At the end of the day, business success boils down to a formula that includes four basic areas: People – both yours and theirs, Wealth Creation – solid business acumen, Evolving Business Model – matching the business to the environment, and Execution – action beats brilliance. Large-scale shakeout is taking place in virtually every business sector. The bold are eating the timid, and the customer is king.
We are living in a – customer driven economy.- People are walking into car dealerships with an internet invoice price list in hand and stating what they will pay for a vehicle and in some cases stating exactly how they want the vehicle equipped and when they want it. In this new environment; Time – want it now, Money – want it cheap, and Quality – expect it in product, sale and service, is the admission price to do business. Customers don’t care where it’s made. Customers are quite often ungrateful! They are not impressed about how hard you are working to fill their order. They simply want it their way – now!
As a business you must be easy to do business with and provide more value added products and services than your competitors. Be bold or go out of business!
The following – bold statements- are provided to help you run your business in the present and ensure its sustainability and growth in the future.
People: – The real business is all about people – Yours and Theirs!
– Hire the very best. Your entire talent pool is the key to your success.
– Excite that talent and continue to train that talent
– Consciously develop a good corporate culture because culture counts!
– Personal evaluations are important. They are like exercise – do it once a year and it won’t feel good. The more you do it the better it feels and the better you become – both as an evaluator of people and as the one being evaluated. Evaluations should be a coaching experience both to encourage and raise the bar.
– Ask yourself the question, if I lost the top 20% of my organization could I still run my business effectively? If not – why do you employ the other 80%?
– If you have very good people they will take care of other people – your customers!
– As a leader, 75% of your time should be spent getting to know, mentoring and evaluating your people. Your first priority – field the best team.
– Business is in the game to win! The only way to win is field the best people!
– You need team players. When a person is supportive of a decision in a meeting and then goes out and does not support it outside the meeting, get rid of the person.
– Passion and attitude are the biggest attributes to look for in the people you’re going to hire, mentor and coach, followed closely by commitment.
– Don’t treat all of your people the same. Spend time with and take care of your best!
– Let your best people know they are your best people!
– Do you have a succession planning process in place, are your best people part of it!
– Personally and publicly – celebrate- the top 20% – who is your MVP of the week?
– Growing your people (which will grow your organization) is the biggest turn-on in the business world! It will be your leadership legacy.
– You need to drive people to their greatest potential. You need to create a winning and innovative atmosphere.
– People development and idea transfer must be core competencies of the organization.
– Imagination, creativity, innovation and implementation are skills that must be hired, developed, nurtured and rewarded.
– It’s a sin to loose your best people.
– It’s cruel to keep your worst. The bottom 10%, need to know where they stand.
– It is false kindness not to tell people the truth about where they stand. Give them a chance to make a dramatic change for the good, but only give them a short time in which to do it. If you were a sports coach, who would be on your team?
Caution: It takes emotional fortitude to hire and develop great talent and then allow that talent to be ultimately committed to ensuring the business strategy is carried out.
Wealth Creation: – There is no excuse for poor business acumen!
– In today’s environment, like quality, good business acumen is a given. If you don’t have it you won’t stay in business. If you’re a public company smart people truly know how well you are doing.
– In today’s environment invest in – Human Intellectual Capital- not buildings.
– Buy people – rent buildings.
– Earn real money after taxes it attracts more money.
– Spend your money wisely. Every person in your organization should act like the independent vendor on the street. (I need to make more money than I spend so I can feed my family)
– Spend wisely on the future – talent, innovation, and process. You cannot save yourself into growth… you must create it!
Questions to be constantly asking:
– How much money are we spending to make a transaction?
– How much money are we spending on handling an order?
– How can I make my business transactions real-time?
– How can I make sure my business systems are aligned and – always on- ready to do business at all times (24/7)? (Boardroom to Storeroom)
– How many non-value added jobs do we have in place (expediters, liaison specialist, trouble shooter, special project coordinator, and inspector) because we do not have a clean system?
Evolving Business Model – Your strategy must match the evolving business environment!
– How do you make money today?
– How will you make money tomorrow?
– Change is constant and inevitable. Are you anticipating the changes in your industry?
– What is your – innovation strategy- today?
– What is your – evolving strategy- for tomorrow?
– Communicating your innovation and evolving strategies give constant – changing clarity- to the operation and help set direction for all too continuously adjust their sights on.
– Constantly work on your strategy and involve your best people.
– Does your culture support both your present and future strategy?
– Is your strategy clearly understood by all stakeholders?
Caution: Strategy is not a five year plan – it consists of continually using – strategic thinking- and constantly doing – scenario planning- aimed at beating the competition.
Execution – It is critical to make decisions and execute every day!
– Get done what needs to get done every hour of every day.
– You must have the right person in the right job, doing the right things, at the right time and in the right way.
– A good solid process is the key.
– People must not simply focus on the process but rather focus on what the process is trying to accomplish!
– Everyone must be committed to getting the job done… not simply committed to following the process.
– Smart people understand the need for process but more importantly they understand and are committed to making the process a meaningful end to a mean.
– The entire process should be designed as a unit.
– Work should be done by whoever is in the best position to do it.
– No activity should be performed more than once.
– The entire system should operate with a common view of the data.
– Integration is the imperative.
– Spend dollars on digitizing your organization. Digitizing takes all of the fat out of a company. It eliminates all the mundane, dull, non-value added jobs.
– There is a lot of opportunity to take work out of your business. These include; transactions that no longer need to be done, and increasing the quality of the work being done so duplicate or additional transactions are no longer being required.
– Fix quality or customer problems fast, don’t simply report and track them.
– Make sure your systems are clean and performed in – real time.-
– You can’t digitize the company effectively when all the processes are not aligned.
– Get your business model process in alignment with where you are going.
– The Internet is the tool…Real-time transactions are name of the game.
– If you are in a leadership role – LEAD PEOPLE – Excite them! If you can’t, give the job to someone who can.
– Replace – transactional managers- with – Transformational Leaders!-
– Consensus is good and needed at times, but too much is the end of leadership.
– If you see things that are not going right, get emotional and change the game.
– Be a change agent…not a victim.
– Escape perceived reality, make your reality real and informed.
– If you promote someone, make sure they bring excitement, change and passion to their new role!
– Globalization is here to stay. Do you have a global strategy?
– By all means, don’t run a mundane shop, division or company, run something exciting! Exciting organizations attract great people.
– Growth is what it’s all about!
– Tell me, what feels good that isn’t growing well.
– Growth is the great elixir…both personally and in business.
– The best kind of growth is exponential, life changing growth.
– What 10 to 12 key items do you have on your PC that you can check on daily, in real time, to see how your business is doing? (Sales, service, quality, expenses, R&D, industry trends, people events, new project milestones, largest/best customers)
– It’s too late to check results at the end of the month or end of the quarter!
You must take seriously words such as: Leadership, Integrity, Talent, Core competence, Partners, Innovation, Cooperation, Win-win, Relationship, Network, Global, Trust, Culture, Ambiguity, Chaos, Digital, Integrated processes, Us, Customer, Reality.
An important lesson in all of this: – The technical problems are the easy problems.-
(There are many good/solid technologies out there to apply to end-to-end processes)
– The people, organizational, and process problems are the hardest to deal with.-
(Having the culture, smart people, desire, and discipline to install them is the hard work)
Closing Questions: Are both you and your organization easy to do business with? Are you and your organization providing more added value than the competition?
Are you and your organization developing your talent and playing off your strengths?
The bold are eating the timid!
The need of the customer drives the speed of the business! The customer is King!