Monday, June 13, 2016

Forget About It When It Comes to Failures

If time is limited—as it is for our customers and ourselves—we’ll gain more from analyzing our successes than analyzing our failures.
     This holds true for shoppers struggling to exert self-control in the face of unwise indulgences. Researchers at Boston College, University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt University found that when consumers analyze their failures to resist, they actually become more likely to subsequently succumb. It made little difference whether the recollections came easily or not.
     On the other hand, thinking about successes strengthened resolve in the consumers. Here, the degree of effort in recall did make a difference. The easier it came, the better the self-control. So when you want to help your shoppers resist making unwise choices, help them to recall their prior successes in doing so.
     The principle of strengths over weaknesses also applies in our business decisions.
     Researchers at Warwick Business School, Durham Business School, and Nottingham University compared serial entrepreneurs to portfolio entrepreneurs. Serial entrepreneurs occupy themselves with one business concept at a time rather than undertaking a range of diverse business enterprises simultaneously. Portfolio entrepreneurs are those business people who diversify in their retailing endeavors, running a set of businesses at the same time. The researchers found that the portfolio entrepreneurs learned better from failure because they have less investment in defending their prior actions. Their pride isn’t tied so tightly to one enterprise. They experience less pain from failures and spend less time analyzing them.
     In employee coaching, also focus on the strengths. A literature review by researchers at University of Minnesota, Emory University, and George Mason University indicates that the changes most likely to succeed for a retailer are gradual and based on the retailer’s existing strengths. When you’re scheduling employees, when you’re considering employees for special assignments or promotion, when you’re needing to lay off employees, look at the successes more closely than the failures. The strengths more closely than the weaknesses.
     This means shoving aside some assumptions in techniques like SWOT, which was designed a half century ago to assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of a client and then the opportunities available to and threats facing the client because of external factors. The SWOT framework is sound. A particular advantage is that it considers the externalities usually overlooked in other needs assessment techniques. Still, SWOT works best when S and O receive more attention than W and T.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Trade Off Serial Entrepreneurship
Increment Your Profitability Margins
Take a Swat at SWOT
Fix the Problem, Not the Blame

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