Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Many Heads Make it Better

Being a one person organization, I need the thoughts and feedback of outsiders.  That's why I have a group of people that meets monthly with me.  Most people would call them a board of advisers, but I have named them the Board of Action.

Let me tell you a very specific instance where they helped me to think bigger and broader.

One of my networking contacts, a grad of our course, suggested that we might become
a provider of Connect4 lunches, since the local chamber is no longer offering them.  I called the company to see if we could become one of their providers.  The answer was no, that they only market to chambers of commerce.


So I reported that information at the next BOA meeting.  Basically I just wanted them to know.  But here's where it gets great!  My members said, "Well, why can't we just do it ourselves?"  Yeah!  Great question.

As a result of having more than one brain helping in my company, we had our first Fantastic Four Power Hour lunch on Monday.  We have sixty registered participants, so I guess there was a demand.

How do you get help in your company?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Who Owns the Poster??

For years now, Dave Achen, Edward Jones Company, has been the "poster boy" for Connext Nation.  He took the  course years ago under duress, not happy about it at all. He had been in the business for decades, been to lots of training courses and didn't see how CN could possibly be of help.  Dave did a 180 and ever since has proclaimed and owned the poster boy status.

Dave, I'm sorry to say that someone may be moving you over!

And he is not even a CN grad.

You see, Joshua Klein, is a young man who wanted a job.


Josh has a speech pattern that makes it challenging for him to easily communicate, but with a degree  in accounting from Lourdes University, he would be behind the scenes in his work.

Josh pushed himself to attend networking groups and events and with one of his connections he landed a job.  He is doing great at the job because of his attention to detail.  He also volunteers with United Way during tax season.

But what has won him super poster boy status?  With almost a year of work experience behind him, he continues to email the people who he says helped him along the way to give them updates of where his journey has taken him.  I think in the year I have received two or three very nice email communications from him, letting me know what's going on and how his job is playing out.  When I read them, I feel like I'm talking to Josh.

Every time I get one of those notes, I think to myself, "When was the last time I updated everyone important in my life?

Josh Klein, Super Poster Boy!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Execution the Discipline of Getting Things Done

I am excited to bring you another wonderful book report from our guest reporter, Don Kardux, president of Business Navigators.

Twelve years ago Larry Bossidy and Ram Charam teamed up to create an approach to “Getting Things Done” in the world of Business.
This excellent book explains their approach and focuses on (in Part II) The Three Building Blocks of Execution and in Part II, The Three Core Processes of Execution.

They began, in part I, by establishing how important the discipline of execution is and how without execution “breakthrough thinking breaks down, learning adds no value, people don’t meet their stretch goals, and the revolution stops dead in its tracks.  What you get is change for the worse, because failure drains the energy from your organization. Repeated failure destroys it.”

They believe that the first building block is to clarify the leader’s seven Essential behaviors.

  • 1.     Know your people and your business
  • 2.     Insist on realism
  • 3.     Set clear goals and priorities
  • 4.     Follow through
  • 5.     Reward the doers
  • 6.     Expand people’s capabilities
  • 7.     Know yourself
All of these platitudes’ are of limited value unless clearly explained and they do in a very readable way.
The second building block is to Create the framework for Cultural Change.
The third building block summarizes the job you should never delegate ‘that is, having the Right People in the right place.
These are great ideas but without the “how” pretty worthless.
The ‘how’ begins in part III starting on page 141 and now the book reveals its extraordinary value.
There are three ‘Core Processes’
  • 1.     People
  • 2.     Strategy
  • 3.     Operations
In my view it doesn’t matter the size of your organization. What Larry and Ram have to say applies whether you have three people or three thousand.
It’s worth the read. 

For dinner it’s steak and mashed potatoes.