Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

In 100 Words: Great Minds…Shouldn’t Always Think Alike

Friday, March 15th, 2024 by Troy Schrock

We should treat the old adage “great minds think alike…” with some skepticism.  Leaders should cultivate alternatives for significant decisions they consider.  Healthy dissension typically yields better decisions. 

Alfred Sloan, the person responsible for leading General Motors to the top of the global automotive industry in the 1930’s and 1940’s, is said to have set aside decisions for which the executive team too easily agreed.  Peter Drucker says Sloan would postpone some decisions to give his leaders “time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what this decision is about.” 

“Great minds” might periodically offer a different perspective.


“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

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In 100 Words: Don’t Aggravate Good Talent

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024 by Troy Schrock

Taking care of good talent is imperative for leaders – especially in tight labor markets.

Here are two sure ways to aggravate your top performers:

  • Overburden them without consideration of their personal lives.  Sure, sales demand is strong, but know when and how to say no to more revenue.
  • Tolerate poor performers so you have a “body in the seat.”  Pruning people out of the organization may seem contradictory, but few things drain top performer’s engagement more quickly than picking up the slack for other employees.

After addressing these two put your energy and resources into strategies for attracting new employees.

“To add value to others, one must first value others.”  John C. Maxwell

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In 100 Words: Why Innovation is Difficult

Friday, December 15th, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Without a doubt, the existing, successful business is the number one barrier to innovation.  This is why many new market-shaping innovations come from organizations which are start-ups or outside an industry.

Yet managers shouldn’t be faulted.  Innovation (beyond incremental efficiencies) requires investment.  Financial returns, if any, won’t show until sometime in the future.  Managers are tasked and incentivized to maximize short-term financial returns which are better when focusing on the existing business.

If organizations desire market innovation, leaders must balance this conflict.  Some organizations find success by separating resources from the existing business and establishing different measurements for innovation leaders.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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In 100 Words: What’s Trending?

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Trend spotting is imperative in the world of fashion and design – move quickly or miss out.  For most organizations trends are less faddish, but no less important.  Does your leadership team value the discipline of watching and weighing the impacts of significant trends?

  • Are you considering both macro and micro trends in demographics, the economy, technology, society, and the regulatory environment?
  • Do you think through the influence these trends might have in the lives and businesses of your customers (2nd level impacts)?
  • Are these trends accelerating or slowing?

Your team should regularly assess key trends to remain alert and relevant.

“Facts are stubborn things.”   Ronald Reagan

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In 100 Words: Don’t Forget the Customer

Friday, September 15th, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Serving the customer is the first objective of the business organization.  This is why it is puzzling to see organizations implement systems, processes or policies which make life more convenient for “managing the business” yet make life worse for customers or the frontline employees serving the customers.

Here are three important condition questions to ask when considering a new system, process, or policy. 

Will this:

  • Add more value to our customers?
  • Make it easier for customers to do business with us?
  • Make it easier for our customer-facing employees to serve our customers?

A business organization doesn’t exist without the customer.

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”  Peter F. Drucker

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In 100 Words: Work Your Craft Daily

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Your craft is the technical work through which you produce value for others – external customers or internal team members.  It is also work you enjoy and gives you energy.  You may get tired, but this work doesn’t drain you.

What is your personal craft?  How much time do you work your craft each day?  How can you:

  • Fill your schedule with more of your craft?
  • Build support systems which facilitate smooth transitions into your craft and keep you in the zone?
  • Identify tools and processes which help you excel at your craft?
  • Develop your skills to improve in your craft?

“Real success is finding your lifework in the work you love.”  David McCullough

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