Sensationalism and outrage hurt productivity and generate bad feelings. The provocation may be our unprecedented political situation or internal decisions that suddenly become unnecessarily difficult. Let me give you a simple, unemotional example. (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…)
If you’ve read many of my newsletters and other publications, you know I stand for respect, fairness, listening, and finding common ground. Perhaps you remember the article where I wrote that 95% of conflict is caused by a lack of clarity. And maybe you wondered about the other 5%. (more…)
Want to make me cringe and grimace? Ask me to attend an “informational” meeting. These are those anti-productivity meetings that invite everyone to talk. Without any particular purpose! They invoke the worst of all Treadmill Verbs™: inform. Inform, like all Treadmill Verbs™, has no destination. You can inform forever. There is no way to know when you are done! (more…)
If you make decisions by consensus, you waste a lot of time. But if you make decisions without sufficient involvement, you won’t gain the cooperation and commitment you need for subsequent steps and successful implementation. How do naturally clear leaders thread this needle? They consciously, or intuitively, follow these seven rules: (more…)
The California State University system is very lean in comparison to other university systems. Our staff is tasked with multiple responsibilities and cannot waste a second in order to deliver our mission to our 500,000 students. Ann Latham provides an opportunity to our employees through her three breakthrough dimensions of productivity and met our needs to help reduce wasted time. Ann is a fantastic presenter and ‘walks the walk” by facilitating her content to our audience in the one hour restriction we had available for our broadcast. We received great feedback after her presentation and many request to view the recording which proved her value. Thank you, Ann, for your succinct collaboration.
Sr. Director, Systemwide Professional Development, California State University