Height & Light Blog

Play by a different set of rules

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Don’t bother trying to plan when…

Every now and then, a client comes to us asking for a strategic alignment process and we know within a few minutes that it's the wrong thing to do.  Many factors can lead us to that conclusion. Here's a dead ringer: sometimes the leadership team can't have a...

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Success Personified

I met up with a former client a few days ago. He has recently taken over operational leadership of a company that until recently had struggled to make a profit.   In the last year, it has turned around - despite sailing into the teeth of a lousy economy. Naturally, I...

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Focus Personified

  Gym or food packing facility? This past weekend, I got to see focus in action. But it happened in a very unexpected place - an elementary school gym.  Here's what happened. We all know the impact of the economic crisis on those of us in the developed world. ...

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Secrets of a Master Planner – Focus

What makes the difference between a good idea and great results? Though there are probably many good answers, I've come to believe that focus ranks right up there.  I'm not alone.  David Maister, a leading consultant to professional services firms, succinctly says...

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Dirty Word #22 – Innocence

I'm going to take a break today from writing about strategy, momentum, and performance.  That's because I saw something today that got my attention - and perhaps goes a little deeper than just getting stuff done. Most of you are familiar with Americon Idol, a show...

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Ending? Beginning? Or Both?

ADP released statistics that we all intuitively expected this week: job loss data shows that layoffs are continuing at a very high pace in the US economy.  Most organizations have experienced lay-offs and it's very likely more will be coming. What we may never see in...

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Dirty Word Re-visited – Mistakes

Unless you live in a very different world than I do, you have probably noticed one of the dominant reactions to our times: fear.  If you're an employee, you may fear the possibility of that unplanned visit by the HR team.  If you're a boss, you may fear the directive...

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Stress Test Revelations

Everyone seems to be getting stress tests these days, not just major banks.  Practically every organization is facing circumstances that will reveal underlying fundamental health.  That health comes in many different facets - financial, strategic, and operational.  In...

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Leader’s Job 1: Define the Win

  Hmmm... How do we get to this exit? Most of the business community is playing defense right now.  With seismic shifts in the financial markets, stunning changes in consumer behavior, and layoffs all around, it's easy to see why.  No wonder so many people are looking...

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Suddenly Timely

During our last "worst recession since the Great Depression" in the early part of this decade, I demonstrated a poor sense of timing by taking an executive job overseeing a professional services team or 70+ people.  Over the following two years, I had the displeasure...

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Dirty Word #21 – Frugality

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you may have noticed an article last week entitled New Frugality Worsens Downturn.  It talks about the perils of individual frugality for the larger economy.  (If you want entertainment, sample the response of WSJ readers who...

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