Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/13/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Someone allows me to turn left into Dunkin’ Donuts in heavy traffic. A passerby tells me I’ve dropped something. A store clerk finds something out of stock in another store and gets it for me the next day. The lawn guys clear up some debris that has nothing to do with their work. A bill is $10.03 and the cashier says not to worry about the change which I don’t have. Someone offers tickets to a …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/6/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Wisconsin upset Kentucky Saturday in a thrilling Final Four basketball game. I heard that Kentucky never looks at films of its opponents, while Wisconsin studies films in detail. I don’t know if that is true or the cause of the outcome, but I do know that the more familiar we make ourselves with approaching challenges, the more comfortable we are. I used to visualize what it might be like in a buyer’s office, then apply the …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/30/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The horrible plane crash in France caused by the co-pilot is an indication that when your time comes, your time comes. Two people have apparently died in New York because of the illegal tapping of a gas main which started a horrible explosion and fire (we were heading toward it, a few blocks away, when it occurred). Are you really afraid of eating sushi, or of public speaking, or of traveling to foreign ports of call? …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/23/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: We are fond of pointing out that there is more power in our cell phones today than in the computers that first put a man on the moon. We’ve produced cars with over 1,000 horsepower, not because they’re useful for transportation, but because we can. Yet the power of the written word seems to have diminished, with a proliferation of publication without scrutiny over quality or even facts. The power of privacy is a distant memory, …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/16/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: I learn more than anyone in the room when I teach, coach, consult, and facilitate, which is the only reason I continue to do so with such zest. My learning from the nearly 200 people at my Consulting Convention in Atlanta last week includes: Healthy people are optimistic and encouraging and we merely have to perpetuate that attitude in them. If you trust talented people to do a fine job and stay out of their business, …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/9/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Long icicles form here in a winter like this. They are often quite beautiful. But they usually collapse from their own weight, or dissipate in the heat of the sun. They are ephemeral and unreliable in their shape and longevity. I’ve found the same with many small businesses and independent practices. They collapse of the weight of unnecessary overhead, disorganization, lack of focus, procrastination, and too much labor for too little return. They melt away in …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 3/2/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: Why is it so few people are comfortable in their own skins these days? On Facebook, there is a bizarre request made by many to “prove” their posts are read by forcing people to make a response. Klout scores purportedly show social media popularity. Conformity in dress, language, icons, and experiences is like the gravitational pull of Jupiter. We are being pulled toward a lowest common denominator of mediocrity, a tropism toward the banal. The people …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/23/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: In the police procedurals I read or watch on TV, the prosecutors are always looking for motive, means, and opportunity. Did the suspects have a cause which prompted the crime, did they have a weapon or means to accomplish the crime, and was there an opportunity for the commission of the crime? That’s why alibis, access, and witnesses are so vital. This rigor makes me wonder if we try sufficiently to create the same dynamics in …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/16/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: We tend to view confrontation and conflict as undesirable. There are organizational courses on “conflict resolution,” and therapists help people deal with “confrontation.” But aside from physical threat, passionately held differing opinions have always seemed to me to be the stuff of creativity, and progress, and excitement. One of my Fortune 20 clients used to hold “pre-meetings” before scheduled meetings to iron out differences and ensure there was no discord at the session. This created a …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 2/9/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The truth is easier than lies, because the truth is simple and straightforward. Lies require careful construction and rehearsal. After they’re repeated often enough, the perpetrators begin to believe them. They did throw the winning touchdown pass, they did star in the school play, they did score the highest in the SATs, they did come under fire in combat. Brian Williams apparently felt that he had to inflate his professional résumé, which means that, despite his …