2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 4

Our next speaker was the amazing Sheri Riley, author of “Exponential Living – Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are” Her presentation included many BFOs:
  • What will you give up to grow? If you don’t give things up, you limit your capacity to grow.
  • Personal development fuels professional growth
  • Our skills and talents can take us to levels of success that our character can’t sustain
  • Personal development is LEADERSHIP
img_2933-for-blog Her book includes a road map to the title subject, Exponential Living img_2939-for-blog The balance of Sheri’s presentation was about the five steps to Living Your Power
  1. Perspective – “I don’t know” is not the truth, it clouds your vision
    • “Be realistic with your goals and unrealistic with your thinking and your effort.” – Paul Martinelli, President, The John Maxwell Team
  2. Ownership – What are you focused on?
    • When looking at peoples to do lists it was found that
      • People didn’t remember why 1/3 of the items were on their lists
      • 1/3 of the items were for others, and
      • 1/3 were chronologically out of order
    • Most suffered from FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out
  3. Wisdom – What is your plan?
    • Determine your 1 to 3 MOST important NEXT steps
    • Ask yourself, “Am I chasing opportunities that are actually distractions?
  4. Engagement – What adjustments do you need to make to implement?
    • Presence is not enough, being present is the key
    • Multi-tasking is a lie!
  5. Reward – How will you remain consistent?
    • Don’t walk away from a goal because the plan isn’t working
    • Be committed to the goal, be committed to consistency, be flexible with the plan
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  • Broaden our definition of success
  • Eliminate the fear of success
img_2954-for-blog Brad Sugars returned to the stage as our final speaker of BEF.  He discussed reaching critical mass:
  • You must grow into your role and goal
  • Wisdom comes from the application of knowledge
  • Commitment – with bacon & eggs
    • The chicken is a participant
    • The pig is committed!
  • The concept of BE x DO = HAVE
    • Applies to a person
    • Applies to a couple
    • Applies to a team
    • Applies to a company
At the awards dinner the evening of the second day, one of the award winners had a different spin on one of our PowerPoint slides: Instead of You have to learn more to earn more, It’s not about what you earn, it’s about who you become. If you wish to discuss any of the BFOs or concepts presented in this 4-part series, my colleagues and I are just a phone call, email to website inquiry away.  You simply have to take ACTION!

2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 2

Continuing with Brad Sugars’ presentation.  Brad listed some of his favorite 5 Ways strategies (in his order of preference):
  • Margin:
    • Don’t just raise prices, continually educate your customers and team as to your value proposition
    • Don’t discount – instead of giving away cash, give away value (make it special)
  • Conversion Rate:
    • Training, training, training
    • Make a benefit list – the top reasons customers should buy
    • “you can’t outsell your competitors if you don’t know them.” – Learn as much as you can about what they do well and not so well
    • Flowchart your sales process
    • Use Critical Non-Essentials (CNEs)
  • Average $ Sale:
    • Training, training, training
    • A/B/C/D customers – guide your customers, or send some of them to your competition
  • Number of Transactions:
    • Constantly build your database
    • Rebooking
    • VIP programs
    • Special offers & events
  • Lead Generation:
    • Video testimonials
    • Professionally built website
“Marketing is the life-blood of the business.” Our next speaker was the very inspirational Dr. Jen Welter.  Dr. Welter is the first female coach in the NFL.  She coached the inside linebackers for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.  A few key BFOs are:
  • Don’t live life looking in the rearview mirror
  • Be defined by what you do, not by what people are willing to pay you
  • “You are the producer, director, and lead actor of your life.”
  • “Why fit in when you can stand out?”
  • People listen when you whisper
We finished day one with a presentation from Richard Maloney, Founder and CEO of Engage & Grow Global.  Richard’s presentation revolved around the subject of employee engagement; its definition, costs, and its cure.  Among the many, many BFOs presented are the following highlights:
  • “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Definitions of the different levels of employee engagement
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  • According to a 2017 Gallup survey of companies in the US 69% of employees were disengaged (a 1% improvement from 2016)
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  • Disengagement looks like this
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  • And a Gallup poll concluded that an engaged workforce yields tremendous benefits
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  • Richard outlined the 6 Steps to employee engagement
img_2913-for-blog A few more key BFOs
  • “If you don’t measure, you lose treasure.”
  • Resolve disagreements within your company quickly – get the “splinters” out before they become infected
  • A great question to regularly ask your team is – “What around here needs to improve to become number one in our industry?”
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious – Part 1

For the fourth year in a row, the Business Excellence Forum (BEF) grew and exceeded the previous years in attendance, presenters and content.  This year there were more than 700 business owners, executives, team members and business coaches in attendance in Charleston, SC.  With that many attendees, there was an abundance of formal and informal exchanges of ideas, strategies, success stories and best practices. This year’s forum had an extensive list of keynote speakers whose presentations yielded many Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs) and new ways of looking at things.  The following are some of the BFOs that struck a chord with me, all of which will enhance the value I bring to my clients.  I am sure that some of these will have a similar effect on you. The event began with Dr. Mark Thompson and Dr. Bonita Thompson, authors of “Admired – 21 Ways to Double Your Value”.  Their presentation was about “Being The Most Admired Brand.”   They presented the five factors needed to be an admired brand:
  1. Who do you admire?
    • We admire people with the same values as us
    • We all need “Power Partners” – mentors
  2. Productive PARANOIA
    • Steve Jobs 1.0 – was fired from Apple. At that time, he was ambitious, arrogant, and lacked humility
    • Steve Jobs 2.0 – re-tooled himself and built Apple into one of the most valuable companies in the world
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  1. Value-Creators – If your house burned down, would you:
    • Rebuild the same House?
    • Using the same Process?
    • With the same Team?
    • What about your business? Does your business create Value?
  2. Never-ending Mission – four parts
    • BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals
    • OKR – Objectives and Key Results
    • Simplicity
    • Urgency – Creates Learning & Growth
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  1. Deliberate Practice – 6 Parts
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  1. Redefine Success – What is your definition of Success?
img_2846-for-blog They concluded with the secret to passionate growth: img_2849-for-blog And Number 7 Gratitude. Our next speaker was ActionCOACH Chairman and Founder, Brad Sugars.  Under the often-repeated mantra of going back to basics, Brad presented some reminders and updates to the Six Steps to Massive Results seminar.  Highlights include:
  • Don’t fall in love with your product or service – break out of your rut and continually improve and innovate
  • It is no use building your marketing if you can’t keep the customers – make sure you can consistently deliver
  • With the internet and social media, marketing has shifted toward labor, away from spend
  • In the ActionCOACH concept of Test & Measure – testing has become extremely easy because of all the statistics that are available
  • Use the ActionCOACH 5 Way Formula backwards, from Profit up – 5 years, 4 years, …
Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

You Can’t Do It All

The cover story in the current (January-February 2019) edition of Entrepreneur Magazine is a profile of Michael Strahan (Link to the article).  Not being a daytime TV viewer, or a NY Giants fan, I was not very familiar with him.  Until I read the article, I was almost totally unaware of Michael Strahan’s many accomplishments after retiring from the National Football League.  There are a few things we can learn from his business career after his playing days were behind him. It Is What It Is Until It Isn’t – Not unlike many pro athletes, Strahan had no plan what he would do once the game ended for him.  Nonetheless, he piled up an impressive playing record; fifteen seasons (the average NFL playing career is only 3 years).  That level of longevity speaks to a dedication to be the best defensive end he could be.  He gave his all to his football career until it was over.  Are you totally engaged in your business? Deal With Pressure – After the NFL, Strahan went into sportscasting.  Leaving football introduced the concern and possibility the he would “suck” (his word) at something.  “You don’t want to be the weak link.” He said.  He realized that facing a 350-pound opponent who was trying to smash his head in was more pressure than “shaking a dude’s hand and asking him a few questions.”  He put the pressure of a new role into perspective.  Are you putting the day-to-day pressure you face in your business into perspective? Build Your Team – Along the way, Strahan, influenced by his career in professional football, a team sport, assembled a very effective team.  As he said in the article:

“I understand that it’s a bigger team than just you on the camera.  The most important people are the ones behind the camera.”  He went on to say, “You understand how important the support system is in sports, and that has carried over to me in business.  Because there’s nothing worse than feeling that you do a job no one values.  Each job is important – I don’t care if you’re cleaning out the garbage cans or working the phones or running the company.  Everybody has value, and football taught me to make people feel that value to get the best out of them.” (emphasis added)

Great insight toward building an effective TEAM. If you want to build a highly effective team for your business, a team that will enable you, your business and the team itself to bring amazing value to your customers and community, my ActionCOACH colleagues and I are ready to help.  All you must do is pick up the phone, tablet or keyboard and contact an ActionCOACH business coach.

Stress Test Your Business

One of the most important concepts my colleagues and I at ActionCOACH coach our clients on is being proactive.  Everything from our GrowthCLUB (90 Day Planning Workshop), our use of the ActionCOACH Business Chassis (5 Way Formula), to the alignment consultation we use to start each of our client’s coaching programs, is aimed at promoting proactivity.  Unfortunately, too many of the businesses I am introduced to operate on a reactive basis, reacting on a daily, sometimes hourly, rhythm of solving crisis after crisis after crisis.  The consequences of operating in reactive mode are many; lack of growth, low company morale, low or no profit, high levels of stress, and in some cases, bankruptcy! Chief among the steps toward proactivity is to periodically Stress Test your business.  Here are a few of the tests you must perform:
TEST Explanation
What if this works? “What if this works?” is one of my best coaching questions.  You cannot achieve continuing success without preparing for it.  This doesn’t mean starting a second shift before your sales increase, for example.  It does mean having the plans and processes for starting a second shift prepared as part of introducing your new product.
What if a key part of your business goes down? Machinery breakdowns, illness of key team members, storms, key team retirement or resignations, etc. are a fact of business life.  How much cross training and employee development is part of your daily routine?  How many strategic alliances have you developed?  Do you have succession plans?  Being prepared is a major responsibility of business ownership and leadership.
What is my customer retention? Low customer retention, and/or a low customer referral rate are leading KPIs, indicating a need to proactively redesign your operations.  Simply, if you are not at minimum, satisfying your customers, you have a big problem.  Of course, your goal should be to consistently WOW your customers.  Customers who are only satisfied are not loyal, raving fan customers.
  The results of these stress tests and others, whether good or bad, should lead you to proactive activities.  My colleagues and I at ActionCOACH are ready to assist you to stress test your business and to implement proactive processes.  All you need to do to start your proactive journey is contact us.  

Work on your business, not just in your business.

Are Things Going Well?

Earlier this week I attended a breakfast event, part of the Hofstra University Scott Skodnek Business Development Center’s Distinguished Lecture Series.  The event was a Keynote Conversation with Brett Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.  Mr. Yormark was interviewed by Kevin Law, the President & CEO of the Long Island Association. Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) owns and operates the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets NBA team and redeveloped and manages the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Nassau County, Long Island.  Since Hofstra University is basically across the street from the Coliseum, many of the interview questions revolved around its redevelopment.  After answering some questions about improvements to the venue, the construction process and its cost verses the budget, Mr. Yormark moved onto the performance of the Coliseum since it reopened in April of this year.  The venue reopened with a Billy Joel concert.  In the seven months since the Coliseum reopened, they have had more than 100 events, including concerts by Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, Bruno Mars and other performers. Other events including G-League professional and college basketball games also occurred there.  So far, the Coliseum is ahead of BSEs projections. So, when Kevin Law asked Brett Yormark if he is happy with Coliseum results so far, Yormark replied:

“I am happy, but not satisfied.”

He used that exact wording to answer several additional questions as the interview progressed.  I was struck by how simple and yet very powerful this phrase is.  The concept represented by these six words is extremely important.  How many businesses have stopped growing or failed because management or owners became “satisfied?”  When I had my consulting practice before joining the ActionCOACH team, I met many business owners who were earning more than $500,000 per year who became satisfied with their businesses.  “Why should I continue to push hard, I’m making more than I need?”  “I am working too hard and have no time to enjoy my wealth.”  Many wanted to start enjoying the fruits of their success, reducing the attention and time they devoted to their businesses.  Many of those businesses no longer exist, failed due to over-satisfaction and the resulting lack of attention. Two things need to be highlighted here:
  1. I don’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t celebrate when a major goal or milestone is achieved. There is nothing wrong with a brief pause to celebrate and “smell the roses.”  Celebration is very important, for you and your team.
  2. One of the motivating factors that drove my decision to join ActionCOACH (and many of my colleagues) is our definition of a successful business:

A commercial, profitable enterprise that works without YOU (the owner)

I work with my clients to design, plan, structure and build their businesses so they will earn more and work less.  I enable them to achieve the state of happy life, but continuing dis-satisfaction with the value their business brings to their team, customers, community, and themselves.

At lunch, that same day, I continued my rereading of John C. Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership ((10th Anniversary Edition). I came to Law 18-The Law of Sacrifice.  The following from Law 18 makes the point.

“…today’s success is the greatest threat to tomorrow’s success. And what gets a team (or company) to the top isn’t what keeps it there.”

I couldn’t have said it better. My ActionCOACH colleagues or I will be happy to assist you to build your business, so you can earn more and work less.

Highlights from My Vacation Reading

I took the first two weeks of August for a trip to Europe with my wife, Tammy.  Tammy joined one of Berkshire Choral International’s groups which rehearsed and sang in Budapest, Hungary.  While she was in rehearsals I toured Budapest and caught up on my reading, both business and pleasure.  Following are comments about and links to a few of the articles that struck a chord.
  • Jason Fried in the July/August 2017 issue of INC Magazine in an article headlined Starbucks Wasn’t Built in a Day, subtitled “Entrepreneurs are told to go big or go home. Stop obsessing over scale, and perfect the basics.”   In the article Jason talks about John who wishes to open a tea shop, but often drifted to talking about his next shop, and his next shop, etc.  He advises John to slow down and get the basics right before focusing on rapid growth.  I have long agreed with this philosophy.  While there is nothing wrong with having big long range goals, we emphasize long term planning at ActionCOACH, one needs not to get ahead of one’s self.  One of the major points of the ActionCOACH 5-Way Formula is that a business must be built in balance.  Before I joined ActionCOACH, I had several turn-around clients.  One in particular, a consumer goods company, had great marketing and product, but couldn’t reliably deliver their products to their customers, the retail stores.  Ultimately their customers abandoned them in favor of suppliers that had great product, marketed well and consistently delivered.  My client had grown their business out of balance, and could not cover the basics.
  • In the July 2017 issue of Golf Digest an article about confidence by Sam Weinman titled What If Everything You’ve Been Told To Think Is Wrong? caught my eye. Within the article are several concepts that apply equally to business as well as golf.  One very important concept was highlighted by a quote from Dr. Fran Pirozzolo, a sports psychologist and mental-skills coach “Confidence is a garbage term in that it induces illusions of competence.”  If in business, we confuse confidence with competence, our mind will be closed to our limitations and that will limit our ability to construct plans to overcome them.  It is the difference between an “I Know” attitude which cuts off learning and an “Isn’t that interesting” attitude which encourages learning.

Another concept applicable to business revolves around Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck’s division of our mind-sets into two categories:

– Fixed mind-set – people who seek validation of their abilities – Growth mind-set – people who believe their skills can be cultivated through effort

The final concept that jumped off the page also came from Dr. Pirozzolo – “Don’t believe the hype.”  During my career in the fashion industry, I was aware of countless fashion designers who crashed and burned because they believed the hype and were unable to adjust to changing market and business realities.

  • From the September 2017 issue of Success Magazine John C. Maxwell has an article about time management 4 Tips to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow Today.” The title of the article says it all.  In our TimeRICH seminar, we encourage the audience to be militant about their time.  Along the militant line, Maxwell’s article contains a great quote I intend to add to the TimeRICH presentation:

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

These are just a few of the ideas I gleaned during my vacation reading, I hope you will find them useful.

2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of The Obvious Part 3

Day two was kicked off (no pun intended) by Tim Brown, 1987 Heisman Trophy winner, NFL Hall of Fame member, and very inspirational speaker.  Here are some of my Tim Brown BFOs:
  • Be the coach
    • Be sure of yourself & your approach
    • Emphasize team
    • Look for & guide team members to see their abilities & potential
  • Talent is not enough – you need mental strength to succeed
  • Realize that sometimes a mindset change may be required to move forward
  • img_9612-small
  • Seek mentors …
    • Who can show you something about yourself
    • See what you cannot see within you
    • Say what you need to hear, not what you want to hear
  • Don’t be adverse to using a proven system from elsewhere
  • Little things lead to big results
The next speaker was Richard Maloney, President of Engage and Grow, a strategic partner of ActionCOACH.  In the course of presenting the benefits and outline of the Engage & Grow 12-week program, Rich enlightened us about the current poor state of employee engagement, strategies to raise the level of engagement and the benefits thereof:
  • img_9637-small
across the USA only 24% of employees are highly engaged.  Another way of looking at that is img_9638-small on average two out of every ten of your team are so highly disengaged that they would sabotage your company, or jump ship.  If you think your team would score as more engaged, think again.  A survey of their clients found a 30% gap between senior management’s guess and the team’s actual level of engagement. img_9640-small The Engage & Grow program taps into the science of motivation.
  • A Deloitte survey found that companies with highly engaged teams were eight times more successful over a ten year period than industry peers with lower team engagement.
  • Our job is to change the lives in front of us.
Next up was Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1, a global business giving initiative on a mission to create a world full of giving.  Paul’s presentation was in keeping with this year’s BEF theme of Serve More to Earn More. Paul opened with the following quote from Sir Issacs Newton: img_9666-small Using www.internetlivestats.com in order to show that time is increasingly compressed, he displayed some live global stats for that moment: (2/21/2017):
  • 7,519 tweets / sec.
  • 2,472 Skype calls / sec.
  • 58,875 Google searches / sec.
  • 68,234 YouTube video uploads / sec.
  • 2,566,295 email / sec.
  • 42,125 gbytes / sec.
And img_9670-small He quoted Peter Diamandis: img_9674-small He urged us to EARN more to GIVE more, and vis-a-versa: img_9676-small to address these global issues There are two choices we can make: img_9678-small or img_9679-small “The challenge is not to be successful, the challenge is to matter more. – Seth Godin From Simon Sinek’s “Start With WHY” img_9684-small img_9686-small This wraps up part three of my 2017 BEFA BFOs.  There will be more Paul Dunn and Brad Sugars in part four.

2017 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of The Obvious Part 2

  • After a short break, Keith Cunningham continued with many insights born out of a major bankruptcy that occurred in 2001: img_9520-small And then … img_9524-small Of course, he was speaking about ENRON
  • To repeat a BFO from part 1 – Profit is a THEORY / Cash is a FACT img_9529-small
  • If the Wall Street analysts had looked at ENRON’s Cashflow Statements, they would have easily discovered that ENRON was in an unsustainable cash situation. So … img_9530-small
  • Another great Keith quote “The key to getting rich (generating cash) is to make fewer stupid decisions.” Generate, digest and understand your timely financial statements, and scoreboards.  Your financials and scoreboards MUST be relevant, based on a granular chart of accounts and metrics that are reflective of your goals.  If you do this, you will make better decisions.
  • Get the BUSINESS into business!
Next Mr. Cunningham concluded with what I consider to be the most important message of his presentation:
  • An Owner/CEO/Leader has four jobs that CANNOT be delegated:
    1. Getting clarity about the obstacles
      • Identify and understand the obstacles to success, develop a strategy to overcome the obstacles and then build a machine to carry out the strategy / OSM – Obstacle + Strategy + Machine
      • The Machine is A Plan, the People and Execution
      • Be careful to determine the REAL problem
      • Continually ask yourself what can I do today to improve my situation?
      • Often, we don’t have clarity because we don’t ask the RIGHT Questions
        • “Smart people have really good answers, geniuses have really good questions.”
      • Powerful questions: img_9544-small Powerful Growth Questions: img_9546-small
      • To identify the underlying reasons: img_9547-small
    2. Prioritization – Allocation of resources img_9549-small Another great question: img_9550-small
  1. Organizational Chart – Structure and Who
    • Keith said “opportunity without structure is chaos and drama!”
    • One of my coaches says “Abundance cannot exist where there is complexity and/or drama.”
    • Who? img_9552-small and solve problems
  2. Culture
    • Culture, Not Perks
    • Employees are number 1, not customers
    • The source of all value is your Team (your Who) and your Culture img_9555-small img_9557-small img_9557-bottom-small img_9558-small
  • To Summarize – As a CEO/OWNER/LEADER you cannot Delegate: img_9553-small 
The next presenter was Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and Chairman of Business Network International (BNI).  Dr. Misner has been called the “Father of Modern Networking” and is a well-known speaker and author on the subject of business networking.  You will not be surprised that the subject of his presentation was networking.  Here are a few BFOs from his presentation:
  • When at a business networking function, it doesn’t hurt to ask for business – RIGHT? WRONG!  Networking is all about making and building relationships.
  • Many people, when introduced to a person of certain professions will cut the conversation short – thinking they can’t help me. That is a mistake because you never know who they know.
  • Networking is like farming – you must plant the seeds of a relationship with everyone you meet.
  • Diversify your networks – join industry exclusive, non-exclusive, industry specific, locally based (chamber of commerce, for example), regional and on-line networks.
  • Be aware of the relationship of the time it will take to build confidence with someone you meet based on your profession. img_9573-small
  • And remember perception is reality img_9574-small Be aware of how you are perceived.
This wraps up my BFOs from the first day of the 2017 BEFA.  Stay tuned for Part 3.

Isn’t That Interesting?

When I mentioned to my assistant today that I needed to write a blog post, she replied, “Well, what is people’s pain these days? Write about that!” With a smirk, I told her that I didn’t want to get political and she and I went on to have a pretty lively discussion about the candidates. Although we didn’t come out and say it, I got the feeling that we were of the same mindset which came as a relief. Nothing like working in a small, two-person office and being at complete odds with one another. But what about the rampant disagreements that are clogging up your Facebook page? “Your candidate is an idiot!” “Your candidate sucks!” And worse. Friendships are broken, even families can splinter when the members are on opposite sides of the fence. Every year, it seems that the back biting and insults get worse when, in truth, it’s been this way for 200 years. When I was in architecture school, my fellow students and I would often question one particular professor about one building or another to elicit his opinion about said building. “What do you think of Lake Point Tower?” Tilting his head and stroking his well-trimmed beard, he’d thoughtfully and quietly reply, “It’s interesting.” Interesting? That’s it? We were stymied by his response but now, 50 years later, I’ve come to appreciate these two seemingly innocuous – and admittedly somewhat frustrating – words and I teach them to my coaching clients today. The potential uses are endless and should be a part of every-day communication skills. It can be used in business settings, family settings, one-on-one relationships and the list goes on. Use it when someone tells you something that you don’t believe in or agree with. Let’s face it: our goals in provoking an argument is to get the other person to be on your side. More often than not, it has the opposite effect. So let’s take a look at how we can incorporate “That’s interesting!” into today’s volatile political arena: Ranting person: “Idiotface candidate is a lame-brained jerkhead who would take this country into world war III!” or “Moron is a bald-faced liar!” You (rakishly tilting your head and thoughtfully stroking your chin): “Hmmmmm…. that’s interesting!” Ranting person: “YEAH! Uh………” See? You’ve managed to acknowledge ranting person’s tirade while not giving him fuel for the fire. Chances are, he’ll either keep ranting, to which you keep replying, “That’s interesting!” or he’ll walk away. In essence, he’s inviting you to an argument but you’re not accepting the invitation. When applied to business, it can enhance brainstorming sessions, make meetings more effective and inclusive, and from the receiver’s side, defuse potentially negative performance reviews. Just be sure not to overuse it or it can be construed as passive aggression. But the thoughtfulness and learning behind it just may teach you something. And isn’t that interesting?