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Do you run your company like a bobsled team or skeleton rider?

February 22, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Do you run your company like a bobsled team or skeleton rider?

The Winter Olympics competition has been ongoing for a couple of weeks now.  Many medals have been won and many athletes achieved their victory while others have fallen from the grasp of glory.

This week I ask you to consider the nature of how you run your company.

In the Winter Olympics, there are a couple of sports which use generally the same course but are approached with very different tools, skills, and attitudes. These sports are the Bobsled (team sport) and Skeleton (single rider).  If you are not familiar with these two activities, basically in Bobsled, a team of either 2 or 4 people pushes a sled into a downward ice-covered track which is maneuvered and the quickest time to the finish line wins. In Skeleton, the same ice-covered track is used but in this event, a single rider hops onto a sled, head first and maneuvers to the finish line.

In the first event – Bobsled, teamwork is essential to the end result and success.  In the second – Skeleton, it is a rider and their sled against the track. Neither of these sports is for the light of heart.  With speeds of 75+ for Skeleton and 90+ for Bobsled, the people involved MUST know what they are doing or it can end in disaster.

With respect to how you run your organization, are you sliding head first with bold determination and broken bones be forgotten about? Or are you finessing a team of highly skilled talents to maneuver your company through the various twists and turns which the marketplace throws at you?

Now that you have your own picture of you running your company, how do your employees feel?  Do they have the same picture you have in your head?

This week take a moment to ask your team members how they view you and your running of the company.  If you have never asked them, you might get some strange looks. They will be cautious about how they may initial answer because it is out of the ordinary for you to inquire about their opinion. If you have previously sought their opinions, then make sure you listen to their thoughts.  It might help you better understand how you are perceived in your company.

You may want to be looked at as the driver of the 4 man Bobsled team but are acting like the Skeleton driver jumping upon their sled and heading headfirst into danger.

It is your business, leading it is very much in your control or maybe not. Let JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 refine your leadership so not only can you get the thrill of victory but enjoy the ride.

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

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Are you interviewing or selling?

February 15, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Are you interviewing or selling?

One of my clients referred me to another business owner to see if I could help him with his hiring challenges. As is my standard way to begin a new client relationship, I needed to get a broader understanding of what the perceived challenge is and then dig deeper to identify the real underlying challenges which are causing or contributing to the situation I was being asked to help resolve.

I engage the owner in some general conversation and then begin to narrow in on some statements he made regarding the most recent people which were hired into his organization.  The statements tended to be about the candidates.  This or that was not right and he wishes he would have known about these things before he hired them and started to train them.

Does this sound familiar to you?  It is a common thing that businesses today are faced with.  Trying not only to attract the best candidates but to also figure out if they can fit into your business. As most of you already know from past communications, JKL Associates brings a suite of tools to our clients that can help in identifying the demands of the job. The impact the job can have on the person who will be doing the job and how well various resources align with the job demands. This week is not about those tools but we would be more than happy to assist you with those needs.

The more the owner and I discussed the hiring process, approach and results, the more I detected the step of the process which was not being executed correctly. The step was being done (face to face interview) but the results were less than effective. The company did a pretty good job of attracting people to the job. Their initial communication did reduce some of the time wasted on the wrong candidates. They would then stumbled during the interview.

To demonstrate my hypothesis I suggested observing a candidate interview, so we moved forward. Now the candidate was in the building and sitting at the conference table awaiting the interview. The candidate looked very studious, well presented and looking reasonably confident.  It was not the persons’ first interview.  Upon the company interviewer entering and greeting the candidate the conversation then ensued. While the interviewer gazed at the resume and then looking at the candidate, for the next 15-20 minutes the company person talked about the job, the business, the departments, products and just about everything a “hired” employee would like and need to know.  Unfortunately, this was a candidate and they were not yet hired.  The next couple of minutes, some actual pertinent and legal questions were asked and then the interview began to wrap up with the questions – “Do you have any questions for me?” A couple of exchanges happened and the interviewer asked when they could start and made an offer of the job to them.

In a matter of 30+ minutes, the now hired person knew a lot about the company but the company knew very little about the person they just hired. This happens too often and costs companies lots of training and turnover dollars.

The interviewer did a great job selling the candidate on the “Greatness” of working for the company. Unfortunately, they still don’t have a clue if the person even aligns with the company culture, the job demands and other aspects of the company and job.

This week, don’t assume your hiring process is not the problem.

I will not dispute that the challenges of attracting talent and keeping talent are most organizations top priority.  If your turnover is high, it might not be because you are attracting the wrong people.  It might be that your process is hiring people you should pass on because they are not a fit for the job or the business.

Regardless of the business or industry, people are going to be the difference in your long-term success.  The better you are at bringing the right talent into your company and them being happy will be the most significant leap forward you will take this year.

Talent acquisition process not living up to your needs? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 to have that first conversation about helping you reduces your challenges.

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

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Does your “Brand” assert credibility?

February 8, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

 

 

 

 

Does your “Brand” assert credibility?

I remember my first drive behind the wheel of a Porsche 911. It was a clear blue sky day and my wife and I had flown to San Francisco for vacation.  It was our plan to travel up and down the Pacific Coast Highway to visit the big cities and small towns.  Spend some time in the vineyards of Napa Valley, stop by Pebble Beach and all the other things mid-westerners do when visiting California. The original plan was to just rent a car but then I decided to upgrade and take on a totally new driving experience.

It was the mid 80’s and a Porsche 911 was the real deal.  A street legal race car.

Being from the Detroit area, the Big 3 had their muscle cars.  Big block engines that went fast but mostly in straight lines.  A Porsche 911 was more than just fast.  It had handling finesse. Having grown up in the racing world, the 911 had numerous world championships in its history.  As a result, the “Brand” had and still, today has credibility.

Well enough for storytelling of the past, the reason I bring this aspect of “Brand” credibility to top of mind this week is that your company may or may not have such a fundamental foundation. I’m not suggesting that you must attain the level of racing car history to make a name for your business.  What is important is that your “Brand” be protected by your company, your employees, your customers and you.

During a time when everyone is given a medium to express their opinion through such social media tools as Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Yelp etc., your business and the products and services you bring to the marketplace are exposed to potential brand defamation. Even more is that these opinions may or may not be from people who have actually transacted business with your company.  As the business owner, you need to take steps to make sure you (or a trusted third party) are paying attention to the reputation of your business in the virtual/social media world.

More and more people are given ratings on your business and the level you perform at when they are searching the web for products and services you bring into the marketplace.  They start formulating a decision on whether to do business with you way before you even know your company was a consideration.

This week take some time to investigate what people see when they look you up on the internet.  Be very critical of what displays by putting yourself in the shoes of a future customer who knows little about your business.  Is what they see the message you want them to read?  Are the pictures telling the story you want them to know? Are the third party provided reviews adding or subtracting credibility from your “Brand?”

Your business and the ability to attract and retain customers is critical to what your brand tells and delivers to the marketplace.  Does yours stack up to your competitions?

By the way, the 911 experience was so enjoyable and impactful that upon returning to Michigan I began the search to purchase such a 911 for my wife and I. The first one was a 1984 Dominican Red 911 Targa. Yes, the car lives up to the “Brand” credibility.

Not sure where your “Brand” credibility stands? Give JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to begin the conversation.

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

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Out slewing windmills

February 1, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

 

 

 

 

 

Out slewing windmills

During a recent trip through rural America, I came upon a windmill farm. There were numerous windmills for miles in each direction. The weather that day as you can see from the photo was clear and not overly gusty.  The wind was just a gentle continuous flow of activity.

In doing a little research on the area, this particular wind farm generates about enough electrical power to support some 15,000 homes and businesses in the area. Not too bad for a renewable source of energy. Now there are multiple sides to the windmill farms popping up in rural America but I’m not going to get into that debate or discussion.

These windmills were all working in unison for a common single purpose.  They were capturing the action of the wind and turning it into a useful resource for the community.

This got me to thinking about small business teams all working with the same common purpose.  Collectively putting their best efforts forth for the common good of the business and ultimately the consumers they provide goods or services to.

For machinery, getting these windmills to work together and produce electricity is fairly straightforward.  On the other hand, getting people on teams and having them orchestrate collectively is quite a bit more challenging. With people, attitudes, behaviors, skills, and baggage come with each of them to the team and company. It is the masterful conductor of the people who can understand how all of them fit together to create beautiful music or just plain old results.

Like in Don Quixote and his fighting of windmills, as business owners, you too can sometimes fight imaginary enemies right inside your organization. Generally speaking, your employees work and want to contribute to the success of the business. In turn, they are compensated and are treated with a good environment, benefits, perks and the like. The hidden enemies come when these expectations begin or have broken down.  These soft hidden expenses come in the form of high turnover, lots of paid time off (PTO) for sick days and many other indirect activities which reduce performance.

This week, examine your team. Look at which resources might be windmills, just simply spinning around and around and not contributing to the company purpose and goals. These resources, rather than producing value and delivering results are just putting in time.  It sounds harsh, but if there are reasons the team member is not able to contribute then those need fixing. If the team member is just out of place and does not fit into your company’s success culture, then maybe it is time for both parties to separate their ways.  This would be valuable to all concerned.

Wondering how to objectively look at your team? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to arrange for a complimentary initial conversation on taking your team to the next level.

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

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