news2use | November 2018

I stopped last week to watch two retail design people set up shop windows for the approaching holiday season.

In one storefront window, the merchandisers were attempting to hang large Christmas stockings on the makeshift fireplace, stuffed with their department store’s products in them.

It was funny to watch, because the stockings were so stuffed full of merchandise that they kept falling off their mounts, due to the heavy weight in the stockings.

The overstuffed Christmas stockings, unable to stay in their place on the fireplace, reminded me of business strategies that are “overstuffed” with too many initiatives and so-called priorities.

More is not always better. Adding new initiatives to your strategic agenda before having the difficult conversations about what to take out, can lead to an overstuffed strategy that does not perform.

Good people do no stick around if the strategy that they work hard for does not deliver.

Keep your Christmas stockings (and your strategy) light enough so that you can fulfil your promises, to your people and to your customers.

After all, as leaders, that is all we have. Our promises. It is important we honor them.

Enjoy your November news2use and many thanks for your comments and referrals that you continue to send. Your ideas, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated!



PS-If you feel you have an overstuffed strategy or some other strategic ailment that is preventing breakthrough performance, be sure to assess your strategy through my new Senseful Strategy Scorecard described later in this news2use.



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

For You

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

Did you grow up hearing this statement?

If so, this narrative may still run deep in your neural pathways. Thoughts like these can hold you back.

Most people are trying to manage too much, afraid to let go or simply say no. Instead of managing a few things really well, they struggle and stress with many things, none which is done exceptionally well. This fear of letting go can infect people, teams and entire organizations.

High performers quit all the time.

We do not quit our mission or strategic initiatives, but we quit tactics or midlevel activities that do not support high performance or breakthrough results.

Here are three ways that you and your team can address strategic quitting, or the art of abandonment:

-Brainstorm and let go of activities that no longer contribute to your “high yield initiatives”.

-Review the bottom 10% to 20% of your product or service offering. Are these bottom feeders consuming resources that could be used for product or service winners?

-Imagine you are an effectiveness expert, brought in from the outside. What are you and your organization doing that simply does not contribute to growth?


For You & Your Team

As you finalize this year’s business, it is important to look ahead to the exciting process of breaking down next year’s company goals into business unit, department, team and personal goals.

At the team and personal level, this means s.m.a.r.t. goal setting. Be smart with your s.m.a.r.t. goal setting process; do not simply take what you are doing today and formulate that into s.m.a.r.t. language. This only maintains the status quo.

Remember that s.m.a.r.t. is smart when:

  • It moves your business forward.
  • It leads to a constructive stretch for you, one that enables you to improve.
  • Customer impact is present.
  • The situation, through s.m.a.r.t., is improved and better than before.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

Are you struggling with a superficial strategy?

When performance falls short, cross company collaborations are weak or people don’t believe in where you are going, it may be because you and your leadership team have settled (most of the time unknowingly) for a superficial strategy. Superficial strategy is one that misses the mark. This could be because it is not rationally clear, emotionally engaging, or compelling people to collaborate effectively.

The opposite of a superficial strategy is a senseful strategy. A senseful strategy is purposeful, significant and full of sense, enabling you and everyone else in the organization to make choices and take decisions that support the nature and direction of your business.

Crafting a senseful strategy starts in the senior leadership team.

To what degree is your executive team, and your organization, leading a senseful strategy?

Go to the following link for my Senseful Strategy Scorecard:



People, Places & Things

Do you know how when you are called upon to come up with something really out of the box for your business, yet you cannot get your creative juices going because the day-to-day distractions hold you back?

Use the Design Offices for your next breakthrough business experience.

With 20 locations in Germany and growing, CEO Michael Schmutzer and his highly professional team offer superb facilities for conferences, off-sites, workshops, innovation project teams and start-up launch pads.

I have used Design Offices a number of times in different cities and they are great to work with. To check out Design Offices go here:



Thought for the Day

A customer is the most important

visitor on our premises.

He is not dependent upon us,

we are dependent upon him.

He is not an interruption to our work,

he is the purpose of it.

He is not an outsider to our business,

He is part of it.

We are not doing him a

favor by serving him,

He is doing us favor by

giving us the opportunity

to do it.

-Mahatma Gandhi





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.