10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs, from LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman

I was fortunate enough to be present at Saïd Business School on Sunday, to hear LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in conversation with Dean Peter Tufano. At the start of the session, Dean Tufano announced that Hoffman, who studied philosophy at Oxford, is donating $1m to help fund The Oxford Foundry, a new hub for future student entrepreneurs from across Oxford.

Starting on such a positive note, the ensuing hour was packed with insights and takeaways for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Here is my Top 10:

Do You Know What Your Customer Experience is Costing You?

I visited a museum at the weekend – just scraping in on the last day of a heavily-promoted, blockbuster exhibition.

As I waited at the ticket desk, I noticed that, despite there being a queue, only one team member was selling tickets – and yet there were four team members behind that desk. Two of the other three were having a chat; the other was (there’s no other word for it) slumped in her chair, staring into space.

The exhibition was great – I’d recommend it to you, but it’s over!

Also over is the massive opportunity the museum had to maximise its return on investment…

“The Only Dentist I’ve Ever Looked Forward to Visiting”

As I returned to the reception desk I noticed an open visitors’ book. The comments were overwhelmingly positive – words such as “communication” and “explanation” jumped out, as did the comment of my title: “The only dentist I’ve ever looked forward to visiting.”

Wow!!

Was it a coincidence that my dentist (also the practice head, as it turns out) is focused on the Patient Journey as a continuous experience – from website/telephone to reception to waiting room to treatment room and back to reception – and that this practice is receiving such rave reviews (no doubt leading to plenty of upsells and recommendations)?

The Blues, the Loos, the Zoos, the Booze: It’s the Customer Experience News!

My newsletter this month was updated – literally a “Stop Press” moment – to reflect the incredible story of Leicester City’s achievement in winning the English Premier League. Pretty magnanimous of me, I feel, as a Spurs fan for most of my life!

Leicester’s story, and as importantly, their brand of lightning-fast, counter-attacking football, have captured the nation’s imagination, and in doing so, perfectly reflect the attributes of a POSITIVE Customer Experience…

Happy Birthday to my Best Ever Boss

On this special day, I’m sure I share the sentiments of millions regarding the latest milestone The Queen has reached.

Unlike many however, I think of Queen Elizabeth II not just as our Head of State and an constant presence in our lives for as long as most of us can remember, but also as the best boss I ever had.

Oh, What a Night! Sharing Awesome Communication Secrets

What a night I had at Create in Canterbury’s Fruitworks! Create’s mission is simple and uplifting: “Create for change, for innovation, for discovery, for you.”

This business networking event (“Awesome people talking about awesome things”) gave me the opportunity to share a taster of my Communication programme “It’s a Zoo Around Here” – here’s seven things you should know about the programme:

Overcoming “Project Fear” with Hope and STARS

My previous post lamented the launch of “Project Fear 2.0” (or is it 3.0?) by the British Retail Consortium (BRC): my simple message is that the Retail sector today contains myriad wasted opportunities and latent profit potential – it just needs to learn how to grab those opportunities and fulfil that potential!

So, what is the “right way” to bring hope to the Retail sector?