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.

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...
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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....
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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...
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TIME TO REALIGN

Aligned-Team
Are you getting ready to reopen your business? What will be your new realities? Things have changed in the business world where we operate. If you lead the business, you have ideas and plans about what to do next. What about your employees? They certainly have opinions and have been exposed to so much information. You are your team certainly want to get back to work. But while you all want to hit the ground running are you are understanding what to do next. In other words, are you and your team on the same page? If you really want to improve your organization you will want to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you cannot handle the truth you won’t have an opportunity to make things better. With all the changes you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are highly effective assessment...
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PEOPLE FIRST SALES SECOND

Loyalty
Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. Now more than ever we must put being a trusted advisor first. Dan Pink has written a particularly good book on the topic titled, “To Sell is Human”. In my opinion this goes to the heart of being a trusted advisor. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic that no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past occurred because the buyer did not know what the seller knew. A person coming into a used car sales showroom never knew if the car was a “cream puff” or a “lemon.” Today we buy things from the Internet. In fact,...
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CULTURE CHANGE NOW

Consultant-with-Business-Owners
Depending upon the organization needs a culture change might be needed. People are updating their strategic plans in light of current turbulent conditions. It has been said that culture eats strategy for lunch. What does that mean? It means that everything comes from the culture of the organization. If you don’t have the culture that you want, you will have no choice but to change it. Attitudes drive culture. I love what Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” The fact is that people do not put enough emphasis on how attitude affects performance. If you are the leader of the organization your attitude affects the culture of your organization and, ultimately, its performance. An organization that has a positive vision and values, and that has leadership that lives and promotes those values is creating a positive culture. But if there is a negative attitude at the top the culture...
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SETTING GOALS TO UP YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

SMART-Goal
With these turbulent times people are looking to restart and quickly become productive. To get a clear start I suggest first clearing obstacles. These could include things you are doing which are no longer necessary. Removing the obstacles will clear the way for achievement of new goals. Review your activities to see if they are really productive. Instead of planning what you will do, let’s concentrate on things you should not be doing. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Maybe now is the time to make some changes. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for you job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” Attitudes, behaviors, and activities can account for our success or failure. We should be measuring...
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GO THE EXTRA MILE – CUSTOMERS WILL REMEMBER

Generations-in-the-workplace
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Maya Angelou Those are wise words. People do not buy what you sell. They buy you. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income, but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say...
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CRISIS BRINGS OPPORTUNITY TO RE BALANCE YOUR PRIORITIES

Procrastination-and-Time-Management
Sometimes it takes a crisis to present an opportunity for change. We may have been working hard and doing things that had limited value. Now we are in a situation to decide what needs to be done and what should be eliminated. How do you rebalance and move forward? Two things stand out for me. Be guided by your values and have a purpose then stay on course. You might say that this is your personal GPS. The comparison to using a GPS is an easy one. We have them in our car and on our phone. We use them to order a car on Uber or we use them to find a restaurant nearby. We have become more productive and less stressed because we have used this very simple tool to help us navigate. What is so remarkable about this instrument? First, it lets you know where you are now....
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A CASE FOR CHANGE NOW

Change-Management
Challenges as we have seen in current days should make a strong case for change. Normally, many people resist change because they are in a comfort zone. However, challenging events such as the Coronavirus are forcing us to make changes. I was speaking to a business owner today who understands her numbers and where the business stands. She has strategic plans ready to be implemented based on a number of things that might happen in the upcoming months. Then I have also spoken to a business owner who says it is too early to think about contingent plans because people are in the midst of traumatic times. Some say she is in denial or still processing. Why do people resist change? Why to people want to wait and see when the threat in front of them demands action? Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change...
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VITUAL TEAMS ARE BECOMING A REALITY

Virtual-Team-Leader
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. If that is true, then the Corona Virus may have accelerated the creation of virtual teams. Virtual teams have been growing for a while now. In fact, a 2017 survey by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that 60% of companies embraced virtual work. In 2019, the number had jumped to 69%. Now that so many are being forced to work virtually what will the 2020 SHRM survey show? Employees have shown that they prefer telecommuting but is it productive? It can be but only if the virtual team is well led. I believe that a well led virtual team will be more productive will be less susceptible to interruptions such as illness breaks in childcare service. Moreover, it is seen as a best practice for great workplaces. Also, we are growing as a gig economy using virtual work....
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TAKE YOUR LEADERS’ SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Leadership-Plan
I hope that you are not setting up your leaders for failure. You could be doing that if you are basing future leadership roles on their current experience. Unfortunately, this seems to happen most often by default. The most common mistake is taking an individual performer and promoting that person to supervisor without any training at all. The newly promoted supervisor still sees the jobs of the people he or she is supervising through his or her own individual performer lens. What is need is an understanding of motivation, leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to knowledge of the job. But it does not stop there. All leadership roles are not the same at all levels. Managing other managers is different from managing individual performers. According to Lawrence Peter, author of the Peter Principle, companies make a flawed assumption that because a person is good at one job, he will continue...
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PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP GET IT DONE

Create-A-Vision
The best way to get people to do want you want done is helping them see what is in it for them. One way to do this is to give people the pride of ownership in their work. When that happens, they own and take pride in results and they feel accountability for getting it right and they take responsibility when it is not right. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives but that does not ensure success. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two...
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