To learn thinking

January 21st, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

One of the funny thing I have done on the net is to register at the School of Thinking. The school is a free email-schdool where you will be trained in thinking. In 1979, the School of [tag]Thinking[/tag] was founded to teach thinking as a skill by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono.

You choose how often you would like to have the [tag]training[/tag]. Repetition is the mother of [tag]learning[/tag].

Professor Edward de Bono, Co-founder of the School of Thinking says:

Above all, a person trained in thinking can be asked to think about something. He or she can be asked to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking should have become a tool that can be used at will. The use of this tool should be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical–the sort of thinking that is required to get things done!

Do something funny. Register and start learning!

Boost your Business

January 21st, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Jim Logan has written some articles about [tag]boosting your business[/tag] by giving a [tag]free offer[/tag]. He says:

“Having a wonderful product, outstanding back office support, and world-class people sometimes just makes you ready for business; it doesn’t put you over the top or convert prospects to customers. What you need is a compelling offer. And the most compelling of all offers is free. Make it free to become a customer.”.

But of course you must have a product or service behind your free offer and it must be free. We see it every day; a lot of free bargains and Jim Logan says it works. It is a way to boost your business. He gives in the post a few examples and tips.

But he also says “If you make a free offer and no one takes you up on it, you likely don’t have a compelling product or service. Yes, there are times when you can’t give it away. If you find you’re free offer is routinely rejected, you’re facing a situation where you’ve either failed to make the case for the product or service…or your product and service has no market.”

Jim deals with that question in another blog. If your product or service is underperforming, giving a free offer is a good way to test if there is a market for your product/service. Jim gives us five things to do to determine if the dog hunts or you need to scrap your current offering and get a new one:

  1. Offer it for free.
  2. Change markets.
  3. Change your position.
  4. Find a partner.
  5. Reconfigure it.

These two posts certainly give you an idea of what to do if you have products underperforming.
[tags]Business Coaching [/tags]

Interruptions give stress

January 20th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Did you know it will take you around 25 minutes to return to full concentration on their original work after being interrupted?
A study told by Brian Donnelly in The Herald shows modern-day staff work for just 11 minutes before they are interrupted by an e-mail, phone call or a metaphorical tap on the shoulder from a colleague.
Researchers have calculated that interruptions consume an average of 2.1 hours of every working day, or 28% of the average person’s routine.

No wonder why people are stressed. Say no! Take control over your situation. Read your e-mail twice a day. Run effective meetings and don´t forget to book a meeting with yourself.

Brian Donnelly says in the article that Donald Trump, the entrepreneur who once negotiated a book deal in 15 minutes, believes in slowing down and focusing when the office gets too frenetic. He said: “I will literally take a breath and allow things to settle a bit. I also set aside quiet time each morning and evening for reading and assessing.”
[tags]coaching, management, stress, effective meetings [/tags]

The VISA organisation emerged from chaos

January 19th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Maybe that is the way to ensure that [tag]marketing[/tag] is not just another department (or worse – a set of departments) in a company – but rather a way of doing business, a way to behave in the marketplace. Instead of creating organizational structures with hierarchies, goals, rules and regulations we could focus instead on developing marketing DNA that can spread throughout the whole [tag]organization[/tag] and become part of the company’s fabric.

This was said by Dee Hock, who was the founder of VISA – one of the largest companies in the world. He has written a book; “The birth of the Chaordic Age”.

Francois Gossieaux gives his view of it in his post Building emergent business models. The book and Francois review are interesting because VISA ,as Francois says, is one of the few large-scale commercial entities where the organizational infrastructure is not based on a command and control [tag]hierarchy[/tag], but rather on a true emergent self-organizing infrastructure. The results – a huge company that emerged from chaos in less than 2 decades to become one of the most successful self-organizing companies in the world.

Well we all like to have a strict organization, [tag]goals[/tag] and actionplans but this can be something to think about. As important as actionplans are actions.

Sell by Mouthmarketing

January 19th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

[tag]Selling[/tag] more can also be done by Mouth Marketing. Buzzoodle writes in the post: Carefully Constructed Coincidences:

Word of Mouth [tag]Marketing[/tag] is nothing more than carefully constructed coincidences.

* Get every employee talking and interacting more.
* Get every [tag]customer[/tag] telling their friends.
* Get every publication or blog to mention you.
* Make your stories viral by providing remarkable [tag]products[/tag] and services.

Funny coincidence will then happen.I find this very interesting. [tag]Culture[/tag] again is very important getting employees to spread the message.

Trends according to McKinsey

January 18th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Anita Campbell ha read the recent Quarterly. In her post: Top Ten Global [tag]Trends[/tag] Per McKinsey she quote from an article there:

“The right product markets, technology, and geography are critical components of long-term economic performance. Bad industries usually trump good [tag]management[/tag], however: in sectors such as banking, telecommunications, and technology, almost two-thirds of the organic growth of listed Western companies can be attributed to being in the right markets and geographies. Companies that ride the currents succeed; those that swim against them usually struggle. Identifying these currents and developing [tag]strategies[/tag] to navigate them are vital to corporate success.”

That´s very interesting but how do you find out where our world is trending? McKinsey gives the answer in the Top Ten Trends:

  • Centers of economic activity will shift profoundly, not just globally, but also regionally.
  • The consumer landscape will change and expand significantly.
  • Technological connectivity will transform the way people live and interact.
  • The battlefield for talent will shift.
  • The role and behavior of big business will come under increasingly sharp scrutiny.
  • Demand for natural resources will grow, as will the strain on the environment.
  • New global industry structures are emerging.
  • Management will go from art to science.
  • Ubiquitous access to information is changing the economics of knowledge.

Read Anita´s whole post or go to the McKinsey Quarterly (requires free registration).

Leadership and Courage

January 18th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

If you want to be successful in [tag]management[/tag], and be considered as an excellent [tag]leader[/tag] — you must occasionally demonstrate courage says Skip Angel in his post Get the courage, and then use it!

Well I would call it normal [tag]leadership[/tag]. You have to balance [tag]goal[/tag], [tag]team[/tag] and individual. Listen to the individual, get the team working together and aim for the goal. If anything of that is drifting away you must as a leader take action. And I agree with Skip that you must have a certain amount of courage in doing that.

Skip Angel conclude his post with: “If I hadn’t the courage, I wouldn’t have taken this step and lost out on a good opportunity to bring the team back to a high level of performance that they were capable of. As a manager, you are always having to make the difficult decisions. Sometimes these decisions bring with it great risk. However, if you believe that the benefits outweigh the risks and you are prepared for those risks, you need to step up and make those decisions. Otherwise, you may have other risks by not “making the call”. It is very easy for managers to focus on the simple decisions, and to stick with the “status quo”. However, if you stand still for too long, you might find yourself in a losing position and it’s then too late to take action. Your “gut” will tell you what you need to do, you just need to listen to that gut and do something about it. “

Slow down and feel well

January 17th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

I met a guy the other day. He got a new job half a year ago. He was earlier a consultant. I asked him how he liked the job. I don´t like it he said. They are working like hell and are going on everything. Never sit down and think.

I been written before about what I call [tag]multitasking[/tag] and I don´t like it. You have to slow down and think.

Carmine Coyote has in the blog Slow Leadership said it many times. “Practicing a Slow Leadership approach will, I believe, increase productivity, even as it provides a more humane and satisfying way to work.”

We get some advice too :

  • Calmness: Slowing down and avoiding rushed, emotional mistakes.
  • Clarity: Taking the time to work out specific answers to your problems.
  • Concentration: Focusing on what matters most and avoiding distractions.
  • Patience: Allowing events time to unfold fully.
  • Respect: Giving people the time and attention they need to do their jobs effectively.

So why choose any other way if [tag]productivity[/tag] will increase too?

More about Culture

January 17th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Jeffrey Phillips takes up the company culture again and how to change in order to multiply our efforts. He says: “I think we in business should define some value multipliers. What processes, systems or cultural changes can we make to our business that will add significant value given the same inputs? I think this is especially true in workgroups or teams.”

In my own experience I believe there are situations where the effect are multiplied. And I believe the process is an open mind teamwork. But you must adapt the culture to it. If you never delegate, never listen ….. How do you think your team will be creative?

Jeffrey concludes “Culture is a huge value multiplier. If everyone works to a common methodology and has an understanding of what is expected and the best ways to accomplish a task within the business, the culture can have a huge force and value multiplier.”

Success requires support

January 16th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Jacob Cazzell asked his wife what she thought about his blog. Then he understood that you have support those who are supporting you.

What about you? Well thinking about myself I don´t always put others in the front line. We often take the people who are supporting you for granted.

Jacob Cazzell says: “As people live and work and share close relationships it’s easy to slip into a routine where the status quo and the rigors of daily life keep us focused more on our own needs and wants than on those of others around us.”

How you keep focused on them and not yourself isn’t difficult, he says.The easy part is the “doing.” The hard part is keeping your passion for them forefront every day!

Cazzell gives us a ten do-list. The four first are:

# Encourage them
# Challenge them
# Excite them
# Congratulate them

Succeessful Culture

January 16th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Been working in different companies I have seen the importance of a good culture in a company. But what is a good culture?

Ron Finklestein in his blog Creating a Corporate Culture of Success has been thinking a lot of that. He says: “Creating a specific company culture is just as important to the success of an organization as a sound business plan. In fact, the definition of how you want your corporate culture to perform should be a part of your business plan.”

Often you will hear that culture is in the walls but surely you can make changes in the right way. Ron Finklestein suggests six important steps to think about:
* How do you and how much do you empower your employees to make decisions?
* Do you delegate and what do you delegate?
* How open you are to accepting input for others?
* What types of employees do you want to hire?
* What are the values you want to embrace and promote?
* What kinds of behaviors do you want to measure and reinforce?

Polyphasic sleep

January 15th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

… Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily. This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness…

Lifehack.org started this discussion half a year ago. Since then many has started testing the idea which originally is based upon a featured article titled Uberman’s sleep schedule by Kuro5hin.

Polyphasic sleep involves taking multiple short sleep periods throughout the day instead of getting all your sleep in one long chunk. Steve Pavlina has been very interested in this and has written a post about it where he describes how he tried it out. Under this sleep schedule, your sleep times might be at 2am, 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, and 10pm. And each time you’d sleep for only 20-30 minutes. This is nice because the times are the same whether AM or PM, and they’re consistent from day to day as well, so you can still maintain a regular daily schedule, albeit a very different one.

Steve logged every day and that can be interested reading. He summarized his test with: “This experiment did in fact succeed in a big way and lead to me deciding to adopt this method of sleep indefinitely”

Knowing the Economics

January 14th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

The Best of Economics by Arnold Kling is a high school course in economics. In addition to the traditional topics of microeconomics and macroeconomics, this textbook covers three subject areas that have become increasingly important in the last fifty years:

* Growth Theory
* Finance
* Information Economics

Two hundred years ago, the mission of economists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo was to explain the advantages of free trade, specialization, and the division of labor. For the next hundred years, their theories of economic efficiency were refined, and this body of work is known as microeconomics.

In all you find 52 lectures there, Some very interesting. It never hurts to have a better understanding of the economics.

Problem sleeping?

January 13th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Any problem going to sleep? As a matter of fact I have. After reading Josh´s post I understand why.

He says: “Now, I may be a bit of an extreme case here, but I know for a fact that there are others out there who have trouble going to sleep. So, I’ve pieced together various bits of advice I’ve received over the past few months that have not only helps me get to sleep faster, but helps me get a better nights sleep.”

He then gives us six advice to think about. They are:

  • Don’t watch TV or even so much as look at a computer screen at least 30 minutes before you lie down.
  • Drink milk.
  • Go to bed when you are tired.
  • Reserve the bed for bed things
  • Meditate.
  • Excercise during the day.

If you are like me you better have: to read the whole story.

How to reach your goal

January 13th, 2006 by Rolf Erikson

Adrian W. Savage start his post with thinking about why so many people start a new year with wonderful plans, only to have them fizzle out within a few weeks.There may be many reasons,he says, but one of the commonest is this: they rely on feelings—like excitement, enthusiasm, inspiration and desire for a change—to carry them through. It’s not fashionable to say this, but what matters most is dull, boring self-discipline.

I agree but I also believe that you make a promise without an action-plan. A plan telling you what to do every day. Not dividing a goal into smaller pieces will make it hard achieving the goal.

Another way of doing it is to decide in a scale from 1 to 10 where you are today. The next question is: What do you have to do in order to step up 1 point?