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Tag Archives: creating momentum

Leaders: want to stay relevant? Challenge the status quo

SidRidgleyI’ve blogged in the past about the importance of pushing for change when you’re a leader. See Implementing change should be like shaking a champagne bottle and Survival depends on how you transform to fit your environment. And this is exactly the message that my professional colleague and friend Sid Ridgley delivers in his guest post today. Sid’s expertise lies in helping leaders increase their company’s value proposition to its customers, employees and shareholders through intensive organizational development strategies, and I’m very excited to share his words of wisdom with all of you.

“The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it” -Warren Bennis

It is perfectly natural to want to keep things intact, seek calm and predictability. After-all, today’s status quo was the result of yesterday’s disruption. Status quo means arriving at the place called “ok” where people are focused on keeping things the same and being content with mediocre results. The trouble is, the world and its people are constantly change. Managers are rewarded for meeting performance targets while keeping within the people, financial and organizational resources that have been budgeted. Typically when managers are asked to “challenge the status quo” they invariably react by focusing on process efficiency. None-the-less, and let’s be clear, the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing and evaluating takes the guesswork out of whether or not an organization will achieve some results. But greatness is an illusion. Continue reading

Implementing change should be like shaking a champagne bottle

ChampagneAs we kick off the new year, people everywhere make promises, to themselves and others, to make changes. Whether it’s in the professional or personal arena, the start of a brand new year always seems like a good time to stop doing, start doing, improve or enhance aspects of our lives. And if you’re in a leadership role, you’ve no doubt made resolutions about things that you want to change in your department or organization in order to make your services, products and people more efficient, effective, productive and positive. Unfortunately though, history tells us that far too many change initiatives start off with energy and enthusiasm, and then fizzle and sputter back to the status quo. So what can you do to ensure a different outcome for yourself this time? What can you do to make certain that your change initiatives stick? Consider champagne – a beverage you might have enjoyed a glass of when you rang in the new year! Continue reading

Build speed and momentum for new project success

Why flying is better than drivingTake off!

On a recent flight from Montreal to Toronto, I struck up a conversation with the off-duty pilot sitting next to me, who regaled me with interesting tidbits of trivia about flying and airplanes.  Did you know that when planes taxi on the runway, they usually roll along the tarmac at about 25 miles per hour (that’s about 35 km per hour for those of you metrically inclined)?  Yet there is absolutely NO way that a plane could take off at that speed.  In order to take off, most large jets have to leave the ground at a minimum of about 180 miles per hour (290 kph), and then in order to stay aloft, have to cruise at about 600 miles per hour (960 kph).  In other words, if you want to take off and fly, you must increase your speed up to a significant level before you’ll ever get off the ground, and then accelerate even further if you want to stay up high.

As I continued to converse with my new-found friend, it occurred to me that there were parallels to be drawn between what he was describing and the launch of new initiatives in the workplace.  When there is a new project in the works, conventional wisdom suggests that starting slowly and conservatively may be the best way to go.  “That way,” its supporters rationalize, “you’ll be able to gain experience and work out the kinks along the way.”  But my experience has been just the opposite.  When it comes to launching a new program, taking measured carefully-considered steps is in fact the kiss of death.  If you travel slowly along the runway, you will move forward, but you will NEVER get off the ground.  If your goal is to drive the plane from Montreal to Toronto, then 25 mph may eventually get you there.  But if you want to fly the distance, then you have to build up speed and generate momentum to take off, and then accelerate even more to stay high in the sky.  So … if you have a new initiative underway in the workplace, remember … establish your destination, put your flight plan in place, and then fly, don’t roll, to your destination.

Your thoughts?

The energy of momentum

I shouldn’t be, but I am constantly amazed by the energy of momentum.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that on January 12, Haiti was devastated by a deadly earthquake.  A nation already ill-equipped to manage any sort of crisis, the disaster completely overwhelmed its citizens.  And as news of the destruction began to dribble out from ground zero, the world kicked into gear to assist.  Which is amazing in itself!

But the momentum I speak of happens at an individual level.  Recent case in point.  Continue reading