Category Archives for "Better results"

Is it time to consider a re-organization?

Is it time to consider a re-organization?

11 reasons for REORG:

1.) Maybe you have quit growing the business. As a result your business is stale, stuck or stagnant,

2.) Maybe you have a “seller/doer” model and you’re doing more doing than selling, or selling more than doing,

3.) Never have time to even think about working ON the business as I’m always knee deep in the weeds working IN the business,

4.) Next year’s strategy meeting got crowded by day-to-day,

5.) Frankly, I don’t like to admit it, and I’m a bit of a control freak and I struggle to let go; possible re-organization takes me out of my comfort zone,

6.) I try to delegate and Jim reminds me “delegate does not mean abdicate”,

7.) We lack consistent business processes and as a result, my staff is reluctant to come to me directly with issues and they don’t have anyone else to go to; we often times experience “scope creep”,

8.) We have many suggestions on how to improve our brand and marketing, no n house resources and no one we can turn to help with that,

9.) I’m not sure my son (s) (daughter(s))  have what it takes to run this business; it is clear I don’t really have a #2 (if something were to happen to me)

10.) When we were small and nimble, everybody pitched a hand and wore multiple hats. That was fun! We reached our breaking point last year when the owner jumped in on customer calls!

11.) What got us here most certainly won’t get us there.

Maybe it is time to consider a re-organization. These 11 reasons are just the tip of the iceberg. What are your reasons that you’re putting off a re-organization?

 

 

 

Critical thinking visualization tool

Recently, Paul Sand acquainted me with a critical thinking visualization tool called a Radar Diagram. A radar diagram is a visual problem solving tool. Some may have seen it referred to as a spider graph, mind map or star profile. As Paul says, “diagram allows you to plot several elements to visualize, compare and contrast how things are progressing in your life personally or professionally.” A brain dump to paper if you will.

Unpacking this a bit, some time ago, I initially came into contact with Paul Sand and his “Idea Sandbox” through a VISTAGE contact.

Over the years, I have found Paul’s ideas and his Idea Sandbox helpful to me for ideation, creative brainstorming, innovation, and help in identifying (visualizing) a problem. Further, Paul’s content is always “on the business” and accretive in the area of decision-making and problem solving. Idea Sandbox

Critical thinking visualization tool

Idea Sandbox

The Radar Diagram fits my preferred learning style as I am a visual learner.

I have attached an example of a recently completed Radar Diagram JMS Radar Diagram 0918 using myself as an example. The Radar Diagram allows me to easily visualize my near-term strategic objectives at a glance for my VISTAGE Chair practice. (NOTE: the completed Radar Diagram also suggests that I have work to do, which is the purpose!) I have also attached a Blank Radar Diagram PDF template for your convenience. Blank_Radar_Diagram

If you are similarly interested in experimenting with this simple, critical thinking visualization tool, here are your next best actions:

1. Write the variables or things that you wish to measure on each spoke.

2. Set a measurement (KPIs) from the center outward. Use the same scale on every spoke.

3. From observance, you can easily spot “out of balance” or “outliers” using the visual tool. In fact, I plan to keep a copy of this in front of me on my desk as a constant visual reminder. Therefore, the intelligence derived from the visual tool makes the intelligence “actionable.”

4. Let’s talk about this tool in your life next time together.

Intentional Culture by Design; next best action?

David Friedman, VISTAGE best practice speaker on the topic of Intentional Culture recently visited with our CEO peer groups in North Carolina. David, a former CEO, recently published Culture by Design.

 

Intentional culture by design

Culture by Design (cover)

 

This may be one of the best business books I’ve ever read. A guide to the tactics for building a highly successful culture. It is fast paced, clear persuasive and credible. (Bellamino)

In David’s foreward, he asks: “What is the implication of this recognition of the influence that culture has on performance as it relates to leadership? Well, as a leader, think of the enormous impact you could have if you had some way that you could mre purposely or more intentionally create the kind of culture that would help your team to perform at their highest level.”

In Friedman’s presentation , he reinforced that your culture can be a competitive differentiator. Friedman outlined an 8-step framework (see below) for designing the culture that you want.

Intentional culture: the 8-steps are:

  1. Define
  2. Ritualize
  3. Select
  4. Integrate
  5. Communicate
  6. Coach
  7. Lead
  8. Drive

As your next best action, please consider defining or re-defining your desired behaviors (culture). Consider ritualizing the behaviors with your employees or associates in a daily or weekly huddle. With repeated impressions, behavioral rituals will begin to permeate the organization.

Similarly, some leaders embraced Friedman’s HPCWayFinal and called it their own. Others set out on a journey to (re) define their unique behaviors & culture.

For illustration, let me give you an example.

Intentional culture desired behavior: Go above and beyond.

Supporting behavior narrative: “Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the job…plus a little bit more. Take the next step to solve the problem. Even if it takes doing something that’s not in your job description, it’s the extra mile that separates the average person from the superstar. Be a superstar.

In conclusion, if you had a simple and effective way to disrupt and transform your intentional culture that not only engages employees and gets results, why wouldn’t you?

 

Lencioni “What Matters Most”

What Matters Most? Patrick Lencioni recently weighed in on the topic in a CEO Briefing.

Lencioni What Matters Most

Patrick Lencioni What Matters Most

Check out Patrick’s website www.tablegroup.com for access to AdvantageComprehensive_Checklist(4)

“Companies, especially in technology, that love the accoutrements of culture, that’s not really culture. To me that’s excess. And I have to say I think it’s rooted in narcissism.”

Lencioni cites the causes of strategic miscues or even failures as rooted in fear, greed, and mistrust.

“Organizational health” will prove to be the decisive edge among companies in the future. 

Crib notes

  1. Great CEOs feel…the pressure to do the right thing, to work really hard and be a good steward of the opportunity.
  2. If you really want to get a sense of a healthy and successful company, attend a leadership meeting. If the meeting is boring with no tension and no emotional engagement, there are really bad things going on. Good leadership teams have to push each other.
  3. The great thing about millennials’ is that they sniff out the BS. (If you have a foosball table or a kegerator, and the managers treat people like crap, management is trying to manipulate you into staying there.) Touchy feely stuff doesn’t work. Collaboration and engagement does.

Because competitive advantage comes from four (4) simple things:

A cohesive, frank leadership team.

  • Do you have one?
  • Ideally, 3-10 people.
  • Team dynamics include trust both ways; with a willingness to be vulnerable with each other.
  • Engage in unfiltered conflict around important issues, opportunities and challenges.
  • Hold each other accountable.

Clarity about what matters most for company’s success.

  • First off, why do we exist?
  • Similarly, what business are in?
  • How do we behave?
  • What is the most important thing we could be doing for the organization, right now?
  • Who must do what by when (roles, responsibilities, accountabilities)

Communicating that message over and over again to everyone in the company.

  • Cascading messages.
  • Top-down, lateral and upward communication.
  • Constantly reinforce the key messages.
    • This is what we’re about, and I’m going to tell you over and over again.

Structure—without bureaucracy—that reinforces the clarity.

  • New hires integrated based on company values and behaviors.
  • Put just enough structure in place to reinforce the culture without bureaucratizing it.
  • Employees who don’t fit the culture are managed out.
  • Compensation and reward systems are built around the goals of the organization.

Most importantly, what is the best piece of advice for a leader today? Make your organization as healthy as it can be and you will become resilient. When the inevitable crisis occurs, together, we can weather that storm.

Lencioni “What Matters Most”

ChiefExecutive.net recently interviewed best selling author Patrick Lencioni on the topic of what matters most inside organizations.

Lencioni What Matters Most

Patrick Lencioni What Matters Most

Check out Patrick’s website www.tablegroup.com for access to AdvantageComprehensive_Checklist(4)

“Companies, especially in technology, that love the accoutrements of culture, that’s not really culture. To me that’s excess. And I have to say I think it’s rooted in narcissism.”

Lencioni cites the causes of strategic miscues or even failures as rooted in fear, greed, and mistrust.

“Organizational health” will prove to be the decisive edge among companies in the future. 

Crib notes

  1. Great CEOs feel…the pressure to do the right thing, to work really hard and be a good steward of the opportunity.
  2. If you really want to get a sense of a healthy and successful company, attend a leadership meeting. If the meeting is boring with no tension and no emotional engagement, there are really bad things going on. Good leadership teams have to push each other.
  3. The great thing about millennials’ is that they sniff out the BS. (If you have a foosball table or a kegerator, and the managers treat people like crap, management is trying to manipulate you into staying there.) Touchy feely stuff doesn’t work. Collaboration and engagement does.

Because competitive advantage comes from four (4) simple things:

A cohesive, frank leadership team.

  • Do you have one?
  • Ideally, 3-10 people.
  • Team dynamics include trust both ways; with a willingness to be vulnerable with each other.
  • Engage in unfiltered conflict around important issues, opportunities and challenges.
  • Hold each other accountable.

Clarity about what matters most for company’s success.

  • First off, why do we exist?
  • Similarly, what business are in?
  • How do we behave?
  • What is the most important thing we could be doing for the organization, right now?
  • Who must do what by when (roles, responsibilities, accountabilities)

Communicating that message over and over again to everyone in the company.

  • Cascading messages.
  • Top-down, lateral and upward communication.
  • Constantly reinforce the key messages.
    • This is what we’re about, and I’m going to tell you over and over again.

Structure—without bureaucracy—that reinforces the clarity.

  • New hires integrated based on company values and behaviors.
  • Put just enough structure in place to reinforce the culture without bureaucratizing it.
  • Employees who don’t fit the culture are managed out.
  • Compensation and reward systems are built around the goals of the organization.

Most importantly, what is the best piece of advice for a leader today? Make your organization as healthy as it can be and you will become resilient. When the inevitable crisis occurs, together, we can weather that storm.

VISTAGE Triangle CEO community

We’re birthing the VISTAGE Triangle baby.

Summer hiatus

Regular subscribers’ to my blog noticed that I haven’t posted in a while.

I appreciate your patience with me. I am sorry for the delay in re-connecting.

Welcome back

To you— my faithful readers. During my hiatus, several of you mentioned that  you miss my blog. Thank you!

I’m often asked about my blogging intentions moving forward.

I will be publishing fresh relevant content 3X a week (please hold me accountable) centered, aligned and correlated with four (4) core “hub themes” on my VISTAGE Triangle website design (see below):. Our new website hub themes are better insights; better leaders; better decisions and better results. These hub themes align nicely with the last station in my life as a VISTAGE Chair.

A little “inside baseball” is appropriate here. I want my VISTAGE Triangle website to be my hub for all things “digital” as well as a place to curate content. The better I index new content, the more likely it is to be found by my online community.

Naturally, I want my content to be unique, relevant, timely and accretive. When I accomplish those objectives people seek it out! In short, I’m likely to comment on most anything that comes my way!

As always, I sincerely appreciate your patronage of my VISTAGE and WINGMAN practice and my blog.

Migrating my blog platform from Typepad to WordPress

Some more inside baseball.

I’ve written and archived my blog posts for several years using Typepad.

A couple of my “virtual mentors” Seth Godin and Michael Hyatt switched to WordPress years ago. In addition to being “early adopters”, they’re both extraordinarily gifted bloggers and mentors. Initially, I was a little slow on the draw yet I finally took the visual cue from both of them. If I get a fraction of their respective readership, I’d be delighted.

This decision motivated by a.) integrating the experience between my blog and digital assets including my website and social media, b) more robust and visually pleasing reader experience through WordPress, c.) WordPress is not proprietary and is open-sourced.

Thus far, I’m very comfortable with this decision. I like to experiment with new platform capabilities and appreciate your patience while I learn and work out the kinks on the fly.

By the way, I syndicate my message content cross-platform using FeedBlitz. For the time being, it will remain so.

If you like what you see, I would encourage you to be a copycat.

New VISTAGE Triangle website

I’d like to introduce you to my new WordPress website (we’re still a work in progress and we’re getting there) which can be found through typing any of the following domains: www.vistagetriangle.com, www.jamesmsexton.com,  and www.triangleceo.com,

So there you have it. Birthing the Vistage Triangle baby.

Please take a look and tell me what you think!

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