Uncommon Wisdom Think Tank

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Are you trying to operate without a foundation?


Do your employees wait for you to tell them what to do?  Do you have trouble managing your own time? Do you spend a lot of time getting people moving in the right direction? Is your business just not operating in the way you would hope?

No matter what your problem, set your foundation!
In my work, I see a lot of new groups and a lot of new companies. The first thing I do in most cases is create a mission and a vision. Many times the manager or business leader that I am working with will squawk, "That isn't my problem." But it is the problem that is causing the problem. Most problems in the operation of a business are tied to a lack of a clearly defined and well communicated mission and vision.

No matter where you are, set your foundation!
I also get a lot of mid-level managers complaining to me, "My exec are dragging their feet in creating a vision." You can create a mission and vision wherever you are. Don't wait for anyone above you, become the leader.  And if your exec finally creates a vision, go with the flow and adapt yours to support his.

What is so great about a mission and vision?
The mission and vision form the foundation for all actions. The mission answers, "Why?" And the vision answers "How?" With the answers to these questions clearly in mind, everyone can act in ways that align with the business.



Adam.  :-)


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Wednesday, July 13, 2005


7 Underlying Universal Principles

What is the secret to life, the universe,and everything? Fourty Two of course! We laugh at the ludicrousness, but what if there was a secret. What if there were a few simple principles that underlay all situations and activities?

What if there were a few simple principles that underlay all situations and activities?

Last Sunday afternoon, after church, and after I got the kids fed. I sat back and and began to ponder. Why is uncommon wisdom so complex? I have spent my life simplifying things to theier core and unadulterated truth, but explaining uncommon wisdom alwas seemed to be a long drawn out conversation. Why doesn't everyone get it? At first this question was an intersting mental exercise but then it began to plague me.

This question plagued me!

I began to search all of my past experiences of doing things right, doing things wrong and understanding the difference. I mentally reviewed all of the books by Deming, Senge, Goldratt and others that I have read. And eventually the model began to surface. Through every dilemma, and every problem there appeared to by only seven basic fundamental principles.

Seven Basic Principles.

As I ran through every book and scenario I could think of, I tried to break the model. I constantly asked myself, what situation doesn't fit this model. A couple of times I was able to find something, but a slight modification to the model was all that was required to make it robust. Here are the principles:

I hope you find this model has helpful as I have.


Adam. :-)
Iconoclast & Intellectual Rogue

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Is your team wasting precious time ?

A client asked me for some assistance in the planning for an upcoming workshop. Not to long after I joined his team's discussion on the objectives and agenda for the meeting, I realized that several individuals were troubled - they were frustrated about the lack of progress in planning and several members of the workshop planning team were no longer contributing. This blog entry identifies a very quick way to levelset a team on the scope of a process or near-term deliverable and put a plan in place for success.

Solutions to problems found in other industries / disciplines

I'm not sure what comment triggered the thought, but Systems Engineers and Process Designers utilize a very simple tool to quickly define the scope - an IDEF0 Process diagram. I hadn't ever utilized the tool to manage the scope of an agenda or to levelset a team on a near-term objective, but the key concepts of managing objectives and team tasks is certainly covered in many texts.

Adaptation of concepts from other fields/industries is often just a language change

A short time later the following blank template was on the white board and the team was levelset on the deliverables from the workshop and the strategic (and compelling reasons why the deliverables were needed.

Magic Revealed

OK, I didn't lay it out quite as clearly as shown above. The real issue the team was facing was the scope of the meeting - how much work could really be expected to be completed in the allotted time for the workshop (40 people flying into town for 3 days). The first version of the "agenda box" was actually titled "Magic Happens Here!"

The "Magic" was clarified as the team went through a process of discussing the current state of the necessary inputs, and defining the activities that could occur prior to the meeting (building straw-man) inputs for the team to revise during the workshop.

Good teams take ownership

My next success was that somewhere in the discussion, an individual in the team started talking about an idea - when I claimed confusion and handed off the white board pen, the team really took charge and worked out the final version of the "process flow" diagram that looked something like this and a corresponding action plan. The team also found a way to add several team building exercises to the agenda of the workshop.

For some additional resources for facilitating teams, the following book is suggested.

This book contains fun activities & ideas to break through the barriers people bring to meetings and strengthen team member bonds. Having fun in a workshop is encouraged.

I wish you well in your leadership learning,

Jerry Hartman
Process Guy for a Day.


A rich cat taught me NLP

Did you ever meet a wealthy feline that could teach cognitive behavioral psychology and advanced hypnosis techniques?

Well I did. Rich Aanrich and Cat Wilson call themselves the "Rich Cat" team. They combine learning with fun, or is it fun with learning? Anyway they both have hearts of gold and it came through as they taught me an impressive array of techniques that I can use to help myslef and to help others.

A Positive Change- Our Philosophy


Do you have a strategy for Failure?

I was talking to a friend of mine today about what has made him a success for so many years. I was amazed when he looked at me and told me that he didn't tell most people because their eyes glaze over. If you know me, I was all over that. What principles was he using? Is there any
uncommon wisdom in there?

He used to prepare for failure!

He started off by explaining that many businesses prepare to fail. In fact he did until he learned to take small steps in implementing a new plan. He explained to me that no one knows for sure how much customers will purchase until a test has been run.

I knew that ... I thought

Well, I knew that. I was about to turn off my brain, but I am working on my listening skill. My associate, Steve Dightman says that everyone has valuable insights to share if one is just willing to wait and listen. I am all about learning, so I waited and listened.

I didn't know what I didn't know.

Was I amazed? Yes. He started to tell me how there are small companies out there that don't have a lot of money to spend, but are looking for a competitive advantage. And there are large companies out there that have a lot of money to spend, but are only interested in proven solutions. Now I knew what I didn't know: "How to sell to a big company and make a lot of money when you have a new product."

I didn't really know what I didn't know yet.

Ok. I didn't really get it yet. The key he said, is to have a strategy. The strategy is partner with the small company and prove a solution a little piece at a time. That way, over time you have a proven solution to sell to a big company.

Ok I was really excited, but I didn't fully understand yet.

He said that he doesn't just go to a small company and say, "here is everything I have... will you please use it?". In stead, he approaches a small company with a deal, he puts in some money and they put in some money. He also has three criteria for the project.
1. How much money the project will generate.
2. How satisfied his customer will be. And
3. How much new technology can be developed by the project.

With this formula he has built up quite a lot of business with large and small companies, and he has created opportunities to extend and integrate his solution suite.

My friend said he found the information on strategy in the book "Crossing the Chasm".

The best foundation of information on marketing and testing are in the following books.

Scientific advertising: Getting
everything you can out of all you've got:

Best Regards

Adam J. Betcher

Iconoclast and Intellectual Rogue

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Are your beliefs keeping you poor?

I just attended a class by L. Michael Hall called "Mastering Your Personal Wealth Matrix". Michael is the developer of NeuroSemantics. NeuroSemantics is an advanced set of tools based upon NLP which is a specialization of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology. A matrix is a set of beliefs and feelings that support a prescribed outcome. In the class we learned what beliefs supported the acquisition of wealth. But this was not the really interesting part. The really
interesting part is that we learned how to change our beliefs.

The really interesting part is that we learned how to change our beliefs!
Imagine this. I had a belief that it was painful to tell people about my consulting and coaching if they were a potential prospect. What if I sounded "salesey" instead of sincere? What if I wasn't able to help the person because they thought I wanted money from them?

I was ashamed
This has held me back from helping several people and I was ashamed because they could have used my help.

Installing an empowering belief
At the class we learned that we are able to think about our thinking. We can have an executive frame in our mind say NO to a dis-empowering belief and YES to an empowering belief.

I installed a new belief .
I wanted the belief that, "I enjoy telling people what I do because it gives me an opportunity to help them!" In the workshop, I eliminated the old belief and installed the new belief.
Now I love to tell people what I do, "I help people find their financial and personal wealth through the application of uncommon wisdom."

You can find many articles on Michael's web site http://www.neurosemantics.com/. or get some of his books at amazon.com.
The book on installing beliefs is Frame Games- Persuasion Excellence, a book on the beliefs that support successfully running a business is Games Business Experts Play.