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Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success

January 5, 2006

In this issue...
Point to Ponder
Welcome to our January 2006 Issue
Success Keys from Rubbermaid
Recomendations for your Success Library
Last minute notes and thoughts
Thanks for reading this issue...

Point to Ponder

Will 2006 be a year of continued and profitable growth for you and your team?

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow." Ronald E. Osborn

When we were young, we were enthusiastic about growing. We wanted to be bigger, faster, smarter and pursue our dreams. Then we hit the real world and for some of us, we stopped growing. Perhaps this is where you are stuck or you see this in members of your team.

Growth is a natural part of life, or it should be. If we stop our growth, then we begin to shrivel and die. That happens in organizations as well. The minute you stop working on the areas that help you grow (recruiting and training staff, marketing and promotion, sales and customer service, business process development, services and products development to name a few) you stop and then start sliding back. The news media are constantly sharing the stories of those organizations which formerly were leaders in their industries now struggling or going down. Don't let your organization be one of those obits written in 2006.

How can you avoid this?

It is simple (but not easy)...

  1. Invest time with your leadership team in revisiting your goals and performance over the past year. What lessons can you apply from the challenges and mistakes made in the normal process of doing business? When will you apply them?
  2. Work with your complete team in looking at every facet of your organization's operations and processes. Where can you make changes to make it easier for your team to win in better serving your customers? Where can you change your product and service mix to be more accessible and provide for your client's real needs?
  3. Ask your clients to help you. Ask them to tell you where you did an amazing job in serving them and where you need a bit of work. Ask them what you are missing in making their experience better in dealing with you.
  4. Ask yourself what training you need to be a better leader. Ask what training you need to provide to equip and motivate your co-workers and staff to succeed.
  5. What are you doing to challenge your thinking and get out of your comfort zone? What books, courses, meetings are you attending that push you into the winner's zone? Who are you investing time with on a regular basis that challenges you to grow?

These are 5 simple actions you can take in the next few days which will have a dynamic impact on your growth and profitability this year. I challenge you to invest the time to reap the rewards. I wish you, your family and your team increased success during 2006.

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey

Creative Catalyst & Idea Farmer

PS: This picture was one of several taken for our Idea Farmer website. A visible reminder to myself that I need to be working my business, just like the farmers work their fields to have a good harvest. It also 'mysteriously' showed up on a local country radio station website for their 'Not so desperate farmers' calendar competition. Guess someone thought an idea farmer was in the right field.


Welcome to our January 2006 Issue

 "Have the daring to accept yourself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the game of making the most of your life." Henry Emerson Fosdick

As we move into a brand new year, let's agree to look for the possibilities in our lives and then act to make them a reality. What you create this year is in your hands and minds. What you build this year is perhaps only a dream now, a faint picture forming in the back of your mind. Focus your powers of action and make what you imagine a reality.

A year from now, you will be able to look back and with satisfaction say, this with God's help I have built; this I have done to make my life more productive, to make my organization more profitable and to make the lives of those I serve better because they met and trusted me.

All the best,


PS: This picture was taken at ground zero in New York shortly after that attack. I hope to visit the site again next week during a trip to New York City.

If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard. You can jump ahead to the articles if you have already read this introductory note.

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Success Keys from Rubbermaid

On the leading edge, we search for ideas to expand our careers and businesses. Often a key to success might just be sitting there un-noticed or un-appreciated. Look around and see how many Rubbermaid products might be in your home or office. My bet, you'll find quite a few.
Rubbermaid is a very successful company, generating 2.3 billion in retail sales in 2003. Not bad for a company that creates consumable products and take-for-granted ones for a multitude of uses.
Rubbermaid in their own words, seeks to 'Master the mundane.'
They create storage products for the house, the garage, and the patio; anywhere you'd use something that needs to be durable, water-proof and cost effective.
Their aim in creating all of these 'mundane' products is to promote, "Consumer delight!" They apply the 5 T's in their creative design and discussion process:  

  • Trends: Be aware of what is happening in the world.
  • Teams: Harness the power of applied teamwork toward a focused goal.
  • Training: Offer training to equip your teams to succeed.
  • Technology: Acquire and learn technology to make what you do easier and to expand your ability to be creative and innovative. 
  • Creative Tension: Tension can be a good thing if applied creatively. Feed the process!

They even have 'Trend Messengers' whose role it is to gather information from around the world around them and share their observations with the rest of their team.
They've developed seven success keys or operating principles, which have helped them reach their present success and will, no doubt continue to do so:
1)      Cross-functional teams are more reliably productive.
2)      Oversight teams, drawn from the Company's top executives, supervise every business unit.
3)      Company wide business councils focus on performance and innovation in such business practices as marketing and design.
4)      Scrutinize market trends by keeping close watch on surface action and digging well beneath the surface for what customers are buying or would buy.
5)      Don't waste time on run-of-the-mill research. Look for a need, impact and invest dollar$.
6)      Impose creative tension; inspire people to come up with 'fresh' solutions to new tasks in new environments.
7)      Offer every kind of training, but leave it to individual associates to take advantage of it. 
Can you learn from this successful creator of home, garage and industrial products? Can you, like Rubbermaid, investigate the world around you and see opportunities to expand what you offer your clients, and grow to the next level?

My guess would be yes! In our creativity and business innovation programs I challenge the participants to explore successful companies such as Rubbermaid to dig out transferable ideas, principles and processes that will help them be more successful. 

  • Are you applying, or can you apply some or all of these operating principles in your organization? What would be the response from your team if you did?
  • Would they be more creative and able to explore opportunities for growth and innovation in your process, your products and your services?
  • What do you have to lose? When will you start this process? 

© Copyright 2003-2006 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey, All rights Reserved. Used with permission of the author. 
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey is a productivity strategist and creativity catalyst who regularly writes for North American Consumer and Trade Journals, on-line magazines and company intranets. He is the author of 9 books, 4 success systems and a series of mini-books, e-books and whitepapers. He was the 48th person in the history of Toastmasters International to earn their coveted professional level Accredited Speaker designation. He is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Visit his website for additional articles like this one: 


Recomendations for your Success Library

 Leaders are readers! Taking personal leadership in your career, community or company will be enhanced by selective, strategic reading... followed by seeing  those Ideas At Work!  in your life, leadership or companies.

As I mentioned last month, I will be giving you 2 or 3 selections from my success library.

Here are this month's suggestions for your success library.

Enjoy your reading... employ your potential in acting on what you read.


Last minute notes and thoughts

December was a very busy and productive month... whew!

This picture was taken in Ottawa, our 1st Annual CAPS Luggage Olympics, during our CAPS National Convention. What a hoot! Who realized speakers could be so competitive while having fun. The production crew even included this event in the special Souvenir DVD they created to commemorate our weekend. I just got my copy yesterday... best $30 I ever spent! The Luggage Olympics piece is so funny and they captured the essence of what I was attempting to do. Click on the CAPS link above and order it for yourself. (K13) Rick Jakle, CSP (current NSA President) mentioned perhaps they should invite me to conduct Luggage Olympics at the NSA conference this summer. Now wouldn't that be fun!

Looking back, 2005 was a very productive year and 2006 looks to be even better.

I am amazed at the wonderful people I met this year. Welcome to the Ideas At Work! family. I am glad to have you along for the journey along with our current Ideas At Work! family. I am blessed to have so many readers who apply and share my ideas with their friends, family and colleagues. I am grateful for the great audiences I had the privilege of presenting to during the past year.

Lots to do in early January 

  • Finishing up the final edits this week and layout for the Legacy of Leadership ebook I promised in the December issue. That means learning some new e-book software in the next couple of weeks. It also means, that if you would still like a 'complimentary' copy as my gift, you can still let me know. Simply email me and mention "Legacy" in the subject line.
  • Continue working on the creation of Quantum Success with the assistance of 28 plus, fellow authors from across North America. I was overwhelmed with the positive response for authors prior to my visit to the CAPS Halifax Chapter and the day long session we did on taking authorship to the next level. Look for news of this exciting new project in subsequent issues. Hope to have this one available by March, 2006. This one you will want to add to your success library for sure!
  • Starting a new customized writing project 'A Magnificant Obsession' for one of my clients that will see 6500 copies printed in March to serve their entire staff across Canada.
  • Several additional writing projects on the burners... wow who would have thought? Not bad for the guy who hated English in High
  • Continuing our efforts to tweak and make our various websites more content rich, easy to find and navigate for our on-line visitors.
  • Setting up a commercial part for our sites to allow our readers to order some of our books, CDs, DVDs, and other success tools on-line. This is a major focus for 2006 as I look for ways to offset my traveling and extend my abilities in helping people become more productive in thier lives, leadership and careers. 

Going to be in Long Island, New York Monday... Jan 9-11, 2006 where I will be sharing some ideas on how to have a more productive year by harnessing and leveraging your time. A quick visit to Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Calgary enroute... and a few other things on the burners for later in January. What a great business I am!


Thanks for reading this issue...

Thank you for reading this issue of 'Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success'. We know your time is valuable and our commitment is to make sure each issue has some solid value for you and your team.

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you for your conference, meeting or event. For more information about customized keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit:  or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009

Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company or organizational needs.

All contents Copyright © 2006, Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey  except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved worldwide.

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