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Change Growth Life Purpose Values

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

In 2014, CVS pharmacies in the United States decided to stop selling tobacco. It was a bold move that initially cost them a lot of sales but gave the brand a boost in awareness and public empathy. It may have taken them long to offset this revenue decrease, but they recovered much faster than expected.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Learning Reflection Strategy Transformation

The Great Pause. How to reinvent yourself.

It’s May 2020. The city is completely deserted. I’ve been unable to take such beautiful pictures of Prague since I first visited it in 1995, and tourism was significantly less than it is today.

It’s a bizarre dual feeling. 

From one perspective, the joy of the silence, the empty streets, and the city’s beauty in the sun.… Read the rest

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Change Communication Engagement Leadership Vision

How to earn the buy-in of your people

You know something needs to change. You’re giving it all your efforts. 

The blood, sweat, and tears you put into this project must be successful for your company to survive.

But nobody is moving.

The results worsen. People are demotivated, overstretched, and beginning to burn out.

Some are leaving. Who? Those you will miss most?… Read the rest

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Change Culture Growth Leadership

If you look back, you’ll soon be going that way

“If you look back, you’ll soon be going that way.”

That was the text I received on my modern crafted, but traditional fortune cookie during our dinner in a Balinese restaurant.

I hadn’t seen a fortune cookie since our days in the US and didn’t realize they were still a thing.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Design Disruption Strategy Transformation

Creating Organizational Pain

Are you repairing your roof when the sun is shining or when the water leaks into your house because of heavy rain?

Blockbuster video never ‘repaired its roof’ when the sun was shining. It was already far too late when Netflix showed up and started to disrupt Blockbuster’s business model.

We’re all human beings, and humans build and lead organizations.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Design Leadership Reflection

Hate the game. Not the player.

I listened recently to a podcast where high-net-worth individuals and tax-avoiding companies were the subjects of the discussion.

Or perhaps the subject of their rage is a better expression of the dynamics of the conversation.

Then a politician, known for progressive and more left of the political spectrum beliefs, joined the conversation.… Read the rest

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Beliefs Change Curiosity Fear Mindset

Beware of sharks.

What thoughts, images, or feelings pop into your head when I say the word shark to you?

Likely, the connotation you have with sharks is not that positive.

For some of you, the movie Jaws may come to mind. A movie about a shark causing death and destruction. 

We also know stories about human beings being attacked by sharks close to beaches resulting in death or body parts lost in the attacks.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Change Humanity Life Purpose

Discover the method to my madness

We’re all a bit mad.

Acting as if the things we’re engaged in in our lives are all cleverly thought through.

Acting as if we know exactly what we’re doing. 

We’re not. 

Most of our lives is made up. 

Money is made up. Democracy is made up. The recipe for your dinner is made up.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Conversations Dialogue Leadership Reflection

Old School

What do you do with milk that has expired? 

What do you do with clothes that are no longer in fashion? 

What do you do with beliefs that no longer fit in modern times?

Recently I heard the term ‘old school’ again from two different sources within two days.

It had been a while since I heard the term, so it triggered a reaction. … Read the rest

Categories
Change Choices Leadership Mindset Vision

Causing pain

Sometimes you must create deliberate pain to get something you want to do in motion.

I remember vividly a conversation with my mentor Joyce who often talked about CEOs having to create organizational pain once in a while to shake things up.

When things are becoming complacent, and they often do, you need to create pain.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Choices Helping others Purpose Self awareness

Climbing down the ladder

The only way is up.

Until it’s not.

From the moment we’re born, our eyes are focused upwards unless we’re lying on our belly.

Our age goes up. Our length goes up. Our weight goes up. At school, grades our counting upward (in most countries).

With our first job, our income goes up.… Read the rest

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Change Communication Culture Leadership Self awareness

Fishy smell

“A fish stinks from the head.”

Rumi

Rumi, a Turkish poet who lived towards the end of the 13th century, wrote “The Third Book of Masnavi,” where the phrase appears as follows: “Fish begins to stink at the head, not the tail.”

We often hear this quote in a business environment.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and it basically means that when problems arise in a business, it makes sense to look at the top of the company first.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Culture Transformation Values

Culture Transformation? Yeah right!

Most leaders have no clue about culture.

No clue. Nada. Nic (Czech). Nothing.

Oh yes, they talk about culture. They convey a belief that they actually don’t understand, but they don’t.

In fact,

Those leaders that talk most about culture probably understand the least.

It’s all talking but no action.

The leaders I know who are good at culture transformation do quietly what needs to get done.… Read the rest

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Change Choices Courage Freedom Purpose

Listen carefully! Don’t respond!

“Listen carefully!” 

“Just like in communism, I can only talk to you and give you commands and information. You can’t reply or talk back. The good old times.”

Berlin tour guide

I think it still works in many companies precisely that way (remember Elon Musk), which is another sad story in itself.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Discipline Growth Mindset Performance

You’re not a tree

“If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree.”

Jim Rohn

I took a liking recently to the quotes from Jim Rohn. At the risk of offending someone, I had never heard of Jim until a few months ago.

Thanks to the algorithm of Instagram, one of his quotes showed up, which was enough reason to do a little more research.… Read the rest

Categories
Asking Questions Change Coaching Dialogue Learning

Change starts with a conversation

I’m a certified facilitator in Fierce Conversations.

That’s not a joke.

If you thought it was, you’re probably wondering why something like training in conversations exists in the first place.

Well …

Because many of us do not know how to have a skillful conversation.

We don’t listen well.

We don’t articulate well.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Learning Mindset Self awareness

Why change always comes from within

Steve Jobs ended his famous Stanford Commencement speech with this tip for the graduating students:

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Steve Jobs

My interpretation:

Always look for opportunities to make ‘things’ better, starting with yourself. Always be curious about yourself and the world around you.

Curiosity and change are the fun parts of being alive and growing as a human being and leader.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Courage Growth Self awareness Trust

Vulnerability is a differentiator.

What’s your first reaction when you see this headline?

When I read this quote last week, my brain went into a pirouette that would have won gold at the most recent Olympic Games.

Meaning that for me there are different twists to this quote with both positive and negative implications.

While the author’s intentions were positive, it’s easy to point at the downsides of demonstrating vulnerability as well.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Freedom Reflection Vision

Musings from a little coffee place

We have a little coffee place in the next village over that we like to go to. It’s small, authentic, has excellent coffee, the best cakes, and started selling fresh bread last year as well.

There’s only one of it. It serves its unique purpose to people in the village and those who like to walk or bike in the forest nearby.… Read the rest

Categories
Change Conflict Freedom Purpose

What the president of Ukraine is teaching us about purpose

Personally, I find it hard to write about general business and leadership topics while the world is up in arms.

I’m doing a pretty good job of remaining focused on what I need to be focused on, while it’s clear that many others are continuously following the news and the latest developments.… Read the rest