Uncommon Clarity, Inc.
Newsletter, July 2007

Greetings!

Welcome to Clear Thoughts from Uncommon Clarity

In This Issue
  • Introductory Thoughts
  • Strategic Thoughts - Better, Lucky, Someone's Habit?
  • People Thoughts - Fixing Bad Attitudes
  • More Thoughts - Give Your Homing Pigeon a Home
  • Parting Thoughts - Trust, Commitment, Cooperation

  • Strategic Thoughts - Better, Lucky, Someone's Habit?

    How do you win customers?

    Perhaps you are better than the alternatives. More value for the money. Exactly what they need.

    Maybe you are convenient, easy, friendly - a standout for those "free" intangibles that come with doing business.

    Or perhaps you are someone's habit. The phone number on the notepad. You once had an edge - the best location, a great brand - but now you're not sure. Inertia and familiarity could be your greatest assets.

    Of course, you could be just lucky. It happens. You've built it, they come.

    Whether you hold a position of strength, habit, or luck, don't leave your future to chance. The world is not standing still. Customers move on. Competition moves in. Take time out to understand your customer, your competitive edge, and the changes affecting your business. Develop a strategy that translates your strengths into a winning business proposition for the future.

    Not sure where you stand, where to start, or how to win? Contact us today at 413-527-3737.


    People Thoughts - Fixing Bad Attitudes

    A client complained that one of his employees was not stepping up and taking responsibility. As a manager, why wasn't she willing to take more ownership? Why couldn't she just make more decisions on her own? He was frustrated and, though it was outside the scope of our project, asked my opinion.

    I asked the employee to make a list of her responsibilities. She quickly generated a lengthy, well-organized list and guess what? Nothing on her list indicated that she understood her responsibilities to include those her boss thought she was reluctant to assume.

    To perform any job well, a person must have:

    1. Clear expectations
    2. Relevant knowledge
    3. Suitable skills, and
    4. Willingness
    No matter how incredible the employee, success requires all four. Furthermore, any gaps must be filled in this order. No way can you "fix" the attitude, which we often assume is the problem, if the first three are missing.

    When confronted with an employee problem, always start with #1 and work your way down the list. If you ask sincere, open-ended questions to uncover gaps in the first three, you will be amazed at how rarely you get to #4. Attitude is more likely to be a symptom than a cause.

    In the case of my client, the employee clearly did not understand the expectations. The solution was pretty simple, and the results, miraculous!


    More Thoughts - Give Your Homing Pigeon a Home

    Imagine a homing pigeon without a home. It would fly aimlessly and starve to death. But with a home, the pigeon can start from anywhere and choose among many routes to return to the roost. People tend to operate like homeless homing pigeons. The evidence is everywhere.

    Read More ...


    Parting Thoughts - Trust, Commitment, Cooperation


    Trust, Commitment, Cooperation ...

    With them, what can't you do?
    Without them, what can you do?


    Ann's Signature



    Ann Latham

    If you enjoyed this edition of Clear Thoughts, please forward it to others who may be interested.

    2007 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.

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    Introductory Thoughts
    Ann Latham

    During a recent speech, I asked the audience if they could explain their company strategy briefly and specifically. Once the squirming and ducking subsided, we considered the number of hours and dollars controlled by all managers and their sense of priorities:

    • What to do
    • What not to do
    • How well to do it
    The number was huge. Since operational excellence is not a strategy in itself, their concern was palpable. If managers can't explain company strategy, how can their myriad decisions support it?

    Uncommon Clarity helps organizations improve the strategies and systems that make people productive, processes reliable, and customers happy.

    Please contact us for help in achieving your business objectives.

    - Ann Latham

    413-527-3737

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