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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

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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

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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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2018

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

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Happy New Year – 2018!

December 28, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

Happy New Year!

During the last few days and seconds of 2017 may you be thankful for all the opportunities that you have been given to take part in. May you look to the future with wonderment so that all your 2018 dreams, goals and success can be realized.

In 2018, reach higher and wider than you have in the past and enjoy what comes your way!

Happy New Year!

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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Merry Christmas

December 21, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

Merry Christmas

May the birth of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ, bring you and your household peace and many blessing this Christmas season!

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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Talent Shopping

December 14, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

Talent Shopping

As the business year pushes to a close and holiday festivities ramp up into full swing, this is one of the best times to talent shop for your business. People are getting into the spirit of the season and letting themselves be open to new and changing events in their lives.

For sales people they are ending up one sales plan and on January 1 they start a new plan.  This could be a point where they begin thinking about where they want to sell for the next 12 months.

For customer services people you may meet while shopping or dining out, they give you a first hand observation of how they treat people.  They might just be the type and nature to be part of your customer service team.

As you make your way to the various holiday gatherings, take the time to think of these as not just another requirement of the season but use them as a talent prospecting venture. As you interact with your spouse’s business colleagues do a little networking on who they know and what college graduates might they be able to direct to your company door.

About now you might be wondering or concerned that you are opening up the flood gates to a bunch of tire kicking people which might not fit your organization’s employee model. Well there is the possibility that you may get a bigger influx of potential talent. On the other hand, in today’s very tight talent market, it definitely does not hurt to have a continuous stream of prospective future workers.

In some cases, you get an opportunity to do the interviewing right then and there.  No it is not a formal interview, but you can surely gain some critical insights in to how the potential resource handles questions you may pose.  You can witness how they interact with others and what level of professionalism they conduct themselves in even when not on the “Office Clock.”

As business owners and leaders, we are always on the look out for potential business opportunities – Sales that is. Moving forward, the next most important part of your business is the people or talent that make it run smoothly.  For this reason you need a plan and be prepared to seek out talent while interacting this holiday season.

This week, get a few key questions in mind for when the opportunity presents itself.  Sure many can wing it but if you take a few minutes to get a bit more organized, you will also present yourself and your business in a better light.  Just like the potential future talent you are trying to attract, so to are they looking at you and what your organization offers in the marketplace.  If you are more polished, you might just get a second look before your competition offers them employment.

Found a good talent but not sure if they fit into your company culture? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to discuss how to assess the fit.

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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Numbers Game!

December 7, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

Numbers Game!

We have all heard that “Sales” is a numbers game.  How many dials of the phone equates to actual contacts with prospective customers?  How many conversations with prospects turn into meetings which get to proposals?  Of the proposals written, how many does it take to get a “YES” commitment?

All of these metrics are necessary to track so that proper expectations and execution can take place to achieve company goals and objectives.  By tracking these numbers, you can spot trends earlier in the generation of sales and make corrections to tactics and strategies so that improvement can be realized.

All-star “Hall of Fame” level baseball athletes get measured on many levels.  Let’s just focus on hitting the ball.  A “Hall of Fame” player typically hits in the very high .290 to over .300 for the life of their sports career.  If we translate that to actual plate appearances and getting a hit, we would see that this “Hall of Fame” athlete only contacts the ball for a hit approximately 3 times out of every 10 times they go to the batters box.

This metric does not factor in the number of swings during each plate appearance. If we consider that each batter sees an average of 3 to 4 pitches per at bat and during those opportunities to hit the ball they only hit for a base hit 3 in 10 times then it takes a lot of potential attempts to get to that .300 target average.

During the season, as a players batting average dips to lower numbers, intervention is put in place.  The batting coach and player begins looking at film of the swing to pin point subtle changes which could be impacting the end result.  Has the stance changed?  Has the players eye contact to pick up the pitch changed? Many various elements are analyzed to identify area for targeted improvement.  The key here is that the batting average metric helped trigger the process to improve.

As your business finishes up 2017 and rolls out 2018 sales plans, make sure you have the necessary measurement systems in place so you can get input on performance changes.  These metrics measurements need to be done all the time to ensure consistency and reliability. You can measure for a month and then remeasure 4 months later.  Too often sales teams start out a sales year all revved up and doing the small stuff diligently.  As their pipeline begins to fill they drop off the basics and this is when their batting average begins to fall off.  If there is not a metric to measure and give indication, then time is lost when an intervention is not taken to help get the person back on track.

This week, take a good look at your sales measurement systems.  Are they in place to give you timely information?  Are they tracking the correct information?  Are they simple enough so sales people will do them and appreciate the feedback they can provide to help them sell more?

No sales metrics for your team? It is time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and start putting your sales team at a “Hall of Fame” level production.

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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What is Purpose?

November 30, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

What is Purpose?

Some weeks ago we discussed the vision, purpose and core values of running your business. We discussed vision as the road map, purpose as the guiding light and core values as the guard rails that keep you on the path.  Since then a few questions have come my way with respect to this “purpose” thing which is now getting more discussion in the marketplace.

Generations of newer employees are and have been entering the marketplace with views of how they believe things should be run. This is nothing new.  When the war heroes of the past world wars (traditionalist) were the majority of business leaders and the baby boomers entered the marketplace they brought with them different views than prior generations. They wanted to run things differently and the landscape of commerce in USA was pushing forward at rapid rates.  Civil rights changes, technology, sprawling urban cities and wage improvements all contributed to new ways of building businesses.

With this growth came more improvements and the desire for “boomers” to provide even a better life style for their next generations. This rapid upward spiral became so intense that this fundamental purpose of providing better for their family ultimately evolved into what the media labeled as greed. This same greed is what afforded the future generations to not just be provided with so many creature comforts, but to give them the option to not fully appreciate or understand the original purpose of the prior generations.

For a cycle of time between the latter end of the boomers and the early stages of millennials, purpose was hardly even a topic in the business arena. It tended to be relegated to select smaller groups of people seeking a greater non business cause.

So with much of the economic stage fairly stable for long periods of time (yes there were ups and downs) and basic living expenses covered, the newer and forthcoming generations are reintroducing purpose as a place to land on when looking for internal satisfaction.  They are not so focused on providing for future generations as they are more focused on themselves.  So purpose or what makes up purpose for these upcoming generations is again different than purpose of past generations. Their purpose is shaped by the behaviors and experiences of their journey along the path to adulthood.

Oddly, when upcoming generations are asked this question about “What is their purpose?” many struggle to even fully think or comprehend the broader and more significant realm of the concept of real purpose.  They sometimes latch onto purpose as it being anything other than previous generations felt it was to be.

The large challenge for business owners and leaders is not with the confusion about purpose but that not all next generation people are in the same box.  It is almost like there are two different camps of current and future team members.  One portion is very focused and gets their purpose, their direction, their opportunity to contribute and be acknowledged to feed their self recognition.  The other portion flounders about seeking to be part of some group recognition and then attach that “movement” to themselves.  Both want and need to feed that “self” gratification but achieve it differently.

For owners you need to identify what your business can provide to one or both groups and then align your team members around what you can and do provide.

This week, as we move into the end of the calendar year and holiday season, take some time to more fully understand your purpose, your business’s purpose and what embodies those elements in your company to attract and align the best talent in the marketplace.

Do you know your purpose? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s discuss.

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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Happy Thanksgiving from Your Partner in Progress!

November 22, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Your Partner in Progress!

At this time of year, Your Partner in Progress – JKL Associates, wishes you, your business, your family and all the families of your staff and clients the happiest of Thanksgivings.

All year long we silently and outwardly acknowledge others efforts and contributions.  It is a year round behavior of giving thanks for the bounty we are blessed to receive and participate in.

During this special Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, take some time as you gather with family and friends to openly and overtly thank them for all of their silent support given without request but with meaningful intention.

At JKL Associates, we genuinely thank each of you for your continued confidence and support in helping you and your team be the best you can be.

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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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Are your 2018 plans in order?

November 16, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

Are your 2018 plans in order?

 

 

Next week is Thanksgiving.  This starts the unofficial transition to the end of the calendar year and starts a sense of urgency to bring 2017 projects and objectives to completion. Sales targets can either be surpassed or fall short. Operational improvements can be launched or missed being completed putting off better efficiencies into next year.

While all of this end of year business energy takes place, there is also the increase in distractions from holiday activities. It is great that these holiday festivities are worked into the business. It allows for staff along with their families to enjoy this time of year. It is also important that these important holiday activities are aligned with remaining committed to the overall performance and business objectives.

For leaders it means the focusing on bringing 2017 to a positive close and launching 2018 with momentum. This transition is critical to each of these years performance.  Your plan for 2017 is all but frozen and the objective is delivering on those goals.  Your plan for 2018 should be well defined and beginning to solidify so that your energies are on closing out 2017 and not being spread too thin while still having to craft 2018 on the fly.

This coming week prior to the holiday, set aside about 30 minutes to revisit and firm up 2018.  It is easy to say that you will have time after Thanksgiving to get to it.  Unfortunately, for many leaders, upon arriving back the week after the holiday, your attention will be focused on the end of 2017. Therefore the time to package 2018 objectives, plans, goals and strategies becomes all the more important to lock in place sooner rather than later.

A little behind on your 2018 plan or need a solid review of your plan? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 for some insights which can enable greater 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

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COPYRIGHT – JKL ASSOCIATES 2017

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

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