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I picked this quote because of a commercial I’ve seen; you may have seen it too. It’s the one where the spokesman (for an insurance company) says “Will this be remembered as the great recession or the recession that made us great?”

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

We all are striving to make it through these turbulent economic times. Some of us are starting to see the recovery, others are tentative, and still others are waiting for a sign that there is a recovery. Which ever your situation, you have to ask “What did we learn from this and how can it make us better?”

When things are going swimmingly, it can be hard to think of improvement. You might have heard people saying things like “We’re making money, so we must be doing something right.” But as we all learned, we have to learn to adapt and change to our environment in order to survive. But, do we just want to survive? Don’t we want to thrive? Any company that has been able to use continuous improvement during these hard times should be commended. I know that it is easy to give up on Kaizen when things are tough, but that in fact, is when we need it the most.

So as we start to pull out of these difficulties, did we identify and implement any opportunities? Send me your success stories and maybe we can share them with others.

Thanks – Tony

Keep up the good work!

Like most Americans I took yesterday off and reflected on the people that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. For Memorial Day, I decided to use a quote from General (Ret.) Colin Powell. Do you have the right people on your team?

“You give me the right people, and I don’t much care what organization you give me. Good things will happen.  Give me the wrong people, and it doesn’t matter what you do with the organization.  Bad things will happen.” – Colin Powell

That is a pretty powerful statement. Think about your organization – do you have the right people? Are they able to change with the times? This is akin to Jim Collin’s (author of “Good to Great”) notion of getting the right people on the bus. Another way I like to say it is “Hire for attitude, train for skills.” If you have people that have a great attitude (willing to learn, change, try new things, etc.) then, for the most part, you can train them achieve a great level of success. Of course, there are skills that are just natural gifts, but those too need to be coached and guided. Think about a surgeon with steady hands or Michael Jordan skills on the basketball court. So let’s get the right people on the team, train them correctly, and coach them.

So here’s to your team and that “Good things will happen.”

Here’s a salute to my fellow veteran’s that have served or are currently serving our country.