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Observations. Hypothesis. Ideas.

In the process of facilitating a workshop today, I was struck with how quickly we arrived at some great epiphanies. As I went back and reviewed what all we did and how it came together from a process standpoint, I extracted a few elements that seemed to really stand out that had never crystallized for me up to this point in doing these types of things before.

I’m running with a working title of the “Behavioral Facilitation Model.”

I realized that the questions we were asking and posing were driving toward honest observations of where things are now, where the client wished they were and, most importantly, the constraints preventing or opportunities yet to be grasped that stood in the way. …


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I can certainly understand managers that are reluctant to hire “problem solvers”.

Firstly, hiring one means admitting that you likely have some problems or at the very least, challenges (or if you are really into lack of transparency, opportunities) — and not everyone has the courage for that.

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http://thequotes.in/category/albert-einstein/page/22/

Secondly, “problem solvers” tend to be more independent and opinionated, and are less “manageable” (yours truly included). They “dare” to raise issues and are reluctant to leave alone problems that management refuses to perceive or address openly. Occasionally, a problem is acknowledged and a “problem solver” is called into the trenches for his/her unique skills. …


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Ruts. That is what I learned about most. So many new things about ruts.

I grew up in northern Indiana (Go Irish!) and we had clay. Boy, did we have clay. Didn’t matter how big your tires were or how much horsepower you had. If you got stuck in a muddy clay rut, you were walking to the nearest farmer with an 8000 series John Deere to pull you out.

When things started coming to a close with my last role at a consulting company, I knew it was time for what was next. I had fielded plenty of phone calls from people asking me to interview to join their teams, I had ideas of what I thought I should do next, and more importantly, I had a number in my head of what I felt I was worth. …


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If you don’t have the time or money to set up your culture right the first time, you definitely won’t have the time or money to fix it later.

If you have yet to read parts one and two, they are short, 3 minute reads that you can check out here before continuing:

READ PART 1 — The culture you recruit people into is the culture you ask them to emulate, propagate and build upon.

READ PART 2 — Today can save tomorrow. What will get you profitable today, won’t maintain or scale your profitability tomorrow.

The third facet of a scalable culture is probably the most difficult for most startup entrepreneurs to get behind. This is where the rubber meets to road, as they say, for making behavioral choices in the short term that impact the long term. It is no mystery that we as humans struggle with these types of decisions. Our brains default to short term thinking. It uses less energy and is more risk averse, which our minds prefer consciously and sub-consciously, and it’s what shapes much of our daily lives. …


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What will get you profitable today, won’t maintain or scale your profitability tomorrow.

Building on part one (link below this paragraph) and the importance of establishing intentional processes around behavior and then walking them out, let’s talk about how the processes we put in place will scale up as we grow. While these principles and points were built around a startup methodology, they can be applied within an existing team or organization as well.

READ PART 1 — The culture you recruit people into is the culture you ask them to emulate, propagate and build upon.

I have intentionally tried to break this up into easy to understand, digestible action items for leaders to comprehend and implement. All smart business owners are focused on scaling operationally. From lean and agile methodologies to lines of credit, cash flow management and even ramping up hiring and capital equipment purchases, every decision is run through a filter of how it builds to the future (or at least it should be). …


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The culture you recruit people into is the culture you ask them to emulate, propagate and build upon.

Recently I was invited to speak on the School For Startups Radio show and podcast. (You can listen here starting at minute 34) I spoke specifically on the importance of startups investing in their culture. In preparing for that podcast, I came up with three phases of a scalable culture that can be applied in even the smallest or most challenging startup.

This post is the first of a three part series where I will go into detail on each of these three facets. I want to keep this simple and tactical so it will be brief, numbered points. Every company has a culture. Most companies have the intention of doing something proactive to support a vision for the culture. Unfortunately, only very few organizations are intentional enough to build a process around accountability to the standard and walking out the behaviors they wish to see in the company. Therefore, project #1 is to understand that all culture is learned through watching. We people are funny creatures with cool things called mirror neurons. Essentially, they make it a psychological default to do what you see, not what you hear. …


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Titles like this can be so pompous and arrogant. Is the author trying to compensate for their lack of understanding on what they are writing about? Full transparency: I am. If you are okay with that, I invite you to read on.

I want to communicate three things I’ve been learning in regards to, well, learning.:

1. Constant learning is a great goal we should all strive for, but the reality is we are only able to learn as much as we retain in a healthy way.

2. Our processing of new knowledge runs through psychological anchor points and filters from our past experiences. This is where we have to have healthy habits around retaining in a healthy way. Being aware and intentionally working towards seeing past our hidden bias limitations is key to the end goal of learning new things: effectively communicating them to ourselves and others. …


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As the quest for engaging employees continues into this new year, lets get beyond the typical discussion around money not being the largest motivating factor for younger workers. This is a well established fact by now (Academic Peer-Reviewed Article or Digestible HBR Article). If you personally haven’t taken a lower paying job to get out of a bad work environment, you most likely know someone who has. The paradigm in thinking here starts with reviewing our extrinsic motivator levers and whether they have a correlation or a causation in the engagement levels of employees.

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https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235651

We have seen a large shift over the last year toward a holistic approach known as #OrganizationalHealth. Leaders are facing a brave new world filled with the challenge of having to find new ways to motivate their teams, enticing leaders to begin to read up on recent leaps forward in neuroscience and psychology around the topics of people management and performance. …


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Let me start with an apology for abruptly calling you out in the title. There are two things you need to know before you keep reading:

  1. I want the best for you, your team and your organization.
  2. I am going to love you enough to tell you the truth.

If you believe those two things, I invite you to read on.

Here is my theory, take it or leave it, or change my mind in the comments: Culture is a fluid and constantly changing outcome. It is a sum of the internal and external thoughts, feelings and actions of those inside and party to an organization. …


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We all have a story we can tell around a poor leader we were forced to endure. You have one. I have one. Shiela in accounting has three. Bob in marketing has a new one every week, it seems.

The numbers don’t lie.

All the way back in 2008, in the heart of the recession and high unemployment, people were leaving their jobs voluntarily and 75% of them were citing their reason for leaving having something to do with their leader/manager or something their leader/manager influenced.

In 2013, Accenture reported the people who voluntarily left their jobs were because of these…

About

Andrew Conrad, MBA

husband — father — founder ConraCorp Capital, E5 Chem, dmma.io, ORCA Coworking — expert in cannabis, marketing & behavioral leadership — mba — crossfitaholic

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