2015 Enigmas

Amy Schumer is bold, off-color, risk-taking—and not very funny. After hearing so much about her, I watched her HBO special (directed by Chris Rock, no less, but how do you “direct” a standup comedy routine?). I laughed three times over the course of an hour. When will the other candidates realize that Trump grabs headlines because he’s refreshingly different in a process where everyone is vanilla and bland? Who on earth thinks that automated phone calls will convince someone to …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/28/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

In the U.S., we’ve had a record year for high school graduation rates, well over 80 percent. There are many in the education profession concerned that these students are still not adequately prepared to enter college. I have a different concern. I don’t think a four-year degree (or the five and six years some students crawl through) will be de rigueur in the years ahead. I don’t think college should be the default destination for high school graduates. We need …


The Dog Star: Assertiveness

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition) Bentley has quite a few ways of asserting himself and expressing his desires. He drops a stick on my feet if he wants to play fetch and I’ve neglected to bring his Frisbee with us. He puts his head under my hand and starts to rub if he wants me …




A Christmas Story

Some mornings I take the dogs for coffee and biscuits to Dunkin’ Donuts. The (mostly) women behind the drive-through window are cordial and fun at 6:30 in the morning. They smile, talk to the dogs, are very polite, and are clearly appreciative of the small tip that the change represents. Many of them have their hair and makeup attractively done, which means their day must have started around 5 or so. I’m guessing they work for minimum wage or close …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/21/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I want to thank you all for joining me here each Monday. I receive more response to this newsletter than any other that I publish. The best of the Holiday Season to you all, and an especially Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. May you and your families enjoy health, peace, and prosperity. And may this year be kinder to all of us, increasing tolerance, decreasing hostilty, and showcasing humanity for what we all know we are capable of. …


Not To Do Lists

We become consumed with tasks rather than results, inputs rather than outputs, in our personal lives and our client work. People talk about (shudder) “a training” rather than an improvement. One of the invidious contributors to this dysfunctional phenomenon is the “to do list.” In most meetings, that means the “agenda” on the easel sheet migrates to a new easel sheet with the same list by the end of the meeting. On a personal basis, these lists exist from day …



Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/14/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

I remember a football star in high school bragging that he had never read a book. He wound up as a payroll clerk in a grocery chain. Even today people tell me they never read fiction. That’s interesting, because I’d rather be immersed in the rich worlds of Dickens, Steinbeck, Irving, Updike, Austin, and Flaubert than almost anyone else. I find that over 90 percent of all business books written are turgid and impractical. History, science fiction, biographies, philosophy—they all …