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.

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Archive for August, 2009




Had a wonderful time talking with Paul McLoughlin of McLoughlin at Work last week.  We did a half-hour interview – and I’ll give you the link to it when it goes up – but he also had me do a little four-minute piece at the end of our time together.  “Think of this as an audio promo for the book,” he said.  I’ll ask you a couple of questions, and you say what you most want to say to people in four minutes.”

So that’s what we did.  See what you think.

Posted in News


Inc 500 Conference

Small Business Conferences For The Fastest Growing Companies In The US – Inc500Conference.com.

200909 I'm very excited about the Inc 500 Conference this year – at least partly because I'm one of the speakers. What a great opportunity to share the Being Strategic ideas with a smart, highly motivated group of folks…who will, I suspect, immediately turn around and put them to good use!

It seems to me this is a great time to think about the future and get clearer about how to do business in smart ways that work better for customers, employees and owners. Useful and inspiring: a great combination.

If you're an entrepreneur and are free on the 23-25 of September, get yourself to Washington!

Posted in communicating


Is US Business Growing Up?

I've been having lots of conversations with C-level clients lately that go something like this: "You know, we really need to take a hard look at how we're operating this business.  I'm not sure we're clear enough – or realistic enough – about where we're going and how we're going to get there.  And I'm not sure we've got the very best people on the team, or the clean and simple systems and processes we need to get there."

I find it heartening.  It doesn't feel fearful; it's not the oh-my-god-the-sky-is-falling-let's-slash-spending stuff I was hearing last fall and winter.  And it's not overly conservative – that is, I'm not hearing CEOs say they're going to stop looking for new ways to serve their customers, or to let go of their aspirations.

It simply feels like a more balanced approach: like more senior executives are looking to establish what I'm fond of calling "reasonable aspirations."  That is, to create a vision for the future that's realistic and achievable, given where they''re starting from right now.  When you create reasonable aspirations, then you can begin to focus on creating reasonable plans for achieving them.

Perhaps too many US businesses have operated too much like teenagers for the past 20+ years: going for short-term gratification, feeling immortal, thinking that consequences apply only to someone else.  And maybe the silver lining of this wild time we're experiencing is that it will get us to finally grow up as a business community — and look to create organizations that are solid, sustainable, responsible to the communities and world in which they operate.

That's what I'm hoping.  What do you think?

Posted in Organizations


This Must Be Book Week

Franke James » Blog Archive » Bothered by My Green Conscience book launch is….

3257932463_2d7dcf9401_o_d-1 Having just talked about my brother Kurt's new book, I find I must now talk about my ridiculously productive friend Franke James' new book. (I blogged about the other book she published this year, Dear Office-Politics, just last month.)

The link above is to Franke's blog, where she talks about the book, and the great way she launched it.

What I love most about Bothered By My Green Conscience is that Franke speaks directly to the reader's environmental conscience without using one iota of either guilt or self-righteousness.  She offers a powerful message delivered with sweet humor, a wry self-deprecation, useful information, and her signature wonderfully engaging, quirky graphics.

Buy one for yourself and a couple more for anyone whose eco-consciousness you'd like to (gently) raise.

Posted in Books


I Concur

Book Excerpt: Reset by Kurt Anderson – TIME.

My brother Kurt rocks. (My brother David rocks, too, but that's another post.) A few weeks ago, Random House published Kurt's powerful little book, Reset. In it, he proposes that our current crises are an opportunity to re-imagine and re-create much of what hasn't been working in America over the past 20+ years.

I agree with most all of what he says (and he says it so wonderfully).  I especially agree with his Reset_closed300 perspective on what this means for US business.  In the link above, Time offers an excerpt from the book that focuses on this topic.  Basically Kurt says that our current situation will serve as a kind of accelerated survival-of-the-fittest moment for business; that those organizations whose structure, products or philosophies are outdated and cumbersome will fall — to be replaced by companies that offer the goods and services people want while using new ways to create and sell, and leveraging the changed expectations of workers and consumers alike.

I encourage you to read the excerpt – and I encourage you to buy the book. It's clear, bracing, hopeful, and – I think – spot-on.

Posted in Books


I’m Back!

I.O.U. A Conclusion – Idea Sandbox.

Post2post_on_tan What a wonderful vacation! And while I was gone, Paul Williams waved his magic wand and – voila – his Post2Post virtual book tour of Being Strategic appeared on five different blogs last week.

The link above will take you to all five interviews (which I completed via email before I left), but I also wanted to thank each of the participants individually.  Each of them asked interesting, fun and thought-provoking questions – and all made me feel extremely welcome on their blogs!  So, my thanks to Martin Bishop at Brand Mix; Tom Magness at Leader Business; Phil Gerbyshak at Slacker Manager; Karin Koonings at The Essental Orange; and Rajesh Setty at Life Beyond Code.

Thank you all so much for your time, intelligence, curiosity and enthusiasm!

Posted in News