Posts Tagged ‘focus’

“What’s the Difference between Management and Change Management?”

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I had this question posed today and it hit a nerve as I’d been talking about this the other evening. It’s a good question and I wish it were asked more often. The short version of my answer was

“The right answer should be very little, as I have always maintained that Change is the key job of management but I think that their focus and their results would be improved if managers realised that one key to success is constantly asking two questions|:-

  1. What needs changing?
  2. What is beginning to change that shouldn’t?”

Managers should be focusing on the strategic level and noticing what isn’t working; listening to customers and suppliers to find out how things could be improved. They need to be scanning competitors to see who is doing something new and also who is doing something wrong. All of these are signals to change things around. If they can find nothing in these categories then they should be wondering how they could do the same things better or cheaper or faster.

“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.” — Confucius

The other side of the coin, which I feel gets far too little attention under the ‘change banner’, is where you are doing everything right and things start to change without you wishing them too. It takes effort to keep things the same and you have to pay attention to training and processes to make sure that they don’t decay as management shift their attention to the next fire.

“Management” (from Old French ménagement “the art of conducting, directing”, from Latin manu agere “to lead by the hand”) characterises the process of leading and directing all or part of an organization, often a business, through the deployment and manipulation of resources (human, financial, material, intellectual or intangible). …

You can see from this definition managers should be constantly asking ”Where do I get the best ‘bang for my buck’?and this means both in terms of their personal time and energy and from the corporate resources they control. One of my favourite clients freely admits he is so good at putting out fires that he just loves rushing round in his fire engine, indeed few have a brighter, shinier, or faster fire engines! However, we all have jobs we like to do, jobs that make us feel worthwhile. These are often the safe harbours we pull into to avoid looking into the void of “I don’t know..” However, I’d suggest that really the good manager should feel that way at least once a day and probably hourly if he is focusing on the right things. If you already know all the answers you aren’t asking hard enough questions!

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have—and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” James Belasco and Ralph Stayer

It is trite to say it (but that has never stopped me before!), but Change management needs to start with you! If you are doing the same things every day then you are stuck in a comfy rut. I know there are hundreds or emails, tens of meetings and crises galore but if you aren’t managing the business.. who is?

© I-Change 2011

“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.”   Niccolo Machiavelli

Last Will

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

When you lose someone close to you you are pitched into a place where you have to learn and think about all manner of things that most of us choose to avoid most of the time.  You have to find out how to dispose of a body and think through what should be done with one.  Then there is the forest of legislative red tape you have to swim through …and the forms!!  Once you have been through the process of dealing with their will (or worse still the absence of a will) then inevitably you think about your own.  Many of us wrote our wills many years ago and things change.  Mine was written to protect 3 babies, I now have 3 adults with different needs and issues, so I have begun the process of revising and updating mine.

You have to be made sterner stuff than I not to shed the odd tear when writing this kind of thing.  However, it is a real expression of love and one’s final opportunity to look after those that you care for.  This process makes you think about who and what is important to you and actually the time to do something about both of these is right now.  Why wait till we die to say “I love you!”?  Why wait till it is too late to make time for the people and things that we care about?  I know this is neither a new or an original thought but that does not diminish its truth one whit. In both business and personal lives we waste way too much time on the trivia.  Shifting our time and attention to those things that will bring us either emotional or material ‘wealth’ is one of the keys to success

“Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it.”  Mohandas Gandhi

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”   Jackie Robinson

Video Blog: Have you got your Head in the Clouds?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Some thoughts about he nature of clouds and what they tell us about focusing on what is really important

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A bird brained Idea? [video blog]

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

I’d be very interested in your feedback on the value of video blogs please!

What are you Watching…

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

I was out walking in the sunshine yesterday. I knew the time, in a Saturday sort of a way; It was somewhere between half past breakfast and quarter to lunch. We had been out for an hour or so and I was wondering what the time was and glanced at my watch as you do. I don’t know if you have noticed but we seem to be capable of looking at our watches, apparently reading them and yet not quite really knowing what they have told us. You know that you are doing this when a companion, seeing you do this asks the time and you have to look a second time to answer them.

So, there we were strolling in the woods, I look at my watch and am just covering up my watch again when I realise that I completely don’t understand what I have just seen. It takes a moment for me to realise that I was not able to read the time. I look again and it appears to be telling me that it is quarter past seven! After a few moments more confusion, all becomes clear to me… I have my watch on upside down! Reality is reasserted.

However, it occurs to me that we are so often in the auto-pilot mode that we have conversations, without really engaging any of our awareness. It is possible that the odd husband out here will recall being told that he is “not listening” and perhaps even, if he likes living dangerously, repeat back what has just been said. However, hearing and listening are not the same thing. Also, when we are truly engaged with someone we bring to bear so much more than just our hearing; we use our awareness. We can pick up so much more if tune in fully.

When we are on the receiving end of this kind of attention it is a very powerful experience. Flattering, a little intimidating, slightly disconcerting and seductive all rolled up into one. We all do it perfectly naturally from time-to-time. However, the impact of fully engaging with people and situations on your relationships, your business and health is astonishing. Why not give it a go…. Some people think that we get what we focus on. Who or what are you giving your attention to?


“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.”
Richard Moss

Genius is nothing but continued attention.” Claude Adrien Helvetius