Warning Signs

We last spoke of the need to ask questions instead of always making assumptions – it leads to less error and lower risk.  But how do you identify when someone is making an assumption?  Here’s a few markers to help you tell when assumptions are being made: Genius […]

Space Shuttles, Fast Food, & Failure: Why Assumptions Cost More Than Questions

Whenever we plan for the future, we always have to make assumptions.  We make assumptions about the weather when we go on a picnic or skiing.  We make assumptions about prices when we go to the store and decide to buy the asparagus (is it lower here or at […]

Shut Up & Listen: The Key to Leadership Success

I belong to a large Facebook group where people discuss social issues and organize activities to help different causes.The group has had trouble with repeated racial conflicts and cultural misunderstandings recently, and members are trying to understand each other better.To help, a black member of the group (I’ll call […]

Tackling the Symptom, Not the Problem

Meredith and I spend a lot of time talking about frogs and Godzillas – our way of characterizing the formation of crises – the slow, methodical building crises vs. the sudden onslaught crisis.  If fact, we deal with very few Godzillas in our work or even in life.  […]

Disaster Preparedness

 

This is not a usual blog post for Me2 Solutions – but with the typhoon in the Philippines –  Meredith and I thought it would be a good idea to just list sources of information for disaster preparedness – why re-invent the wheel?  Just Googling disaster preparedness will give […]

Creating Loyalty

We hear a lot about people wanting loyal employees. The expectation that employees will be loyal because we give them a paycheck is common.  Here the definition of a loyal employee is an employee who considers the benefits for the company before the benefits for themselves.  However a […]

Gold Nuggets and Diamonds: Using the Pareto Principle to Increase Returns

I heard a story once about a consultant that was called in to help a team of top executives be more productive. After observing the executives, the consultant suggested that each executive write a list of things to do the next day before leaving the office. The […]

The Care and Feeding of Interns and Recruits

photo credit: tbisaacs via flickrRecent news stories have been highlight a practice among companies that use unpaid interns – being sued. You can read up about it here and here and here.  Yes, unpaid interns are suing companies because the interns never reaped the benefits they were supposed to have […]

5 Simple Rules to Stay Sane in Business

Meredith will tell you that I have a few “rules” that I’ll usually sprout off with in any given situation. So I thought I would spell out a few of my rules.I still remember the first day that I was on active duty in the Navy. […]

Angry Customers: The Birth and Death of a Terrorist

It happened right in front of us – Meredith and I were talking with a client when a customer came into the client’s shop to return a large but barely-eaten custom cake. She was obviously nervous and upset. “It tasted like chemicals,” she said, apologetically.  Even the one year […]

Management Lessons from the Cleaning Lady

Last week I had this exchange with the cleaning lady at the center where I teach a graduate-level evening class.  I always clear the white board when I’m done, but lately I’ve noticed that the dry eraser doesn’t wipe the marks off very well, no matter how hard I […]

Crisis Management is Free: The Awesome Problem-Solving Tool You Already Have

People have this misconception that crisis management is about complicated tools and expensive training – as if the only way to solve complex systemic problems is with another complex system.Aaaaaaaand it drives me crazy. See, that’s kind of like trying to treat a burn with boiling water: it never […]

The Dirty Truth: Why Leadership is a Problem-Solving Handicap

Years ago, my husband Cameron was a lowly Private First Class going through his initial military training. He’d spent two years going from training school to training school, staying at the same rank the whole time. After more than two years in the military, he was still a PFC […]

Why Do People Lie So Much? (Podcast)

We’ve talked a lot about why people lie – and oh do they lie – in a crisis. In this episode we discuss hoe lies are rarely malicious – they’re motivated by fear. Frank and I have never dealt with a crisis that didn’t involve some form of dishonest. […]

Crisis University: Five Books to Make You a Crisis Management Expert

photo credit hereThere’s a rule in our house that’s absolute: No books in the bathroom! My wife and I agreed that if we ever had books in the bathroom, we may never come out. We love books – as is evidenced by the filled bookcases and […]

Red Pens and Submarines: When Prevention is Worse than the Problem

One of the most powerful lessons I learned began one day in 1988 when I got a call to see the Deputy Director of a shipbuilding project management office. His opening statement summed up everything: “Hutch, the Captain is getting his ass chewed by SP over at Kings Bay.  I […]

Emotions and Crisis: What They Really Mean

Frank and I see our clients at their most vulnerable – their fears, their weaknesses, their hopes, their mistakes – and we get close.
We get emotionally invested.
When one of them hurts, we hurt, too.

That’s what surprised me the most when I started counseling and consulting – that despite all […]

Rotten Fish: How What’s “Normal” May Be Holding You Back

I heard a story long ago about the gauchos in Argentina – South American cowboys. Being good Catholics they wanted fish to eat on Fridays. But there were no ready sources of fish where they lived – so local merchants ordered fish to be ship by rail and sold […]

7 Rules for a Drama-Free Family Business

Folks, working with family is haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.

There’s emotional baggage. There’s years of noogies and wedgies. You’ve probably been on the giving or receiving end of at least one teenage “I HATE YOU!” or “GET AWAY FROM ME” from your coworker or boss. And they know just how to push your […]

29 Ways to Kill a Family Business

There’s lots of people willing to tell you how to be successful – but since most businesses fail (~80% in the first five years), I figure there must be a larger market for how to fail – right? Right!So, in case you were wondering, here are some simply, […]