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Need inspiration for your kick off?

Re-invent your great offerings!!!
1. arrange for groups of 4-6 people
2. make sure you have at least one smartphone in the group
3. let your groups chose one area, product, service or something else – and make a video about it. Keep time short, make sure the culture is supportive and the mentality of work is having FUN.

A bit more serious: Corporate Culture
Norms for the team – what culture is dominant at work?
Let a group visualize your current culture, and the effects of it.
Also if found not so productive – let them propose another culture, what characteristics it may have – and its effects.

Boldness as Managers: Expose yourself!
Run a SWOT on yourself as the leader  Рand the team.
Use video – if you dare!
Add a part on proposed development.

Check your glasses: We live in different universae!
Yes, we all have different truths and they only partly overlap each other.
What differences do we experience – show this in a video!

Need more help?
Call us!

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From time to time I hear the opinion “do not go for volume – but for few friends, and quality”. I agree it can apply to friendship in real life. But when it comes to internet services, I disagree strongly! Now, of course – do as you please, I’ll just elaborate on my view:

1. The close friends are part of the volume.
If you invite (or accept) many friends, nothing stops you from being close to the ones who are indeed closer to you. And more general i communication, as they expect exactly that.

2. Services handle both.
Yes, most services are introducing “close friends” (called Stars in some services) and “contacts”.

3. You know nothing about most people.
Let’s say you should only add “important” people – how would you judge? By title? How do you know what titles mean the most to your offering – in THEIR everyday work? Simply put – you don’t.

4. Behind every follower rest 20 – 500 people
In the BNI “Business Network International” network, originating in the US, now covering most of the world, I learned that behind every person you can have access to their network. Only available when they feel trust in you. It’s very easy to judge the wolf by the fur…

5. You know very little of other people’s needs.
But they know. Let them decide! If you are open with your offerings – and listen well, lots of people will find you. Why closing anyone out from this?

6. Pure statistics.
What’s the statistics you run into a new customer on town? Pretty low, yet higher than zero. And on the internet?

What do YOU think?

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We humans are programmed to be cooperative. When we’re not, it’s often an indication of that something isn’t right. To start off – buildings and rooms should talk the language of “collaboration”. How?

Open area in the middle – often a stove place in old cottages.

Social areas that are designed for meetings – like coffee machines

Paper and crayons – nothing talks to our creative and collaborative mind as drawing and sketching

Being a freelancer, mostly at my customers site, I gave up having an office years ago. I now reside mostly at cafes and hotel lobbys. Hotels bring something more: fresh ideas from the outside. More on that in another post…

What’s your take on this?

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How would you rate your IT Dept? Are they

Really up to date – surfing on the waves of the latest tech?
Are they “pretty good” at answering demands?
Are they passive, not listening to your needs?
Are they defendant, explaini g why it can’t be done?

Today, no business development is possible unless your IT Dept is really on their toes. To make this happen, a basic demand is the CIO should be part of the Management Team, and at least one IT/Internet expert on your board.

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So, you’re back. You survived. Your brain probably totally confused – your dreams last night or the coming can tell ūüėČ The feedback yesterday inspired me to take a second action.

So, second day starts. What to do today? You may very well continue doing the same as yesterday. Or are you up to new stuff?

Now, if you started out smart you arrived early. No matter how tough uou find it to get out of bed, arrriving late with a dormant brain when the others are up and running at full speed may cause brain meltdown – and your vacation memories are all wasted…
Now take the opportunity to start a better world! Yes, you can do it! Simply by supporting someone you don’t normally see. By asking a considerate question. Yes, you may experience some wonderful moments, but don’t let that stop you! You may be on to something!

For your third day at work we’ll look onto a revolutionizing way of starting your work day. But that’s tomorrow. Now appreciate yourself with a victory-sign of your choice!

See you tomorrow!

Johan

ps. Want to read more? Here are some hints from the LUCK Concept:

L – for Lean Leadership:

Visualize: Whenever something is unclear – use a piece of paper or a whiteboard. It’s amazing how many conflicts and disputes are released as the drawing grows.

U – Unifying Communications:
Mail with care: Add descriptive subjects, include dates and times in the title. That saves lot of time and frustration!

C – Coaching Leadership:
What strength to care for this year? What skill will you enhance this year?

K – Cognitive reactions in this internetified times:
Do you perform in counter-productive reactions? Do you have any behaviour stopping you from developing? Which one(s)? What reaction would be productive?

More on the concept: www.luckconcept.com

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I was so inspired by the feedback on my simple hints on a few things to do to bring the happiness of vacation to work. So, here’s some more: I’ll try and limit myself to bring out only ONE area each from the LUCK Concept:

L – for Lean Leadership:
Try and use the “No Blame” philosophy. What ever happens – I prefer action to ignorance. This is sometimes misinterpreted as “supporting sabotage” – but nothing is more distant. By accepting misstakes we vaccinate our people with trust: trust to act. Trust to think. And the team to correct if needed. But never hiding misstakes in fear of “getting caught”. By finding faults – we can improve even more.

U – Unifying Communications:
Sharing what’s happening. Actions in organizations sometimes fall into “actions in islands”. We need to know that more are doing the same, and know of their experiences.¬† – channels being the intranet, microblogs that travels, pictures, videos (preferably streaming, to be shared)

C – Coaching Leadership:
Learning to SEE (in Lean) what actions and behaviours that create our results. Excel in releasing suitable feedback to support your staff – as well as excel in receiving it.

K – Cognitive reactions in this internetified times:
How to avoid fast response defensive, flight and attack reactions. Primarily as they block the responsible dialog and results.

More on the concept: www.luckconcept.com

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While planning for assignments this fall a few items surface – and we can bring some of the relaxation from our vacations:

Meetings: keep the smile – and start on time and LISTEN!

Presentations: keep the warmth – and include dialog breaks and LISTEN!

Change management: use the forward motion – involve your staff in goalsetting. And LISTEN.

Let’s make 2012-13 the fiscal year of Dialog!

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If I run a Start-up today – how can I be sure we’re not run over by a plug-in in a browser five years from now? Well, basically – I can’t! However we tend to look too one-dimensional at services and products. You may protect your business by means of a smart Eco System. How YOUR ES needs to look is your business, but let’s start by saying “Be close to your customer”. Make sure that they really get all benefits with your offerings. Communicate a lot, spread cases regularly. Things that are simple and natural to YOU are not always that to your customer, as they’re occupied with THEIR core business.

YOUR learnings about your own offering Eco System will flourish when you spend time with your customer.

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Whoever you argue with – they may have a completely different opinion (and agenda). Now matter HOW wrong you think they are – they probably have THEIR reasons. If you are prepared to listen – you will understand their position. Not necessarily AGREE. But understand. And that’s a start!

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There’s been a lot of talk about the new generation (isn’t there always? Even Sokrates complained over disobeying youngsters) and especially Generation D, where D stands for Disruptive. Not to mention all changes happening to most our known structures. This generation faces an economical future that for the first time in history is worse than the one their partents met.

Ready to act – high demanding – but also prepared to deliver (Stockholm and Helsinki RollerDerby teams)

I for one use to claim personal differences are often bigger than generalizing So, is there anything special with this generation? Often, differences on the individual level are a lot bigger. But, if there are indeed theses differences – which are they – and yet more: How should I act if I’m a manager? (And I will conclude – what they’re asking for is at work is something we should all have asked for long ago!)

They need more attention – and have shorter attention span. Take the MTV effect. Double or triple it. We need action. Great! Let’s GO for action!

They expect more feedback – Well, great news again! We all need that, in fact human beings are juat that by mirroring in others minds and communication.

They expect kickbacks – well, that’s just great – as this is normally how it works! But what are the kickbacks, and what levels of kickbacks are achieved when and how?

So as a boss, what do y0u need to do?

My recommendations:

SLA РSeen, listened to, acknowledged Рsimple actions, but you need to  prepare yourself Рyour mind and philosophy Рbefore the action is needed.
We all have this need, so better get prepared. It’s a great tool as it works both ways: Seeing some-one and giving feedback makes you visible as well!

Transparency by Reverse leadership style – telling people what to do is out of age. Not only will it stop people from thinking – it only opens a handy escape route as what you are telling is percieved¬† YOUR goal, not theirs. (Of course you won’t notice as we all learned play the of the game.)
Instead: Regularly ask your employees to present goals, reasons and strategies – why we do what we’re doing et cetera. You not only get to know what is known, but also basic values, how they regard your leadership and – the way business is run.

Coach in a goal-centric way – skip discussions of “right or wrong” issues. In the age of ubiquitous search discussions about who is wrong and who is not is pointless and will only drag the both of you down and you will lose momentum. Focus on “Why?” questions and reverse goal-setting. You may rapidly hear how well goals are understood. (How can one achieve goals that aren’t clear?)

Employees of today need to know it all – from Vision and Mission via Strategy to Tactical/Operations level. The needs of generation D will benefit us all – if we’re just willing to be a little bit more open, transparent – and… demanding! I strongly believe we are now at a good point in history to re-vitalize Management and Leadership.

What do YOU think?
Do you have any similar (or completely different) experiences?
(You may answer in Swedish if that makes you feel better – I’ll provide a reasonable translation in the flow.)

Thanks to Ari Lightman, presenter of this topic at the Enterprise 2.0 conference recently in Boston, MA.

Johan

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