Archives For planning

Where Do We Go From Here?

February 1, 2016

What happens after a big win? For all the focus (and press) directed at planning and executing, what comes next?

Whether your team has achieved a significant goal or is looking to get back on track after a shake-up, here are some basic ways to get everyone back on course.

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Adversity is no respecter of persons. Our experiences are usually different, but each of us gets our turn. Our organizations do too, for that matter.

So what happens when adversity strikes? How can we climb our way our of it? This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are some thinking patterns that have helped me maintain a sense of sanity and clarity over the years.



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Powerful Question #12

December 4, 2013

Question Mark 2Some people are planners and some people are opportunists. Each approach has its merits and challenges. Neither one guarantees success by itself. We usually plan for good outcomes and try to avoid poor ones. But many times unplanned situations come up, both for the better and worse.

Has an opportunity ever come up that was even better than your carefully laid plans?

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How will you spend Thanksgiving this week? As an American holiday, it usually includes time with family and ridiculous amounts of food and football. Talk about a great combination!

As we prepare to celebrate the holiday, it’s important to note that thankfulness actually encompasses four different areas: gratitude, generosity, sharing and contentment. Last week, I mentioned how important it is to be generous, especially with so many people who need our help. Right now, it’s the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. (If you haven’t made a donation yet, you can contribute to the Red Cross here). But there are many more.

I’d like to challenge you to be a generous person. Here’s how you can get started.

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Powerful Question #11

November 6, 2013

Question Mark 2Sometimes when I meet with a leader of a team or a department, I’ll ask a question about priorities that usually raises an eyebrow or two. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the ones who can answer it usually seem to be on top of things a lot more than the ones who draw a blank. Why don’t you give it a shot? Here it is:

What is your process for determining which projects get priority and which ones either get saved for later or dumped altogether?

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When I was a college student, my New Venture Studies class had the opportunity to advise a local resident starting his own coffee shop. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was excited to be involved – that is, until I realized the capital came from an inheritance. I was further perturbed when one of his first initiatives was to purchase a brand new Honda Element to cover with advertising before his shop was even finished. Our client didn’t need a new vehicle. He needed a strategic plan.

Puzzle PiecesYou’ve probably heard the adage, “if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” Strategic planning initiatives give organizational and departmental leaders the chance to define strategy, set direction and make key decisions. It breathes life into the vision and gives the existing motivation a track to run on. But a plan doesn’t inherently ensure success.

I recently spoke with my friend John Maloney of ASJ Consulting about why strategic planning fails. Whether you’re a one-man shop or a large organization, here are some of the main reasons we identified.

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The Problem with Good Ideas

February 11, 2013

Light BulbAre good ideas ruining the effectiveness of your team or organization? Yes, you read that correctly. Are good ideas keeping you from winning? At a time when creativity and innovation are at a premium, good ideas are actually more threatening than ever.

As organizational leaders, we tend to worship good ideas. We don’t want followers who simply show up to do their work and leave, we want ones who generate ideas on their own and possess the motivation to see them through. So what makes good ideas so dangerous? The answer lies in the substantial difference between a good idea and a right idea (tweet). Continue Reading…

Have you ever been a part of a formal mentoring program at your organization? If so, how did it go? It not, would it have been helpful? Maybe you’ve even wondered how to set up a mentoring program yourself so that you and/or others could benefit from it.

Mentoring Program

In my last post, I shared the basic principles of mentoring from a potential mentee’s standpoint that I’ve learned over the years. But I’ve also built a professional mentoring program in a previous role and also advised clients on mentoring programs they’ve set up themselves. I’d like to share some of the best practices I’ve collected.

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