Posts

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor Hank Moore

Where Do They Go To Get Business Advice?

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleBusinesses operate at a pace such that they grab for help wherever it is available. More often than not, they reach toward the wrong resources, the untied advisors and sources that send them down rabbit holes.

It is lonely at the top. There are many demands upon entrepreneurs and senior management of companies. Each organization is confronted with challenges and opportunities, both real and perceived. It is tough to tackle all the obstacles and feel that substantial progress is being made.

Businesses spend so much time on momentary pieces of their puzzles that they neglect long-term Strategic Planning and miss potential successes. Costs of band aid surgery and make-good work cost six times that of planning for business on the front end.

The need exists for comprehensive business ideas and growth strategies. The need is ever-present for interfacing with senior executives and updating management skills, to avoid burnout and stimulate the seasoned professionals toward new heights. Top management regularly needs the creative inspiration to take the company to new heights. Cutting-edge executives (the very top and those about to take the mantle) need seasoned advice and inspiration.

Here is where they go to get ideas, strategies and help, in the order where they commonly go. The lower numbers represent introductory resources. The highest numbers are where they should be reaching.

1. Hearsay and third hand

  • Comments heard at parties and networking functions
  • Uninformed sources
  • Friends of friends
  • High participation networkers
  • Research and surveys

2. Special Interests

  • Websites containing educational material as a way to sell services
  • Surveys and their feedback

3. People Selling Stuff

  • Vendors who distract you, using expressions like “funding to grow your business.”
  • Online marketing firms
  • Internet solicitors and sellers
  • Website consulting

4. Internal Management

  • People you work with
  • Mid-managers and supervisors
  • Corporate leadership

5. Niche Experts and Consultants

  • Trainers
  • Freelance consultants, per industry niche
  • Banking, insurance benefits, human resources, etc.
  • Technology consulting firms
  • Researchers

6. Educational Programs

  • Speakers
  • Seminars
  • Panels at forums
  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Material published or broadcast in the media

7. Books

  • Articles excerpted for meetings
  • Blog material posted online
  • Thin self-published books by people seeking to establish a platform
  • Online articles and blogs
  • Serious books in libraries
  • Cutting-edge books with original material

8. Advocacy Groups

  • Business clubs
  • Chambers of commerce
  • People with whom you work in community and charity leadership roles
  • Boards of directors
  • The Better Business Bureau
  • SCORE
  • Small Business Development Center
  • Trade industry groups
  • Associations
  • Political action committees
  • Community alliances
  • Professional alliances
  • Consortiums of business
  • Cross-industry cooperative initiatives

9. Mentors

  • Pier advisory groups such as Vistage, Silver Fox Advisors
  • One-on-one coaching
  • CEO roundtables
  • Corporate heir apparent training
  • Programs such as Shark Tank, Fox Den, Ted Talks
  • Leadership programs

10. Senior Business Advisors

  • Professional service firms, including lawyers, accountants, marketing, public relations, quality management

11. Major Business Gurus

  • Track record experts with many years in advising strategically

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Are You Looking for Advice to Improve the Performance of Your Business?

It does not matter what type of business you have, sometimes it starts to feel a bit stale and as though it needs an uplift of some sort. This can often be achieved by better performances from your employees, who may be feeling a bit lackluster from doing the same job every day. They may need motivation to help them improve their techniques, and you may need help to assist you with improving your management skills.

Align Them to a Common Goal

Aligning your staff towards a common goal is vital if your business is to grow and succeed. This process often starts at management level, as if you involve your managers in the strategy, it will soon be passed on to the rest of the staff. The manager’s role includes the task of supervising the employees in their group to ensure that work is finished on time and on budget. This will happen if team members are working together, which has been proved by using this strategy at Rolls Royce.  They have seen improved collaboration, enhancing its reputation for luxury and quality, and a report by the Harvard Business Review showed that 70% of employees were in favor of working this way.

Communicating your vision for the future of your business can have very positive results.

Deal with the Problems

If a member of staff informs you or their manager about a problem, no matter how minor it might seem, it should be dealt with as soon as possible. Do not shrug your shoulders when someone tells you they have lost the My Favorites Toolbar on their computer, go to Myfavoritestoolbar.net and find out how to correct it. This might seem a trivial matter to you but dealing with their minor issues as well as any major ones will make them feel that you value them as a member of your team.

When a member of staff does not feel they are taken for granted, they will work more efficiently and help towards that common goal.

Keep Them Informed of Progress

Once the goals have been set, you should keep your employees informed of the results. Knowing if they are performing well can help them to aim even higher, and if they surpass the level of business that was being aimed for, they will all feel much happier in their work. Also, in letting them know what has been achieved, you are still involving them and that matters where employees are concerned. Keeping staff regularly informed of the progress of the plans, and when changes happen, helps to maintain engagement and make them more productive.

You should listen to their opinions as well. When they are working with your customers, they may well have ideas that you, sitting in your boss’s office, would never have even thought of. Do not fall for the mistake of not realizing just how clever some of your employees are, and what a help they can be to your business if you just listen to what they have to say.

It could be that your product or service needs improving to help your business grow, but first of all, look at how you can improve the performance of your staff, as that could be all that is needed.

StrategyDriven Advisors Corner Article

The Advisor’s Corner – When Should Consultants Be Used?

Question:

We’ve brought in a number of high priced consultants to perform a business case analysis. In hind sight, it appears we could have done the same work with internal resources. Why then did we hire these costly advisors?

StrategyDriven Response:

There are many reasons for hiring consultants. One or more of these likely applied in your situation:

  1. The consultants brought unique insights and experiences from outside your organization; enabling them to develop and present points of view that would otherwise have not been available for consideration.
  2. The organization staff did not have the capacity to perform the given task. Therefore, the consultants were hired to augment the labor pool.
  3. The existing staff had the capacity but not the knowledge and skills to perform the work. (Note that this appears to not be a factor given the question asked but is a legitimate reason for hiring consultants.)
  4. The organization is reluctant to implement the recommendations made by those internal resources not viewed as being experts in a particular area. Subsequently, the consultants are brought in because of their ‘expert status’ that leaders know will enable them to move forward with a desired course of action.

The reason for engaging consultants should always be understood prior to hiring them. Clear, quantifiable expectations should be documented within the statement of work that define the value they are to bring to the organization whether that is external knowledge and experience, labor augmentation, skills augmentation, or to drive a particular perspective. The consultants must be held to the achievement of these established goals in order to ensure they have met the return on investment promised by their employment.

Final Thought…

Using consultants should always be on a temporary basis. Some organizations fall prey to hiring consultants for temporary staff augmentation only to find that these individuals remain in position for years if not decades. Such circumstances highlight an understaffing condition that should be alleviated by the typically less expensive option of hiring additional resources rather than engaging costly consultants for extended periods.

Additional Resources

StrategyDriven Contributors further highlight the benefits of using consultants in the article, Independent Assessors.

The Advisor’s Corner – How Do You Sell a Major Change?

Question:

Feedback indicates my company’s current leadership training program, though inexpensive, yields little to no value. My research shows that an alternative training program has produced superior, measurable results at other organizations. How should I go about selling my manager and the organization on the need to change from our current training program to this alternative one?

StrategyDriven Response:

Decisions to make significant changes are not often made quickly. Rather, these decisions are made after receiving input from affected stakeholders and subjecting each available option to a thoughtful cost versus benefit evaluation. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why organizations often use business cases to facilitate the decision-making process.

Well constructed business cases often require significant personnel and financial resources to develop. Considering the complexity and significance of the circumstance presented, we believe your first step should be to gain authorization to expend the resources necessary to research and develop the business case for the proposed change in the leadership training program. Once developed, your well structured business case, clearly presenting the costs and benefits associated with each alternative, will help you secure the management decision you seek to revise the organization’s leadership and training program.

Final Thought…

We suggest your business case include not only the two options presented in the initial question but also any additional alternatives presented by the responsible manager or other members of the organization. Leveraging their knowledge and experience may help you identify other worthwhile alternatives that would otherwise not be considered.

The StrategyDriven website was created to provide members of our community with insights to the actions that help create the shared vision, focus, and commitment needed to improve organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results. We look forward to answering your strategic planning and tactical business execution questions. Please email your questions to [email protected].

New Service Announcement – The Advisor’s Corner

To further expand on our ongoing strategic planning and tactical business execution conversation, StrategyDriven Contributors are proud to announce the launch of a new service, The Advisor’s Corner. This service provides all guests to the StrategyDriven website an opportunity to ask direct questions of our experienced business professionals. Questions and answers will then be posted in The Advisor’s Corner category for all site visitors to view. Additionally, StrategyDriven members will have the opportunity to share their insights and experience by way of comments and feedback to these postings.

Questions can be submitted to The Advisor’s Corner by email at [email protected] or by using the ‘Email The Advisor’s Corner’ link located on the right sidebar on the StrategyDriven website. If desired, questions may be submitted anonymously to maintain confidentiality.

StrategyDriven contributors greatly appreciate the continued patronage of our website and hope this new offering is of benefit to all our site’s visitors.