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|Quick Thoughts - Clarify the Objectives
Why is it so much easier to talk about
objectives? I wish I knew the answer, though I
suspect it has something to do with inventing
creating being more fun than analyzing and
a disciplined fashion. All I know for sure
is that you
can see evidence of it everywhere.
I recently attended an annual meeting of an
organization where the group argued about the
contents and format of an internet survey. As a
newcomer, I just listened until I could stand
longer and then I asked what they were hoping to
achieve with the survey and how they had been
using the data from the paper survey up until
point. Suddenly, it was really quiet.
said that they just thought it would be good
information to have and they went back to their
I'm sure you can think of lots of similar
your own experiences:
- People debating the approach of a
brochure without agreeing first on the target
- Meetings wandering according to individual
agendas because the organizer has not
purpose nor have the participants asked for
- People arguing about what should go on a
without first discussing why they need one
they hope to achieve by creating one
How can anyone make good decisions without
starting with a clear purpose?
They can't, of course, though sometimes they get
lucky. Here is a line that will save you
money over and over again:
*** "What are we trying to accomplish?" ***
|Book Thoughts - First, Break All The Rules
First, Break All The Rules by Marcus
Buckingham & Curt Coffman is an interesting
management book. The subtitle, "What the
Greatest Managers Do Differently", sums up the
content well. The authors spell out many
good managers already know but might not know
they know. Whether these are lessons you have
preached for years, tidbits that ring true
you read them, or completely new ideas to
basic lessons provided are intriguing and
will likely get
you thinking and managing a little differently.
The most valuable aspect of this book is the
distinguishes among knowledge, skills, and
Not only are the distinctions important, and the
foundation for their advice on hiring and
but talent is defined from an interesting
With this definition, the distinctions among
knowledge, skills, and talents become
one knows, what one can do, and what one is
inclined to do.
- Rather than thinking of talent as
makes someone extraordinary or more valuable
another, think of talent as that which makes
person unique and therefore well-suited for
and not others.
- Think of talent as a person's unique way
the world, communicating with the world, and
reacting to the world.
- Think of talent as filters and mental
- Think of your talents as:
- the things you always do WELL,
- the things you ALWAYS DO,
- the things you CAN'T NOT do.
The main short-coming of the book is that the
authors pose the insights of the great
contradictions to conventional wisdom. You must
wade through often tedious explanations of that
conventional wisdom before you get to read the
secrets of the great managers.
So what are some of these secrets?
- Select people carefully - select for
match the job requirements (and not for
knowledge that are more easily rectified)
- Help each employee become more of what they
are rather than trying to change them into
- Set expectations by defining desired
- Know what the customer needs, know what the
company needs, and know what the employee
- Don't treat employees the same unless
the same, which they are not
- Invest in your best, watch your best for
excellence and use your best to set goals
- Deal with performance problems starting
- missing skill or knowledge
- missing motivational trigger
- mismatch of job requirements with employee
talents, a situation which may or may not
The book concludes with good, specific advice,
including lists of questions, for hiring and
For specific examples and further
explanation, take a
look at the book, which is available in the
Central/Western Massachusetts Library Catalog.
|Parting Thoughts - What is Success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the
affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a little better, whether by a
healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed
To know even one life has breathed easier
you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are excited to be helping clients in the
Pioneer Valley after many years in the
St. Paul metro area! Our goal is to help you
your business objectives. We specialize in
problems and translating operational
manageable action and results. Please
contact us to
discuss your business challenges and problems.
- Ann Latham