Archive for February, 2014

I learn therefore I am…

Some weeks pass fairly routinely. Some weeks are full of LEARNING. Learning can be painful. Literally. Last week was a week of learning for me. Here’s what I learnt –

On Monday I learnt that just because I’m up early and wanting to start my week productively, it does not automatically follow that the tween off-spring are similarly motivated. I also learnt that I probably do too much for them!

On Tuesday I re-learned the value of spending time with like-minded colleagues. I travelled between Hamilton and Auckland with Richard Francis from Bruntwood Consulting, a colleague I often conduct strategic thinking and planning seminars with. Great to expand ideas, and share concepts with someone on the same page!

On Wednesday I learnt how good it feels to achieve goals even if they are past your desired deadlines. I finally finished a project that has gone on for months longer than I had wanted it to. I also reached one of my personal 2013 goals- finally!

Thursday was a day of massive learning. On Thursday I learnt several things in the space of about 1 – 2 seconds. Firstly, I learnt that steam burns – really burns. Secondly I learnt not to reach over the top of a boiling kettle even if you are about to drop the lid of a canister. Thirdly I learnt that all the cold water in the world won’t stop blistered skin from hurting. And over the next few days I learnt how to dress and change bandages on burnt skin. Youch! Won’t do that again.

On Thursday I also remembered the value of networking and how business people are great company, when I attended the Waikato Networking Group monthly café meeting (that was before I burnt myself). I learnt at that meeting about two local businesses that will really help me and some of my clients. I hope some others learnt a bit more about what I do.

On Friday I re-learnt how important it is to have adaptable presentation styles when I spoke in quick succession to a group of blue collar workers, some of whom are illiterate, and then a group of professionals. Same topic, very different ways of communicating required.  I also learnt that when you have a painful injury, kids, mortgages and a business to run, Valentine’s Day can pass you by.  Luckily I also re-learnt how romantic my hubby is – a lovely red rose and ‘marriage joke book’.  I particularly like the joke that ‘A married woman spends most of her time dealing with problems she wouldn’t have had if she wasn’t married.’  I’m sure that wasn’t his favourite!

On Saturday, I learnt again that being in business is not a Monday – Friday 9 – 5 job. I also remembered how fortunate I am to be in a business where I can really help other businesses, and have the personal flexibility of working times that I enjoy!

On Sunday I remembered what a beautiful country New Zealand is when I arrived in Taupo to work for the next three days. The Lake looked gorgeous in the fading sun with three swans catching supper, right outside my hotel window.

Have a good week and hope you learn something!

Find out more about Jenni at

Categories: Coaching, Humour, Leadership

Don’t be discrete

That’s discrete, not discreet.  Of course you should be discreet, when the situation requires.  But I regularly see business owners and professionals being discrete, and therefore failing to think strategically or creatively.

What do I mean by that?  I mean absorbing a piece of information as a discrete issue, and not seeing linkages, risks and opportunities for themselves, their clients (communities, etc etc) that might be related to it.  For instance, one of my clients belonged to a national professional association that changed its name to a more modern version of the old one.  My client had close competitors in their city, and upon discovering this name change, we organized for them to register the same name but with their city name in front.  One of their competitors had the largest market share, and some months later announced to its customers that it was changing its name to the name my client had registered.  Of course, they were unable to do that, and when they were ready, my client began using the new name, gaining the prestige of the national linkage and building market share.  

We did not see the information about the national name change as a discrete issue.  We predicted the likely trend from that information, understood it was an opportunity and acted, stealing the march on the dominant industry player. Had we seen the information discretely, we would have simply voiced our view of how the new name sounded and left it at that, until we noticed others around the country changing their names as well. Like my client’s competitor, that may have been too late.

Whenever I am absorbing information – whether it is news or other’s opinions, whether from print media, tv or online – I am asking myself how this might link to or impact on my business, or those of my clients.  Sometimes it doesn’t, in any significant way.  Often it might do, and then I explore those ideas further.

Strategic and creative thinkers see opportunities everywhere.  Anyone can learn to do that, simply by asking a few questions of yourself about where, when and how that information might impact on your business or industry.  Don’t be discrete in your thinking.  Find the connection!


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Categories: Business and Strategy
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