Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Beliefs’ Category

c-at21.jpg
Uploaded by Kevin Steele

If you ever do strategy or planning sessions, here’s something you always run into.  If I ask something like, “on average, how long does it take new salespeople to get up to speed?”  Some people will think through their experience, maybe even look at some data and give it their best shot.

Others will answer, “it depends.”  They will come up with all sorts of variables that make it impossible to even take an educated guess.  In fact, they will refuse to take a wild guess. 

When this happens, I’m always reminded by the joke they told during the Clinton/Dole election.  Clinton had been asked by MTV about whether he wore boxers or briefs.  The joke was they asked Bob Dole if he wore boxes or brief…he replied…Depends.

Anyway, the depends answer is what I call in the box thinking.  In some way, people are either resistant to answering with their best guess or they are simply paralyzed by all the possible answers. 

I hear a lot in the education world about how every student is unique and different and every teacher is unique and different so you really can’t do anything that tries to reduce that variability or learn from best practices.  In many cases, this resistance is a resistance to change…so the status quo continues. 

Read Full Post »

coach.jpgUploaded by mdt1960

In business you here terms like coaching, mentoring or even a buddy program tossed around and used interchangeably.  I like to look at these as three separate things that have a unique role and value.  Here’s how I define them.  A coach is someone who works with you to improve your performance.  This is what the coach is paid for.  This is often but not always the individuals direct supervisor or boss.

A mentor is someone who guides you through different situations sharing insights.  A mentor wants you to do well but isn’t paid to help you.  What and how a mentor works with you is negotiated and not mandated.  With this definition, it’s easy to see how you could benefit from both a coach and a mentor.  A professional golfer will have a coach who is paid to work with the individual someone like a Butch Harmon.  They have specific expertise and a well defined role to play.  On the other hand they might have a mentor who has been on the tour a while and can help them with things like how to manage all the different facets of tour life. 

A buddy on the other hand is a peer who usually is going through want you’re going through.  They have a different perspective than a coach or mentor.  This is a person with whom you can share and discuss experiences. 

So instead of decided which one is best, I find it works best to find a way to have all three.  If you’re building an onboarding process, this is an important part.

Read Full Post »

Vince McMahon Vince McMahon,
originally uploaded by dwyatt1.

How many times do you see politicians with low approval ratings? They don’t seem to have a clue on how to turn things around. Here is the guy I think they all could learn from Vince McMahon. He can turn a bad guy to a good guy and back again in less than 5 minutes.

It’s a simple formula to go from bad guy to good guy you need to come to the aid of someone everyone likes. To go from a good guy to a bad guy you have to turn your back on your friends. However, to make all this happen in front of millions of people takes a master.

So if you’re candidate is in the dumps with high disapproval numbers, forget the political pundits and call Vince McMahon.

Read Full Post »

.Gene Simmons Interview 

Gene Simmons Interview,
originally uploaded by BAMCAT.

Maybe I need to stop watching celebrity apprentice but it brought to mind an age old agrument about the value of talent versus the value of team. (While there is no “I” in team, there is “Me” and “Meat.”

Okay, so here’s the point. In the last episode, the two teams had to make a commercial. One team did the typical team brainstorming and trying to work as a team. The other team was taken over by Gene Simmons and Steven Baldwin who convinced the others that they had 20 years experience in the field and that the others should go back to the room and relax. Guess what? Talent won over team.

Companies often use golf and a scamble format to show how four people working together can accomplish great things. But how would any scamble team ever put together do against Tiger Woods if you let him have the same number of tries? (Your team of 4 versus Tiger with 4 balls.)

In basketball where they try to match up talent in various positions, how would a typical team do against 5 Michael Jordans in his prime?

While there is synergy in teamwork, I think we sometimes miss the boat when we don’t see the power in the individual.

Read Full Post »

I was just reading this polling results from Gallup on how happy Americans are.  Apparently we’re a very happy lot.  It said 8 in 10 are satisified with their life and a clear majority were very satisfied.  The trend line actually has been going up over the last several year. 

The survey has some interesting breakdowns by various groups.  But just about every group is happy.  In the survey they talk about both satisfaction and happiness.  So when you turn on the news or read a rant on a blog, keep in mind that those reports are the exception.  I guess maybe the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket.

Read Full Post »

I’ve worked in more than a hundred different companies and they all do seem to have a unique “corporate culture.”  Actually it’s more like a corporate personality which is a hard thing to change.  There are rules, norms and values driven from the top but there are also a lot of informal things that connect people. 

 It’s interesting to see how a company like GE has created a change culture that is embedded in just about everything they do.  I was facinated about how DuPont carried over a saftey culture from the early 1800s.  And I liked how Disney approached everything as a stage show. 

I’d be interested in your stories about corporate culture.

Read Full Post »

The answer, I have no idea.  But what would Christmas be without a little Christmas story from Larry the Cable Guy.  Comments and holiday wishes are welcome.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »