Monday, December 24, 2012

The Spirit of Kaizen

I like New Years because I like to set goals.   I know it is not quite New Years but it is close to holidays so it counts for me.

I read a book - the Spirit of Kaizen - Creating Lasting Excellence One Small Step at a Time by Robert Maurer.  The title says what kaizen is - the process of continually creating excellence or continually getting just a bit better.

People often ask me how EMJ was successful.  It was not one thing, it was a lot of little things.  The focus was on many tiny competitive advantages which in total created a profitable company.  The same is true of Kaizen.  The focus is not on a complete change and makeover, rather it is just one tiny thing at a time.   The book even cautions against "We need something bold and innovative" or trying to make sweeping changes (which is the temptation with New Years resolutions).

This is like the 1% Solution.  A tiny 1% change every day doubles in 72 days.  I use that 1% rule when I work out.  I just work out 1% longer.   So my calculation is I will be able to bench press 3964 pounds in just 2 years by only adding 1% to the weight each day.

I have blogged many times about the power of success habits.  For me, most kaizen revolves around those.  Just a few more tiny habits can create long term good impact.

The Spirit of Kaizen has a lot of little ideas for personal and business growth.  EG -  How to inspire staff in 3 minutes per day.  And I liked the chapter on sales.  Every sales person needs to practice Kaizen.

The Spirit of Kaizen is a great inspirational book that reinforces the value of small changes to create big results.  

Good luck on creating your goals, resolutions and your future.

I know one habit, I have never been good at is stretching.  But I am now battling a bad case of tennis elbow (actually in the inside so it is called golfers elbow).  So one habit I will be better on is stretching.

Have a great Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pioneers of Digital

Stormy night so no power this morning.  Would not be a big deal but memories of no power for a week due to Sandy are still fresh.

I read a book by Paul Springer and Mel Carson called Pioneers of Digital - Success Stories from Leaders in Advertising, Marketing, Search and Social Media.  Of course I like success stories.  One problem I see with news is it is often about the negative so I like books that are about the positive.

I really liked that this book was mostly about people I did not recognize.  The people highlighted are successful but not famous.  Any successful business is not the work of just one person.  It involves many other great people.  This book is mostly about these other great people.  EG - Angel Chen from Olgivy One China, Malcolm Poynton - Dove Real Beauty campaign, June Cohen (Ted talks).  So not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but important people who still make a difference.

I am always inspired when I read success stories.  I can learn from each story.  EG - one story on social media tells of a company with an email inbox for feedback with 80,000 unread emails.  Of course the social media lesson - develop systems to deal with the volume.

The final chapters include one on Pioneering Places (hint - India, China).  And one on lessons from Pioneers.

Great book.  Easy read.  Each chapter is stand alone so it is an easy book to put down and pick up again.


Have a great holiday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Perfect Day

I am having Blogger stress - the stressed caused by not blogging for a while.

One way to create a good life (nothing is ever perfect) is to think about your perfect day.  So this morning, I am writing down the components of a perfect day. And at my stage, there is no reason I should not have more perfect days or days that are more perfect.

There is a big difference between what I am calling perfect and perfection.  We are not aiming for perfection.  If we did, the slightest hiccup could ruin what is the perfect day.

As one thinks about perfect days, it is also good to include how to make more of those components happen.

Today included part of what makes a perfect day for me.  I woke early.  I always love early morning and am highly productive.  there are so many things I like to do in the early morning.  But the problem with early rising is sleep.  I need to go to bed early and I am not particularly good at that.

Other parts of a perfect day for me include exercise (although sometimes it is more the having worked out than the actual working out that I want) and eating right.  There is no reason for these not to be every day for me.

I need some social interaction.   I need some friend time.  I need some outdoors (although I could do without the pollen).  I need gratitude - appreciation for life and the world.  I need a neat, clean and tidy environment.  And the list goes on...

Try writing down your perfect day.  It will help you have more perfect.

I love great companies.  One of the ones SEO Pledge is working with is an email marketing company (with permission of course).  I find just being around good companies inspires me.  Likely part of my perfect day.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Into The Storm

Since we are just off Hurricane Sandy (and the damage is still everywhere), I am more attuned to the power of weather and mother nature.

Into the Storm is a book by Dennis Perkins and Jillian Murphy  (authors of Leading at the Edge).  This book is one that you cannot put down.  Although it is a business book (Part 2 is anyways), it is the captivating story of of a sailing regatta - Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race in 1998.

In the 1998 regatta, 6 people died.  The weather was horrific.  The book tells of ships losing their masts, sinking, rescues.   It also tells of crews that survived.

One of the ships in the race is Larry Ellison's from Oracle.  I heard him speak live about his experience at a 1999 YPO event in San Francisco.  I remember much of what he said then.  Recalling that made the book that much more interesting.

I am not a sailor but still loved the book.

The gripping and chilling story of the storm is followed by a series of lessons learned.  Sailing is a lot about teamwork so much of the lessons are about teamwork.  It covered stuff like "prepare, prepare, prepare" , "deal with things that slow you down" and "relentless learning".

What I know is people learn best and remember best from stories.  And I certainly do.  I really liked the format - captivating adventure followed by lessons.

This book is a page turner just like Driven to Succeed and their previous book about Shakleton.  I am inspired to consider reading more adventure books instead of just the business books I usually read.  Of course this one is the best of both worlds - adventure and business.

I am always trying to be healthier.  So I have been experimenting baking with Stevia - a super sweet plant extract that substitutes for some of the sugar in a recipe.

Works perfect so far (in banana bread and muffins)

I have also been making soup for the whole crew at the office.  It all started with the storm and many people did not have power so I thought it was the right thing to do.  And people liked it so I kept doing it many days.