Failure usually isn’t (what we think it is)

“It was a complete failure. All the time: wasted. Everything I tried: wrong. Now I’m doubting everything I do.” Statements that, unfortunately, sometimes happen in a business environment.  When I heard this one I took issue with, well, all of it.  Something had indeed gone wrong. But no time had been wasted and I didn’t…

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How to talk to problem employees

Happy employees

Nothing you tell your employees should ever come as a surprise.  This is especially important with bad news.  If you are telling an employee that they are at risk of being fired, and they had no idea, then you are the one who made a mistake, not them.  But don’t tell your employees about their…

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What is Information, and how should you use it?

What makes a small business work?  Information.  Whether it is information about clients, about projects, about people, about jobs, about plans, or about goals, that information has to move throughout the business for everybody to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.  But when is information reliable? Here are…

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Comparing to the Competition

You have heard me say it before: innovation is about customers, not the competition.  If you are looking at your competitors to decide your next move, you are doing it wrong.  But that doesn’t mean that there is never a reason to look at your competition.  Sometimes you just want to look and compare: so…

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How to always learn from failure

It is a common trope that failure is a lesson. The question is: are we learning it? In school, we had lesson plans, curricula, lectures, and homework. To truly learn our lessons from failure – or mistakes, or problems, or imperfections – we need a lesson plan.  When you find that something has gone wrong…

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When your Success Hurts You

Things are going well! Your business is growing, your clients are happy, finances are all comfortably in the black and your employees all have smiles on their faces. You can now relax and simply enjoy a job well done. Let the systems run themselves since whatever they are doing, seems to be working. Or. You…

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