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 This process is as outdated as encyclopedias.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: Gravitational Pull

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40When I was gone for a week filming my upcoming LinkedIn Learning course in California, my wife Barb took on the seemingly insurmountable task of training Captain Jack and Bella. She worked with them to dutifully sit before getting their dishes to eat and prior to going outside. I admittedly hurried through both processes allowing them to jump, bark, and demand.

When I returned, she gave me strict orders. She explained that she’s made great headway and I was to “not mess it up.” In other words, do as she did, all the time. I started out doing well, but what inevitably happens is that times come up that I missed the training cues. The reasons included being in a hurry, forgetting, and (this is an important one) that it wasn’t the same priority as Barb had. I’m happy to say that the “gravitational pull” that inflicted me has been responded to better, mostly out of fear for the consequences of my boss! And the other good news, both Captain Jack and Bella have also improved. You can teach old dogs (including me) new tricks after all.

Gravitational pull is that human dilemma that forces our best intentions for improvement back down to a default position of mediocrity (or worse). You should be able to recognize the same reasons for gravitational pull rearing its ugly head – time issues; forgetfulness from lack of practice, supervision, or accountability; and lack of similar priority within the organization or commitment individually.

I spoke last week to a client’s employees for their mid-year retreat and this topic came up. We all agreed that gravitational pull exists and that it’s insidious to personal and organizational growth. In order to beat gravitational pull, one must identify factors for it, create triggers for discipline, and find accountability in others. One of the reasons organizations don’t make goals is because they don’t share the same priority or commitment. That’s a leadership issue that must be identified, discussed, and rectified.

Understanding how to overcome the pull is the first step in the process of regular and consistent growth and positive results. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Quote of the Week:

”Talent  does what it can; genius does what it must.”

~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (19th century English politician)

© 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: Your Business DNA

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40My kids bought me the Ancestry.com DNA kit for my birthday a few months ago. It was a great gift, as my father was quite the genealogist and I was eager to learn more about my actual heritage.

The results finally came in a few weeks ago. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Leading the way at 43% was the conglomeration of England/Scotland/Wales. This wasn’t totally a shock because I knew from Dad that our last name was either English or Scottish. What did surprise me was the high percentage. With my mother being Colombian, I thought that exact number would fall more into the Iberian Peninsula (including Spain). The sum of the Iberian Peninsula and Native American (includes South America where I trust it’s almost fully from) was the second largest at 26%. The results were fascinating and I spent much of the rest of the afternoon looking through all the data they included. 

We all have individual DNA that leads back generations and likely hundreds of years. That DNA forms how we look, how our bodies function, and both strengths and vulnerabilities. Your business (and your individual career) also has it’s own DNA. The problem is that often, we don’t take the time to understand what it tells us.

Your business DNA has obvious “markers;” things like your services and products; your family business lineage; and your time in a community. Some other “markers” may not be as obvious. Consider what your DNA says about how you answer (or don’t answer) incoming calls; how quickly you respond (or don’t respond) to emails; the upkeep of your website; the hospitality and comfort of your front desk staff and area; and your vibrancy in the community or communities you operate in. Your DNA will tell all those around you – both clients and potential clients – what you’re really made of.

What’s Your DNA say about you?

Quote of the Week:

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

~ Confucius

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Don’t Tread on Me

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past weekend, I watched an impressive presentation on the history of American flags at my Sons of the American Revolution chapter meeting. The speaker used historical perspective, context, humor and the actual replica flags to illustrate how and why we ended up with the current iteration of the stars and stripes.

One of my favorite flags visually is the Don’t Tread on Me flag, most commonly known as the Gadsden flag, after American general Christopher Gadsden, who designed it in 1775. It was first in battle by used by Commodore Esek Hopkins. As the American Revolution went on, the rattlesnake grew as a symbol for the colonies, thanks in large part to Benjamin Franklin. Franklin loved the imagery of the rattlesnake and published an essay in the Pennsylvania Gazette (under a pseudonym as he often did) where he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit. One of his many reasons was articulated in the publication, “She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.” (Note that the rattlesnake on the flag – see below – has 13 rattles on its tail, matching the number of colonies)

Sounds like the rattlesnake would make an equally appropriate symbol for businesses and organizations. The rattlesnake depicted on the flag was an emblem for people who were hungry for freedom, liberty, and creating their own destiny. That’s an ideal and unleashed life. That same spirit should also propel each of us to creating a life and career that we can call ideal. If she be as Franklin opines, an emblem of magnanimity and true courage, then good for us. We are all entrepreneurs; some own the company and others own their own personal companies where they create revenue from their work for others. Regardless of owner or employee, there is a spirit that is required to unleash the potential for the organizations, the families, and the individuals involved. Don’t allow any circumstance or situation to tread on your dreams. Clamp on and never surrender. Just like the rattlesnake. 

tread

Quote of the Week:

“I believe in being an innovator.”

~ Walt Disney

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

UPCOMING EVENT: IDEAL LIFE DAY

My Shrimp Tank podcast co-host Brad Berger and his company Cornerstone Financial Strategies is hosting a FREE half-day event meant to help you clamp on tight to your destiny to create your own “Ideal Life.” It’s called  Live Your Ideal Life and is being held on Saturday, March 3rd in Tacoma. Barb and I are attending this event that is filled with great ideas, marvelous speakers, and information that will help you grow personally. It’s FREE and there is still room. For more information and to register, click here! Hope to see you there!

Extra Points: Can You Handle the Truth?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I’ve been closely watching the Seattle Seahawks search for a new offensive coordinator. It looks like that as I write this, they may have found one. One of the areas of focus is on finding a coach that will “challenge” and hold accountable the quarterback, Russell Wilson.

I read an article espousing that the very best quarterbacks like Joe Montana and Tom Brady, craved being pushed and challenged. The article quoted a coach that opined that mediocre quarterbacks want to be left alone; above average quarterbacks want to be told how to improve; and great quarterbacks want to be told the truth.

Isn’t that the truth about all of us in any position or career? Regardless of employee or CEO, everyone needs coaching. How coachable are your best “players?’ How coachable are you?

I’ve experienced people that have said they want help, but really want to be literally left alone because all they want is validation of their ideas. I’ve met people that say they want to be better, but don’t like to hear the truth because in forces them to change. The truth is what sets the great ones apart.

One final thought: I’m not suggesting that the great performers always accept blindly what a coach might say, but they at least consider and respect it. A coach is there to mentor, guide, and grow people based on their expertise and knowledge. The best “players” are able to take the truth and make adjustments. Your organizational and individual success will depend on how many great “players,” including you, are on the team.

Can you handle the truth?

Quote of the Week:

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

I can help you get and your company grow and protect profitability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592.

Extra Points: Who’s Your Caddie?

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40I just finished watching an incredible and dramatic ending to The Open Championship (aka The British Open). Jordan Spieth displayed an unbelievable amount of poise, focus, and patience in winning the championship when the momentum and tide had turned sharply against him late in the round. I understand there may be many readers that are not golf fans, and this isn’t going to be regurgitation of the tournament. What you do need to know is that in 40 years of watching professional golf, I’ve never seen anything like it.

During his victory speech, Spieth thanked his caddie, Michael Greller. This isn’t unusual, yet Spieth said something which captured my attention. He said that Greller helped him keep his head in the game when things were going poorly. He acknowledged that he was getting down on himself “as any person would,” and that Greller kept him on a positive mindset and focused on the next swing. He said the trophy was as much Greller’s as it was his.

Caddies are critical to pro golfers for much more than simply handing them the next club and carrying the bag. They end up being a combination of psychologist, accountability partner, sounding board, and coach. Who’s your caddie?

Every business professional will face trials and tribulations in their career. Just like a round of golf on the biggest stage, those that are resilient and focused on positive outcomes win the day, even if they don’t win the championship. As Spieth accurately noted, “any person” can and will get down on themselves. We all need a caddie to help us.

While some of you may say that your spouse or significant other act as your caddie, I’d offer you this perspective: There are no professional golfers using their spouses or significant other to tote the bag for them. You find spouses and significant others giving support from behind the ropes, but in those crucial moments, there is a need for an objective voice and often a tough love that can’t be duplicated by those closest to us.

If you truly want to be successful in your career, you need to find a caddie that will talk you back into focus when you need it, hold you accountable to your goals, and provide both tough love and an encouraging pat on the back when needed. You’ll find that they will ultimately save you many “strokes” in your championship round!

Quote of the Week:

”Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.”

~ Arnold Palmer

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need a caddie? Call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.

Extra Points: Driving Leadership

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40News came out over the weekend that Uber board of directors would be discussing a leave of absence for its embattled CEO, Travis Kalanick. This comes on the heels of months of terrible press related to claims of sexual harassment allegations, berating drivers on video, and a Pandora’s Box of other workplace and public scandal and crisis. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board will also vote on setting up an investigation onto workplace issues.

Just because a person has the CEO acronym following their name on their business card, doesn’t mean they have a clue how to lead, manage, and inspire people. Kalanick had publicly admitted he needed to grow his leadership skills, but hasn’t shown much growth so his board is now taking more swift action to try and salvage the brand of the company.

Small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders should take note. Just because one can start a business doesn’t mean they can effectively lead, manage, and inspire people. In order to tap into and unleash the power and potential of a business, that SMB owner or executive must intentionally enhance that part of their professional repertoire. It should be a daily discipline and requires accountability. Unlike highly-visible public companies like Uber, there often isn’t a board of directors there to do it. The metrics are most often a combination of high turnover, workplace drama, apathetic employees, and lack of production.

If you’re in any type of leadership position, I encourage you to make the development of your skills in this area a daily discipline. Read articles and books, watch videos by experts, and most importantly find an advisor (or advisors) to hold you accountable to your leadership growth goals. You’ve got your hands on the wheel; make sure you’re driving down the right road.

Quote of the Week:

”All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Would you like help improving your leadership development strategy for your company? Need help getting your organization to a higher state of resiliency and profitable growth? Then call me and let’s schedule a meeting to talk. I’m confident I can help you and your business unleash your potential and profits.