Uncommon Clarity, Inc.
Newsletter, November - December 2007


Welcome to Clear Thoughts from Uncommon Clarity

In This Issue
  • Reflective Thoughts - Welcome Evidence
  • Management Thoughts - Agility and Resilience
  • Strategic Thoughts - No Geeks? No Geniuses? No Problem!
  • Parting Thoughts - Doubt

  • Management Thoughts - Agility and Resilience

    A steep path descends from our backyard. We haul branches down to a brush pile far below and wood cut by beaver back up to our woodpile. Only a Neanderthal would relish the climb so I watch for the tiny white pine in the middle of the path as a distraction. It can't escape the abuse of branches, cart and feet, yet it still looks healthy after every trip. I am amazed.

    We want our businesses to be strong and able to grow under tough conditions too. Nature creates strength through flexibility, but we often try to build strength through control and detail - iron clad plans, rules, detailed procedures, and tight management. The result is rigidity, not strength.

    In this era of accelerating change and competition, we desperately need strength, and we need the kind of strength that allows us to be quick and adaptable while delivering reliable, repeatable results. We need strength through agility and resilience.

    What makes an organization agile and resilient?

    It is the people. Each and every one. With the knowledge, skills and authority to act and react efficiently and effectively as situations unfold. Able to make daily decisions that support the nature, direction and priorities of the organization. Confident in their ability to make a positive contribution.

    Strength, agility and resilience are the result of empowering your people.

    Are your people empowered? Would like our assessment? Call us today.

    Strategic Thoughts - No Geeks? No Geniuses? No Problem!

    Do you believe innovative opportunities emerge only from the minds of geeks and geniuses capable of wondrous technological breakthroughs?

    Not so. Most innovations involve the application of existing capabilities to new situations or in new combinations.

    For example, the first laptop was not technically difficult. It wasn't even technically very good. But it was portable.

    Starbucks created a new experience for coffee drinkers. Strong coffee, funky atmosphere, and goofy nomenclature for drink size.

    The iPhone bundles existing capabilities in the coolest, easiest, got-to-have device imaginable.

    Steve Herrell launched designer ice cream by stirring in candies and cookies.

    FedEx decided to do it faster. Guaranteed.

    Southwest Airlines ditched reserved seats, meals, complex fare structures, and more to focus on flying people quickly for less.

    Innovation is about finding new ways to satisfy age-old wants and needs such as portability, ambience with flavor, the cool factor, great ice cream, fast service, and inexpensive flights. No geeks or geniuses required. Just a little imagination, a focus on the customer, and, perhaps, a dose of luck.

    Feeling short on imagination, focus or luck? Contact us today and we'll be glad to help you sharpen your competitive edge.

    Parting Thoughts - Doubt

    "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

    (ever wonder why this guy never has a first name?)

    Ann's Signature

    Ann Latham

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    2007 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.

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    Reflective Thoughts - Welcome Evidence
    Ann Latham

    Multi-tasking rots your brain! OK, early evidence perhaps (The Week, 10/26/07), but I'll buy it. After years of taking pride in my juggling, I welcome a powerful, rational excuse to resist. Now I can put everything away and calmly focus on one task at a time without feeling like a wimp. And now I have the perfect excuse, "Sorry, not now. I need to protect my brain." Good thing my daughters are old enough to fend for themselves!

    Uncommon Clarity can help your organization develop strong strategies and smart systems. Let us help you achieve growth and profitability through a competitive focus, productive people, reliable processes, and happy customers.

    - Ann Latham


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