Founder and Chair – LMFC
Vice Chair – LMFC
President and CEO – LMFC
President & CEO – The Bank of Holland
SVP of Shared Services - LMFC

Hear from the founder of Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, Rich Lievense, and his insight on what this blog encompasses.

Several years ago, I had a crazy opportunity to head to California with a few colleagues and spend half a day with Peter Drucker. We arrived the day before and spent hours preparing for our discussion.  We had read his books, watched his presentations, studied his key ideas, … and spent our ‘preparation time’ challenging one another on Drucker’s business thinking.  We ended our prep time with a coordinated list of 12 questions – each of us would have an opportunity to ask one. The next morning, Dr. Drucker arrived in our hotel conference room to find the twelve of us sitting around the table scared to death to get any words out of our mouths! Dr. Drucker was quite old when we met him, but sharp, smart, witty, fun, nice, friendly… what an amazing learning experience with so many key takeaways.
Rich passed a TED Talk my way – a short talk by leadership consultant Roselinde Torres entitled “What It Takes to be a Great Leader.”  As I watched her presentation, I heard many parallels between Torres’ questions and what I learned that day from Dr. Drucker. 
Question #1: Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life? Dr. Drucker challenged us on how and with whom we spent our time. He taught us “to manage your time, you need to know where it goes.”
Question #2: What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? Dr. Drucker emphasized the importance of a diverse team and how to make individual strengths productive and weaknesses irrelevant.
Question #3: Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? Dr. Drucker shared with us the value of foresight and the importance of “assessing the futurity of present events.”
Upon my arrival home from that pretty intense day and a half in California, my two young boys were excited to see me.  I was eager to share with them my experience of meeting Dr. Drucker, his wisdom, and the profound lessons I had learned. Much to my dismay, my boys were more excited to hear of my chance meeting with Snoop Doggy Dogg who was hosting a pretty rowdy party in the banquet hall next to where we met with Dr. Drucker.  (In a sprint to the restroom so as not to miss anything Dr. Drucker had to say, I literally crashed into the SnoopDogg in the hallway! Good grief.)
Please take a few minutes to watch the attached TED Talk.

Rich introduced us to the idea of 'big data' in a blog posted June 26, 2013, "Sizing Up Big Data."  The New York Times article advanced the idea of data tools and techniques in the fields of science, politics, crime prevention, public health, and sports... and our significant increase in computational power.
A few months ago, Rich shared the article, "They're Watching You at Work" with me. The article described the application of big data to the labor market.  According to the article's author, Don Peck, "Predictive statistical analysis, harnessed to big data, appears poised to alter the way millions of people are hired and assessed."  Hmmm... Call me a skeptic. Can the use of algorithms and data replace the human, qualitative hiring practices I have used for 25-some years?
Peck argued quite convincingly that quantitative analysis and algorithmic assessment eliminate the biases and snap judgments of the traditional interview, thus quantitatively improving our hiring decisions. Academically, I am fascinated by the idea of 'people analytics.'   I'm still however, trying to get my arms around the idea of a robot recruiter replacing a really good human one. 
Take a read... 
According to Ramaswamy and Youngdahl (2013), many leaders inadvertently hinder superior performance. Have you been drawn into the 'hindrance trap?'  The authors asked three key questions:
1. Are employees clear on the purpose and direction driving their work?
2. Do our leaders account for and respect the need for organizational capacity required to carry out their strategic intent?
3. Do our policies promote or inhibit effectiveness?
This article made me think critically about how I work with my teams and ask myself where I might be an obstacle to their effectiveness or an enabler of it.  Have you reflected on the role you play in helping your teams deliver positive performance outcomes?  Read on...

Read the article
We live in a great country at a wonderful time in human history. Perhaps this short list will remind us of the progress we have made over the last century in this country.

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