Category Archives: Business

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    Integrity or Disruptive Employees?

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAZhAAAAJDI3YjZjOGEwLTcyNjItNDI0Ny1iMDM4LTA4YTQ0MjQxMzcwMA Integrity or Disruptive Employees?

    Integrity or Disruptive Employees

    Letter writing is an art, so why would anyone  leave their  company reputation in the hands of an unskilled letter writer?  Don't allow  someone who will cause you to look small and loss the respect of others within your organization,  to write your professional correspondence for you.  Check everything! Check it twice! 

    • Here is a Good Example:   When you have a potential hire with years of experience, education, and a successful background in the area they  are applying for - and you the employer  turn around and  list their  skill sets and qualifications in a rejection letter, as a reason for overlooking them.  It is pretty obvious you didn't read the candidates information.  This sets a very unprofessional precedent for your companies, it's  reputation, and your ability to lead effectively. 

    Breath!  Usually these letters are written by someone with NO skill sets in the area they are writing about.  Either that, or they are deliberately writing  to demean and lower your standing in their personal point of view.  Trust me, it has nothing to do with your experience nor your successes.  Your skill sets are probably just fine.  
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVqAAAAJDI4NmU2ZjE1LTA5YWMtNGQwOS1iNTMwLTZiY2JiNDZhYzgyMw Integrity or Disruptive Employees?Unfortunately letters like this generally come from lower level directors of operations who do  not  have a high enough experience level  to write a letter,  that is both professional, and allows the participants some level of integrity.  

    Trust me, it has nothing to do with your experience nor your successes.

    Customer Satisfaction

    Increasing  customer satisfaction should  always be a top priority, we all know that.  Even when you are looking to hire new employees, customer satisfaction still matters.  New employees can also be viewed as  your customers.  It begs the question however, when did appeasing management over the customer concerns become the new norm?  

    Some managers and/or lower level  directors of operations are  masochist who thrives on stress.   We have all seen them, or know one personally.  They never turn off - they are on  24/7.   These  are your disruptive employees. 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAagAAAAJDQwZDE5YzIxLTU3NGMtNDFiNi1iZTkzLTVlZTZjNDI0NDZhYQ Integrity or Disruptive Employees? These types of individuals are frantically working nights and long hours hoping to achieve that “golden child” status. 

    In truth that mentality  is zombie in nature.  What they do is bring that attitude of superiority  back into the office  day-after-day, and that attitude  is exhausting to everyone around them.   To compound the matter, when  administration or other positions of power allow these masochistic employees to write letters to people on the outside, it potentially sets the company up for failure.  

    Tracking  when your directors of operational management  get in the way of progress might be something you need to consider in your business if:

    • Do they demean potential new employees by crafting letters with negativity? 
    • Are they always going after the new guy?
    • Constantly bringing up old issues? Why? 
    • Can you link your customer satisfaction to key management decisions that have been the target of some internal personal issue?  
    • If your top management team isn’t doing a whole lot of work-and your regular employees are supplying most of the data and putting in the work load – who is taking credit for that work? 
    • Are your directors of operation forwarding along other employees hard work  as their own work; and then complaining about those employees who  actually did the work?
    • Does your organization have that disruptive employee environment  from too many derogatory attacks on the general public, potentially new employees and current ones? 
    • Do your operations look like a high school gossip hit squad? 

    No one is able to navigate and survive, let alone negotiate the  business channels under any of the above unnecessary circumstances.   With that type of disruptive environment - expect  the loss of potentially  new and current valuable employees - and the knowledge they possess.   That can, and will affect your bottom line. 

    Management Revolving Door

    If you are  trying to hold on to the staff you have - then you  better be listening to them.  Their  feedback can make or break certain possess. But  If you are constantly throwing  ambiguous tasks (like scraps of meat)
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKrAAAAJDVhZTU5MmQ4LTBmOWUtNDI1OS1iNDQ2LWQ5YzQ1NDI4OTMwNA Integrity or Disruptive Employees?to your employees– don’t wonder why people walk out the door. 
    That type of management style is both exasperating   and non-sustainable.   Like a revolving door, these types of directors of operation  use up people for what they can take from them and pass that information  along as their own.  

    Work-Life Balance

    Your employees understand  that there needs to be a  work-life balance, and if not, they will leave - especially the good ones.  Setting up an environment that is free of negativity is mandatory if you plan on surviving in the real world. Sometimes the answer is as simple as “leave your employees alone and let them do their job”.  But provide them with the necessary tools to do those jobs. 

    Look long and hard at your employees  concerns:

    • Where do your employees go to get answers to questions  that might be needed for projects or communication with real world clients?
    • What grief will employees get for asking questions?
    • Do you play favorites with your employees?
    • Do you allow your current operational staff to craft  letters concerning someone's qualifications on the outside of your organization? How about the inside? 
    • Do managers harass and threaten employees  to choose sides in an organization?
    • What moves your needle when deciding who you will like one day, AAEAAQAAAAAAAANkAAAAJGY1NWI2YWM2LTVkMTQtNDNlOS1iZWU1LTgwMTY5YjM0ZTFiYw Integrity or Disruptive Employees?and dislike  the next?
    • Is integrity written into your plans for operations or have disruptive employees  kind of taken over  the place?...and not in a good way.  

    The Big Idea

    When you begin designing and implementing new processes and procedures, are you thinking in the long term or is the matter a short term “let’s try it out and see if it works” type of process?

    A word of caution:

    • New interviewees will quickly pick up on your lack of organization and decide your  total operations is little more than a deception  designed to sink people into positions that don't have much substance. 
    • Changing up the office landscape and dumping in changes that are made to look  long-term , but really are not,  make  people nervous. 
    • If your company isn’t turning a profit, lofty long-term plans  never feel comfortable to anyone.

    Office Politics

     Everyone wants to feel of value.   But when you have a group of  aggressive employees each with an edge in their own field and you put them into an environment without built in processes, you might find yourself  in a predicament  of being  a stone’s throw away  from a coup. Especially if your employees have already been approached to choose sides by operational managers or directors.  This type of  political maneuvering  is generally introduced quickly, sometimes as early as the interview stage.   Your ship might already be sunk before you get to set sail. 

    Have your employees been asked to choose sides by a manager or director? 

    When your managers are constantly throwing changes into the mix, and  hinting of uncertain futures,  unsurprisingly you  will get people stabbing each other  in back and running the bus back and forth over each other.  Regaining control is hard, and winning back over the trust of those  employees that relied on you is an uphill climb. 

    Moving The Needle

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAANQAAAAJGQyMDU3ODcwLWEwNWItNGRjNi1hZDNhLTIwZWUxZmVlYzk4MA Integrity or Disruptive Employees?Maybe it's time to cut out that layer of masochist operational management and allow your employees who actually produce to carry your projects to completion. Provide employees with the tools they need to be successful as well.   Help encourage  those great employees and potentially new employees to "manage up"  and take on tasks willingly instead of grudgingly.  Then your time can be freed up to  spend on improving products and or processes. Move the needle – get your edge back.   Show integrity in all your dealings. 


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    Worker Bees

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMUAAAAJGViNzg2Yjc3LTQwODktNDI2Yi05OWIyLWEzMzQyNGE3M2M0NA Worker Bees

    Worker Bees

    Thought for the day

      I went to buy  my coffee this morning and  I forgot to grab cash.  It’s 5:00 am and I'm really wanting coffee bad.  All I had were checks and a credit card in my little fanny pack. The coffee shops  credit card machine was down and they didn’t take checks.  About this  time  an older woman  approached the counter and offered to buy my coffee for me.  She said to me “I’m just paying it forward”.    I didn’t argue with her – I let her buy my coffee for me -and I gave her a hug.   Now it’s my turn.   I understand – it is about personal satisfaction. 

    Being able to see the little guy, the worker bees as human beings that matter and have value – that is priceless. Worker bees   are the heart and soul  of an enterprise.  Sometimes we put too much emphasize on the big guy  and we forget that  those under us are actually the ones turning the wheel  that keeps our doors open.  

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAL7AAAAJDgwMzU5YTEzLTYwNzktNDlmMS1iYTQ0LTMyMTU4ZjkwZDdmOA Worker BeesFor instance, what good is administration without teachers.  Or how about  corporate executives without secretaries to provide a level of organization.  You need cooks and waitresses and dishwashers to run a restaurant.  It also helps to have certified electricians to run a power company.   You need tellers at the windows of the bank, and nurses to tend to sick.  The worker bees – they are at heart and soul  of your business, institution, or nonprofit.  They are your most valuable asset and should never become a liability. You need them. 

    In reality, we are all worker bees.  Even those of us who own our own establishment or online practice.  We are answerable to someone, somewhere; could be a bank, shareholders, or the marketplace, etc.  Thus our  work goes on, one worker bee at a time.

    None of us can say without a hint of uncertainty  that we have 100% of every process down, and that the margin of error is so small that nothing could go wrong.  Of course you know the minute you state that, it’s as if Murphy’s Law kicks in and all hell breaks loose.

    How do you combat Murphy’s Law?  First off, except it as fact.  Things happen that are unexpected.   There is a philosophy that moves away from Murphy’s Law and acknowledges that  things will go wrong regardless of how well we plan.  The challenge is of course to make those things that go wrong  part of the plan.  Another idea is to pay it forward.  How do you get coffee without cash? Pay it forward! 

    How do you get coffee without cash?   

    Find a solution, find a work around, be flexible, and ask your worker bees what
    they know.  You will be surprised how often those worker bees understand your organization from a different angle, and possibly enough to save your bacon when the economy begins to move in a direction not in your favor. 

    bee Worker BeesEducation is not a sure fire way to protect yourself against the hardships of this world either.  While getting an education doesn't hurt, it won't mean anything unless you put it into practice. If you never put it into practice it is just a piece of paper on the wall.  

    As well, all the money in the world cannot, and will not take the place of the human connection.  You need to have people in your  life that you trust and rely on - like worker bees.  Building those relationships is key to how successful you will be in your life time.  I'm not talking financially as much as I am in the realm of personal satisfaction.  You can have all the money in the world and still be a miserable old cuss.  People are what make us who we are - especially those worker bees. 

    Been burned?  It’s part of the plan.  Been given the ax?  It’s part of the plan.  As hard as it may sound to do, you have to take  those rough moments in your life and make them part of the master plan.  It’s like learning to roller skate, you AREgoing to fall on a very delicate part of your body and it will hurt.  But, you get back up and do it again, until you are proficient enough to stay up for longer and longer periods of time. 

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAL7AAAAJDgwMzU5YTEzLTYwNzktNDlmMS1iYTQ0LTMyMTU4ZjkwZDdmOA Worker BeesGetting back to our worker bees.  With their help our organizations, and businesses are supported by their skills and knowledge.  When you have worker bees who are trained and understand that  everything is connected, you have a much stronger work environment .   You rely on them, trust them, and need them.  It really is in your best interest to be available to your worker bees.  Make the time to be with your worker bees.  Build in those incentives that keep the bee colony happy.   There is always Murphy’s Law that is quick to remind you of just how valuable your worker bees really are. 

    ..and the buzz is all about Personal Satisfaction. 

     

     


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    Bureaucracy vs. Free Commerce

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJiAAAAJDQyYjcxOWQzLTA4MzItNGY5Yi04ZGY5LWFhYTJkYjI2YjI5MQ Bureaucracy vs. Free Commerce

    Bureaucracy vs. Free Commerce

     Migrating from bureaucracy  or meritocracy  to the world of free commerce is a journey of  new learning, and that learning curve is steep. You quickly learn that the blue collar/white collar tags are real.  The way business is handled within both sectors is uniquely different as day and night.

    Within your institutions you have departments and policies and procedures that govern your everyday operations to a fine line. Job subsidies and cushiony benefits hold  many employees in their place.   In the world of free commerce you have a business plan, and expectations in meeting your next payroll.    Your staff is made up of people from various backgrounds; some from corporations and institutions, and the remaining have never seen  a mission statement or walked the halls of education.  Fed up with the bureaucracy many often  are attempting to take their lives back in a meaningful way.  Through exploring new career paths and innovation, Americans want more than to be spoon fed tasks day in and day out.

    Where we as a society decide to take our country is contingent on the free will of the people to keep bureaucracy at bay. While a cushiony office with the many perks may sound like the ideal dream job,  it’s not without its downside.  When overwhelming policies start to absorb the very creativity of your work force, you end up with corporate zombies.  Those same policies and procedures often bastardize individuals against one another, splitting relationships that were once solid into many pieces.  Bureaucracy is a heartless wheel – and many rats turn upon its squeaky wheel.

    Bureaucracy is a heartless wheel 

    There is a lot to be said about the free market and those who work in that arena.  They still provide this country with a fair amount of innovation and “guts”.  The “guts” to get out there and change the structure of the market with   new ideas and concepts.  Bureaucracy on the other hand wants to own all your ideas and hand those ideas out to others who really have made no contribution.  It’s like writing an essay and giving the guy In the next cubical part of the credit.  It doesn’t work.     

    Hard working free Americans – that is what this country is made up of.   Bureaucracy is not necessarily American.  It is socialist in form, and tends to batter the little guy with its strength.  Money can’t fashion the heart muscle, it can only corrupt it.  When bureaucracy becomes too large, it is used as a weapon to hurt others, all in the name of power. 

    Hard working free Americans – that is what this country is made up of.

    Helping small businesses to succeed – that is the real dream . If you want to put your money somewhere – put it into small business.  Bureaucracy is bloated and needs to get its hands out of the working mans (and women’s) pocket.


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    The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAV_AAAAJDY0Y2Y4OGMxLTZiMDAtNDhjNC05YTNlLWY0ZGRiNTg4YWYwOA The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium

    The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium

     

    There is a fairly large gap between academia and the business world. What you are taught in college is not necessarily going to equate to real world settings.  Life is not a pre-defined scenario.  Rather, it is more like a jungle of pandemonium; or simply organized chaos.  There are those in academia that tend to struggle with the concepts of business and social welfare when confronted with honest debate about current affairs.   

    An unfortunate turn for students attending college or a university is locking horns with a tenured professor who has not worked in the business or social realm for decades.  Their views often can be harsh and demeaning toward anyone who is not willing to see things the way they do.  Their stances is, " You either see it my way or its the highway". 

    You either see it my way or the highway.

    As harsh as the above statement is, by not following it - it can equate to a student not getting a passing grade or a working recommendation from a department or dean.  The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium.  You may gain from learning about certain ideologies,  but  unless you have put your practice to the test, an ideology it shall remain.    The business world waits for no one; and is in constant change.

    The business world waits for no one, and is in constant change.

    What I have found from my own experience is that  professors who have held positions in the business economic sector, tend to be better versed in their styling and presentations.  They speak from knowledge they have gained while working in an active business environment.  They also tend to be more conservative in both speech and demeanor, and often have more engaged students.  Their lectures are rich in culture and diversity, and filled with real-world experiences.  

    We all have our past university professors that have either encouraged or inspired us.  I have to acknowledge a few from the Logan and Wasatch Utah areas:  Dr. Scott Allred,  Dr. Dwight  Israelsen, and  Dr. Ronda MenLove.   While there were many others professors in the technological field in which I  was involved, that is another story.   

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQ6AAAAJDViM2E5ZmU5LWQ1YTEtNDU3MS1hMmM2LWZkZDc5NzY0OGYxOA-1024x768 The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium                                Dusty and the Crew at Graduation

    It is hard to find instructors who have a strong background in business, as well as  social, economic or political backgrounds. What we have to fear from academia are those professors whose ideologies  have taken a more progressive stance, and refuse to adhere to common sense rules, and sound foundations.  They often try to put the horse before the cart,  by injecting too much of their own opinions and biases.  Students miss out on valuable learning processes due to these inadequacies.  While change is inevitable, teaching from a podium filled with one’s own personal opinions, while leaving out key concepts,  defeats the purpose of academia.   

    There is a big difference between experience and opinion.  We all have opinions, and we need to form them.  But first we must be taught the smaller concepts so the horse doesn’t run us over right out of the chute.  

    Some things to consider while you are preparing your students to enter the chute of life:

    • Practice discipline in oneself, and think before you say it
    • Practice listening to your students, and not your own thoughts
    • Try not to make up your mind before you have even heard what someone has said
    • Your opinion is just that – an opinion. Until it is proved otherwise adhere to the tried and true
    • Don’t destroy your students careers because you do not have the same viewpoint
    • Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong, and you will be wrong
    • A cushiony environment where you control all the elements – doesn’t necessarily equate to a happy environment.  
    • Listen to your staff.  They are in the trenches, they report to you
    • Remember, you are also expendable
    • Respect differences, but don’t draw negative or positive attention to them
    • You are not a student, it’s not your learning experience, it’s theirs. If you learn something in the process, you are probably an excellent instructor. 

    Your students.


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    The Power of Words

    Category:BusinessTags : 
    power-of-words-main The Power of Words

    The Power of Words

    The words we choose to get our point across can be mighty in their delivery or conveyed in the simplest of form. Whether mighty or simple it’s the actions behind those words that make them effective or ineffective.

    Words are meant to convey something or prompt action. Those words could be power selling, resume words, inspirational words, words that hurt, mind blowing words, healing, moral, ethical, or inspiring words, etc. When we combine lists of power words with the use of social media in the work place, who benefits the most from their usage? This is a question that a lot of organizations struggle with today. Who is going to monitor the network? How much power are we really talking about when we hook everyone up to the network? Who gets to be the word police?

    When working under a global network within an organization, there is usually a standard set of keywords that are unique to that network. The more educated or experienced someone is within the network, the more words they will have available for usage; thus, potentially more power to influence others. When constructing organizational networks for global usage, there needs to be a set of checks and balances for guiding operational use. In the most recent past I have heard rumblings from some about setting up a social system and putting everyone one on it at the same time. Weeeeeeee…look at us.

    setting up a social system and putting everyone one it at the same time. Weeeeeeee…look at us.

    I believe in keeping the entire organization in the loop when it comes to communicating with employees, middle management, as well as administrative and executive branches. However, how that communication is broken up and what communication is delivered to each department is critical to manual operations as well as research and development, marketing, HR, financials, etc. Words are powerful, and words can be quickly misunderstood and emotional at best. Words change communication within an organization, and can present unforeseen internal challenges. Challenges can be good, so can change. It’s how much change that is taking place at any given time that needs direction. Being able to guide words that are producing change, that requires positive focus on everyones part.

    There is any number of communications within an individual department that really doesn't need to be shared with others. “How” information is shared is more the point. The security of information or intellectual information (or technology) must be protected. Not everyone has a need to know.

    AAEAAQAAAAAAAAEOAAAAJDc0OGY2YTJkLTM5NGItNDU3Mi04ZTMzLTUzYWFmZWRkMDUzYQ-300x220 The Power of Words

    It is possible to use interactive video conferencing, desktop meetings, and a host of communication systems to communicate within an organization and its departments. What is not always known is how much information each should share with the other. As well, when do we reach a communication/meeting overload with digital media? It is possible to find yourself in interact conferencing meetings and remain unproductive all week long. Words can also produce non-productively. Words can affect your bottom line. Hint: Lighten up on the meetings okay?

    Lighten up on the meetings okay?

    To counter balance all these lists of words, we formulate and set up committees, and develop templates for examination and analysis. Employees are given access to certain levels of communication systems (list serves). We tell our employees that this group gets this list of words, and that group gets another set of words. Words can be powerful within your scope of expertise.

    We need to keep our employees in the loop about the overall well being of our operations, but only as it relates to the overall productive state of our work environment. Social media tools are great to speed up communication across the distances. But, reality tells us “less is more”.