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Business Visioning

Why and How Visioning Works

When we start any project, we use the process of visioning—figuring out what we want success to look like—to get it going. I’m selling visioning because it tangibly improves the quality of the organization and the personal lives of those who use it. Without visioning, it’s easy to be dragged down by pressures and problems, […]

Leadership Development

The Power of the Past

It’s no secret that I was a history major, which obviously makes me slightly more inclined than the average American to advocate sharing stories of where we’ve come from. But I’m here to tell you that organizations that regularly and actively share stories of their past get better staff buy-in, make better decisions and probably […]

Business Visioning

The Mission Statement as Your North Star

In 1992, we called together a group of managers, staff, and owners and set out to put on paper a statement of what Zingerman’s is all about, to write what’s referred to in business books as a Mission Statement. I was skeptical. I’m not sure why I agreed to it; probably because my partner Paul […]

Business Visioning

Decisions, Part One — Choosing a Decision Style

Regardless of your actual title in an organization, your job involves making decisions. New staff members start making decisions the day they are hired, and beginning with their decision to accept the job, we hope their decisions will be good ones. One of the basic tenets of Bottom-Line Training — clear, documented expectations — is […]

Leadership Development

Levels of Learning

Congratulations! You made it through the holidays. And if you’re taking the time to read this column, you must have made it through more or less intact. In the best case, it was your biggest holiday season to date and you’re feeling wonderful about how smoothly everything went — despite all the things that went […]

Training & Business Systems

Training Resolutions

Happy New Year! As the retail world catches its breath after the whirlwind of the holidays, many managers find their New Year’s resolutions include “doing something to improve training.” How about you? Now that there’s hope for a little down time, does training figure in as one of the projects you hope to accomplish? Very […]

Training & Business Systems

Management’s Role in Effective Training

My formal education was first in German literature and then later in business administration. What I know about training design, development and delivery, I’ve learned through on-the-job practice and self-study. I’ve gone to lots of seminars, designed hundreds of classes and workshops, and helped to implement effective training here at Zingerman’s. Along the way, I’ve […]

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