Thursday, December 31, 2009

What We Learned in 2009

Dear Readers -
Thank you all for supporting this blog in 2009.

There has been so much to fret over in the last 365 days:
* Economy in the worst state of decline since the great depression
* Jobless rate @ 10%+
* H1N1 paranoia
* War
* Misallocation of tax payer funding
* Scandal; everywhere there is scandal

At the inception of 2009, we knew the worst was to come: We worked harder, got more creative, spent less and became more educated in our decision making. So, how can we use the disaster in the rear view mirror to learn and grow?

Be Informed
For far too long we used pre-supposed discovery methods to formulate organizational strategies.
a. The CEO solely decides the direction of the company
b. Let's present a survey to our employees.

These methods, while strategic in their predictability are broken. A man or women in an ivory tower can predict the financial well being of the company and keep pay checks coming but strategy is ever evolving and no single person can track development in the trenches on a day-to-day basis. Surveys are often administered to say 'we asked and only 10% responded, they all said the same thing' - this is called Lip Service and it is the primary failing element of entitlement as a means of people management.

Engage your workforce by empowering line managers. Take the regulatory checklist out of the job description and allow your leaders to lead. No politics, no policy - Trust and Empowerment!

Be Creative
"In 2009, I worked twice as hard with half the results" - the salespersons creed of the last year.

Dear Readers, you can walk into a wall or fun into it.....remember what Einstein said, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results".

Those who succeed saw a tiny door in dead ends and escaped through it by:
* Forming informal partnerships
* Developing new approaches
* Leading with Methodology; not products
* Inviting a Mentorship from an objective third party
* Finding additional skill enhancement through social media

Strategy, Strategy, Strategy
If you are uncomfortable with the canned phrasing, call it something else. But know this, if you do not understand the larger intent of your business practices you are a replaceable paper pusher. Every action within your job description needs to be a spoke in a strategic wheel. What does filling out that form mean to arming you with additional skills for evolving you as a professional and elevating the organizational cause? Search your mind, white board it....if you come up with no answers, you have two choices:
* Stop doing it!
* Make something up!

My advice to you is simple. Every day in 2010, take one minute at day's end to assess how your incremental tasks are pertinent to the Organizational Mission. At the conclusion of this daily assessment further your strategy by doing the following:
* STOP DOING NEEDLESS TASKS...and be willing to explain why.
* DEVELOP A STRATEGY...that brings greater relevance to every task you perform.

We are alive & it cannot get any worse! Knowing this, why not step away from what is comfortable, get some balls and try new things!

" bold and mighty forces will come to your aid..."
- Frances McDormand from the decade's best motion picture Almost Famous

Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave


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