Sunday, December 14, 2008

What It Takes To Survive In Crisis Situations

It's hard not to notice the scores of businesses failing right now. Many claim that they are the "victims" of this nasty economic crisis. The hard truth is, they are only the victims of how they dealt with the circumstances. Let's really look at the facts:

Why won't all businesses in their industry fail? After all, they're dealing with the same circumstances. Actually, there's a simple answer:

There are two primary aspects of our operational abilities: Preparedness (Training; Having processes in place; etc.) and Resources (Money; Physical assets; People; etc.) Here's the secret that true world-class businesses have discovered: Your current status regarding these two issues are based on how you think!

This is NOT some "name it, claim it/ask the Universe for it" kind of garbage...uh, I mean, theory. When leaders think training is important, they invest in that and are better prepared. When they think innovative solutions best come from front line employees, they engage them in opportunities to adapt/improve results. You get the picture. Their actions begin with their thoughts and beliefs.

Because circumstances constantly change, the key is thinking in a way (focusing on proven, real-life solutions) that gets consistent, world-class results - even in difficult times.

It's too bad many professionals miss that truth. It means the difference between thriving and merely surviving...and sometimes (unfortunately) between surviving, and not.

Don't be that statistic. Even now, it's not too late to invest in the proven approach that will completely change your situation for the better. Really. Don't settle for less when you can tap into proven solutions that will lead you to achieving your potential.

Think about it...but more importantly, act on!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Employee Engagement = Organizational Improvement

I just finished up a consulting project that centered on improving the client organization's business performance. In this particular situation, they had several problems: low customer loyalty (repeat/referral), inefficient processes, high turnover. The client expected some expensive and drawn-out intervention to fix it. If they had gone with a typical consultant, they likely would have been correct.

But they hired my team ("the anti-consultants") ...and they were thrilled to be wrong.

In this particular instance, well-placed effort on engaging their employees created a ripple effect that positively impacted everything else - especially in challenging times. It works like this:

Connect with (really engage/care for) the employee =
1. higher morale/teamwork/productivity (more ownership, buy-in, and passion)
2. more efficiencies (employees are the closest to the operations and know how to improve it)
3. higher satisfaction/loyalty (employees are closest to the customer and can create better relationships - which, coincidentally, have been modeled by leadership as part of the engagement effort.)

Isn't it wonderful to see a business achieve it's potential? They especially appreciate that these dramatic improvements are occurring while the economic environment is killing off the weak businesses, injuring the average businesses, and rewarding the businesses that invest wisely in developing their people.

It's never too late to improve...right up until the "death rattle".

What are YOU doing to engage your employees/save your business during this difficult time?

Think about it...but more importantly, act on!