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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Making resilience real

3 months ago 0 0 195

In times of extreme change – as we have seen in 2020 – resilience becomes a key property of individuals, teams, and organisations that want to not only survive, but to thrive. Resilience is often used to describe an ‘ability to cope’ – like a spring that bends under pressure that then ‘snaps back’ when the pressure is released. As we have learned from the accelerated and amplified change of 2020 and the COVID pandemic, not everything that changes ‘snaps back’ – which means that the change pressure doesn’t go away, it remains in place and may even get greater. Consider your business circumstance through the pandemic, and in particular what has changed for your customers: What changes have occurred that will now remain as the new ‘normal’? What changes occurred that will ‘snap back’ to the way they were when the change pressure is removed? What changes have been

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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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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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Managing in uncertainty for high performance

4 years ago 0 0 1258

What is uncertainty? If we listen to the famous Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times”, we can see it as both a blessing and a curse. We are certainly living in interesting – if not uncertain – times. With Brexit, the extended time for Australian election to be decided, the rise of Donald Trump, the disagreements in the South China Sea, we can feel that there is uncertainty all around us. These uncertain times drive very specific responses. Often, these responses are not the best possible responses for the individual or the society in which they exist. How do people respond to uncertainty? When people experience uncertainty, it can mean that the person is out of their comfort zone. When there is uncertainty, people struggle to decide on what to do moving forward. They get stuck, and often have a lack of skill or strategy in deciding how

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The stories that can ruin your business (part 1)

4 years ago 0 0 1023

I was presenting on culture and leadership at a recent conference (#100millionimpacts, for B1G1), and whilst facilitating a panel discussion, a common theme that emerged was the importance of the stories in business. In response to many questions after the session, here are a few thoughts on stories in business to extend that discussion further: Stories are powerful means of communication. Often, people believe that storytelling ends when the kids grow up. However, there are stories being told within your business – and about your business – that can either take it to new heights of success or lead it to ruin. What stories are being told about your business? People communicate through stories. As people communicate, they engage each other through analogy (this is like that), metaphor (the army of sales reps) and stories. Humans are always using these processes to engage their listeners, develop shared meaning and convey

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snap out of it! – your workplace trance is stifling your performance

4 years ago 0 0 864

We can’t help it – we all get hypnotised by our circumstances. The quality of your performance and culture is often a direct result of the workplace ‘trance’ that you and your teams are in. So many people seem to get stuck in low quality ‘trances’, where poor performance is the only practical outcome. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. We can consciously choose a higher quality trance and then achieve so much more. Hypnosis works by placing people into trance. Whilst there are lots of scary ideas about hypnosis and trance, world experts in the field define trance quite pragmatically: Trance is a simply a state of focused attention. Consider when you are absorbed in a great book or TV show. People can walk in and out of the room, and you may not even notice them. You can be absorbed in the story, and instead of

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