9 items tagged "relaunch"

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Measuring and Celebrating Success

Category: Blog
Created on Aug 17 2016

Ruler

Nothing is more important to a turnaround than rolling up small, quick victories that build positive momentum and give everybody the feeling that things are indeed looking up. That change in attitude lays the foundation for bigger victories later on.

Financial advisers, when helping their clients get out of debt, often encourage them to start by aggressively attacking the smallest debt, paying only the minimum on the larger debts, even if the smallest debt has a lower interest rate than some of the large debts. Now from a strictly mathematical, financial perspective, you should always start with the debt that has the highest interest rate. In terms of pure finance, paying off a high-interest credit card balance is more important than paying off a twelve-month same-as-cash television purchase. But we don’t live as strictly mathematical or financial beings. We are also driven by emotional and psychological forces, and there is something very motivating about making that last payment on the television and applying that payment to the next-biggest debt, and snowballing up from there. A similar psychological momentum is important in organizational change as well.

The Importance of Short-Term Wins

Category: Blog
Created on Jun 29 2016

Chess

     It is impossible to overstate the importance of short-term wins in the process of leading any team or organization through the rocky rapids of change. If you take over a team that went 2-13 the last four years, do NOT schedule Alabama for your home opener, believing God for a gridiron miracle. That not faith. It's magical thinking. Instead, schedule Slippery Rock for your first home game and win big. Roll up the score. In other words, a small win is an infinitely better strategy than a showy loss.

     In negotiating the headwinds of change remember that you will have resisters all along the route. Not may have. WILL HAVE.  Some may rise up and fight you. They are not the problem. Those are the easiest to deal with. The silent resisters, the underground opposition are your real problem. Nothing shifts the tide in your favor like wins. A stream of small wins early is a great momentum builder.  Plan them. Set up easy targets and hit them.

     Here are six important ways to turn short-term wins into long-term leadership gains. This is leadership alchemy and is the key to turning the ship in the face of contrary winds. Each small win is a step to big success if you:

You: Corporate Motivator and Chief Reward Giver

Category: Blog
Created on Mar 11 2015

Bullhorn

You determine the pace at which the people in your organization move. You cannot drive people faster than you can go yourself. I have been around a lot of big-time leaders. They emanate a sense of huge personal energy. For all I know, they go home and collapse at night, but when they are around other people, they express vitality. That vitality gives life to the people who follow them.

Of course, it is true enough that some people naturally have more energy than others. But you can cultivate a sense of energy that energizes the people who follow you. When I played basketball a hundred years ago, I found that in the fourth quarter, when I began feeling tired, I felt less tired the more I cranked up my output. It was counterintuitive, but if I ran more slowly, I felt more tired. When you are tired, run faster. It energizes you, and it energizes people around you.

"Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" - A Cautionary Tale

Category: Blog
Created on May 21 2014

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland

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The demise of Oldsmobile is a textbook example of a company getting ahead of itself and changing its message before it had a new market to align with the new message. Management at Oldsmobile realized that it had a specific market that wanted a specific kind of car. For decades they had been convinced that there would always be people who wanted Oldsmobiles, and that those people would always want Oldsmobiles to look like Oldsmobiles. They did quite well with that market. The problem was that they were securing a growing share of a shrinking market. The people who wanted Oldsmobiles were elderly, and they were dying. Young people didn't want Oldsmobiles.

Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Oldsmobile hired an advertising agency to create a last-gasp, hail-Mary campaign to

There's No Such Thing as Overstating Vision

Category: Blog
Created on May 14 2014

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland

In fascinating slow-motion photography, Dr. Mike Wheatland, a professor at the University of Syndney specializing in solar astrophysics demonstrated the quite surprising movement of a suspended Slinky. Holding the Slinky at the top, he let it hang straight down, unfurled as it were. He then let go. The slow- motion photography proved that for a time (brief though it was) the bottom end did not fall. The Slinky collapsed from the top down. The sections at the top began to contract while the bottom stayed where it was.

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This was caused, he explained, because the information that the slinky was no longer held in place at the top took some period of time to reach the bottom. In fact, by the time that information did reach the bottom it was distorted. The very top

Keeping an Eye on Quality

Category: Blog
Created on Oct 23 2013

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland

The late quality expert Philip Crosby offered a definition that changed everything for me. “Quality,” he said, “is meeting expectations.”

That hit me like a hydrogen bomb. If quality is simply a matter of meeting expectations, then there is no objective standard of quality for anything. That is not to say that there is no such thing as quality. It simply means that most of us think about quality in the wrong way.

Knowing that quality is a matter of meeting expectations is freeing in many ways. In another way, it binds us more closely than ever to the responsibility to communicate with others in our organizations—and with our customers and clients.

What makes a quality shoe store? Well-made shoes? Good customer service? Low prices? It all depends on the customer’s expectations—expectations that are set in large part by the owner of the store.

Leader-ships: Two More

Category: Blog
Created on Sep 25 2013

Last week in The Leader's Notebook, I wrote about three ships and how their leaders, read captains, performed or failed to perform in the line of duty. If you missed that edition I hope you will go back and check it out here. This week I want to consider two more "leader-ships." These two were failures; one of which was an absolute catastrophe, and one that was used for political purposes. Both are highly educational for those in leadership.

I.  The Vasa Ship
In 1628, the king of Sweden was Gustovus Adolphus. Intimidated by the great naval powers of Europe he decided Sweden should burst onto the stage with a resounding statement. King Adolphus commissioned the Vasa ship and ordered that it be one of the greatest seagoing vessels of the day. Furthermore, he wanted it to be a veritable work of art, a ship so beautiful that his neighboring monarchs would see what a sophisticated and creative nation Sweden was. Of course, he also wanted the ship's ordinance to be so impressive that his contemporary monarchs would get the message that Sweden's king was a power to be reckoned with.

I Saw Three Ships

Category: Blog
Created on Sep 18 2013

Of all the Christmas carols beloved of millions, one makes absolutely no sense to me at all. It is a folk song, so there is no one to blame, and its staunchest defenders appeal only to its traditional place in the catalogue of Christmas culture. It apparently was created in Derbyshire, England sometime in the 17th century and the melody is an off-spring of “Greensleeves.” It is beautiful to hear especially in a choral arrangement. The problem is the lyrics.

In most forms the words make reference to ships sailing in to Bethlehem. That is a bit problematic since that Holy City is land-locked. I suppose that some village minstrel in the 17th century jolly old is to be forgiven for envisioning Bethlehem as a far away and exotic version of Portsmouth. Then there is the issue of the ships. We're they carrying the wise men?  Perhaps they were actually camels, the ships of the desert. Really? That's a stretch. Someone suggested they represent the Trinity. On ships? The Trinity? Oh, come on!

No, the bottom line is, “Three Ships” is a sweet old tune we will continue to sing at Christmas and simply ignore the fact that we have no idea what it means. I'm okay with that and I will bask in its beauty at Christmas and simply not think about it too much.  In fact I am actually pretty adept at not thinking overmuch about anything, especially obscure things.

However, I bet I know what YOU are thinking right at this moment. Why is he writing this now when Christmas is hardly on anyone's mind? I am choosing the metaphor of three ships for a lesson on leadership and the meaningless old carol came to my mind.  That's it. So, forgetting Christmas until it’s colder, consider with me three ships and leadership lessons they offer.

I. The Costa Concordia
On January 13, 2012, Captain Francesco Schettino drove his ship up on the rocks just off the shore of Isola del Giglio, an island northwest of Rome. I referenced this wreck in the introductory pages of ReLaunch.

Facing Institutional Reality

Category: Blog
Created on Sep 11 2013

Excerpt from
RELAUNCH: HOW TO STAGE AN ORGANIZATIONAL COMEBACK
by Dr. Mark Rutland


Before Interstate 75 was built, drivers traveling to Florida went right through the middle of Corbin, Kentucky, on Highway 25. Every day hundreds of them stopped at Harland Sanders Café for a bite of Colonel Harland Sanders' fried chicken. But when the interstate was complete, Highway 25 went quiet, and Sanders' Café was left high and dry. Colonel Sanders was at a crossroads. He could hope for the best and ride his near-empty restaurant all the way down, or he could pursue another vision for his restaurant.

Colonel Sanders’ fortune grew out of the disaster that ensued when I-75 bypassed his hometown. He hit the road and started recruiting Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisees across the United States. It all began with a clear-eyed look at a situation that had changed completely. That willingness to face reality is not as common as it should be among leaders.