Tuesday, 31 December 2013

There is no tomorrow

There are lots of people waiting for tomorrow. Don’t be one of them.

There are people who think things will be better tomorrow and so they wait. Don’t be one of them.

“Stress is caused by being here and wanting to be there” says Eckhart Tolle

Be who you want to be today. Be where you want to be today. It starts with intentions, feelings and thoughts. And then action. Do today what you know you should do.

Your future, the one you dream of, is waiting for you. Get on with it. Start now.

2014 will belong to those who dream and do. Be one of them.

Be the difference you want tp see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Co-creating cultures of creativity that result in innovation

This Sunday's sparkenation.

Co-creating cultures of creativity that result in innovation i.e. changing what’s normal for the benefit of others and sometimes for everyone are a key to your success in 2014 and beyond. There are some great take-aways from this video by Tina Seelig to help you.

I particularly liked “Culture is something that infuses an entire organisation.” and “Culture is like the background music of any organisation.”

The concepts of framing and reframing problems, connecting and combining ideas, and being quilt makers as opposed to puzzle builders are also great.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations here.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Our willingness to be vulnerable, a key to unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit within us all

I have just completed reading for the second time 'Daring Greatly. How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead' by Brene Brown. It is a very insightful book.

This second reading followed my study of Daniel Priestley's great book 'The Entrepeneur Revolution' which is a great companion to Daniel's first best seller 'Become A Key Person of Influence', a book that helped me greatly to productise my Enhancing Their Gifts System.


Reading these books got me thinking about the connection between vulnerability and being an entrepreneur.

There is indeed an Entrepreneur Revolution happening. And an intrepreneur one too.

Our willingness to be vulnerable, is a key to unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit within us all.

Please give this thought as one year closes and then take action as another year begins.

May you be vulnerable and unleash the entrepreneur/intrepreneur within.
Ian





Sunday, 22 December 2013

What's worth celebrating and what could be better?

This Sundays sparkenation.

A key component of my Enhancing Their Gifts System is the informal and formal exercise of asking two questions: what’s worth celebrating and what could be better?

Authentic answers to these questions form a solid foundation for creating plans that will be executed to improve our lives.

Do this exercise regularly and formally at least every 90 days. The last days of this year is a perfect time to start.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”
Tom Peters

More sparkenations.

Get my sparkenations direct to your in-box in 2014 by signing up here.


You will be able to download my ebook, a resource 1000's of people have used as a 1 year personal and business development program, as soon as you sign-up.

Friday, 20 December 2013

There's a huge difference between giving occasionally and have giving central to our work

There are many great questions in this blog by Seth Godin.

I have answered these questions and my own through making giving integral to my work which is why I love partnering with Buy One Give One (B1G1).

Buy1GIVE1 - Transaction Based Giving

Check out B1G1 yourself. You too may find that partnering with them is an answer to your giving questions.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Once a year contact doesn't cut it

I have received seasons greetings and electronic Christmas cards from people I don't know. I'm grateful yet geewhiz What a waste!

Before you send anything via any method think first about the relationship you have and build on that. If you don't yet have a relationship sending a Christmas card won't help build one.

I have also received numerous emails recently from people I can't vouch for and people I do know who haven't been in touch this year asking for recommendations. Give, Give, Give, then Ask which is the great reminder of Gary Vaynerchuk's most recent book.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The significance of silence

This is a great article by Samuel Gentoku McCree and a perfect companion to my post yesterday about investing in doing nothing. My thanks to Dragan Popovic for alerting me to this article.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The great investment of doing nothing

Take some time in the next few weeks to do nothing. Then incorporate doing nothing space into your schedule in 2014 as well as making doing nothing an integral part of how you respond to life.

This brilliant article by James Altucher will help you. I wholeheartedly agree with James that doing nothing at appropriate times is a key to being more productive.

I have been forced in the past few weeks while recovering from minor surgery to do less than I normally would. It has been my most productive period this year!

It appears we live in an always on world. It is easy to get caught up being mobile all the time. 

Don't fall for the trap. Incorporate doing nothing into your life. My bet is you will live a happier and more productive life.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 16 December 2013

Business 3.0


What does Business 3.0 look like for you?

If you don’t know, you’d better decide real quick.

The car making industry in Australia is on the verge of total collapse, meaning the loss some say of more than 50000 jobs, and 100 year old iconic companies virtually going out of business. The unsustainability of this industry here has been known for decades and yet we have not been able to successfully collaborate to re-invent the industry to ensure sustainability.

What writing is on the wall about your business? And what are you doing about it?

Be the diffference you want to see in the world.
Ian

“Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Money can’t buy me love and the power of small.

This Sunday's Sparkenation.

More sparkenations here. 


You can get my sparkenations direct to your in-box here. As a reward for subscribing you will be able to download my ebook 52 Actions of the Wise, a resource 1000s of people have used as a 1 year personal and business development program.

One of the reasons I am a proud partner of Buy One Give One is that 100% of what I give goes to the causes and people that I support.

A second reason is the power of small. B1G1 is really about the little things that make the big difference beautifully tied in with the everyday transactions and interactions of business.

A third reason is that many causes B1G1 supports are about helping people to take care of themselves so that eventually they don’t need help from others.

"A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity."
Ralph Nader

As you shop in the coming days think not just about what you’re giving and getting, think and do something about helping others to help themselves.

And think too about the greatest gift of all that you can give to the world, your best self.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

“I may not have a lot to give
But what I've got I'll give to you
I don't care too much for money
For money can't buy me love”
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Friday, 13 December 2013

Is it time to turn your idea into innovation?

I wish you and yours the very best for 2014. May it be your best year yet. 

By two big wishes for you for 2014 are:
1) It will be the year when every day you do what you know you should do.

2) It will be the year you turn your great idea into innovation.

Innovation put simply is the successful implementation of an idea. You have ideas don’t you? I suspect like me that you have at least one special idea that you are yet to implement.

Will 2014 be your year?

“Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come”
Victor Hugo

Is it the time for your idea?

How much does your world need and want your idea?

We are drowning in information. What we crave is insight.

Your idea was born out of insight.

Ideas stay just ideas unless we can stay inspired long enough to implement our ideas. I implemented one of my great ideas this year - making my Enhancing Their Gifts System, a gift for fair-dinkum leaders I made for you with love, accessible to all who can value it. I first had the idea a decade ago. I got serious about it in June last year. I had many false starts, many failings. A lot of times I wanted to give up. I invested a lot of money, time and energy. I have been frustrated more than once. Love won in the end.

Have you felt like this about your idea, yet love has not yet triumphed?

Is is time to do whatever it takes to turn your idea into innovation?

The upside for me is that I have also experienced the excitement of creating something unique from scratch, the thrill of when what I have created actually working for people, and the unprecedented joy that comes from seeing someone else implement my idea in their own way.

Is it your turn?

The journey from information to insight to idea to inspiration to innovation is usually hard work. The impact that it makes however is always worth the effort.

Each of us is creative beyond measure, and each of us has the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual capacity to see past the information that threatens to drown us and discover insight, make up an idea, and stay inspired long enough for our idea to be successfully implemented.

Is is time to bring your idea into your world?

Love your idea like your dearest. Find people who love it too. Work with them to turn your idea into innovation and impact.

Maybe I can help you. I'm very good at helping people turn ideas into innovation and impact and the pre-steps where appropriate of turning information into insight into idea into inspiration. I'm not saying I would be a perfect fit for you, only you of course, can make that decision. Find out how my mentoring programs work here.

With gratitude to my readers, clients, colleagues, friends, and family.
Ian

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Love’s greatest enemy

For me love’s greatest enemy is fear.

Begin to love whatever or whomever you are afraid of.

Everything and anything can change in the light of love.

This is often not easy of course.

“Nothing great is easy.”
Des Renford, marathon swimmer

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” 
Nelson Mandela

“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.”
William Hazlitt

“A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”
From the film Strictly Ballroom

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The truth about 360 degree feedback

Lots a great wisdom here from Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace.

Two concepts I value and do:

"Ignore feedback you didn't ask for."
Alan Weiss

Try feedforward instead of feedback a great concept from Marshall Goldsmith.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Resonate with Nancy Duarte

The ability to give powerful presentations is an art and a skill that all fair-dinkum leaders must have.

There is a lot of great wisdom in this wonderfully unique presentation by Nancy Duarte to help you.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian


Monday, 9 December 2013

There are at least two of us in the world who think change management is an oxymoron!

I came across this great article by Jim Clemmer while looking for something else. Jim's last line alone bears thinking about "Tomorrow is arriving much quicker than it used to."

Here's my thoughts on change management being an oxymoron.

Change is all around is. It is as normal as breathing. The speed of it is sometimes scary. Change can't be managed though. We need to initiate it, go with it, and manage the systems and processes around it.

Thriving on the challenges of change is all about leadership and management working in harmony.

Often this means letting go of the very old idea that management is about control. It isn't. Leadership is about people. Management is about systems and processes that support people. The two together are a powerful force. When they are acting in isolation or opposing each other, disaster is just a heart beat away.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Making a difference and making a living

This Sunday’s sparkenation.

I am inspired this week by my daughter Jessica who has embarked on a crowd funding project (see below) to get her amazing books for children published. Jessica is doing what she has always wanted to do, bring her unique gifts to the world.



When Jessica was a child my focus was about making a living and climbing the corporate ladder. When I reached the top I felt empty inside and for a period regretted the climb and the lack of quality time I had spent with my family.

For the past 22 years my focus has been about making a difference. My corporate experience and success has mattered and still does. As a consequence of my focus and my expertise I am making a very good living.

The majority of people focus on making a living. Some people focus on making a difference.

A few people are focused on making a difference and making a living.
Is this you?

In the great entrepreneurial revolution we are experiencing today, fueled by the power of the internet and a vast array of technological tools, we can all make a difference and make a living. And we can do so with joy by doing what we love in the service of people who love what we do.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.”
Steven Farber, The Radical Leap.

More sparkenations

Get Sunday Sparkenations direct to your in-box. You will be able to download my ebook 52 Actions of the Wise, a resource 1000s of people has used as a 1 year personal and business development program, as soon as you subscribe.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Lots of great complimentary resources to help you to make 2014 your best year yet

One of my favourite sayings of all time is by Milton Berle “If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

The following resources are provided for you to help you to build lots of doors in 2014 and make it your best year yet.

I was delighted to contribute to an ebook produced by my friend and colleague Gihan Perera for the eighth year in a row.



A big goal of mine in 2014 is to give more value. Online and in addition to this blog I am going to do this in three specific ways.

Firstly my Changing What's Normal strategies and tactics newsletter which I am reverting back to a once a month publication. I will be providing a feature article to help you to get the best out of yourself, invigorate your relationships, and increase the number of your employees bringing their best to their work. In addition I will provide links to my other insights as outlined below.


Subscribing to my newsletter is the easiest way to get Changing What's Normal book with my compliments. Please subscribe to my newsletter here.


Secondly the great response to the 58 sparkenations in Changing What's Normal prompted me to provide short sparkenations each Sunday. I have been doing so since January 2012. You can read them here.

From this Sunday you can get my short sparkenations direct to your in-box. Please subscribe here.

You will be able to download my ebook 52 Actions of the Wise, a resource that 1000s of people have used as a 1 year personal and business development program, as soon as you subscribe. 


Thirdly. 
A lot of folk have asked me to provide insights into my mentoring methodologies. I am going to do this through a new publication No BS Mentoring.

Please sign-up here. As soon as you sign-up you will get the 96 questions and then tips twice monthly to help you to implement your answers.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Question of Change by Peter Bregman

I am a big fan of Peter’s and enjoy getting his regular emails. I recommend his great book 18 minutes.

Below is a very insightful presentation about real leadership and change from Peter. It is serious stuff mixed with good humour. It also confirms three philosophies that are foundational to my change work - People are prepared to change/People are not prepared to be changed; great leaders ask great questions; and shared-view about where we're going, why we're going there, and how we will get there is paramount.



Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

PS My apologies to you if you have previously shared, +1'd, and/or commented on my blog. Your information is gone due to the fact that I had to change the url of my blog in line with forced changes to my personal website as I explained in this post.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Regrets I’ve had a few but then again ...

Although I generally align with the words of the song My Way
“regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.”

I also align with

"I don't regret the things I've done, I regret the things I didn't do when I had the chance."
Author Unknown

Since 1991 I have been privileged to be a mentor to many leaders in over 40 countries. My work almost always begins with inspiring my clients to actually do what they already know they should do.

What are you not doing that you know you should be?

I may be able to help you.  

A suggested first step.
Subscribe here to my No BS Mentoring publication. As soon as you subscribe you will be able to download my 96 questions we all need answers for to thrive on the challenges of change. Twice a month you will then receive tips to help you to implement your answers to the 96 questions.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Don't be like Tony

The Australian Government has changed their mind about Education policy 3 times this week prompting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to say "We will keep the promises we made, not the promises some people think we made."

Tony clearly doesn't understand that perception is reality.

When in opposition Tony and his colleagues continually berated the then government about trust. As a government in less than 90 days Tony's team have demonstrated that they can't be trusted and are coming across as old ideas men (there is only one woman in their leadership team) out of touch with the modern world.

Don't be like Tony.

Instead 
Only make promises you will keep. If unforeseen circumstances prevent you from keeping a promise, tell the truth about the circumstances. People can accept the truth. We don't accept spin and just plain lies.

Only talk about trust if you are trustworthy.

One of Tony's other big statements is that "the adults are back in charge." The daily childish behaviour that has followed has made a mockery of such a statement.

Don't be like Tony.

Instead
Don't be grandiose, be grateful you have the opportunity to lead and become a leader worth following.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 2 December 2013

What percentage of your effort is well-placed compared to misplaced?

I added Gary Vaynerchuk's latest book (see yesterday's post) to my recommended reading list today.

As a result of a client changing an appointment this morning I invested the time contemplating Gary's great insight "Effort is the great equalizer."

I discovered in just 3 hours of work that about 30% of my effort is misplaced! I found this a very sobering and valuable exercise particularly when I am coming to the end for now of a re-imagining of my business

What percentage of your effort is well-placed compared to misplaced?

On the left of a sheet of paper make a list of what you do and who for and how you go about it. Add two columns to the right. Mark one well-placed and the other misplaced. Indicate each piece on the left as either well-placed or misplaced. I reckon you will find this a great exercise as I did.

Tip: Be candid and ruthless in your self-assessment.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 1 December 2013

We often overlook the critical factor to achieving success

This Sunday's sparkenation.

I am very much enjoying reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book at present.

I heard about the book in many places however it was this slideshare that got me to buy it.


Gary’s book is full of many insights brought to life with great case studies however the following words by Gary are now etched on my mind

“Effort is the great equalizer.”

And these words have also brought the following wisdom from the late Jim Rohn back to the forefront of my mind

"The unique combination of desire, planning, effort and perseverance will always work its magic. The question is not whether the formula for success will work, but rather whether the person will work the formula!

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Why not stop resisting and surrender to your best instead?


The opposite of resistance is to surrender to our best.

Why not stop resisting and surrender to your best instead?

Your results in 2013 are a direct reflection of how well you have overcome resistance.

Your results in 2014 will be all about how well you overcome resistance.

Surrender to your best. You are a one-of-a-kind human being. 

You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be. Here are some insights to help you.




Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What type of legacy are you leaving?

There is a great question in this blog post by my friend and colleague Keith Abraham

Are you going to be Simply Remembered Fondly or Actively Emulated?

I love Keith's definition of legacy too.

I recommend getting Keith's book It Starts With Passion. It would be a great read for you to begin to make 2014 the year of doing what you love and loving what you do.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

"Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do" 
Steven Farber

Monday, 25 November 2013

3 ways to overcome the massive mistakes even enlightened leaders are making that lead to employee disengagement

Helping business leaders to be change champions is my business.

A key methodology I use is No BS Mentoring.

My mentoring is about

*Removal of the ‘stuff’ (the BS) that is stopping you from moving forward at great speed

*Actually doing what you know you should do

*Discovering profound insights that lead to breathtaking, pioneering, and truly innovative action


In my mentoring I have encountered 3 massive mistakes even the best leaders are making.

3 ways to overcome the massive mistakes even enlightened leaders are making that lead to employee disengagement

The mistakes

3. Unrealistic expectations/deadlines
2. Bureaucracy
1. Problem-solving that only reinstates the status quo

Solutions

The big-picture solution to unrealistic expectations/deadlines is finding a shared-view with everyone you work with about:

where you are (reality)
where you’re going (possibility)
why you're going there (purpose)
how you will get there (strategy)
who will do what and when (execution)
how you will know we are on track (milestones and lead measures)
how you will behave along the way (values)

There is always trouble with either/or thinking


Finding shared-view means everyone respecting each others views and being big enough to let go of yours and/or mine and discover ours.


Once we have found ours and by definition defined boundaries, we need to let people loose. Allowing and enabling people to be responsible for the moments of truth in the customer/client experience is a key.

A long time ago people at Proctor & Gamble identified moments of truth in the customer experience, FMOT (first moment of truth) is just before the customer buys and SMOT (second moment of truth) is when the customer first begins to experience what they have bought.

In 2011 Google identified ZMOT (zero moment of truth) the crucial moment that happens before we buy. I recommend downloading Jim Lecinski’s ebook and other resources.

In The End of Business As Usual Brian Solis introduces UMOT (ultimate moment of truth) which is when customers share their experiences with others.

All these moments of truth matter in business today. And there are many others. 

Are your employees truly empowered in all the interaction and transaction moments of truth of your business?

If you would like help with any of the above please contact me on +61 418 807 898 to discuss a mentoring program just for you.

Solutions to bureaucracy

In The Art of Problem Solving Russell Ackoff says “Bureaucracy is subordination of ends to means.”

Absolutely begin with the end in mind and then focus on the steps to get there.

Do your policies, procedures, practices, and processes make it simple for your people to bring their very best to their work on a consistent basis?

Do your policies, procedures, practices, and processes mean everyone in your supplier-customer chain is able to simply deliver value to whoever gets their work next in ways that others want that value delivered?

If you answered Yes to both these questions congratulations. If you answered no or not always please contact me on +61 418 807 898 to discuss a mentoring program just for you.

Solutions to problem-solving that only reinstates the status quo 

The diagram below illustrates what is happening every day in most organisations.   Problem, performance drops, productivity suffers and not just where the problem happened, we solve the problem returning everything to normal. The tragedy in most instances is that we fail to innovate and take performance to a whole new level.


And double tragedy often occurs too, we fail to remove what caused the problem in the first place because we have got used to just dealing with what happened and fixing it.

Is every problem seen as an opportunity to innovate at your place? Are you solving problems and reinstating the status quo or are you innovating and taking performance to a whole new level?

If you answered Yes to both these questions and the other questions in this article it is likely that you have a great business. Congratulations. If you answered no or not always please contact me on +61 418 807 898 to discuss a mentoring program just for you.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The machines will only take over the world if we let them

This Sunday’s sparkenation.

I very much enjoy the musings and insights each week of Kevin Roberts worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi. This blog post 'Will CBDs Become a Car-free Zone?' got me thinking about how easy it is in a technology dominated world to forget we are human beings craving the human experience.

I am making it one of my principles that I live by each day of my life to use the great tools of technology wisely and not let them dominate my life. My focus is about enjoying the human experience on purpose, like smelling a flower, walking the dog and interacting with my neighbours doing the same, sitting down in person with someone for no other reason than valuing and sharing each others human experience.

I have actually taken to switching technology off a lot of the time. I no longer do emails on my phone. I still over deliver on the promises I make to my clients. I have discovered that being on 24/7 is actually a distraction, a bad decision. I am more productive as a result and when I am on I am more present and accountable and everyone around me is better off.

The machines will only take over the world if we let them.

Where are you at?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 21 November 2013

When the truth is your only chance by Peter Bregman

This is an an excellent story/article by Peter whose writings I value highly.

I see the situation Peter describes or similar every week.

For me silence is agreement. If we say nothing we are in effect agreeing.

The truth can hurt yet not as often as we think!

Say what you feel and mean what you say in all aspects of your life and work and both will become instantly better.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Common sense, delivering value, and providing a unique experience are closely connected

I have been on aircrafts so many times I rarely hear what comes over the loudspeaker. For some reason on a flight last evening I heard  something like “we have three lavatories on board, one for our business class customers up the front and two at the rear if you are seated in the main cabin.”

The irony for me with this announcement was there was one person in business class! 

It would have been great had the hostess said something like “we have three lavatories on board, one for our business class customers up the front and two at the rear for the main cabin. As there is only one guest in business class tonight those of you seated in rows 13 and forwards may also use the loo up front. Who knows you might decide to go business class next time you fly.” 

I am sure a lot of frequent flyers like me would have heard the difference, had a chuckle, and congratulated the hostess on the way out for her humour and initiative.

Common sense matters and has a lot to do with delivering value, and providing a unique experience for our customers/clients.

When I entered the aircraft last night the hostess told me where my seat was, information that is of no value to me as a frequent flyer and therefore a different conversation is needed.

How often do you review your processes and proceedures? How much common sense is going on? And crucially, Are your employees empowered to use their initiative? 

Common sense and delivering value are linked more than ever and are a key to providing a unique experience for our customers/clients.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 18 November 2013

Your work is a gift

I was attracted to this video because of the title and because it was recommended by Bernadette Jiwa whose work on story telling and story sharing I really value.

James Victore is yet another great example of how being true to ourselves is a key to success.



You will enjoy the interview James did with with Bernadette Jiwa as well.



Your work is indeed a gift. Do you see it as such? Do you value it as precious? And are you doing your work for people who truly value it.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Are you letting yourself loose?

This Sunday’s sparkenation.

“What lies behind us and what lies in front of us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you letting yourself loose?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Friday, 15 November 2013

So the adults are back in charge are they? LOL or TOA?

Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott took to social media and other places in the days before our parliament opened again on Wednesday this week to proclaim "the adults are back in charge."

Then on Wednesday within the first hour politicians from all sides were up to their old tricks, name-calling, blaming and shaming, and all kinds of other childish behaviour. Laugh out loud (LOL) or TOA (tears of anguish)?

Abbott even had the temerity to announce civility should be the order of the day, he the leader of the pack by example of the greatest personal attack merchants I have seen in my lifetime.

And then yesterday the former Prime Minister resigned from the parliament and there were well wishes coming from everywhere. Two-faced these people.

Then it was back to the ducking and weaving which seem to be the mains skills of politicians, unable or unwilling, or both, to give a straight answer to anything.

We all know from our experience in organisations that if the inmates are in charge of the asylum the true purpose of the organisation cannot be fulfilled. This is the status quo in politics everywhere from what I can tell.

What is the purpose of politics?

I thought it was about making and keeping the peace, ensuring the dispensing of justice, protecting and enabling the rights of the people, and other noble causes. The reality seems to be the Machiavellian idea that the only aim of politics is to preserve and enhance political power.

What say you? What is the purpose of politics? What do we the people need to do to restore this purpose?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Bono: The good news on poverty (Yes, there's good news)

This is a wonderfully witty, insightful 14 minutes, proving yet again the awesome power of human beings fully alive.


And a truly great reminder for us all

“The power of the people is so much stronger than the people in power”
Bono

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Can the coffee house again be a birthing place for enlightenment?

I love all 5 of these TED Talks about where ideas come from. My favourite though is Steven Johnson’s.

Where are you building idea incubators?

How many coffee shop (“liquid networks”) kind of environments exist in your organisation?

The idea of exchange put forward in Matt Ridley’s talk very insightful too. Exchange is of course what happens in “liquid networks” and is a key to collaboration.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The true purpose of business - a lawyer who gets it.

This presentation by Michael Bradley is candid, No BS, humourous. I love it.

Michael Bradley (Marque Lawyers) at Conscious Capitalism Australia 'Walking the Talk' Event from Conscious Capitalism Australia on Vimeo.


Michael is just one of a fast growing number of people letting go the status quo when same no longer serves.

Are you such a person?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 11 November 2013

The re-imagination of nearly everything

I met Gerd Leonhard when we were speaking at the same conference in Munich, Germany last year. He is a very wise person. There are some provocative slides in this deck from a recent presentation of his. I particularly like slides 6, 29, 35, 44, and 50. Gerd’s talk at the end is also well worth watching.


The re-imagination of nearly everything slides Gerd refers to in his talk by Mary Meeker and Liang Wu are here.

2012 worth a look too.

The results of my own recent re-imagining if you missed my recent blog.

Just about everything is being re-imagined. To not re-imagine means we can quickly become out of touch and eventually irrelevant.

What have you re-imagined in your world, the worlds of your employees, and the worlds of your customers/clients lately?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Nothing beats a good walk and a talk.

This Sunday's sparkenation.

Many times my mentors have taken me for a walk and a talk. They have been deep and great learning experiences.

My wife and I often walk and talk. The experience still enriches our relationship even after 40 years!

I take my clients for a walk and a talk frequently. It’s often when breakthroughs for them happen, usually unplanned by me and unexpected by them.

I take myself for a walk and a talk at least twice a week. We are what we hear ourselves say to ourselves.

Nothing beats a good walk and a talk. Are you walking and talking? And who with?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations.

Friday, 8 November 2013

The vital signs of a BS Free workplace


Helping leaders to build BS Free workplaces is my passion and speciality. If My BS Free workplaces manifesto loudly resonates with you and not all these vital signs are present in your workplace then we need to talk. Please contact me today on +61 418 807 898.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 7 November 2013

How about resourcing humans instead of seeing humans as resources?


"H.R should only be about Resourcing Humans not seeing Humans as Resources. (Where would you rather work? For a company that see you as a resource or one that is committed to resourcing you?)"

The above are great words by corporate anthropologist Michael Henderson from his paper 'The 10 mistakes organisations make with culture and and how to avoid them' I highly recommend downloading a copy. It is a short yet seriously good read and very much in alignment with my BS Free Workplaces manifesto.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian 

Monday, 4 November 2013

We are prepared to change. We are not prepared to be changed. Therein lies significant opportunity.

Recently I received an email from the people who host my personal website telling me that from February 2014 my domain name would no longer be supported.

Oblivion is not something we want to contemplate. 

My initial reaction was rage. My domain name is my name and therefore a key to my branding and my business. And it has existed since the late nineties when I had to choose the domain name ending in au.com because the one I wanted (.com) was already taken. 

This turned into an advantage I have exploited ever since. Advantage gone I thought.

Imagine the number of links accumulated both online and in print over the past 16 years! 

It never ceases to amaze me that we humans tend to think the worst when we first find out about change, particularly imposed change! We are prepared to change. We are not prepared to be changed. Therein lies significant opportunity.

I recovered from my rage and began to see a great opportunity for reinvention, something I have done in my business several times since 1991. I have also helped many of my clients to reinvent.

These words hang in my office

Someone said that the definition of stupidity is
“Expecting a different result by continuing to do the same old thing.”

Someone else said that the definition of idiocy is
“Doing something different and still getting the same result.”

Reinvention is essential otherwise we end up being stupid. 
If reinvention doesn’t lead to a different result, we’re idiots!

The first step to reinvention is to imagine and reimagine.

As John Lennon’s song ‘Imagine’ is a favourite I began to play it often, hum it, reflect on it. My own line emerged “Imagine everything being simpler and better for everyone, it’s easy if you try.”

Questions for you to answer

How did you react the last time you felt change was being imposed on you?

How did others react the last time you tried to impose change on them?

When was the last time you reinvented your business? Is is time to do it again?

If you were to reimagine your life and your work where would you begin?

The results of my imagining and reimagining so far

I have a new personal website www.ianberry.biz 

I have begun to simplify and upgrade the changing what’s normal website. For those of you who own a copy of my Changing What’s Normal book the link to the companion vault is unchanged, just no longer visible.

I have changed the website for my clients from one of equally attracting clients and serving clients to primarily for serving clients. 

The following words of wisdom from Albert Einstein are a great guide for me at present:

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." 

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Are you proud of where you live?

This Sunday's sparkenation.

I wondered out loud while walking our dog Molly yesterday why some people don't pick up after their dogs. Later while gardening and doing the edges on my nature strip I had a flash back to when as a child I asked my father why he cut the edges of the lawn so neatly. He replied "There is nothing wrong with being proud of where you live."

We are not responsible for what other people do or don't do. We can be role models. A key is what we do when no one is watching.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The business of belief


'The business of belief' by Tom Asacker is the best read I have had in awhile. I have been reading a book a week for 35 years. Very few make my recommended list. This one certainly does.

I have read it twice already and expect to be studying it for some time. It may even make the permanent spot on my desk where my favourite books live, it is that good.

Tom Peters says of this book - "This is a short book. But I hope it takes you, like me, a long time to read it. The Business of Belief earns the word 'profound'—every sentence should be savored."

I agree with Tom.

This book "arrived" at a great time for me too as I have been reinventing how I go about my business in the world.

In part my reinvention was triggered by being forced to change the URL of my personal website by February 2014, so I am currently building a new site. Details soon.

A consequence of the above is no posts here for a time. See you in a week or two.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

What do your customers/clients truly value?

This Sunday's sparkenation.

"What the business thinks it produces is not of first importance. What the consumer thinks he is buying, what he considers 'value' is decisive." 
Peter Drucker

What do your customers/clients truly value?

Answering this question is the key to the future prosperity of everyone’s business.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Friday, 25 October 2013

Are you having social media free days (at very least)?

My thanks to Ian Brodie for prompting this post through his recent emails about taking regular breaks from social media.

For me I have actually been contemplating taking a complete break!

I am bored with social media. I find very little value being offered.

For me social media is increasingly about vanity. In public it's anti-social. Some people are obsessed with being online. I actually saw a guy taking a pee yesterday and texting at the same time!

In my online work I am down to writing this blog and my twice monthly newsletter, sharing these via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ and while I am online doing that I scan, share, and spread what my friends and colleagues have posted that I feel might be of value to others. I also sometimes comment on a post by someone else I feel I can added value to. My actual time online is a few minutes each day. I left Facebook altogether 18 months ago.

When I first started online 7 years ago I estimate I was spending 20 hours a week!

Since I consciously decided to limit my time online to research and very minimum time on social media the quality of my life and in-person relationships has improved and my business has increased and has not suffered in any way.

How about you? Are you having social media free days (at very least)? 
Are you limiting your time online like me? 

Please share what you are doing.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Showing appreciation to all the beings in your life really matters - guest post by Winston Marsh



This is a guest post by my friend and colleague and National President of the National Speakers Association of Australia, Winston Marsh. Winston recently lost one of his dogs Sharnie.

Since Sharnie’s demise I’ve been reflecting on how I treat my Millie girl and the difference sometimes between that and the way I treated my kids and team members.


You see, yesterday, I tried to notice the number of times I told Millie she was “a good girl”. It must've been 30 or 40.

And yet, even allowing for my fading memory, I don't think I've ever told my kids 30 or 40 times in a day that they've been good. Yet I had always been quick to criticise them. And I guess the same has happened to my team members in the past.

What a difference it may have made if I’d told my kids and team members that they’d been good or done a great job 30 or 40 times in a day.

Well, I can’t relive the past but I can fashion the future. I’m gunna tell more people more often that they’ve been good about whatever I can find... and sometimes I’ll tell them for no real reason!

Maybe you’d like to try it too!

By the way if you’d like to listen to an article I recorded sometime ago for my business Marketing program on this topic you can hear it here.
Winston Marsh

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

"The deepest human desire is to be appreciated."
William James

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Stop feeding the beast that is significantly inhibiting the performance of your organisation

Aside from putting up with BS about people, the great reason for far less than is possible performance in organisations is the failure to name the elephant in the boardroom, office, showroom, shop, factory, wherever, and humanely remove the beast.


Most of what could be better about an organisation is known yet unsaid. It is said underground and away from the organisation! 

For 22 years I have been walking into organisations as an adviser and I am told, usually within an hour, of what could be better and yet no one has raised issues with insiders for fear of reprisal or fear for their jobs and other nasty reasons. A common reason is a cultural issue of not talking about what can be perceived as unpleasant.

If you are not naming the beast you are feeding the beast and need to stop.

Sometimes I name the elephants myself. Once or twice I have been thrown out for doing so! Usually I mentor people to name the elephants themselves. The outcome often is relief and very quickly elephants are humanely removed. Soon creativity and innovation happen. Often the reaction is why was this not spoken about before?

One of the great challenges facing leaders in the workplace is that most people don't yet excel at having conversations about performance when there is difficulty, conflict or disagreement. 

If you are failing to have such conversations you are feeding the beast and need to stop.

The known not being said and a failure to excel at having conversations about performance when there is difficulty, conflict or disagreement is costing organisations billions, probably trillions. The biggest cost though is to human life.

Most of the great disasters of my life-time could have been avoided, and most of the trouble in organisations too. It takes someone on the inside to speak up and to do so long before a consultant or an auditor arrives. 

Are you the person speaking up? If not you are feeding the beast and need to stop.

If you know it, speak it, otherwise you might be guilty of wilful blindness and a tragedy could be about to happen.

If you are afraid, for whatever reason, please find an ally inside your organisation and/or seek outside help today. I would personally welcome your call. I can help.

Like me you might find inspiration in reading Margaret Heffernan’s book Wilful Blindness - Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril or watching her TED talk.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Are you on your customers/clients most loved list?

APCO’s list of who they think are the world’s most loved companies makes interesting reading not least because of their method of measurement they call “Emotional Linking”.

I learned about APCO’s list via a blog about it by Corporate Eye and author Susan Gunelius comment below interested me more than the list.

"I’d argue that a different emotional factor is actually at work driving the other emotional factors for a number of these brands—reliance. I’m not sure that consumers actually “love” Yahoo!, Google, or Sony the same way they “love” Disney. Instead, I’d argue that it is consumers’ reliance on some of these brands that causes consumers to rank them higher on APCO’s emotional linking model."
Susan Gunelius

Reliability is one of the seven factors I write about in my Changing What's Normal book that I believe make up a compelling story.


How reliable do your customers/clients think you are?
And how compelling is your story?

Another thing that interests me about these kind of lists is that they are usually all about big corporations and yet the engine room of business is really small to medium businesses possibly like yours.

What really matters is this: Is your business on your customers/clients most loved list?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared by the United Nations on December 10th 1948 makes valuable reading.

Perhaps you have a charter, a mission statement, a credo, a manifesto for your business.

The big question is, Do you live it?

What we say and what we do must be in alignment otherwise very soon people take no notice of us which sadly is what in the main has happened to the United Nations.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 20 October 2013

All change is personal first

This Sunday's sparkenation.

All change is personal first. Relationship change is second. Organisational change is a distant third.

If you are bringing the same intentions, feelings, thoughts and behaviours to this week likely you will get the same results as last week. Want a different result this week? Modify or change your intentions, feelings, thoughts first. Then behave in alignment. The outcome will take care of itself.


Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations.

Friday, 18 October 2013

What systems do you have that support innovation?

“Pacesetter organisations have a system and a workplace culture that support innovation ... organisations that don’t innovate wither and die.”
so said Tony Gleeson CEO of Australian Institute of Management Victoria/Tasmania in the October 2013 issue of Management Today magazine.

Do you have such a system?

My Enhancing Their Gifts System is worth a look if you don't. And even if you do!

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Differencemaking is often just a moment of wisdom and kindness

I have watched this video many times and several folk have sent me a link to it.

It always reminds me that little things are what often make the big difference.

In less than two minutes it beautifully demonstrates that we can all make a difference in moments of wisdom and kindness.



Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The biggest reason strategies don't get executed - lack of common sense

The challenge with all strategies is their successful execution.

In the October 2013 issue of Management Today Gerard McManus quotes Ram Charan one of the world's most respected management consultants.

Two building blocks of execution 
“... a leader must do 7 things
He or she must know their people and the business
They must insist on realism
They must set clear goals and priorities
They must follow-through
They must reward the doers
They must expand people’s capabilities
They must know who they are


The second building block of execution is a leader’s ability to create the framework for cultural change ... ideally, robust and frank discussion."

Sounds like common sense to me.

Is common sense the common thing at your workplace?

If your strategy is not being successfully executed I would review of common sense because the lack of it is most likely the reason your strategy isn't being properly executed.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Are you a red apple or a green apple?

Your business is probably dying if you are not standing out in some way.

Are you a red apple or a green apple?


Differentiation is a major key to success in business even if what you are selling is a commodity.

Differentiation is about your people doing what others do, just better, differently, or more uniquely.

Differentiation begins with people discovering their unique gifts/talents and then enhancing them.

Differentiation is also about helping your people achieve what drives them because otherwise they are unlikely to fully help you achieve what is driving you.

Differentiation is a key to success in the business we are all in - delivering value to our stakeholders that they demand, desire, and feel that they deserve.

We attract customers/clients to us through our differentiation. So that customers/clients stay with us and share and spread our story with others their experience with us online and in-person must be distinctive.

Differentiation, Discovery, Drive, Delivery and Distinction are the delightful design elements of a distinguished modern business.

If you would like my paper about these 5 pillars, The Delightful Design of a Distinguished 21st century business, please email me ian@changingwhatsnormal.com. And if you would like to explore my Enhancing Their Gifts System that will enable you to thrive in all five then please contact me.

Are you a red apple or a green apple?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Monday, 14 October 2013

Leadership - serving those who serve others - an interview with Simon Sinek

I highly recommend spending a hour watching and listening to this interview with Start With Why author Simon Sinek.

Many great examples of living life free of BS.

I loved the point around the 32 minute mark about Dunbar’s law and how when organisations move beyond 150 people in the division/unit there is often trouble.

And I also loved the brilliant story after that piece about CEO Bob and how he sees his employees.

I would be very interested in your take aways from this interview. Please email me ian@changingwhatsnormal.com



Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Two types of employees. Which one are yours?

This Sunday's sparkenation is a follow-on from last weeks about shareholder value being the "dumbest idea in the world."

"Every company at a certain stage ends up with two sorts of employees... some that work hard to improve the experience and value for the original customers, and some that tear down that experience and value in order to please shareholders in the short run."
Seth Godin

Seth's full post about this.

Which type of employees are yours?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

More sparkenations.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Entrepreneurial Revolution is an inside job too

I am sure you have noticed that an Entrepreneurial Revolution is happening in the world today like never before in history.  It is fuelled by the enabling tools associated with the internet, and I sense a growing frustration with governments and corporations.

We can't overlook the fact however that the Entrepreneurial Revolution is and can be an inside job too.

It has been my honour to work with many intrapreneurs. The thrill is the same as it is with entrepreneurs.

Successful companies have long celebrated the contribution of intrapreneurs with Google and 3M being famous examples.

What are you doing every day to inspire and influence the entrepreneur inside each and every one of your employees?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian