While the iron is hot

Of course it’s a good idea to strike while the iron is hot. If striking iron is what you do and you find some hot iron you should strike before it gets cold. It’s far better to strike than to…

Stories of deliberate practice

Outliers is an excellent place to start. It features the story of Mozart’s “genius” and the Beatle’s “overnight success” told through the lens of the 10,000 hour rule and deliberate practice. (More on Mozart here.) If you don’t feel like…

Seth Godin on creating a (generous) monopoly

Every successful business has a monopoly—a monopoly on what it makes that someone else can’t make the way they make it. That leaves out commodity businesses—people who bring coal out of the ground. I don’t think of those businesses as…

Back-to-back

Back to back meetings are a bad idea: Unless you or the chairperson is really good, you’re almost certain to be running late at the end of the first meeting. You need time – at least half an hour –…

Hard conversations

…aren’t supposed to be easy. The person you need to have the conversation with might be a peer, a friend, a long-term colleague. The conversations are uncomfortable in the planning, in the preparation and in the aftermath – often because…

The switch (2)

“What am I hoping to get?” Once we’ve admitted to ourselves that we’re doing our work (at least partly) for ourselves, we can think more clearly about our motives by asking “What am I hoping to get from doing this?”…

The switch (1)

“Who is this for?” Your work is always for you. This is true whether we’re working for pay or we’re parenting, whether we’re working on something that’s very obviously for ourselves or giving up time, energy and money to serve…

Some questions for making change happen

What’s the problem? What networks of people and things underlie the problem, and what context or environment are they embedded in? Who wins if you solve the problem? Who stands to lose? What’s in it for you? What else is…

Seth Godin on leadership, generosity and charisma

You can say that charisma makes you a leader, but I believe that leading gives you charisma. And that changes everything: that you gain charisma through your generous acts of leadership. You don’t need authority, you don’t need to win…

The innovation in your head…

… isn’t an innovation yet. Our definition of innovation refers to something rather specific: A change in the processes by which an organization transforms labor, capital, materials and information into products and services of greater value. Clayton Christensen, Efosa Ojomo…