Archive for October, 2011

Developing Leadership Skills in your Team

Monday, October 31st, 2011

And now also on iTunes

Qantas CEO grounds flights, strands passengers

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

In this latest issue of DUDS: Dumb Unilateral Decisions, in Australia, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has grounded his planes and stranded over 70,000 travellers.

The 'not so friendly' skies.

The 'not so friendly' skies.

According to media reports in BusinessWeek and LA Times, Joyce has locked out his workers and is attempting to bust up the unions. Why negotiate when you can shut the whole business down?

Gee, I thought the CEO had a legal, ethical and moral responsibility to honour its company’s contracts with its paying customers by providing air travel and to maximize value for its shareholders. This CEO fails on both accounts.

The CEO isn’t the only DUD here. The unions have been throwing partial strikes and refusing to work overtime in an attempt to protect their interests. That’s not winning any public support, either.

What about the customers? If I was stranded due to someone’s intentional actions, thus violating our contract, I wouldn’t be flying that airline again. Would you?

What about the shareholders? If I was a shareholder and the CEO started to inflict a loss of $20 million PER DAY due to his lockout, I’d question his commitment to my best interests.

I think the unions are learning that they can’t negotiate with a person who won’t be intimidated. I hope the CEO starts seeing that his customers and shareholders won’t be intimidated, either.

Negotiating lesson: turning up the heat and making everyone-your customers, your shareholders, your employees-hate you, isn’t good for business.

Copyright Phil Symchych 2011. All rights reserved.

Why Choose a Process Consultant?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Phil’s Profit Point 27 Podcast – Thought Leadership

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

And now also on iTunes

Phil’s Profit Point 27 – Thought Leadership

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Thought Leadership – Standing Out In A Crowd

“What you do with your billable time creates today’s revenues. What you do with your non-billable time creates your future revenues,” preached David Maister.

I was attending Alan’s Weiss’s “Thought Leadership” conference in West Palm Beach, Florida and David Maister was the guest speaker, addressing our group of 20 consultants from around the world. Many thanks to Alan Weiss for charming David Maister out of retirement!

Is this you? Are ‘too busy in the day-to-day’ to work on things that don’t generate revenues. ‘We’ll work on the other stuff when we have time.’ Yet, time never comes.

Maister’s latest book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker, says that we all know what to do but we don’t have the time or energy or resources to do it. It’s all about discipline. “Do you want it bad enough to do what it takes to get it done?” Maister asked the group.

Tips for Entrepreneurs

From the customers’ perspective, we need to understand every detail and nuance of these key steps. Ask them:

  1. What is the one message that, if you developed, would position you or your company as a Thought Leader? For most small and medium businesses, this is about the unique way you provide value to your customers.
  2. What are you doing, everyday, that you should stop doing or delegate, in order to free up your time for more important things? Most likely, you may need to fire yourself. If you’re the owner, and you’re doing work that could be done by an employee, you’re losing money every hour of every day. How do you feel about that? More importantly, you’re wasting your valuable capacity because no one has as much drive, passion and insight as you do. You are the only one that can create Thought Leadership in your business.
  3. Who are the Thought Leaders in your industry (or other industries) that you can learn from and advance yourself and your business? I find that successful people are generous with their time and advice, provided that you don’t waste their time and heed their advice.

TADA! We’ve all seen magicians perform illusions. Here is my formula for creating real success, not just illusions, in your business. This can help you become a Thought Leader.

( T + A + D ) x A = Results

(Thoughts + Attitude + Decision) x Actions = Results

If you have a thought or an idea, and use your positive attitude to figure out how it can work (and avoid or shoot the naysayers who tell you why it can’t work), make a decision on the next step, then you have the foundation for something good. Now, take action, and you will create a result. Taking action is the most important factor in creating results. It’s the multiplier. If the result isn’t as good as you want it to be, learn from it, ‘adjust in real time, and keep taking actions’ according to my friend Guido Quelle.

Repeated actions create repeated results. Success is simply the sum of your results.

Becoming a Thought Leader in your industry will strengthen your asset, enhance your value to your customers and help you drive your future business growth.

That’s my contribution to Thought Leadership for this week!

Tough Questions

Are you a Thought Leader? Do you want to be one? What thoughts, attitudes, decisions and actions can you take to make the world, or at least your important piece of it, better? Feel free to share your comments below so others may learn from you.

From The Piggy Bank

Being a Thought Leader in your industry will be much more effective at helping you to attract and retain great clients and employees than any other activity.

Thought Leadership for Industrial and Construction Companies

If you are interested in forming a Thought Leadership group in the Industrial and Construction sectors, drop me a line.

Share the Wealth

If you find this information valuable, please forward it to a fellow entrepreneur, client, friend, customer, supplier, banker, advisor or business associate. We are improving entrepreneurs’ lives and strengthening our economies. Thanks!

We are now on iTunes! Check out our podcast series called Accelerating Business Success.

Highs and Lows of Business Travel

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Has this ever happened to you?

During a recent business trip to Florida, I observed and experienced the following:

  • The in-seat TV displayed the show that I wanted to watch during the flight (Monday Night Football) but the advertisement to purchase the full view took up almost half of the screen. I had to pay to remove the advertisement.
  • Every few minutes, a message would flash that my ‘free’ time was over and I could purchase the show. Sales messages like ‘BUY NOW’ and “IT’S NOT TOO LATE’ flashed repeatedly.
It's not too late?

It's not too late?

  • Immediately during take-off, the lady in front of me reclined her seat and it stayed there until we were parked at the arrival gate. I think I know why she wasn’t sitting in first class.
  • The gentleman sitting next to her, in the aisle seat, asked the flight attendant, “may I have the entire can of Coke?” “No!” shouted the flight attendant, “we don’t have enough for everyone.” Before the cart left it’s position, the man got his cup refilled from the other flight attendant.
  • The young male sitting in front of me in the bulk head row had his feet on the wall in front of him. Does he do this at home?
Feet on the bulkhead

Feet on the bulkhead

  • One refreshment shop didn’t want to cash my $50 US bill so I had to buy a bottle of water on my visa card.
  • Another food shop happily took the cash, and got my lunch order, as well.
  • The nice lady at United gate gave me an exit row to myself without charging a penny.
  • A dynamic three year old was traveling with her Dad and they were seated in the exit row across from me. The flight attendant took one look at them and the Dad said, “we have to move, don’t we?” She nodded and he started to pack up, because little kids can’t sit in exit rows. The little girl pipes up, enough for half of the people on the plane to hear, “why are you making us move, lady?” Sally, the United flight attendant, handled the question like a pro, respectfully and honestly.
  • Sally had several conversations with the little girl during the trip. Since we didn’t have any video monitors on this plane, we all enjoyed the entertaining conversations.
  • Going through Customs, the little girl continued her assertive ways, trying to go into the Customs office and engaging everyone in conversation. She managed to put the all the Customs agents in a good mood.

For a great story about my friend Guido’s recent trip and what happens when the video monitors don’t work, check out his blog article.

What are your travel stories?

Copyright 2011 Phil Symchych. All rights reserved.

Getting the most from your Lawyer

Monday, October 24th, 2011

And now also on iTunes

Are you an owner/manager?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Phil’s Profit Point 26 Podcast – Innovation

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

And now also on iTunes

Phil’s Profit Point 26 – Innovation

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Innovation – How To Create New Profits

What percentage of your current revenue streams, products and services didn’t exist five years ago?

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, Apple generates 40% of its revenues from the iPhone, a product that didn’t exist five years ago.

Entrepreneurs are highly effective at responding quickly to their customers’ requests for doing things differently, faster, better or cheaper. Many of these drive down the customers costs…and your profits.

A much better way is to do what Apple does very well and create new products, services, customers and revenue streams on a regular basis. Their core competence is to make cool technology that is useful and fun to use for its customers. Apple first launched its new iPad in 2010, thus launching an entire segment of copycats.

Here are the steps to innovate in your business:

The hardest part is taking an outside-in approach and viewing your products and services from your customer’s perspective. This is very difficult to do, especially because you are so familiar with your own products and services. That doesn’t matter. What matters is how you can make your customer’s life better, easier, more profitable or more fun.

From the customers’ perspective, we need to understand every detail and nuance of these key steps. Ask them:

  1. How they use the product?
  2. What are the benefits received?
  3. How do we make the transaction easier?
  4. How do we improve their experience?

As an entrepreneur, you have significant advantages over huge companies because you can develop and test new products and services quickly with your existing clients, many of whom would be delighted to be guinea pigs for something new. The important things are to get started, involve the customer, don’t be afraid of failure, and keep persisting until it comes together. How much of your time are you devoting to developing and testing new things?

Once you’ve finalized version 1.0, it’s time to formalize your marketing and sales functions. Again, you can use your test customers to provide testimonials about the value and benefits of your new products and services. Social media and the web provide great opportunities for capturing your customers using your products and services on video, posting live demonstrations, providing video testimonials, and educating your customers. In fact, marketing is about educating your prospects first. Education can be your differentiator.

Ironically, it’s even easier to be innovative with developing new services than products because you can control all the factors. Yet, we rarely see innovation in service companies. How long have you spent waiting in line at the department store, grocery store, bank or airport?

For example, on a recent flight, I sat next to a young, entrepreneurial pharmacist. His customers are people that consume prescription medication. However, he’s really in the distribution business. He has an opportunity to connect with his customers by delivering medications by courier immediately after receiving the prescription electronically from the doctor’s office. This saves the patient a trip to the pharmacy.

Tough Questions

What parts of your product or service are the most valuable and least valuable for your customer? If you customer was in charge of design, what would they do to improve your business?

From The Piggy Bank

You can increase capacity for innovation and growth by letting go of your least profitable products, services, customers and employees.

If you find this information valuable, please forward it to a fellow entrepreneur, client, friend, customer, supplier, banker, advisor or business associate. We are improving entrepreneurs’ lives and strengthening our economies. Thanks!