#bestmanagerever Newsletter Issue 9

This week’s newsletter is going to have you looking at expiration dates. Get ready to eliminate the familiar and embrace the fresh.


Did you know that using old herbs can make your food taste like mothballs? That’s right, preserved herbs plucked and dried at their prime are still in danger of sabotaging their main function (deliciousness). Consider this your reminder that even good ingredients expire.
And if you think we’re just talking about rosemary, we have another thyme coming for you.

Read this:

Many organizations have the unofficial motto, “the only constant here is change.” But while procedure, product, and personnel may frequently change, our workplaces often get stuck in organizational routines that don’t change at all.

As a leader, it is important to provide stability for your staff in an ever-changing environment, but you also need to make sure that your leadership habits are flexible to new developments. Achieving this can be tricky, especially with a myriad of outdated leadership philosophies that have hung around too long. Rather than exclusively focusing on your team’s end goal, try instead to focus on being visible, vision affirming, and accountable.

To learn how to get beyond “this is how we’ve always done it,” read this.

Watch this:

Okay so you may agree that it’s time to spice things up, but how do you know what needs to change? You may be tempted to look at organizations within your field and copy their best practices, but all this accomplishes is a stale market. Get some fresh perspective and think more broadly by using first-principles thinking, a method to question assumptions and inspire innovative thinking.

In essence, first-principles thinking guides you to look at a problem by adopting a beginner’s mindset. Pretend that you know nothing about the problem you are trying to solve and consider how the problem could be approached, or how industries far from your own have approached it. Ask people outside of your industry and they will bring a completely new perspective to how they might tackle the problem.

For more background on first-principles thinking, watch this.

Check this out:

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of asking the same questions over and over. You get a response, act accordingly, check the boxes.

But what if simply changing the questions you’re asking—in meetings, 1:1s, with customers, with vendors—what if you could have better insight? Ask questions with the intent to get to root motivations and you will produce better outcomes.

For an excellent example of moving beyond tired questions and gaining fresh perspective, check this out.

Try this:

It’s no secret that artistic expression gets the creative juices flowing. If you need to inspire your team to shift their perspectives, challenge them to an art competition in MS paint or another simple digital drawing application. Give them a prompt and five minutes to complete their masterpiece before sharing with the team. Creating art acts like meditation, relieving stress and strengthening neural pathways, and it doesn’t matter how “good” or “bad” the art is.

Shake off the old way of doing things and inspire something new by using digital drawing tools, or to go all-out with an instructor-led painting class, try this.

Get this:

It can be difficult to keep up with changing ideas, policies, and practices on a team while remembering how they correspond to one another. Managers often struggle to combine knowledge management on their team with project execution. Connecting these ideas visually is an excellent way to make up for this deficiency, and if you have virtual employees you can easily make these visual interactions available to everyone.

The secret ingredient to collaborative visual information is a digital whiteboard, if your team needs a visualization tool refresh, get this.

Oh, and if you think that your slang is a little out-of-date and you’re ready to try some new vocabulary don’t forget this.

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