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  • Why innovate now? Read the signs. Why innovate now? Read the signs.

    Why innovate now? Read the signs.

Why innovate now? Read the signs.

The pandemic gave us a new variety of cheese. How this new variety came about offers us a Lesson Found on innovation. Producing French munster is a laborious process that requires regular brine washings for a month or longer.  (French munster is not to be confused with its less pungent American cousin, muenster cheese.)  During France’s first lockdown, one farmer neglected to keep up with this process for 60 wheels of cheese.  When he returned four weeks later, the cheese looked and tasted different.  The farmer noted that the cheese had “taken the flora from the cave to give a taste we have never had before.” Seeing an opportunity, the farmer is selling the cheese

  • 2020’s Lessons Found 2020’s Lessons Found

    2020’s Lessons Found

2020’s Lessons Found

With all its travails and gyrations, 2020 is a Lesson Found.  It’s a matter of what we do with those lessons. The first step in turning the 2020 quagmire into valuable lessons is an assessment.  How did you and your company react to events?  Did you continue along your pre-March path or adapt?  What were the outcomes of the path you chose? Next comes learning through evaluation.

  • Leading During Stressful Times Leading During Stressful Times

    Leading During Stressful Times

Leading During Stressful Times

The previous Lesson Found highlighted how being empathetic is a fundamental tool of leadership.  How to do that is today’s Lesson Found. A client asked my advice about an “always” productive team member who lately was barely producing.  His company has been 100% virtual since March but the client only recently started to notice the problem. The client tried talking to the employee but the situation was not changing.

  • Increasing Morale & Productivity thru Empathy Increasing Morale & Productivity thru Empathy

    Increasing Morale & Productivity thru Empathy

Increasing Morale & Productivity thru Empathy

Could the “problem with millennials” be burnout?  Why CEOs and owners should care is a Lesson Found. In a her 2019 article, Anne Helen Petersen identifies Millennials as the “Burnout Generation” due to the circumstances of their coming of age.  Petersen, a Millennial herself, makes her case in great detail

  • Clarifying the road ahead for CEOs & Owners Clarifying the road ahead for CEOs & Owners

    Clarifying the road ahead for CEOs & Owners

Clarifying the road ahead for CEOs & Owners

When you get into your car on frigid winter mornings, the warmth of your breath fogs the windshield.  That fogged windshield offers us a Lesson Found on the current business environment. A few months after she bought it, I was driving my mother’s new car.  I was distressed because I couldn’t clearly see out of the windshield.  Everything seemed foggy. Then I turned in the direction of the rising sun and couldn’t see anything.

  • Family Businesses: The Benefits & Traps Family Businesses: The Benefits & Traps

    Family Businesses: The Benefits & Traps

Family Businesses: The Benefits & Traps

How an iconic Chicago deli handled the onset of the pandemic offers an important Lesson Found about family businesses. A recent radio story made me crave a visit to Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen to enjoy mouthwatering sandwiches as well as to support a family business doing the right thing.  Manny’s kept their full staff of 43 on the payroll through the shutdown (and before PPP).  When asked why, owner Dan Raskin explained “They’re our families, too.”

  • Staying the Course With Your Strategy Staying the Course With Your Strategy

    Staying the Course With Your Strategy

Staying the Course With Your Strategy

I recently listened to a podcast on one country’s handling of the original SARS pandemic.  How this virus was contained in 2003 offers us Lessons Found about business strategies. SARS-CoV, a coronavirus with origins similar to COVID-19, made its debut seventeen years ago.  This “original” SARS was less contagious than COVID-19 and the outbreak was contained primarily to Asia.  Singapore’s experience with SARS started when several travelers were hospitalized with the contagion.  The virus spread quickly within and across hospitals.  Assuming the virus was related to healthcare settings, the government developed a “containment and elimination” strategy

  • Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”? Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

    Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

I’ve recently found myself in discussions with CEOs and Owners about the difference between being a “leader” versus a “manager”.   And that is the subject of today’s Lessons Found. According to Merriam-Websters, to “lead” is to “guide on a way especially by going in advance; to direct on a course or a direction.”  This is in contrast to the definition of  “manage”: “to handle or direct with a degree of skill such as to exercise supervisory direction of; to make and keep compliant.”  Considering both at their extremes, leadership takes a broad, future-focused

  • Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

    Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

Did you know the inspiration for the N95 Mask was a molded bra cup?  That is where today’s Lessons Found start. Sara Little Turnbull was an unlikely candidate to become one of the nation’s top industrial designers.  With a flair for interior design, Sara Little (her preferred professional name) was an editor at House Beautiful magazine before forming her own company in 1958.  At about the same time, she wrote an article, “Forgetting The Little Woman”, in which she took major manufacturers to task for ignoring end users when designing products.  And the corporate giants of the time took notice.  That is how she found herself in front of 3M’s all male executive team

  • Enrich Your Future Through Modeling Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

    Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”  This quote from Jack Welch, GE’s famed former CEO, is the inspiration for today’s Lesson Found. I recently came across an article reconsidering the maxim “The Best Predictor of Future Behavior is … Past Behavior”. While the article’s focus is not business oriented, it does offer lessons on the current business environment.