It has been said, “We’d better pay attention to the future because that’s where we’re going to spend the rest of our lives.” Success in any business is a clear picture of where the business is going and even though there is technically no “end,” what will the end result look like? The propensity of most management teams right now is to focus on the present, to put out fires, and manage by crisis. With all of the changes in the business environment over the last 24 months, that propensity is understandable; however, crisis management doesn’t prepare your organization for future growth and opportunity.Read More
Analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of a business is a well-established tool that is widely used by academics, consultants, and advisors. Although it is a simple concept, business owners often struggle when trying to use it because it is so broad. It is difficult to determine where to start, what questions to ask, and where to focus. The obvious problems get attention while many other important issues get overlooked.Read More
My guess is that if you are reading this, you want to achieve more. Most of us wish that we could be more effective in our jobs and have a higher level of satisfaction. Believe it or not, this has a lot to do with successfully setting and following through on your goals. To get you off on the right track, here is a tried and tested goal setting strategy to set and achieve your goals.Read More
If you search for “why businesses fail” you will get millions of results talking about the pitfalls and untold reasons why businesses go out of business. Instead of the focusing on what went wrong, focus on planning and building for success. Outcomes that are focused on are typically the outcomes that are generated. If you want to build a successful business you need to focus on success. We can learn a great deal from businesses that fail and apply that knowledge to actions step that propel a business toward success and away from failure. Here are some important elements of a successful business to consider.Read More
It’s that time of year again: the time of holiday parties, Christmas cards to write, shopping to do (even online at work!), vacations, family commitments, and more stress. It is no wonder that a recent survey by Accountemps found that 44% of executives feel employees are less productive the week before a major holiday. While this may be true, there are ways in which we as leaders can counteract all of the distractions and stress and help people be as productive now as the rest of the year.Read More
... Not too long ago, a colleague had a problem with her knee and after seeing her family doctor she was referred to a knee specialist - a specialist considered one of the best in Indianapolis. When she called for an appointment, she feared the worst. Instead, she had an appointment within 24 hours.
My guess is that as you read each of these short stories, you were surprised at the level of service. The fact is, this level of service should be the norm, but sadly isn't. Our experience has lowered the expectations of most of us. But there is good news...Read More
When faced with a large or complex situation, there are two qualities that will lead to more effective decisions: logic and an open mind. When you approach a problem, strip your mind of preconceived opinions and prejudices. Logically assemble and learn the facts of the situation. By understanding the cause and effect relationship involved in a situation, you can formulate solutions that deal with the root of the problem. By keeping an open mind, you can creatively develop alternatives from which to choose when making your final decision.Read More
People choose to buy from you, offer help, and grant rewards based on trust. In many ways, trust is your most valuable resource. Stephen Covey in his book The Speed of Trust tells us that, "when trust goes up, speed goes up and cost goes down." Here are a few of the ways to increase your success by building trust. While you may already do most of these things, missing even one of them can ruin it all.Read More
For years, I have tried to answer this one question: What do businesses that achieve sustained growth do differently from those that stagnate or fail?
As an executive coach, I speak to a variety of different types of business owners each year. I’ve learned that there are no silver bullets or 17-point checklists that will lead to guaranteed growth. There are, however, seven specific areas in which growth companies concentrate their efforts.Read More
You probably know the myth of innovation as a sudden flash of insight that comes from nowhere. We read about that “aha” moment, or that light bulb turning on in the mind of some inventor or innovator, and this is true to an extent. Einstein really did get flashes of insight while shaving in the morning. However, he was, of course, working on the particular problems he had insight into, and he didn’t suddenly have ideas for new kitchen gadgets or movie plots.Read More