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Choices Culture Decision Making Strategy Thinking Transformation

How do you become an independent thinker?

“I don’t pay you to think; I pay you to execute.”—Retired CEO of Retail Chain.

From 2007 until 2011, I worked for a retail chain in the United States. The chain flourished during the nineties when it expanded aggressively, growing to over 1200 stores in a few years.

You can only grow with tens of stores per year when your operation is a perfectly oiled machine that executes flawlessly.… Read the rest

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Alignment Culture Leadership Self awareness Team effectiveness

Love what you do

There are eleven thousand business books written on an annual basis. That’s about thirty books per day. So, if you decide to write a business book to get rich and famous, you must be absolutely one hundred percent sure of what you’re doing and how to write that best seller.

Some people succeed.… 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

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Culture Dreams Human Resources Leadership Purpose Vision

Putting a man on the moon

During a visit to the NASA Space Center in 1962, President Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man, and said: “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy; what are you doing?” The janitor responded: “I’m helping put a man on the moon, Mr President.”

As we all know, Kennedy’s dream was to put the first human being on the moon.… Read the rest

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Behavior Culture Leadership Learning Mindset Qualities

Are you a spark?

To light a fire, you need a spark. 

To let a fire go out, you need to kill the oxygen. Or just stop feeding the fire with more supplies of wood. It will eventually dim and then die.

Some people are sparks. Some people suck oxygen. Some people are passive and do nothing.… Read the rest

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Culture Design Leadership Purpose Team effectiveness

Those good old silos. Seven tactics to make them go away.

Joyce, my brilliant Organizational Development mentor, often used the following quote when we talked about Organization Design:

“Every organization is perfectly designed for the results it gets. 

Joyce Wilson Sanford

In other words, if your results are below expectations, there’s a big chance your design is flawed.

And vice versa, when you’re doing great, your organization works for you.… 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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Change Culture Human Resources Impact Strategy

Corporate Considerations

I got some direct feedback recently that I was not always nice and nuanced for the corporate world. A world that has given me a lot in my life.

Both statements are true.

I’m grateful for my corporate time, and I’ve always said, ‘Never say never’ because I miss the team aspect of my work. … Read the rest

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Culture Curiosity Human Resources Performance Productivity

The trucks running through your head

Do you have, get, make time to think?

Or is your head mainly a six-lane highway full of traffic and trucks trying to make their way through day in and day out?

The highway metaphor and the cultural components from the book More Time to Think by Nancy Kline.

Proverbial highways with trucks that create a constant noise always seem distracting, preventing you from focusing. … Read the rest

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Beliefs Culture Execution Purpose Simplicity

Buzzword Bingo

What category do you belong to?

Are you a trendsetter or a follower when it comes to work-related innovation?

Were you one of the first to jump on the agile train, one of the last, or do you still have to start?

And what about building a hybrid workforce culture?

Early adopter, mainstream, or laggard?… 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

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Culture Execution Freedom Productivity Self awareness

Good busy

Last week I asked a business partner how he was doing. 

His answer was, ‘I’m good busy.’

I asked him what that meant.

He explained that he was almost always busy, ranging from extremely busy to good busy.

Good busy meant that work was not crazy but did not allow much thinking or reflection time.… Read the rest

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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 Culture Leadership Mindset

Let’s talk about work a little (more)

Or let’s debate about work a lot (less).

Wow. 

If you’re a curious person like I am and interested in the future of work, these are FANTASTIC times.

They’re so so so good that it’s worth adding them to my portfolio of services. I’m just unsure how to call the service and what the tagline would be.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Leadership Purpose

Motivation! How hard is it?

How do you motivate people?

I’m asking because I recently had a conversation about a hybrid work environment that turned into a conversation about motivation.

My opinion about a hybrid work environment is well documented, for example, in this post.

But if you dig a little deeper, we get to the topic of motivation. … Read the rest

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Culture Growth Mindset Values Vision

Growing Pains

Can a company grow too fast?

The answer to that question is yes, but many will struggle to provide me with that answer because they’ve never experienced it.

Only those who’ve gone through a period of excessive growth and had to deal with the consequences will answer the question with a yes.
Read the rest
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Culture Human Resources Purpose Reflection Self awareness

When people start quitting, you’re already too late!

Three immediate and crucial actions to stop the bleeding.

By now, you must be familiar with the term The Great Resignation.

The Covid pandemic has caused people en masse to leave their jobs looking for a different career. It was the crisis people needed to open their eyes and seek new opportunities.… Read the rest

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Belonging Culture Purpose

The truth about work

Many things in life are a transaction.

When you buy your coffee in the morning, get gas for your car, work out at a gym, or pay for a subscription to read your favorite newspaper online.

For many people, work is also a transaction. They’ve agreed to do a specific job for you, and you pay them for the job done.… Read the rest

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Culture Leading Self Mindset Productivity

How busy are you?

Interesting article by McKinsey last week with the following heading:

“If we’re all so busy, why isn’t anything getting done?”

Followed by the first paragraph:

“With endless meetings, constant emails, and casts of thousands, companies have mastered the art of unnecessary interactions. Winning in the next normal requires much more focus on true collaboration.”… Read the rest

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Change Culture Leadership Trust

Why the great resignation starts with you!

People leave managers, not companies.

Read that again.

People leave managers, not companies.

NB. The quote does not say: people leave leaders, not companies.

Leaders vs. Managers. A subtle difference with significant consequences.

People don’t leave true leaders.

This week, I was personally confronted with a few stories of people leaving companies because of their managers.… Read the rest