Extra Points: Avoiding Organizational Amnesia

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I was having a conversation with a client last week on the incredibly important topic of transferring knowledge. We were discussing the concept of “organizational amnesia” from my book Unleashed Leadership, and the upcoming development program I will be conducting for his company. Here is the crux of our conversation:

Organizational amnesia is best avoided when a company can successfully transfer organizational “smarts” to new employees. Development of skills – be it tactical, leadership, or proprietary – through a process of transfer from the veterans to new employees assures that a company doesn’t simple lose it’s memory when employees transition out.

While that all sounds fine, the transfer mechanism is a little more complicated.

I’ve witnessed organizations trying to transfer skills through infrequent seminars, trainings, and lectures. The information gets stored somewhere and made “available” for future use. Here’s the problem: the newer and younger employees don’t retain and retrieve knowledge that way. I’m sorry to tell you that the plethora of thick binders in your resource library are useless. When someone needs to get information quickly, especially in a crisis, the last thing they will do is seek out a binder and start looking for the answer. This process is as outdated as encyclopedias.

What organizations need to do is find how employees (especially the ones that are now being hired) best learn and retrieve information. The answer is quite simple: this generation and future ones use their mobile devices to quickly get information. They utilize videos and checklists stored in a place they can access without thinking twice. The solution is to assure that you are maximizing your investment in knowledge transfer by making certain it will be utilized in the future in the fastest and easiest way possible for the employee.

Stop using 20th century tools for 21st century employees. Make your knowledge basis easy to access and avoid organizational amnesia.

Quote of the Week:

”We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

~ John Dryden

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Turning Water Into Wine

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I recently had the opportunity to work the assembly line bottling wine. My client is a local winery and every few months, he offers wine club members the chance to take part in the bottling, and offers nice incentives as compensation for “hard labor.” The opportunities had never worked out in the past, but this time it did.

Here’s what I learned: Bottling wine is physically taxing. The process is highly repetitive; with precision being at a premium. You need good teammates to keep the process running smoothly. It takes a lot of discipline and quality control. And if the the very last bottle doesn’t fill up because the wine ran out, well you get to drink it!

Correlation to business: Running a business is physically and mentally taxing. In order to be successful, one must create repeatable processes with sharp precision and attention to detail. Really good employees are needed; ones that have bought into the system and are compensated equitably for that work. Quality control and discipline are vital to viability. At the end of the day, it should be fun.

For you non-business owners, don’t feel left out. The concepts apply to your career and to your life.

The biggest thing I walked away with (other than some wonderful bottles of wine and a little fatigue) was the understanding that the bottle of wine I purchase at the store had a lot of moving parts play a part in its creation. If you want to create “fine wine” in your business, those same skill sets, characteristics, and discipline are needed.

It’s the best way to turn “water into wine.”

Quote of the Week:

”I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.”

~ W.C. Fields

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Find The Helpers

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40As I attended the graduation ceremony at my local high school, I was impressed specifically by one of the graduate speakers. She mentioned a quote by that great American philosopher, Mr. Rogers. She said that Mr. Rogers was influential in her mother’s life (which reminded me of the generation I’m in) and he had once said that in this world, there are “helpers” when people are in trouble. Her mother explained, “whenever you see a crisis on television, look for the helpers. You will see them.”

That simple statement is so very true. Think of even recent calamities like the Boston Marathon bombing, the devastation of natural disasters, and countless school shootings. You always will find the helpers.

You’d like to think that we are all “helpers,” but it’s not the case. We are all wired differently and bring value, however others are intrinsically wired to be helpers.

This week, we will be performing a crisis simulation exercise for a client. These exercises often reveal those that are leaders, those that are talkers, those that are followers, and importantly, those that are helpers. Every organization – for profit and non-profit – need to identify helpers in their organizations. Every neighborhood and community must identify the helpers. And every family should know the helpers. It’s paramount for resilience and survival when calamity hits.

We all play a role in the affiliations we have. Those of you that have a leadership role in business or in your personal life need to take heed of the wise words of Mr. Rogers. Go find the helpers.

Quote of the Week:

”My father gave me the greatest gift anyone can give another person; he believed in me..”

~ Jim Valvano

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

The Warrior Mentality Code: Part I

20 Under 40 20_3From my May 2018 column for The Kitsap Sun / Kitsap Business Journal…

Being an entrepreneur requires a “warrior mentality.” As CEO or President, being the “boss” means you fall under this definition of entrepreneur, so pay attention to my next statement.

If you don’t follow my Weedin Warrior Mentality Code, your business could maim you for life, or simply kill you prematurely.

Being a business owner is demanding. While it’s an aspiration to take on this challenge to build a legacy and create wealth, it’s only a good thing if they are around to enjoy the rewards.

I’ve compared being an entrepreneur to being an athlete. While an athlete trains both body and mind, all too often entrepreneurs do neither. The consequences are severe to the health of the owner and the business. In this 3-part series, we will explore ideas and concepts on how to create your own “warrior mentality” to not only accelerate business growth, but also enhance your own health and lifestyle.

The concepts will be broken out into three categories: Personal Health, The ROI of YOU, and Company Culture. In this column, we will tackle Personal Health…

Entrepreneurs and executives are driven. They work long hours, take financial risks, and care deeply about clients, employees, and legacy. Some of the stress that comes with the job is self-inflicted, yet much is still out of their control. If they aren’t mentally, physically, and spiritually fit, the ramifications are dangerous.

Mental Warriors: Mental warriors invest time in attitude and knowledge. Listed below are my best practices on how to become more mentally fit to deal with the stresses of being the boss:

  1. Invest your time and money in learning. This means both professional and personal development. The opportunity to improve how one thinks through videos, books, podcasts, and more has never been greater. Taking 10 minutes a day to learn something new leads to better creativity and innovation.
  2. Hire a coach. The best athletes in the world have coaches, often several. If an entrepreneur thinks that he or she doesn’t need a coach because they’re long on experience and don’t need anyone challenging them, then they are making a grave mistake. Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams and countless other world-class athletes enjoyed greater success and longevity because they hired coaches. From a mental standpoint, being able to discuss critical issues and gain outside perspective keeps one from “breathing their own exhaust.” It’s also freeing and creates a stronger level of confidence in decision-making.
  3. Improve mental toughness. Mental toughness is that innate ability to respond and be resilient to adversity. Being mentally tough is not easy; it takes discipline, practice and perspective. To grow your mental toughness, dedicate yourself to the first two practices above!

Physical Warriors: This is the area that I see that is least valued by entrepreneurs. Athletes and soldiers must be physically fit to compete and fight. Entrepreneurs compete and fight daily, too. Check out these best practices to improve your fitness level:

  1. Diet is everything. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Sugar is more addictive than any illegal or legal drug, and maybe more harmful. Carbohydrates in excess will increase weight and dull brain power. What you eat will exacerbate how you deal with stress both good and bad. The best thing I ever did to improve my overall health and capacity to run a business was to change what and how I ate. It will be the same for you.
  2. Exercise. You don’t have to exercise like a professional athlete, but you do need to move. Invest time in 30 minutes of exercise a day: walk, swim, bicycle, yoga, golf, or box. In order to best deal with mental stress, you must change the brain chemicals through physical exertion.
  3. Accountability. If you’re going to really improve, then find someone who will hold your feet to the fire. It must be someone that won’t let you slide, and that you respect. Accountability partners work the best.

Spiritual Warriors: This isn’t a faith-based issue; although for many of you it might include it. Here’s what I mean for the purposes of this exercise: what are the things that bring tranquility to your spirit?

  1. Create habits that bring peace of mind and spirit. It’s comfort food for the inner workings of your mind. For me, a good cigar and a complimentary libation once a month is good for the rejuvenation of my spirit! For others it might be a form of exercise (walk in the park), spending time with grandchildren, or reading a good mystery novel. When these become habitual, they become part of your “therapy.”
  2. Be quiet. This is hard for me, but I’ve created a discipline about finding quiet time. I’ve made it fun by allocating time during the day to quietly practice my putting stroke in my exercise room. The getting out of my head to focus quietly on something else is good for the spirit. For others it might be meditation or prayer. Regardless, find that spiritual comfort zone to rejuvenate the all-important spiritual part of you.
  3. People Power: On the other end of the spectrum, cultivate friendships that also rejuvenate you. Make sure they are outside your professional life. I enjoy spending time with my neighbors (sometimes smoking a cigar with libation in hand) as a tranquil time to simply enjoy life. You can be an introvert and still find companionship and support from people.

Final thought. Find one thing to improve in each area. It’s better to move one thing forward a mile than ten things forward an inch. If you choose just one from each, in 30 days you’ll have achieved great progress.

Next month, we dive into the ROI of YOU. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me with questions and comments about this column.

 

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Re-Creating Yourself

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The word recreation is well known to all of us. Undoubtedly, recreation means a variety of things to you – vacationing, golfing, boating, hiking, playing music, or simply having fun with your favorite hobby. Recreation rightly is considered a good thing, and I’d like to add a very important aspect to it that might get overlooked…

The word “recreation” literally means “re-creating.” When you embark on recreation, you are endeavoring on re-creating yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Recreation doesn’t have to be formal or even long. My Saturday evening cigar and glass of wine after a day of catching up on work, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the kitchen was re-creating myself on all four of those levels in just about an hour.

One of the greatest “hidden crises” that occur to CEOs, business owners, and professionals is the misguided belief that working long and arduous hours are noble and necessary. At times, it is necessary; however gone unchecked without regular doses of recreation to re-create one’s self is dangerous. In order for you to be of most value to your company – especially as the CEO or President – you must have balance.

Entrepreneurs and executives work hard and take on a ton of stress, most of it self-imposed. In order to make the best decisions, lead teams, and actually enjoy one’s vocation, constant recreation is needed to maintain a healthy balance. Not doing so is negligent to the person, the company, the employees, and the family.

Make re-creating yourself a daily discipline, even if it’s on a small level. Recreation leads to innovation, creativity, a stronger purpose and better overall personal and professional health. I’m as guilty of letting this important concept slide. I’m making it a priority starting today, what about you?

Quote of the Week:

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”

~ Mark Twain

Happy Mothers Day a day later!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Never Be Here Again

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, two different trips reminded me of the power of staying in the moment…

I was traveling a rural highway between Silverton and Sublimity, OR on my way to teach a class. It was a pretty and peaceful morning in an idyllic setting. I was driving the speed limit of 55 mph and enjoying the view. During the course of the 20 minute drive, there were three different cars that came speeding up behind me, and rode my bumper until they could pass. In talking with some of the participants in my class, they said the locals always sped impatiently through that area.

On Friday, I got the opportunity to take my first seaplane ride with my Shrimp Tank podcast co-host, Brad Berger. Brad is a pilot and offered to take me home in style. I was 900 feet in the air and enjoying every minute of the trip that I knew might be a one time event.

In the end, these were both one time events. As the lyrics to The Eagles classic song, Take It Easy remind us, “We may lose or we may win, but we will never be here again, so open up by climbing in and take it easy…”

The “locals” on that rural road forget the beauty and opportunity around them because they’ve taken that path so many times. They get in a hurry to get to the next thing. I’m as guilty when I am distracted or complacent about riding a ferry into Seattle and enjoying that moment. The seaplane ride was a clear reminder that even if I do get another ride, it will be different.

I’ve talked about this concept many times, and in my book Unleashed Leadership, I even have a chapter on it called “The Yard,” where I explain how Captain Jack and Bella never get tired of the same old yard becasue every day it’s different. I admit it’s a discipline that I am constantly working on myself. What about you?

Take a lesson from the song. No matter what the situation or event, we will never be here again. What happens today is unique and special; as will it be each coming day. If we get out of being in the moment, we risk unleashing our lives and experiences. Maybe it’s a good time to remember that we should always, “take it easy…”

IMG_1873

Quote of the Week:

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now without delay.”

~ Simone de Beauvoir (21st century French writer)

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Summer of ’69

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40The other day as I was driving, the song Summer of ‘69 by Bryan Adams came on the radio. My memory immediately went back to the mid 1980s when I was in college at the University of Washington as that was when the song was released. Funny that it seems both like a long time ago and not very long ago at the same time. That song referenced a year that was less than 20 years in the past. Today that song still frequently played, is about a summer nearly half a century ago.

Strange how days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, and years turn into decades. Just the other day my daughter shared a one year memory on Facebook of an ultrasound of her daughter and now that little girl is crawling all over the place. Here’s my message for today…

Don’t wait for the perfect time to start anything that you dream of doing. There’s a high cost to waiting. Sometimes it’s money; other times it’s opportunity lost; and most frequently it’s that the dream never takes its first step and quickly turns into regret. Life’s too short and volatile to wait for that “right time.”

Today is that right time, that right moment to start. Our recent podcast guest (see below) when asked what his recommendation was to those thinking about starting a business was short and to the point – “just start.” That’s my recommendation to you for whatever you want to achieve or accomplish. Just start. You don’t want to find yourself decades in the future thinking what might have been. Instead, you want to find yourself recounting the lyrics from Summer of ‘69 by saying these were the best years of your life.


Quote of the Week:

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”

~ Carol Burnett

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The key to personal and professional improvement is accountability. My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.