Category Archives: Improve / Turnaround

Let’s Be Scientific

As leaders, we are required to constantly evaluate evidence and make decisions.  In doing so, we often succumb to “winging it” and making decisions on the fly, trusting our gut.  While this might work for some decisions, it does not … Continue reading

Posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Field Centric

As leaders, we can get wrapped up in so many different activities and meetings – meeting with the finance, human resources or marketing department; talking to investors, banks and insurance companies; strategic planning; looking at acquisition candidates or joint venture … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make Molehills

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” Unfortunately, too many leaders ignore this wise advice.  Instead, every minor issue becomes a major problem that needs to be addressed and resolved now. Why? Leaders make mountains out of molehills for … Continue reading

Posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround, Leadership | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Seek Out the ‘Useful Answer’

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”  Dalai Lama In my company, as in many others, we have a formal system to review work that we have done.  Whether called post-project reviews, re-caps, or post-mortems, these reviews give the people … Continue reading

Posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The First Two Steps in Process Improvement

Most process improvement initiatives fail miserably.  First, they do not improve the processes they were supposed to improve.  Second, they waste managerial and employee time, effort and attention.  Or, third, the process may be improved; but this improvement does not … Continue reading

Posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Top Three Things to Do Today to Be a Better Leader

To build a better business, we need to be better leaders.  This does not mean we need to rush out and get more training or education or bring in a consultant (absolutely not!!).  Instead, we need to focus on the … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What To Think About

Studies from social psychologists have concluded that the media (contrary to common opinion) is not effective at changing how we think.  Instead, it is quite effective in determining what we think about. As leaders, it can be helpful to focus … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Team / People | Tagged | Leave a comment

Use the ‘Base Rate’ for Better Decisions

The IT project took twice as long as planned.  The construction project to expand the plant went over budget. Why does this always happen? Too many decisions are made with too much self-confidence and too much optimism.  As a result, … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Personal Success | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

10 Fundamentals of Continuous Improvement

When continuous improvement is a fundamental part of our company culture, our business gets better every day and will soon out-run and out-perform the competition.  Over 100 years ago, Henry Ford wrote: The competitor to be feared is the one … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged | Leave a comment

Crisis Leadership

As I write this blog, we are in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Each day brings changes to how and where we can conduct business; we have little visibility into what the next month, three months, or six months … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

To Improve Our Meetings, We Need to Do Our Homework

The consultant, Stan Sipes, once commented: “The most common weakness I see in organizations is the lack of work that is done in a meeting.”  Today, more than ever, so little work is done in meetings because no one has … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Survival of the Fittest and Leadership Flexibility

Hawaiians and other Polynesians are the descendants of peoples who traveled by boat from East Asia to settle their islands.  Those most likely to survive the long and arduous journey were those with “thrifty genes”.  They were those ancestors who … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Ways To Do Training Right

In corporate America, approximately $100 billion is spent each year on training.  Yet, many studies show that training is only 10% – 15% effective.  As Harvard Business School Professor Michael Beer writes, this is… the great training robbery Yet, training … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution, Team / People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Communicate in One Page

Idea Summary To run our businesses more effectively, most documents and reports in our businesses (including summaries, plans, reviews, and analysis) should be kept to one page.   Perspective Businesses are awash in information, specifically reports, analysis, weekly updates or … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Experiment… A Little

To move our companies forward, we need to experiment.  We need to try out new products, new sales/ marketing strategies, new processes, and new leadership styles.  We cannot be certain if all of these will work.  But, to not experiment … Continue reading

Posted in Growth and Strategy, Improve / Turnaround, Sales and Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Avoiding Micromanagement

Guilty as charged!!  I confess that I do, at times, micromanage. However, soon after slipping into micromanagement, I become aware (yet again) that micromanagement is truly just mis-management.  It would have been far better for me to avoid the trap … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Checklists

Several years ago, a medical surgeon, Atul Gawande, wrote a best-selling book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that discusses the advantages of using checklists in all types of activities from surgery to disaster recovery to business. As … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution, Sales and Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leading When Overwhelmed

It happens to all of us. A direct report either gets promoted, quits or gets fired, and we have to manage his or her direct reports in addition to all of our other duties. We are assigned to a special … Continue reading

Posted in Improve / Turnaround, Leadership, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Think Twice and Do Once

Every Do-It-Yourselfer knows the carpenter’s advice: Measure twice cut once.  In successful businesses, a similar recommendation holds true: Think twice and do once. To so many of us, immediate action appears to be essential: We are just doing it! We … Continue reading

Posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Communicate Upward

As managers, we need to encourage each of our employees to keep us informed about what is really going on in our companies, both the good and the bad.  We need to be kept in the loop about the larger … Continue reading

Posted in Communication, Improve / Turnaround, Team / People | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment