Agile Productivity

People are often a company’s most expensive resource. So, optimizing people’s productivity often means keeping everyone busy on their functional duties, increasing the likelihood that every employee, of every skill type, will be fully utilized.   The downside? No department’s workers know how their labor affects other departments in the operation of the business. One department’s productivity may be high, but the company as a whole may not be moving faster or with more flexibility.  In this age of agility, in which businesses need to respond faster, leaders …

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Who Are You Competing Against?

In this dynamic market, the most agile, growing businesses compete more against themselves than against any competitor. Competing companies, offering comparable solutions, struggle to differentiate themselves over time, resulting in declining prices and margins which impede sustainable growth. Your customers care only about the value you produce for them, and however you accomplished this last time, they will expect more next time. Producing more value than last time, without just reacting to what your competition is …

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Valuing Observation

These days, we spend much of our time focused on screens.  Such an existence can diminish our offscreen awareness of the people and the activity around us. Having become increasingly dependent on technology, and inhibited by masks and distancing, our connecting and observational skills erode. What we observe informs what we think, and influences how we act; a weakened observation capacity hinders our ability to learn, to restore and to grow. Observation is the most direct method …

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Inspiring Energy

We celebrated Labor Day this week, a day dedicated to the contributions that working people make to our country’s progress and supporting us all. It’s a remembrance that we appreciate more this year because the Covid disruption has created a stark contrast. We honor those who have defied the risk and worked, often tirelessly, to keep products flowing and shelves stocked, to care for us, to teach us and to protect us; likewise, we remember and respect …

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The Value of Discovery

Discovery is the most essential piece of the selling process.  In a market that cultivates commoditization, where needed information is readily available and simplistic assessments are used to hastily define you, price is the priority over value creation. Prospective customers are predisposed to perceive your offering as just another commodity, so to hurry the transaction, they prefer to keep dialogue with you to a minimum.  An effective discovery process challenges this paradigm. Asking the right questions, in the right …

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Two Languages of Business

Business discussions regarding value creation or the utilization of resources employ two languages.  Those who work within the operation most often speak in terms of things – units, hours, etc. Senior leadership speaks in the language of money – dollars earned or saved.  To attract senior leadership attention, middle managers in these businesses are required to translate the language of things into the language of dollars. Decisions are always made using the language of money.  The same translation …

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