Uncommon Clarity, Inc.
October 2009


Welcome to the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter from Uncommon Clarity

In This Issue
  • Introductory Thoughts - New Offering
  • People Thoughts - Idea Eaters
  • Book Thoughts - Ann's Book Now Available
  • Strategic Thoughts - Humdrum, Pep Fest, or Results?
  • Parting Thoughts - Pessimism, Poetry, and Trouble

  • People Thoughts - Idea Eaters

    Running and showering generate great ideas. Client visits inspire articles and tasks. Deep concentration floats multiple concepts that must be grounded before switching gears. In all cases, I rush to paper or voice recorder to capture my thoughts before I forget.

    The circumstances were different when I worked in corporate America, but the frustration the same: just as I am jotting critical notes, someone interrupts with a question, request, information, or idle chatter. Am I really listening? Will I remember the request? Unlikely, unless I sacrifice those precious thoughts.

    When you walk into someone's office, meet them in the hall, or call them on the phone, do you dive right in, assuming they are waiting on your every word with an empty mind? Or do you pause to see if you are interrupting?

    I've encountered plenty of managers who never hesitate to interrupt. If the time is good for them, they just do it. Those same managers wonder why people don't seem to hear or remember what they have been told.

    Communication is a two-way street. If you choose a moment when the other party is unreceptive, the blame for failed communication lies with you.

    And, of course, the scenarios offered here represent only one thin slice of circumstances when employees may be unreceptive.

    Show more respect for your employees and their work by looking for signs of receptivity before barging in with your own agenda and you will increase both productivity and morale.

    Book Thoughts - Ann's Book Now Available
    Clear Thoughts - Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking

    If you find my Clear Thoughts™ newsletter helpful, get a copy of my book, Clear Thoughts - Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking!

    Take advantage of free shipping when you buy extra copies for all your managers, supervisors, and high-potential employees!

    Strategic Thoughts - Humdrum, Pep Fest, or Results?

    For many organizations, strategic planning is a task that hits the To Do list about this time of year. Executives do it because they think they are supposed to. Like an annual physical, no one especially likes it, nor does anyone expect much good to come of it. People go through the paces so they can check it off the list.

    For most, strategic planning is much more about planning, then strategy. The focus is largely operational and the organization continues moving in the same direction it always has.

    For others, strategic planning is more like a pep fest. Lots of people are involved in brainstorming and funky group sessions. The result is often a mom-and-apple-pie chest-thumping about how great you could be captured in vision, mission, and value statements that sound just like the company next door. Little plastic cards are passed around for who knows what purpose and all return to their desks and do what they have always done.

    Both are nonsense. If it doesn't add real value, just skip it. Or, try something different.

    A good process is all about strategic thinking, not planning. It turns things upside down, challenges the sacred cows, and opens new doors. It looks outward far more than inward. It not only peels back the onion, the layers of assumptions governing the business, it also tests the very core against new opportunities and current trends. If it doesn't change your direction, it at least raises the bar.

    If you are tired of little plastic cards and realize that business as usual just might not work anymore, this is a great year to get out of your box. Give us a call toll free at 1-800-527-0087.

    Parting Thoughts - Pessimism, Poetry, and Trouble

    It must be human nature to barrel forward optimistically without pausing to consider what could go wrong. Examples abound if you pay attention. Thus, take heed from A.E. Housman's explanation as to why he wrote gloomy poetry:

    "And, while the sun and moon endure
    Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
    I'd face it as a wise man would,
    And train for ill and not for good."

    From a wonderful poem, Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff, by A.E. Housman

    Best regards,

    Ann's Signature

    Ann Latham

    P.S. Do your friends and colleagues a favor! Share the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter with them so they can join our many loyal subscribers worldwide.

    We encourage sharing of these Clear Thoughts™ in whole or in part with attribution, copyright and website address, www.uncommonclarity.com, included.

    You are receiving this email as a friend of Uncommon Clarity, Inc. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, please add ann@uncommonclarity.com to your address book.

    2009 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.

    Introductory Thoughts - New Offering
    Ann Latham

    Need some quick help with a difficult situation, timely advice to accelerate progress, or a confidential sounding-board to help clarify and test your ideas and plans? Check out our new offering, On-Call Consulting.

    Uncommon Clarity helps clients dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. But don't take our word for it, read what others have to say.

    Media Sightings:

    BusinessWeek, Forbes, and MSNBC quote Ann

    Ann provides advice to aspiring business women - TV video and report

    Uncommonly Clear Time Management Tips

    Productive Debate - Ann's Blog

    Ann joins Strategy Masterminds

    Visit UncommonClarity.com

    Previous Newsletters

    Questions? Comments?

    Subscribe to Clear Thoughts

    Email Marketing by