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4 Steps to Create Transformational Change – Via the “Old World Order”

I am ‘cheating’ and giving you the top 4 things right now, right up front. You may be able to make sense of them and move to the next blog. So, in respect for your time, here they are: Top 4 Things to Consider NOW: First, do you even KNOW who you are as a company? What’s your identity and what do you stand for? That’s the vision part. Second, who are your customers and your employees? That’s the empathy part. Third, what new stuff are you bringing to the world’s table that creates a place that sells and makes it better? That’s the innovation and the courage part. Fourth, what steps are you taking once you do get it “all together”? Did you communicate, train and set in stone your transformational action steps. If not, get to it! Now, to the “lay-up”: “When you have good musicians, you don’t have to say anything… When you DON’T have good musicians, you can’t say anything.” Cab Calloway¸ circa 1930’s.. How is your company doing? Great, you say! Yeah, me too. I thought the same thing – my teams are as productive and happy as they can possibly be and that the [...]

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My Top 5 Things to Consider in Transformational Change

Now that the New Year has kicked off beautifully, with economic factors looking up and the recession’s business challenges beginning to erode, what’s on the stage for this evolving economy, this changing world? Are you ready for it? Here are my TOP 5 things to consider when managing change.  After all, you know there will be change, but will it be ‘change for change sake’ – or transformational change, which is change for YOUR sake? Perform a Leadership Check – How are your leaders positioned for change? You should assess their change readiness, skills and drive for making change happen   Be Proactive vs. Reactive – Have you researched your market and events well enough? What have you anticipated to happen and how will you plan for it, rather than react to it?   Assess Company Readiness – What’s your company’s culture and attitude towards change? Is it equipped with capability, resources and human capital to handle what you anticipate?   Design Good Metrics – Are you measuring the growth and effectiveness of your plan? What metrics and accountability standards do you have in place to stay on track?   Perform a Client Perspective Check – Did you consider customer/clients [...]

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What’s The Opposite Value to Success? Why Your Worst Customer is Your Best.

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Psychologists like to play word association games. A popular one is when they ask you to identify a word that is the opposite of the word just mentioned. So, quickly, what comes to mind when I say Success?  Huh? What’s that? You say it is failure? Sounds plausible, but I would argue it’s complacency. Yup, you heard it. To get to success you must take action. The result of inaction, or complacency, denies success. Think about it, failure isn’t always connected to ‘success’ in a negative way, is it? Really? Consider that it’s failure that led to the successes of our current, technological society! Think of Henry Ford or Thomas Edison and ask yourself how many times they failed? If they hadn’t failed we wouldn’t be enjoying the business climate that exists today. So, that leaves complacency as I define it: the lack of change, or not trying to better oneself, or not moving towards a goal. That attitude will never lead to success and is the polar opposite toward growth. Leaders recognize this, write about it in intelligent blogs and white papers, and some take action to deny complacency. One CEO in the UK is famous for having club [...]

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The “New Normal?” – What Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin Can Teach You About Accepting Change

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  Shhhh… Can you hear it? It’s the moment of huge change about to occur. It’s here….. Again. As buzzwords and catch phrases fly around the nation today, from “the New Normal” to “Real Change”, the 800 pound gorilla in the room right now is that it’s election day. Blogsters across the country are doing one of two things: ignoring the gorilla and writing about their passions, or they are doing like I am, shaking hands with the gorilla and writing about  what we can learn from this event. Yes, I want to talk about the change that punctuates this point of political trajectory – our national election which is the juncture between the past and the future – with this present day deciding that path. What’s true about this election is that roughly 50% of the voters will be unhappy. It’s a close one and regardless of the final percentage spread that happens in the popular vote, some folks will be disappointed. Taking the lessons from a few good leaders can help you with the post election stress syndrome (PESS, a cousin of PTSD) you may find yourself dealing with. Here’s what King, Lincoln and Darwin all knew: “Change [...]

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The Secret to Making Your Life Happy – What Boa Constrictors, Kids and the Wizard of Oz Can Teach Us

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It’s a holiday where we can all pretend without recrimination or judgment, even as adults. How fun is that? I am of course speaking about Halloween. Recently I found myself happily in the thick of it at a really cool Halloween party amongst some pretty dramatic costumes; from Dracula to drag queen, it was the mother lode of creativity! It was there that I realized the ‘secret to making everything happy’. Amidst the glitterati and gore, I spied a couple who appeared rather ‘normal’ in their costumes. He was wearing what I considered a purposefully banal tie, a business suit, wingtips and horn rimmed glasses. She was wearing an office suit and ‘kitten heel’ shoes with pulled back hair in a bun. Nothing special, in fact, both outfits screamed “mainstream work America”. What was odd, to say the least, was that her neck sported a plastic collar molded to look like a metal yoke. It had a plastic ‘metal’ chain which was attached to her partner’s hand in the form of a handcuff. Yeah, I would say that’s pretty unusual and my mind went wandering/wondering about what this couple’s story was. So, I asked about their ‘get up’. He was [...]

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How to Stay in the Job Game and Still Take Care of You

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Did you hear that? It’s the sound of the two “C’s” of cooperation and compassion clinking into the other two established and revered “C’s” of competition and capitalism, trying to earn their place on the world’s business plate.  This is not a new trend and it’s happening globally albeit under cover, but it’s not universally welcome here in the US. Regardless, in certain circles this trend is now being blogged, written and spoken about on the web, in communities, at banks, in Board rooms, Keynote speeches, at TED conferences, everywhere. The message: to be successful as a business consider more how to create AND sustain a better bottom line by caring about your employees, the planet, your community by enveloping these precepts into your business model. It’s true – there’s that vision of being a ‘kinder, gentler, more human economic system and market place – and then there’s the reality. Especially felt at the individual, human level, reality makes the vision much more difficult to enact. As employees, CEO’s, entrepreneurs and people, we have not been quite as successful in adding the ‘human element’ to our workday; I believe that’s because we are concerned about remaining competitive and keeping our [...]

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