Recession: Prepare Now for the Next Upswing

May 13, 2009

The signs are all around.  Benanke is predicting the recession ending later this year.  Many entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with tell me business is showing very early signs of movement. If you’ve ever been surfing or body surfing, you learn one thing very quickly: those waves are coming in a lot faster than you can swim. [...]

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Is Strategic Planning Still Relevant in a Down Economy?

April 20, 2009

This is a very important subject because so many companies appear to be in reactive mode. But I’ll make it short. The answer is yes, of course.  Strategic planning is about exercising the God-like ability with which human beings have been endowed for turning dreams into realities.  The starting point of strategic planning is vision: [...]

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What to do When What You’ve Been Doing Isn’t Doing it Any More

March 14, 2009

Ah, recession…it fulfills my motto in life, “Not always fun, but never dull.” In some ways a recession can be defined as that period of time in which you find yourself wishing you had done three years ago the things that would be making a difference in what you’re experiencing now.  Sadly, success hides a [...]

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Corporate Death Penalty

February 27, 2009

At various times in my life I have vacillated on the moral dimension of the death penalty and finally came down on the side of approving of it.  There are some human beings who have committed acts which should cost them the right to exist.  I suspect most business leaders feel similarly.  However, I would [...]

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Emotional Safety

February 21, 2009

In a meeting the other day at a client’s office, we were discussing collaboration and what happens when the collaborative dynamic breaks down.  People get defensive, offensive and confrontational which makes things very unsafe.  This particular client is in the construction industry and has a full time safety manager, safety coordinators on every job site [...]

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How to Read (Once You’ve Graduated)

January 1, 2009

Graduation from high school, college and/or grad school is for many of us a dim memory.  But whether graduation is a recent or ancient experience, it’s important to recognize that in an important way, the education system has let us down. They didn’t teach us how to read. Oh, they taught us how to make [...]

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They May be Ignorant but They’re Not Stupid

December 30, 2008

Did you ever see The Coal Miner’s Daughter with Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones?  It’s about the life of Loretta Lynn, the great country singer.  At one point early in Loretta’s career, Tommy Lee (playing her husband) calls her “stupid”.  She turns on him quick as a flash, spits in his eye and says, “I [...]

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The Leadership Window

December 15, 2008

I was preparing for a speech recently thinking about how powerful inertia must be in virtually every business.  What besides inertia could explain why so many companies are so far behind the power curve in so many dimensions of their businesses?  For example, I speak to hundreds of CEOs every year and I always ask, [...]

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Saving Your Way to Oblivion

December 7, 2008

In this time of intense cost consciousness, an important caveat seems in order. I’d like to propose a law which I have modestly named Goodman’s Law which states:  When the cost of something is easy to quantify but the benefit is not easy to quantify, it is likely to be eliminated. There are many examples.  [...]

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How to Fire Someone

November 26, 2008

I was asked recently, “How should I fire someone?” I thought others might find my response of value. I’m not going to address this issue in the context of an reduction in force or layoff, but around a performance related issue. In a perfect world you shouldn’t have to fire anyone, they should fire themselves [...]

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