Strategy

Where is your business headed?

Business owners and executives across the country struggle to answer this question. Most make some comment that they are moving forward and growing. Others say they think everyone in the company knows where they are going. Yet when asked, employees respond by saying, “Wherever the company tells me we’re going.”

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Rapidity

[Ra•pid•i•ty]: noun
The quality of moving or reacting with great speed.

Is your company prepared?

We know that organizations have always needed people who are good at leading. Though we often hire and promote people who have been good managers and adequate leaders, it is now essential to find great leaders. The future of our organizations need leaders who will prepare us for the future.

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Make the Most of Your Training Budget

For many companies, this time of year is budget season. I know, you’re thinking…oh joy! Don’t remind me. But we bring this up for an important reason: the development of your employees. It’s pretty easy to view employee training as an expense to be managed; as just another line item or as an area to cut to balance your budget. But do you know the result of this mindset? It can create a reactionary culture of supervisors that wait to act until something negative happens. It can result in employees learning to take action after something is a problem, instead of planning to eliminate it. It can create misalignment in your company’s goals, take away from employee engagement, and bring about a culture you’re not exactly happy about.

A comprehensive training plan and training budget should be viewed as an investment…not just as an expense. Employee training doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive. And it can provide a measurable return on investment that not only justifies, but validates the expense.

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Survey Says…

So, you’ve decided to conduct a company-wide employee survey. An admirable goal—one shared by many progressive organizations. What now?

Conducting an effective employee survey can be complicated. And if done incorrectly, can potentially damage internal relationships.

How then can you avoid the pitfalls and conclude with meaningful results?

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Tough Decisions: The Next Generation of Leaders

I was recently asked this question by the owner of a family business with four sons working in the firm: “How do I choose which one will run the business?”

Wow! There are so many ways to answer this question. Family business succession can be complicated. My first response was to ask, “Who wants to?” To which the owner did not know the answer. So that is a good place to start; however, there is more running the family business than just who wants to.

When deciding who should be the next generation CEO and who should play supporting roles, let’s take a look at a few of the tough decisions at play here.

The owner may be asking several questions: Who can run the business? Who wants to? Do we have the talent? Do we expect that they will want to?

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Management Teams Aren’t Productive

Recently, while working with an executive team, I posed the question, “How productive are you?” They all looked at me as though I had three heads. Then gave me the list of things they are doing. Appointments and meetings they have scheduled. So I pressed on.

“What are you doing that is moving your team and/or the business forward or toward achieving the strategic goals?” Needless to say, what followed was a lengthy discussion.

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Our Supervisors Need Help!

We’re always talking to company owners or department heads, and one of the most frequent statements we hear is, “Our supervisors need help.” When we ask them to be more specific, often the reply has something to do with helping them get more productivity from the teams they lead.

Our question then becomes, “So, what do you want to do about it?”

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Your Talent is Going to Walk Out…How to Save your Workforce

One thing we’ve heard over the past year or two is that it’s difficult to find the talent necessary to deliver the production rates needed by businesses to meet customer demands. Many positions are being filled by people that don’t have the skills necessary to fulfill the job.

Managers and HR Directors are throwing “bodies” at problems rather than hiring the required talent to get the job done adequately – simply because the best employees are already working somewhere else!

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The future of your company is NOW!

You have a great management team. They are well trained and provide great leadership to their direct reports. They make great decisions. They are passionate about what they do and there is very little coaching needed to help them reach the company goals. But wait…How many of them will be retiring or leaving your company in the next five years? Have you done any future planning?

Most companies have invested time and resources to develop the leadership team. It probably took years to find just the right mix of diverse thinking, skills, communication styles, and talents. It is an art to find just the right mix. But how long will it last?

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Weak Bench Strength

Working with businesses across the country, we hear a lot of talk about preparing companies for the exit of their most senior managers…but sometimes it comes with very little action. What’s up with that?

When you ask many company owners who will take over for them, they usually answer with, “I don’t know! I don’t know of anyone who is like me.” After conversations like this, the action is thinking and talking, but usually no change.

So here’s what you do…

Start hiring the right people.  Hire what you need, not replace who you have.

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