Juggling Elephants

Juggling Elephants

Review
  The book Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done--Now! was written in 2007 by corporate trainers Jones Loflin and Todd Musig. The short read tells the story of a man named Mark visiting the circus with his daughter. Mark meets a ringmaster there who shares the analogy of life as a circus. “Sometimes does it feel like you are juggling elephants?” he asks Mark. The circus performance in the book takes place in three separate rings under the tent. The ringmaster schedules the acts for the circus and introduces the audience to each performer. While one act is performing, another ring is typically cleaning up from an act or setting up for the next act. The goal for the ringmaster is to have a…
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Coaching and The Art of Possibility

Coaching and The Art of Possibility

Lesson
  Much of our support at Lean East involves coaching leaders and teams as they improve their processes. But what is coaching? Here are six traits of good coaching and some examples from the book The Art of Possibility.   Six Traits of Good Coaching Coaches focus on people and drive results. Coaching is not the same as teaching or mentoring. Teachers impart their skills and wisdom to others. Mentors share lessons based on their experience. Coaches unlock potential in the participant and help them discover their own solutions. Coaches share alignment and establish trust. The mission and goal must be agreed upon by the participant and coach. The participant and coach also need to have mutual trust for one another. Learn more about trust at this post. Coaches ask…
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Five Ways to Engage Millennials

Five Ways to Engage Millennials

Lesson
Millennials (also known as Generation Y) represent people born from about 1982 to 2000.1  These 17 to 35-year-olds are expected to represent 75% of the US workforce by 2025 and are technologically savvy and purpose driven. Yet business leaders have expressed frustration from this group of workers. How can they attract, hire and retain talented young millennials?   Leaders find millennials make challenging employees due to their sense of entitlement, impatience, and inattention to authority.2  Many millennials struggled to find good jobs during the 2008 recession and have been called “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents” by Time Magazine. Yet millennials are technologically savvy and purpose-driven. Companies that relate well to this age group can benefit greatly. Here are five ways you can engage the millennials who already…
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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis

Lesson
Brainstorming to assess organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats The Lean East team was recently hired to facilitate several meetings for mid-large size organizations seeking managerial input to their strategic planning process. We conducted SWOT analysis sessions with these teams to discover how the leaders perceived the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We will share the process and agenda we used for this informative brainstorming technique to help you plan your own session. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and can be used to study a person, product, service, team or organization. SWOT analysis considers both internal and external factors; strengths and weaknesses consider the factors inside of the organization, while opportunities and threats focus on business and market factors external to the organization. The…
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Is this the most important success habit?

Is this the most important success habit?

Lesson
Anyone who has been learning and applying personal productivity tools and techniques for many years will have developed some positive habits for success. Many of these habits are probably already habits you are practicing (or trying to follow) in your life but I’ve recently established a new habit I don’t typically see mentioned. This habit is one that will multiply all the others – so I wonder; does this make it the most important? I’ll begin by reviewing several of the common productivity/success habits typically practiced before discussing the multiplier. These are often discussed and recommended, and if you aren’t practicing some of these you may be better to start with these basics: 1.     Exude a positive attitude: It all begins with acting like you are the person you want…
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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

Review
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business is a 2016 book (and already a bestseller) written by Charles Duhigg, author of the 2012 bestselling book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Duhigg is a storyteller with a style similar to Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande. The book is broken into eight topics, each with their own chapter. Those looking for a quick synopsis can always read…
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The Achievement Habit

The Achievement Habit

Review
This is part of an ongoing series of organizational and personal improvement book reviews. If you have read the book already use this as a reminder of key lessons. If you have not read the book and are looking to learn and grow as a leader, this summary will share the basics. The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life is a 2015 book written by Bernie Roth, one of the founders of the Institute of Design at Stanford, AKA the “d.school.” Design thinking has many similarities to Lean thinking and the A3 improvement process coached by our team at Lean East. The Stanford d.school steps to design thinking are: Empathize: think about the user (customer) and their issues Define the problem: narrow down which…
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