In 100 Words: Don’t Confuse Size with Impact

April 30th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Isn’t it refreshing talking with leaders who are excited to share stories and measures of impact rather than telling you how big an organization they lead? It’s refreshing because the default measures of success are generally revenue volume, market valuation, and number of employees. Does significance come only from having a larger organization?

Imagine you and your team thinking through how to measure and communicate impact along with units of size. Maybe identify measures around:

• Your purpose (cause)
• Impact made in your customer’s and employee’s lives
• Your community investment

The focus shifts our thinking to how we can multiply impact.

“You can have an impact anywhere you are.” Tony Dungy

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In 100 Words: You Don’t Have to Create Perfect

March 16th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Creative work is important for leaders. This encompasses everything from innovating new offerings and business models to crafting a new process or marketing campaign. There is pressure with this work to “get it right” the first time. However, final-form solutions are rarely the result of the first draft. Innovation involves drafting and re-drafting. This is a tough reality. The pride of authorship may also lead to defensiveness toward feedback.

It can be liberating to know we don’t have to create perfect. Soliciting challenging input earlier typically yields a stronger solution while saving time, energy and money.

Create working solutions and iterate.

“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” Edwin H Land

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In 100 Words: When to Say No to Good Opportunities

January 1st, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Most organizations rarely experience a shortage of good opportunities. What is not rare, though, is a shortage of attention span, time, and resources. Despite these limitations, leaders hesitate to keep resources focused on developing the opportunities already in process and say NO to new opportunities.

We get excited and over-value potential returns of the new opportunities. This reveals the flip-side – we under-value the harvest to be gained by bringing our current BEST opportunity to fruition. Fully invest in the opportunity selected as BEST for now until it is mature. Once it is harvested, plenty of new opportunities will be waiting.

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” Tony Blair

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In 100 Words: The Power of Hope

December 15th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Leaders of renown have used one ability to great effect – instilling hope. Hope is a powerful agent of perseverance and improvement which stems from holding up an inspiring vision. God designed humans with the unique ability to hope for something better in the physical and spiritual future – a better future pulls us through any present season of difficulty and uncertainty. We should work to connect with common hopes people share – safety, autonomy, good health, satisfaction from productive work, whole relationships, better opportunities, greater justice, equity, and freedom.

Tap into themes of hope and draw people with you through challenging times.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

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In 100 Words: Pry Open Strategy Thinking…With Questions

October 30th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Thinking about the future during times of significant uncertainty can be mind-bending for leaders. A good set of questions is valuable in making sense of what we are experiencing and for setting priorities for the future.

• What brutal facts are we aware of, but ignoring to our detriment?
• Where is our arrogance causing disabling ignorance?
• What assumptions about our business model are no longer valid?
• What offerings are getting the most traction in the market? Why?
• What outcomes have surprised us (good or bad)?

What questions will be levers for your team for thought and conversation about the upcoming year?

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” Francis Bacon

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In 100 Words: Guard Against Over-Correction

September 15th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

There is a reason for the adage, “don’t go to extremes.” It is especially difficult for us to gauge risk on problems we have not experienced. When fear increases leaders may begin reacting strongly and severely causing over-correction.

Over-correction can stunt improvement or create new negative consequences. Here are three guards against over-corrective choice paths:

1. Strong teams – experience and trust matter. Surface different perspectives for an informed, balanced view.
2. Decision frameworks – document trade-offs, required resources, and expected outcomes for key options. Note: include “do nothing” in the option set.
3. Faster feedback loops – compare actual to expected outcomes.

“The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret Wheatley

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