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YOU are the expert of your organization.

We won’t tell you where to go or how to get there. But we understand change. And we can help you prepare for it – especially the parts that seem intimidating or confusing.

At ENTERCHANGE, we help you navigate changes in your organization, particularly those that impact your people. Sometimes that means helping you determine where to go. More often, it involves coaching as you prepare for change (or recover from it). We help you use on-ramps and off-ramps so these transitions are smooth and help you pick up speed efficiently.

ENTERCHANGE is a pioneer in leadership and organizational consulting. We believe in visionary leaders. Using a Collaborative Leadership Model™, we engage complementary talents to build the robust team their vision demands.

Contact us to see how easily you can harness decades of leadership experience and a diverse network of partners to maximize your organization’s unique strengths.

10 June 2010 0 Comments

Galarraga Takes the Lead

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Even if you don’t follow baseball, you probably heard the story. Last week, after three hours on the mound and seconds away from becoming the 21st player in baseball history to pitch a perfect game, Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga lost that title because of an error – the umpire’s!

A “No-Hitter” is every pitcher’s dream. But a Perfect Game – when no player even gets on base – that’s for fairytales.  So when the 27th batter hit a simple ground ball to the First Baseman who easily tossed the ball to Galarraga covering first base, you can imagine Galarrega’s elation.  Foot on the bag – ball in his glove – YES!  He did it!

But wait, the runner is safe?

Even umpire Jim Joyce later conceded that he made the wrong call.  He was devastated.  How could such a skilled expert make such a bad call on such an important play? 

Galarraga’s reaction? Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated captured it best:

As soon as Joyce made the call, the camera cut to Galarraga.  And he smiled.  That’s all.

No argument.  No theater.  No wild waving of arms.

No, he just smiled, a smile that seemed to say: “Are you sure? I really hope you are sure.”

There are two important lessons here:

1. Team players can be leaders.

Sure, the pitcher is a leader. But at that point, Galarraga was just another player. Yet, his reaction set the tone for his teammates, the coaching staff and the fans.  Think about it: Galarraga had the most at stake. The team still won the game, but his name would not be among the elite 21 players in over a century of baseball.  Despite all he lost in that instant – the fame, the glory, the satisfaction, the endorsements! – Galarraga’s reaction showed he is a true winner.

2. Grace has healing power.

Jim Joyce understood the gravity of his mistake, and it was eating him up. The next day, he was to be the lead umpire for the same teams. As the game started, it was Galarraga who handed the starting lineup to Joyce – an intentional public gesture of the same grace he showed privately.  And the fans joined in, many applauding.

Jim Joyce arrived at work an emotional wreck, but left significantly healed.

What About You?

  • When did you lead without being the designated leader?
  • Have you ever experienced the healing power of grace from a co-worker?

 Leave a Reply below and tell us your story.

 Copyright © 2010 ENTERCHANGE

 Contact Us to help build a team of leaders.

12 February 2010 0 Comments

Gretzky’s Greatness

iStock_000004496537XSmallWayne Gretzky is on Canada’s short list to be the final torch bearer at the XXI Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nicknamed “The Great One,” Gretzky still holds the NHL records for career goals (894) and career points (2,857).

What’s the secret to his success?

Many would reference his legendary quote:

“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

This quote has common-sense appeal, and has been applied liberally by organizational consultants and strategic planners.  And for good reason.  As leaders, sometimes we forget that our surroundings are dynamic. Timing is critical, and the best leaders anticipate what the environment will be and align their future plans accordingly.

But there is another key to Gretzky’s greatness.

Look closely at his stats:

  • He holds the league record with 2,857 career points (Goals & Assists);
  • One-third of those points (894) were goals he scored;
  • That means twice as often, he was assisting others to score.

In fact, the number of points he gained assisting others throughout his career is greater than the total points acquired by any other player in NHL history.

So what can leaders learn form this great athlete? 

Certainly it pays to anticipate the future.  But that future doesn’t depend upon you, alone – even if you are a superstar.

True greatness is knowing when to take the shot

and when to pass the puck.

By setting up others for success, leaders can achieve even more, individually and for the team. 

I hope Wayne Gretzky lights the Olympic Cauldron tonight.  After 12,000 fellow Canadians carried the Olympic Torch over 45,000 kilometers, somehow it seems fitting that the athlete who assisted so many takes the final shot.

What About You?

  • Are you willing to help others score twice as many goals as you?
  • Do you know how it feels to have a leader who sets you up for success?
    • How does that affect your attitude toward that leader?
    • Did that experience change your attitude toward those you lead?

 Share your Reply below.

Contact Us! We want to set you up for success.

Copyright © 2010 ENTERCHANGE

29 January 2010 0 Comments

Finding the TOY in TOYOTA

Toyota Corona3The first Toyota I remember was a 1968 Toyota Corona (the precursor to the Corolla).  My parents had just bought it by trading their 1962 Chevy station wagon plus $600.  My ten-year-old mind could not understand why they had to pay extra money when the trade left them with a smaller car!

This week, Toyota halted sales of eight models in its North American dealerships – the same cars included in last week’s recall of 2.3 million cars (apparently the accelerator would stick at inconvenient times).  That recall is in addition to the November recall of 4.2 million vehicles in which the accelerator tangled with the floor mat.  In all, roughly 5 million cars are affected (some cars were subject to both recalls) with further global recalls pending.

Toyota’s stock closed yesterday at $77.67, about $13 lower than last week.  With 1.6 billion shares, that means the value of the company dropped about $20 billion in one week. Toyota is worth about $125 billion today. 

A year ago, at the height of the U.S. auto industry meltdown:

  • GM and Chrysler were preparing for bankruptcy;
  • Ford was worth about $2 billion; they sold about 5.4 million vehicles in 2008 and posted a whopping $15 billion loss.
  • Toyota was worth about $98 billion, but their performance wasn’t much better than Ford: about 7.5 million cars sold for a loss of $4.3 billion.

Why was Toyota nearly 50x more valuable than Ford?

It turns out that value is more than financials.  Value is determined by the market, which takes other factors into consideration.  Value is also future oriented; people buy stock for what a company is going to do.  Remember that tiny 1968 Corona? It was worth more than the big station wagon because it was newer (and much cuter).

Organizations that determine their worth only in financial terms

are missing some of their value. 

Look closely at your own organization and consider the non-financial assets you have that bode well for your future:  Relationships; Quality; Integrity; Flexibility; Responsiveness; Great Staff; Customer Service; Community Engagement; Reputation; Unique Vision. 

Oh, you still need to make money to stay in business.  But you and your organization have value beyond the balance sheet, even if you are facing hard financial times right now.

What About You?

  1. What is unique about your organization that makes it more valuable than your competitor’s and might help you get through some difficult times?
  2. How can you nurture those assets to improve your organization’s financial health?

Leave a Reply below and share your story.

 Incidentally, Ford stock closed yesterday at $11.41/share.  That means Ford is now worth about $38 Billion, and Toyota is only worth 3x as much.  Pretty good for  the only U.S. auto maker to not partake in the government bailout.

 Copyright © 2009 ENTERCHANGE

 Contact Us to help maximize the value of your organization.

7 January 2010 0 Comments

Some Like It Hot

Hot Soup

For many years, Campbell Soup Company exercised a disciplined and intentional strategy to keep its brand fresh.  You see, Campbell built its reputation identifying with good old home cooking. Yet, if the soup label never changed, consumers might begin to think they were buying old food.

The solution?  Update the the soup label incrementally

For much of its 110 year history, I’m told Campbell’s® soup labels underwent some minor alteration at least once each quarter.  Very small changes – barely perceptible to the consumer.  But enough so that the labels continued to look “fresh” while maintaining their “retro” look.

 There is an important lesson here about change management.

Sometimes rapid change is required to avoid calamity. (The toddlers whose parents scoop them up just before they run into the path of a car might protest the sudden change of plans, but good parents will take immediate action anyway.) More often, change can be introduced more gradually. 

The best leaders know that they are more likely to gain willing followers with an incremental approach.

When change is introduced, people will identify with one of three categories: those who support it, those who oppose it and those who are neutral.  Look how their responses can vary when change is gradual versus rapid: 

 

Rapid Change

Gradual Change

Those Supportive Immediately Positive. 

Likely positive over time; Leaders can assure them that change is occurring.

Those Opposed Immediately Negative.

Likely more receptive; Those truly opposed might not be as vocal; Allows time for other accommodations.

Those Neutral Likely negative as they are influenced by the loudest party (typically those who complain).

Likely positive as they have time to adjust and hear opinions from all parties. 

So the next time you lead a change, consider how to break it into smaller steps.  You will likely have greater support – and they might not even notice!

What About You?

  1. Have you led change using an incremental approach? How did that impact your success?
  2. Have you been the recipient of change that was carried out too fast, too slow or just right? 

Leave a reply below and tell us about it.

Contact Us for more ideas on how to implement change effectively.

Copyright © 2009 ENTERCHANGE

28 November 2009 1 Comment

1 – 1 = 1

Orange - iStock_0000111491863.jpgNo, it’s not some kind of new math, but it is a challenge to those who think life is a zero sum game.  When following our natural tendency, I think they are right.  But I also believe there is a better way to act that almost always produces more.

A great illustration of this principle is the orange story.  I think I first heard this through a Stephen Covey seminar based on his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Of course, looking for the “win-win” is one of Covey’s fundamental principles.  The orange story goes something like this:

Two people; one orange.  An apparent impasse until one asked the other why they wanted the orange.  The first person wanted the orange to eat. But the second person only wanted the peel; they needed orange zest for a recipe.

Once they took the time to listen and understand the other’s objectives they found one orange could meet both of their needs.

Notice this isn’t a compromise.  That would be 1 – ½ = ½. In the orange story, nobody gave anything up!  Both received 100% of what they wanted.  The key is, they needed to discover what the other wanted and be willing to consider a new way of thinking.

Leaders often use others to get what they want. But people usually follow leaders whom they trust and who act according to their best interests. I believe that the most effective leaders learn how to pursue their own agendas mindful of the interests of others, always looking for the win-win.

What About You?
  1. Can you think of an example of a leader who considered your well-being?  How did that impact your motivation?
  2. When have you been a more effective leader by looking for the win-win?

Leave a reply and tell your story.

 Copyright © 2009 ENTERCHANGE

Contact Us for more ways to expand your business using win-win strategies.

14 November 2009 4 Comments

Buttoned Up

Dress ShirtDo your best; look your best. Pretty basic stuff, right? So you can imagine my chagrin to look in the mid-morning mirror and see my button-down collar unbuttoned!

Then I started to recount the day: Up at 5:30, catch the 6:15 into downtown, then the skyway, the coffee shop, the guard’s desk, the elevator, three meetings, countless trips to the print room, reception area, etc. I must have encountered hundreds of people – some of whom I consider good friends.

WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME?

Can you relate? Maybe for you it was a forgotten earring, mismatched shoes or something unzipped. If not (liar), surely you’ve seen one of us. Why are we so afraid to speak up? I know, to save the person embarrassment, right? At that moment, I wished someone had “embarrassed” me a few hundred people earlier!

I think there is a less benevolent reason: we fear the negative consequences for ourselves. Who wants their boss to remember them as the one who pointed out the spinach dip between their teeth?

But as leaders, we need to dig deeper. If my colleague won’t tell me my shirt is undone, she probably won’t tell me when my idea stinks.

How do we create an environment where people are willing to take a risk to save us embarrassment?

Or more importantly: to contribute wholly to the success of this organization.

I think fostering an atmosphere of grace is a good place to start. By reducing the negative consequences of speaking up, we encourage more candid contributions.

And who knows, maybe the entire organization will become more “buttoned up.”

-Jeffrey Lundberg

What About You?

  1. Do you have an “unbuttoned” experience you’d be willing to share?
  2. How have you seen good leaders create an atmosphere of grace?