Articles & Publications

Insights Archive

Bill presenting to a large group of business professionals

The Question is the Answer

Steven Covey is credited with saying, “The problem is not the problem; how we think about the problem is the problem.” This is a great reminder to all of us. It’s easy to develop a blind spot or a cognitive bias that prevents us from getting to a best solution and, of course, by definition, our biases aren’t visible so we can’t deal with them.

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Rethinking Customer Experience

Do you know why garbage cans are placed every 132 feet at Disney World? Because that’s the distance a person travels while eating a $12 hotdog! You can’t name a park the happiest place on earth without imbedding these clues into the environment.

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The Art of Abandonment

Why is it so hard to let go? Why is it so easy to just keep doing, doing, doing … even if it isn’t producing the outcomes we desire? Are we afraid of being called a quitter? To be truly effective leaders we need to concentrate on the vital few not the meaningless many.

According to research reported in the Harvard Business Review article, “Beware the Busy Manager” only 10 percent of managers apply sufficient effort to the vital few activities that produce game changing results. Forty percent of managers spent all their energy on the wrong activities (distracted managers), 20 percent spent very little energy on the right activities (disengaged) and 30 percent were procrastinators spending almost no energy on much of anything.

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How Customer Centric Are You?

We all know we are supposed to lead customer centric organizations. The problem, as I see it, is that we evaluate our level of customer centricity through our feelings and not our actions. Too many people feel wonderfully warm and grateful when asked if they are customer focused. “Of course, I am, I love our customers!” might even be their response. But I’m more concerned with actions. Please take a moment and rate your organization against the activities, behaviors and beliefs on the next page. This assessment appears courtesy of author Howard Hauser, and is used with permission.

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The Paradox Paradox

A paradox is defined as a self-contradicting statement or a seemingly logical conclusion that defies logic. We don’t like paradox. It creates anxiety. A paradox requires “both/and” thinking. It asks us to imagine that Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and dead simultaneously until the moment that quantum superposition collapses into reality when we open the box and let the poor cat get on with its day.

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Make Promises, Not Goals

Growing up in the late ’60s and early ’70s, I distinctly remember the Vietnam War, flower power and love beads. The country was crackling with tension. It seemed like tectonic plates were colliding and everyone was seeking stable ground. Now, almost 50 years later, we find ourselves in a similar search for something we can count on.

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