Posts Tagged ‘In 100 Words’

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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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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