Of fonts, film and (rugby) football

As someone whose walls are decorated with a fair amount of typography and calligraphy (an abiding interest from my wife’s days as an art student) I was interested to see the furore generated by IKEA’s decision to change its catalogue font from Futura to the more screen-friendly Verdana. Is this just an issue for font-geeks or a massive erosion of the brand loyalty engendered over many years of superior flat-pack design and serving countless Swedish meatballs? Continue reading “Of fonts, film and (rugby) football”

Don’t leave me this way: switching mobile networks

j0422787.jpgHaving been happily married for many years I don’t really remember my last relationship break-up – and it’s probably fair to say that any notions I have are informed by films, plays or books (or the Archers come to think of it). However I had a reminder of what it might have been like following a recent break-up with O2. Paraphrasing somewhat, it went a bit like this: Continue reading “Don’t leave me this way: switching mobile networks”

In praise of improvisation, comedy and Wallaby Lacrosse

Lacrosse sticks optionalI make no apologies for a second post on the joys of improvisation – this time inspired by seeing the Comedy Store Players (featuring Paul Merton) in an evening of hilarious improvised comedy at my local theatre last weekend.  For readers unfamiliar with the improv approach, the audience supplies the source material by suggesting film or theatre styles, character names, locations, jobs and so on. It’s then up to the performers to improvise from that starting point. It’s hard to convey the results of this without making it sound ridiculous – which it is – so I won’t attempt to. (Since it’s played for laughs the ridiculousness is all part of the equation anyway.) Continue reading “In praise of improvisation, comedy and Wallaby Lacrosse”

Better late than never – the 2008 Open Chord awards!

Happy New Year - it’s the best of last year!I’ve spent a large chunk of the holiday season reading the papers and they’re chock full of articles looking back at 2008 and looking forward to 2009. Depending on how grouchy I’m feeling it’s either a neat bit of recycling or plain lazy journalism. Whatever, this year I’m not going to be left out and so I’m proud present the first annual Open Chord Awards for superior customer service.
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In praise of improvisation

It’s about discovering that inner child…I was going to write a post on customer service in a recession but then I got distracted by a great article on improvised theatre posted on Innovation Tools. It made me realise that my original impulse – to post a piece on the recently-ended London Jazz Festival was the best one to go for as both the article and my experiences at the festival were inspirational and, yes, they do provide useful lessons for customer service.

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Could you stop using e-mail?

E-mail - consigned to the dustbin of history?Just back from a great evening of stimulating conversation about the pros and cons of e-mail at a Knowledge Cafe organised by knowledge consultant David Gurteen. Luis Suarez of IBM kicked off the evening by proposing that e-mail was a very poor tool for collaboration and there were more productive ways of communicating. Luis has not used e-mail for around 8 months now and seems all the happier for it. Through talking to a range of interesting people – the Cafe is structured Continue reading “Could you stop using e-mail?”

Novotel: superior service in Ipswich

Blatant advertising but they deserve itSometimes I think it’s best to leave reviewing a good customer experience for  few weeks to see if it stays with you for a period of time. The test of a superior service is that when you think back to the experience you get the same positive emotional reaction that you got the first time. So that – combined with a busy schedule recently – is my excuse for not posting an immediately positive reaction to the Novotel in Ipswich.

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