Monday, November 2, 2020

The Return of the Handwritten Note


Handwritten notes.  Mailed “snail mail”.  As old fashioned as the quill pen and ink?  Maybe not.


I’m hearing that they are becoming fashionable, valuable, useful again.  When everyone’s online mailbox is full to overflowing – your note, even one to say thank you for your business/friendship/assistance/referral may not be seen.


But a handwritten note, received in the mail?   That stands out.  Making something old (a handwritten note) new again.   Stand out from the crowd.


Take a quick read through the article from the Jobber Academy – complete with templates to inspire you.  Jobber Academy


Buy stamps from the US Post Office (US Post Office ), note cards from Paper Source or Target ( and start writing.  Surprise people.   Let them know you think they are worth more than a quick e-mail.    

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Going Somewhere Someday? Or Nowhere Now?


On September 16 the CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, assured those attending a Politico live event that business travel will come back – eventually.  Maybe in a year, maybe two but it will be back. 

 However, some people just can’t wait to get on a plane and head somewhere. Anywhere.  Even nowhere.  For those people there are now flights they can take.   Described in Tariro Mzezewa’s article in the New York Time on September 19 (just days after the statement by the United CEO) airlines in Brunei, Taiwan, Japan and Australia are offering trips that begin and end at the same airport, without landing anywhere in between.

 Creative thinking to give work to airline employees?  Please clients? Reduce their frustration with the restrictions due the pandemic?  Or foolishness that increases air pollution?   The answer depends.  But one thing it tells us – is that there’s still a demand for air travel – and our hope is that it will grow and make Mr. Kirby’s prediction a reality.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Look for Travel and Travelers

The look of travel, especially by air, continues to change --- and we’re especially aware of that today. 

The Look of Travel brings to mind clothing – what we wear.  Think back a few decades and remember that appropriate dress when flying meant coats, ties, dresses and high heels.  Fast forward to a more recent time (2019) and the definition became clothing that was “comfortable”:  jeans, yoga pants, flip flops.

Today, in this new decade any of those ‘comfortable” clothes may show up, however, now we have new accessories:  masks and gloves and we carry bottles of hand sanitizer or packages of wipes.

Yet it isn’t just the look of travelers that’s changing.  According to Wunderman-Thompson airports, airplanes, even shuttles are changing.    The changes won’t mimic the design of Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore (  A stunning new complex, opened barely a year ago.  Thought to set a new standard for airports.  Now, maybe not.   Described on Wikipedia as “a nature-themed entertainment and retail complex linked to three of its passenger terminals. Its centerpiece is the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, which is surrounded by a terraced forest setting.”  Makes one want to fly to Singapore just to see it. 

However, that’s not what’s coming to airport design in 2020.  The airport that is evolving now, as described in the Wunderman-Thompson Intelligence Brief of July 6, 2020, ( is an one  that shields personal space and protects individual health”.  

Some things you may see: 

Sofas that encourage proper distancing,
Spaces designed to optimize sanitation and facilitate cleaning
A transparent hood that can be fixed onto existing seats.

From the spaces that accommodate travelers to the vehicles that bring them there, the backdrop of tourism is being reimagined in the wake of COVID-19.   Rather than dramatic vistas, forests and services, today’s travel environment is focused on health and safety.  The look and feel of travel, what we wear, where we sit, what surrounds us continues to change.  What’s next?   Let’s go and find out.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

Today we can all use something to brighten our day, lift our spirits.  With that in mind, I offer you “68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice” created by Kevin Kelly, well known as a co-founder of Wired magazine.   

Here are four of my favorite tips --- to find the other 64 go to his website:   68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

    1.    Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.

     2.    Always demand a deadline. A deadline weeds out the extraneous and the ordinary. It prevents you from trying to make it perfect, so you have to make it different. Different is better.

3.    Treating a person to a meal never fails, and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.

4.    Don’t trust all-purpose glue.

 You can hear how this list came about and learn more about the author by reading the transcript of the Freakonomics  podcast when Stephen Dubner, the host, interviewed Mr. Kelly.    Conversation with Kevin Kelly

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A mask isn't just for Halloween

What is the mask you wear today when you're not celebrating Halloween?   Fashion statement?  Protective gear?    

I'd say  they are that and more.   They make a statement about who we are.   With a glance at our faces - now - even more than ever before, people make a fast decision about who we are.

Wearing one can send multiple messages. 

It’s simple to see them as a statement that we follow rules.  Wear one, enter the store.  No mask, no entry.

Or we are making a statement of concern about ourselves and others.  That we wear one to help reduce the spread of the virus

Or do we want people to know something about us?   Put on a mask and our face becomes a mini story board.  With a mask we can announce which team is our favorite, what school we attended, which Disney character best represents us.

Whatever you do, remember a mask is a message.  Pick the one that fits the occasion. 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ready to Fly Away?

They’re starting.  The conversations about where we'll go when we can go somewhere.  Near or far?  Car or plane?

And if by plane, what will travel be like?  What will be different?  We know we’ll wear masks on planes but what else?

Some things being discussed include new biometric ID, checking temperatures at check in, new boarding procedures (one row at a time back to front), no more middle seats, fewer rows, will we receive hand sanitizer for everyone, or will we all wear rubber gloves?

It turns out the Hong Kong airport is moving ahead to make sure airports (and travelers)  are safe with new technology.     Read Afar magazine’s article:  Hong Kong Airport Installs Full Body Disinfecting Booths.     

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

No more handshakes? Then What?

A few weeks ago Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease recommended we eliminate handshakes even when we are back to work, back to being less than six feet away from each other.  Reasonable advice from one who wants to keep us safe and healthy.  But what will replace it?  And why are we asking this now?

It’s important because a handshake is more than a simply physical gesture.   It is and always has been a form of communication, it’s a way of delivering important messages:  You’re safe with me.  I welcome you.  We’re in this together

Look back in history, to the times when knights wore armor and wars between nobles were common.  Then a handshake was an answer to a question:   Am I safe being close to you?   Do you have a weapon hidden up your sleeve? 

We aren’t thinking of hidden weapons when we shake hands at a meeting today.  But we still have question in mind:  Are you happy to see me, pleased that we’re working together?  A handshake gives the answer. Yes, I am.   Maybe more important its the final step when we “seal the deal.”

If we give up our familiar handshake how will we deliver those important messages? 

With a wave of hand (the open palm clearly saying there’s no weapon)?   With a clap or two offering a sound instead of touch (the traditional greeting in Zimbabwe)?  With a bow following the traditional greeting of our colleagues in China and Japan?  Or will we develop a new way of delivering those important messages that allow us to connect, show respect, and say my intentions are honorable, I’m happy to engage with you?   What will the new handshake look like? 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

When Business Starts Again

When we’re back to business, we’ll realize our business will still be, maybe even more than before, global.  We’ll be looking for new markets, partners, new information and ideas.
Here are links to sources that will give you information about places around the world – sources you may not have discovered yet.   Global cities defined in different ways: 

Global cities from the travelers’ perspective.  Afar magazines looks at  their World's Best Cities:

Global Cities 2020 – Top 10 Trends including Punk & Policy, Diplomacy Meets Culture and Geopolitics Meets Urbanization from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Looking for a place welcoming to innovation?   Check the World Economic Forum’s Innovation Cities Index  (   For 2019 the 10 most innovative cities are located in six countries:  Canada, France, Japan, Singapore, UK and US.  

While some places and practices will be changed by the events of 2020, these three reports may give you ideas that you wouldn’t discover in a standard set of statistics

Monday, January 27, 2020

Who’s Next? Maybe You. Maybe Not

On a recent trip to Paris I walked into a bakery near my apartment  in search of a baguette for breakfast.  There were a few people scattered around the store, as if waiting for something – maybe an order they’d already paid for  I thought.   I was wrong.

As I headed toward the cash register to place my order people began to move --- toward the cash register, edging in front of me.     No words were spoken, no cold glances, or throats cleared to let me know I’d put myself toward the front of the line instead of the back.  But I had.  It quickly became clear there WAS a line – a French line one of my (French) friends said.   Clear as can be unless you’re a slightly jet lagged Californian.  

My advice to travelers entering a store of any type in a country not yours – take a minute to look around before venturing toward a cashier.  Even in Monoprix (a store similar to Target here in California) with defined lines set up with stanchions  to guide customers toward the cashiers - that appear to set the order of who pays first  -- there’s an organization that varies from what you’d find in the US.  Look around before you pick your spot.

Who’s Next?  Maybe you, maybe not.  Be Patient. Your turn will come.