Blog Archives

Your Service Quality Journey and the 95 Method – with Tripp Babbitt

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done. – Peter Drucker I interviewed Tripp Babbitt, host of the new Deming Institute podcasts and author of an excellent free e-book, The

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Coming Aboard as a New CEO – with Mitch Pisik

One of your must vulnerable — yet important — times as a leader is when you’re first starting. How might you come on board quickly and effectively, whether as a CEO or in any other role? I interviewed Mitch Pisik,

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Not Knowing Communication Styles can Sabotage your Work

Jim walked out of a recent meeting with his promising, smart new teammate, Jill, seething with frustration. “I can’t tell which Jill will show up — Jeckyll or Hyde,” he spluttered to his coach. Jim’s gestures were sharp, fast slashes at

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Out of Crisis – Stop Fighting Fires

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 simple.  It’s not easy.  Here are your three steps

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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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How to Get More from a Staff Member

Whether you’re a CEO or a front line manager, you should always be trying to get more out of the people who report to you. (As a worker, you should always be looking for ways to contribute more and increase

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How to Ace your Personal Improvement Plan

Uh oh. You just got put on probation at work — your boss and HR gave you a “Performance Improvement Plan” or “Personal Development Plan”. The bad news is, you’re now half-way to being fired. The good news is, you

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Start Benchmarking in Five Minutes

The hardest part of starting to track your performance is to just start. So, just start quick and dirty. It’s worth it — you’ll dramatically boost your odds of achieving your goals by spending 5 minutes setting up benchmarks. My

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Four Steps to Faster, Better Strategic Planning

For ten years, Jill struggled to make a profit. At over $8 million in sales, her specialty call center should have been providing her with annual profits of 8-12% or between $640,000 and a million dollars. Instead she paid herself

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Three Strategy Insights for Small Business

Good strategy lets you outmaneuver your bigger competitors. Bad strategy can sink your business. Here are three insights you can use to harness strategic thinking and planning for your small business: Have a Strategy Kernel Build a complete strategy from

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Evaluating Staff Performance, Redux

It’s the end of Q4 and leaders are once more pondering staff performance evaluations. Most people evaluate too little too late. Here’s how you can get way, way ahead of the curve for 2013. As I’ve mentioned before, you’ll make

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How to Rise Above Circumstances

Dave was in a bind. His top architects were all idle because his drafters were behind on their work.  Clients were going to get their plans late. Dave explained that his drafting department was a little short handed, and he

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How to Pick Good Metrics

For every leader who loves numbers, there is a skeptic. They both have points — without measures, we cannot tell how we are doing, yet many metrics seem arbitrary or measure the wrong thing.  Meanwhile, often the right goals seem

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How to Get In and Out of the Weeds

Should you be a ‘big picture’ leader or should you ‘sweat the small stuff’?  The best leaders do both — the real trick is to swap between the two regularly, without allowing yourself to become fooled. Take two business owners.

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Connecting Strategy to Workforce Management – Feb 17,2012

I interview Carl Hoffmann and Tim Ringo, authors of the new book “Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization.” Carl Hoffmann is a former Partner and Vice President of IBMs Global Business Services group. Cur…

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