(Due to a technical issues, this is published late)
Over the past few months, we have all had some additional time to think about our lives, our businesses, our jobs, our families, our relationships. Some of us have taken this time very seriously and put time, energy and quality thought into what the future is going to look like. Others simply took the time to engage in TV watching, video gaming, and all sorts of other distractions. Both have their place in our lives. We need a blend of strategic thinking and completely mindless enjoyment.
This story of COVID-19, world pandemic, economic shutdown, social dysfunction or whatever label you choose to place on the past months is far from over. No, I’m not directly referring to the virus reeking additional havoc on all of the above aspects. That is greatly possible as long as people make conscious decisions not to respect themselves and to not respect others by following reasonable health guideline. I’m referring to the aftermath of where do we go from here as a society. Normal, whatever it use to be, was a perception people had crafted in their own mind is gone. What does that mean for each of us in our lives and in the working world?
It boils down to using our talents and the freedom of choice and free will to investigate, explore and discover what is truly meaningful, purpose based, authentic and genuine for ourselves to be a contributor in the new world emerging from the ashes. WOW! That sounds kind of bleak. Unfortunately, it can be if we are idle in the use of our minds and talents.
During this time of rearrangements of priorities and future focus, we have a unique opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. A business and a life have very similar paths they take in time. Both have a birthing point – a starting point. Both have various events which shape how they model future actions and behaviors. Both have defined cycles of growth and maturity. Some businesses and people lag in some areas and some accelerate in others. Both have a time of sunset or expiration that is inevitable for human life but can be extended in business by passing a business along to future generations to cultivate.
This week take a few minutes to look at your life and at your business. What stage are you in and what stage is your business in? What plans have you made for yourself and what plans need to be made for your business?
The largest benefit of COVID-19 is that it is giving all of us (business and people) a restart option. Some businesses and people will use this to their advantage and will be criticized for it. The perception of taking advantage of a situation but the reality is all of us have the same option. Others will succumb to the economic virus (business fail) and yet others with weakened immune systems will succumb to the actual virus. Neither of these are pleasant to hear or speak about but are part of life.
As you look at your world around you, ask yourself which group you are going to be part of? Are you going to look at this time of 2020 and use it for good or evil? Should you choose to go for good, give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and lets discuss how engaging a Promise Guide can be all the difference as to the outcome you desire.
The economy is still trying to figure itself out. We have had starts, stops, pauses and peddle to the metal and all the jerking around might be getting both your business and customers sick. Not directly from a virus but all the happenings swirling around in the economy.
Early on in the current state of economic challenge there was essentials buying – toilet paper, hand sanitizer and the like. Then it moved to various food products like meat etc. As the time passed and the government injected cash into the economy in various forms from direct to citizens stimulus checks or through business via payroll protection programs etc., money began to work its way into the economy. Most of this was in the consumer marketplace.
As the various levels of re-opening the economy began to take place, the business world needed some of these same essentials for cleaning and providing a safe and sanitary environment for all (staff and patrons) who would enter their businesses. Most of these types of purchases would fall under a need to purchase. It was not a like to have. It was a requirement so the need was very high in the operational expense category.
Moving forward as you engage your customers and clients it is going to be critical that you distinguish whether you are providing a product or service to a need or a want. Businesses still have many wants. The challenge for the near future is they won’t have the money for wants, only for needs. So for your sales team, you will need to look at your customers through the lens of helping them resolve a need as opposed to selling them something they want.
You might say to yourself that you have always sold to a customer need. I would tend to agree with the general statement but coming out of this most recent economic challenge, the marketplace is very unstable/uncertain. This does not mean gloom or doom. What it means is that you MUST be far more attentive to the real needs of the customer and how you can help them effectively and efficiently remove their pain by serving them rather than just selling them a product or service. The justification process has gone way up and although a need may have existed prior to the economic change, the priorities have changed and new assessment criteria is in place to define need vs. want.
Are your sale people listening at the level they need to be to hear the customers’ pain? Do you need to engage them in a more immersive listening and understanding effort to generate sales? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and lets discuss your NEEDS!
About a year ago, a seasoned hiker took a walk into a tropical forested area she was generally familiar with from past excursions. As it was territory she had been in previously and did not anticipate any challenges. She ventured out all alone not letting anyone know where she was going hiking. She wanted some peace and quite so she left her phone in the car and started down the path. A short time later she saw a rock just a few yards off the path. She elected to go climb upon it and take a rest. She had ventured just a short distance from the path to not just take a load off their feet but also to get a great view of the vista. Life was great! After a short time and taking in all the peaceful surroundings she ventured back to connect with the original path she entered into the forest and return to civilization. This is when things got all turned around. Although she was just a short distance from what she thought was the original path of return, it ended up being a different path which lead her in a different direction.
So what does this have to do with you and running your business? EVERYTHING…
As business leaders we are all on some path or journey to arrive at some future destination achieving some results or success. The journey leads us in many directions and we have numerous choices to make along the way. Sometimes the view is very clear like looking across an open field where we can not only see your destination, but we have things like the sun and stars to guide us along a given path. Other times the path is tree covered, dense with challenges that at times seem overwhelming to navigate.
During those times when information is coming at you and you are having to make choices you need a guide with a good compass to help you make the best decisions for yourself, your business, your team, your clients etc. Without an ability to separate all of the noise of information you begin to rely on your past experiences which in some cases might give you bad input.
Going back to our experienced hiker, a few missed steps and she was lost without access to phone or support. This was a real situation which turned out ok. After a three week search of the forest the hiker who was dehydrated (did not take water with her) and in a level of physical challenge was located just a few yards from the path that would have lead her in the direction they were seeking.
This week as you look at your business, be aware that even those who have experience and “have done this before” are not with out the need for getting good solid insights from a business “Promise guide.” The business world is different. Your business is changing. Engaging a guide to help you navigate all the noise might just be the difference in getting results and have great success.
At JKL Associates our “Promise Guide” is ready to assist you in navigating your journey to a successful outcome. Give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
For most of us, the amount of driving we have done in the past few months has been radically reduced. With businesses shutdown and the emphasis on staying home to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, automobiles sat idle more than they were driven. Automobile insurance companies returned a portion of insurance premiums to reflect this reducion in usage. Now the on ramp to reopening the economy is available and people are getting back on the road again. At this point in time, are you ready for the acceleration as the economy comes back to life? Maybe your business was shutdown or maybe your business was deemed as essential. In either case, you need to be ready for the reimagined ways of conducting business.
For the past few weeks this communication has been talking about rethinking and reimagining your business as we come out of the past months of shutdown. This most recent time period has not been experienced by our economy in over 100 years. The last pandemic of the early 1900’s was very different. The population was different, the knowledge and technology was different, and the economy was very different. During the past 100 years we did experience a “Great” depression and multiple recessions. Each of these events caused changes in the way businesses conducted their transactions after these events had passed.
This event is no different. Changes have already taken place and have reshaped the way peoples expectations will need to be met. The gradual move to on line ordering and curbside pick up for example was beginning to make its way into our economy. The shutdown accelerated this need and business adapted to the demand. As we come out of this shutdown, there is going to be a return to the prior shopping methods, but the on line ordering and curbside pickup is going to remain. It is going to be part of the business expectations of the customers, so it will need to be part of your business delivery systems.
This week you need to look at what has changed in your customers’ eyes based on what they experienced while going through this most recent few months? What new or different expectations do they have on the vendors they used in the past and what will they be looking for in the future? For example, there is some change going on with respect to people going to the gym to work out. Because they were closed and some remain closed, this group of consumers have found other methods to get their workout fix. Businesses who are delivering exercise equipment to the home or office has increased. Gyms who offer public outdoor workout sessions have increased. These are adaptations which this industry is having to deal with and it is reshaping what they will need to do moving forward.
The on ramp to a revised economy is open and people are accelerating onto that ramp. It is too late once the opportunity passes you by so what are you planning on rethinking as you prepare your business to take advantage of these changes?
Need a jump start to rethinking your business practices? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
There is no question about it, the last few months have been filled with all kinds of various chaos. From COVID-19 virous concerns, to shutting down the economy, to the social unrest. Call it finding the silver lining in the dark clouds of chaos, but there is real opportunity on many levels.
Take the COVID-19 economic shutdown, this gave almost all businesses a restart button to press on their businesses. It leveled the playing field. The mistakes of the past could be re-evaluated and changes made so that when reopening up for business you could take full advantage of a new reinvented platform to build upon.
If we look at the actual dynamics of the virus, we saw thousands of commercial businesses come forward to work together in support of solutions. Companies which were traditionally competitors were working side by side sharing data to effect a more positive outcome for resolution.
The social unrest is also a solid opportunity to rethink some of the past practices and upgrade them so that our entire society and humankind can more adaptively commune together moving forward.
Each of these examples are just the tip of the iceberg of positive changes which can come out of what originally was chaos but will become meaningful enlightenment for positive growth.
This week as you look at your business, your team, your community give some time to stop and think about what can still be done to upgrade coming out of this pivot in time. In a typically hectic paced business and social world this pause and silence is a unique opportunity to rethink, reinvent and reposition your business, your team, your results and contribute in ways not previously considered to be possible. Engage your people to be creative thinkers. What ideas might they have to reshape the future in a constructive way. Be open minded to new ideas which might at first glance be too far out of alignment.
Just 90 to 120 days ago, if you would have thought your business could run via working at home resources you might have dismissed the idea as preposterous. When forced to do it and putting some good old ingenuity to work, it has now turned into a real possibility for future workforces to be remote for portions of their business week.
Jumping back a couple weeks to the insights on launching manned spacecrafts again from US soil, everyone dismissed that generally commercially available parts could be used to more economically deliver cargo and people into space could be achieved. It happened and right in the middle of a world wide shutdown.
Need a brainstorming session on finding your opportunity out of the chaos? Now is the time to reach out to JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida. Our team is ready to help you grow your business.
As we approach the coming holiday of the celebration of the birth of our nation, it is time to pause and take account of what this great country represents. This is where a review of history helps to frame why our constitution was crafted, the way it was crafted, why a Bill of Rights exists and why mistakes made from our pasts can be rectified through constitutional amendments to the guidance systems of this country. This is not a history lesson, you can still read or YouTube about those things.
This week is about understanding the awesome responsibility and accountability this thing we call FREEDOM has for each of us in this country. The past weeks have been filled with tragic events of loss of life to violence and the destruction of property. Each of us by our freedom is given the privilege’s to formulate our own opinions and thoughts regarding these events. In some cases freedom provided the very basis for protesting injustice. Unfortunately, some viewed these freedoms with out regard to the liberties the freedom provides for in this country.
These two words are too often confused and intertwined as if they are one in the same. They are not. Freedom typically means to be free from something. Liberty on the other hand is the opportunity to be free to do something. Liberty primarily focuses on the privilege’s which come along with freedom. Without freedoms we do not have liberties. Freedom therefore must be earned, maintained and honored such as to protect our liberties. Our forefathers fought for our initial freedoms and protected them in our constitution and other governing documents. To this very day our constitution not only allows for protest it encourages it because it was part of the very foundation of building this country. The Boston Tea Party was effectively a protest on taxation. How it was done under the disguise of Native Americans adds controversy to the event in today’s view some 200+ years later. So too will the events of the past few weeks be looked at differently 200+ years from now. It does not mean that either were right or wrong, done correctly, or were executed without agendas.
The freedom to have unrestricted opportunity is one thing. The liberty to actually do it and not be open to understand and appreciate that actions have consequences is a different matter altogether. This is why on this 4th of July holiday we ALL must step back and start with some fundamentals. We are ALL created equal. We must ALL respect one another regardless of any of the humanistic visual or non-visual differences. We must ALL take responsibility and accountability for our actions or lack of actions.
Our current society likes to place labels on people. It somehow gives meaning to injustice. The challenge is that labels like color, creed or any of the other protected elements of our law of the land can be twisted to achieve a given agenda. If we start and stay with the fundamentals of universal respect for everyone, great things can come from these less than admirable days of the past few weeks.
This week we look at all the relationships which contribute to the success of your business.
It seems pretty straight forward but when was the last time you really looked at all of the critical relationships which contribute to your business success? This past pandemic brought to light some of the relationships you might just have taken for granted. For example, you might have thought you have a great relationship with your banker until the events of having to reach out to them to gain access to the Cares Act Payroll Protection Program. Maybe you were received with open arms or just maybe you got the brush off and needed to go looking for a new banking relationship. I know of at least one banking institution which capitalized on this sequence of broken banking relationships to add many new accounts to there banking relationship list.
As business picks up and your typical transitions start taking on a new flow, take some time to identify what relationships will be key to your results going forward. In the graphic this week, from our Promise Culture framework model, we can look at the circles surrounding the Purpose, Promises and Core Values to pinpoint the relationships and the dynamics of the interactions of those relationships. We can see that all of our relationships involve people. Some are very close to us such as family and friends. Others include employees, customers, and vendors. When we interact with these various relationships we need to consider the nature and style of our communincation. Are we understanding and appreciative to their needs and are they mutually respectful toward us? We need to approach each of these engagement’s from a leadership perspective keeping our Purpose and Core Values top of mind.
These relationships can seem overly normal, even casual so we don’t put much time or energy in nurturing them on a conscious basis. We fall on technology to be our interaction tool thinking that an email, a social media blast or a voicemail solves all the relationship needs. Unfortunately, these are very good and important tools, but a relationship is based on more than reaching out via technology. A relationship with an employee includes meeting mutual expectations. Do you know what your employees expect of you and your business? You define a role description, but many I read do not articulate expectations successfully. They are lists of tasks which are to be done but with out expectation or guidance of how they contribute or provide contribution to end results. A relationship with a customer also has its challenges; you set an expectation of a deliverable and then it shows up late. They in turn don’t pay on time and the relationship sours over time.
I’m not saying that mistakes don’t happen. They happen to all of us. The key is how do you respond to the relationship. Is the relationship important enough to take the necessary steps to correct it immediately or is tomorrow soon enough? Do you even know the downstream effects of your decision on that issue? This is where leadership and communincation needs to take center stage to address the situation.
This week take some time to look at all of your relationships. Each has its own unique needs, demands and mutual respect to nurture into a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties. Figure out which of the relationships you have need fixing or replacing. Build upon those relationships already working and make them even better. You can’t go wrong having too many great relationships.
At JKL Associates – our Purpose is “To build relationships rooted in Purpose so authentic contribution delivers promises!”
Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to learn more about “Promise Culture” and what it can do for your business growth.
As I look back on the last few months, I have reflected on many lessons of life. I am so glad that I had a solid foundation of understanding and appreciating the critically important aspects of respect.
In early March when COVID-19 began to present itself here in the US in a big way, I paused and reflected on what this might mean for my family, my business, my clients, my community etc. What did I need to do in order to make the best of an unknown situation. The first thing I did was turn to my core values. In my case, personal values and business values are virtually one in the same as is the case in many small businesses. Core values are the guidance system for evaluating and making key decisions. Effectively, it is the compass that always points to true north. If you follow the direction of your core values then you cannot get lost even when the path is cloudy and full of unknown obstacles.
My compass has Giving Respect – fairness in valuing all parties in all situations as one of the true north pointers. In taking this direction, I reached out to each of those groups of people that touch my life and made sure they knew I was there for them. Each in their own unique needed way. For example, we provided deferment payments on some business contracts. We provided discounts to tenants for rent on our properties. We offered technology tools to colleagues and family so they could interact and continue to conduct relationships. These were not done with any expectation of return, but more so, to give respect to each of them during a time of need. Respecting them where they are at rather than ignoring them and hoping for the best for them. Yes, I hoped all would be well for them, but hope with out action is just well wishing. Nothing wrong with wishing them well, but with out taking some action I might just as well have ignored them.
This same level of using my True North pointer of RESPECT on my compass has also been brought into play with the social unrest of the past few weeks. It is in my opinion a growing ignorance of respecting all of humanity for self gratification is at the longterm root of this and other social dynamics. It has been amplified by the horrific injustice of specific events. Wrong doings took place and need to be addressed on many fronts – death of human life, violence, destruction of property and the list goes on. Unfortunately, we become ignorant to respect for all of these things justifying actions based on other wrong actions.
This week as you continue to operate your business in the new reality of a changed world, keep your core values at the fore front of each and every decision you make. As in our case – Does the decision respect all who will be touched by the direction being taken? In your case, do you have and intentionally use your core values for each and every decision? If I were to come to your place of work and ask your team what are your core values, would they even know?
I’ll be the first to tell you that living to your core values with out reservation or adjustment based on the situation is not easy. Neither is making a profit or having to hire or terminate an employee. Actually, the employee management and profit making are likely easier than having and running your business by purpose and core values. They are easily spoken but difficult to keep top of mind as a critical contribution element of a successful business. There are no fireworks typically associated with a tough decision made using your core values. Yet the solid foundation on which the decision is placed will stand the test of time and dynamic situations into the future.
Struggling to get your arms around your Purpose and Core values? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and speak to our Lead Promise Guide.
Another week has passed on the road to what ever the new state of business moving forward becomes. It is not business as usual or normal. The world changed and now we are aligning to this new state of business. This reminds me of a quote.
“If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles.” – Confucius
I specifically call upon a Chinese philosopher at this time of coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic because of it having some origins in China. Maybe we will know more details in the future regarding its origination and spread but that only drags us back into uncertainty. As the statement indicates, if we focus on the positive we will see the opportunities this pandemic is providing rather than just the negative challenges it presented.
As we go about opening up our businesses again, we need to take what we have learned during the past few weeks and make sure we don’t fall back into the traps of our business which existed previously. We need to focus on a positive culture to recruit, attract and retain top talent. We need to focus on building upon a solid foundation where everyone on the team is valued and allowed to contribute. We need to commit to running our businesses from the numbers not the gut. We need to invest into leadership both for today and the future so that not only does the business operate but it thrives for future generations to come.
No, things are not back to a past normal nor are they at a new level of normal. We are in a traveling state along the path. A journey into bigger, better results based on what we have learned and what we will now do to run our organizations more effectively and efficiently. So be excited about being positive and see what impact it has on the relationship you have both inside your business and outside your organization.
Our Promise to each of our clients is to meet you where you are currently at in your station of growth and journey along that path with you to a more authentic result. Your Promise Guide is awaiting your call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.
It is quite appropriate that during this time of reopening the economy post pandemic that NASA and SpaceX have reopened manned space flight from here in the USA. The launch rolled out kind of like reopening the economy. Lots of safety checks. Lots of expectations on the results of the mission. It too even had to be delayed and rescheduled due to conditions not being favorable for the launch. Both the business world and the general community can learn from this event on how we need to approach the future post pandemic.
The first take a way is that of being safe. The deliberateness of the preparation and the launch so that the human cargo was top of mind should resonate with all of us as we emerge back out into the marketplace. If we all do our own individual part to respect each other’s space – no pun intended, being aware of physical distancing and face covering then we can all have a successful launch of the economy. If on the other hand we become self centered and do not respect the virus and its potential then we could have a failure to protect our health. It is a balance between the known risks and taking proper precautions and simply ignoring the knowledge and proceeding with our care.
The second take a way is that of rethinking, reimagining and reworking this world of space travel. Previously the world of space travel existed in a closed governmental system. This new rethought space travel world is now a joint commercial effort which applies new creativity to solve very complex challenges. As we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not have to look at this time as negative. Sure it has been challenging with both loss of life and many businesses have been impacted. If we use this knowledge and understanding to rethink our own businesses to align with future trends and demands then we too can have a success relaunch into the marketplace.
The third take a way is that of a commitment to upgrading ourselves and the environments we build our businesses and talent from. The ingenuity, creativity, engineering capability demonstrated in this mission have again upped the commitment to the fundamentals of core education – math, science etc. As a nation, we cannot underestimate the importance and need for us to keep our knowledge base top shelf. Not just for space exploration but for many life aspects. The efforts to find cures for the COVID-19 virus is just another example of the need to focus in on the sciences.
There are many more things to glean from this historical event, but for now let’s just keep to what we can do with this momentum to relaunch our businesses and our economy.
This week, if you have not spent some of the most recent weeks rethinking, reimaging and reworking your business for the future it is not too late to get right on this opportunity. The world has changed. The marketplace has changed. Your business has changed, Your people and customers have changed. This happens all the time, but we tend not to have the pause to see the changes as clearly as we are seeing them now. Look at the means by which you must now operate with respect to employee management, physical distancing, customer transactions etc.. Don’t just put in place what needs to be done, but look at this as the opportunity to reshape how it can improve what is being done.
Still trying to sort out how to move from reaction to reimagining? Engage a Promise Guide by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.