What Do You Have For Breakfast?

What Do You Have For Breakfast?

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process
For most Americans, breakfast consists of eggs, cereal, toast, fruit, a muffin, a smoothie, or something similar. We tend to get locked into habits that were created long ago. Most Americans don't consider having fish, rice, beans, etc. for breakfast even though they are common in other cultures. Our breakfast habits are deeply ingrained. The same goes for our work habits. People tend to follow the same routine. doing things the same way over and over. Having a process is necessary, but you also have to examine what you are doing. Don't let following a process turn into a rut. Whether in your work or your personal life, you need to change things up. Try something new: Whether it is having something new for breakfast, trying new food or going…
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Plan For Success

Plan For Success

Featured, Improvement, Process
It's a common problem. Businesses plan to become successful, but they can't handle it when it happens. While startups frequently have this problem, it is by no mean unique to them. With the changes in the economy caused by the COVID-19 lockdown, companies such as Amazon, UPS, and Wayfair have become victims of their success. These companies have been overwhelmed with orders. Their customer satisfaction has dropped because they can't keep up. What is worse is that they lack transparency. Their tracking systems give information on shipments as if there are no delays. The day of expected the delivery, the status changes and gets put off, sometimes multiple times. Companies need to be prepared for success, even wild success. In the case of these three companies, it means making sure…
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Is Your Business Mask Worthy?

Is Your Business Mask Worthy?

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process
In an episode of "Seinfeld" Elaine found out that her favorite contraceptive had been discontinued. Needing to stretch her supply she evaluated every man she met to see if he was "sponge worthy." In today's world, people are being required to wear masks in stores, offices, amusement parks, etc. While useful, these masks are uncomfortable and annoying to wear. If people are spending time in your business, you need to make sure the experience you create is mask worthy. If you need your customer to come to a physical location, you now have to deal with the physical distancing and masks that COVID-19 has thrust upon us. Many people would rather wait to go to businesses than wear the mask. You have to be able to create a compelling reason…
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Spark Your Own Creativity

Spark Your Own Creativity

Featured, Improvement, Process
When our daily routines are geared toward barreling through a to-do list, it can be hard to set the right conditions for creativity. Fortunately, there is a time-tested approach — that’s also quite simple — for generating creative ideas. Gather raw materials in your area of interest. This could mean anything from articles you've been meaning to read to the browser tabs you've left open on your computer. Spend time digesting the material -- and looking for connections. Fill in small index cards with notes, as if you're trying to solve a puzzle. Shuffle between the physical cards looking for patterns and themes. Do nothing. Find a way to disengage your mind to allow unconscious processing, whether that’s by taking a walk, listening to music, watching a movie, or even…
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The Certainty Of Uncertainty

The Certainty Of Uncertainty

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process
You have probably heard the statement many times. It's usually phrased something like, "We don't have visibility," or "the level of uncertainty makes us nervous." People are nervous because we live in uncertain times. The fact of the matter: we always live with uncertainty. There are always circumstances that you cannot predict. An accident on the freeway, a storm suddenly changes direction, a speeding car crashes into a power line shutting down your electricity. Did you see these coming? Of course not. The best of us, however, have emergency plans. A backup generator, a hurricane preparedness plan, etc., but unless you have a crystal ball, you don't know what is actually going to happen. The fact is for every situation there are two outcomes: It goes well or it goes…
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One Size Does Not Fit All

One Size Does Not Fit All

Customer, Featured, Process
You may think your product or service is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that everyone can benefit from it. That may even be true, but everyone isn't going to want it. We all try to find the sweet spot for our customers the one thing that will grab them and keep them. The problem is that one size does not fit all. One customer will look at your product and decide that it is too expensive where another will be drawn to the high price because it conveys exclusivity. Some people  will be drawn to the simplicity of a product where others decide it doesn't do enough. There are different sweet spots for different audiences and they often contradict each other. Your job is to define who your…
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Perils Of Working At Home

Perils Of Working At Home

Featured, Process
While many people work at home on a regular basis, recent circumstances have forced a lot of people to make the transition. Remote workers face different challenges and different distractions. Here are some tips for making your work at home experience more productive and enjoyable. Set up a space: Just like you have a desk or workstation at your workplace, you need to have a dedicated space to work in. It can be a corner of a room, a full home office, or even part of the dining room table if need be. The important part is that when you are in that space, you are at work. You need to think of that space as separate from your home. Going there is going to work.Go to work: When you…
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Dealing With A Black Swan

Dealing With A Black Swan

Featured, Process
Businesses (and people) all over the world are dealing with the global pandemic of COVD-19. For most organizations, this was a black swan. For those not familiar with the term, a black swan is a situation that could not be anticipated. The phrase was a common expression in 16th century London as a statement of impossibility. The London expression derives from the presumption that all swans must be white because all historical records of swans reported that they had white feathers. In that context, a black swan was impossible or at least nonexistent. However, in 1697, Dutch explorers became the first Europeans to see black swans, in Western Australia.  So how do you plan for something you cannot predict? Start with determining exactly what resources you need to continue operating. Once you know what you need, determine how much you…
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For Cybersecurity Even ‘Trusted Sources’ Need To Be Watched.

For Cybersecurity Even ‘Trusted Sources’ Need To Be Watched.

Featured, Process
The prevailing wisdom when protecting yourself from online scams is never open files sent to you by people you don't know. While this is good advice, it still leaves you open to problems caused by "trusted sources." You may know that the file sent to you by your child's school is not a scam, but you don't know that their system hasn't been infected. Your trusted sources obviously aren't trying to hack your computer. You don't know if their computer systems have viruses and malware that could affect you. My son learned this the hard way when he brought his laptop to school and logged into the school network. His virus protection software went crazy as it detected all of the problems from the school's network drive. The same school…
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Set “Time Boundaries” to Protect Your Schedule

Set “Time Boundaries” to Protect Your Schedule

Featured, Improvement, Process
Meetings that run long or unexpected requests from colleagues can prevent you from getting an important task done, make you leave work late, or even disrupt family time. How can you set and communicate boundaries so that you feel your time is respected? Start with your calendar. Block out times when you’re commuting, taking your kids to school, or when you’re getting focused work done, making sure you’re marked as unavailable. Next, ensure that you’re setting meetings for an appropriate amount of time, and stick to a focused agenda. If you’re not running the meeting, tell your colleagues that you have a hard stop. You also need to manage communications. Make your preferred way of communicating — for example, email versus Slack — clear with your colleagues, and respond on…
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