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  • - Change the lens, not the game
    a good place to start I ll give you an example from my days in candy land We had a pretty impressive candy cane business at the time We had 93 market share But our candy cane business was woefully unprofitable There were many reasons for this so I won t spend any time oversimplifying What I will say is that one challenge our factory spent a lot of time and therefore money on was getting a consistent stripe on each cane Yes this is what people in the confectionery industry lose sleep over Imagine hours of recalibrating machinery taking it apart putting it back together trying different layouts of hot sugar versus cold sugar etc All to get consistent striping Was that REALLY what was making our business unprofitable How about turning that perceived failing into an opportunity The candy cane business is all about commodity who s got the best price except maybe when you turn it into an art How about scaling back focusing on the artisanal qualities handmade practically candy canes no two identical just like snow flakes Unique People eat that up and pay big bucks for it at Starbucks Just a thought Not one that anyone ever followed up on and that s okay We sold the business and today it continues to plod along trying to win more market share by having the cheapest price still worrying about the lack of consistent striping Not everybody gets it not everybody will and sometimes changing the lens doesn t work But it s worth a try If I were Dalton McGuinty today I d be thinking about the opportunities inherent in this new situation versus agonizing over the lack of consistent striping in a minority government you see how I pulled it together right or

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/change-the-lens-not-the-game/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - Fear is a Fraudster
    his time blocking and tackling because he s convinced his co workers are out to make him look bad and he doesn t want to get blamed for stuff Blamed for what and who cares if he gets blamed What is with all this fear Have we all gone mad Politicians the media religious leaders even our own bosses use fear to their advantage Fear makes us vote for some guy and not the other because we re afraid one will tax us to death while the other takes away our right to health care and we arrive at these conclusions without even reviewing the facts we simply hear the fear mongering language and let our blood pressure and anxiety do the rest Or we stay in that job we hate because we re afraid we can t get another or at least one that pays us as much as the one we re so miserable in and we need that miserable job because if we don t have it we ll wind up living in a car our marriage in shambles insert more fantastic melodrama here Fear is insidious and we follow it like a pied piper It s a fraudster parading around in the form of trusted advisers and leaders when meanwhile it s all about making us weak and malleable We fear change being judged being hurt hurting others being ignored being loved being hated we might even fear being being That s an awesome tool for others to use to keep us in line Here s the truth there are things to fear in life a knife wielding psychopath a bus careening toward us at an intersection the ebola virus But we should fear these things when they happen to us not if they might happen

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/fear-is-a-fraudster/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - A Colonel of Wisdom
    it on the walls Ironically it was the board s lack of interest in this regard that made Colonel Bishop so special Like a phoenix rising from the ashes it was our parents club and a few committed teachers that took up the charge for luxuries like musical instruments and playground equipment And it was those same dedicated teachers parents and our amazing custodian Dick who taught us the value of a community coming together to help others in a time of need which was pretty much constant at Colonel Bishop Public School There was a flip side though We were small and had to work with what we had As a result many of us had the same teacher for up to five years in a row and even found ourselves in split grades with our own siblings What CB gave with one hand serial independence that cultivated innovation and ingenuity it took with the other serial disinterest leading to stagnation that cultivated in many of us a resistance to change Several of us struggled through our remaining elementary years and even into high school once CB was shuttered in 1983 and we were shipped to other schools where everyone didn t know our names Regardless today I feel so privileged to have walked those halls read those dusty old encyclopedias and learned from some of the most fabulous teachers ever you know who you are no matter how many times I heard how smart my sister was is and how much I needed to improve Thirty years later in some ways because of my time at CB and in others despite it I ve learned to manage change and help others do the same And 30 years later I still have a profound respect for and interest in

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/a-colonel-of-wisdom/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - Because youre the leader
    though he was dying he continued to lead his team setting them up if not for success then at least stability after he took his exit Other leaders leading in less dire scenarios should take note It s hard to lead that much we know But when a guy can do it while cancer carves away his very existence you can do it too even if you re busy or tired Because that s what leaders do They lead Especially when it s hard It s easy to be a leader in good times You really show us your mettle when you can pilot through the tough stuff RIP JL Mel Leave a Reply Cancel reply Comment Spamcheck Enabled Recent Posts What do dreams actually mean Help us fight human trafficking and then you realize you re a liar too and what to do to fix it I don t wanna know What ever happened to class Recent Comments Mel on I don t wanna know Kiran on Let me go Archives March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 July 2014 May 2014 March 2014 February 2014 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/because-youre-the-leader/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - What kind of f**kery is this?
    where she was booed off the stage for obvious inebriation The woman couldn t even stand let alone perform Why put her in the position where she feels she has to or worse where she thinks she can when quite obviously she couldn t So what does Amy Winehouse have to do with a blog on communication change and organizational effectiveness in general A lot actually It s an extreme example but organizations put similar pressure on their talent daily especially during change and especially when shareholders are pressing for bigger returns People burn out especially our superstars Like the flowers in the drought we re experiencing in Canada this summer they need constant tending watering and care especially when they re under stress Amy Winehouse needed this too but conceivably her handlers her A R guy her manager her record company maybe even her family needed her to make them money Why else would they let her on stage in that state really Sure there s a good chance Winehouse would have died at 27 anyway she was after all an adult She wasn t incapacitated in any traditional way so couldn t be forced to do what she didn t want to do like stay in rehab give up live performances while she got her act together etc This can t be all the recording industry s fault she too played a major role in her own demise And so do the hundreds perhaps thousands of people who suffer from exhaustion depression breakdowns heart attacks as a result of work But we do have a responsibility here too don t we Call it the good samaritan responsibility the one that tells us to step in pull something off their plate stop dumping stuff on them stop relying on

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/what-kind-of-fkery-is-this/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto…
    weren t allowed to play an encore much to the crowd s disappointment They had a fresh sound that fit well within the progressive rock genre popular at the time and a stage presence that was electric Styx went on to release five more successful albums that expanded on their progressive sound Their following and final album Kilroy Was Here however was quite different The band members tried to move with the times by adopting a more New Wave dance friendly format that was hot in the early eighties While trying to capture the current sound of the day they also tried to hold onto their sound of the past that had made them successful change management lesson here The blended songs didn t sound like the new groups that were dominating the air waves or the old Styx By having one foot in the past and one in the present they didn t have a cohesive sound and therefore didn t appeal to either group The tensions created by this experiment contributed to the group breaking up the following year This phenomenon happens often with large change initiatives The desire to move forward and stay the same leads to disappointing business outcomes confusion around strategic direction and concern over leadership capabilities Recovering from this situation usually takes a new leadership team to reset the course and rekindle colleagues engagement to follow it Bold strategic moves can redefine an organization s position in the market and unlock new opportunities for growth This is what Charles Hardy referred to as achieving the second curve in his book The Empty Raincoat Attempts to do so while keeping hold of current platforms or ways of working typically end in disappointment Styx reformed years later and are still on the concert circuit playing their

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/moving-with-the-times/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - When even the medium isnt the message
    to make a point Asking readers to make a quantum leap isn t the only egregious error we make when trying to convey important messages Take my neighbour for instance He s opposed to the mega quarry proposed for parts of the Oak Ridges Moraine For the record so am I but I m not the one who slapped a Stop the Mega Quarry sign in the bed of rocks that cover his entire front lawn The medium is indeed the mixed message sir Or what about this awesome anti marijuana public service announcement circa 1967 featuring a very high Sonny Bono check out the 31 minute mark it s priceless I m sure many a hippy stubbed out his spliff when he saw how ridiculous Sonny looked in a satin pant suit slurring his words while pontificating over the dangers of the demon weed So maybe in this case it actually worked These may be extreme examples but I encountered them and many others I won t bore you with in the course of one day We write and say stupid things and then expect people to get it even when attention spans are short and the gaps we re asking them to bridge are monumental Or we hope to hell they don t notice the incongruent subtext we ve mistakenly created in the process like a stoned Sonny Bono if we realize we ve created it at all Got something important so say Start with a clear objective and work your back Turf anything that doesn t align feed or drive your message And an extra special point about analogies if you have to explain em before you draw em don t Otherwise you could end up as an example in the rant of some raging communicator Even

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/when-even-the-medium-isnt-the-message-2/ (2016-02-13)
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  • - Why I hate Spam
    We spend a lot of time thinking about and developing what we post at Pivot before we post it and we welcome genuine dialogue and debate Sadly the only attempts at online dialogue of late are some badly translated offers to monetize our blog FYI we re not interested The internet is a beautiful thing It s made authors of many of us who otherwise would never have a published voice It s accessible easy and for the most part equalizing It s good of course but also bad because it s a handy runway for slimy fraudsters to rid unsuspecting folks of their hard earned savings or clog up the airways of organizations that just want to have a conversation Here s my commitment to you post a real comment we ll publish it and let the games begin If you re a spammer however you ll have to find another sucker Mel Leave a Reply Cancel reply Comment Spamcheck Enabled Recent Posts What do dreams actually mean Help us fight human trafficking and then you realize you re a liar too and what to do to fix it I don t wanna know What ever happened to class

    Original URL path: http://www.pivot.ca/why-i-hate-spam/ (2016-02-13)
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