"...keeping you great" Ten Minutes with the Growth Guy
FRIENDLY REMINDER -- Please take five minutes and do a quarterly check-up on your company -- every 90 days it's vital to review the 10 point "Rockefeller Habits" checklist of disciplines that make for a well-managed company -- here's the link to the checklist -- just do it and pick one or two items on which to focus -- see next Headline.
Brain can't multi-task very well!!! -- if you read just one article this week, read this NY Times piece summarizing new research on the limits of your brain to multi-task. This is the article I've been waiting for! Less is more. Focus is key. ONE THING AT A TIME! And email is killing us -- you must answer it just once an hour, not every few minutes! And you can only handle a few big projects at a time. It's all here in this article!
Notes Rene' Marois, a neuroscientist and director of the Number Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University, the human brain, with its hundred billion neurons and hundreds of trillions of synaptic connections, is a cognitive powerhouse in many ways. "But a core limitation is an inability to concentrate on two things at once," said René Marois.
A recent Microsoft study found a group of Microsoft workers took, on average, 15 minutes to return to serious mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to incoming e-mail or instant messages. They strayed off to reply to other messages or browse news, sports or entertainment Web sites. "I was surprised by how easily people were distracted and how long it took them to get back to the task," said Eric Horvitz, a Microsoft research scientist and co-author, with Shamsi Iqbal of the University of Illinois, of a paper on the study that will be presented next month.
Speaking of single minded focus -- Rob Parker, new CEO of Kiwanis International, shared with us at the last Growth Summit his BHAG of 1 million members by the 100th anniversary of KI built around the theme of "Mission Possible." He then held a Million Member March in January. Here's an excellent video clip of that announcement posted on their website -- a way to keep the BHAG and Theme alive and visible. Watch it as a model for what you might do to bring your BHAG and Theme alive --
Invitation from Rob Parker -- CEO Council for Kiwanis. At the tender age of 91, Kiwanis is reinventing itself to respond to the needs of a next generation of leaders. With a fresh approach to leadership development, Kiwanis is equipping men and women to serve as leaders in their families, careers and communities. Kiwanis CEO Rob Parker told me he would like to hear from executives of growth firms who are willing to serve on a CEO Council to help guide Kiwanis through this remarkable transformation. Rob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On-Site's Quarterly Employee Recognition -- Notes Chris Canada, CEO of On-Site, an IT services firm, "we spend almost 25 percent of our quarterly meetings recognizing people which include annual acrylic tombstones for people and they love them. We etch the number of years of service into the reverse side for the tenure, translating the years of service into number of days." It's given to each employee whose annual tenure falls within that quarter. Here's a link to a photo of the plaque. They get these plaques from Jennifer Owens, 512-970-6388, email@example.com. Ask for "L Custom 4" x 6" x 1" with Embedded 2 color Acetate & Laser Engraved on Back."
Trimester vs. Quarterly Priorities -- again, speaking of focus, it's that time for most people to set quarterly priorities. However, many firms are finding it better, given the rhythm of their business, to do this once every four months. At Gazelles, we have three distinct seasons -- Jan - May; June - Aug; Sept - Dec. Do what works, but do set a handful of priorities.
"If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it." John D. Rockefeller. John Anderson, whose wife had me read "Titan," Rockefeller's biography, sent me this quote. Seems getting rich wouldn't be the best single focus! Pick a focus each day, week, quarter, year, and 10 years!