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This is 500!

culture leadership strategy Jun 27, 2019

500 weeks ago, I committed to sending value to my community every single week. This is almost 10 years!

I called this newsletter "Friday Noon Memo".

Thank you for being a reader and by this a supporter of the “success movement” for making the world a better place.

Here are four landmark posts over the last 500 weeks.

I think they didn't lose any relevance.

Enjoy reading!

Issue #1, October 9th, 2009:

Foundations for a better performance 

Let me invite you to our Friday noon memo where we discuss fresh ideas about better performance of people and organisations. Enjoy reading.

Always the same story

All organisations presume they are different from the competition. Perhaps they are, to a certain extent; however, three key challenges are almost the same for each organisation, no matter in which industry, of what size, if non-profit or commercial.

  1. The goals, objectives and strategies are not consistent or not consistently communicated.
  2. The business processes are not standardised or not transparent-or both.
  3. The business processes are not executed in the expected way, whether due to a lack of communication or consistency, or simply due to incorrect perceptions at headquarters.

The good news is: You can overcome those challenges. Start today with small steps in the right direction. In the upcoming memos we will discuss a number of "tips & tricks" for real impact through simple actions.

Till next Friday.

Issue #101, 7 October 2011:

Cause and effect

After A comes B. Sure? If you sell more products at the same price, then your revenue will grow. Right? If you pay out more rewards to your sales staff, then the sales will grow. Perhaps. Perhaps not. If you decrease the prices of your services, then you will sell more. It depends.

The correct estimation of cause and effect is a wicked problem when it comes to business decisions.

Many managers spend a tremendous amount of time finding the screws they have to turn to become or stay successful.

The trick is this: The different screws are interrelated.

What is the solution? Consistency.

The chances for success are by far higher if you drive consistent activities toward your goals. If one measure shows no effect, then the next will push forward instead.

The keywords are clear goals and consistent actions.You need both.

It is as simple as that. Most organizations that I see lack at least one of these two ingredients. Many lack both: They stumble ahead toward unclear goals. They will not be successful, at least not sustainably.

This is, by the way, a very clear cause-and-effect relationship!

Monday morning task: Ask some of your people how clear they find the organization's goals and how consistent the related actions.

Issue #201, 13 September 2013:

Collateral achievements

One of our clients recently reported that, because of the excellent strategy work we did with them, they have started to find more ambitious and talented new employees. The point: finding new and better people was not part of our project. Building a positive future was.

The thing is that we see numerous collateral results with our clients when working with them on the creation of a positive and exciting future(others use the unemotional term "strategy definition" for this).

You can achieve the same effect if you seed the mindset of your people with opportunities and forward-thinking attitudes. Some of the collateral achievements include:

  • Execution velocity in all business areas increases. Based on new enthusiasm, people focus more and work harder in order to achieve results.
  • Talent is attracted to the company, as mentioned above.
  • Collaboration improves dramatically. Sometimes for the first time, people see themselves as a part of a real team, striving for big goals.
  • Customers are approached with higher confidence, which quite often results in better sales.
  • Efficiency increases because staff members see themselves as an integral part of the business instead of getting just a salary for task execution and working hours for an abstract entity.

The list could go on. The point is that dedication to the creation of a positive future on the part of you as a leader will cause dramatic positive side effects, some of which you may not even have thought of in the beginning.

Issue #301, 21 August 2015:

Are you growing or dying?

You probably know the saying that there is no standing still in life. You are either growing or you are falling behind. Look at nature: what’s not growing is dying. 

What I find more surprising is the fact that many organizations are like a protected area for those who are satisfied with the status quo. Many people in those organizations have lost all hunger for growth. They are living their lives like a being that is moved here or there without a real drive to stand up and say: “It is me who gives direction!” 

I’m not making the case here for starting a revolution in your organization (even if this would sometimes be needed). What I’m saying is that you only live up to 10 percent of your capabilities as a human being if you stop growing. 

And to provoke it even more: It is amazingly selfish not to grow personally at the highest rate possible. Because you are gifted to help other people living better lives, to make a positive contribution to the world. By not tapping into your full potential, you are consequently refusing to help others. 

In my blog, I regularly give tips and ideas about growth levers for yourself and your team. So, the next questions then is: how do you know that you are growing? This question sounds simple, yet it is profound. Only if you are sure that you are growing with the highest impact are you on the right track. Most people (and businesses) in contrast are like leaves in the wind, sometimes moved up, sometimes down. 

Issue #401, 4 August 2017:

Why Roger Federer wins

Some weeks ago, the tennis player and exceptional sportsman Roger Federer won his eighth title in Wimbledon and is thus also the record holder in this category. It doesn't matter how much you are interested in tennis:

If you want to achieve more in private life or business, it is always worth looking at such outstanding personalities. 

I don't want to repeat here his various strengths, as you can read about them everywhere. But the longer I study Roger Federer and other successful people, the more I notice exactly one characteristic that most others do not have: 

The best of the best can always add one level on top. 

What do I mean by that? Let's keep with the example of Federer: Whenever it gets a little tight, when the opponent puts him under pressure, he gets a little better, hits a little more precisely, increases his performance a bit. 

You can also observe this with other top athletes and winners: If they are under pressure, they can still improve a little bit, even if it seems almost impossible. 

My question to you is this: To what extent can you and your team improve even when it becomes difficult? Are all of them standing together? Or do they give up instead? Do they stretch themselves or do they tend to call a meeting or a committee first to "win time"? Do they act or discuss? 

Most of the teams and organizations I see are more likely to be paralyzed when times get tough instead of topping up their performance. 

Make it better and become a true winner!

Grow your success every week!

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