July 28, 2009

Nowhere To Hide

I recently started a computer-monitored gym programme. It checks everything from the strength and intensity of each muscle used, how many calories I burn, to how often I work out.

It gives me a complete reality check on my exercise every day, every week. No excuses and no hiding out.

Talk about a wake-up call. But what results! I’m already feeling stronger and look better.

If only we had this kind of feedback in our businesses. Success would be a sure thing.

Given the complexity of any business and inaccuracy of human observation it’s too easy to miss those little moments of pain until they add up to one big coronary.

What are you missing? Tolerating? Even more importantly, what are your blind spots with regards to your performance, your team’s and company’s?

Organisational reality checks require more than a simple computer to diagnose the sources of pain. Often they exist within the blind spots of culture and human performance that can only be distinguished in conversations with an outside party and tailored diagnostic tools.

Blind spots are nearly impossible to see. They are tucked away behind conversations such as “it’s fine”, “I’m too busy” or “I’ll deal with this someday when...”

Any lack of energy, avoidance or resignation is a red flag. They signal those little asides that you push out of the way for more pressing interests or sexier aspects of the business.

Today my gym computer informed me that it was upping the expectation levels after my third workout because I had hit my targets. It also informed me that I missed Monday’s workout. No allowance for “making it up” on Tuesday.

I’m going tomorrow. It will be expecting me.

July 24, 2009

Global Paradigm Shift

Yesterday I had the enormous privilege of seeing Shai Agassi of A Better Place unveil his vision for the future of automobiles.

Some call him nuts (Australian Financial Review) and others call him visionary. The idea is extraordinary and seems very promising, especially with Israel, Japan, Denmark, the US and Australia signing on to set up grids.

The idea alone is inspiring. But for me, the juice was watching someone in action who’s entire DNA is aligned with achieving his vision. He will never stop until it is successful.

Shai Agassi began with a question, “how do you bring peace to the Middle East?” His answer was to end global oil dependence. This led to the next question “how do you run a country without oil?

He’s engaged in deep, critical thinking on most, if not all aspects of this initiative, including present and future impacts economically, financially, environmentally, and socially.

It is the kind of thinking we engage our clients in during our peak performance initiatives that lead to new futures of breakthrough results. It’s why A Better Place represents a new future and why Shai Agassi has to succeed. He keeps asking the right questions and digs until he finds the answers.

I urge you to take a moment and review the future you’re working towards. If you haven't created one, then stop what you’re doing and create it right now. Otherwise you’re working towards a default and there’s never much power in that.

Then align your entire DNA towards its fulfillment. Give your entire mind, body and soul to it. Think about all aspects of the what, who, when where, how and why. Map out every detail you can think of and start to share your vision with others with the aim of inspiring them to come on board.

Most importantly, have faith.

Then, it has to happen.

July 15, 2009

Being Loved

We were recently in the US and indulged in the prerequisite visit to FAO Schwartz (what was once known as the best toy store in the world). In the plaza outside was a mass of people waiting to buy the new iPhone.

Witness the power of a Lovemark. Beyond a brand is how your market responds to your business, product or service.

Apple’s products do not attract loyal customers or even raving fans. They attract cult-like devotion. They’ve cornered the market on IT Cool and no one comes close.

Lovemarks work because they tap into emotions – the source of decision making in business and life. Interest people and you have their attention for a moment, satisfy your customers and they’ll come back for more. Earn their love and devotion, and they’ll do anything to keep you around, tell everyone they know and start a Tsunami of sales.

Lovemarks are an essential part of Peak Performance. People bring their best to what they love to do. We’ve seen the results with our clients when we bring this methodology to their business. The impact is profound.

Results go up dramatically (30-70% increase in critical KPI’s), people and teams work better and stick around longer.

How do you think people would react if Apple stopped selling their products?

If you pulled out of your market, what would your customers do?