Scrabble® Poetry

I once played a game of Super Scrabble® with my wife, aunts and uncle. After the game, I thought it might be interesting to try and write a poem by utilizing every word that was played in the game. At first I thought it might be possible to ONLY use words that were in the game, however, that turned out to be rather tough. Instead, I allowed myself to use any other words I needed but did have to use every word from the game (see the picture of the completed board below). I also gave myself punctuation and capitalization liberty which I most often do anyway!  This exercise turned out to be very enjoyable and interesting.  I have not heard of someone doing this before so I thought I would share. See my poem below based on the adjacent picture (BTW, words from the game are underlined). Feel free to critique!!

[Read more…]

The Vault: Winning Culture

I decided to reach into the vault for this one.  I wrote this a few years ago and it still holds true.

Let’s face it; working in a shared services organization can be very difficult, especially for front line employees.  Everyone has heard statements such as:

  • “You screwed up our payroll again.”
  • “We didn’t make half of the mistakes you make.”
  • “It was much cheaper when we did it ourselves.”
  • “Why do we need shared services?”
  • “Our vendors are not getting paid timely.”

[Read more…]

Practicing Change: Be Disloyal

Last week’s Practicing Change topic was “Switch Seats” Today we are going to talk about being disloyal. It’s not what you think. Being loyal to family and friends is fantastic, but being loyal to particular brands can be very confining. How many times have you been at a restaurant when someone orders a “Coke” and the waitstaff explains they don’t carry “Coke”? I have many friends who only drink one type of soda and only frequent restaurants that carry their favorite brand.  Brand loyalty, the goal of every marketer, is a form of change resistance on the part of the consumer. [Read more…]

Practicing Change: Switch Seats

Last week, we introduced the concept of “Practicing Change”.  Today we introduce one of the simplest changes you can make because it does not require any additional effort or learning to implement and yet it can have a profound effect on your ability to embrace other types of change.  The most difficult part of this change is escaping your own comfort zone.  We all get into a comfortable place within our own homes which makes the home a fantastic environment to experiment with change.  If you have your doubts, sit in the most opposite place in the room where you watch TV and see if it feels different.  I promise, it most definitely will and although this is such an inconsequential change it will stir up a bit of discomfort. [Read more…]

Practicing Change – Why Change is Difficult and How to Make it Easier

Why is it we all find change to be so difficult?  Why do we stick like a burnt pancake to our comfort zone?  Why do organizations struggle so much with change?  The answer is really very simple, we don’t practice change.  Practice makes perfect remember.  Or as basketball coaches used to remind us, perfect practice makes perfect.  I’m not so sure about their take on perfect practice but you get the idea.  We simply do not practice changing our routines, our preferences, our likes.  So based on my theory, I’m suggesting that we start practicing change.  Over the next few weeks I will introduce ideas that will encourage you to “Practice Changing”.  Today, I decided to introduce a very simple change, something I call “Weaker Hand”.

[Read more…]

Off Topic: Defending LeBron

After digesting a few days of social media vitriol aimed at LeBron James, I was compelled to ask everyone to consider these words.  It’s easy to forget that not too long ago a young kid from a broken home was cast into the spotlight and labeled The Chosen One.  How many times has a youngster been subjected to this much hype and scrutiny? [Read more…]

Summertime Shared Services

As summer rapidly approaches the temperature starts to rise, the sun appears more often and our team’s thoughts often turn to picnics, BBQs and vacations.  So how do you maintain productivity and focus when there are so many other distractions?  It’s really pretty simple;  monitor and incent team goals and results.  Everyone on the team deserves the chance to get away, unwind, relax and enjoy time with their friends and family.

[Read more…]

Shared Services: “Run it Like a Business”

When choosing a shared services leader it is important to pick someone who really knows what it means to “run it like a business”.  Not everyone is well equipped or prepared to do this.  Often times, organizations make the mistake of choosing a leader who is very technically proficient within a particular function(s) but lacking in general manager type skills.  A good shared services leader understands the need to satisfy and sometimes even attract customers, monitor and improve results, motivate diverse teams and continuously do so in an efficient manner.

[Read more…]

Shared Services works, but we’re different!

How many times as either a practitioner or consultant have you heard, we’re different?  Or perhaps, I  know shared services has worked in this industry before, but we are not like everyone else.  We are unique.  If you’ve been working in shared services for any length of time, you have absolutely heard these exact statements or something very similar.

[Read more…]

Shared Services – Are We Having Fun Yet?

People, process and technology.  How many times have we heard, “it’s really about people, process and technology”?  Too many to count, I’m sure.  Often times, these three components are given equal weight when considering a strategy to optimize a function and while I agree all three are important, it’s vital to remember that people create and use or not use processes and technology.  Since that is a fact, it is crucial we always consider people first when devising solutions.  So what does this have to do with fun you might be asking?  Plenty.

[Read more…]