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Author Archive: Dave Kinnear

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Language is Never Quite Right

June 13, 2018 0 Comments
Language is Never Quite Right

Words: What do you hear when I speak? I’m trying to paint a word picture of what I see in my mind so that you see “the same picture” in your mind. I share those words with you. We speak the same language. Let’s agree that the language, whatever it is, is native to both […]

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Simplify

June 6, 2018 0 Comments
Simplify

Why Simplify? A leader must be able to make the complex simple. That is not easy to do — on several fronts! In many (most?) organizations today, our employees know more about the details of their jobs than their leaders do. This is inevitable in our modern world and will only become more true as time […]

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Employees First

May 30, 2018 0 Comments
Employees First

Customers First? I have heard it so many times: “customers come first,” or “we are customer centric.” My observation is that this isn’t right. Employees have to come first. I believe that, for the most part, our employees will treat our customers the way we treat them. As Richard Branson, Virgin Group, says, “Happy employees […]

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Competitive Advantage?

May 23, 2018 0 Comments
Competitive Advantage?

Sustainable Advantage: I don’t know how we can claim we have a sustainable competitive advantage unless, that is, that we believe that advantage to be our ability to learn faster than the competition. Technology is moving much too fast for us to think that some sort of product or service is really our competitive advantage. […]

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Meaningful Work

May 16, 2018 0 Comments
Meaningful Work

Engagement: There’s lots of talk about employee engagement these days. And there’s good reason for us to be discussing this topic. Gallup tells us that about 70% of our employees are disengaged. It’s been the same number, plus or minus a percent or two, since they have been doing the employee survey. Apparently, few find […]

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Nostalgia

May 9, 2018 0 Comments
Nostalgia

From the Past: My lunch meeting last week ended a bit earlier than usual. I had left ample room between the end of that meeting and my next meeting. Now, however, I had way too much time. It didn’t make sense to go back to my home office though, so I drove to the vacinity […]

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Dumb as a Doorknob

May 2, 2018 0 Comments
Dumb as a Doorknob

Not so fast! I’ve heard that saying almost all my life. So-and-so “is as dumb as a doorknob.” But, did you ever stop to think about doorknobs? They aren’t so dumb really. They are sometimes wrong, but they do convey a message. Take this rather standard doorknob, pictured above, on our front door. When I […]

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Half Baked

April 25, 2018 0 Comments
Half Baked

The Test: My wife does a fair amount of baking. I noticed that when she is baking a cake or bread, she will sometimes stick a sharp knife (like a paring knife) or a toothpick into the cake when the timer indicates that the cake is supposed to be “done.” Sometimes, after doing this, she […]

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Her Ears Are In My Way

April 18, 2018 0 Comments
Her Ears Are In My Way

Behavior: One of my leadership mentors, author David Marquet, makes it clear that in his experience, if you want to effectively change people’s behavior, you have to change the environment. I learned that lesson again recently when my assistant, pictured here, exhibited unwanted behavior. It was my own fault. I came home from a photo […]

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Monkey Business

April 11, 2018 0 Comments
Monkey Business

Capuchin Economics: M. Keith Chen (now at UCLA) studied the economic activity of Capuchin and Tamarin monkeys. What I find fascinating is that he first taught the monkeys how to use money (in this case, metal washers) to trade. It took a while, but they learned the value of money for trading. They learned to […]

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