Manual Why Your Company Must Have a Design Culture (FT Press Delivers Elements)

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The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. To qualify, a principle must be so overwhelmingly powerful that ordinary mortals—such as you or me—can reliable create ordinary results, not through personal brilliance, but just by following the principle carefully and with a modicum of common sense.

Internet traffic and was the first Internet IPO. From his unique vantage point, Case shares his playbook for the future in The Third Wave. Case believes we are now entering the Third Wave of the Internet. The First Wave was building the Internet. The Second Wave was building on top of the Internet.

And the Third Wave is integrating the Internet in seamless and pervasive ways throughout our lives. Leading on the Third Wave of the Internet. The Third Wave is about leveraging partnerships. Entrepreneurs of the Third Wave will spend a great deal of time focused on things other than tech as they work to connecting the Internet to everything else. It will be a matter of connecting ideas to create context.

They will reimagine our healthcare system and retool our education system.

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They will create products and services that make our food safer and our commute to work easier. We are entering a new phase of technological evolution, a phase where the Internet will be fully integrated into every part of our lives… As the third wave gains momentum, every industry leader in every economic sector is at risk of being disrupted. For example, education will be more personal, more individualized, and more data driven. The winners in the Third Wave will leverage technology and focus on great content, but also understand the importance of context and community.

Can You Work with Others? Your partnership skills may very well be the determining factor in the success or failure of your product. Partnerships help to bring credibility, momentum and a sense of inevitability. Can You Work with the Lawmakers? The government is a key force in the Third Wave. Third Wave entrepreneurs will need to figure out how to work with governments. It is not that success is impossible, but the odds make it a difficult bet.

Are You Adaptable? Of course perseverance is critical in nearly everything of any importance. But Third Wave entrepreneurs will need to have a special kind of perseverance in a changing world to manage tensions. It requires a fresh perspective and the ability to look a new paradigms without being burdened by legacy dogma.

While startups are businesses that can scale quickly and disrupt an existing category, small businesses are focused on steady growth in the long term. Indeed, it is not small businesses but new business startups that account for nearly all of the net new job creation in the United States. Collaboration is Key. If you want to go far in the Third Wave, you must go together.

W E SAY timing is everything. And it is. But most of the time it just seems like good luck. In When , Stuart Albert says that using the right tools we can become better at managing and deciding issues of timing. Good timing is a skill that can be acquired. They fail to include all the sequences, rates, shapes, punctuation marks, intervals, leads, lags, overlaps, and other time-related characteristics that are part of the temporal structure of everything that happens, every action that is taken, every plan that is implemented.

I had never thought of it that way. I was intrigued. Albert likens the structure of timing analysis to the structure of a musical score. There is a horizontal and a vertical dimension to it. Five horizontal—sequence, punctuation, interval, rate, and shape—and there is a vertical dimension—polyphony.

The way they come together in an organization gives us insight into timing. These patterns form the temporal architecture. Sequence refers to the order of events, like the notes in a melody. Temporal punctuation refers to the times when events or processes begin, pause, or come to an end. Interval and duration indicates how much time elapses between events and how long each event will last. Rate refers to how quickly events are happening.

Shape describes rhythms and other patterns such as cycles, feedback loops, peaks, and valleys. Polyphony is the questions the interrelationship between all things happening at the same time. We have to learn how to listen for the rhythm of what is going on, for its moments of tension or release, for moments when we must pause and change direction. Learning to view events in this manner will help us to spot opportunities first, execute on them well, and avoid costly mistakes. As of May , nobody has. This is a classic sequence inversion error, playing notes out of order—in effect putting the cart before the horse.

The first step should have been to attract the donor, who would help select the architect, and then become involved in the design of the building. In order to get the timing right Albert says we need to move beyond spheres and networks, boxes and arrows, trees and branches, and instead think in terms of a tall polyphonic musical score in which a large number of processes and events are playing at the same time.

Re-imagining the world as a polyphonic, polyrhythmic score shifts how we think about the causes and consequences of events. So, naturally, when we think about the consequences of our actions, we think in terms of a line, antecedents to the left, consequences—separated by some amount of time—to the right. When we say A causes B, we are focusing on the horizontal dimension of the score. We are focused on what comes before the cause and what comes after the effect. That is fine, but we should also be paying attention to what is going on vertically , to what must and must not go on at the same time.

When provides a more insightful way to look at events and the seven essential steps in a timing analysis. Timing issues are not always obvious but Albert helps us to know where to look and what to look for so we will be much more likely to get the timing right. I N Antifragile , Nassim Nicholas Taleb reports on things that are fragile and things that are antifragile and how they became that way. Resilience survives.

The opposite is fragile. Though often unintentionally, we tend to make things fragile. We have been fragilizing the economy, our health, political life, education, almost everything … by suppressing randomness and volatility. Much of our modern, structured, world has been harming us with top-down policies and contraptions which do precisely this: an insult to the anitifragility of systems. This is the tragedy of modernity: as with neurotically overprotective parents, those trying to help are often hurting us the most.

By trying to make things simple and linear we run the risk of underestimating randomness and its role in everything. And more importantly, we fail then to benefit from them. Thus while we may be resilient or robust, we are not antifragile. Our character should be antifragile. Random events should serve to make you better than before. Rules are fragile. Principles are resilient. Virtue is antifragile. Classroom learning is fragile. Real-life and experiential knowledge are resilient. Real-life and a library are antifragile.

If we can learn from them, they can make us antifragile. Taleb writes:.


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Randomness is not a bad thing. We make our organizations fragile when we are overprotective ; when we try to iron out all of the variations and wrinkles that are a part of life. The longer we go without randomness, without variations, without setbacks, the worse the consequences when the unpredictable occurs. Antifragile is an interesting and at times entertaining read. Sadove , chairman and chief executive of Saks Inc. It starts with leadership at the top, which drives a culture. And that then drives results. Never do you get people asking about the culture, about leadership, about the people in the organization.

All In by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton explains why some managers are able to get their employees to commit wholeheartedly to their culture and give that extra push that leads to outstanding results and how managers at any level, can build and sustain a profitable, vibrant work-group culture of their own. All In takes the principles found in their previous books— The Orange Revolution and The Carrot Principle —and expands on them and places them in a wider context.

To have a culture of belief employees must feel not only engaged, but enabled and energized. Define your burning platform. Create a customer focus. Develop agility. Share everything. In a dark work environment, where information is withheld or not communicated properly, employees tend to suspect the worst and rumors take the place of facts. It is openness that drives out the gray and helps employees regain trust in culture.

Partner with your talent. There are employees now in your organization walking around with brilliant ideas in their pocket. Root for each other. It is this reinforcement that makes people want to grow to their full shape and stature. Establish clear accountability. The authors skillfully examine high-performing cultures and present the elements that produce them. A leader at any level can implement these ideas to drive results. A great learning tool. To succeed, you need everyone on your team all in ; you need a culture of belief. A high performing culture is characterized by people that are engaged, enabled and energized.

I T IS A defeatist attitude to think that luck or circumstances primarily make you what you are. Luck, both good and bad happen to us all. In Great by Choice , the authors rightfully assert that we have entered an extended period of uncertainty and turbulent disruption that might well characterize the rest of our lives. The question then is, what is required to perform exceptionally well in such a world?

For their study, the authors chose a set of major companies that achieved spectacular results over 15 or more years while operating in unstable environments. They call these companies "10Xers" for providing shareholder returns at least 10 times greater than their industry. They achieved spectacular results not because they experienced different circumstances, but because they displayed very different behaviors. Fanatic Discipline: Extreme consistency of action. Empirical Creativity: Bold, creative moves from a sound empirical base.

Productive Paranoia: Highly attuned to threats and changes especially when things are going well. Fear and worry is channeled into preparation, contingency plans, buffers and margins of safety. This means maintaining a lower bound and an upper bound, a hurdle that you jump over and a ceiling that you will not rise above, the ambition to achieve and the self-control to hold back. A Mile March provides a tangible point of focus that keeps you moving forward.

Fire Bullets, then Cannonballs: 10Xers increase their luck by firing lots of bullets instead of a big un-calibrated cannonball. The underlying principle is, be creative, but validate your creative ideas with empirical experience. Leading above the Death Line: 10Xers build in buffers because the only mistakes you can learn from are the ones you survive. They zoom-in and zoom out to manage risk and recognize luck. Tactics change from situation to situation, whereas SMaC practices can last for decades and apply across a wide range of circumstances.

I find too many are wedded to one ditch or the other. Certainly luck plays a part. The organizations they studied were paranoid about chance events and complex forces out of their control, but they focused on what they could do, seeing themselves as ultimately responsible for their choices and accountable for their performance—no matter what the sequence of coin flips. In conclusion they ask:. Do we abandon our values? Do we give in? Do we capitulate to the pressure of the moment?

In the end, we can control only a tiny sliver of what happens to us. But even so, we are free to choose, free to become great by choice. Greatness is not primarily a matter of circumstance. Greatness is first and foremost a matter of conscious choice and discipline. The factors that determine whether or not a company becomes truly great, even in a chaotic and uncertain world, lie largely within the hands of its people. It is not mainly a matter of what happens to them but a matter of what they create, what they do, and how well they do it.

There will always be drama. Complaints, excuses, and regrets only serve to keep the drama alive. So, says Chism, when you experience drama you need to ask yourself three questions:. Too often this is where we get stuck. Our focus has shifted because we became confused about our number one priority. Sometimes we create drama because we want something on our terms. Chism relates a clarifying example of this with the recently divorced Joe who is having visitation issues with his ex-wife Patty. Yes, you can fight that battle, if winning a battle is what you want. Are you willing to drive to Illinois several times a year and spend quality time with your kids, even if Patty does nothing more than cooperate?

Joe will struggle if that is his motive or intention. If he is able to let go of distractions and not get stuck on the rocks that lie between him and his final goal. Do you see that while this kind of clarity may not change all the drama, it will give you peace and free up your energy for more productive endeavors? This kind of dynamic plays out every day in our business and personal lives.

When we are not clear about what we want, what our values are, what we are committed to, it is easy to lose our focus, to drift off course. Chism has written a good-natured and practical book that will change your thinking and in the process help you to control the drama in both your personal and professional life. Chism suggests asking the following questions:.

What are my top 10 principle-based values? What areas of my life or business are in the fog? What are some of the distractions that take me off course? Where do I get stuck? Where can I improve as a leader? What drama do I see on a daily basis in the workplace? What drama do I see in my personal life? Where am I avoiding or procrastinating? Erik Wesner decided to find out why. After years of research and interviews, he has gathered together in Success Made Simple a number of transferable lessons on operating a business.

Jonas Lapp not his real name is an Amish home-builder. In the beginning when he first started his business, Jonas struggled with fear ; the fear of it not working out; of failure. Not surprisingly, what grounds Jonas is his faith , operating from the premise that God will take care of him. Faith helps them see hope when tragedy strikes.

Faith fosters gratitude in the fortunate. Jonas neutralizes fear by shifting his focus. And the profits? They come. A big part of Amish business thinking that comes through in everything is their family oriented approach. In Amish America, the familial aspect comes preinstalled. Humility is practiced and demonstrated in their respect for others.

If your goals are important enough for you to pitch in on the unpleasant tasks, then perhaps those goals will be important to your employees too. Success Made Simple will help you rethink your approach toward business and people. It will encourage you to clarify your values and methodically apply them to everything you do. Family focus. Looking out for the other guy. One thing Amish excel at is applying certain time-honored principles—hard work, treating people fairly, providing quality goods and services—consistently.

Most of us are not in a position to implement sweeping change by the wave of our hand. And some of us are in a counterproductive culture where sticking your head up is a good way to get it knocked off. But we can learn to do what we can, with what we have, from where we are. It means that we must learn the art of leading from the middle—from among rather than from in front. And if we are honest, in most contexts, we find ourselves leading from the middle.

CEOs included We are trying to influence the people around us, above us and below us. So learning to appropriately and effectively lead in this way, will impact our success in most areas of life. What I appreciate about his writing is that it is down-to-earth, nuts-and-bolts, and easy to connect with. He is aware of the fact that it is not easy and can be fraught with peril. He writes, Those who lead from the middle are those who think big picture and can do what it takes to get things done so their bosses and their teams succeed….

Those who succeed at leading from the middle also are artful and adept managers. Not so easy to do, but it is possible when you rethink and reframe what you want to accomplish and how you want to do it. That is, you are not acting for yourself, but you are acting for the good of the organization. This requires initiative, persuasion, influence, and persistence and no small amount of passion.

What does the leader need? What does the team need? What can I do to help the leader and the team succeed? As he suggests, this is a selfless act that speaks to the heart of leadership. It requires people who can think for themselves and take the initiative to make things happen. Answering the three questions, taking the initiative and making it happen is the trick and is the focus of the rest of the book.

Lead Your Boss walks you through every critical step of leading up. Turning ideas into action by thinking critically and strategically , reframing opportunities, and challenging conventions. Let others create the how by giving the team direction, setting clear expectations for behavior and performance, and then stepping back and letting team members get things done. Breaking down the doors , beginning with mastering the principles and means of influence and then balancing the need to look out with the need to lead up.

Demonstrating resilience by acknowledging failure, knowing when to give in without giving up, exerting and exuding strength, and excelling at turning setbacks into comebacks. Preparing others to lead by recognizing achievement, investing in talent and differentiating talent from skill , and making leadership personal.

Leading with passion … Yes, character and conviction matter! Leading up is not a solitary job. Below is a two and a half minute video that provides a good overview of the book by author John Baldoni:. That idea—to deliver business applications as a service over the Internet—would change the way businesses use sophisticated software applications and, ultimately, change the way the software industry works. In less than a decade, our business has grown from a simple idea to a public company with more than a billion dollars in revenue. We have achieved success by approaching business in a new way.

Ft Press Delivers Elements Series

The new models we have created…have been effectively employed by other companies, and we believe that any company can succeed with our strategies. In these playbooks, plays or lessons arise from the story of how they focused their vision, utilized available resources, overcame obstacles and measured their success that is woven through them.

You'll find that many of them will resonate with whatever you are doing. Behind the Cloud is a fast, jargon-free read. The style is very open and down-to-earth and represents well the attitude and approach that made salesforce. Regulation just improves creativity. Greed is regulated by character.

SMBs Severely Underestimate Data Breach Costs

Character is built at home, in our schools, in our churches, and yes, in our businesses. It is something living and changing. The problem is that we have only given a patronizing nod to character and politely moved on with the business at hand. We learn too late, without character, no one gets anything. Character needs to be part of the very fiber of the organization. It must be a part of its philosophy and vision.

To turn the vision into a beacon, leaders at all levels must model behavior consistent with the vision at all times. When markets are healthy, the two are finely balanced. Problems emerge when that balance is lost. Character stabilizes both people and markets. Character is inseparable from the culture in which it is formed. Nothing will fix the financial crisis once and for all, but character will regulate it.

Greed is a human issue and it will always be with us. It will always be something we need to train ourselves, our children, and our employees to regulate from within. The consequences can be devastating. Apparently, Mr. Gekko, greed is not good. During a performance, most of the musicians' time is spent listening to others.

You see the trust they have for each other because they are always making adjustments and improvising based on what someone else does. Marsalis acknowledges that trust and listening to others goes hand-in-hand, but he brought up another important point that I think applies to any functioning organization or relationship. He points to the mindset of being aware of what others are doing and making adjustments for them in what you are doing, for the sake of the whole group. Swing is a rhythm, an era in American history, and it is a world view. In this world view, there is a belief in the power of a collective ability to absorb mediocre and poor decisions.

When a group of people working together trust that all are concerned for the common good, then they continue to be in sync no matter what happens. That is swing. It's the feeling that our way is more important than my way. This philosophy extends to how to treat audiences, consumers, staff or dysfunctional families. This may seem idealistic, but think about how church congregations recite, nearly together and completely unrehearsed. They proceed by feel. Swing is the single objective.


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It is the core that makes us all want to work together. Psychotechnology combines four areas of innovation: Personalization: Personalization is the norm in digital advertising. Innovation Innovation is not always the game-changing products that change a culture. You took away share from competition or they took it from you. Or else, you took on the hard work of growing the entire market. Many digitally native startups seem to find a third way - a digitally enabled non-disruptive creative growth. That's the beauty of digital capabilities. It can drive new business models, open up adjacent products and help you grow the whole market.

Go forth and transform. Remove Friction Identify and remove friction. Think Broadly Think beyond your immediate area of expertise. Creating an ironclad brand is not just the function of the marketing department. Pedersen believes an ironclad brand should meet nine criteria : 1.

It must be narrow. Big enough to matter but narrow enough to own. It must be empathetic. It should reflect the emotional life of your target customer. It must deliver. Your brand must be something you deliver on every time, all the time. Is Your Organization Digitally Mature? Digital Maturity The authors introduce the concept of digital maturity. Digital Talent Attracting and keeping digital talent is a challenge for many organizations. Here are a few of the lessons from his experience that stood out: Real knowledge of the customer is absolutely essential.

Decision 4: Always Look to Improve I will always keep looking for new ways to improve, to be more efficient. The book is organized around 10 topics. In Turning the Flywheel , he describes the process: Pushing with great effort, you get the flywheel to inch forward. Some Rules The very nature of a flywheel—that it depends upon getting the sequence right and that every component depends on all the other components—means that you simply cannot falter on any primary component and sustain momentum. But I found this observation interesting: An overarching theme across our research findings is the role of discipline in separating the great from the mediocre.

To win in Africa, your strategy needs to factor four key considerations : Map an Africa Strategy: Africa is huge. Clarity First T. John Chambers: Connecting the Dots S. Smart Business is Business Redefined I. I Love Capitalism! What if Sellers Behaved as Leaders? Leadership Lessons from a 19th Century Genius W. The Reciprocity Advantage G. What makes people become zealous advocates of your business?

Creating these kinds of customer experiences works in much the same way a kaleidoscope works. Every time you turn a kaleidoscope you get a unique image, but the stones inside that form those images never change. They are the core of what makes the kaleidoscope work. Kaleidoscope is about these basic, foundational "stones" and concepts that should drive innovative customer service.

These stones can be presented in unique combinations that will drive brilliant service. Bell presents nine stones that form the basis of sparkling innovative service : Enchantment: How can you add a little magic? What could your service experience smell like, sound like, feel like, look like, taste like if you wanted to truly excite your customers in a fashion that sticks in their memory?

Grace: Honor your customer. Graceful service is an assertion, not a response. Customers treated with goodness assume the behavior and attitude of goodness. Be the giver of hope your customers become. Respect is not what you believe; it is what you show. Treat different customers differently. One-size-fits-all treatment shows ignorance of their uniqueness and indifference to learning about them. Generosity: Adopt an attitude of abundance. Give more than is expected. Great service means caring so much about the experience you are authoring or the product you are caretaking that you are willing to invest more in it, purely in the pursuit of the remarkable.

Truth: Truth telling shortens the distance between people. It frees customers from anxiety and caution. It triggers a potent connection with the humanity in each of us. Corporate speak and sanitized legalese communication, by definition, violate that principle. Mercy is more than forgiveness. It is a relationship surrendering to what it could be rather than controlling or containing what it is. It is neither an expression of pity nor an air of tolerance.

Rather, it is expanding the boundaries of the relationship to allow it to reform, renew, and reward. Alliance: Customers enjoy being a partner. Great partnerships care about fairness, not a perfect fifty-fifty split. Great partnerships have built-in shock absorbers. They affirm their relationships more through ebb and flow than give and take. Examine your business practices. Do you make customers go to the nth degree to get what they need?

Ease: The key to innovative service is appreciating its complexity, understanding its impact, and paying attention to the detail that rigger customer angst and discomfort. Passion: Passion-filled service is fundamentally about commitment. It is the outcome that results from the fervor to be all-in, to serve without reluctance.

Deliver a masterpiece. In Rock Bottom to Rock Star he shares lessons from his own journey. Not surprisingly, the journey begins with taking personal responsibility. You are your own competition. Ultimately, success will be determined by whether or not you have the right psychology to control them. Remember that. Rule 3: Practice. Rule 4: Surround yourself with the right musicians. You have to constantly assess the people you choose to hang with. Are they helping you move forward or are they just along for the ride? Are they building you up, or tearing you apart?

Rule 5: Always remember where you came from. It is a down-to-earth account of the sacrifices and struggles, failures and successes of what it takes to succeed in business. Any would-be entrepreneur would do well to read it before venturing out on their own. Knight says that the act alone is the destination. Sometimes knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. At just the moment when I needed to be my sharpest, I was approaching burnout.

But quite candidly, Knight writes: Luck plays a big role. Athletes get lucky, poets get lucky, businesses get lucky. Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome. Some people might not call it luck. Or spirit. Or God. Put it this way. The harder you work, the better your Tao. And since no one has ever adequately defined Tao, I now to go regularly to mass.

I would tell them: Have faith in yourself, but also have faith in faith. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart. Shoe Dog is an amazing story of how he made that luck happen. But his road to success has not been without a number of failures and near-misses.

And he shares many of them to our benefit. The moment you become complacent is the moment you lose your edge. But we can learn from them or let them hold us back. The danger is to look for to blame and not taking responsibility for your outcomes. What regrets really speak to is a measure of self-awareness. The trick is how we chose to deal with them. Successful people have the ability to accept the past, embrace it, learn from it, and ultimately move forward. Less successful individuals tend to wallow in regrets, constantly reliving a series of events and asking themselves over and over what could have been, what should have been, and ultimately what ought to have been.

When he was fired from Goldman Sachs his impulse was to lash out. He then shares practical solutions. Success should never be viewed as a given. Thriftiness is key. This is an important lesson for any entrepreneur—if you are starting a new business, you should maintain the appearance of a start-up. You want people to know that you are hungry and focused on one thing: work. Your customers come first. Your employees come a close second. Always keep your expenses down. Most people—myself included—care what others think. You have to believe you are going to be successful.

How Uber Eats Uses Machine Learning to Estimate Delivery Times

You need to think positively if you want a positive outcome. They typically lack the money to fill specialized roles. Instead, start-ups look for people who are problem solvers. People who can do a little bit of everything. I value a self-starter mentality. You can be right about everything or you can be in a partnership. True leadership requires personal subordination. True empowerment requires trust and personal subordination. Your ability to connect with people on a personal level will differentiate you from your peers.

If you want to get to where you want to be, he says you have to believe that you are enough. You will do what it takes to get the job done. Leaders succeed when they add value to others. Without making others better, all the personal qualities of leadership are more self-serving narcissism than true leadership.

Good leaders inspire employees to do their best. Better leaders build organizations that outlast and outlive individual leaders. But, the best leaders create investor confidence in future success.

Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company by Robert Brunner

This index gives investors a thorough and rigorous way to evaluate leadership. We envision investors starting to access and assess leadership insights much like they do financial and intangible results. The Leadership Capital Index examines both the personal qualities of a leader and the leadership team and the human capital systems that the leader puts in place. But, how can a leader initiate conversations that give investors confidence in their leadership ability? Here are some tips for leaders who want to realize more market value through their leadership. As an individual leader, you and your leadership team can inspire personal confidence from investors when you demonstrate: Learning: Show investors that you are constantly learning and growing in your role.

Talk about the future more than the past. Demonstrate to investors personal energy and vitality in creating a future. Strategic Clarity: Report challenges you see in the industry and have a clear strategic point of view about how to respond to those challenges.

Predictable Execution: Deliver on promises over and over and over again. Situational: Know how to adapt your leadership style to the situation. Make your customer brand promises your personal leadership guide. As a leader, you should create an organization that has unique capabilities to deliver sustainable value over time. Work on creating: Cultural Clarity: Make sure that your internal culture matches the brand promises you make your customers.

Talent Flow: Show investors that you have industry leading ability to bring the best people into your organization, to develop and grow them, and to remove them if necessary. Positive Accountability: Hold people accountable for results without becoming locked into burdensome performance appraisal systems. Learn to have positive conversations with employees. Information Flow: Be adept at managing the flow of information into your organization through analytics and improve decision making.

Work Logic: Build a governance system that enables agility and responsiveness.

Explore the new agenda

When you show investors that you have created both individual leaders and organization capabilities, they will respond and give you more market value. This is the next agenda for both leaders who add value and investors who want to realize that value. Building a sense of community would seem to be a necessary first step before a leader does anything else. But a connection culture is not a common as you might expect. Perhaps this largely because our human nature still leads us to believe that we can always default to command and control when we have to.

Or perhaps we just get so busy that we have no time for relationships.


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  • We just need to get the work done. Are You Trapped in Survival Mode? Thomas Plummer is a coach to the fitness industry. In a Facebook post he advised fitness professionals: The mindset of survival that keeps you alive in tough times is also what will kill your business during good times. Keeping a struggling business alive during tough markets is a skill that drains the life out of you. Everyday you fight for pennies, do the work of many and learn the techniques necessary to keep going when others are failing. This same mindset is also what leads to failure for these owners during good times because they forget how to attack the market and grow the business.

    The skill set needed for survival mode, based upon lean spending, tight staff and little marketing, is totally different from the one needed to grow a business where bold and daring is often needed. It is easy to get trapped in survival mode and fail there because you never realize the market has changed and you haven't. The New Year is upon us.

    Are you trapped in merely keeping what you have or are you willing to let go and let your business grow next year? Question your mindset and style. You may be the problem and not the solution you think you are. Most often the thing that got us to where we are is not the thing that will get us to the next place we need to go. Sometimes we get so focused on what we have become good at, that we miss the changes around us.

    When we do we come from a place of weakness rather than strength. Inertia can keep us from considering the possibilities. Reintroduce possibilities into your thinking. Choose to be remarkable. Accelerate XLR8. What it Takes to be an Entrepreneurial Leader. Culture Counts. Want to be an Entrepreneur?

    The Pumpkin Plan. The Clarity Principle. Are You a Giver or a Taker? Nice Companies Finish First. Fred 2. Fred exemplified an attitude of exceptional service delivered consistently with creativity and passion in a way that values other people. Success actually makes us fragile. We need to be antifragile to survive it. Do Leaders Really Matter? With the Internet proximity is not an issue. Chris Anderson describes it this way in Makers: The New Industrial Revolution : "The Web allows people to show what they can do, regardless of their education and credentials.

    So, too, for manufacturing. What we will see is simply more. More innovation, in more places, from more people, focused on more narrow niches. Collectively, all these new producers will reinvent the industrial economy, often with just a few units at a time—but exactly the right products for an increasingly discriminating consumer. Leading Apple With Steve Jobs. Rebel Entrepreneurs Avoid Conventional Wisdom. The Strategy Book. They have limited our responses. And it profoundly affects our ability to adapt.

    Managers must participate enthusiastically and, more important, be able to demonstrate the skills they expect everyone else to learn. Having an Informed Faith Whether developing an organization or especially an individual, having an informed faith is essential. We value seeing things as they are—seeing reality. But potential is as much as part of reality as cold hard facts. Being able to see where an organization or an individual could go is vital for any leader. To see what is and to see what could be.

    The combination is essential for leadership. But they also see the potential with real excitement and enthusiasm. That intention attracts opportunities to you. Innovation at Bell Labs. What Matters Now. Restoring Your Ability to Choose We all like to think we are in charge of our choices.

    But the fact is that most of the time we are reacting, not choosing. Most of what we label choice is habit. It can even lead us to think that we have no choice. Only when we pause—slow-down to think and reflect—are we exercising our ability to choose. The Power of Habit Habits will always be with us. Some good. Some bad. But how do you replace bad habits with good habits?

    More importantly, how often do we ask ourselves if what we are doing is really just a habit? We are less intentional than we think we are. The Four Disciplines of Organizational Health Patrick Lencioni believes that the single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Unfortunately most leaders prefer to deal with the data-driven world of organizational intelligence. The problem is, without good organizational health, organizational intelligence is attenuated.

    You know you have it when you have minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity, and very low turnover among good employees. What does an organization have to do to become healthy? Creating a healthy organization is a rigorous endeavor. Lencioni has created a four disciplines model: Discipline 1: Build a Cohesive Leadership Team An organization simply cannot be healthy if the people who are chartered with running it are not behaviorally cohesive. In any kind of organization, from a corporation to a department within that corporation, from a small, entrepreneurial company to a church or a school, dysfunction at the top inevitably leads to a lack of health throughout.

    Discipline 2: Create Clarity In addition to being behaviorally cohesive, the leadership team of a healthy organization must be intellectually aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple by critical questions: Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important, right now? Who must do what? There can be no daylight between leaders around these fundamental issues. When it comes to reinforcing clarity, there is no such thing as too much communication. As tempting as it may be, leaders must not abdicate or delegate responsibility for community and reinforcement of clarity.

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