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Inspiring… by Recognizing Individual Potential

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My lovely wife Cindy is a teacher.  Although she has a wide range of instructional competence, she is at her best with younger children.  The age when true potential is hard to determine and eventual outcomes are hard to predict.  In this important role, at this pivotal time in the child’s development, one thing she keeps in mind and what she knows to be true is this:  That some of the children will actually become smarter than she can ever ...

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Borrowed Assets

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“You never actually own a Patek Philippe.  You merely take care of it for the next generation.”

I like this advertising slogan for a brand of high-end watches, but I think it’s often limited in its interpretation.  Many think that it speaks to the watch’s durability and timeless design.  I agree with this, but I think it speaks even more powerfully to the watch’s actual use from generation to generation.  The arrival of an airplane after a son or ...

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Return on Effort

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Return on investment (ROI) is a familiar concept.  It usually has its greatest relevance when a big investment decision is soon to be made. Sometimes it goes by other names when applied to ongoing operations, like return on capital employed (ROCE), return on invested capital (ROIC) or return on equity (ROE).

Although such returns and return rates can be evaluated in isolation, for example in relation to the company’s cost of capital (which is a blended rate based on a combination ...

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Gaining Agility… While Building Deep Relationships

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Distinguished anthropologist Sally Falk Moore of Harvard was asked, at least once, “What do anthropologists do?”  Her reply was, “It’s very simple.  You walk into a room and ask, “Who are these people and what do they want?”  It’s about understanding social systems… why they exist and how they work.”

Not a heckuva lot different than a typical supplier-customer relationship, especially when it’s business-to-business!  Both parties are trying to figure out what the other party’s social system is and how it ...

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Lack of… Clarity, Capacity and Predictability

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When things don’t happen, or they don’t happen fast enough or consistently enough, it’s usually because there’s a lack of something. Typically, it’s the lack of one or more of the following…

Clarity

– A well-articulated strategy helps, but are we actually living it? Is it embodied in all we do? Are we executing on it (collectively), or just talking about it?
– Are we perceived as truly relevant within our markets? Is our relevance distinctive enough to make our ...

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Adamson & Associates Launches New Website

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We are excited to announce the launch of our new website.

Check back regularly for updates and new articles.

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Celebrating Impact Players

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First, kill the notion that impact players only reside at the top.  I have been involved in too many turnarounds where we “cut off the head, and the body responded”.  Impact players are everywhere.  They’re the people that step up, and not just in a time of crisis.

Second, dismiss the thought that impact players are born, not made.  Some are more fortunate and learned how to be an impact player earlier in life or earlier in their career.  They’re commonly ...

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Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Don’t Move Faster

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1. This is a new situation.  I have never seen anything like it before.

2. I see the upside and it’s very exciting, but I’m not sure I see all the pitfalls.  What could I (or my team) be missing?

3. Some key contributors on my team are overly skeptical and only grudgingly compliant.  I really don’t have the time and energy to be constantly “selling” them on the breakthrough potential this initiative could represent.

4. The day/week/month starts out great, but I ...

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Challenges in Dealing with What’s Next

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To gain speed and traction, executives need to provide clarity on what their organization needs
to do next… from market positioning to a variety of tactical responses.  However, there are
challenges to be faced in gaining this desired clarity, such as the following:

1. Separating real external influences and trends from those just appearing to be real or
those which are inconsequential.  Is there really a “defining moment” here?

2. Obtaining unfiltered (as well as clearly up-to-date) information.  This can be anything
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Why Strategic Initiatives Often Don’t Happen

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Lack of clarity.  Some of this may relate to how the strategy has been
articulated, but I believe the best antidote to that is repetition… as well as follow
up on execution steps that reinforce it.  You are basically providing the “Why?”
and you cannot assume people will get it on the first try.  In fact, a major reason
for the slow assimilation is that most of the people in the organization don’t have
an open, continual or consistent view ...

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