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Forget what you know to grow

January 25, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

 

 

 

 

 

Forget what you know to grow

I recently attended a business conference where the theme of the event was Reimagine Excellence. The content, speakers and engaging conversations were right on target for where business is right now in our marketplaces.

Our economy is more energized than in previous cycles.  Business leaders, owners and managers are actively trying to figure out what is taking place in each of their industries, so they can position their business to take best advantage of this energy. People in the business space are trying to reformulate for that next level of success.

The barrier is that it is easy to say and even give thought to reimagining, reformulating, rethinking but to actually do it is quite a bit harder. For to give up what has been previously successful for some new or different way to get to the next level is almost like telling yourself what helped you get here was insufficient to take you further.  The fact of the matter is – you would be correct.  What mind set and tolls which you have used to create success to date will need to be completely rethought going forward.

It is not that you must push it all out of your brain, (you just can’t do that) but what you must do is not let it be the barrier to moving beyond what made you successful to date.

The world is moving at a different rate than it was just a few years ago.  The amount of information options or media noise that is coming at you and the amount of noise (your information) which you are responding too is exponentially growing.  What that means is the amount of noise you built your business model on will implode on itself unless you upgrade your skills and thoughts to process the noise more effectively and efficiently in the marketplace.

Now not all the noise or data filling the air is worth thinking about.  There is plenty of noise just for the sake of noise.  There always has been and always will be noise.  The difference is the volume is turned up and your speakers (thought processes) are not skilled to handle that capacity.  Your skills were developed at a different level.

Think of it this way.  A go cart racer develops skills when initially driving 30-60 miles per hour (MPH).  If the skills were to remain stagnant at that level, as they moved to higher end racing class moving 100 plus MPH then they would likely underperform and would be a danger to others on the race track who have passed them up in skill development.

This is the ever-present challenge for business owners, leaders and most specifically managers and supervisors.  Managers/supervisors typically work very diligently to achieve a level of work performance where they are responsible for a group of people and deliverables.  Those skills are honed in at that defined level.  For the manager/supervisor at that point in time, they are performing at a high level.  You need them to forget all that they have learned to get to that level and embrace the future by being willing to fail to grow. This is where many managers and supervisors hunker down and fall into protecting their territory at all cost.  They inhibit others from growing.  They can actually begin to tear down those encroaching on them so that they don’t have to climb higher.  It becomes a painful drain on company resources and company profits.

This week I challenge you to look at your middle management team and ask yourself if they are growing or holding your business back.  It is difficult to look at this because in many cases you have a number of years invested into these people. They are at some level of value to you and your business.  Not being true to them or yourself only places an additional strain on the relationships and the growth of your business.

Pit of your stomach feeling a bit uneasy about having to look at your team through a different set of lenses? It is time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so the process is productive for all involved..

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
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 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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All the Kings Horses

January 18, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

All the Kings Horses

As the nursery rhyme tells it – all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  Why?  Maybe the horses nor the men possess the right skills for the job.

Chess is a strategic game made up of various playing pieces.  Each piece has certain defined movements or “Skills” by which they move about the board. The horse or “Knight” for example moves in an “L” shape of one chess board square right or left, up or down by 2 board squares right, left, up or down. This defined set of movements can be used to capture the opponents pieces and place the king in check or checkmate.  This movement profile does not allow the piece to move more or less than that “L” shape.  On the other hand the “Bishop” can move multiple board squares but can only move diagonally on the same color square it started at the onset of the game.  This set of movement skills are also used to capture and place the opponents king at peril.

The chess pieces are like the staff in your business.  They come to you with a certain defined profile of talents.  At the beginning of the relationship you interview to see how the skills they bring align with the strategic needs you have in your business.  You assess whether you need Knights, Bishops, Rooks or Pawns. Each of which brings certain skills and movements to your company. You being the master chess player deploy the resources to accomplish your goals of the business.

The challenge for business owners is that they don’t really understand what resources they need.  What skills are critical to the role the person is in. What the “Key Accountability” items are which the role contributes to the success of the organization.

Most companies know the tasks or duties to be done on a daily or weekly basis and which person does them because they have always been done that particular way. When looking to bring on talent, the first step is to review the job description which to often has a list of things the job does.  It really does not focus on how or why the role exists and the critical value it must bring to the growth of the organization.

If you are not a chess player, then this article is placing you at a disadvantage of appreciating how each piece on the board strategically contributes to the success of winning the game.  The odd feeling in the pit of your stomach about being a bit out of sorts with the knowledge is what should also happen when you are not aligned with the understanding of talent in your company.  If you are guessing at the best use of the talents in your company, then you are playing the strategic game of success without knowing how the movements of your team fit together.

This week, look at your company as the chess board.  Look at your team talent as the players/piece in the strategy you are trying to accomplish.  What are the skills, talents, movements your team players bring to the growth game? Do you know what the Key accountabilities are for each role in the company?  Are the talents you have on the team aligned to achieve those measurement points?

2018 is just getting rolling so there is still time in the chess match to step back, review the board and make strategic changes to achieve a win.

Need to better understand your “Key Accountabilities” of the role in your organization? Give JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 so we can help you, and all the kings horses and men rebuild your future success.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS – EMAIL US AT PARTNERS@JKLASSOCIATES.COM OR CALL OUR OFFICE AT (313) 527-7945

BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK ? WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/JKLASSOCIATES

LINK UP ON LINKEDIN ? WWW.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/JKLASSOCIATES

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER ? WWW.TWITTER.COM/@JKLASSOCIATES

COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2018

Posted in Assessments, Business Builder, JKLAssociates, Perpetuation, Promise Culture, Purpose, Talent Engagement, Transition, Vision

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Desktops to Dashboards

January 11, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Desktops to Dashboards

When you hopped in your car to travel to the office today you just may have looked at the gas gauge on your vehicle’s dashboard to verify the status of fuel to cover the travels for the events of the day. Maybe you have a business meeting across town. Maybe you have a child’s sporting event right after work. Maybe you were just headed directly to the business. Regardless of what makes up your travels you may have referenced the gas gauge to make sure you had enough to cover the miles you were going to travel. Running out of gas is just not a great thing to happen. More importantly it is something you do have control over.

This reference to your gas gauge on your dashboard to make sure you are prepared is directly related to the running of your business. Not just in getting you to where you need to be in your car but more about using the indicators of the performance of your business to make sure your business has enough gas to get it to where you want it to go.

These days our businesses are tied into technology. This technology give us feedback on the metrics we choose to manage. If you are manufacturing something, you get feedback on production volume, quality etc. If you are in logistics or distribution, then you get input on inventory turns, counts, shipments etc. If in a service business, you may track billable and non billable hours as indicators. All of these indicators are metrics which give insights into how the business is performing. You have or set standards by which you evaluate current run rates and make adjustments when performance falls outside of those ranges.

The question for you this week – Do you have gauges set up to track your business?

When the business started – that infamous plan on the paper napkin, it most likely did not include metrics or gauges to see how your business was performing. Similarly, early cars did not have gas gauges either. They showed up on the scene in the 1920’s, some two decades after the automobile was first introduced to the world. So now it is time to add gauges to your business dashboard if you don’t already have them in place. If they exists, then maybe consider upgrading them or at least validate they are giving you the correct feedback to make the best decision for your company.

For years these performance indicators have been in the form of paper trails, many of which came after the fact and were present to the owner from a financial person of one sort or another. The first evaluation was, is the bottom line black or red! These financial reports, a month or so after the fact was the standard for many years. Unfortunately this data decision making model was like driving your car forward while looking in the rear view mirror. You could see what happened but not what was about to happen.

Much like the addition of the gas gauge to the automobile, the rear view mirror also needed to be added. It arrived much sooner on the vehicle as an extension of mirrors used on bicycles. It is important to know what happened so you can learn from history. It is critical these days to be able to plan and forecast what is coming at you so you can navigate to a better outcome. Getting back to the original statement about checking your gas gauge this morning. It was about forecasting your events of the day and was your vehicle ready to support the miles to be traveled?

We take the dashboard gauges in our car for granted. They light up each time we turn the key or push the start button. They immediately give us input and if we neglect them they have backup warning lights which remind us to inflate tire pressure or turn off the turn signal.

Your business needs to be viewed through the lens of the business dashboard. What key indicators do you need to know each time you start up your business? Things such as cash flow, accounts receivables, account payables, sales pipeline, backlog etc. need to be at your fingertips. If you have a business management system (software application), maybe it has a dashboard you can reference as the splash screen on your computer. If not then you need to have access to your financial data to gain important insights into how much gas you have in the tank.

Driving your business looking in the rear view mirror and ignoring your gauges? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 – your business mechanic.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS – EMAIL US AT PARTNERS@JKLASSOCIATES.COM OR CALL OUR OFFICE AT (313) 527-7945

BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK ? WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/JKLASSOCIATES

LINK UP ON LINKEDIN ? WWW.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/JKLASSOCIATES

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER ? WWW.TWITTER.COM/@JKLASSOCIATES

COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2018

Posted in Assessments, Business Builder, JKLAssociates, Perpetuation, Promise Culture, Purpose, Talent Engagement, Transition, Vision

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The Rocket has cleared the launch tower

January 4, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

The Rocket has cleared the launch tower

2018 is now in full motion. The holidays are wrapped up and you and your team are back from well deserved time with family and friends.

Much like the efforts of planning a rocket launch, you and your team have already invested time and resources to defining the mission objectives for 2018. At that moment the clock ticked 00:00:01 on January 1st, your business plan went from “The Plan” to “The Mission.” As much as the effort was for getting the plan ready, now the mission is in motion. The effort, energy, focus of the organization and “give it all attitude” must now be at its peak.

A brief history lesson can help in consolidating your focus for 2018.

The space race started in the late 1950’s and the next 10 years demonstrated the great ingenuity of engineers and other support team members to place a person on the moon and return them home safely to Earth.

The late 70’s redesigned space exploration so that in 1981 a reusable space craft “The Shuttle” was launched.

While all these remarkable feats of engineering were taking place, the public became disinterested in space exploration. Just another launch and it all seemed routine. Then in 1986 Challenger exploded on takeoff bringing realism back to the dangers of exploration.

I bring these events back to top of mind for you to consider this week as you launch another calendar year with your organization. Is your organization running only on routine? Are your team members thinking they have everything completely under control? Does your mission plan take into consideration changes which may happen but you won’t know until they are right in front of you?

Maybe you don’t consider your business like launching a rocket but the success of your mission is just as critical. When a rocket launches carrying human life then the stakes for no mistakes is paramount. Your business, each day it opens, has people’s lives at stake. They look to you as employees that good business decisions are made which will ultimately provide a paycheck. This allows them to sustain their personal and family life. Your customers depend on you for goods and services. Your reputation of being there for both customers and employees alike is your mission critical objective each and every day you open your doors.

So this week, take the time to frame your business as something more than a routine of processes and procedures. Yes, these are very valuable in conducting your business but understand that your business is part of many lifelines for staff and customers in the marketplace.

Company culture gone stale with a bland feeling of routine? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and allow us to assist in moving your culture to a “Promise” based environment.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS – EMAIL US AT PARTNERS@JKLASSOCIATES.COM OR CALL OUR OFFICE AT (313) 527-7945

BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK ? WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/JKLASSOCIATES

LINK UP ON LINKEDIN ? WWW.LINKEDIN.COM/IN/JKLASSOCIATES

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER ? WWW.TWITTER.COM/@JKLASSOCIATES

COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2018

Posted in Assessments, Business Builder, JKLAssociates, Perpetuation, Promise Culture, Purpose, Talent Engagement, Transition, Vision

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