Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bill (William E.) Gates on professionalism

Earlier today, Bill (William E.) Gates of Midnight Engineering fame spoke to the 2007 EntConnect conference about professionalism. In the past he has spoken at length about personal productivity, but has now become much more interested in professionalism, in particularly how it has been "leaking out."

He asks us what the marks of a professional are, or how we define professionalism.

He gave an example of a service employee who acted in a very professional manner, but shortly later he encountered that employee delivering bad service. So, maybe professionalism is something transient.

The discussion with conference participants centered on service and how good service really sets a business (or employee) apart from service that is merely predictable but not helpful in solving problems.

A counter example is McDonald's where you get what you expect even though the service is very predictable and quite bland.

Someone gave an example of thousands of employees being layed off to be replaced with lower-cost employees since the existing employees are not being productive enough relative to their cost.

Time to run to lunch.

-- Jack Krupansky


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