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7 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Conflate Power and Wisdom?
Does the fact that one has power also indicate that one is wise? Usually, it takes wisdom and perhaps luck to accomplish business success. Correct decisions are made to enable business success. A founder of a successful business acquires power. If that power indicates wisdom, what will limit continued business success? We know from many failed businesses that when power is conflated with wisdom, the quality of decision-making is diminished.
7 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
When the Goal is Wrong
The correct setting of a goal is of utmost importance and often overlooked in the planning process. Usually, a goal is set by the policy-making group, often dominated by owners in a small to medium-sized business (SMB). There is nothing more demoralizing to all business groups than a bad goal. The group that would execute the actions to reach the goal will immediately recognize the reality gap and ignore the goal. The group implementing the actions to be taken to reach the goal will be frustrated. The policy-making group will be disappointed that the values leading to the setting of the goal will not be honored. More importantly, a bad goal creates communication gaps between the groups that can stop the planning process, which otherwise could function to meet a reasonable goal.
6 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Is Fear an Appropriate Response to the Future?
We can get full agreement about the difficulty of predicting the future. So for our purposes it would be correct to refer to the future as the unknown. There is one thing we know about this unknown future: for the long term it will not turn out well. The future of living beings is death. According to the Small Business Administration, the average duration of a small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) business in the United States is less than five years. We could go on. As owners of small to medium-sized businesses (SMB’s), the best practice is to plan for the future. Yet, most SMB’s do not have written planning in place. The real reason for the lack of written planning is fear of the future.
6 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
Team Cohesion Through Goal Setting
Productivity through team performance is improved when the team is cohesive. When the team is stressed with interpersonal conflict, remote work, and missed goals, team performance will suffer. Concentrating on how goals are set and continually revised will improve team cohesion.
5 minutes | Dec 2, 2021
Not Making the Goal
he bad news is that a goal for your business has not been met. What is the best way to approach the failure to meet a goal? In my experience, the good news is that there was a goal set in the first place. We have a place to start. The setting of a goal indicates a presence of a decision-making process that determined the goal and implemented a plan to accomplish the goal. That activity enables a very important inquiry: what occurred in the planning process that caused the goal not to be met?
6 minutes | Oct 29, 2021
You May Have Authority – Do You Have Control?
Think back to the last stupid thing someone told you to do. Your first thought: does the person have the right to tell you to do this stupid thing. If the answer is yes, then the thought is: how can I get around the stupidity. If the people who report to you have no respect for your decisions (they think you are telling them to do stupid things), then they will look for ways around what they perceive is the stupidity. Put another way, if your decisions are not perceived as good decisions by the people who are to execute those decisions, there is a good chance your decisions will not be effective. This will be true in spite of all strict requirements of enforcement that may be put in place. Humble leaders who do not fear losing control are often the leaders most in control of their organizations.
7 minutes | Oct 15, 2021
Consistently Good Business Decisions
A good decision is a decision that yields beneficial results. In a small to medium sized business (SMB) beneficial results are profits. The policy-making group of an SMB making consistently good decisions is likely to experience business success in the form of making a better profit. If you agree with this statement, then the question becomes: How does a SMB make consistently good business decisions? There is a discipline to assure that the SMB will make consistently good decisions.
9 minutes | Oct 2, 2021
Documenting the Plan – Essential, But a Form of Procrastination
“If it is not written down, it is not a plan.” I would like to attribute that quote to someone, but after a reasonable Google search, I cannot. Nonetheless, I have heard the phrase and repeated it many times. The phrase makes sense for two basic reasons. First, writing something down is a fundamental way to rethink and confirm a thought process and decision. Second, it is difficult to communicate using only an oral means of communication. I rarely have anyone contest these observations. Documenting a business plan in writing can be a formidable task. As with many formidable tasks, it can be a point for procrastination to occur. This tends to happen when the production of the plan documentation takes priority over the initiation of the plan. Most of us are familiar with spectacular plan documentation which has not escaped from a three-ring notebook or a PowerPoint presentation. On the other hand, if the plan format is dynamic, this does not occur.
10 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
Getting Real – Dreams, Values, and Goals
Live your dreams. That sounds very good. But does that concept sustain a life? Dreams rarely come true, and there is frustration about not realizing a dream. Thinking about values, even values derived from dreams, can deal with the frustration of not realizing a dream. Think about dreams and contrast that with the concept of values. This thinking can lead to understanding how goals based on values is a discipline for thinking leading to decisions about goals enabling you to do all you can do toward realizing your dreams.
10 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
Keep the Tigers
Generally speaking there is a type of employee that many business owners do not want in their business. This type of employee, whom I shall call a tiger, is one that may be described as aggressive, overreaching, obnoxious, opinionated, difficult, and narcissistic. I am going to argue that while business owners often find reasons to part ways with this type of employee over time, there are very good reasons for a business to find a way to keep the tigers.
9 minutes | Aug 11, 2021
Executing the Pivot
Change is tough enough. No one likes it. The tendency is to deny the reasons for change exist and then procrastinate taking action. Sometimes, in a crisis, we have to change immediately. In a crisis, things are not just different, they have to turn around. Businesses from time to time have to deal with this type of required, rapid change. What has to be executed is called the “pivot.”
8 minutes | Jul 30, 2021
Recent events of cybersecurity breaches and losses have led to the development of cybersecurity insurance - an insurance product designed to protect against losses related to computer or network incidents. For a small to middle sized business (“SMB”) with less than 100 employees, does a cybersecurity insurance policy make sense?
9 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
Planning for Cybersecurity Issues
Businesses with less than 1,000 employees (sometimes referred to as small or medium businesses or “SMBs”) are becoming concerned about cybersecurity. Not only is there an increasing amount of cybersecurity threats, but government regulations requ
7 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Be Careful Whom You Like
It is human nature to like those who agree with us; it is also human nature to dislike those who do not agree with us. Call it arrogance or pride, we all know the emotional reaction. Those business owners who can get past this emotional reaction and evaluate the differing opinions they encounter, often find their perception of reality altered and the decisions they make becoming better. This trait of humility is one of the most important leadership qualities.
5 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Optimism - Its Role in Business Planning
How optimistic should a business plan be? When a business starts, the thinking is about success and the plan will be optimistic. This is appropriate, but there is an issue of credibility linked to the degree of optimism. For the realistic long-term (3-5 years) and the realistic short-term (6 months to 1 year), the plan goals should be reasonably achievable for the plan to be credible. As a business matures, the setting of plan goals can have a significant effect on business growth.
9 minutes | May 31, 2021
One way to represent the difference between traditional planning and dynamic planning is through a Venn diagram. The Venn diagram for dynamic planning with concentric circles shows the communication of all of the items of the planning set to all business groups.
6 minutes | May 17, 2021
To Be Effective, the Planning Process Must Be Constant
A reliable way to accomplish business success is to implement and operate a planning process. Many business owners do implement a planning process and begin to use it, but fail to realize the benefits because the process is intermittent. Then, once the process is perceived as ineffectual, it is abandoned. It is not enough to implement a planning process, that process must be a constant process.
6 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Questions Owners Should Ask One Another
Questions initiate, form, and shape conversations. Conversations are the means by which owners articulate values to one another. Without these conversations, without an accurate perception of the other owners values, we have less information to understand the future actions of those who will influence the future conduct of our life.
6 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
Making a Decision - How Long is Too Long?
While successful businesses usually have a decision-making process that produces quality decisions, that process can falter, and often it is because too much time has been taken to make a decision. The process of decision-making should be a structure of business procedure, but the time spent in the process for any given decision should be based on the specific decision to be made. This determination is very much part of the art of decision-making. When decisions take too long, the principal culprit is usually the fear of making a bad decision.
10 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Dynamic Planning Allows Timing of Quality Decisions
What makes planning a consistent part of the business operation is timing. If creating a plan takes a retreat, facilitation, enough writing to fill a three-ring notebook, and space on the shelf for the notebook, then planning typically remains a separate activity not involved in the essential conduct of the business. Planning is most effective when it is dynamic – where changes made to the plan are immediately communicated to all affected by the plan.
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