Sunday, February 23, 2014

Happy to meet you Your Worship

Would you think I was joking if I told you that in Canada and Australia the proper way to address the Mayor is a His/Her Worship? It isn't a joke.  It’s correct.   But don’t use that in the United State.  There a mayor is addressed as The Honorable or Mayor of (name the city) or Mr./Madam Mayor.  Does it matter?  Absolutely.

People everywhere care that we get their names correctly.   Using the proper title can be equally, if not more, important.  In a recent Los Angeles Times article a Swiss student interning at the Seoul Museum of Art commented on the challenge of remembering how to address all the people she worked with.  In the Korean culture it’s important to address people by their title, indicating their status.  Remembering all their titles in order to be seen as polite and respectful – not an easy task for a new intern

Wondering how to know what titles to use?  Refer to Robert Hickey’s blog Forms of Address.

Robert is a terrific friend who has an extraordinary understanding and knowledge of titles and proper forms of address.  His book Honor & Respect The Official Guide to Names, Titles & Forms of Address is a valuable resource for everyone.  You never know when you'll need to know how to address a letter or introduce someone.  Be prepared.  When you want to know "What shall I call him, her or them?"  - check with Robert.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Where's the Latte at Sochi?

We all know that food matters when we travel.  We sometime wish not for the new treats we discover but for some food from home.
Olympic athletes don’t have to worry.  Whether they want udon noodles, porridge or pepperoni pizza they can find it in the dining halls.   An ABC article estimates that there will be 2,000 unique dishes served.

Looking for a taste of the host country?  Visitors can try borscht the traditional soup made of potatoes, beef and beets.  It’s predicted that 70,000 gallons will be served. 

Even with the variety of foods available, including Big Macs from two 24 hour McDonalds, one thing most people won’t be able to find is a Starbuck’s Latte – or any other drink served in a cup with the green mermaid on it.  That is unless you can get into the NBC Broadcasting Center.  If you can enter you’ll find a hidden, private Starbucks serving everything except plain coffee.    

Want a cup of black coffee – head to McDonald’s an official Olympics sponsor (which Starbucks is not) allowed to serve food and beverage. 

The existence of the  not-too-secret Starbucks was revealed in an article in the February 15-16, Wall Street Journal.  “It’s good for morale”  someone from NBC stated.   Food and now we can, drinks, from home are a special treat when you’re far away. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The games have started.  The Sochi 2014 Olympics officially began with the opening ceremonies televised around the world.  Impressive and dramatic.

For the athletes the games began years ago as they practiced and competed for spots on their teams. 

But there was another beginning – the lighting of the Olympic torch,  the symbol of the continuation of the Olympic spirit, the shared excitement of the world’s athletes coming together.  Starting more than four months before the opening ceremonies, this torch had a unique journey.   It was carried by  14,000 torchbearers (one 101 years old) as it visited 130 Russian cities and towns.  It was carried up a mountain, down to the bottom of the largest fresh water lake in the world and even made it way up into space – an idea impossible to imagine when the torch relay began almost eighty years ago.

Let us hope that the spirit of the relay, the commitment and cooperation of many people working together to reach a shared goal can inspire us all.  It shows once again that together we can turn amazing ideas into equally amazing accomplishments.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Want It-Order It- Get It Now

 “Google Grows Retail Service”  - That was the headline in a recent Los Angeles Times article ( made me think Google was joining Apple and Microsoft and opening a chain of retail stores.  But that’s not the case. But that wasn’t the issue.  Rather , the article about the proliferation of same day delivery service.    It began with Google pairing with a number of retailers in an experiment called Google Shopping Express   This follows services like Walmart to Go, and Amazon Fresh’s move toward same day delivery, even faster than Amazon Primes’s two day promise.

The services can be thought of as American’s Can Do attitude evolving to a Want It – Order It -Get-It-Now attitude.  Think about a product and it arrives at your door almost instantly.  Sounds great doesn’t it.  But may be it isn’t entirely perfect.

It occurs to me that the experience and expectation: Want it. Order it. Get it. Now. may have some unexpected consequences.  As we increasingly expect rapid response to our requests we may think that will occur in all aspects of our life.

And if we are doing business globally, that expectation is not likely to be met.  Already Americans are seen to be impatient, rushed, focused on time rather than people and projects.   No time to chat over lunch, no time for dinner, or a casual conversation to establish a connection.   If we try take our Want It. Order It. Get It. Now.

Attitude wherever we go I wonder we will find it more difficult to do business, not easier?  Will we be disappointed if we don't obtain instant results and walk away missing an excellent opportunity?