PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

BALANCING EMPOWERMENT WITH CONTROL

Accountable-Team
I was just engaged by a CEO to coach two people: a manager and one of her employees. She (the manager) has problem with the employee’s accountability. He (the employee) does not like being micromanaged. Both people have valid points. There is a delicate balance between control and empowerment Here is a problem that comes up all too often. Control and accountability need to be supported but we also need to empower our teams. If you do it right, you will have both. But it is tough to let go. After all, when you started your business, you needed to do everything, or it would not get done. Sometimes you had time management issues, but you must work through them. Now your business grows, and you simply can't get it all done. Time to hire someone. Now you are at the pinnacle of a growing business. At this point you are...
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GOAL ACHIEVEMENT NOT GOAL SETTING

Goal
Setting goals is one of the most important keys to achieving success. Studies have shown that the most successful people are the ones who have specific, written goals.   When you set goals that is only the first step toward the actual achievement of your goals.  Nothing happens until the goal are achieved. Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution, in other words, it is not just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals.  Establish the time frame. They could be lifetime goals, 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 6 month, 3 month, 1 month, or weekly goals. Also, you can have ongoing goals, such as exercising 3 to 5 times a week....
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WHAT MAKES YOUR BUSINESS SUSTAINABLE?

Family-Business-Succession
Sustainability!  That word has different meanings depending on your focus. If someone were to ask you if you have a sustainable business would you know how to answer? There is no clear answer to this question. Sustainability means different things to different companies as well as industries. Sustainability really started with the whole concept of being green, becoming more environmentally friendly, and paying more attention to conserving our planet’s resources. However, sustainability has become much more than that. Sustainability has become a viable business strategy which considers the economic considerations for business sustainability, governmental issues, and opinions from customers and stakeholders.  Sustainability also answers this question. “What will happen with your business when you are on vacation or sick?  Or when you retire can you sell this business?” No matter how a business defines sustainability or how they choose to implement the concepts, there is a commonality to sustainability that runs...
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SUCCESS IS THE RESULT OF A POSITIVE LEADER

Accountable-Team
A successful organization does not happen by accident. Success is the result of a focused leader with a positive agenda. Last month I worked with an organization that was having difficulty with its people. I asked some employees what they thought was the problem. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.” What does your organization need? Does it need more sales or more profits? Does it need updated marketing that get results? Does your organizational structure need to change to get business to the next level? Regardless of how you answer these questions one fact is abundantly clear. It is your people who achieve the results. That is true for any size organization and it is also true if you are a sole practitioner.   Let’s start with you and your personal leadership. Ask yourself these questions:  Am I the best I can be? Am I goal directed...
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WHAT IS THE TOP INDICATOR OF BUSINESS SUCCESS?

Aligned-Team
How can you predict future business success? The answer is a steady predictable pipeline of customers. Peter Ducker has said that the purpose of business is to attract and keep customers. You do this by creating a loyal customer base. This is done by creating an emotional connection between you and your customers. Have you included goals for customer loyalty scores in your strategic plan?   Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance. Don’t spend all your time on marketing for new customers while neglecting your current customers. A loyal current customer is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing. A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example, it seems that most businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This...
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BECOME A BETTER LEADER BY TAKING FEEDBACK

Message-from-Leader
In order to lead others, you must first be able to lead yourself. Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   And have you have had a 360-degree feedback; that is how people who at levels see your leadership. There is a difference between power and authority. If you are a manager or if you own your own business, you have the authority by virtue of your role. However, your power is granted by those on your team or those you supervise. You may have noticed in your workplace that people without titles have been sought out by others for advice and approval. They have been granted power by others by virtue of their leadership skills. How much power do you do you have? If you are not sure why not ask the people around you to give you some guidance....
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PREDICT THE FUTURE SUCCESS OF THOSE YOU HIRE

Encouraging-High-Performance
Is it possible to predict a person’s future performance before they are hired? You can do this by behavior-based interviewing. If you are not looking at behavior when you are interviewing you should be. Jim Collins and his team laid out the principle in the book Good to Great. It is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people. Here is a simple fact. Managers tend to make hiring decisions by looking at background in the industry, jobs held before, and job history. Many companies even do background checks. They spend a significant amount of time looking at a candidate’s skills and knowledge before extending an employment offer. Fast forward. We now learn that an employee “is...
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PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS FOR YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS

Entrepreneur

You already know what happened in the last quarter, but do you know what will happen in the current or next quarter. If you want to have positive results for your business will need to measure and control the things that matter. As a business leader you need to see the big picture. That includes tracking the pulse of your business. Watching a dashboard of controls tells you if your car is operating properly. Having a dashboard for your business will tell you if your business is on track to reaching your goals.

As a leader who is working ON your business you will need to track important trends which can quickly warn of problem areas that need attention. You should not waste time getting bogged down in the small details of working IN the business or you will miss the forest for the trees.

You should measure business success by measuring trends and directions not numbers. Looking at the numbers alone will not tell the entire story. You should be measuring the trends and the movement toward the critical goals of your business.

These are some things that are worth measuring.

Finances – revenues and sales, profits, cash flow

Inventory – unusual drops or increases

People (Employees) – productivity, turnover, employee engagement scores

People (Customers) – customer satisfaction, customer loyalty scores

This information is vitally important to the leader of the business.

Of all the measurements one measurement that is the most important because it is the biggest predictor of future success. It is NOT finance and profit. That may surprise you. Of course, profit is indeed very important but is a measure of what has already happened. It should come with the same warning put on mutual funds which is “This represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results.” That’s right. Just because you have had good sales and profits last year does not mean that you will have increased sales and profits this year. Sales and profits are TRAILING indicators.

Business Dashboard

A LEADING indicator which will predict future success is customer loyalty or the customer loyalty score. The most important measure of customer loyalty is the answer to this question. “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends?” You should survey your customers with this question along with other customer questions that will help you understand what you need to do to exceed your customers’ expectations. Whatever else you measure make sure that you track this. Rising scores will lead to more sales. In the same manner falling scores will predict decreased sales.

If you measure customer loyalty and see opportunities for improvement take action immediately. Taking the correct steps will help you create more sales, profits, and success.

Learn how to create predictive controls for more business success.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

or call 914-953-4458.

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BUILD AN ENGAGED WORKFORCE BY BEING INCLUSIVE

Aligned-Team
Why do people leave jobs? There are certainly any number of reasons. We certainly will not deny a very attractive opportunity. The money and the opportunity certainly must be worth staying. We know that it is important to our business success to have an engaged team dedicated to working together for a group result. So why do so many employees leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would not deny the compensation is important. However, people who are truly engaged with their company and their team have a sense of belonging. They will not leave for a slightly better offer. We have a diverse workforce in 2020. It is not enough to...
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DO YOUR EMPLOYEES GET TO DO WHAT THEY DO BEST?

Competencies-and-Skills
Every day I get to do what I do best. When your employees are asked that question how will they answer it? Your organization will be more productive if you know your people’s strengths and give them the opportunity to leverage them. From an employee engagement standpoint people will burnout and leave if they are constantly in stress trying to improve their weaknesses. But this activity may actually be baked into our nature. For example, when your child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English, what is your response? I am sure this is the reaction. Most people will talk to their child about raising the grade in English. But what if your child might have a real talent in math? He or she might become a great math...
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SUGGESTIONS ON BUILDING GREAT WORK TEAMS

Employee-Value-Proposition
As business has changed the hierarchical organization chart has given way to flat organizations with cross functional teams. The recent need to work virtually has only accelerated this trend. It is not enough to be a great individual performer if that performer can’t work with anyone or collaborate. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Think about this quote as it relates to the business world. All organizations have a great number of individual stars or top performers – employees who are skilled and knowledgeable and have the necessary attitudes and behaviors to accomplish anything they desire, yet the organization is coming up short on their results. According to Suzanne Willis Zoglio, Ph.D. author of 7 Keys to Building Great Work teams,...
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ARE HARMFUL HABITS HOLDING YOU BACK?

Erase-Bad-Habits
A great opportunity now exists to break some bad habits. I know in my own case just the shutdown eliminated a bad habit. It is now been quite a while and now the new successful habit has replaced it for good. Our success or failure is driven by our habits. A bad habit can cause us to continue to do things that are non-productive or destructive. For example, you might have a habit of laying back and taking it easy. The result could be panic when you are up against a deadline. The result could be failure to meet the deadline or failure to achieve good results. All of this is the result of living in a comfort zone. That comfort zone exists for us because we are deriving satisfaction for our current habits. As an example, many people have trouble sticking to a diet because it is more comfortable to...
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HOW ARE YOU VIEWED BY STAFF AND CUSTOMERS? CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Message-from-Leader
How are your employees viewing your Westchester County NY business? Do you know or is it wishful thinking? And what about your customers? Maybe you have no complaints and you figure no news is good news.  Many times, when you see something every day you stop noticing. For example, when you started your business you were focused on how you were going to get customers and what resources you would need to deliver the products and services to those customers. That might have been 2 years ago, 5 years ago or even 10 or more years ago. Earlier this year you might have said, “I’m ok now because I have my routine set and it works without me thinking about it.” Now in this turmoil you may not be so sure. Are you ready to learn more weather it is good or bad? Can you handle the truth? Here are two...
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WHY PEOPLE MIGHT NOT BUY WHAT YOU ARE SELLING

Assistant-Buyer
People do not like to be sold but they sure love to buy. Today people may even be saying that they want to buy but not top of mind now. There is please going on in minds of individuals and companies. In these turbulent times it might be I am not even sure what to do next. But people do need to buy and we still do need sales. We need sales more than ever but we no longer need or want the old time sales where the salesperson has more information than the customer and uses that information disparity to persuade (or force) the customer to commit. Now we must be more skilled in the sales profession because we are an assistant buyer assisting a highly educated customer find a solution.     Helping provide a solution requires attunement. We will be more attuned if we ask important questions and listen carefully...
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ARE YOU FOCUSED ON THESE FIVE AREAS

Highly-Effective-Leaders
It is important to be focused on your business but even more imperative now. Most successful business owners cite laser focus on the right things as paramount to their success. Staying focused and staying sharp on the things necessary to grow and change is important. But sometimes business gets lazy and in a rut. The owner stops seeing the big picture. The business has had years of successful sales and profits. Since the business is still making money and continuing to operate the reasoning is if it is not broke don’t fix it. But recently the business has experienced a decline in sales and profits. In short, there have been changes in the economy and the market. To remain successful, the business owner must refocus. How are you doing? Take this 5-area checkup: Make sure you know what business you are in. If you make cell phones do you provide smart...
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DO YOU NEED TO DO A BUSINESS REBOOT?

Getting-Started
It is time to reopen your business. Well maybe it is not that easy because what you left off with is not there anymore. It looks like it is going to take some extra effort. That makes sense because it is a simple law of physics. It takes more energy to start up than it does once you are moving along. First you must get back the momentum. But doing that reboot must first be done. Why not just do it? Well for one thing many do not want to do until they have thoroughly analyzed each step. That is called the paralysis of analysis. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run...
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REDO YOUR PLAN BUT KEEP YOUR CORE VALUES

Core-Values-Culture
Due to these turbulent times you should be readjusting your business plan. Most business plans begin with a statement of vision, mission, and values. Mission and vision can change as is the case now. However, core values should never change. Values are more important than anything else when selecting team members. You may now need different skills; you may be changing job duties; you may have new protocols; but your values should be cast in stone! If you know your core values and stand behind them, you can change goals and set new direction with confidence. Your values will help you with your WHY. Moreover, your why is much more important than your how. How many businesses can say why they are in business or articulate their basic business foundation? You might be surprised at how few really can. Your core values are of greater importance than vision. These are the...
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP – FAILURE AND SETBACKS ARE TEMPORARY

Entrepreneur
Many great entrepreneurs have something in common. At one point they failed in business but then they later became smashing successes.   Some of these entrepreneurs include Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Mary Kay, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The difference between these entrepreneurs and other business failures is that these individuals learned from their failures and used those lessons to build successful enterprises. Education is a short cut to experience. Our present crisis reminds us of the risks of entrepreneurship. But an entrepreneur understands the risks. Failures occur and unexpected events do happen. How the entrepreneur reacts to these setbacks will determine future outcomes. Several years ago, three of my colleagues and I shared some lessons learned from the front. You can avoid some of the mistakes which will lead to failure by taking note. Q.When you develop a business plan why do you put it aside and forget it. A. Many...
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FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND WHY

On-Top
The greater the reward the higher probability that the goal will be achieved.   We call this desire or passion motivation and it comes from within. Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person. You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire. That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY. If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you...
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TIME TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS BASICS

Entrepreneur
If you have been reading or following successful business owners, they will tell you to never stop marketing. Have you slowed down your marketing because of the current crisis? Maybe you have had so much business recently that you just took care of business but stopped feeding your pipeline. If you are still feeding your pipeline do not stop. If you have not, then it is time to get back to basics. Networking is a great way to build your business. But just like your other business processes, you need to have a networking process. You should have goals and measured outcomes. And here are a few examples of goal categories:      Identify suspects (those who might become prospects with further qualification)     Develop strategic alliances (sell things that compliment your product or service)     Develop referral sources     Develop and maintain relationships      Interactively prospect     Impact sales results You can achieve greater results in...
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