Are you insane in your approach to success?

Are you insane in your approach to success?

1 week ago 0 0 85

I once sat in a training seminar where they ‘challenged’ the group with a (pretend) statistic: “Less than 10 percent of you will implement this fully, and less than 5% will be successful”.  They were obviously trying some reverse motivation – but without realising it, they were clearly identifying the biggest issue with what they were doing.  They were asking their ‘students’ to be insane in their approach to success. The definition of insanity: Einstein has been credited with saying ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. How does this apply to people and organisations trying to generate sustained success? The answer is simple: you are insane if you think doing what someone else has done will make you successful. It doesn’t seem to make sense – it is insane to do keep doing the same things and expect different

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The simple success formula

2 weeks ago 0 0 94

In business, we are often looking for the perfect answer to our problems.  The answer to our complex problem should be ‘simple’ – but is it really? The idea of a simple answer to uncertainty and complexity drives so much of the coaching and consulting industries, because: People want simple answers to complex problems People buy certainty to escape uncertainty, and simple appears more certain than complex. A critical question arises, however: If the answer was simple, wouldn’t you have already discovered it and implemented it? When we consider the nature of business, it is impossible to think of every business as the same.  Each business has unique attributes and histories, including cultures, strategies and purposes.  There are different capabilities, skills and processes. There are different capacities to operate and to adapt. So how do we help such businesses? We can look at ‘models’ – frameworks that generally apply to

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The key to making your New Year’s resolutions work

2 months ago 0 0 107

Do you want to leave 2020 in the rear view mirror and make a fresh start in 2021? We often see the end of the year and the start of a new one as a time to reflect on what we have done in the year and what we would want to do differently in future. This pressure to reflect and do differently often emerges as a series of new year’s resolutions. Saying doesn’t make it so NYE resolutions are notorious for failing those who set them. Saying with conviction what you are going to do is not enough to make it happen. The statistics on how many people actually follow through and accomplish their New Year’s resolutions are rather grim. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. (Forbes.com). Gyms are joined, new

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Making meaning

2 months ago 0 0 121

A parent and child walk through a shopping centre and both see a man dressed in a red suit, with a white beard, sitting in a sleigh. It is mid December, and carols are pumping out of the speakers nearby. Both parent and child are exposed to the same stimuli, yet they make such different meaning from what they perceive. The child is filled with excitement and wonder and have thoughts and beliefs that are vastly different to the parent. The parent may know something different and interpret the scene in a completely different way. Neither is right or wrong – they are simply making meaning. We all attempt to make meaning from what we encounter. It helps understanding, decrease uncertainty and provide the ability to use such meaning to help predict things like this when they happen again.  Everyone starts their meaning making from what they already know –

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A zen performance philosophy

6 months ago 0 0 466

Last week, I posted on the idea of entitlement.  This struck a chord with many readers and raised many questions. In this week’s post, I offer some ideas in what else you could do. Key points: Endeavour, Earning and entitlement are three different ways to live your life Each of these ways requires a different focus in what you do, and what you get back They also massively change the way you impact others. The large dissatisfaction that seems to be present in the world can be reframed when we consider the 3 ‘E’s of expectancy – Entitlement, earning and endeavour.  What we expect changes when we understand the nature of our expectation.  There is a mot that can be learned from Zen philosophy that can change the way we live our lives, remove distress and create more value. These three frames describe different ways to approach achievement. The first,

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Agile as a mindset or a methodology?

1 year ago 0 0 781

There is so much to be gained by using positive project methodologies such as scrum or agile. It can positively change organisations when they take on modern project methodologies that turn old ways on their heads. The problem with these approaches is when they become fixed in the business as a methodology, rather than unleashing what they can being as a mindset. Let me explain. If I use an ‘agile methodology’, then I become process bound to do ‘sprints’ and all of the other specific process elements that are described in the agile process. Sure, I can get a certificate in agile process, and then become rigid around enforcing that process in my business. I have seen one sales team that used the scrum ‘daily standup meets’ with all of the hoopla, and a complete disinterest from the staff involved. However, because it was ‘in the process’, it was put

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Should they be in charge? (Assessing leadership)

1 year ago 0 0 577

The Australian opposition just selected as new leader, and the UK Tories are currently starting the process of finding a leader to replace Ms. May and take them forward. It is likely that the people selected for these roles are not chosen on their ‘ability to lead’, but rather may other elements.  In a ‘perfect world’, how do we go about assessing leadership, both in current leaders and leadership aspirants?  In truth, people are routinely terrible at identifying and selecting great leaders. Whilst we are desperate to identify them, install them and even emulate them, knowing what will make a great leader is fraught with human error. In our desire to find and become great leaders, we often get sucked into the myth that is the cult of leadership. Why are we suckers for the cult of leadership? Humans seem to have a need to raise onto pedestals people who

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Is it time to fight your biggest enemies?

1 year ago 0 0 653

Sometimes they feel like your closest friends. They seem to want to keep you safe, keep you comfortable. But these two ‘false friends’ are your worst enemies if you want to succeed in business or in life. These old friends are fear and habit. They are insidious. They don’t walk around bold as brass. Most often they hide themselves away and ‘whisper’ into your ear. They sprinkle just enough of their magic on what you do to keep you stuck, keep you scared and keep you small. Have you ever sat in a meeting where someone says “yes, but we don’t do it that way!”. Or someone might find a way to get their point across with something like “But what if we don’t do it!” These are simply versions of your false friends speaking up to keep you stuck. There is some sort of comfort in not changing, not

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Frictionless business.

1 year ago 0 0 481

Friction is a force that acts against forward movement. It creates noise, it creates heat, it transforms the kinetic energy of forward motion into something else. Friction is something that takes energy and effort to overcome, and when an object is at rest, can add to the inertia to make it harder to get things moving. It seems like this is just physics, but it is also the underlying problem of so many businesses. Without even realising it they are adding friction to their business processes and slowing down performance. Friction that is converting positive energy into unwanted byproducts, and requiring massive amounts of additional effort to be put in by customers and staff to overcome the inertia that this friction generates. Simply put, a customer experiences ‘friction’ every time the process of doing business with you is slowed or impeded by your rules, habits or inefficiencies. Or a staff

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The leadership decision ‘speed trap’

4 years ago 1 0 1207

Leaders need to know the difference between haste and speed, particularly when it comes to their thinking. In modern business, we seem to be in the habit of needing to be ‘fast’ to just keep up. However, going too fast can get leaders stuck in a ‘speed trap’ that can get you and your business into trouble. Feeling pressured to make fast decisions – and even feeling that you have to make decisions for others when they can make them for themselves – can be critical leadership errors that can impact upon your leadership (and whole organisation) performance. Decision making requires an appropriate amount of thinking. What we have learned through behavioural economics and psychology, is that there are common errors inherent in thinking. These errors, although well documented, are routinely made by almost everyone. Leaders, under pressure to take decisions, often fall foul of these errors, sometimes with catastrophic

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