Tag: creativity

Healthcare Expenses Going Through the Roof!

April 20th, 2016   •   no comments   

rising cost of copays for employees

Healthcare expenses seem like they are going through the roof every year. Employers are constantly on the lookout outside their organization for cheaper health coverage and may also end up reducing the amount of premium that they pay, making the employees responsible for more.  Employees feel the weight of their higher financial responsibility which adds additional stress to an already stressed workforce.

A deep look internally could show employers that they are responsible for much of the cost.  Their  cultural practices, their efforts to do more with less puts employees into a less healthful state. As the use of medical benefits rises, so do premiums.  Benefit use rises because stress comes out in many physical manifestations and makes many existing conditions worse.  The workplace is the single largest source of stress today.

Is your company responsible for the increase in the very healthcare costs you are trying to reduce? Are you sabotaging yourself by not paying attention to the right things?

How Scary is Your Business’s Future?

October 30th, 2014   •   no comments   

Halloween is almost upon us.  This seems like a great time to identify for the “scary” elements that have been haunting our business.

ghost of past_10_31_14The Ghost of Business Past

The past continues to haunt business. Old ideas, old fears, old practices and protocols.  The ghost of business past causes leaders to hold on to those philosophies that might have worked a year age or even a decade ago because the thought is, “We have always done it that way.”   As a result, innovation and creativity are scared out of existence.

goblin_10_31_14The Goblin

Being beaten down. Now that is the tool of choice for the goblin. Every day a new “punishment” of choice is meted out. The goblin in the head says, “You’re not smart enough. Not good enough?” and so less risk is taken.  The goblin paves the way for competition to take over and talent to leave.

witch_10_31_14The Witch

There’s a spell that has been cast.  Inviting and oh so attractive, the business has been mesmerized into ideologies  that immobilize and ultimately destroy progress. The witch has taken control.

wizard_10_31-14The Wizard

Wise and visionary, the wizard is one of the business’s assets. They find new ways to ward off the ghost of business past,  conquer the goblins and destroy the witches.  The road is revealed and the path cleared for success.

So what is scaring your business

What or who is:

  • Haunting your business and holding you back?
  • Beating you and your team down?
  • Mesmerizing and deluding into inaction and misdirection?
  • Offering sage advice and creating focus for a compelling vision?


What Happens When One and One Does Not Equal Two?

October 6th, 2014   •   no comments   

Business and life would be so simple if one and one always added up to two. At least, that is what our logical brain seems to tell us.  But what can happen when one and one don’t add up to two?

First, One and One Always Adds Up to Two. Really?


On the surface, there seems to be a great deal of evidence which would lead us to come up with one right answer. Customers can consistently expect a quality product or service, after all the product is always made the same way and the service is always delivered in the same manner. A leader can expect that employees fully understand their roles and expectations and deliver top performance. Employees consistently receive the same information, directives and are held accountable in the same manner.

After all, the following is generally true:

  • Everyone  speaks the same language
  • There is one universal vocabulary  understood by everyone
  • Everyone come to a job with the same  knowledge and experience
  • Motivation for everyone is the same

By now, I pretty sure readers are getting the idea that I might have lost my mind or am really out of touch with reality.  However, just consider how the previous statements when laid out in front of us, may lead us to make unconscious assumptions which ultimately affect our relationships and results. If that’s the case, which unfortunately it often is, we need to rethink what we might need to consider how we have been conducting business.

1&1not equal to two_Oct_5_2014Second, One and One May Be Not Equal to Two

Initially, when one and one don’t add up to two, the automatic conclusion is that someone or something is wrong.

The customer may have purchased the product or service for a very specific reason.  For example, a customer may purchase hammer to drive nails. Later, having left it in a car used it to smash a window to escape if involved in an accident.

The leader has had solid, steady growth in one market. A new trend pops up and now there is an opportunity to expand into a new market, totally unrelated. Over night the business explodes or the opportunity passes and the competition takes over.

Employees are given the business objectives.  The average employee doing day-to-day activities, not really making the connection with their roles and the success of the business. As a result business continues to limp along.  Or, they can see that their current goals and roles need to be modified and they need to step out of the status quo to help achieve those objectives and push the business to new levels of success.

Finally, It’s Not  Right or Wrong

Since life is not as simple as basic math.  Often times, there are great rewards when one and one adds up to two. However, a lot of great things have happened when one and one don’t equal two and as a 720thinker, I would like you to consider the following questions:

What might happen with your customers if they believed that you offered more than just the basic service?

What might happen if your leadership found different applications or opportunities for a product or service?

What might happen with employees if they stepped out of their box and added some innovative ideas and actions to production or service?









It’s Not a Leader’s Job to Motivate

August 28th, 2014   •   no comments   

Businesses rarely fail because of talent or resources. Actually, there is plenty of that to go around. Failure happens because of each individual’s motivation. It’s not  a leader’s job to motivate. Motivation is an intrinsic factor that only comes from within. And although motivation is not the leader’s job, it is their job to inspire.

To clear up some confusion in the words, here’s the definitions according to businessdictionary.com

Motivation: Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal. Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the (1) intensity of desire or need, (2) incentive or reward value of the goal, and (3)expectations of the individual These factors are the reasons one has for behaving a certain way.

Inspiration: The act of influencing subordinants to perform and engage in achieving a goal.

Leadership that Inspires

8_20_14_AlexanderthegreatLion.  Nothing is more inspiring than a person that has an influential presence, much like the lion.

Yes, lions roar. Research shows that lions roar to communicate, to claim their territory and as a strategy to distract or confuse their prey. While we may not want to focus on  distraction and confusion, roaring can and does provide focus on top priorities.

I believe the real inspiration  comes from the lion’s   slow, dignified lift of the head as it surveys its surrounding to the power exuded in every muscle as they calmly, confidently, gracefully navigate through danger. They are often alone and apart from the crowd as they continually scan, survey and plan. Only theirs eyes in motion capturing all the potential dangers as well as the capabilities of their pride.

Appreciating that a lion’s motivation is much less complex than people, with  food and safety as the primary motivator, leaders can still see the value to inspire as they communicate expectations, while calmly and critically surveying their organization’s climate and environment to more fully understand the underlying motivators of their team.

8_20_14_John Q. AdamsDreams.  A leader that inspires people to proactively discover their dreams and their passions will also help them to connect those dreams  to the company’s vision and purpose.  An inspirational leader helps to challenge people’s interests and ideas to come into alignment fully engaged and motivated to, not just do the jobs they have been assigned, but to actively become more innovative,  creative and  adaptable to change.

As each motivated individual sees opportunities that bring their closer to their dreams, they embrace learning new skills, becoming more resilient and taking more initiative to be more and do more within the organization.  The inspirational leader now can rise above the day-to-day operations to take the business and their employees dreams to new heights.

Aug_23_2014_Courage_SinekCourage.  Leadership can be really scary, especially if one is being held accountable for the actions of others. One of the greatest challenges that strong, successful , self-motivating individuals possess is the ability to delegate.  It takes courage to delegate.

When I was in the corporate setting, I was offered a newly created Chief Operating Officer position. One of the first gifts that I received as a COO from the CEO was a little statue that said, “I believe in you.”  This act tapped into my strong motivation to succeed in spite of often difficult and overwhelming odds.   These acts of  courage -taking the risk and believing in the unknown ME –  inspired persistence and commitment, because I was NOT going to let her down.

Aug_23_2014WE_LaoTzuWe.  For me, this quote offers a great summation to this blog.  Fully understanding motivation serves to support individual beliefs and knowledge that significant contributions to the relationship, the project, the event, the business endeavor have been made.

Although it’s not a leader’s job to motivate. It is essential for leaders to  inspire others to new heights of success. We would love to learn your thoughts on inspiration and motivation.

Change Happens – Will You Build Walls or Windmills?

August 6th, 2014   •   no comments   


Whether one likes it or not, change happens. The change itself is not good or bad, in reality it’s quite neutral.  It becomes good or bad based on these two major factors – resistance or engagement. Interestingly enough, experience and research seems to bear out that more walls are built by individuals and organizations around change than windmills.With the economic and social climates in constant flux there is a feeling of instability which causes strong actions and emotions.

Walls are built because…

  • The business structure is so fixed and elaborate that it becomes a maze to work around and through. Impacting change and making suggestions has to go through so many hoops that people become frustrated at every turn and decide it’s easier, and safer, to do what has been dictated by performance and job standards.  As a result, rather than attempt change and challenge, they will continue on a path that doesn’t make sense but keeps them employed or in business.
  • The vision, mission and values have become buried under the two “B‘s” – bureaucracy and baloney.  The culture has become inundated with agendas, rumors,  intimidation and rhetoric. Consider the recent layoff from Microsoft as published in the article published in New York News and Politics,Microsoft Just Laid Off Thousands of Employees With a Hilariously Bad Memo .  This change not only affected the employees that were laid off, but also built walls of resistance not just for the current employees, but for future employees and the world-at-large’s perception of how Microsoft will deal with change.
  • The market niche’ fits perfectly.  Stay small and safe. Keep delivering the same reliable, tested product and service over and over again and business will hum along at a predictable pace. In the meantime,  competitors streak past.

Windmills are built because…

  • There is flexibility built into the culture so that new ideas, innovation and creativity are continually generated, acknowledged and tested. Chief Change Officer is the new coveted title.
  • As a fundamental core values of the business, change is not just given lip service. From the boardroom to the basement, clear actions and behaviors are defined and described for all to appreciate and embrace.
  • Change is viewed as an opportunity.  In 2013, The Guardian published, Campbell Soup CEO: “You can lead the change or be victim of change.’   Denise Morrison, CEO since 2011 realized that change was a leading factor in sustainability and embraces change to set Campbell apart as a “tastemaster” not a “trendsetter.

Change Happens

Change happens as sure as the sun rises and sets.  As 720thinkers, we prefer to build windmills. How about you, will you built walls or windmills?


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