news2use | June 2018

June brings “halftime” to 2018.

The concept of halftime dates back to 19th century team sports in England. In those days, the first half was played by one team’s rules and the second half was played by the other team’s rules. Different rules for different halves ended, for the most part, in the 1860s when football rules were standardized.

Yet halftime remains with us and most team sports are played in two halves, (excluding baseball, hockey and cricket) which has given birth to halftime shows, mega commercial showdowns and star shows.

In any case, our calendar “halftime” for 2018 is an excellent opportunity to step back, reflect on what’s working well, and look ahead to the opportunities available to us in the “second half” of 2018.

Another halftime tradition is changing ends of the field. In the past this gave each team the opportunity to experience the natural conditions (sunlight, wind, field conditions) of the other end of the field.

How often do we change ends of the field, to see and feel how those around us experience the game from their end of the field?

Create some space during your 2018 halftime and spend time with people at their side of the field, particularly your customers. Ask customers how you helped them “score big” in the first half and what you can do to support their success in the second half.

When our customers win, we all win.

Enjoy your read and many thanks for the comments and ideas from May’s news2use.




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

For You

Presenting to the executive team can be a challenging and unpredictable experience for many. A good part of my work involves observing executive teams during their meetings; how they discuss topics, reach decisions, manage conflict and learn from each other.

During these meetings, subject experts from other parts of the organization are often asked to present so that the executive team can take strategic decisions.

People who present at these meetings often tell me it’s one of the most stressful settings that they are involved in and ask for advice to manage these situations more effectively.

Here are six things to keep in mind when presenting to senior leadership teams that will lead to a constructive atmosphere and positive outcomes:

  • Your presentation objective(s) must be crystal clear
  • Address points that will touch different executive viewpoints (sales, supply chain, manufacturing, R&D)
  • Always present options (clearly and no more than three)
  • Take a personal stand
  • Stay flexible (You rarely get the amount of time promised to you.)
  • T.M.S.I.D.K*

*Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – a frequent response from executives. Too many presenters feel they have to “prove themselves worthy” and attempt to demonstrate all they know everything about a subject and that’s not the point of these presentations.

Outline the situation (including risks and rewards), describe the options and take a personal stand, meaning what would you do if the decision were yours to take?

While most executive presentations require a back-up deck for deeper details, you’ve also got to be prepared to adapt your primary presentation with the time that you actually get. If you’re given 30 minutes (a lot of time in executive meetings), be prepared to do it in ten minutes, twenty minutes if needed.


For You & Your Team

How do you make your meetings matter?

Company culture is created by the way you hold your company meetings. Vital aspects of your firm’s cultural code; power, priorities, decision making and collaborative excellence come to life (or not) in your meetings.

At the very senior level, non-executive, i.e. operational issues consume 40% of executive meetings, wasting time, setting a poor example and preventing senior leaders from creating breakthroughs for the businesses they lead. At the end of the day, a leadership team is only as effective as the meetings they run.

This goes for everyone in the company as meetings are the most used way to collaborate, solve problems and create results.

Here are three ways to improve the quality and results of your meetings and thereby “positively modifying” your company’s performance culture:

  1. Stop running meetings on the hour and run them at 45 or 50 minute intervals. Give yourself some real space between meetings. Most corporate meeting cycles run on the hour, and you can’t end one meeting and be in the other when one meeting ends on the hour. (Which most don’t.) You’re setting yourself up for failure if you try to run your meeting schedule on the hour.
  2. If you want your meetings to improve (and your company culture) then you have to improve. To play at your best; mental preparation is required. Use these three questions to help you mentally prepare for your upcoming meetings. As you look over your agenda for next week, take a few minutes to review each meeting with these questions in mind:
    –  Why is this going to be a very effective meeting in the morning?
    –  How can I participate to make our meeting a success?
    –  What specifically do I need to contribute or get from this meeting for it to be effective and worthwhile for me?
    Mental preparation improve performance. This only works when you use it.
  3. Make your meetings a source of continuous improvement.
    Wrap up every meeting with a short feedback session. Ask people to rate the quality of the business results they got from the meeting (10 is high, 1 is low) and then ask them to rate the quality of the collaboration, again 10 is high and 1 is low. (You can use a process visual for more impact if you wish.)

Ask people for one idea that will help improve either the business results and/or the collaborative climate for the next meeting and use one or more of these ideas in your next meeting. This is continuous improvement in action. This is the spark to create a company culture that improves every day.


For You, Your Team & Your Business

Where’s the customer positioned in your business?

Do you have the feeling that the customer is somewhere distant on your company’s horizon?

“We are customer focused or we are customer oriented,” I hear people say.

This is weak language. It doesn’t call people to ownership or action to the most important aspect of your business. Try this language and see how it feels:

“We put the customer at the center of everything we do.”

Now, how does that feel? Language like this shifts what you do and how you do it with the customer in the center.

Use this halftime to think how you, your team and your entire business puts the customer at the center of everything you do.

Use the following questions over the next three weeks to track your progress and note the improvement in customer awareness, service and satisfaction. They don’t cost you anything and can pay off big time for customer results:

  • Did I do my best today to put the customer at the center of everything I do?
  • In what ways did our team take decisions that put the customer at the center of everything we do?
  • How did we manage our cross functional relationships so that the customer is at the center of everything we do?


People, Places & Technology

I recently visited the new Steelcase Learning and Innovation Center in Munich.

Their mission is “helping leading organizations create places that unlock the promise of their people – places that inspire people to bring purpose to life.”

Here’s my view – they walk the talk. This Learning and Innovation Center is designed to optimize interaction, collaboration and creative thinking and they’ve done a magnificent job of it.

If you’re an executive that would like to reset your organizational culture, contact Lisa Glassner and she will see that you get a view of what they’re doing and why they believe this leads to an inspirational work environment.

It’s a moving and inspiring experience, perhaps an opportunity to see you and your business from the other end of the field.


Thought for the Day
“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”
-Betty Bender


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.