Welcome to the Clear
Thoughts™ newsletter from
|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
request, information, or idle chatter. Am I
really listening? Will I remember the
request? Unlikely, unless I sacrifice those
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
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
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.
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
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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
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
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
|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
"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
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© 2009 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.
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