Friday, May 30, 2014

Preparing for Opportunities and Contingencies

One of the best ways to look for new opportunities is through purposeful imagination. It inspired President Kennedy to say, “We need men who can dream of things that never were.” There are great undone things to be done. To find some of them, all you have to do is turn off the mental constraints and free your creativity. Purposeful imagination is at the heart of the “Blue Ocean Strategy,” and it is the counter to the “Tyranny of the OR.”

Opportunities are often created by events. Those at the right place at the right time to take advantage of events did not get there just by accident. As the French scientist Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” Purposeful imagination is about preparing for opportunities and contingencies. How do you do that? It isn’t hard to do. It is thinking about things that could happen and then imagining how to react to them. It is about doing so with an eye toward the opportunities those events would present.

You do it by setting aside one day month, or a half day every two weeks, with your management team for the exercise of purposeful imagination. Future events that are problems for others become opportunities for the trained mind. While future events may not mirror exactly those practiced as hypothetical, your team will have gained the skill for quick reaction. Like building muscle memory for an athlete through practice, you will have trained your organization to deal with surprises as opportunities rather than problems.

# # #

Tom Collins’ books include his book on leadership, The Language of Excellence, and his mystery novels including Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest mystery, The Claret Murders. For signed copies, go to the author’s online store. unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio editon of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes’ iBookstore.




Thursday, May 29, 2014

Free audio edition of The Claret Murders

For details of this limited offer for free downloads of the audio edition of The Claret Murders go to E-mysteries.com.


# # #
Tom Collins’ books include his book on leadership, The Language of Excellence, and his mystery novels including Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest mystery, The Claret Murders. For signed copies, go to the author’s online store. unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio editon of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes’ iBookstore.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Succeeding for the Long Haul

On May 20, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40+ people fought the Franklin afternoon traffic to attend my session on Succeeding for the Long Haul and purchased a signed copy of my new book, The Language of Excellence. While we covered a lot of the material in the book, Tom Peters and Nancy Austin wrote the punch line more than 30 years ago. In The Passion for Excellence, they wrote the following:
“…there are only two ways to create and sustain superior performance over the long haul. First, take exceptional care of your customers (for chicken, jet engines, education, health care, or baseball, etc.) via superior service and superior quality. Second, constantly innovate. That’s it. There are no alternatives in achieving long-term superior performance…”
Peter Drucker said the only sound objective is the pursuit of excellence; anything else is at best only competent and that leads to marginal.

It is all about the Model for Excellence:


You can only achieve excellence through people who truly care about their customers. Moreover, you do not get to decide if you have achieved your objective. Excellence must be earned through the eyes of those who judge you, your customers. Once you achieve it, you can only maintain it through constant innovation. All that—the right people, superior customer care, and constant innovation—requires a common sense of direction [something I call I-65 North] and in-touch leadership for which traditionally “Management by Wandering Around” was an essential tool. Today social media has provided us with extraordinary new ways for the leadership to stay in touch with customers, employees, vendors, and even competitors—never has in-touch leadership been so easy. Unfortunately, few take advantage of it, and fewer follow the advice of Peters and Austin.

As I made my closing remarks, I was surprised by the appearance of Tennessee State Representative Glen Casada who presented me with a proclamation of the Tennessee House of Representatives recognizing me for my business and literary achievements—a nice surprise.

 # # # 

Tom Collins’ books include his book on leadership, The Language of Excellence, and his mystery novels including Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest mystery, The Claret Murders. For signed copies, go to the author’s online store. unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio editon of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes’ iBookstore.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Secret to Success for the Long Haul

Anyone can be accidentally successful for some period of time--they can have their fifteen minutes of fame!  But, long term durable success doesn't happen by accident. So what do those who achieve it do differently? What is the secrete for achieving business success for the long haul?  It is simple. However, very few ever follow this simple formula for achieving long-term superior performance. As for those who do, join me on May 20 to find out what they do differently.