Change is often discouraged or debated in organizations until there are no other options, and sometimes at great calamity. Tom Neff, my mentor, taught me that organizations must embrace and plan for change by choosing progress instead of letting inevitable change just happen to them. We have seen countless industries migrate through the revolutionary transitions of the last 25 years, and we have also observed others that have refused or fought change at every step.

Organizations and individuals that are paying attention, taking a leadership position and adapting choose to progress through their change paradigm and often succeed in becoming stronger, better companies. There is a great article about General Patreaus and his Adaptive Leadership style. Let’s face it, the military has gone through significant change and if you think they have relied on old style top down management style you are wrong. Give this article a read to learn about a great “soldier, scholar and statesman,” I hope it encourages you to choose progress during this time of change. Read more…

Many business and entities automatically assume certain outcomes and modes of operations for their given business model because of what is considered the norm. However, buy stepping back and evaluating Revenue Model options from the beginning and working backwards leads to innovation and opportunity, many times creating Blue Ocean opportunities by themselves. Professor Andy Hargadon at UC-Davis has identified 8: Unit sales, Advertising fees, Franchise fees, Utility fees, Subscription fees, Transaction fees, Professional fees and License fees.

Many times the Revenue model decision will lead to innovations in distribution, audience building, packaging, etc. that create opportunities and  differentiation that contribute to the strategy canvas and ultimately success. Determining  the revenue model creates a clearer out point to begin building the plan and monitoring the progress as you move forward. It also makes it clearer as to what analytics need to be monitored along the way to insure  conversions, economic (sales) and non-economic (non-sales but ultimately lead to sales) are occurring and building. Make sure you have clearly defined your Revenue Model and aligned all of your efforts to maximize it. Want to know more, Read…

 

One season, we ran a tour with two bands on a tour bus, living on the road together for a month at a time over 9 months. It is typical for folks to chide one another, and it can get pretty tough when they are living on a “land submarine” 12 hours a day!

I realized as we pulled into venues for shows that the band members would often be wise cracking on each other, and the folks we encountered would step back in surprise at how cutting some of the remarks were. Even said in jest they had some truth and no edification.

We made a policy of “no dissing on the bus.” It was incredible to see how this small conscious effort changed the relationship of everyone on the tour, not to mention those with whom we came in contact. We also found other things to humor ourselves with and often ended up laughing together. I still think of those times as some of my fondest memories, even though we were also working our rear ends off!

Any group of people can fall into this apparently innocent practice. But it runs right up there with gossip, and it can certainly breed a very bad environment.

Many times on turn around assignments, I have found that this was one of the first cultural elements we needed to deal with to get the ship back on track. How we interact with others in the course of our day-to-day business will not only change how they feel, but it will also change how productive they are and how willing they are to work with you.

I recently read about a book written by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath that gives some great strategies to help influence our workplace by building relationships instead of tearing them down. Read more… How Full Is Your Workforce Bucket?

I belong to a professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, which was founded in 1904 in part to promote and advance ethics in business.

Over the years I served in leadership, and subsequently we have continued to wrestle with ethics in business issues. Over the last 20 years we have seen the pendulum swing back and forth on this issue from the greed generation to the latest Wall Street and Madoff debacle.

Knowing your ethics and having integrity should be essential – yet why do so many struggle, or better yet, gladly succumb? Dan Heath and Chip Heath have written an interesting article: perhaps you should go more with your gut.

Read more…Why Your Gut Is More Ethical Than Your Brain

Go see Star Trek! I have always enjoyed the show, but would not call myself a Trekky. However, this installment of the franchise will not disappoint and it is a great theater experience.

Not only is Star Trek good entertainment, but there are lessons to be learned from the series as well. Whether it was Captain Kirk, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, or even Mr. Spock, their observations about everything from goal-setting to meetings are often very astute.

Kit Eaton, writer at FastCompany.com, has put together 12 leadership lessons we can learn from the men in futuristic uniform…Read 12 Leadership Lessons From the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise…

When going gets tough, get proactive and strategize. The inclination to immediately cut spending as a reaction to an economic decline is the business version of “fight or flight,” and can cause big problems. Instead, companies should focus on cutting only weak products. Moreover, instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, leaders should be proactive and use data in crafting a strategy.  Forbes.com

And influence others to follow in your footsteps? 5 reasons many leaders fail to have lasting impact on employees
Only 20% of leaders truly influence workers in a way that lasts, research indicates. Some leaders lack influence because they don’t think it’s their job to influence others; other leaders simply lack competence; and others in leadership positions don’t realize that influencing involves more than talking.  ManageSmarter.com