About Erika Andersen

Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are custom tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture.

Visit Erika's Forbes.com Blog

Latest tweets

  • Loading tweets...

Be Bad First

Get Good at Things FAST to Stay Ready for the Future
Learn More...

Leading So People Will Follow

Proven leadership framework that creates loyalty, commitment and results.
Learn More...

Being Strategic

Plan for Success; Out-think Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change
Learn More...

Growing Great Employees

Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers
Learn More...

Bg Ribbon Green

Archive for June, 2009



Holding Women Back.

83987560_afb5938b6f I was working with a group today from WICT, an organization whose mission is to develop women leaders who transform the media (specifically cable television) industry.  We were talking about how some people don't support organizations like WICT because they think the gender gap is a thing of the past.

Sadly, not so.  A WICT staffer, Laurie Root, sent me this article from DDI, citing research that shows it's still not a level playing field in the area of leadership development – that women aren't being given the support to develop as leaders in the ways that men are.

Have you experienced this?  And if so, what can you do to change it in your organization?

Posted in people


Thank you, Jon!

» Blog Archive » What Is Your Hoped-For Future? | Creo Quality, LLC.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again – it may be the greatest pleasure for an author when someone really gets what you're saying.  Jon Speer, my newest online friend, has done me the honor of blogging about Being Strategic in a way that's so clear, so helpful, and so positive, that he's completely made my day.

And he blogged about it more than once….so he's made a bunch of my days.

Posted in Books


I Heart New Techonolgy

Today I was lamenting my slow, sporadic and stupidly expensive internet connection at my country/weekend house.  There's no cable service near me (it sounds remote, but it's not really – it's within 15 minutes by car of both New Paltz and Poughkeepsie), so I've had to cobble together my media/technology solution: Verizon for phone, DirecTV for television, and HughesNet for wifi.  Hughesnet is satellite broadband, and – at least in my situation – it is, as previously stated slow, sporadic and expensive.

So, as I was bitching and moaning, my love Patrick said, "Why don't you just use a mobile broadband adapter?"  Then he proceeded, very kindly, to download the Verizon software, connect the cute little adapter to my computer's USB port, and…voila.  Twice as fast, half as expensive.

I know some people think technology is scary, or ruining the quality of our human connections, or whatever.  But I mostly love it.  As long as you're clear that it doesn't replace real relationships, or make you happy, or give you love…that is, as long as you use it to simply make effort more productive or results easier to get, I think it's great.  Twenty-first century labor-saving devices.

Posted in Web/Tech


“Strategy Made Sensible”

Three Star Leadership Blog: Book Review: Being Strategic.

I'm honored that Wally Bock, the author of the Three Star Leadership blog and a wonderful person and thinker-about-management as well, has written a lovely review recommending Being Strategic. Perhaps my favorite sentence of all is this: "With this book you'll live your strategy instead of burying it in binders."

And that's exactly why I wrote the book; to offer people a mental model and a set of skills for crafting – and continuing to craft – the business, the career, or the life they most want.

For an author, the best experience may be when someone gets from your writing the benefit that you most hoped you were putting into it.

Thank you so much,Wally!

Posted in Books


Watch This Space

It's fascinating watching the dueling pundits on TV (temporarily fascinating – it gets old fast).  Listening, you could come to the conclusion that 1) we're on the road to recovery, 2) it's worse than ever, 3) we might be OK, but it's gonna take a really long time and be really painful, or 4) no one has a clue.  Or all of the above.

But then there's what's actually happening.  I'm observing our clients' businesses; I'm watching what's happening with my business; I'm talking to my friends and colleagues about their businesses. I know this isn't a statistically valid sample, but at least it's reality-based, and so I'd like to share it with you anyway as a respite from theory.

My grandmother data tells me that people seem to be rolling up their sleeves and getting back to work.  During the first couple of months of the year, what I saw – mostly – was shock and paralysis.  There was a real bunker mentality; people were hunkering down and doing the minimum necessary to keep their businesses afloat. (Our business was down, as were those of many of my friends who offer various sorts of business services.)

Then, along about March, people seemed to start coming out of their bunkers, blinking in the light of day.  It was almost as though they were saying, "OK, we're still here, we still have to do business.  Let's make sure we're operating as simply and cleanly as possible; let's make sure we're headed in the right direction; and let's make sure we've got the right people and they're really doing a good job."

I see a lot of folks starting to ramp their businesses back up, but they're doing it differently.  Less complacency, less sloppiness. More care.

It's been great for my business: these are efforts my colleagues and I can really support and enable…and a lot of folks are calling on us to do this. And my friends are noticing the same thing with their businesses.

So it may be a long road back – but I think we're on it.  And I think we're going to end up in a better place.

Posted in Organizations


ChangeThis Redux

ChangeThis – Being Strategic: The Antidote to Fear.

After I wrote my first book, I had the honor of being asked to write a manifesto for 800CEOREAD's ChangeThis website.  If you're not familiar with ChangeThis, I encourage you to check it out. From the site's self-descriptive manifesto:

ChangeThis doesnʼt publish e-books or manuscripts or manuals. Instead, we facilitate the spread of thoughtful arguments…arguments we call manifestos.

A manifesto is a five-, ten- or twenty-page PDF file that makes a case. It outlines in careful, thoughtful language why you might want to think about an issue differently.

So when they asked me to write a new manifesto for Being Strategic, I knew just what I wanted to write about:  I 59.02.BeingStrategic_thumb wanted break through the common myth that strategy and strategic thinking are esoteric, complex, obscure, only narrowly applicable. I wanted to help people understand that being strategic is a powerful and positive life skill.

In fact, I believe that being truly strategic gives people a way to make decisions based on an accurate assessment of the current state and a reasonable aspiration for the future, rather than simply reacting out of fear.  Read the manifesto and see why…

Posted in Thinking