Why Are Mistakes Good?

April 27th, 2009

If you are not making mistakes, you are not taking enough risks! As I used to say when I was a VP of Operations, mistakes are good. Repetition of the same mistake is bad. This reminds me of the famous story of Lee Iacocca. I don’t remember it exactly; however, it was something similar to the following: Someone made a $1 million mistake. He called the person to his office, and the person thought they’d be fired. Instead, his perspective was the opposite – he’d just invested $1 million in the person’s training.

Of course, it is desirable if your mistakes do not total $1 million, but it is rare for mistakes to be that significant. Mistakes are not fatal. On the contrary, it is imperative that we start encouraging our children, employees, peers, etc to take risks and innovate. The only way to push the limits is to make mistakes. The key is to learn from your mistakes! Don’t waste time feeling bad; instead, use them as a learning opportunity.

Innovation will be key to success, especially during the recession. The “tried and true” is unlikely to stand out in the crowd and provide value add; instead, it is critical to experiment with new ideas and new or revised products, services, processes and technologies to find a path to success.

So, test the waters, push the envelope and make a few mistakes – you’ll likely end up far ahead of your competition.

Why Would Creating a Fabulous Work Environment Turn into a Negative?

April 23rd, 2009

If you worked in a Disneyland environment for several years, do you think you’d get used to Disneyland treatment? Of course! Who wouldn’t like to have a “parade” of good wishes surrounding them on a daily basis. Well, lately, I’ve seen several examples of people transitioning from positive, team-based work environments to different environments (some just different, some negative-based, some with a leader who is negative-based, some with a negative team). Unfortunately, it is at least twice as hard to deal with what might have been a “fine environment” prior to the Disneyland experience than it would have been if you never had the Disneyland experience. I am NOT advocating avoiding creating and/or working in a fabulous environment (after all, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in more than 1 during my career prior to being solely in charge of creating my working environment in my business when most are fortunate to work in just 1) – it can be such an enriching experience not to be missed. Of course, if you are the lead creator, KEEP your new environment, note the effects on your team, and help them understand how to create the elements on their own. And, if you are a participant in the culture/ situation, take a step back and think about what makes (or made) the situation special. How can you create the key elements for yourself? Your team? Your peers? As I said in my last post, assume the position of strength and lead the process (even if you are the lowest man on the totem pole, it can be done). You will be surprised as to how easily it can transition into a new, different positive experience.

Start From a Position of Strength…

April 21st, 2009

I was just talking with a friend about the trials and tribulations of the economy, work, life etc. It is amazing what a difference it can make to come at a situation from a position of strength vs. one of weakness. For example, my friend is in transition in her career and was provided an unresponsive and unavailable transition counselor. Instead of giving up and considering it a lost cause to gain value from the experience, she persisted until she found someone available and convinced them to fly into town to get together. The only reason this occurred is because she addressed the situation from a position of strength and was persistent until achieving the desired result. How are you approaching situations in all aspects of your life? Even if you don’t feel like it, consider coming at the next one from a position of strength as an experiment to see what will occur. I bet you’ll be amazed by the results – and, remember, it can become a self-fulfilling circle of success leading to success which creates success….

Do you receive useless reports daily?

April 19th, 2009

Why do the majority of businesses not only create useless reports but also spend countless hours updating them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?  In my experience, we are caught up in complexity.  If your reports are not immediately clear and ACTIONABLE, throw them out.  Why waste precious resources developing useless information?  Instead, focus exclusively on developing concise, relevant reports with key decision-making data and trends.  Or, consider eliminating the majority of reports and replace with visual cues – the key is to focus your efforts and resources of providing value-add data.

© Lisa Anderson 2009. All rights reserved.

People + Process = Profit

April 14th, 2009

This is my area of focus for my consulting business – transforming people and process into profit.  Although every business wants to believe it is unique, overall, it isn’t.  In essence, this equation just boils down the key, basic principles of effective businesses.  Although it sounds to easy to be true, it “works” – delivers results.

© Lisa Anderson 2009. All rights reserved.