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StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article

The Big Picture of Business – Pave and Refine the Company Way, Corporate Culture

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures ArticleI was at a service counter, and the clerk was bad-mouthing the customers. “I don’t know what their problem is,” he declared. “Every one of them has a problem today.” He then pointed to others standing in line, not yet having been served. He added that “every one of them has a problem.” No, he has the problem and is projecting it on the paying customers. Each clerk at that company makes their personal behaviors the norms at their desks, and this is one of the largest organizations in America.

As customers, we smile and give positive strokes to those serving us. When you say to a clerk what a beautiful day it is, the lazy ones will reply, “Yes, I can hardly wait to get out of here and enjoy it.” The better response would be: “It is a glorious day because customers like you choose to visit us.”

Customer service must be constantly addressed and improved. Above that, Customer Focused Management needs to be implemented, meaning that all actions and decisions should be tied to customer outcomes. Above that, corporate cultures need to be fine-tuned, in order to avoid situations where customers are put on the defensive or made angry.

Corporate cultures are rarely nurtured. They evolve, meander and veer off course. Biggest cause of the problem is where individuals bring certain demeanors and behaviors to the company, and these traits often erode the positive and pro-active actions.

Warning signs for sluggish corporate cultures:

  • Where people take on negative attitudes.
  • Where employees spend too much time on what is best for them, instead of the customers.
  • Where mid-managers buy the hype of the marketing slogans but stonewall the progress that would enable the company to live up to its claims.

A company’s way is built, nurtured, recognized and implemented. In steering company cultures back on course, I recommend several steps in the process:

  • Discourage street talk, slang and trite phrases out of the mouths of your staff when interfacing with customers.
  • Write your company’s own service lines. Do not harass customers with tired questions like “are you finding everything.” Instead thank them more often and early in the transactions.
  • Declare personal cell phones, on-line shopping and the like to be off-limits in locations where customers are. They cannot see distracted employees, nor should your company tolerate it.
  • Hold training about personal demeanor.
  • Show individuals how they embody the whole of the organization.
  • Cut the weeds who will bring down the standards of the company and cast doubts on your team.
  • Celebrate great customer outcomes.
  • Honor the employees, who in turn honor the organization.
  • Since 92% of all problems in companies stem from poor management decisions, do a better job of training managers to be leaders.
  • Always recognize the Big Picture aspect to all business decisions. Each one influences the other and the whole of the enterprise.
  • Always remember and trust that the customer is king.

Everything we are in business stems from what we’ve been taught or not taught to date. A career is all about devoting resources to amplifying talents and abilities, with relevancy toward a viable end result.

Business evolution is an amalgamation of thoughts, technologies, approaches and commitment of the people, asking such insightful questions as:

  1. What would you like for you and your organization to become?
  2. How important is it to build an organization well, rather than constantly spend time in managing conflict?
  3. Who are the customers?
  4. Do successful corporations operate without a strategy-vision?
  5. Do you and your organization presently have a strategy-vision?
  6. Are businesses really looking for creative ideas? Why?
  7. If no change occurs, is the research and self-reflection worth anything?

Failure to prepare for the future spells certain death for businesses and industries in which they function. The same analogies apply to personal lives, careers and Body of Work. Greater business awareness and heightened self-awareness are compatible and part of a holistic journey of growth.


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 Risk Management Article

Insuring Your Bottom Line: Why Contractors Insurance is Necessary to Your Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleContracting occupations, like electrician, insulation worker, mason, plumber, roofer, carpenter, and painter, all have unique features, including risks. Clients and employees can get hurt and a contractor could be held liable and be left with costly medical bills. Where general liability insurance prove invaluable in addressing some of the common risks contractors may confront, contractor insurance can offer contracting business owners protections where expensive setbacks that deal with operations/product, errors, contract dispute could greatly affect their business. Let’s look at why contractors insurance is paramount to your business and complete liability protection.

General Liability Protection

This is the basis of all contractor insurance policies and covers two main types of protection:

  • Bodily injury: Provides for medical care for a contractor or someone injured by a contractor’s employee on the job, and also includes coverage for legal defense if a contractor is sued for damages.
  • Property damage: Provides coverage for damage caused to a property by a contractor or an employee, even damage to a third-party property.

Completed Operations/Product Coverage

Completed projects can have issues or cause damage and contractors insurance provides coverage for any products a contractor sell or distribute, and helps with the expenses for claims related to completed services, for example, poorly installed wall shelving that results in injury to the property owner.

Commercial Auto Coverage that Fits Your Business

If your contracting business requires the use of commercial vehicles for a part of its operation, then adding commercial auto coverage to your contractor insurance is a great way to protect your business against unforeseen accidents that may be related to road conditions, weather, or collision with other motorists. Coverage may include collision damage costs, medical expenses, and damage from a specific natural disaster.

Errors and Omissions Coverage

Taking a job with the intention to do impeccable work doesn’t always lead to that result. It is possible for errors to occur, like an electrical job error that result in a fire. With a contractor’s insurance that covers errors and omissions, you can protect you and your business from claims of negligent acts, errors or omissions during a project that causes a monetary loss for the client. This coverage may extend to business owner, employees, and subcontractors of the business.

Contract Liability Coverage

This coverage comes in handy in a contract dispute and is essential, especially if you regularly hire independent contractors who possess limited or no insurance coverage.

Workers’ Compensation Protection Coverage

Having workers’ compensation protection should be a smart addition to a contractor’s insurance. Employees are key players in your contracting business and worker’s compensation protection is beneficial if an employee gets injured on the job by helping to cover medical treatment, and may even provide a portion of lost wages if time off from work is required because of the injury.

Contractors insurance is necessary to protect your business, assets, and employees. General liability protection may not be enough to provide the peace of mind that you will need to continue daily operations when costly claims hit your business. Contractors should think about the types of protections that are beneficial to their business and acquire a policy accordingly.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Stunning Strategies to Help Your Business Ace Health & Safety

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleHealth and safety needs to be a primary concern for any business in the world. If you don’t have the right health and safety mandates in place, you are going to suffer as a business. Nothing is as important these days as health and safety, and you need to make sure you have strong health and safety procedures in place. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure this, and it is vital for the business.

If you are compromised at all with health and safety, you are going to find that your business will be suffering from accidents, lawsuits, and a damaged reputation. This is why you need to do what you can to ensure you are the most safe and secure company you can possibly be. These strategies are going to go a long way toward helping you get the best health and safety mandate possible.

Understand Health & Safety

You have to understand how much health and safety matters in the world of modern business. It is important that you take a look at health and safety and understand what it is, and why it affects the business. Health and safety is how you protect your employees and the future reputation of the company. Businesses with poor health and safety mandates are the ones that wind up struggling.

Ensure Your Employees are Protected

It is also important that you make sure your employees are protected on a daily basis. This means that they need to be trained properly so that they understand what health and safety risks there are in the business. They also need to be taught what they can do to make themselves safer on a daily basis. It is also important for you to get online and look at what you can do to make the workplace safer. You might consider digital security, or here is some protective gear you may want to introduce into the business. Ensuring your employees are protected and kept safe is one of the best ways of acing health and safety.

Fire Drills are Important

You also need to do as much as you can to ensure you have proper drills in place. A fire drill is an essential part of the business health and safety mandate. If a fire breaks out in the business, this can be very destructive, so you need to know how to react in the event of a real fire. This is something that makes a fire drill so important for the business and will allow you to keep your staff safe, and the business assets protected.

Incident Reports

There are a lot of things you can do to improve the way you conduct health and safety in your business. But, one of the major things you can do is to keep logs and incident reports anytime something happens. This is important from a legal perspective, but you also need to refer back to it and understand why the incident might have occurred, as well as how you might be able to prevent it in the future.

As you can see, these are just a few of the wonderful strategies in place that you can use to help boost health and safety. Try to focus on what you can do to improve the working conditions for your employees, and make the working environment safer. These are some of the things that will go a long way toward helping you run the business faster.

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business Article

The Big Picture of Business – How Business Advice Turns Into Company Strategy

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleWithin every corporate and organizational structure, there is a stair-step ladder. One enters the ladder at some level and is considered valuable for the category of services for which they have expertise. This ladder holds true for managers and employees within the organization, as well as outside consultants brought in.

Each rung on the ladder is important. At whatever level one enters the ladder, he-she is trained, measured for performance and fits into the organization’s overall Big Picture. One rarely advances more than one rung on the ladder during the course of service to the organization in question.

  1. Resource: equipment, tools, materials, schedules.
  2. Skills and Tasks: duties, activities, tasks, behaviors, attitudes, contracting, project fulfillment.
  3. Role and Job: assignments, responsibilities, functions, relationships, follow-through, accountability.
  4. Systems and Processes: structure, hiring, control, work design, supervision, decisions
  5. Strategy: planning, tactics, organizational development.
  6. Culture and Mission: values, customs, beliefs, goals, objectives, benchmarking.
  7. Philosophy: purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

7 Levels of Authority Figure

  1. Self Appointed. Flash in the Pan. What they were doing five years ago has no relationship to what they’re now marketing. They reap temporary rewards from momentary trends. They’re here today, weren’t an authority figure yesterday and likely won’t be tomorrow. Yet, today, they’re demanding your complete trust, respect and allegiance.
  2. Temporary Caretakers of an Office. Public officials. Appointed agency heads in a government bureaucracy. Respect is shown to the temporary trust they hold.
  3. Those Who We Think Control Our Destiny… for the Time Being. Caretakers of corporate bureaucracies, departmental supervisors, short-term clients, referral sources for business development and those who dangle carrots under people’s noses.
  4. Those Who Remain Through the Peter Principle. Supervisors and public servants who made fiefdoms by outlasting up-and-comers. Longevity is due to keeping their heads down and noses clean, rather than excelling via special talents-achievements. Still living on past laurels.
  5. Those Who Really Empower People. These are a rare breed… the backbone of well-run organizations. Some do what they do very well in poorly-run organizations. They may not be department heads, but they set exemplary standards and inspire others toward positive accomplishments. Category 2, 3 and 4 authority figures either resent them and try to claim credit for what they do… or are smart enough to place them in effective, visible roles. Some advance into management and encounter similar situations there too.
  6. Have Truly Earned Their Position-Respect. Also a rare breed. Those who excelled at every assignment given and each stage of their career. Never were too busy to set good examples, share ideas with others and help build the teams on which they played.
  7. Never Stop Paying Dues, Learning, Sharing Knowledge. The rarest breed of all. Distance runners who created knowledge, rather than conveyed that of other people. Though they could coast on past laurels, for them, the best is yet to come.

7 Levels of Advice Given

  1. Answers to Questions. There are 7 levels of answers which may be given, depending upon how extensive one wants: Easy and Obvious Ones, Knee-Jerk Reactions, Politically Correct, What People Want to Hear, Factual and Complete Explanations, Answers That Get Them Thinking Further and Deep Wisdom.
  2. Observations on Situations. These take the forms of “When this happened to me, I did X,” or “If this occurred with me, I would Y.” It’s often good to see things through someone else’s perspective.
  3. Subjective Viewpoint. Friends want what is best for you. This level of advice is usually pro-active and is influenced by the advisor’s experiences with comparable situations.
  4. Informed Opinion. Experts have core-business backgrounds upon which to draw. Advisors bring facts, analysis and methodologies of applying their solutions to your case. Niche consultants provide quality viewpoints… as it relates to their talents and skills. Carefully consider the sources.
  5. Researched Options. Investments in research (formal, informal, attitudinal, demographic, sociological) will avert unnecessary band aid surgery expenses later. Research leads to planning, which is the best way to accomplish tasks and benchmark success.
  6. Discussion of Outcomes-Consequences. Most actions and decisions in an organization affect many others. At this level, advisors recommend that sufficient planning be conducted… please take their advice. The more strategic and Big Picture in scope, then planning reaps long-term rewards.
  7. Inspiring Directions. This gets into Visioning. Planning and going to new heights are stimulating. The mannerisms and substance by which any organization achieves its Vision requires sophisticated advice, deep insights and creative ideas.

7 Levels-Tiers of Qualifying Consultants

  1. Wanna-be consultants. Vendors selling services. Subcontractors. Out-of-work people who hang out “consulting” shingles in between jobs. Freelancers and moonlighters, whose consultancy may or may not relate to their day jobs. (26%)
  2. Entry-level consultants. Those who were downsized, out-placed, retired or changed careers, launching a consulting practice. Prior experience in company environment. (19.5%)
  3. Grinders. Those who do the bulk of project work. Conduct programs designed by others. 1-10 years’ consulting experience. (35.49%)
  4. Minders. Mid-level consultants. Those with specific niche or industry expertise, starting to build a track record. 10-20 years’ consulting experience. (13.5%)
  5. Finders. Firms which package and market services. Most claim they have all expertise in-house. The more sophisticated ones are skilled at building and utilizing collaborations of outside experts and joint ventures. (3.5%)
  6. Senior level. Veteran consultants (20 years+) who were trained for and have a track record in consulting. That’s what they have done for most of their careers. (2%)
  7. Beyond the strata of consultant. Senior advisor, routinely producing original knowledge. Strategic overview, vision expeditor. Creativity-insight not available elsewhere.

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

Why Your Business Needs Insurance

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleOwning a business can be very rewarding, but it’s a lot of hard work too. As a business owner, you are responsible for the well-being of your business, which includes managing employees, inventory and other assets. So what can you do to make sure you’re properly managing all of these assets and that your business is protected?

Commercial insurance is every business’s best friend. Whether something happens to your inventory or you need to pay worker’s compensation to an injured employee, commercial insurance can help you deal with it. In fact, everybody who owns a business should have some form of commercial insurance — and here’s why.

Legal Requirements

Although you aren’t necessarily required to insure your business, there are certain types of business insurance which you may be required to carry. Any business that has employees is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. This type of coverage will pay for worker’s compensation claims if an employee is unable to work due to an injury.

Worker’s compensation coverage can cover a range of costs, from medical bills and bills associated with recovery to missed wages and funeral costs. Not only are you generally required to have worker’s comp coverage, it’s a smart idea to have it anyway since worker’s comp claims are usually quite large.

Protecting Your Inventory

If you run a brick-and-mortar business with a large amount of inventory that keeps your business afloat, lost or damaged inventory can be devastating. Even a small fire could significantly cut into your profits. When you have good business insurance, though, these losses are softened significantly. Many business insurance providers will even allow you to purchase a specific insurance policy for your line of business to make sure all of your industry-specific losses and perils are covered.

You can also purchase commercial vehicle insurance if you have a fleet of vehicles. If an employee gets into an accident on the job, damages to property and the vehicle may be covered.

Make sure you talk with your insurance agents about what you need to have covered. Different commercial insurance policies may only cover losses from certain events, in which case you may want to purchase additional coverage to protect yourself.

Downtime

Sure you may be young and spry when you start your business, but that can quickly change. If your business relies on you being around to make important decisions and handle managerial tasks, commercial insurance can cover you in the event that you become disabled or ill. This can be the difference between your business failing or staying afloat if something happens to you.

Liability

One of the toughest things for any business, whether large or small, is being held liable for the injury, illness or death of a consumer. Fortunately, business insurance with product liability coverage can help you absorb some of the damage. You can also purchase general and professional liability coverage to further protect your business in the event that it’s held liable for something.

Choose Wisely

Like any form of insurance, there are a lot of options when purchasing business insurance. It’s important to have some understanding of the different types of coverage and what your business needs before you buy. You don’t want to purchase coverage your business doesn’t need, but it’s crucial to make sure your business is covered.

Before you purchase a policy for your business, make sure you shop around with a few different providers to get an idea of the coverage they offer and the premium you’ll have to pay. Read reviews and ask around about different insurance companies and agents to make sure you’re getting the best coverage with the best service and price.