Episode 75: Forget Strategic Planning! Helping Make Strategy Actually Happen for Clients—with Michael Canic

Deb Zahn: I want to welcome you to this week's episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. So this podcast is going to be a doozy because we're going to talk about why it is that 60% to 70% of organizational change projects—those things that we help clients with—why 60% to 70%  of them fail, and what we can do differently to make sure that our projects do not fail. So whether you do any type of strategic initiative within a company or organization or strategic planning, you’ve got to listen to this episode.

 

And so I brought in an expert. Michael Canic is the President of Making Strategy Happen, and he's going to talk about what he does differently that emphasizes successful execution of strategies and making them sustain over time within the companies that he works with. So this is a completely different way than how a lot of strategic planning or change initiatives happen, which is why I brought him on. So let's get started.

 

Hi. I want to welcome my guest today, Michael Canic. Michael, welcome to the show.

 

Michael Canic: Great to be here, Deb.

 

Deb Zahn: So let's start off. Tell people what you do.

Michael Canic: So what I do is I help committed CEOs make strategy happen. Turn ambition into strategy and strategy into reality. So I'm known as the anti-strategic planning guy because strategic plans sit on a shelf and collect dust. My world, the last, oh, 18 years, has really been about strategy and execution. So that's the focus of my business.

 

Deb Zahn: And you just had a new book come out, which I will applaud because I've been reading it and it's fantastic. You want to say a little bit about the book?

Michael Canic: Thank you, yes. The book's called Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations that Win. And it's really for anyone who's found that strategic plans go off the rails or change initiatives flounder. Or they're tired of chronic underperformance. So it talks about what leaders need to do to develop the right focus. You've got to create the right environment and build the right team. I'm fortunate the book's been out, oh, 10 days now and has hit number one on Amazon's Hot New Releases book list in the HR category and number two in the management category.

 

Deb Zahn: Wow, that's fantastic. And I would say again, having now read it, I'm almost to the end, I think it's required reading for any consultants who do anything related to strategy and execution.

 

Michael Canic: Oh, thank you.

 

Deb Zahn: And I'm going to assign it to some folks that I know. This is wonderful. And how did you get into consulting?

Michael Canic: Well, I was working with FedEx and was on the board of the equality council for our region. And one of the guys on the board with me was a consultant. He was always talking about these cool projects he was working on and it sounded like they were challenging. They were interesting. They were varied. I thought, "That's what I want to do." So I just decided to take the plunge into the consulting world and talked to my boss at FedEx and he offered me a bridge contract. And then I got into consulting. And that was what? 20 plus years ago and I haven't looked back.

 

Deb Zahn: That's great. And of course, very smart to have your last employer be your first client.

 

Michael Canic: That always helps.

 

Deb Zahn: Great strategy. So I do want to get into some of the principles and practices that you talk about in Ruthless Consistency. And how they relate to how you work with clients because I think that'll be helpful for consultants to understand. But let's start with the bad news and why it is that you are the anti- strategic planning consultant.

 

So I was very struck by the 60% to 70% failure rates for organizational change projects. As soon as I heard it and I got past the shock, it didn't surprise me. But that has stayed consistent since the 1970s. And I know that mergers, the fail rate is what? 75% to 90% depending on which stats you're looking at. So why do you think that happens? What are the causes of that you've seen in your work?

 

Michael Canic: Well, that was a journey I went down years ago. Looking at “How do we implement a change initiative?” Again, this was during FedEx time around service quality. And what I wanted to do to start was look at why so much failure. And my first thought, Deb, was, "Well, maybe companies that are successful just give employees more training." But then as I got into the research and the case studies. No, that wasn't it. And then I thought, "Well, maybe it's that they communicate more. Provide goals and expectations." Well, that wasn't it either. And then I thought, "Well, maybe is it measurement? Is it resources?" And I went through all these different management practices and the conclusion I came to was that there was nothing that reliably predicts success. And I was at a dead end. I thought, "Well, geez. How do you be successful if nothing reliably predicts it?" And then the light bulb went on. There is no one thing that predicts success. It's everything.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right.

 

Michael Canic: What's more important than anything you do as a leader, is everything. So all your decisions, all your actions have to be relentlessly aligned with what your intentions are. You have to be ruthlessly consistent. All the arrows have to be going in the right direction. So the companies that were successful, I found they had done a good job of communicating continuously to their employees. They had provided training. They had given resources. They had aligned incentives. They provided coaching and feedback. Reinforced the right behaviors. They had changed processes and policies. Everything was aligned with what they wanted to achieve.

 

So that is really the premise of the book. From those early days and finding out that what's more important than anything you do, is everything you do. Anytime you want to implement change, you have to approach it with ruthless consistency.

 

Deb Zahn: I love that. Yeah. When I used to work at Kaiser Permanente years and years ago, we used to call it making it unavoidable. Because everywhere you turned there it was. That's wonderful.

Now obviously, a lot of organizations don't start off with that ruthless consistency. So as a consultant, how do you help them embrace that it's really everything that they do? And they're not going to communicate their way to success, or they're not going to performance-manage their way to success?

 

Michael Canic: Well, nothing motivates, Deb, like pain.

 

Deb Zahn: Oh yeah.

 

Michael Canic: And so I like to bring them face to face with the pain early on. Maybe the pain of their previous strategic plans and not getting implemented. Or change initiatives floundering. And then asking them, "What did this cost? And not just the financial cost but the cultural costs or other costs, the opportunity cost? What did it cost you by not getting this right? Is that acceptable? Is that what you want as part of your legacy? And then if we move forward, this can't happen."

 

One of the things we do early on is we develop a case for change statement that contrasts the pain of not being successful versus the gain of being successful. And we review that in every meeting so everybody is clear about the stark contrast. And it comes down to the leaders. And I remind leaders, "The choice is yours. Choose well because this will define your legacy."

 

Deb Zahn: And I really like how you, in the book, talk very specifically about if things aren't going well, "Take a look in the mirror, it's you?" I think that the last part is a direct quote. How do you help leaders? Because obviously, I've worked with a lot of leaders. A lot of other consultants do really embrace their role that they have to play in this ruthless consistency.

 

Michael Canic: It's one of the things I look at, at the front end before I even select a client or they select me. And this would be something that would be useful I think for some of your emerging consultants in your audience. Be selective in how you select clients. Because what I learned early on was that some of the clients I selected, I partnered with, talked the talk when it came to implementing strategy. But when it came down to it, they weren't really willing to do it.

 

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

 

Michael Canic: So as part of my screening process, what I want to know is how committed are you? Is this a nice-to-do? Is this a must-do? What does this mean to you if this doesn't get done? What is the pain this will cause if it doesn't get done? Are you clear on what's involved? And I will let them know, it's not going to be easy. They can't delegate it. They have to lead it. They're on the line. And I will be expecting a lot of them, not just their organizations.

 

Deb Zahn: I like that. And I know one of the most important questions to ask. For example, if clients are thinking of doing a merger, and they want some assistance. If they can't answer the question “Why do you want to do that?” If mergers are pain and suffering largely, and they fail most of the time, what is it you can't get by doing something else that you can only get through a merger? And if they can't answer it, then you might want to run screaming for the hills.

 

Michael Canic: That's a great filter. And questions. Good questions can help filter out what is a good commitment versus, "Oh, I'm just dabbling," or "That would be nice to do," or "We should do that," or "We could do that." I want the must-dos. Not the should-dos and the could-dos. But the must-dos.

 

Deb Zahn: And when you're doing that initial discovery period to try and sort of qualify them for this approach, which is, takes a new way of doing things, takes a new way of looking at things and takes some pain and suffering and discomfort going along with it. Are you just looking at the CEO or do you also talk to the other leaders around the CEO to get an understanding of how they function?

 

Michael Canic: That's a good question. Yes. I always talk with the CEO and his or her talk team. So I want to get a sense of that team. But what's most important is the CEO because as she or he goes so will the team go. So it's very important they're committed because the team will play off of them. And if the CEO isn't that committed, even if one of their direct reports is committed, it's not likely to have the impetus behind it.

 

Deb Zahn: That's great. And then, I know one of the things that you help them achieve is that alignment between their decisions and their actions. And alignment with their communications and everything that's entailed in the change process. And I know you have a lot of techniques for doing that. Can you highlight some of the things that you do to help create that alignment?

 

Michael Canic: Yeah. So the fundamental premise or the fundamental model is that what has to be aligned is focus, environment, and team. So leaders need to develop the right focus. Create the right environment. Build the right team. What makes this tough, Deb, is that all three have to be aligned. So any single factor, anything even underneath one of those that's not aligned, can undermine everything.

 

So with the right focus, what I like to do is emphasize strategic management. Not strategic planning. Strategic management is a process. Strategic planning is an event. Strategic management has to be managed, as the name says, it's not going to implement itself. So the first thing we do is really emphasize the strategic management process that a CEO and his or her team has to all.

 

When it comes to the right environment, the key thing is that everything you do sends a message. And what you do is not as important as what your people experience. Because sometimes Deb, I find leaders fool themselves into thinking, "Oh yeah, well, we told them. We told them what to do." Or "We put them through training. I can wipe my hands of it." Well, what they experience at the end of the day, it's the employees who are implementing the change. They're executing the strategy. It has to make sense from their perspective.

 

So one of the things I emphasize is that leaders have to get out of their own shoes and see things through the eyes of their people. Their employees. And it's because they're the ones doing the work. And if you're not consistent, they are bloodhounds for inconsistency. But they'll pick it up in a moment.

 

Deb Zahn: Yeah. I've seen that more than once. And then you lose credibility. They lose trust in the process. And I like how you also talked about in the book, the reality is, and this is why consultants have to be so cognizant of this, is there's always been a lot of change initiatives. Strategic change initiatives within organizations. And because they have a high failure rate, there's no reason that any employee would believe that this time it's going to be different.

 

So I know that's one of the things I'm sure you encounter as a consultant. How do you deal with that? So once you get below the CEO and the senior leaders that, "I don't buy it because I've heard this before?"

 

Michael Canic: Right. That's a great question that comes up often. So here's what we do in an organization where they have a track record of failure and we start down this path. The first thing the leadership team has to do is come clean and go to their people and take responsibility and say, "People, I know we've gone down this path with strategic initiatives. And truthfully, a lot of them have failed. That's on us. It's not on you. And as of today, that changes. Here's what we're going to do differently to make sure that this becomes reality. That it's not just another project. It's not something we're dabbling into. Here are the steps we're taking. As your CEO, I am taking personal ownership of this and we are going to make this happen."

 

So the first thing I want to do is reset the bar and let them know it's not their fault, it's the management. "It's a leadership issue, we take ownership of it. And as of today, that's going to change."

 

Deb Zahn: And when you work with them…because I know the tendency is to have leaders use passive voice and say, "Well, mistakes were made," as opposed to, I think, much more of the accountability approach that you're talking about. Do you help them understand that script? What role do you play as a consultant in helping them get to the point where they can do that?

 

Michael Canic: Well, first is helping them realize that by admitting that, by saying that, doesn't make them a weak leader. It doesn't hurt their credibility. If anything, it enhances your credibility as a leader when you do take responsibility and you say, "Here's what I didn't do, but I need to do going forward." So paradoxically, it can enhance your credibility.

 

So I make it safe for them to do that. I will help them with wording if they need that. And what they find is that by doing it, people then are like, "OK, well we're willing to give you another shot."

 

Deb Zahn: That's right.

 

Michael Canic: But here's the real point. Then, when I meet with the leadership team after, I say to them, "Now you've gone out on a limb with your credibility. You can't fail. This cannot happen because if you lose them now, there's no coming back a second time."

 

Deb Zahn: That's right.

 

Michael Canic: "You have to succeed." So I like to put in place a positive pressure and apply a positive pressure so now they know, "Uh-oh, we've committed to this, now we have to make it happen."

 

Deb Zahn: That's right. And if you fail, you don't go back to zero. You actually create a deficit.

 

Michael Canic: Yes.

 

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Now one thing I know you also talk about, is then who's involved. Because often in a strategic planning process, my experience has been it's the top leaders and maybe if there's a board of directors or trustees, it includes them to some degree.

 

Michael Canic: Yes.

 

Deb Zahn: But your process of strategic management is really different. It's much more inclusive. Can you describe how employees get into the mix and why?

 

Michael Canic: Sure. And maybe just a bit of context. What I found with strategic planning, many of these strategic planning exercises that failed, is the leadership would go away just as you say and develop a plan and maybe with the board's input. And then they would come back down from the mountain with the plan. Give everybody a copy of the plan and say, "Thus, it shall be."

 

Deb Zahn: Right, right. Oh yeah.

 

Michael Canic: Well, obviously, that doesn't go very far. So there are three times to engage employees in the strategic process: before, during, and after. And the before may take the form of an anonymous all-employee survey. We may do focus groups with employees, but we let them know that any of these data gathering or information gathering mechanisms are a critical input to the strategic process. So we let them know that on the front end, their input is key.

 

Then during. What we do is after we come up with a draft strategic framework, we go back to the employees and present it and say, "Here's the direction we're going down. What do you think?" And we'll get input. Now it doesn't mean we decided democratically. That's not the idea. The idea is we get input. "Help us with the blind spots." Then if we make changes, we go back and give them credit for it. "Thank you for bringing that up. We've made this change based on your input. Thank you." And then the after part of it is once we have a strategic framework, we want them involved in the strategy teams. And if we can get them involved in the strategy teams where it makes sense, where it's sensible, then now they're involved in it.

 

Now, what cements all of this is we like to do something called a One Team Meeting. That is where we then present these strategic frameworks to the entire employee base. Well, part of that meeting is after the first year, we'll do it and we'll present the successes that we had in the first year. But here's the key. The employees and the team do the presenting.

 

Deb Zahn: Nice.

 

Michael Canic: It's not about managers. Just not about the leaders. So everybody else sees here are their peers. They were involved. Here's what they accomplished. Now we're creating an inclusive the strategic process. It's not something that was brought down in tablets from the mountain and placed on everyone's desk.

 

Deb Zahn: Right. Who are thinking, "How long can I wait this out before we go back to normal?" Which I think sadly happens. Now I know that this is a really different way to do things for leaders. It's very, very different than typical strategic planning. Which is now I understand why you don't like strategic planning. But I can see where they also might want to slide back into their old ways of doing and being. How do you help them stay with it. Embrace it and institute it as the new way of working?

 

Michael Canic: Right. Well, my typical engagement with a client is two years. Because if we're instituting cultural change, and that's what this is, cultural change at the leadership team level. It takes a while to institute it. So over that time, we're implementing monthly, what we call progress tracking meetings. And there's a fixed agenda with expectations. Report out. Accountability every 30 days. What did we get accomplished? What are we struggling with? What input do we need from the group and what are we going to accomplish in the next 30 days? So there is a cadence of action and accountability.

 

Then we may come back mid-year and recalibrate the plan because things change. So we may look at our assumptions. Bring new data to the table and then revise the plan based on the new reality. That keeps the plan real and it keeps it relevant.

 

We have a structured communications plan. We call it a communications matrix. A matrix that includes who are the key stakeholders? What do we need to communicate? How often? Through which media? So we have a structured plan for engaging and communicating with the employees.

 

And then finally, we look at aligning processes, policies, people practices, anything that needs to be aligned. So that might include, for example, our measurement and goal setting systems. It might include their performance management we have in place. We have something we call the performance excellence process. So there are a number of things like that we might align. All to say that over the course of typically two years, we can institute, not just implement, but to your word, institute the structure and discipline of the strategic management process.

 

Deb Zahn: I love that. It reminds me of the National Health Service in the UK. Their definition of sustainability is “when new ways of working become the norm.”

 

Michael Canic: Yes.

 

Deb Zahn: I love that, and I've used that as I've talked about how you sustain improved outcomes. And I particularly like how you embed it in everything you do. So one advice that I've always given to clients is, if someone has to do something different than what they've done before, it has to go in their job description. If everything ends up being other duties as required, you haven't embedded it in how your organization functions on an ongoing basis. And other duties as required are the things that you do when you have time from doing your normal job, instead of this becoming your normal job, which is why I loved how you talked about it.

 

Michael Canic: Thank you. I'm happy you brought up job descriptions because one of the challenges with strategy and execution is focus.

 

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Michael Canic: And every company I've ever consulted with, Deb, takes on too many projects. Too many strategies. Too many initiatives. Too many objectives. You can't do it all and inevitably, some of those things will fail. Well much like when it comes to job descriptions, we include everything in the kitchen sink, and then we wonder why some things don't get done or people don't have a sense of priority.

 

So in place of a job description, frankly, I like to put in place what we call a success profile, which identifies what are the handful of key things that would define success in this position.

 

Deb Zahn: That's great.

 

Michael Canic: Now underneath that there are a lot of roles and responsibilities. I get all that. But really when it comes to the end of the day, what does success look like in this position? That's what we want the employee focused on. What does success look like? And as a company, we want to be focused on those very few critical initiatives that are necessary to win.

 

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. I just love that. So one other question I ask is, so if you're working with them for two years, until they start to normalize the strategic management process, how does your role change and evolve over that period of time, so that at the end they own this?

 

Michael Canic: And that's another very good question because, at the end of the day, this can't be the consultant's initiative. They have to own it. So over time, as we build discipline and it starts to become a habit because that's the thing: when you do things repeatedly, you don't need discipline. After that it becomes a habit.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right.

 

Michael Canic: Once it's become a habit, then it's transitioning the reins from various parts of the process. So then they take the lead. And then I might be there to give them feedback or some coaching around it. But having that transfer is important.

 

Now when all is said and done, still, it's helpful to have a third party come in and help you facilitate say, with your annual process, right? It's hard to facilitate and participate at the same time. But as far as the overall management throughout the year, that's something companies should be able to do. And we have to transition those capabilities to them.

 

Deb Zahn: I love that. So if someone were a consultant who, like myself, has done strategic planning, has had some of the dissatisfaction of which you speak, how would you suggest that as consultants, we start to move away from that strategic planning hamster wheel or sadly, money train that is not leading where we ultimately want it to go? And how do we start to help our clients with successful execution and helping them embrace that? What do we need to do as consultants to do that?

 

Michael Canic: Good. Well, the first thing is to get over the hill of having to take on all work that comes our way.

 

Deb Zahn: Yep.

 

Michael Canic: So when a client comes, "Oh, can you do strategic planning?" Say no. And here's my typical response. I say, "Well, no. I can't do that." Or "I won't do that because most strategic plans go off the rails or collect dust, right? But here's what I can do. It's called strategic management. It's a process, not an event. It's something that takes a couple of years to institute. But I promise you, you will execute much more than you would simply by developing a plan and having it sit on the shelf."

 

So what I do, Deb, if people ask me, "No, I just want someone to help me develop a strategic plan." There are a lot of people who can do that and will do that at far less costs than hiring me to do that. And they'll do a great job of creating a plan that will go nowhere. That's not what I do.

 

So it's being able to say no, first of all. And are you truly committed as a consultant to taking this kind of approach? If you are, you have to say no to the traditional strategic planning and make it clear to the client what the difference is.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right. And the ability, and I think saying no is actually a skill as well as a mindset. If you can't do it, how are you going to help your clients do it? So your clients have to say no to things and to say yes to other things because everything's a relative choice. So I think that's a great place to start. Are there, other than reading your book, which I think they definitely should do, but is there other new knowledge or skills that they should gain to help them be much more effective in this new approach?

 

Michael Canic: I mean, there are a number of books I've read over time and there are some great books that contribute in different ways to execution. Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, which is their more recent offering. Blue Ocean Shift talks more about what they do around execution. There are some good elements in that. Going back years, there was a book I love called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, which is a great classic book. It talks about how to grow your business when you have to institute certain processes, and there's a discipline around that.

 

So a number of books like that I might recommend. But really it's around you have to have a methodology. And as a consultant, you can't just say, "We're going to help you execute." You need to have a methodology. In the book, of course, I talk about the methodology we use. But as a consultant, you have to have a methodology and make sure you believe in it. Make sure you've developed it and then hone your expertise around that.

 

Deb Zahn: And I would say, what I liked about yours also, again, very generous in the book and sharing yours, is it's also based on literature and understanding of how people in organizations function. So it's not, "I have a cookie-cutter framework, thou shalt fit into it." Or "I will not work with you." But it's, "Here's how we know humans and organizations function and that's why we do it this particular way."

 

Michael Canic: Well, serendipitously, my academic background, I've got a doctorate in the psychology of human performance. And lo and behold, everything in business has to do with performance. I thought I was going to be a professor, but I decided to get into the working world. It's like, wow, performance. That's the key issue.

 

So I've been fortunate in being able to apply a lot of what I learned to this whole model of execution because it does depend on people. It does depend on our psychology. It does depend on the human condition. And we have to understand how people operate and where their psychology is at if we want to achieve behavioral change.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right. Yeah. And it's often what I've seen that can trip consultants up. The plan is perfect except for the people. And my point is always, "Well, unless you're switching to hamsters, people are what you got." So the plan actually has to work for the people that are going to be involved in executing it and maintaining it.

Michael Canic: Yeah, exactly. Don't fall into the trap of being rational but unrealistic.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right. That's right. Because humans aren't always rational. And I really like in your book, how you embrace that, but not in a pejorative way. It's just, this is how it functions and this is how it operates.

 

So I was also struck as I was reading your book that many of the principles and practices you talk about also applied to the business of consulting itself because, as a consultant, if you're a one-person shop, you're a 10-person shop, more, you are still the CEO of your consulting business and have to function as such.

 

So is there advice that you would give consultants based on, again, the work you do as the lead of your own consulting firm? As well as the work you do with clients that you would say, "If you're building your business, do these things."

 

Michael Canic: Absolutely. Because ruthless consistency does apply. Here's how. When I mentioned the person I sat on the board with, who got me into the consulting world because of all these cool projects he was working on. When I asked him for advice on how to start my consulting practice, he gave me a piece of advice. I remember to this day and it is my number one piece of advice for anyone who wants to get into consulting.

 

He said, "Mike, what you have to understand about consulting is this: there's doing the business and there's getting the business. And you can't do the business unless you get the business. That's the number one thing you have to know about consulting." So you have to be consistent in your efforts at getting the business, as well as doing the business.

 

Unfortunately, many of our consulting colleagues, Deb, get into this because they're good at something. Or they've got expertise in an area. Or they find the consulting fun. While it's all well and good to find the consulting fun and interesting and challenging, you've got to get the business.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right.

 

Michael Canic: So number one, you've got to have this consistency with a focus on both getting and doing the business. Number two, I was mentioning about focus. Too many consultants, unfortunately, dabbled.

 

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

 

Michael Canic: So some of my colleagues, when you asked them, what did they do, they say, "Well, I'm a consultant. And I'm a trainer. And I'm a facilitator. And I'm a coach. And I'm a dog walker. And I'm a yoga instructor." And I just write, "You're everything." So, I mean, how can you be known for anything? So don't dabble. Develop an expertise. Become an expert. Be able to say, "No, I can't do that. That's not my expertise. But if you're looking for this, I'm the person." So become an expert. So focus is just as important when developing your consulting business as it is in business in general.

 

Next, like any business, your best marketing is your product.

 

Deb Zahn: Yep.

 

Michael Canic: So you have to do good work. Make sure as a consultant, you're doing exceptional work. Go above and beyond. Offer the extras. You want to leave people thinking, "Wow, for anybody who needs this kind of work, Deb's who I'm going to recommend." Right?

 

Deb Zahn: Yep.

 

Michael Canic: So make sure you go above and beyond with the work you're doing. And as I mentioned before, be selective in how you select clients. Don't just grab at business. You can grab at business and cause yourself more grief in the long run. So I know it might be painful if you're starting because you want to get revenue coming in. But be selective and become increasingly selective in selecting your clients.

 

Deb Zahn: That's right. And that over time because consulting business is a long game. That over time will actually bring you more business than the inconsistency or the, "I'm all things to everyone."

 

Michael Canic: Absolutely.

 

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful advice. So let me ask you this last question because I think one of the other things that are important is a previous guest, Sky Jarrett, who talked about sustainable high performance, which I think matters for our clients, and I think it matters for us. And one of the ways is to have balance in your life is however you define that. So how do you bring balance to your life?

 

Michael Canic: Adventure.

 

Deb Zahn: That's a great answer.

 

Michael Canic: I love travel and adventures. So we're in unique times right now. But in normal times, my wife and I love to explore. So I've been to more than 40 countries. I've done things like journey by camel in the Sahara. Trek the mountains of Northern Pakistan. Swam with piranhas in the Amazon. Anything to do with travel. Learning about cultures. I love mountains. Mountain activities. I've climbed numerous peaks in the Andes. So in a word: Adventure. And that really keeps me energized and refreshed.

 

Deb Zahn: Oh, I love that. And I can imagine it infiltrates your work as well, right? Because you know what it's like to climb a mountain.

 

Michael Canic: Well, and the sacrifice and the pain that goes along with it. So yeah, there are a lot of analogies from adventures to what we're trying to do in business.

 

Deb Zahn: So if everybody takes my advice, which I hope they do and read your book, how do they find it?

 

Michael Canic: Thanks for asking. Makingstrategyhappen.com. So my business is Making Strategy Happen. Our website is makingstrategyhappen.com. You can order the book there. Of course, on Amazon or any of your favorite online retailers. You can get it there as well. So that's the place to get Ruthless Consistency.

 

Deb Zahn: Great. And I will have a link in my show notes. And the other thing I just want folks to know, so we scratched the surface of what's in this book. Maybe the first few chapters. But there is so much more in this and again, you're quite generous with even sharing the tools that you use to help people do this strategic management. And so I would encourage everybody. Dig into it as much as you can. And Michael, thank you so much for joining me on this show.

 

Michael Canic: Great. Really enjoyed it. Thanks so much, Deb.

 

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or if you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up and a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything. But the other two things that I'm going to ask you to do is, one is if you have any comments, so if you have any suggestions or any kind of feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those.

 

And then the last thing is, again, if you've gotten something out of this, share it, share it with somebody you know who's a consultant or thinking about being a consultant, and make sure that they also have access to all this great content and all the other great content that's going to be coming up.

 

So as always, you can go and get more wonderful information and tools at craftofconsulting.com. Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

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