Blog Archives

Don’t Reorganize — Instead, Fix the Fundamentals

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | Download (480.8KB) Portlanders will vote on the creation of a new water district in May, potentially wresting control of water from the City Council. In other words, a reorg. It’s not just voters

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Two Ways to Become a Best Place to Work

Your company can start to become a best place to work with two simple improvements. These two fixes, research for the Oregon Best Places to Work award shows, have the greatest impact on workers’ job satisfaction. Have a Purpose Employees at

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Car Ignition Recalls and Lean Product Design

Auto recalls come and go. The current recall is for ignitions. Previously it was, I believe, floor mats. Next it’ll be turn signals, or perhaps fuzzy dice. (My tone here is light, however let’s not forget that faulty ignitions and

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Life Liberty and Property are the Future Present and Past

As I look at current events in Syria and Ukraine, and talk to young adults, I realize how fragile our freedoms are. Life Liberty and Property When our forebears spoke and wrote about “Life, Liberty and Property” they were really

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Flight 370 and Scenario Planning – How to Handle the Unexpected

As the world watched the unfolding mystery of Flight 370, and the seemingly inept response by various officials and agencies, the wise manager or leader should feel worried.  (The horrible mud-slide in Washington State is even closer to home, for

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How to Help Your Staff Solve Their Own Problems

Here’s how to help your staff solve their own problems. At a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single

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Leader Bookshelf – Old and New

My mornings are best when I start them off reading something stimulating, challenging and enlightening. These are the books I couldn’t put down over the past few months. Each has an Amazon links, and many are available at your local

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State of Your Personal Union

This year’s State of the Union address holds many lessons for all leaders.  Here are three, and the actions I suggest for you. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses Know your Strategy Negotiate Dispassionately Know your Strengths and Weaknesses Peter Drucker

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How to Simplify Your Life

January needn’t be a time to make well intentioned promises to yourself that you soon break. (And most do get broken. According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1/4 of resolutions only last a

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How to Write your Boss a Thank You for their Leadership

I’m often asked how to thank a boss or a team leader for their leadership. It’s simple and easy, if you follow the right steps. It’s also fraught with peril. Do it wrong, and you can come across as an

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Out of Crisis – Stop Fighting Fires

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | Download (342.3KB) What if being in chaos was optional? What if crisis, or chaos, or “firefighting,” or feeling behind schedule, behind the press of constantly emerging problems, could be stopped? It can.  It’s

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How to Measure Marketing Effectiveness

How can you measure marketing effectiveness? If it gets better, how can you measure the improvement? By business modeling.  The modeling process itself will uncover any holes in your marketing process. How to Measure Anything A “measurement” is any observation

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Three Ways to be Nicer to your Future Self

Have you noticed how different your future self is, from yourself today? My future self, apparently, has lots of free time.  He has money. He’s very decisive. He goes to the gym with the regularity of a metronome. His self-control

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How to add Merit Selection in a Family Business

I was recently asked: Our family is in diversified businesses across our state. We don’t insist that family members (3rd generation) join the businesses, but they always have a place if they choose to. Unfortunately, this has led to two

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More on Acing your Personal Improvement Plan

Dear Matt – Thanks for writing and asking for help with succeeding in your Personal Improvement Plan (PIP), also called a Personal Development Plan or a Performance Improvement Plan.  You’ve already read the Basic Guidance.  Here are some advanced tips. Clarify

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