Marietta — Kenichi Ohmae has been called, “Mr. Strategy,” for his innovative writings on corporate strategy and his creation of “The 3 C’s” business concept: 1) Customer, 2) Competitors, and 3) Corporation. His 1982 book entitled, “The Mind of the Strategist,” was a game changer in the world of organizational development for its insightful wisdom on how to identify the customer’s needs, evaluate the strengths of the company, and overcome competition. His comparisons of Japanese company structure vs. US companies strategic development have improved the way we do business globally and how growth has brought cross-cultural understanding as we all evolve into a global economy through technological improvements. Mr. Ohmae has held teaching positions at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, MIT, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Stanford University, along with others. Check out his recent work here.
Marietta — The EvE methodology is something I developed myself during a difficult and challenging project implementation for a large technology firm with a fast-growing Internet startup customer with huge hurdles to overcome.
I coined it, “Effort versus Effectiveness,” or EvE because we had over 100 tasks to accomplish in less than 48 hours! So I had the teams list the highest priority items in groups of ten. Then we took the TOP 10 and accomplished the top three first, then reshuffled the remaining seven until we were done, then moved on to the next ten items. We got it done on time and under budget. Have you heard the age-old rhetorical question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is: “One bite at a time.” If you feel overwhelmed by lots of tasks and not enough time to complete everything, try the EvE method: Prioritize, Reshuffle, “Do It” and Move On to the next task list.
Marietta – I know this sounds sort of “ZEN” and all, but an old friend (whom we will call “Pure Energy”) gave me some great advice everyone should adopt. When making a goal or setting an objective, act as if it has already happened.
For example, say you want to lose 20 pounds. Instead of making tons of plans and crazy exercise goals that you will probably never keep, start acting today like you have already lost the 20 pounds and let your new food choices and daily routines make you healthy. This can be applied to almost everything. Start living like you have already achieved your goals, which in your mind, you have. Try it and let me know how it works out. #NcourageXcellence
Marietta, GA Whether in school or your career, the two most important things to focus on for success according to Father Malachi Matin is:
- Critical thInking, and
- Effective communication
Why are these two things interrelated? Being able to speak and communicate clearly is crucial for effectiveness while critical thinking makes effort to accomplishment more efficient.
Our education system seems to have drifted away from these two pillars of knowledge. We can also point to numerous instances where people have enjoyed extraordinary success accomplishing these two areas without a formal degree.
Friend, I urge you to develop these two skills and put them into practice. Give of your knowledge freely and encourage excellence in everyone you come into contact with.
The Applied Journal of Cognitive Psychology conducted a 2009 study that has shed a new light on the habit of doodling. As part of the study, researcher Jackie Andrade played a lengthy voicemail to the group of volunteers. The first group was asked to doodle during the course of the message, while the second group was instructed to simply listen to the recording. Interestingly, the group of doodlers remembered 29% more details than the other group.
City University of New York psychology professor Jesse Prinz claims “doodling isn’t just a distraction from boredom- it may actually keep us from daydreaming and zoning out altogether. Mindless drawing [is]…a way to take all those things that distract you, all those subjects that you ruminate on, and clear them away [to] open this space where information can get in”.
So the next time you find yourself stuck in a long meeting or watching a lengthy informational video, embrace your creative side and doodle away!
Click the link below to be redirected to the original cbs news article on the study:
The below video segment expands upon the above research study and discusses how casual doodling can improve our daily memory and comprehension:
Kennesaw- Peter Drucker emphasized simplicity for decades. Part of his genius was the ability to take complex problems and break them down into simple observations that can be analyzed. “A turnaround requires abandoning whatever does not perform and doing more of what does perform”. Post-Capitalist Society
His message to us is to improve effectiveness by concentrating more on what works. Can’t get much simpler than that.
Encourage excellence by helping others focus on improving their strengths.
Click the link below to be redirected to a video segment of an interview with Drucker on his philosophies:
Environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, Ph.D., teaches individuals and businesses how to use color to help them achieve their goals. Whether you’re a supervisor looking to renovate your store, or a manager deciding what color to paint the office, color psychology can help us in our pursuits for success.
According to Augustin, the color of a wall can actually influence the way a person perceives temperature. For instance, cool colors like blue, green, and light purple have a tendency to make us believe it is colder, while warmer colors such as yellow, red, and orange can cause us to think it is warmer. Business owners can use this philosophy to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs. If you are based in a colder environment, painting a waiting room a warm color might cause others to think it is a few degrees warmer than it really is. While you should always keep your thermostat at a reasonable and safe temperature, it may still allow you to keep the temperature a few degrees lower.
The color green has been linked to broader thinking and creativity! I LOVE creative writing, so maybe this is one of the reasons I love this color? According to Augustin, “There is a positive association between nature and regrowth” when it comes to the color green. Likewise, Augustin argues that painting a work area green could help your employees be more productive.
Did you know that red sports cost more to insure? Forbes.com contributor Amy Morin writes, “When humans see the color red, their reactions become faster and more forceful”. Yet, this burst of energy, though powerful, is only momentary and red ultimately reduces our analytic thinking.
University of Rochester psychology professor Andrew Elliot maintains that “athletes are more likely to lose when they compete against an opponent wearing red, and students exposed to red before a test are likely to perform worse”.
Red has long been connected with concentration difficulties and feelings of defeat due to our memories of teachers using red pen to mark up our papers and tests.
While yellow usually isn’t a popular color, research surveys have shown the color blue to be the most preferred color among large groups. Historically, when our ancestors saw the color blue like a clear blue sky or a watering hole, it was a good sign. Painting an office building blue, therefore, is “likely to satisfy the majority of the people”.
What colors can you incorporate in your office to encourage excellence in others?
Click the link below to be redirected to the webpage for Sally Augustin’s business, Design with Science:
Click the link below to watch a PBS segment on the psychology of color in our business and personal lives:
Kennesaw- Friends, as you know, I am a huge fan of Peter Drucker (The Age of Discontinuity) and Richard Koch (80/20 Principle). Large companies have to adapt to rapid change in our new economy both internally and externally. If you work for a Fortune 500 company, take some time to study how you are going to contribute this year and how you can add measurable value to the bottom line. Like a manager of mine once said, revenue and margin solves most problems. Encourage excellence today.
Shawn Achor, Harvard scholar and researcher and author, has provided valuable insight on how to improve your daily productivity, by simply decreasing the amount of unnecessary “noise” in your life. In his book, Before Happiness, Achor discusses the surprising rewards of that can result from simply decreasing 5 percent of the “noise” in our daily lives.
Specifically, there are 4 effective ways we can allot more room in our brains by eliminating the following types of auditory input:
1) Mute TV and Internet commercials
2) Turn off the car radio when talking to others
3) Leave the radio off for the first 5 minutes in the car
4) Remove news media links from your internet bookmarks
For more information on Shawn Achor’s book and career research, click the link below to be directed to his website:
Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!!!!
By: Suzanne Ostrander
-Kennesaw, GA You feel like you’ve missed the memo, but unfortunately there was no memo to begin with. In fact, that’s kind of the problem.
It all started two weeks ago on a Monday morning. You thought the unfamiliar face who showed up at your meeting might have been an auditor. You give a friendly smile to the same gentleman as you pass him by in the break room the next morning, because hey- you always want your visitors to feel welcome! When returning from lunch on Wednesday afternoon, you are somewhat surprised to still see him roaming the halls carrying what seems to be an important stack of papers and an even greater sense of urgency. Once again, smiles are exchanged by both parties, as you secretly think to yourself “this guy must be a big deal”! Thursday rolls by uneventfully and the next thing you know it’s quitting time on Friday and you’re the last one to leave the office.
Or so you thought….
Like an eerie movie, you notice an unfamiliar, dark sedan next to yours in the parking lot. Who else is here? Curiously, you begin walking up and down the halls. Nothing seems out of place, until you get to the last cubicle on the left. That’s when you see it. Apparently, the friendly yet relatively ambiguous man who you took to be an auditor, is now sipping on the company coffee in his own office.
He is neither an auditor, nor is he here to clean the toilets. Congratulations, he is your new colleague.
Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation in your own office? The above example was written from the perspective of a clueless employee, but I can only imagine what it would be like for the new hire himself. Starting up a new job can be scary enough. It’s even worse when you’re “thrown to the wolves” and surrounded by nothing other than unidentified faces.
A successful company is not just about training employees to execute tasks. While the notion of productivity is important, we can only go so far in our career endeavors without an underlying network of strong relationships established by kindness and strengthened through trust.
Many of these relationships begin on your first day at the company. It rests on the shoulders of management to properly introduce any new employee in his group, albeit full-time, part-time, temporary, hourly, or contractor. Of course, managers might not always be able to identify every vendor, prospective client, or job candidate who walks into the front door. If they have an email address, however, the “worker bees” need to know who they are.
Announcing a new hire can be easily achieved via a company memo (you know…the ones you always miss?) or a casual, yet informative quick announcement in an office-wide meeting.
Timing is essential, though. Experts say that this should probably be done on the first day. Therefore, if a manager does not get an opportunity to gather everybody for an announcement on a new hire’s first day, he should take five minutes to send out an email to introduce the newest member of the group and make him or her feel welcome.
Earlier, I mentioned the aspect of trust to be the single, most unifying force in all relationships. How can this failure to welcome a new employee damage both the new hire’s sense of trust for the company, as well as the rest of the employees’ trust for the company?
There are many ways, really. To begin with though, the new employee may begin to question how much faith the company has invested in him or her. Perhaps it could make the new team member think that, despite being hired, management may not be expecting them to make it very long.
Let’s flip the coin, and view the scenario once again from the perspective of the confused and uninformed employees. At first, many employee’s may simply assume they “missed the boat” (a return to the repeated”missed memo” theme). Maybe they were on the phone with a client or daydreaming in a staff meeting. Who knows, maybe they just had to go to the bathroom!!! Yet, I imagine that once this event continues to occur with new people throughout the office, the other employees will start to notice management’s failure to explain who the man in the suit is sitting next to them. Other employees may also begin to wonder how much faith management has in the newest addition. They may even wonder if they were excluded from the announcement, because their position was perceived as irrelevant to the new hire’s. Nevertheless, in all scenarios, management’s failure to introduce their new hire has likely created a stir, not to mention confusion among the rest of the workers.
The solution? Always welcome and properly introduce your new employees! No excuses. We never get a second chance to make a first impression, and new-hires who start out on the right foot are most likely to make long-term commitments to their companies!
As always, remember to encourage excellence with everybody you interact with! A friendly gesture or simple act of kindness can result in 20-years or more of employee loyalty!! Sounds like a fair exchange to me!
Click below for tips on introducing new-hires to the office culture: