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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Success contains a blend of 'free' & 'disciplined' thinking.

by Rick Baker
On Sep 5, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Creativity versus LogicEntrepreneurship versus Big Business. Rock Logic versus Water Logic.Einstein versus Socrates. The School of Hard Knocks versus Academia. Right-brain versus Left-brain[which I think is a dangerous over-simplification of how the human brain actually works].

Regardless of how we define their difference we need to keep these opposites in proper balance.

How do you find the proper balance between 'free' & 'disciplined' thinking?


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Thought Tweets

Discipline is the key to putting Talent to good use.

by Rick Baker
On Sep 4, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Tweet 

When discipline is absent Talent is dormant, submerged, and wasted.

That's why discipline is a good thing.

Discipline serves a key role when success is in action.



Business Contains Only 3 Things | Thought Tweets

Meetings, Communication, & Culture

by Rick Baker
On Aug 12, 2014

Business Contains Only 3 Things: People, Process, & Situations

… and …

People Do Only 3 Things: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things

Meetings should be treated as opportunities to grow good habits: good habits about people, good habits about processes, & good habits about situations.

Culture Statements should contain many general statements about good habits. That will help people understand how Culture Statements can be applied during their workdays…i.e., specific real-work applications.

An excellent way to start is to:

  1. Talk about one or two Culture Statements at every regularly scheduled meeting and
  2. Do New Things that show people how they should act

When you hold meetings, talk about the Culture you desire. This could be as simple as having the chair of the meeting start the meeting with a 30-second personal story that fits the culture. Or, start each meeting with a round-the-table ‘getting present’ question like…”How are you feeling right now and why?” [People would need to learn how to be very concise with their answers]

Or, ask questions like, “How have you used your talents & strengths since our last meeting?

These sorts of questions help people get engaged. If a person struggles to get engaged then that person’s boss can coach and train between meetings.

People do their best when they are engaged…not just engaged doing tasks but engaged feeling like they are part of a winning team that is determined to build terrific things and do terrific business. [I know that can sound hokey…and it is hokey when it is done via lip service only…however, it is energizing when it is done in synch with Culture Statements.]

Show people how you want them to act:

  1. Company leaders need to buy into the Culture Statements and ‘best practices for meetings’ and, where required, make changes to how they act in meetings [replacing bad habits with good habits]
  2. Company leaders need to do new things to expand their ability to Influence other’s behaviour. Leaders need to illustrate their accountability – leading by example.

Linked to this, ensure ongoing communication that promotes good meeting practices [good habits]:

  1. People should feel comfortable talking about errors/problems [this means everyone; nobody should leave a meeting angry/annoyed]
  2. Learning from our errors [like that excellent Battler follow-up session]
  3. Celebrating our education [not silly or excessive…but little things that breed comfort in communicating about errors so we maximize our ability to minimize them not repeat the same ones, etc.

Change is Constructive Only When People are Comfortable.

Communication, when pre-planned to fit situations and delivered with confidence, helps people be more comfortable and more productive.



...at the interface of management People and management Process

by Rick Baker
On Jul 31, 2014

Reports and reporting tools sit at the interface between management People and management Process.

If managers are doing the right things then automated reporting tools provide value.

If managers are not doing the right things then automated tools simply add to the confusion.


Business Contains Only 3 Things

A 3-Step Strategy for Solving Problems

by Rick Baker
On Jul 25, 2014

Step 1 of 3Identify the form of the Problem

Problems appear in three forms:

  1. The problems you perceive in the form of other People's thoughts, behaviours or actions...from non-action to argument to errors.
  2. The problems you perceive in the form of less-than-acceptable Processes...from flawed software to broken hammers to grinding gears.
  3. The problems you perceive when you face certain Situations...from new Situations to fearful Situations.
Note the repetition of the words "the problems you perceive". As the saying goes, One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure...Problems are always in the minds of their beholders.
Step 2 of 3: Help People focus on solving the Problem
When problems arise many people experience negative thoughts and feelings. These negative mindsets cause them to waste energy (1) trying to identify and analyse where things went wrong and (2) trying to place the blame on other people or, even worse, trying to place the blame on inanimate objects. While there is value in identifying the roots of problems, in most non-emergency situations and many emergency situations that isn't something that needs to be done immediately. It is best to spend energy focusing on solutions rather than diluting energy by trying to focus on both solutions and causes. The side-benefit, not to be underestimated, is people feel more comfortable working on solutions than working on identifying causes or placing blame. 
Step 3 of 3: Teach People how to learn from their Problems
The best way to help people learn from problems is to have a process for handling problems and make a practise of following that procedure until it becomes a skill. When people know a process will be followed to address problems and find solutions their anxieties are reduced. With less anxieties clouding their thoughts, people are able to focus, concentrate, and think with clarity. And, as a side benefit, their ability to remember increases. 

Here is the process we use to teach People how to learn from their Problems...

7 Steps to Learning from Problems:

  1. A Problem Arises [100% guaranteed to happen...Identify them]
  2. STOP [focus attention - multi-tasking won’t work]
  3. Get Present – no ‘past regrets’, no ‘future worries’
  4. Be Thick Skinned – admit errors
  5. Be Objective – no fault, observe, ask questions & learn
  6. Talk & Walk P=2S+O
  7. Talk & Walk P=O2L
[About that P=O2L...every Problem provides an Opportunity to Learn...the smartest, most self-reliant, and most-successful people know this principle and put it to use.]


Business Contains Only 3 Things | Solutions & Opportunities

The Law of Attraction...for unbelievers

by Rick Baker
On Jul 14, 2014

When you have a positive mindset you tend to see the positive things in situations and people.

When you are upbeat and enthusiastic about the future you tend to see the positive things in situations and people.

And upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic people tend to attract people who hold similar mindsets.

When brought together in a spirit of harmony upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic people tend to energize one another.

With high energy levels and positive mindsets groups of people are able to perform large volumes of goal-focused actions.

Naturally, all of these things combine to promote success and the achievement of goals.

With thoughts like those outlined above it is relatively easy to come to the conclusion that positive mental attitudes, reflecting belief in the abilities of people, can lead to better handling of a range of situations. With these mindsets situations can be handled well, in real time as they arise. Seeing people in a positive light and handling situations well are the proven ways to achieve goals and obtain success.

That is one way to look at the Law of Attraction.

I recognize this is a limited way of thinking about the Law of Attraction. I recognize there are far-expanded versions of the Law of Attraction that take people deep into the realm of metaphysics and cosmic thought.

The Law of Attraction does not have to be metaphysical. It can be thought of in common-sense terms.  It can be thought of in practical terms. It can be thought of in simple terms.

In simple terms, the Law of Attraction is - Like Attracts Like.

Positivity attracts positivity. Success-orientation attracts success-orientation. With these common-sense facts of life in mind, it is easy to understand how we tend to get what we wish for when that wishing is done with a mindset laced in enthusiasm and positive energy.

We do not have to enter the territory of metaphysical zealots to believe in the Law of Attraction.

We just have to step back and use a little common sense.

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