news2use | April 2021

The master asked one of his young students to bring a pail of water as he was thirsty. The student brought the pail of water, and after the master had drunk his fill, the young student threw out the remaining water.


The master said to his student, “With that remaining water, you could have watered the temple plants.”


In that instant, the young student learned a lesson. There was more opportunity than simply fulfilling the initial task he was asked.


As we dutifully “carry our pail of water”, holding the line of covid measures that keep us safe, it is easy to miss moments around us that are significant.


The hopeful talk of returning to a life of before, travelling freely and moving without masks is desirable; yet we should remember to make the most of the water pail we carry now.


Do not be surprised, if at some point in the future, we look back and long for some of the experiences that are unique to us now.


Like the young student who desperately wants wisdom but is careless in his routine chores, we too can forget that purpose and pleasure can be found in the smallest of moments, like the leftover water in the pail.


Enjoy your April news2use and make the most of your moments, now.



“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

Have you ever heard someone talk about a person who has left the company in a negative fashion? The person is gone, not there to defend themselves or share their point of view. Or someone has approached you and spoken negatively about another person, but not to the person who is the center of the conversation.

Do not let yourself be a part of such conversations. Gently, yet respectfully ask, “When you shared, what you are sharing with me, with the person you are speaking about, what did they say?”

You will usually get a puzzled look and that person will respond, “Well, I haven’t actually spoken to that person about this”, and you can add, “Well, it seems as if this is concerning you and my advice is to share it with the person you are talking about.”

This is a case of being courteous and courageous.

Talking about someone who has left the company negatively is not courageous leadership. Courageous leadership is telling someone directly your impressions of them. Cowardly leadership is when you speak poorly of another person and they cannot defend themselves or share their point of view.

The art of courageous leadership starts with self-discipline. Let us see how each of us can be the example we expect of others.

What we tolerate, or passively support, is what we become.

For You & Your Team

Are your best practices hiding in isolation?

You may remember an activity I use called “13 Nails” to take a deeper dive into creative thinking, innovation, and teamwork. It is an old carpenter’s game and provides experiences than one can transfer back into the everyday business.

The task, done in smaller groups, is to balance all 13 nails on the head of the nail in the block, without any other resources.

There are often one or more of these smaller groups that manage the task.

Remarkable, you say.

Yes and no. More interesting than the speed at which people can “solve the problem” is what happens after they solve it.

Most often those that come up with a solution hide their results and do everything they can not to share how they managed the challenge at hand. During the debriefing, what begins as a proud moment of achievement leads to deeper thinking about their culture of sharing and hiding information, best practices, and other critical know-how.

What is happening across your business? Are your great ideas living in isolation?

Talking about knowledge sharing means little if you practice knowledge hiding.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

Travel restrictions related to Covid-19 saved company travel budgets about $700 billion in the past year, according to the Financial Times. Amazon announced it saved $1 billion in employee travel expenses this past year, yet other expenses increased due to social distancing measures, testing employees for the coronavirus and acquiring protective supplies for personnel.

Nevertheless, there were huge savings as business professionals were hopping on Zoom, Teams & WebEx instead of airplanes this past year.

What did your company do with these unexpected travel surpluses?

If you were the CEO of your company, what would you do with the travel budgets that were not used last year?

Let me know your experiences and ideas and I will consolidate and share them (anonymously if you choose) in the next news2use!

People, Places & Technology

I recently had the opportunity to exchange with Srikantan (Tan) Moorthy and Thirumala Arohi Mamunooru from Infosys about their experiences to create a global best practice learning organization through digital transformation. Infosys, with its 240,000 employees and $12.8 billion in revenues was recognized as one of the world’s best regarded companies by Forbes in 2019.

Originally started as an internal learning initiative, Infosys has now opened their digital learning platform up to current and prospective customers. It is, without question, one of the finest digital learning platforms I have ever seen. If you intend to drive your digital learning initiatives on a global scale, it would be worth speaking to the folks at Infosys, as they have put together a most impressive system to encourage and support both hard and soft skill learning in an innovative way.

Thanks to Dr Yury Boshyk and the Global Forum team for making this enriching and enjoyable exchange possible!

Thought for the Day

“The only friction between an employee and their learning should be their motivation.”
-Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the Board, Infosys


Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.