Do you get an apple a day?

Do you have enough energy? What do you do to boost yourself? Do you get regular inspiration that empowers you as a leader? Does your organization get the necessary vitamins? Do you have a plan to energize your people to take action?

The essence of leadership

Leadership is about moving an organization towards good business results It is about inspiring people to move in the same direction. It is about fostering action that creates success.

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers – Robin S. Sharma

As leaders, we create strategic input, develop a vision for the company. We set common goals. We make sure the budgets are in set to reach them. We have a full agenda every day. But, have you booked time in your agenda to nourish your organization?

Nourish your organization

Have you created a strategy on how to nourish all your plans and inspire your people to have enough fuel to reach your organizational goals?

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away

Too often, we are too busy to lead to remember that we need an apple a day to fuel the organization. Our people needs an apple, the clients need an apple, our suppliers need an apple, the strategy and plan also needs to be fueled and last but not least, we also need an apple a day as leaders.

You need to find the apple that can re-boost your energy, the apple that lifts you up, the apple that gives you energy to keep going. Inspiration and motivation are key factors to move and take action. All the element needs to be nourished to bloom. It only takes a snapshot.

Leadership focus

We all have weekly meetings. The agenda is full of budgets, issues, stories. We take the time to discuss all sorts of things. Unfortunately, my experience is that we spend far too little time in these meetings to discuss how we should get the organization to move in the right direction and make success a reality.

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality –  Earl Nightingale

What you focus on is what you get. We need inspirational apples on our weekly agenda. We should focus on how we as leaders should empower ourselves to move the organization. To become better, we should have time to discuss the importance of motivating people and what we as leaders and as a team can do to make sure we create that movement.

My experience is that this happens too little in most organizations My wish for this book is that it gives leaders inspiration to empower their leadership. This is the reason why I wrote Leadership Snapshots. My wish for this book is that it gives you the inspiration to empower your leadership. A snapshot a day keeps issues away, and will give you additional time to focus on the essentials in your leadership.

It only takes and apple, it only takes a snapshot – be inspirational!


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What would your organisation chart look like?

Do you have a classical management structure? Is your organisation chart made of boxes with positions? Have you ever had a closer look on what tasks the management team should perform? What would your organisation chart look like if you could design it from scratch?

Most organisation charts I see are made of traditional boxes. Except for minor differences, organisation charts pretty much look the same in all types of businesses.

The classical use of organisation charts

It’s a basic need for any organisation to have a structure to be able to fulfil its reason for existing. Organisation charts are made to get a quick visual overview of how the company is structured.

An organisation chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organisation and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions – Wikipedia

I have been working with a lot of companies where the organisation chart unfortunately is a historical document. Usually the chart is a reflection of traditional job descriptions. Most management teams are organised in boxes in which we put people and tasks.

The renewal of the top management team is done when one person leaves a box. A new person with more or less the same competency is often entered into the same box. The interaction of the boxes in the organisation chart is depending on the personal connection of the people who occupy the positions.

With a classical organisation chart, the relationship between the people in the boxes reflects the performance of the organisation. It’s a resource focused company.

Remove the dust of your organisation chart

Very few managers are in the position to start building the top team completely from scratch. Do not though take your organisation for granted. Make the effort to review your organisation chart.

Are all the boxes still needed? What tasks are performed by the managers holding the positions? Are some tasks done twice? Are all the tasks relevant? Is the job done because it always has? Are the boxes adapted to the persons in your team? Do people hold on to their tasks? Are you aware of your competency gap? Is your top structure flexible?

The classical organisations chart is close to 200 years. Is it time to remove the boxes?

We need creativity in order to break free from the temporary structures that have been set up by a particular sequence of experience – Edward de Bono

Globalisation, rapid innovations and a high cost focus are good reasons to energise your top structure. It might be an idea to move away from a resource focused organisation chart towards a top structure organised in flow.

LEAN your team out of the box

Take the time to position your top management structure. The efficiency of your top structure mirrors down in your organisation. Create a top structure with flow that is adapted to the value your organisation should provide to your clients.

Everyone is born with an instinct of success and ability to make it, but only the ones who think out of the box succeed – Unarine Ramary

Remove the boxes. Get the overview of all the tasks performed by the members in your management team. Validate that the tasks are still required. Remove the overlaps. Put the tasks in a logical order. Create a natural flow that is suited to serve your organisation.

Each time I have participated to this exercise, it is fascinating to see the results. The members of the team get quite a few A-ha moments during the process. The interactions and connections between the team members are strengthened. It makes room for flexibility. Creativity raise. Efficiency is increased. The organisation flows into place.

As a leader, you need to be personally involved in making your new organisation structure. The company never gets clearer than you are. Creating the frame of your company is your number one task to get a performing organisation.

Good luck with refreshing your leadership flow!


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LEAN Management

Are you a LEAN manager? Do you have a LEAN structure in your top management group? Did you apply LEAN when you created your organisation chart? Is LEAN anchored in your top management? Are you LEAN in the communication with your team? Do you apply LEAN to your own way of working?

LEAN is a philosophy of continuous improvement by reducing waste. Very often we tend to implement LEAN in parts of the organisation that focuses on producing a product or a service. What about the top management?

LEAN Management

In order to implement LEAN successfully in the organisation, management has to support the process and walk the talk. The whole management team needs to know what the organisation is doing and getting trained to follow up internal initiatives. Managers needs to ask questions in order to assist in finding optimal ways of organising the delivery.

To enhance the effect of LEAN, the structure should be set strategically to improve business results. Traditionally we organise the company according to the resources in the organisation. To set the structure, the management team should rather focus on the needs of the clients and adapt the organisation to the production or service flow.

…and when you set the structure, don’t forget to LEAN the top management structure – too often there is a lot of LEAN focus in the lower part of the organisation and too little at the top. This is valid both for the structure as well as for having a LEAN management process.

LEAN Managers

To obtain change in your team, all team members have to change their way of thinking – including you as a Manager. You have to go through the processes and how people work together with your team members. In addition, it is as important to go through your personal way of working and your management processes.

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing – W.Edwards Deming

It is always easier to pinpoint where others can improve. Still it is important to lead by example. As a manager you produce support, structure and service to your team members. Do you have a LEAN approach? Most managers can easily reduce the amount of mails, the number of hours in meetings, the number of unfruitful conversations….up to you to make the rest of the list!

LEAN management is having a clear and understandable way of leading your team. How you communicate should definitely be included in the overall LEAN strategy in the company. Meetings should have a structure, personnel conversations should be focused and the whole organisation should get information on a regular basis. The LEAN process should certainly also be applied to all your management communication.

LEAN culture

When the whole organisation thinks LEAN – you have achieved to create a LEAN company culture focusing on continuous improvement. LEAN then becomes a learning culture and not only a structured methodology. All learning organisation takes time on a regular basis to evaluate what works and what can be improved. Innovation and applying new technologies should also be an important part of the improving processes.

Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident – Abdul Kalam

LEAN should not only be an internal process. Involve your suppliers and clients whenever possible to have a look at the total process. Integrating your LEAN company culture with your quality management system is an excellent way of showing your clients that you provide what they need – with quality .…and should you want to document your excellency, the way to an ISO 9001:2015 certification will be easy!

Philosophy drives attitude. Attitude drives actions. Actions drive results. Results drive lifestyles – Jim Rohn

Good luck with creating a LEAN culture in your company!


LEAN – Focus on the Client’s Needs

Is your company producing at is optimal? Do you now that experts have estimated the cost of poor quality to be 5 to 30% of gross sales for most companies. How should you go about to find where the cost is and how to reduce them? Do you at all believe that your organization has room for improvements? …and do you create your process with the customer in mind?

They probably didn’t feel they had room for improvement in the 1950s when they organised the pit stops in Formula 1. It is though fascinating to see by how much they have increased the efficiency and shortened the time that the car stands still while they perform the same tasks.

What happened and how did they manage to improve to perfection?

With heart for the client

The answer is simple: they had a heartly focus on the customer! The Formula 1 team has a clear passion for becoming the best at all time. The team’s passion is obviously to assist the driver in becoming the best so that the whole team can shine together. The team is clearly focusing on providing the best process to their internal client – the driver.

In addition, all Formula 1 teams have external clients called supporters. The Formula 1 team’s other clearly defined focus point is to deliver satisfying results to the supporters.

Delivering an optimal process and good results is far easier when it is done with heart and passion for what you do….and the process makes itself when you keep focus on what the client wants.

Room for improvement

Having clearly defined processes seems very simple. It is although often where we fail in organisations. We tend to get used to work the way we always have. Too often the number of tasks performed in the process have increased without a critical view on what’s really needed and in accordance with the client´s needs.

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process – Vincent Van Gogh

Obviously, when there is no clear process, everybody adds a little personal touch. Too often our personal touch is personal and might not be in line with the client’s wishes. Hence, the total quality might differ quite a lot and the variations in the final delivery could become quite important.

Clearly defined processes and process flow

LEAN is a structured method to streamline processes and organise the process flow in an optimal way to reduce waste.

Defining the processes is providing people with a tool to deliver even better quality work.
Traditionally we tend to organise our staff by thinking resource optimisation. The job descriptions are set and a person is introduced to the position. Unfortunately, too often we maintain the organisation chart based on the employees and the traditional job descriptions, without thinking about the needs of the clients.

Organising the workforce to optimise the processes increases the performance of the teams. The work comes in a natural order and is processed step by step.

Thinking LEAN is simply having a philosophy were each employee can win 5 minutes a day – and half an hour per week. Multiplied by the number of employees this gives a lot of extra time to focus on the core business that gives income and providing the clients with quality.

LEAN is a learning process

Too often LEAN is looked upon just as a method to structure work. It is much more. LEAN is a way of thinking and especially organizing your internal training. Introducing LEAN by removing unnecessary tasks and streamlining the process, gives more time for creativity.

Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits – Twyla Tharp

A learning organisation is able to go back and review the processes on a regular basis and my experience is that they also have a joyful teamwork.

The Formula 1 team has clearly defined tasks. They’re working in a process flow, they’re focused on the client’s needs and they continuously improve their job by training and developing new ways of working….this business is the perfect example on how introducing a LEAN culture can improve the final results and get happier clients.

Continue to LEAN your pit stops with a heart for the client and occasionally think radically out of the box and you will for sure boost your business!

Good luck with your heartly client focus!


Organisasjonsutvikling, Successfull business

Successfull Business – can you Manage the Balance?

Ever had the feeling that some things didn´t turn out right in your business or in a business relationship? Did it feel like a colleague got a more favorable treatment than you? Do you, as a manager, do all the work on behalf of your team? Are you being paid enough for the service or product you´re selling? Does the market recognize your business?

All these questions are the same as the ones we encounter in our personal life. Does it feel like you are doing much more at home than your partner? Do you feel like your sons soccer coach treats other kids more favorably? Do you have the feeling that your parents favored one of your siblings?

It is all a question of balance – the balance between giving and taking.

Per definition human beings needs balance to function physically and chemically. This is also valid for any interaction we have with other people including a business relationship. When we give something to someone, we need to receive something back. In some situations, this could be a simple reward like a ”thank you.” Other times it could be a favour. In a business situations, this return could be done by exchanging ideas, giving back support or simply paying for a service or a product you just received.

What gets very interesting is when the other person or organization lacks the ability to give back something that equals what you gave them. In those situations, we are often bound by our chemical need to give something back. And as a result we might start returning some kind of negativity.

This principle of balance between giving and taking is important when it comes to running a business. As a manager you might have employees that do not deliver what they should. As a consultant I have met with so many managers that claim they do everything to please their employees – and yet the employees still don´t produce the work that is expected of them. Sometimes it even goes so far that the manager ends up doing their jobs for them.

So – how about doing less as a manager? The more you do your team member´s job – the less they will deliver. Not possible you say? Yes, unfortunately it is. It is all about coming back to what they should do and what you should not. It is always your own responsibility, as a person and a manager, to find that balance between giving and taking.

Other times, in order to re-create a balance, you might have to do more. This is typically the case when a business is downsizing. Even though you think you have communicate enough as a manager, there is often complaints in the organization that there should be more communication. In this case, your colleagues actually want more information from you and the negative feed-back is valid.

As a business manager, a colleague, a family member or just being responsible of your own life – you can take on responsibility to create the needed balance. This work til help you obtain balanced results and building a safe bridge over troubled water.

The same balance is necessary for your business. As a business manager you should find the point where your relationship to your clients and suppliers is equal. The higher the balance is between yourself and your interlocutor – the better the relationship and the more successful your business will become!

Good luck in creating balance in life and in business!