There are two things to aim at in life: First to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.
Logan Pearsall Smith
Profiting From Employee Ideas -- this is the title of
my March "Growth Guy" column, please take four minutes to read, more details
below, but first...
The Only Way To Win -- one of my favorite peak performance gurus is Jim Loehr, co-author of the huge best-seller The Power of Full Engagement. His book was the first to suggest that managing energy, not time, was the real key to performance - and as a coach to some of the world's top athletes and CEOs, he brought a real science to understanding the need to cycle exertion and rest to maintain peak output - even tiny amounts. For instance, the top tennis players truly rested between each point vs. their lesser competitors.
Human Performance Institute -- Jim is the founder of the Human Performance Institute and author of a new book The Only Way to Win: How Building Character Drives Higher Achievement and Greater Fulfillment in Business and Life. The quote above by Logan Smith is from the book. Go right to chapter 10 and read the opening piece on Andre Agassi (Jim coached Andre early on), the legendary tennis player, and the mind shift Andre had to make to claw his way back from below 100 in the rankings to #1 again - unprecedented in sports history. Jim is keynoting the upcoming Leadership Summit in Orlando along with Dan Pink, Jack Stack, David Marquet, and Dave Kerpin. Book club members will receive Jim's new book next week.
New Work Routine -- speaking of energy management, this note from Ruud van Winden, founder of China-based P-SPACE, a leading provider of parking solutions, "At your workshop in Beijing you mentioned how you are using the 1.5 hours of brain activity to adjust your work schedule. After the workshop I divided my day routine into six to seven 1.5 hour work units (depending on early or normal start time). In between I take 15 minutes breaks and during lunch a bit longer."
Committee of Sleep -- Winden continues, "In my new daily routine I often do the 15 minute breaks on a couch I have in the office; either thinking about something totally non-work related or day-dreaming on work solutions. This is also referred to as the critical 'committee of sleep' in this Arianna Huffington article. Some interesting business ideas have come out of this already." FYI, take two minutes to read this excellent article by Arianna.
Brain Productivity -- concludes Winden, "If businesses want to be effective and productive, the topic of sleep/rest in the workplace deserves more attention. In the end, the brain is the main tool of most businesses these days, and the activities should be organized to make most efficient use of it. The 9-5 working day that currently dictates everyday life is a left-over of the industrial revolution. Instead of having work hours based on physical labor, our workday should be a routine organized in a way that best utilizes our mental capabilities (and limitations)." Nicely stated, Winden!
The Punctual Plumber -- Paul Dunn, co-founder of Buy1Give1, a micro-giving site where he's helped businesses donate over $22 million to charity (you should check out what he's doing with companies), responded to the Andreesen and Horowitz $10/min fine with another GREAT example - Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Notes Dunn, "look at how they articulate not just their time promise (really superb) but how they articulate all their other brand promises -- it's awesome stuff." I couldn't agree more - and be sure to click on the "Our Guarantee" tab - was amazed that they warrant their repairs for two years!
25% Sales Increase -- Gabe Fasolino tapped into employee ideas and saw revenues increase 25% (on $10 million) in 9 months. Faced with a sensitive drug and alcohol policy, he turned over the situation to his employees. These and other examples are in my latest March Growth Guy column entitled "Profiting from Employee Ideas." I also share research that reports highly engaged employees help generate almost 3 times the operating margins of firms with low engagement. It's all about tapping into the most brains to out-think the competition.