Posts Tagged ‘In 100 Words’

When to Quicken Your Team’s Pulse

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023 by Troy Schrock

Your team’s pulse is the frequency of your team’s meetings.  There are two situations where leaders need to quicken their team’s pulse.

One is defensive – for fast, critical decision-making in dynamic or fluid environments.  Think crisis management.

The other is offensive – for accelerating important initiatives.  This will instill urgency around the few priorities which will best advance your organization.

It’s okay if the meetings are shorter.  The most important thing is connecting.  What happened since we last met?  What needs to be accomplished next?   What resources or decisions are required to move forward?  Go ahead, quicken your team’s pulse rate.

“Leadership is all about people. It is not about organizations. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people–motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people centered.” Colin Powell

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In 100 Words: Sharpen Your Resilience Thinking – Practical Considerations

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

What vulnerabilities have been revealed in your organization with the significant market changes the last few years?  You should consider internal – thought processes and operating patterns – along with external factors.

In addressing key vulnerabilities through resilience thinking, the following carry greater weight in decisions:

  • People ahead of processes.
  • Balance Sheet strength.
  • Non-cost factors – availability, speed, and more limited offerings.
  • Contingencies and alternatives.
  • More frequent leadership team connection and outward communication.

Though decisions favoring resiliency result in natural redundancy (extra cost), when delivery and availability are at stake, leaders yield margin to fulfil already sold commitments or keep sales engines running.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”  Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Sharpen Your Resilience Thinking – The Why

Monday, August 1st, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Leaders have had a two-year crash course on a resilience mindset vs a mindset of maximizing efficiencies.  The global system which allowed for decades of squeezing ever greater profits out of systems, networks and supply chains has unraveled.  The pandemic and Ukraine war are simply two recent accelerators of a decade plus trend away from global inter-connectedness and toward nationalism (e.g., China policies, U.K. Brexit, and U.S. populist movement).

While change was always a norm, greater change will be the new norm so continue building the resilience mindset.  Think flexible systems.  Build sufficient financial and talent resources to weather turbulence.

Resilience is “The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still retain its basic function and structure.”  Brian Walker and David Salt in Resilience Thinking

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In 100 Words: Pausing Along the Path

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Now is a perfect time to reflect on what you and your team have accomplished throughout the year. Leaders naturally look ahead to the future – it’s their job. However, a common refrain is “we don’t take enough time to acknowledge and appreciate what has been accomplished or learned.”

Summarizing the annual highlights won’t take much time and pausing typically leads to a sense of both satisfaction and gratitude. Note the significant accomplishments. Be real about unplanned events which factored into the outcome. Consider top lessons learned. Who was involved in the achievement? How do I thank them?

Enjoy the pause!

“Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

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In 100 Words: Certainty is a Mirage

Monday, November 1st, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Leaders should become comfortable making decisions with probability-based thinking. The future is uncertain and the environments in which we operate are fluid.

Some leaders get stuck waiting for more information, a better view. It appears certainty is just ahead… one last question, one final piece of information. But, certainty is a mirage. As soon as you receive the information “certainty” evaporates like the proverbial desert oasis shimmering in front of you.

Two dangers of certainty-thinking:
• Decisions bog down and progress slows
• Absolute-outcome thinking closes off to options for alternatives.

There comes a time decisions must be made and actions taken.

“…logical method and form flatter that longing for certainty and for repose which is in every human mind. But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

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In 100 Words: Double Dips are Hard

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Double dip: a second recurrence of some bad event or trial outside our control in short succession to the first – e.g., economic recession, market downturn, disease, or viral pandemic. These situations are hard on people physically and psychologically so people can become discouraged. They recently experienced the excitement of getting through the difficulty, then WHAM, the double dip – they are right back in hard times.

Leaders should acknowledge the difficulty of reverting to tighter restrictions and more limited resources. More importantly, leaders should keep people encouraged – acknowledge their efforts, share in the extra work, and provide hope for the future.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;” William Shakespeare in King Henry V

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