How To Create Success In Business

How to create success in a business?

Often we hear great presentations, sales pitches, project ideas and all sorts of proposals and ideas, and check back a few months after, nothing has moved, very little got delivered, there is no smell of success and results anywhere.

What happened here we wonder, and conclude that the place is doomed, nothing works here, this company is different, this business is too complex…………. fill out the blank space with the one you hear at your place.

In my very first assignment right after university, a few of young engineers, we took the liberty of adding the so-called productivity savings projects total cost savings numbers and presented it to our boss, the manufacturing VP. He was not very happy, as it turned out if all those projects really would have delivered what they promised the company would have had minus 100 employees on the payroll! Was it bad intention? No. Was it lying, no? It was just human nature. We usually overestimate what we can deliver. We want to look good!

Usually, in any company, we are good at figuring out what problems we have, and what sort of projects we need to do to overcome the issue. On the contrary, we are not very good at finding the cause of the problem, the elephant in the room. Neither we are good at being able to focus appropriate efforts, people to address the underlying problem.

What is the moral of the story?

Well, I have to tell you, that you as a leader have the job to help your troops to succeed and successfully tackle the issue. You need to set the path clear and make sure enough action is taken to create success. Without action, the thoughts remain thoughts as there is no force behind them to create the momentum necessary to create success.

What are the keys:
Focus
Action
Unity

Focus: Create a clear problem statement, define what is wrong, create clear communication around it. Make sure that the organization is very clear what the task at hand is, what is expected of them. It has to be clear and simple to drive action. For example, you can not say “In our company, we have a profitability problem, go create projects and ideas to improve profitability.” You pick up your pay for a reason, so have to do a better job than that. A good statement would be, “ We have a profitability problem because we lose too much money on customer returns and warranty costs. Our goal is to reduce the customer returns by 90% by implementing great quality culture!”

Action: Allow time, assign resources, create accountability in the organization. Make sure that there is time set aside to review results and projects on a weekly basis. Also, make sure that you assign your best people to run the projects. You are lying to yourself if you think the problem will fix itself, or you as the leader is enough to coordinate the efforts. If you can not pull your best people out than I am sorry but you are not taking it seriously, so how do you expect your team to take it seriously. Create a culture of celebration and expectation of everyone needs to support the initiative and cooperate. Make sure training is done to all. Help people to support the initiative you created.

Unity: This has to be a team sport in the organization. Everyone needs to be supportive or at least compliant with the initiative and objective. If the momentum created not pointing in the same direction, with a unified force, the impact is lower or none. The efforts go against one another and weaken or cancel each other out. It is not enough to create a unified vision, in the beginning, you have to make sure that the initiative stays on track. Momentum cannot be lost, has to be maintained. So close involvement is required from you as the leader. You have to show your face and show interest, and held people accountable for supporting the initiative.

So, no rocket science behind success, you need clear direction and massive action, then success is guaranteed in a business.

Post your comments and experiences below for us to create a dialogue!

Good luck with creating successful projects!

Enjoy the ride and deliver benefits!

G

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How to create empowerment – simplified

Empowerment is a frequently used word, sometimes I feel it is over-used and sometimes we have no clear understanding of what it really means or how we can achieve it.

It is not a magic word, the simplest way to look at it that everyone is coming to work not with the intention to deliberately do something bad. Most people are neutral and only some are positive and wanting to do something good.

This gives us leaders with 2 challenges, one to make increase the number of people who want to do good and the second is to set them to one direction.

Sounds easy… But how am I going do it?

There are clear pillars of engagement and there are multiple ways to make it work. Let’s look at the basics.

  1. Systems and Processes

People will go for the direction of least resistance. So if you want them to do something, than it has to be made very easy for them to do. You would not expect them to go do hours of training and then take an exam and….. Give them the information what needs to be done, and than give them a process that is simple to do.

For example… You want people to raise ideas to improve processes. You do not want a numbered form to be requested from HR, than filled out properly, submitted to their bosses in person, who presents a tally chart every day…. This will provide you with perfect tracking, but it will not work in your favour to create mass movement. Get forms that explains what needs to be filled out. Get a box of magnets and a whiteboard and have them stick it on…. And make sure you show up at the board regularly.

Similarly, if you are a speaker and you want the audience to ask questions, you can ask your assistants to run around with microphone, and get people to ask… Yes you will get questions, but usually from people who like to show off anyhow. If you want mass participation, put out paper and pens and a box, and before break announce that you will be taking questions from the box which people put in anonymously….. You will get 10 times more questions.

So the message is to make it simple and least painful!

  1. Organization

This also a key point. This needs to support what you want to achieve. As the process is there, and simple, you have to make sure that the organization is there to support. Clear roles has to be established, who does what. Also clear goals have to be set for everyone, what is their role in achieving the goal. Maybe tie some incentive to it, portion of salary, bonus, prize… Money or prizes always work their magic. We as humans are kids forever. We love to play. It is quite fascinating how far a Mars bar takes you as a prize. Costs nothing, value in achieving a goal, priceless.

So back to our previous examples. If you want to generate ideas, your organization needs to be aligned. First of all the people have to be supported by their peers and managers to bring forward the ideas. There has to be a guru or referee (expert) who helps people to figure out and navigate in the new world. The managers have to be incentivized to push the people to bring the ideas. Other functions have to be held account to make sure the best ideas are implemented, so it shows the people that it is worth to bring up ideas.

And you as a leader have to show that you care!

  1. Behaviours

If anything makes something work, than this is the most critical element. We as leaders always complain on how people should behave and how they do not. Guess what, who’s fault is it… Yours. Why? When you point at someone, look at your hand, only one-finger points to the other person, three fingers point to you.

So what are the three fingers?

First finger: Above all, you as a leader and your leadership team have to show that you care. You have to be talking about it, be curious about it, and package it into every communication. So people see you care.

Second finger: You have to do it yourself. Whatever you expect, you have to show and also communicate how you do it. Better yet, you join your people doing it. Raising improvement ideas, make sure your ideas are posted on the board of the teams. Go there, find something you would find anyhow, take the time to put it on the card and stick it to the board…. And follow up.

Third finger: Praise and penalise. Highlight people who do it well, and tell them off if they do not do it. People will learn from immediate positive or negative feedback. Positive better, if all else fails negative is also required. Make sure it is clear that it is not OK not to follow the new requirement.

It is not difficult, it just takes concentrated effort and time to create empowerment and also create change in any organisation. Keep up the good work!

Enjoy the ride and deliver the benefits!

G

Empowerment Large

Loyalty is a Lifestyle

What does loyalty mean in a company… and why people are not acting loyally?

I am sure you have heard or even said that I am loyal to my company and also heard the company must be loyal to me. On one side, I tend to agree with these statements on the other I disagree.

Being loyal to a company is to with your own personal values. You as an individual must live your life with certain standards,  some people have higher some lower some different. However, I have noticed in some cases that these standards do tend to change when you behave in a company.  We do not respect other people, we do not respect the assets and possessions of the company, we do not respect the money of the company…. But we should. A company is no different than a group of people getting together for a cause. In your mind it has to be the same when you get together with a group of friends and help someone on a project, moving houses or sort out a shed or something bigger. The company is a group of people working towards a goal. OK, there are structures and processes but think for a moment. When you go out with more than 3 people, someone must take the lead and set some rules up… correct?

So being loyal, must come from you as an individual and make sure you do the best every day…. Will come back to the “why” in a minute.

The loyalty of a company, there is no such thing. People often say the company should take care of this, the company should provide that… Yep, what is the phone number of the company so I can speak to him or her, I sometimes ask. Same true for functions, Engineering, Manufacturing…. They do not have email addresses and phone numbers either. People do. So loyalty to a company is a loyalty of an individual in a position to you as another human being.

Once you start to talk names, the conversation starts to become more real, more powerful and productive, often times painful initially. But definitely more rewarding.

So…. Why should we be loyal? Simply for happiness. All of us are in search for that. If you feel good in your job, you enjoy what you do, you live your life in a company to the values you follow with your family or friends… You will be happy. Not for me, not for the “company” but for you. It is your choice how you want to feel every day, miserable or happy…. I choose happiness!

Enjoy the ride and deliver the benefits!

G

Loyalty

How to stop fire-fighting once and for all

Every one of us had a job, where all day long you just did fire-fighting. Boy that is a tiring exercise. Not that it gives you a lot of pleasure, success feeling all day, when you are good at it. Maybe people love being fire-fighters and being important. However if you want to stop it for good, there is an excellent way to do that.

Whatever you do, you can almost always ask the question:

Based on what do I / my team prioritise what we do?

From the answer you can determine that you will ever stop fire-fighting or not.

  1. If the priority is determined on what is behind completion, behind finishing etc., meaning back end focus, you will never ever stop fire-fighting. You are praying all day long, in a collective effort if you have a team to have less late stuff to finish. Guess what, Murphy’s law will always fill you plate to the max.

 

  1. If your priority is determined to make sure that what you need to start and make sure it is kept on track and in focus…. Than you have a good chance to stop fire-fighting, if you address the causes making you run late or behind schedule or taking you off track.

 

So ask the question today…And think of a way for you and your team to change the priorities. In manufacturing, making sure things start on time and keep moving and understand the disruptions.

In projects, things must be started on time and kept on track regular basis.

In other words, if your focus is the end, you are not seeing woods from the tree!

… Stories, questions, please post it into comments. Glad to listen!

 

Enjoy the ride and deliver results!

G

goal without a plan

How to get more success instantly… Works…. Seriously

Success is a relative term. It is different for all of us. Some might think money, some might think position and title and for some a simple thank you is great success.

No matter what it is for you, there is only one thing blocking it for you…. Is you. I thought I share with you a thought that will work to make it easier.   It is a simple two stage process. First one is longer than the second, but if you are good and committed does not take more than 60 minutes altogether.

  1. You go and figure out what excites you, what motivates you, what is success for you. Sit down and list out events where you felt successful in the past. Does not have to be relevant to what you are doing now and want to be successful in, can be anything. Can be from your childhood when you drew something and everyone loved it, seriously anything. The next thing is you have to remember how you felt. Close your eyes, put yourself back to the event, indulge in the success for a minute as a memory and than open your eyes and write down Why you thought it was success and also write down the few words coming to your mind what words describe well how you felt. Repeat this a few times with different events if you can.
  2. This is the quick part, but you have to do frequently. Every morning, or before an important milestone you want to hit, close your eyes again for 1 minute, imagine yourself at the place what you consider as success in your current job / assignment and bring back those feelings from the past. Imagine that you are already there. Just for 1 minute.

Two things will happen, one you will feel great and the second is for some miracle reason, you will achieve more success than before. Why? I think it is to do with your karma, energy etc., you will bring in the success better as you believe it.

If you think you can spare one minute every day fro your better success, go ahead and try it. If you do not, I would love to hear why you think it will not work.

Enjoy the ride and deliver results!

G100consultants.com

How to be in control of your day?

Have you ever felt that your day was just presented to you, all events just happened outside of your control. There is two ways to cope with it, accept it or do something about it.

You probably figured me out by now, and you are right, I am giving you a solution, so you can do something about it. The good news is that you need nothing to make it work, no training, no books, no nothing. Nothing but your mind.

All you have to do is plan… Plan you day. Visualize the things you will accomplish during the day. You can imagine in your mind how will it feel when you accomplished it, whatever you wanted to achieve. Take control, do something that is important in your work, you have not done before. Take control. There is an idea you always wanted to implement but never started. A person giving you trouble and you just let it go every day? Time to take control and plan your day, visualize how it will work out.

Do not underestimate the things around you, our life has many disturbance factors like meeting requests, emails, phone calls. Allow time for those, so only put in to your day what is possible to fit. It is a good start to plan 20% of your work time first and commit to the outcomes. If you are a had worker you put in 12 hours or so into your job, so all you need is 2 hours that is pushing you forward. Make 1 hour for your project, schedule a meeting with the people you need to talk to. Take charge, imagine the outcome and move yourself in action.

What is the difference between just scheduling the meeting because you have to make progress with your project?… Well, the outcome. As you played forward in your head the outcome, you will have a positive impact on the events during the day. Try it out and you will be amazed by what you can achieve.

If you have a good experience, please feel free to post it into the comments!

Enjoy the ride and deliver results!

G

You are the Platoon Leader – Any Change in Business Starts With You

We are called leaders in business or managers. Personally, I prefer leader. In my interpretation, a manager is the one who has to make sure the processes are working and the procedures are followed. Leadership kicks in when you actually have to change procedures and make them better, make your people better, make the company better.

So at work, you have to be the platoon leader, leading the troops to battle to concur new grounds. People will naturally look at you like that and will follow you like that. What you also have to realize that they copy you, what you do how you act etc.

So if you want to drive change in behavior, change in attitude, change a process that they have to see that you care, you follow the new way yourself. People will change when they see you as a leader change, doing and being consistent about the new thing what you want to push through.

Yes, it is pushing it will take effort, a great deal of it to push changes through. Some companies it is easier, some are greatly difficult. The stronger the culture is the most years served in a company the workforce is, the stronger the resistance will be. Also, it is somewhat different by region of the world, countries with more pride and stubborn attitude, you will have a hell of a job to drive a change through.

So, when you have a chance to lead, have a think how can you demonstrate to your troops that you care, you do it yourself too. Pick a behavior, an act and follow it consistently. Explain it with patience, one hundred times if required, pick a good compelling story to tell and grab every possible venue to tell that story. People love stories, although we all collect birthdays every year, most of us remain kids to a certain extent and love the stories and tend to believe in them.

If you are having difficulty in driving a change, have a think what you have to change in yourself first!

Enjoy the ride and deliver the results!

G

start changing yourself

How Can You Involve all Levels in a Company

People are not going to work to do a bad job. Although sometimes you would think it seems that way. But it is simply not true. Sometimes we managers say that employees do not care. Not true…. You have to accept this principle.

To draw the caring out of a team is your job as a manager, so if they do not seem to care, then you failed, not them. How can you then involve them? By asking the right question. We can go back to the basic human needs. There are numbers of theories on how many are there…. But in all theories, once you passed the basic needs for food, shelter, safety and these sorts, you get to the level of Belonging to a Group and Feeling Significant.

So with your questions, you have to achieve 2 objectives:

  1. Bring down the barrier when people feel on the football field and employees vs. Management game is on, and you are playing on the opposite side to them
  2. You need to make them feel important that they hold the key to the problem, together you can solve it

Asking the right questions, telling the right story, providing the right level of information will bring out the desire to solve a problem. You have to be prepared for some period of lack of trust, silence, ignorance and all sorts, but at the end of the day with resilience and not giving up will deliver the desired benefits. People will help you to achieve the common objective.

You do not have to win everyone over, you can focus on a few, the so-called opinion leaders and then once they are on your side than as a small team you can work with the rest of the group.

What you have to be prepared for is that this game is not like football, not 90 minutes. Meeting over and you do not have to care about it any longer. You have to follow up, work with them day by day to make the desired improvement work. You (as one team now) worked out together.

Enjoy the ride and deliver results!

G

How To Sell Yourself Made Easy…

Every one of us has at least one product to sell, ourselves. If you choose not to do it, no one else will do it for you. You must value yourself that much, be proud of yourself and sell. Once you start, it makes you feel better, makes you want to do it more, and as any good self-fulfilling prophecy, actually makes you achieve better things… Some will say you improve yourself over time, so will say the universe is helping you. Not really sure, I think it is all of the above. However, you have to make the first step. Why not do it today? In the next 2 minutes while you read this post I will show you what makes it super easy to do on a regular basis.

For most of us, it is not easy and not natural to promote ourselves. Unless you have been trained well in sales, it is not a natural strength. However, you can make your life slightly easier, by preparing a little bit every week, or at least every month.

We have talked about reflections in a previous post (The Friday Game Changer – Reflection Time) It is all logical, when you do that you have to carve out some time to make a presentation page on tracking results, documenting achievements. This will give you the advantage when you have an opportunity, someone wants to talk to you about a project you have done, big boss comes to town, you want to praise your team and thank them for the hard work, or you just simply want to feel good and tell everyone, you already have a 95% ready page to send. Makes making a decision and actually doing the self-marketing easy. We all know well ,we have to do it, but also we can do ourselves a favour to make it simple. (Have to give you a tip…. Writing a post is not natural for me either, if I would have no collection of ideas jotted down…. It would be much harder to create a post topic almost every day)

You say… well, tell me how do you build the communication slide…. PowerPoint, brochure, post whatever. First, start with the message…. The title what do you want the audience to remember. Write that on the bottom of the page. Choose some supporting evidence graphic to communicate the message (PowerPoint has this brilliant Smart Art built in, great for most occasions). Put a few sub-bullets that explain the context…. Job done. What you will find that most of the time, compiling data takes the most of your time. To figure out where to get it from and how, because you forgot to document in the first place…. That brings us to a separate subject(… Which I am now adding to my list of post ideas to choose from. ….) With this type of presentations, the good thing is, that you can reuse them multiple times, update the data, the next month and just remind the audience… look I am still great we are doing a super job.

Page built, ready to show, ready to tell how you add value, how you create a compelling message to yourself and others how good you are!

Enjoy the ride and deliver results!

G

motivational