Category Archives: Perform / Execution

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

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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

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Selling When We are Not in Sales

No matter what our title is, we are all salespeople.  Whenever we are trying to… persuade others lobby for our point of view satisfy a disgruntled customer ask for a raise… we are selling. Below I offer nine suggestions (from … Continue reading

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A Time For Everything

“We all have times when we think more effectively, and times when we should not be thinking at all.”  Daniel Cohen To be effective as leaders, we must do our good work in its proper time.  We need to be … Continue reading

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A Happy Company

The American Psychologist and Author, Martin Seligman, is a strong promoter of positive psychology and well-being.  His five-part recommendation for increased happiness and life satisfaction consists of: Positive Emotion Engagement Relationships Meaning Achievement This prescription (remembered with the acronym ‘PERMA’) … Continue reading

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Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds

Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds, written by Steve Casner, is an excellent discussion of safety in our lives, both at home and at work.  It is a straightforward read, and I highly recommend it.  Below I share … Continue reading

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Three Cheers for Foresight

To be successful, leaders need to develop and hone their business foresight.  Used effectively, foresight focuses our attention on the time and space between the immediate, day to day tactical execution and the long-term strategic vision and planning. Foresight in … Continue reading

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Avoid Fair Fights (But Fight Fair)

Whether we are competing in our core business, starting a new business venture, or looking to win a new, large job or project, we need to focus our energies on areas where we have a competitive advantage. We need to … Continue reading

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Flexibility

“Predictions are difficult – especially about the future.” This quote from Yogi Berra sums up the challenges we all face in today’s dynamic and fast-changing world. None of us has a crystal ball that allows us to predict the future … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Three Ways to Develop Strategic Thinking Skills

Strategic thinking skills differentiate middle-level managers from effective upper level leaders.  With excellent strategic thinking skills, the leader is able to make effective decisions that benefit their companies in both the short and long term. Developing strategic thinking skills requires … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Don’t Believe the Hype

“The world is changing faster than ever before.” “We need to adapt to the change or we will get run over by it.” “The paradigm has shifted and the world will never be the same.” “Robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will … Continue reading

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Decisiveness

“In a minute, there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” This line from the 1915 T.S. Elliot poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is a lovely bit of poetry.  It is also a … Continue reading

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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

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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

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