Tag Archives: innovation

What’s in a Name Change? Part I

The majority of the world spent the last five days living their life. A small slice of the universe who make their living selling ideas, however, were agitating themselves into a frenzy.

In case you missed it, the National Speakers Association, an association of which I am a member, decided to re-brand itself and change its name to PLATFORM.

This is a first world problem. In the context of all of the turmoil in the world, the re-naming of this 41-year old association ranks right up there with … well almost nothing.

And yet, people on all sides of the argument lit up the blogosphere and social media channels supporting their positions … even if it meant refusing to consider that others might be equally right in their own stance (see my blog on “Is It Always Right to be Right” for more on that phenomenon.) Continue reading

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Challenge Your Thinking. Focus Your Execution. Deliver Your Results.

The walls of The Loomis Agency are adorned with pictures of dogs. There are so many photos and references to our beloved canine companions that conspiracy theorists might wonder if the company is secretly reviving the Egyptian practice of animal … Continue reading

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Jack Be Nimble: Sure, but how?

This would have been the message if the speaker at your last business meeting presented in nursery rhymes:

Jack be nimble.
Jack be quick.
Jack jump over
The candle stick.

You feel better, right? You now know what is expected of you and the definition of success. And, you have no real context for why it is important or idea about how to move forward. Continue reading

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Focus on What Truly Matters

These days it seems that we’re all so busy, overcommitted, and information-obsessed. Our never-ending to-do lists are long and we run around trying to “keep up” or “be important,” and in the process stress ourselves out. Unfortunately, it often takes something bad to happen to slow us down, wake us up, and force us to focus on what truly matters most in life. Continue reading

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Should You Put Lipstick on the Brussels Sprouts? How Leaders Communicate Forced Change

My presentations about leading change usually include a story about Double Stuf Oreos and Brussels Sprouts. You can view the story here, but the basic principle is simple:

A child will willingly change what they are doing to reach a jar of cookies on top of your refrigerator. You seldom see them act with the same sense of urgency to acquire Brussels sprouts.

With that in mind, leaders generate creative tension when the vision they create for change is compelling – like cookies – rather than boring like vegetables. Continue reading

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Why Responsive Government is an Oxymoron … and Why Your Elected Officials are to Blame

The government we want is nimble, flexible, and responsive. The government we experience, in many cases, is slow, cumbersome, and totally unresponsive.

Let’s put this another way: We want our government to operate like our favorite business. We believe, in contrast, that our government is the poster child for lumbering bureaucratic inefficiency and employees who are out of touch with the realities of the marketplace.

Twenty plus years of working with private and public sector organizations has taught me that the truth is actually somewhere between the two extremes.
Continue reading

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10 Words Entrepreneurs Should Use Every Day

Jay Goltz writes a blog on small business and entrepreneurship for the New York Times. His March 10, 2014 posting was titled “10 Words Entrepreneurs Should Use With Caution.” In that piece, Goltz shared 10 words that he believes have … Continue reading

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Leaders Don’t Hide

Leaders distinguish themselves in times of great risk and great reward. Whether it is the political leader who bolsters our confidence in times of crisis or the business leader who follows her instincts to seize an opportunity, we respect and admire the leader who is out front when the stakes are high. Continue reading

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Defining a Good Change: It is More Than Results

Every change is evaluated against the result AND the damage inflicted during its implementation. Ignore the people side of the change (feelings and perceptions), and it is only a matter of time before the desired results suffer, too.

The type of change needed in today’s successful organizations is continuous. It is generated from every level, and it requires engagement and commitment from those involved. You can mandate compliance. Commitment and engagement to make change work are volunteered when you focus on more than the end result. Continue reading

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A Result to Remember: It’s Not the Product. It’s the People.

Delivering customer service – at least the way it is practiced in most companies – is easy. The customer asks you for something, and you give it to them.

Building a culture that is obsessed with serving customers is hard.

Carl Sewell’s family of auto dealerships is at or near the top for sales and service with the brands they represent for one simple reason: They are the best at sustaining a culture that serves customers. Continue reading

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