Archive for the ‘Teamwork’ Category

When mistakes are good

February 4, 2014

Kolo Toure mistake

I watched in horror as the most experienced defender on the pitch gifted the ball to the West Brom striker (formerly from Everton, of course) on the edge of the Liverpool FC box.

Sure enough he buried the ball in the corner past Simon Mignolet to level the match – damn!

Typical ….after thumping Everton a few days previous in a really “tough” match 4-nil, we (when it’s your team you have to say “we”)  threw away a lead in a game we were in total control of.

In truth the game was too easy – it’s as if the players slipped into second gear waiting on the in-form Liverpool strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge to score a few more goals against this very ordinary West Brom team.

The poor defender Kolo Toure hung his head in shame as he knew he made a huge mistake, which contributed to throwing away two valuable points.

The manager Brendan Rodgers was asked after the game about this huge mistake.

Instead of blaming the player he applauded the courage and bravery of the Liverpool defenders to play football instead of booting the ball aimlessly down the pitch. His philosophy is to encourage them to use the ball, pass it and play it forward intelligently.

He made the point that when you take this brave approach you do run the risk of making mistakes and that this one was the first all season, which actually cost the team.

While the mistake hurts deeply when it comes along he reckons it is a price worth paying for playing great football – in truth there is no comparison between the football Liverpool are playing now and some of the awful stuff from a few years ago.

I just left a meeting where everyone is petrified of doing anything because they will know they will get hammered if they make a mistake – the result …no one is doing anything!

To get the best results from your team do you have to allow some mistakes?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Taking it too personally

February 1, 2014

Ireland dejected after New Zealand loss

“You just take things too personally”

This was said in some way to imply a criticism, that taking things too personally was a negative thing and that in some way it might even be a little unprofessional.

Maybe this is an issue and I wonder what the opposite might look like?

  • Not caring if you are on the subs bench
  • Not bothering when you don’t win a proposal that you worked your socks off on
  • Not being bothered when the manager takes you off in a match
  • Not caring if your clients project is a success or failure
  • Not caring when a team mate is taking abuse by an opposing player
  • Happily leaving a client take a route you feel won’t work
  • Not celebrating when you score a goal
  • Not caring whether your work colleagues get on or not
  • Knowing a team mate will go to whatever team pays the biggest money
  • Taking no notice when colleagues leave on the button when there are others under pressure
  • Not caring when a teammate is treated unfairly by the manager
  • Turning up and just doing what you are paid to do
  • Not being gutted when you deserved to win a match
  • Having no pride in the business
  • Feeling no responsibility for the club
  • Not being passionate about what you do

This list could go on and on …

Who do you want on your team?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

The Hug Test

January 5, 2014

Hugs at work

It’s New Year’s Day and that end of the long break/going back to work cloud descends on me as it always does.

I love the Christmas break, possibly even more than the summer break and when it comes to an end it does bother me even though I love what I do – those days of doing nothing, hanging around the house and relaxing are so enjoyable but at some point you have to get back to reality.

When I started to think more about the first day back I started to look forward to seeing our crew again. While the break was great it would be good to see them all again and catch up.

During the course of a year we spend a lot of time together and it’s natural that you get to know everyone quite well and you do form special relationships, even if it is predominantly in a work context.

The more I thought about seeing the crew again I thought about greeting them after not having seen them for the best part of two weeks.

For me the natural greeting for each of them would be a hug – a genuine warm hug, which reflects how I feel about all of them.

I would hate to be heading back to work and to be meeting anyone in our team who I didn’t like, who I didn’t feel any connection with, who I preferred not to spend time with. That would be awful and in the course of my career I have been in that place more than once.

My cloud cleared and I was now actually looking forward to getting back to work.

Will your first day back at work pass the Hug test?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Bob Savage, EMC joins the Smarter Egg club

November 13, 2013

Bob Savage - EMC

You have to hand it to him – Aodan Enright from Smarter Egg did a great job!

Not only did he do a great job with his really interesting and enjoyable event this week, at the White Horse in Cork but he has done so well with his Smarter Egg concept of learning, which has evolved gradually since he began a number of years back.

I was one of the early converts – I was immediately intrigued by what Aodan described to me when I met him at a networking event years ago and he didn’t disappoint with a very unique (I hate that word now) business and personal learning experience.

Aodan even had me speaking at one of his first events, which I was thrilled to do.

(I recommend you have a peep at his website and consider trying one of his programmes – it won’t disappoint)

This week at his event he had a number of guest speakers and the high point of the evening was his one to one, up close and personal interview with Bob Savage, CEO of the highly successful EMC in Cork.

I’m not sure if it was the intimate atmosphere of the venue, the fact that Aodan worked for Bob before or if it was just his interrogation skills but it led to a really superb interview and one that gave us a rare insight into a modern, successful business leader.

At times  when asked a question Bob was a little unsure about answering and even stopped to mention that the event was being recorded. Good job Aodan!

However he did open up and gave us some gems:

  • He is big on teamwork and creating a great place to work
  • He loves genuine, enthusiastic people and hates the opposite
  • Passion for what you do is essential
  • He views what he does as a vocation and does acknowledge that he has made personal sacrifices with other parts of his life to reach and maintain the position he holds
  • One of his strengths is that he is accessible and he achieves that by ‘walking around’ interacting with the team and learning from them
  • He takes time out to introduce the EMC recruits because be believes they are the future of the company
  • His secret sauce of success is quite simply ‘people
  • Walking the walk is essential
  • He acknowledges the mentoring and support he received along his journey and admits that at times maybe he didn’t deserve it
  • He has his bad days the same as the rest of us and admits that things have not always been without problems but it is how you react and deal with them that’s vital
  • He loves the excitement of indigenous industry and sees huge potential in Ireland
  • He values his role on the board of Enterprise Ireland
  • In the future he could see himself consulting, assisting businesses and even life coaching “while my stock is still high”
  • Company politics is knowing when to open your mouth and when to shut it!
  • He would have advised his younger self to be more patient, more respectful and mannerly

The particular gem that I loved and took from the session was when he spoke about working hours.

At times you need to do 75 hours in a week but you clearly can’t do that all of the time. The trick is to know when to do it!

That’s one I definitely need to take notice of …way too many 75′s!

Aodan…keep up the great work and Bob…thanks for the refreshing openness and the gems, and welcome to the Smarter Egg club

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Can you feel the love?

October 22, 2013

Chefs tasting

I can taste the love in the food

I was fascinated as I listened to this restaurateur describe how he knows when the dynamic is right between the team at his restaurant. He reckons having a happy team who enjoy working together is essential to producing great tasting food.

He tells me he can taste “the love” in the food when it exists with the team and even more importantly he tells me he can taste it when the love is not there.

The ingredients are exactly the same, the preparation is exactly the same but when things aren’t 100% with his team the food just doesn’t taste as good as it should.

For this reason he works hard at talking to his team, having fun with them, listening to their issues, eliminating any issues or strains quickly and generally devoting a lot of his energy to making sure the spirit is as good as it can be.

Is it enough that your team turns up and punches in their time, is it enough that they execute their roles efficiently and professionally?

Without love that food just won’t taste as good as it should.

How does your food taste?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are an Irish Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Cork and Dublin

Can Win Happy work?

June 23, 2013

Fuzion team

It was a gorgeous summer Saturday in Cork and I was strolling around the city with Dee and my two kids.

Everyone was in great form and I knew I should have been but I was miserable and my head was bursting – work was killing me. I had been caught in the middle of a corporate crossfire for over two years between the joint owners and unfortunately this was a no win situation for me.

I was the General Manager and I could have had an easy life if I toed the line, kept my head down, settled for the status quo, played the politics and enjoyed the benefits. This wasn’t me ….I was miserable!

On that Saturday afternoon, 10 years ago I decided I was handing in my notice (handing back my new Saab and turning my back on a hefty salary) and it was the day Win Happy was born.

Win Happy

Fuzion teamThis has been my goal ever since – never again did I want to spend a minute feeling miserable about my work.

It is really important to me that happiness is at the heart of what I do every single day.

Happiness for me is working in a place that I love, doing work that I enjoy, with great people and for clients that I respect.

Utopia?

I guess in a way it is Utopian but why not have that as a goal?

I will be the first to admit that it isn’t always that way but mostly we get pretty close.

Happy..

I do love what I do (except for some horrible admin work every now and then), we work for who we want (we don’t answer to any head office or anything like that, we can accept or even reject work if we choose) and we have carefully chosen a group of really good people to work with.

Every Friday we break bread together as part of a sacred lunch routine we have, which we call Fuzion Friday.

I believe that if you get all of that right you end up with an atmosphere that creates the perfect conditions for great work ..for winning.

Win?

Kerrie & DeeHappy is the first part of my philosophy. I am very driven and while I am not motivated by money I do want to be successful in our profession and this is where the satisfaction from Winning comes into it.

We work extremely hard and we keep ourselves up to date with trends and developments. We carefully choose talented people for our team and we make sure they understand the Fuzion way.

Together we work hard to get results for our clients even if this means us doing more than we are contracted for.

If a talented team, in a happy environment, work hard for clients then you should get lots of wins. Winning leads to more business – simple!

This philosophy has stood us well since the business started and in the 10 years that I have been with Fuzion we have continued to grow our business and our team, mostly with a smile.

#WinHappy

Can it work? – Tell me what you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

If that doesn’t work …get out of there!

May 20, 2013

Escape

That was another incredibly busy week, meeting with clients, attending client events, dealing with stakeholders, meeting prospects, running training programmes and dealing with the every day things associated with running a business.

I meet people from so many different walks of life working in organisations and companies in private, public and non-profit sectors and with my social media activity I interact with many people on a regular basis.

This week in particular, whatever was in the air I seemed to meet a lot of incredibly “frustrated” people.

People who feel no one listens to them, people who feel its impossible to get anything done, people who despair of their organisation because it is choking with politics, people who were bullied out of jobs by colleagues, people blaming colleagues for things that went wrong when in fact they put them under so much pressure they couldn’t perform, people who are insecure so they play games to protect their own positions, people who are hostile to visitors and people who can play a huge part in making significant changes but ….once again feel this is impossible with people busy playing politics who will block all positive initiatives.

Not one of these people were giving out about money – all of them wanted to contribute and enjoy and long for the satisfaction of making something happen.

If that’s you then start making some noise, keep pushing, let your voice be heard, push for the right things to happen, speak up when they are not happening, challenge  the rubbish, encourage working together as a team, talk about making a difference, make the political “players” uncomfortable (they want to make a difference as well) and push them towards doing the right things and at least go home on a Friday with a feeling that you have had a good week.

If that doesn’t work …get out of there!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin in Ireland

Just a Worker?

April 9, 2013

Cog in a wheel

“Can we go for a coffee?”

Even though I was up the walls it was clear he wanted to have a chat about something, so off we went.

After some small talk he eventually blurts it out “I’ve accepted a job offer“.

Ah for God’s sake ….you can’t be serious” …..”Why in the name of god would you want to leave?” – after that all the things said just rolled into one and we went back to work.

I can’t help it – I take this stuff personally. I put everything into work and what we are building and I do feel that everyone is part of a Fuzion family, so when this happens I feel cheated, betrayed ..the word “traitor” is the one that comes to mind first. That’s probably a bit harsh but there ya go!

Normally you are battling away together, fighting for business, winning business, dealing with challenges, dealing with disappointments – whatever it is you tackle it with a sense of togetherness. You get to know people, you get close to them, you understand them, the good, the bad and the ugly, a bond forms – you even get to know about their families. It’s your team and you pull together against whatever challenge presents itself.

This team thing is special, it’s the little piece of magic that is fabulous when it clicks into place – you feel when that happens. Everyone together is better than a bunch of separate individuals  - it’s what I work hard at creating and its what I enjoy building and being in the middle of.

For the next few weeks I felt awful working alongside someone who has chosen to be somewhere else – in effect they become just a worker and are no longer part of the team.

The month has passed, we gave him a good send off and we have started a new journey with a great guy who will hopefully be a valuable member of the Fuzion family.

The guys tell me I shouldn’t take the whole thing so personally, maybe they are right?

In truth for me if it wasn’t personal I would become just a worker.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

I had a Great 2013 because ….

December 18, 2012
Diary entry

I has a Great 2013 because ….

Well – how did you do?

Did you achieve what you set out to achieve in 2012?

Did you make ambitious plans and fall short of them or did you make any plans at all? – If you did, well done!

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises than often will never materialise!

A few years ago I wanted it to be a little bit different and I had my own creative and quite practical idea, which was inspired by a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

This idea is rooted in the power of visualisation – the principle behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for your last working day of the year to come..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

It might go like this..

23rd December, 2013

Wow, that was some exciting and really fulfilling year!

It was a great year because I really achieved what I set out to both personally and professionally and even more besides because of those opportunities that cropped up that I wasn’t even expecting. At least I had my eyes open and when they occurred I spotted them and grabbed them.

I started the year with a few really clear goals including (go for it, be specific – list at least 5!)

I thought these goals were going to be really challenging, but I achieved these as I made a few important changes in my life that were necessary such as (be honest – what needs to happen for you to achieve those goals – your conditions for success).

It wasn’t all plain sailing and I had a few setbacks but I kept a clear focus on my goals, I kept a positive outlook and by digging deep and having a clear belief in myself and my abilities I managed to achieve them all in the end.

I’m glad I kept a positive outlook and kept my eyes open for those genuinely unique opportunities, which I know will only present themselves in this challenging economic climate – it made a huge difference to my business this year, which I wasn’t expecting.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,  2013 – Bring it On!

Your signature (make sure you do this)

Put this in an envelope, place it in your top drawer and have a peep at it on the first day of every month (set a reminder in your computer to do this) and see what happens.

We did this with our full team at the end of 2010 and 2011 and I can tell you it worked out quite well, thank you very much!

We will do it again this time round – I’ll let you know how we got on in about 12 months’ time.

By the way I’ve just spent a year driving a really nice new car – guess what was on my list at the start of 2011!

…what are you waiting for?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion


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