“Continuous Improvement” is a mantra for just about all areas of our businesses and — if we’re ambitious — our lives. Companies make huge investments in everything from lean manufacturing to agile development methodologies knowing that the best way to make things better is through steady and continuous improvement. We reengineer our business processes to have feedback loops so we can learn from what we have done and build on those learnings.
Learn. Improve. Repeat.
It’s a no-brainer, right? The relentless pursuit of perfection, as Lexus would say. Everything is fair game. Nothing is exempt from the beneficent outcomes of continuous improvement…
Well, almost nothing.Read More
Success can be elusive. The building blocks of success are subtle and nuanced. For those who have made it big, the real reasons for their success are rarely the things they remember and write about.
This is where mentors come in.
In our quest for growth, progress, and success, we have this latent desire for someone who will take us under their wing and co-pilot our journey from the mailroom to the corner office. Or, more realistically, we imagine a relationship with a mentor who meets with us once or twice a month over a long period of time and imparts wisdom like a college professor working through a syllabus.
It doesn't work that way.Read More
Take a moment to think about all of the change that has taken place since you were born. Not just the technological change (from computers the size of small cars to exponentially more powerful devices weighing mere ounces), but also the social, scientific, and cultural progress that has occurred in the last several decades.
Now consider the Acheulean hand axe. The always-excellent podcast, 99% Invisible, released an insightful show this week looking at this primitive stone tool.Read More
Think back to the last time you were at a wedding — or any event with a dance floor. There was no shortage of well-meaning people encouraging the wallflowers, “Come on … get out on the dance floor … it’ll be fun … you’ll have a good time.”1Imagine this line the way Bruce Willis says “Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs” in Die Hard. In many ways, networking is like…Read More
"The only way to change the world is through strong organizations. No visionary leader, no charismatic leader can change the world unless they know how to build an organization and a team around them."
— Sally Blount, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
We all need a livelihood. For most of us, that means going to work at companies and in organizations. Unfortunately, too many of those organizations manage to suck the life out of us. It doesn't have to be this way.Read More
Knowledge is an important element of productivity. If follows that the acquisition of knowledge is equally important to your long-term success. But how do you learn? And how do you find time?
A 2014 research paper titled “Making Experience Count: The Role of Reflection in Individual Learning” offers some keen insights.Read More
Introverts often feel as though networking is not their thing. Cat Neligan and I put that notion to rest in a delightful conversation on her Creative Introvert podcast. We talked about networking and being helpful (of course), as well as everything from helping your friends and colleagues understand how your brain works to a rousing defense of small talk.Read More
Basketball is a beautiful game. When played well, five players move and think as a single hive-mind in real time. Despite having its share of big talent and marque players, it is a team sport down to the last player on every bench.
No one knew the importance of teamwork better than Dean Smith, the legendary coach of the North Carolina Tarheels for 36 years.Read More
Productivity is hard. Most people overthink it, or worse, try to copy what someone else does. It’s tempting to think what works for others will work for us. Oh, if that were only true. Productivity is a beast that everyone must tame in their own way.
This is part I of a five-part series.Read More
Heather Hollick has been helping others become better leaders and craft more meaningful careers for more than 25 years. Her experience spans both business and technology, operations and organizational development. Oh, and she was born in Canada, so she can't help but be helpful. 😉