Cheat Sheet

How to speak business this month

Power(point) to the Customer

At 2 o'clock in the morning last November 15, Tom Farmer and Shane Atchison, two bleary-eyed consultants from Seattle, wanted one thing: to check into their rooms at the DoubleTree Club Hotel in Houston. Instead, they wound up igniting a grassroots customer revolution.

Denied their "guaranteed" rooms by Night Clerk Mike, the two travelers from the Web consultancy Zaaz created a masterful PowerPoint titled "Yours Is a Very Bad Hotel." It's now gone viral — which, says Farmer, "is ironic, considering what we do for a living."

Download the PowerPoint from the Web (

The New Dress Code

The history of corporate technology efforts is the story of a battle between techies ("T-shirts"), marketers ("Turtlenecks"), and business guys ("Ties" — aka "Suits"), according to Forrester Research chairman and CEO George Colony. Post-dotcom, Colony says, we need a new dress code. One step: T-shirts should stop being isolated, and "e should get the hell back into the alphabet and stop attaching itself to innocent nouns." For the complete style guide, visit the Web ( Marketing/0,1503,256,FF.html).

Neoteny: You Either Got It or You Don't

In their new book, Geeks and Geezers: How Era, Values, and Defining Moments Shape Leaders (Harvard Business School Press, August 2002), Warren Bennis and Robert J. Thomas coin a new word for old leaders: "neoteny." It means "the retention of youthful qualities by adults" and explains why geezers keep winning. The secret of senior leaders, it seems, isn't experience — it's a playful, fearless approach to new experiences.

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