How Simple Does It Get?
THUNDER BAY, ON - March 14, 2011 - 2011: Flick an app or grab the remote: we have the power to participate instantly in nature’s chaos and man’s religious and land ownership crusades. We watch, listen and then what? Stop momentarily for a burger? Go shopping? Head to the gym? Imprison our teams in yet another meeting with no solutions to problems? read more...>
How Grating Does It Get?
THUNDER BAY, ON - March 9, 2011 - Tweets get your attention faster than a Ferrari on the freeway. We’re communicating with fewer words in less time, cutting to the chase as it were. Instant is the new norm, right?
If that’s the case - and I’m wondering if you agree - then why have our “follow up” habits stayed in the slower outside lane? read more...>
How Boring Does It Get?
THUNDER BAY, ON - March 1, 2011 - Of the 10 meetings you attend each week, how much time do you invest in productive exchange vs useless rehashing? How can you shift the ratio from unfocussed and meaningless to relevant and necessary?
The answer is all about the questions that are asked around the table. Better meetings showcased by intriguing and fact filled dialogue result in the right decisions for the right reasons for the right bottom line. read more...>
How Rhythmic Does It Get? Leaders and Their Talking Drums
How De-Flated Does It Get? Why Brainstorming Falls Flat
THUNDER BAY, ON --- February 16, 2011 ---- Listen up, leaders! You might be wasting more valuable time than you think doing “brainstorming” with your team.
The premise in many organizations is, that if you involve as many people as possible in a brainstorming session, you will gain more: (a) buy-in “engagement” (b) commitment and (c) innovation. That premise is correct, more or less, yet there’s no guarantee that what you anticipate will happen, might actually happen!
What deflates the effort?
Let’s go back to the beginning of the typical brainstorming process. read more....>
How Busy Does It Get?
THUNDER BAY, ON ---- February 7, 2011 ---- Do you remember a specific question or comment that changed how you see the world?
A respected colleague (Cliff Friesen, the Vice President of Bearskin Airlines in Northern Ontario) happened to say, “Maggie, your business seems to be doing well!”. I replied, “Yes, I’m very busy!”. He asked a very poignant yet simple question: “Are you busy, or are you PRODUCTIVE?”.
That sentence stopped me in my tracks, and continues to be one of my daily measurements for getting things done, and a standard that I use to follow up with clients. read more......>
How Organized Does It Get?
THUNDER BAY, ON ------ February 1, 2011 ---- Imagine that you are chosen to be the leader of a team of five staff who have been assigned a special project. At your first meeting, what do you spend most of your initial time together doing?
Getting organized, of course.
The good news? Your team is task oriented and committed to getting the project underway. The bad news? You haven’t spent time talking about what’s most important to each person on the team. For a team to stay engaged, on track and committed, you should first spend time talking about your values, beliefs and organizing style. Most Agendas skip this step. read more.....>
How Smart Does It Get? Leaders Brains Matter
THUNDER BAY, ON ---- January 25, 2011 ---- “How can some people be so smart and so stupid at the same time?” - Ned Herrmann, founder of Whole Brain Thinking
To illustrate Ned Herrmann’s point, let’s meet 2 leaders with distinct personal thinking styles. Who is smarter?
CEO of a major Canadian organization, “Thiamora”, runs a tight schedule and expects all of her managers and supervisors to do the same. She scrutinizes benchmark reports weekly from every Division. She leads meetings with scientific precision, beginning and ending on time every Tuesday morning without fail. Her personal agenda includes a Plan B which is adjusted according to weather reports and other environmental scans. She seems to be totally on target, the ideal text book role model of leadership. read more.....>
How Good Does It Get? A Call to Action - for Leaders
THUNDER BAY, ON --- January 18, 2011 --- If you could learn the best lessons about leadership, that would have a direct impact on your team and for your role, would you turn to:
(a) books written by famous leaders?
(b) online videos?
(c) Mentors that you know personally?
Let me share the Top 2 Leadership Lessons that have been my greatest leverage as a leader in a number of capacities and situations. Both of them have been the results of a personal relationship with a leader. Neither were formal “mentors”, and all of them not only walked the talk, but lived the talk. read more....>
How Bad Does It Get? Socially Speaking
THUNDER BAY, ON --- January 11, 2010 - If you’ve never heard of Ms. Manners and the Golden Book of Etiquette, you are not alone. Times have changed, and so have our social graces. What do you think?
Sighting #1: Woman filing her fingernails at a funeral.
At some point between the blessing and the first hymn, this middle aged woman decides to give herself a manicure. She’s not just taking care of a cracked nail; she managed to complete the process on both hands before the end of the service.
I wonder: What does this say about how we respect and celebrate life? read more....>
100 Day Plan for Leaders
THUNDER BAY, ON - June 25, 2009 - Let me take a round-about, concept based journey to the real point of this week’s column. First, I’d like to share the inside track of how my Tuesday File themes emerge. If you’re interested in how innovative thinking happens - especially for leaders - then this background portion may be extremely useful for you. read more...>
How Bad Does It Get? Customer Service
THUNDER BAY, ON --- January 4, 2010 --- Let us first set the scene, the circumstance and the players for this true story. Then it’s your turn to offer your common sense advice to a small business owner.
As photojournalists, the phrase “road trip” is more than a casual vacation drive for my husband the photographer and me, the writer. His camera and my notebook are packed before the toothbrushes. We plan our spontaneous trips - with precision. read more....>
THUNDER BAY, ON --- February 21, 2011 ---- Rhythm is everywhere. Waves crash in rhythm on the beach, a cricket chirps steadily through the night and your own heart keeps a lifelong beat. Long ago, someone decided to create his own rhythm on an object he found, perhaps by beating two sticks or rocks together.
Every leader broadcasts a rhythm of his own, and the subtle expectation is, that others follow that beat in some type of harmony. We are all, metaphorically speaking, “Talking Drums”. The signals we communicate are unique to each of us. Imagine the quiet new supervisor arguing with the older union representative about a core issue in the workplace. Harmony? Or Dissidence? read more.......>