I have a new addiction. It started in August. It’s called pickleball. Have you heard of it? It’s the fastest growing sport in the country. And for good reason! (more…)
The biggest problem with the way organizations think about strategy is they confuse strategy with plans. They aren’t the same thing. Strategic planning is an oxymoron. It is also the reason why strategic planning often misses the mark and why I always work extra closely with prospective clients to clarify expectations before I even agree to work with them.
Let’s start with a definition (more…)
I am frequently asked about goal setting and how to know if expectations are reasonable. The norm these days is long To Do lists and insufficient time. Managers push their employees hard, but don’t know what constitutes pushing too hard. Employees are proud and eager to be valuable and appreciated, but they feel stressed, are running full tilt, and often work late and on weekends. So how can anyone know what is realistic?
There is only one way to be sure expectations are reasonable and that way usually fails.
Work should be challenging and satisfying. It should fire you up to accomplish as much as you can and give you that great feeling of having made a difference. Unfortunately, those feelings are too rare. Too many people feel overwhelmed and overloaded. They leave work each day feeling they didn’t accomplish enough. They suffer feelings of inadequacy and frustration. They question whether their employers are reasonable and fair. Some slip into victimhood, blame their employers, and abdicate responsibility for their own success and happiness.
Persistent feelings of inadequacy and unreasonable pressure are both destructive. They eat away at a person’s confidence and determination. The goal should be to leave work each day feeling good about what you have accomplished and ready to make more progress the next day. There is simply no value in feeling overwhelmed or unhappy with your day at work.
One question I hear frequently is, “How do we know what constitutes reasonable goals?” (more…)
I just finished reading survey responses about strategic priorities from a senior management team. The lack of consistency in their responses reminded of an experience I had on the island of Kerkennah off the coast of Tunisia. (more…)
Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs and theories. And it is the only way to explain how Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts can simultaneously be seen as breaking every Boy Scout rule and upholding the values of the Boy Scouts. We hear what we want to hear. Regardless of your own beliefs, you can’t listen to the daily and starkly opposing interpretations of every political news story and not be impressed with the incredible power of confirmation bias.
Of course, you might conclude that only the idiots on the opposite side of each issue are guilty of confirmation bias. You might be quite sure that your interpretation is the only rational and fact-based reaction. You’d be wrong. (more…)
Success and profits come from devoting resources to activities that create value for which customers are willing to pay and minimizing resources devoted to everything else. If you are serious about improving results, you need to take a good hard look at the time you and your employees spend on the following activities: (more…)
Clarity. If you’ve ever watched a lean assembly line, you’ve seen it. Or a busy short-order cafe. The line up process of a large well-run marathon. Even a Montessori classroom where thirty pre-schoolers excitedly and respectfully pursue as many as thirty independent activities. (more…)