Solving the “my team doesn’t get my vision” problem

“F&%*, they just don’t get it.”

I was chatting with a founder CEO last week and asked him if his organization had a clear mission and vision. His answer was a definitive ‘yes’ as he proceeded to rhyme off his intention for the company. Thirty minutes later I asked the same question of a key team member. Her responsibilities include communicating the company message abroad. Her response? ‘NO!’. She went on to elaborate on the confusion and frustration she experiences as a result.

How is it that your simple and compelling vision for your company’s future is so illusive to others? There is one prediction that I can make with 100% certainty. Your team doesn’t see your vision with the same vivid colour and crisp detail that you do.

So much time and money wasted. Hours of work by a team with limited contribution to the founder’s vision.

But why?

PC1 Last month I found myself at Peggy’s Cove on Canada’s east coast. It’s a quaint spot. Photographers and artists flock to the area to capture the essence of life by the sea. During my visit, a collection of painters had gathered for the day to share their passion. Easels dotted the landscape throughout the tiny village. Many of the artists were set up side by side looking out over the same landscape.

As I walked around, it struck me how different each painting was developing on the canvases. These artists were looking at the exact same landscape. Yet none of the pictures looked remotely similar. One artist was painting only in shades of red and pink. Another was capturing the broadest view possible in watercolour. Yet another had zoomed in on a small boat in the harbour. Some of the artists painted the finest details. Others aimed to capture the essence of the scene with broad strokes.

Which artist was right? When it comes to art, personal preference is in the eye of the beholder. Read More »

Unlocking your perfect job

Unlocking the perfect jobYour perfect job – fulfilling, energizing, challenging. And not listed on any career site. Why? Because someone else has already taken it.

Last week my wife and I headed out for a relaxing dinner at a quaint restaurant. My wife’s work has brought us to Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada. It’s a town carved out of gaps between farmers’ fields. We are hours from the nearest big city.

In the casual flow of the evening we struck up a conversation with the owner of the restaurant. She shared the trials and tribulations of finding a good chef to work for her.

It was the second conversation I’d had that day with business owners struggling to find great talent. The other conversation was with the co-founders of a tech company in the core of a bustling urban center.

This is the irony of the job market. For job seekers, there seems to be a shortage of exciting, fulfilling jobs available. For employers, finding and attracting awesome talent verges on impossible.

So how do you get involved in this black market for talent?

The psychology of connecting

The answer comes from two important psychological phenomenon.

The first is the Mere-Exposure Effect. Advertisers know this one well. We tend to develop a preference for things that are familiar to us. Brands work hard to make sure we know their product.

Read More »

The secret to boosting innovation… and the catch.

Flower lightbulbWhat if there was a secret that guaranteed your company an exponential innovation boost? And what if there was a small group of people who had figured out this secret? And what if that group was willing to share every intimate detail of that secret for free? Would you be interested?

I’m guessing you would jump at the chance.

Now, what if there’s a catch to learning this secret? And what if that catch requires you to challenge every personal belief you hold about leading business? Would you still do it?

Last week I spent three days with the people who hold this secret. They came together from all over the world to meet in two connected conferences. One in Hungary and one in Canada. These are deep thinkers. Explorers. They share an intense passion for figuring out a better way to run businesses. And together, they’ve found a secret they are willing to share.

Sometimes secrets are so big and so scary, we don’t want to hear them. This could be one of those secrets.

The need for change

Like it or not, our world is changing. With change comes disruption. With disruption comes discomfort. In business, this discomfort is showing up through disengagement. Right now 76% of full-time employees are open to new job opportunities. This raises a big question. How innovative is someone in their current job while thinking about working somewhere else?

The Google generation is looking for a new way of contributing. Power structures no longer work when everyone has access to the same information. Hierarchies collapse when everyone has an equal voice in the virtual world. Sub par ideas get crushed when power structures can’t protect them.

Yet we still aim to be innovative in organization structures designed for a different time. Read More »



Hey, welcome to my blog.  I’ve spent 20 years experiencing life as an entrepreneur, business leader, and coach. This year I’m sharing my thoughts in a new way.  Every week or so I’ll publish a new how-to article to help you and your business grow.

I’m passionate about making business better.  What does that mean?  We spend the bulk of our time working, and for what purpose? If you dig deep, you will likely find three reasons. Read More »

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