Ingredients for Making Decisions



Many consultants and change agents know the value of asking good questions.  While the value of the art is known the doing of asking a good question is not always straight forward.

Stepping back from the immediate situation and evaluating the impact of your actions and decisions beyond what is currently known is a challenge.  A suggestion to incorporate a higher-level thinking in making decisions is to ask yourself the following:

  1. What will my feelings about this situation and this course of action be in 10 minutes?
  2. What will my feelings be about this situation and this course of action be in 10 months?
  3. What will my feelings be about this situation and this course of action be in 10 years?

Mastering the process takes time and may not be applicable to all situations.  Try it over a period of time and track the quality of decisions you have made as a result.

At the very least it will prove to be illuminating.

Need greater clarity – contact me to discuss.

Business Change & Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


Quiet Time Enhances Creativity & Productivity

The mantra of busyness is one that most of us are familiar with. A different approach is becoming popular and it is one where you actually schedule or plan for a period of quiet in your day. The quiet is needed for creativity – the stuff that we all have and are not accessing due to busyness.

  1. Plan what you want or need to learn.

With a period of quiet you can actually think about your learning goals and take action steps toward its achievement. You may experience a breakthrough in the process.

  1. Practice skills that need to be developed.

Stopping the automatic process of doing and getting the same results may take effort. Practicing something different until we begin to see different results pays off and is worth the investment and the periods of quiet that go with it.

  1. Contemplation in relation to achievements and failures

The expression of taking a walk to clear your head is common place and sound advice. It is also helpful in the development of ideas. Taking time to contemplate provides opportunity for creativity to flourish.

  1. Solving problems as they occur.

With quiet time built into your day the opportunity to solve the problem that has occurred is available.  The need to push the issue aside and stick to a to-do list is mitigated.

  1. Try something differently and experiment with it to see if it works.

It may not work. It is still a valuable opportunity to learn from and test the ideas that you have.

Business Change & Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at


5 Behaviors That Make You Unstoppable

All of us earn our good reputations by excelling at what we do. Adopt a few behaviors will assist in being unstoppable in your industry.  Personal mastery is necessary to set yourself apart from others.  A few pointers on achieving the best version of you follow.

  1. Understand That Things Go Wrong

You can do all you can to succeed and plan every meticulous detail of a project or change, but things go wrong and mistakes happen.  Be calm and stay focused when that happens.

  1. Leave “Over Thinking” Behind

Be sure of yourself to avoid over-analyzing a situation.   Trust your own experience and feelings to see you through and move forward.

  1. Take Responsibility

Everyone makes mistakes.  Acknowledges the mistake and take ownership.  That means doing so even when another member of you teams is involved in the situation. Address what needs to be done differently and implement the correction for a solution as soon as possible

  1. Be Yourself

The best part about you is that you are original and therefore you should use this to your advantage and stop trying to be anyone else.

  1. Value Simplicity

It is easy to overcomplicate things and lose sight of what you are trying to achieve.  Do the basics well rather than adding layers of complexity. Refer to the project or change objectives frequently to stay on task and on track.

 These 5 behaviours will serve you in good stead and enhance your reputation as being an unstoppable.

Business Change & Transformation Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Employee & Company Growth Are Often at Different Paces

You were hired for your dream job at company XYZ.  For the first few years you were in the zone – you meshed with the company culture and were a great fit in terms of your attitude and behaviour.  Suddenly or maybe gradually you began to feel less aligned overall with the company.  You wanted more freedom, or creativity or different challenges.  The fit does not feel quite right.  There is a chaffing going on.

As an employer and leader you notice that one of your star employees is indifferent.  The person maybe quieter, or appear to be less involved.  Quality of work may be a little inconsistent.  Attitude while still good has changed.  An underlying tension or apprehension is evident.  The company or the employee may have grown by leaps and bounds.  What started off as a great fit is no longer.

When facing a situation with an employee who is no longer a good fit there are some steps you as the employer can take to mitigate the situation.  First you can meet with the employee and develop a transitioning out plan.  Working with other businesses to find a home for the employee is a win-win scenario.  Another option is to look internally to determine if there is a role that will use put the talents and skills of the employee to good use.

What have you tried to ensure both you and an employee come out as winners when the fit is gone?

Business Change & Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Intuition & Management







Intuition may be the highest form of intelligence. Looking at managerial competencies and linking that to intuition in the business world lead to the following list:

  1. Action Orientation

Taking action at the right time is crucial in business.  Whether the action is quick or over a prolonged period of time may be an intuitive decision.

  1. Dealing With Ambiguity

Trusting that change is the order of the day is an important intuitive aspect.  Being able to live with the change and make operational decisions in trusting that gut feeling requires a capacity for discomfort.

  1. Approachability

Being open with others is important even when the final outcome is not clear.  Trusting the intuitive sense of pursing the course and communicating that the final outcome may be somewhat changeable is truly an innate process.

  1. Business Acumen

Being able to read the market place and make decisions based on the goings is perceptive and shrewd at the same time.  Taking action to support those insights as quickly as possible is invaluable.

  1. Managerial Courage

Having the courage to take action on what is often perceived as a lack of evidence or an unsubstantiated hunch is not without its risks.  However it may pay off in the long run and the daring person who trusts that intuitive pull may just win the day.

What decisions have you made in business that was based on something other than logic?   What was the end result?  Do let me know as I am genuinely interested in the outcome.

Business Change & Transition Strategist , Marie-Helene Sakowski at



Managing Change Processes at Work




The rapid advancement of technology coupled with fast paced lives provides the framework for a go-go culture.  Working these days means keeping up with your day-to-day accountabilities while also trying to keep pace with the demands made by the company or business leadership to implement process or business improvements.

Just writing this has feelings of overwhelm and worry surface.  Suggestions for managing numerous change processes while decreasing stress and maintaining productivity include:

  • Teaching and learning in small bite sized chunks of 5 to 10-minute segments so that you can digest the information. Most of us can cope with a 10-minute session.
  • Assist with memory retention by having a series of quizzes over a 4-week period. That will help retain the information and avoid the pitfall of forgetting 70 – 80 % of what you have learned over the same time frame.

Stay tuned for more suggestions to address overwhelm and worry when it comes to change process.

Business Change & Transition Strategist – Marie-Helene Sakowski,

Worry at Work over Changes



“Worrying about a problem is not a strategy for change”.   Jody Williams, Chair Nobel Women’s Initiatives.

The above quotation describes how many of us address change whether that be consciously or not.  In this age of rapid technological advancement change is being thrust upon us in our work environments with unrelenting rapidity.

I read an article by John Breakey regarding the reasons for employees resisting change.  He suggests employees face as many 30 changes in a year in their workplaces.  That number in and of itself is overwhelming.

Think about it.  The expectation is that employees keep up with their workload and master 30 changes under tight timeframes.

It is no wonder that worry tends to be a predominate factor in change initiatives.  There are a few solutions to assist with managing the changes so that worry is lessened and productivity and accomplishment thrive.

Stay tuned for more in the next few info bites on managing change.

Business Change & Transition Strategist – Marie-Helene Sakowski,


Grit and the Art of Staying with It

At work and home most of us lead fast paced lives that require a certain level of commitment. For myself before the day is complete at the office or on an assignment I need to spend 10 minutes at least prioritizing the areas that need to be addressed the next day. That gives me a sense of completion. It allows me to be able to move from work mode to home mode. At home there are inevitably several areas that require and need my attention. I use the same practice of writing down the areas that need to be addressed the next day just before getting ready for a good night’s sleep. In my experience being well rested is crucial to maintain the pace of life and my physical well-being.

Grit is that determination and passion that fuels me through the rough spots or the maze of a work and home day. Having grit is really the art of staying with something to have it come to fruition. Staying the course in the midst of a change management process has brought the importance of grit home to me. Giving in to circumstances that do not align with the project and the expressed purpose of the change does not serve.

When challenged or confronted by difficult circumstances or people I rely on grit to kick in and carry me through.  The truth is that it has done so whatever the challenge has been.

Where does grit show up for you?

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Summertime – Time to Hire that Contract Worker







With the volatility of the economic climate in many industrialized counties including Canada, the USA and much of Europe the circumstances provide the perfect storm for the use of contractual consultants.

  1. Contract workers take the edge off of overwhelm due to overwork and or contraction.
  2. Contracts allow a business to keep its overhead manageable.
  3. Contracts with consultants add a different perspective to the workplace that in and of itself leads to positive change.
  4. Contract workers take the edge off of peak vacation periods and ensure that projects and or production stay on track saving costly financial overruns.

Contractors are a beneficial investment of time and resources especially in relation to the challenges of ongoing change.  The true value of a business is the people who work in it.  Shorter term contractors provide invaluable assistance in addressing current and future volatility.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at

Are you an authentic Communicator?


Communication – sounds simple and yet we all have had experiences that indicate it is a complex process.  Whether at work or at home being an authentic communicator may present a challenge that many people are not that aware of.

The art of authentic communication is based on speaking or writing for yourself.  That’s right – speaking or writing for yourself.  Much of the time what we try to pass off as authentic communication is actually an attempt to have our audience respond in a certain way.

Messages are carefully crafted to have that audience be taken by the content.  The flaw in this is that we have absolutely no control over how another person will react to what we have written or spoken.

Try communicating for yourself and track the results.  You may find it curiously liberating and find that the message may even carry a greater impact.

Business Transition Strategist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at