It seems unbelievable to me that it’s already November! October was a whirlwind of travel and project activity.

We launched new projects for three existing clients that will have strong strategic impact for 2010; keeping me hopping through the end of the year. I launched two projects for brand new clients. I have not taken a new client in a while and have been working on trying to get traction with these two companies for a year. It was fantastic to finally launch something. The initial response is very positive and I hope this is just the beginning of a great relationship.

November is traditionally a slow month as the holidays creep into project planning, but not this year. I have client projects in four different cities in the first three weeks. Included in that project blend will be getting ready to launch the London project which will take me across the pond in early December.

Most of my recent project work is based around two key strategic platforms – Repeatable Successful Acts (RSA) and our latest program on strategic planning called Upside Down Thinking. As markets change and shift, it is critical to make sure your thinking and actions reflect new models.

Below is a link to a new article entitled Einstein’s Notebook. I have it posted on the web site as well. I hope you like it.

“It has been said that to argue against change is like arguing against the laws of gravity” – Kofi Annan

Believe it or not physics, the language of the universe, impacts the companies we work for. Let me give you one key example: it’s what we call – Performance Gravity


Just like gravity controls the elliptical orbits of the members of our little solar neighborhood so does the performance patterns of your company impact you, your team, your clients and your share holders. Gravity holds planets in place and allows them to follow a very familiar path in their journey around the sun, the largest object in our system, which dictates that familiar trajectory.

Organizations follow very similar laws in their “Performance Gravity”. They become comfortable in what they do. Their actions are repeated around this comfort and dictated by the largest force that is currently pulling on them. This performance gravity makes change a very tough issue for an organization. Companies large and small feel the same pull.

Now this gravity is not always bad. In fact, it often is a sign of consistency and related to success. But it is a holding force, keeping you in the same place and often causes you to take an insular view of things. In a world of exponential change, Performance Gravity can kill:

So, what do you do to break out of your Performance Gravity? Here are a couple of ideas:

Don’t Look in The Same Universe: Pick three companies similar to, but NOT your field. If you are a clothing retailer, pick a computer retailer and examine their sales strategy, their marketing, their customer service. Set up a meeting where you can take a critical look at the information and decide if any of it is adaptable to your situation. This is a Performance Gravity buster!

Study: The pace of change requires you to be in constant contact with what’s going on. Build time into your schedule to make this happen. Here is a good way to think about sources:

Don’t let the comfort of your own gravity blind you to the opportunity that a simple stretch will bring you.


Stretch Your Sphere of Influence: Seems like not a day goes by that Apple is not in the news. Here is an interesting example of stretching your impact. Apple is getting ready to build a new high profile retail outlet in Chicago. The store will be a cornerstone in the redevelopment of the neighborhood. Noticing the mass transit stop right across from the proposed site was in a horrible state of disrepair; Apple approached the City and proposed to spend $4 million to renovate the transit station. Their idea was to extend the Apple experience beyond their stick and brick store. Apple works best when the surrounding site reflects their innovative view. The city saw an opportunity to mitigate its transit maintenance cost. Talk about busting your Performance Gravity, WOW!

What’s Google Thinking? Eric Schmidt the CEO of Google recently presented his ideas on what’s going to happen to the web. Some interesting stuff. Real time will become the measuring stick of information. The challenge will behow to rank real time information in terms of importance. This shiftmakes the web more powerful for business than we can currently imagine. Teenagers' use of the web is creating a model of how the web will evolve in the next 5 years. You have to pay attention. The need to jump from application to application seamlessly will be a differentiator for success. Video and user content will become the backbone of the web and businesses that understand how to leverage this will lead the new models. Good stuff!

Creativity is Everywhere: A truck approaches the Arizona border's expensive fence/barrier, designed to stop drug runners, and extends a custom designed ramp. A small ATV comes out of the truck carrying bales of marijuana and calmly drops them off. It then returns to the truck via the ramp and the truck returns to the darkness of the Mexican desert. As fast as we can come up with solutions, drug smugglers create new avenues to access America. Ultra light planes and trap door tunnels are signals that supply and demand drives creative thinking. Despite an increase in border fencing construction of $2.5 billion, an increase of agents from 12,000 to 20,000 and US Customs spending $8.1 billion on border protection, smugglers simply adjust and move on. It’s about trying to get a step ahead of the competition and learn to think differently to disrupt emerging patterns, a strategy the Government is now embracing.



CONTACT: Interested in these ideas?

You can contact Steve at or give him a call at 972-490-7717.