Write Your Business Plan in Pencil and consider a Vision Board

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In my case, I used a sheet of flipchart paper to list three major categories.  Then do a quick brainstorm to list all your present business work via post-it notes, or use a spreadsheet.   It is then easy to review your activities by grouping them in categories or simply the use the big three: strategic, tactical and operational.   

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Choosing a Consultant

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This article & excerpt could save you, literally millions, via my first-hand experience of some great consulting work as well as some less than ethical consultants out there.

…Beware the consultant who promises too much. It’s the flip side of the client making unrealistic demands.

Consultant contract sprawl, jargon & managing your relationship with your consultant are some key take aways from the excerpt below.

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Strategic Agility: Adapting to Now & Next

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one that is most adaptable to change.  ~ Charles Darwin

via flickr.com CC by Corrado Dearca

Is strategic planning losing its seat at the table due to the need for speed?  There’s ample evidence that, no matter how much analysis and planning , strategic planning is inherently flawed, quickly out of date, and rendered ineffective due to slow and incomplete execution. 

A phrase that is gaining traction is strategic agility. For context, consider Wall Street Journal writers Joann Lublin and Dana Mattioli reports that current, recession-based business forecasts did not hold true.  Executives learned that strategic planning was more limited in effectiveness than before.

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Right Sizing Your Education Options

Aligning a Course of Study to your Ambitions

Guest post by Scott Wachtmann

by Schlüsselbein2007 CC Flickr
by Schlüsselbein2007 CC Flickr

Choosing a college is a big decision.  It seems to me that students who choose to pursue an education after high school often look at college as the only option in reaching that goal.  The truth is the decision to attend college should be a strategic choice made because it is the best path to reach one’s ambitions.

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Goals: The Finish Line and Beyond

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“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.”  ~  Jim Rohn

This is the third article in a series of three explaining the MCG model for group development – Membership, Control, Goal. If you’ve ever been in a new or reformed team or group that seemed to take its time getting to task, you may have been experiencing the investment stages of membership and control.  Start-up businesses are easy evidence of this.

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Control Issues in Teams: How Do You Take Charge?

“Contrary to popular belief, people don’t resist changes, they resist being controlled. …the corollary to that is people who plan the battle, rarely battle the plan.”

Pat Zigarmi, co-author, Who Killed Change?

Control, step 2 in the MCG framework

This post is the second of three in a series about the MCG model of helping a group or organization develop.  This includes developing greater team skill in resiliency and adaptability (beyond resiliency) in order to meet changing goals. Part 1 on Membership is here.

MCG = Membership, Control, and Goal. MCG is a useful model for leaders working with any team or group including those that being formed and those that are changing, such as gaining or losing members.  In the  CONTROL stage, group members encounter natural structuring and inevitable control issues that develop once the  group has formed and has begun to set boundaries, testing the skills and knowledge of formal and informal leaders and team members.

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3 Steps to Grow Team Performance: Membership, Control, Goal

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ANYTIME a functioning group changes in membership including when it forms, status and or role questions arise.  If someone leaves the group, roles shift, the group churns. Small groups are often microcosms of the organization and reflect organizational health in the way they form, grow, perform (or don’t), ebb and end.

This post is about how groups and teams form and develop. It starts with MEMBERSHIP.

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During Crises & Crunch, What Matters? The Power of the Story


During lean times, soft and more difficult to define structures of the organization tend to become more evident, sometimes uncomfortably so.  There’s nothing like a crises or simply a good, healthy conflict for exposing what really matters to leaders throughout an organization making decisions.  Peter Drucker once stated, “Only three things happen naturally in organizations – friction, confusion and underperformance.  Everything else requires leadership.”

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Talent Management Choices: Who is the Star, the Individual or the Organization?

Back in the day, the saying was: People are an organization’s most important asset. Also quoted around the same time, “People are #7 on a list of most organization priorities.” ~ Peter Block, leadership consultant. Now it’s 2022 and once again, in a world dealing with Covid and labor shortages, it’ quite possible people may have moved up to #3, or might it be higher than that?

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As you consider your workforce talent today, are you using a Talent Constellation or a Talent Community approach? There are very clear differences in the path an organization takes as it recruits, develops, and endeavors to retain its talent. This post was updated in 2022 from the original in 2009 taking into account today’s workforce realities.

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Hiring a Facilitator, Does it “Make Easy?”

What is your experience of the “make easy” aspect of the definition of the word facilitator? To what extent  does an outside facilitator help you, a leader, planner, or group member researching this topic?

Deb facilitating Open Space, Michigan

A quick answer to the title question for this post is the face value of “yes” it makes things easier, as well as the practical reality answer of “no.” Facilitation does connect to root meanings of the word, to “make easy.” However, any leader, group member, planning team that has worked with a professional facilitator/consultant DOES find out that with the freedom of having a facilitator/consultant partner, you will get some common questions. This is where the real work of facilitation and consultation can gain traction.

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