Douglas Crets


Giving Credibility to the Shadow Education System

The dB C Media Influence Network Works in 53 Countries

If you are looking to get specific jobs done for your career, or for your business, you can look through us. We have an expert influencer network in over 50 countries on 5 continents. Take a look at where we have been and where we know experts that can help you in media, finance, tech, mobile computing, education technology, enterprise solutions, commerce and government.

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Magical Thinking Did Not Work for Steve Jobs

By the time that Steve Jobs got around to treating the rare form of pancreatic cancer that had been eating away at him, nine months had passed, and the tissue around the pancreas had started to become affected by the aggressively moving cancer. Walter Isaacson tells 60 Minutes that Jobs waited so long because 1. he didn’t want his body to be cut open, and 2. he believed that magical thinking would end the cancer.

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Shortcut: Getting Through to People Who Slow You Down

This is an interview with Brian Tolle, author of Shortcut: Getting Through to the People Who Slow You Down.


Douglas Crets: When one first opens your book, the immediate thinking might be that communication alone can solve all workplace problems, but it appears that it’s not just communication that helps the work environment. Can you explain why just talking things out with someone isn’t enough? A lot of built-in HR and internal consulting basically falls to this default “talk it out” setting.

Brian Tolle: Where I have seen increased awareness and application of these styles (talking things out) come up short in improving interpersonal relationships and teamwork is where there are conflicting priorities and/or values among the team members or between the two individuals. And because so much personal identity and emotions are tied up with one’s priorities and values, there are situations where a communication impasse remains. That’s when a higher order of “talking it out” is required and it usually involves some form of negotiation (see Fisher & Ury’s classic Getting to Yes for more on their “principled negotiation” as an example of the next order up of communication clarity). Without some version of negotiation, what I have seen is that, depending on the rigidity of each person’s stand, the only way to break the impasse is through the decision of someone in authority. It’s quick but not long lasting. The “agreement” reached usually falls apart fairly quickly from both parties.

What is the immediate and then long-term incentive for people to read your studies of how different workplace personalities interact and inhibit each other’s sense of progress? Will we make more money this way? Is it a pathway to more innovation? Career success?

So it’s the core question: What’s in it for me to invest in trying this stuff out? Here are the answers I share in my workshops:


  • Increased time efficiency (and decrease in related stress). How many of you have had the same conversation with the same person more than once? Not the best use of your time the third or fourth time around. How much stress is generated with each round of poor communication? Are you speaking their language from the very start?
  • Greater likelihood for innovation and creativity. Ideas get shared, explored, and considered when there are open lines of communication present. This includes both offering and soliciting ideas.
  • Decrease in “churning”, or that sense that one is working really hard and not making the commensurate progress.
  • Achieving results that stick. How many times do we think we got agreement in a meeting, only to find out later that the attendees are pursuing different agendas?


Speaking more broadly, what do you think it is about corporate culture or our culture in general that makes people feel comfortable with approaching work and solutions only through their own personality? I get the sense that the answer to this question is not as obvious as it appears.

What I have seen is that people, as individual contributors in organizations, are rewarded (praise, promotions, etc.) for getting things done and the way they get things done is their preferred way of doing things, which gets reinforced through these rewards. This is fine until they rise high enough in an organization where he/she needs to get things done through others and those others have a diversity of preferred ways of doing things. That’s when he/she needs some guide through the “mystery” of human communication.

Filed under: Influence, Work, , , , ,

Michael Dortch Is a Good Man, So Take His Surveys

If you take his surveys, and you are one of the people who offer the most respondents (the person whose network has the most clicks on the survey), he will make a donation to a charity.

Here is the email he sent around this morning:

I’m launching some research that I think will be highly interesting and valuable to a broad audience, and I need your help. I’m hoping this e-mail will convince you to help me, so please read on!

I am conducting research focused on what I’m calling online experience optimization (OEO) – everything necessary to deliver the best possible online experience to colleagues, customers, partners and prospects.

OEO touches every aspect of every type and size of company that does business online or plans to do so. Business stakeholders include advertising, marketing, public relations, sales, internal and external support teams and business performance decision makers, among others. Technologies involved range from Web site construction and management tools to content management systems, analytics tools and support for “the mobile, social cloud.”

I intend to produce multiple deliverables based on the results of this OEO research. Some will be published by Constellation Research, where I’m a Vice President and Principal Analyst. Some will be published at, a site that provides expert and user-generated advice, comparisons and reviews focused on technology solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). And some will find its way into analyses and blog posts at, and, of course,

So how can you help? To begin, I’ve prepared two brief surveys I’ve posted on SurveyMonkey. I’d appreciate it if you’d take them both, and then tell everyone you know about them. (Respondents can remain anonymous, but if they provide a name and a valid e-mail address, I’ll notify them personally as summary results become available, and enter them in a drawing for a free business or technology consultation with me!)

The first survey asks four basic questions business decision makers need to be able to answer to achieve OEO. The link to that survey: .

The other asks respondents which company do they think offers the best overall online experience, and how their own companies compare to that company. The link to that survey: .

As further inducement to you, I’ll make a donation to the favorite charity of the person or company who provides the most referred respondents to each or both. (Make sure your referrals tell me who referred them in the last question!)

I think OEO is going to be a “next big thing” in business and business technologies, and I’d greatly appreciate your help with my research, as well as any ideas, questions, connections or suggestions you’d care to share. Thanks so much for your time and your help!

Michael Dortch

Filed under: Influence, Tech, , , , ,

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