Checklists Provide Consistency and Creativity

Making a checklist or written guidelines takes time and effort initially. Some people feel that structure stifles their creativity and spontaneity.  Too much "micro-structure" like micro-managing can be counter productive. Running a business without checklists and guidelines is inefficient.  People spend valuable mental energy thinking about the next step instead of executing pre-thought-out steps.  Good […]

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A Fun Place to Work Is Good for Business

Fortune's 2007 list of "100 Best Companies to Work For" ranks Google #1. Fortune asks "Is the stock value at $478 [as of April 26, 2007] because Google is a great place to work or is it a great place to work because the stock is at $478?" Maybe it's not either/or but both/and. Happy […]

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High Accountability in a Blameless Culture

A top priority for any business is organizational performance.  It’s not enough to develop and communicate strategies throughout the company. Strategies and goals must be executed.  In 2004 Ernst & Young reported that “66% of corporate strategies are not implemented.” Organizations that have a culture of accountability produce better results. When people at all levels […]

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Simple, Small Strategies for Success

Is God or the Devil lurking in the details (small strategies)? The small strategies are critically important to your enterprise. Many of us get so caught up in the big important things we neglect the little things until they show up at the worst possible time to bite us in the worst possible place. What […]

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Maximize Employee Strengths to Maximize Your Results

You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Even the exquisite, highly prized orchid is a weed when it is growing in a corn field.  Weeds are flowers growing in the wrong place. How many companies unknowingly place employees in the wrong role and expect them to excel and win for the company?  […]

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Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13 crew experienced a sharp bang and a vibration followed by warning lights. "Houston, we've had a problem," reported Jack Swigert to NASA ground control. About 200,000 miles from Earth, oxygen tank #2 had exploded and caused tank #1 to fail, leaving astronauts Swigert, Lovell and Haise without the normal […]

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Breaking the Spell of Mediocrity

The old Scottish prayer ”From ghosties and ghoulies and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, good Lord deliver us” is a petition for protection. In our complex world today, mediocrity and status-quo are what go bump in the night. These are the ghosties and ghoulies in today’s world. How recently […]

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Leading Is a Hard Hat Zone

Steel toe shoes, goggles and hard hats are standard equipment for a construction site -- a place where change visibly occurs. Whether a new structure emerges from ideas on a blue print or an historic cotton mill is transformed into luxury living space, change is occurring.  New construction or redevelopment can be a dangerous place […]

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Building Companies and Cathedrals

It takes a long time to build a cathedral. In the middle ages it took hundreds of years and multi generations of masons, plumbers, carpenters, artists and other artisans to complete a cathedral. It took eighty-three years to build our own National Cathedral in Washington, DC…and this in modern times.  The architect and craftsmen who […]

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Defining Leadership

Have you stopped lately to consider the characteristics of leaders? We hear "she's a real leader" or "he gives this company the leadership it needs." What is leadership? Everyone reading this has a unique definition of leadership. In my work with business leaders, I concluded leaders have these traits in good measure: --VISION: believing in […]

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