hotel made a small mistake around our allocated room – and before we could say anything asked “how can we make it up to you?  Would you like a free meal, or perhaps a massage for you both?”

We both spoke in unison “the massage would be nice!”  Upon returning to our room, we noticed that there was an incense burner in the bathroom.  It was filled with the most beautiful smelling oils.  So we called the Butler in the Club and asked if they had any in the shop that we could buy to take home with us.  They called right back and said, “I am sorry the shop is out of stock, so is the spa and housekeeping had run out also.

We were disappointed but quickly let it go.  A half hour later the doorbell rang and a Balinese Maid was standing at the door with a huge beaming smile “here you go” and handed us a huge unmarked bottle.  WOW, they had searched high and low around the resort to locate the only bottle on the property – in order to make us happy.  “How much do we owe you?” we asked.  “Nothing” she replied. WOW.

At the end of our stay, we asked for a car to deliver us to the airport.  No problem.  “How much do we owe you,” we asked.  “Well, the usual charge is US$25 to the airport, but for you no charge.”

WOW, thank you!

We take the concept of WOW Experiences very seriously and are constantly looking for ways to provide these to our clients.  On one occasion a client was flying in to meet us from Hong Kong.  At the time, we had rented a beachfront Villa at the Le Meridien Resort & Spa, which was over an hours drive from the airport.  As this client had never flown in a helicopter, we arranged to have them met at the airport and secretly whisked to the helipad.  You can image the delight and surprise of their first flight in a helicopter!  A definite WOW Experience!

Contrast these experiences with a recent stay at the Five Star Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand.  In this case, we paid for an upgrade to an Executive Club Room.  The first thing that went wrong was our first room service order, and then our second order and then the third was wrong too.

Then on the second day, as we were in the Club Lounge surfing the Internet, a carpenter began to dismantle the room around us!  Huh, “what is going on?” we asked the carpenter.  he said, “We are renovating the Lounge and the Business Center”.  Oh, “how come no one mentioned this to us, and why are we paying for an upgrade when we can’t even use the Lounge?” we asked the Hotel Staff.  “Not to worry”, they said, “it will be finished by the end of next week, sorry for the inconvenience.”

What?  We called the front office and asked for the upgrade to be refunded.  To give you the short version we had to argue with the Hotel to get what we wanted, and in the end, they never made any attempt to make amends for the problems and only did the minimum necessary.

This is what you would describe as a “negative wow experience” where we will advise our friends, and associates to not stay with this Hotel.

More than any other time in history it is no longer adequate to do the minimum necessary.  In order to make it in the hyper-competitive economy of the future, it is necessary to provide WOW experiences.

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