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A Comparative Study of the Effectiveness of Different Doughnut Types in Maximizing the Impact of Business Presentations

14 Sep

Readers of The Management Secrets of T. John Dick will be aware of the many benefits of having done so. Foremost among these, of course, is membership in a very exclusive club. Lesser authors might be frustrated by such a relatively small readership, but I judge success by quality, not quantity, and by that criterion my work has been a triumph. Frankly, I wouldn’t want just anybody reading my books, and in this I have been spectacularly successful. I hope you feel special. You certainly should.

But there are other benefits too. The insights and tips contained in The Management Secrets of T. John Dick have been invaluable to readers in managing their business and personal lives. They range from the benefits of applying the latest management principles to your marriage (you’re welcome ladies) to the appropriate way to respond to customers’ promises to set their dogs on you if you ever come near them again. But perhaps the single most important piece of expert advice in a book that is practically bursting its binding with pieces of expert advice is this: if you want to be taken seriously, always be sure to serve doughnuts at your meetings. Well, not you personally of course – have someone set them out on a table before the meeting. This will emphasize your position in the office hierarchy. After all, not everyone has the authority to provide doughnuts at their meetings.

You will understand then why I was intrigued to read this article from the BBC, concerning idiosyncracies of the British workplace. Most of the article deals with the importance of serving tea. Disappointingly there was no mention of doughnuts and I began to wonder how (or if) British business manages to function at all.  Then, amongst all the woolly feelgood nonsense concerning office camaraderie, I cam across this gem:

“A study by biscuit baker, Thomas J Fudges, of 2,000 British workers, revealed one in four would be more likely to close a deal in a meeting because of the biscuits provided, with shortbread, chocolate bourbons and flapjacks all likely to win a favourable reaction.”

This is pretty powerful stuff. It leads me to believe that a comparable study should be carried out on this side of the Atlantic. Several executives of equivalent experience and presentation skills could lead meetings identical in every respect with the exception of the types of doughnuts provided to the attendees. Would an executive with powdered cinnamon doughnuts command more respect than his plain doughnutted rival? Would an executive who served a wide variety of doughnuts be viewed as someone able to see the big picture or simply as  indecisive? Would a presenter who served glazed raspberry filled doughnuts find his audience’s attention distracted by the concentration required to eat said doughnuts without dribbling on their ties? Would he find his own concentration impaired by the sight of raspberry jelly on his listeners’ chins? Perhaps most importantly of all, which variety of doughnuts takes the longest to eat and is consequently most effective in preventing listeners from asking awkward questions?

I’m not sure if the editors of the Harvard Business Review have read The Management Secrets of T. John Dick or follow my blog. Frankly, I’m not sure if they would meet the stringent qualifications I mentioned above. But if they happen to be part of my exclusive readership, then I think the least they could do would be to offer to publish the results of this research, if I ever get around to conducting it. Maybe if I offered them a nice cup of tea and a chocolate bourbon?


Are you a T. John Dick?

11 Aug
TJpic2Which character in the T. John Dick books do you most resemble?

Take our fun quiz and find out if you have what it takes to be a top executive who thinks outside the box and focuses on the big picture. Or are you merely mediocre middle management  material? Or a complete loser, fit only for a position in Human Resources? You won’t know until you …

take the quiz

Show Dad what you think of him

19 May

It’s Father’s Day on June 16th, and what better way to show your dad exactly what you think of him than by the gift of his very own copy of “The Management Secrets of T. John Dick” or “The Rise and Fall of T. John Dick?” Or both.

Laughing BuffoonMany dads work in an office, or have done in the past, or know someone who once did. Or they may have visited an office at some time in their life. All compelling reasons to believe that your gift will soon have him chuckling away contentedly and so engrossed in the story that he will turn down your invitation to take him out for dinner, thus saving you valuable dollars. That’s right – buying this book for your old man will actually save you money

Love is priceless, of course, but my books are not. Conscious that the going rate for displays of filial affection is somewhere between eight and ten dollars, the moneygrubbers over at Mainland Press are offering a $2 per book discount until Father’s Day. That is on top of the existing 20% discount and free shipping by US mail, so it’s a heck of a deal. If you’re not convinced, a quick look at the figures should do the trick. You can convey $12.95 of esteem in the form of “The Management Secrets of T. John Dick” for only $8.36, or cheer up the old codger with a copy of “The Rise and Fall of T. John Dick” with a price of $13.95 proudly displayed on the cover. Only you will know that it only cost $9.16.

To take advantage of this offer, just go to the “Books” section of this website and click on the link to add your chosen volume(s) to your cart. At checkout, enter the coupon code “TJ for Dad.”

There’s only one condition. You have to promise the book is really for Dad. No cheating now.

A little workplace humor

16 Jan

The following joke was sent to me by a reader known only as Commander Zippy.

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below.
She descended a bit more and shouted: “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.”

The man below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”

“You must be an Engineer”, said the balloonist.

“I am”, replied the man, “how did you know?”

“Well”, answered the balloonist, “everything you have told me is probably technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip by your talk”.

The man below responded, “You must be in Management”.

“I am”, replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well”, said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my f*!*king fault.”

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