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Posts Tagged ‘Competition’

A Proud “Papa” Moment!

Every so often we will publish something special featuring our friends and families. This time it’s a “horse story.” I know … you are so surprised!

Skylar, our 3-year old granddaughter went to her first horse show this weekend. She rode a wonderful pony named Claire and won a blue ribbon 1st place in her Leadline Class. They even showed in the BIG ring at Bridle Trails equestrian center. Of course, Vanessa (mom) was very excited as she lead Skylar through the class. Meanwhile, sister Madison (1 year old) looked on and seemed very interested too. All in all, a truly proud moment for all.

Don’t forget to tell us about your proud moments too!


Another Slow Death Story

I’m starting to feel like the old Jay Leno skit. You know the one called “Jay Walking.” Here’s another CEO’s story about being very stuck with no game plan for addressing growth. All I did was listen.

“The Great Recession has made me very cautious about ramping things back up. At times during it I felt like our survival was in serious question and I am being extremely cautious about ramping up headcount and we are watching our spending like crazy. More than ever I want to make sure we have some cushion in our balance sheet in case we hit another bump—I don’t EVER want to go through what we just survived again!

One thing I am really noticing is the changes we are seeing in the workforce. The younger talent we have hired and need to keep our business relevant are sure demanding and impatient. I like the energy and enthusiasm but it feels like they are playing by a different set of rules; they no don’t settle for “we’re doing it this way because I say so.” While we have had a lean/six sigma program going for a couple of years now, honestly, it has not delivered on its promises specifically with regards to the savings I had believed it would bring us. It seems to keep going only because there are a handful of people who won’t let it die, but it has not built the groundswell of improvement I had hoped it would. I really don’t understand what I need to do to make it better. It feels like another failed attempt dying a slow death.”

Are you finding leaders who don’t know what to do next? What are they saying about the future?


One Very Frustrated CEO!

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with a CEO friend of mine. He was very frustrated so I asked him to “just talk” and let me make notes. Here’s the highlights of what he said in his voice:

“It is increasingly difficult to keep up with the competitive demands of the markets we serve and I worry about it constantly. I feel pressure from my competitors, pressure from my customers, pressure from my shareholders and pressure from my employees. They all seem to have an insatiable appetite for my company to do better and it has me constantly on the lookout for solutions. I look for solutions constantly but move cautiously to bring in new programs (yes, we have a lean/six sigma initiative that has been running for a couple of years).

We have started experimenting with social media inside the company and it makes me nervous because any moves I make (anything I say or write about) subject to extreme scrutiny which makes me reluctant; I am confused about how I use this new stuff to strengthen my business. I remain hungry for better ways of doing things and some peace of mind that I am doing everything I can to run the business in a way that it will be successful. Right now I feel like I am at best treading water, and at times I am barely able to keep my head above water.”

What do you think? Ever been there?


Incremental Competitiveness

In modern organizational life, invention is the engine of competitiveness. Multi-year on-going Research by The Gallup Organization and Towers Perrin proves that organizations that effectively engage their employees out-earn their competitive peers by 20-28 percent. Some research has shown the numbers can be even higher. These organizations out- earn their peers because they out -invent them. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

The employees are creating value by delivering superior products relative to price, and the quality of the product and the cost to deliver it are all driven by micro inventions–little bitty improvements. Therefore, he who drives the most micro improvements wins over time. This seems so obvious. Yet few leaders capitalize on this approach. Why is this the case? Do you agree?


Putting Your Sister-In-Law Out Of Business

The possibility of having a graphic designer in Indonesia and your sister-in-law, who may live down the street from you, in competition for your business is real and its implications are profound. This new reality, enabled by the internet, sets in motion a competitive whirlwind that could easily be seen by any local designer as incredibly unfair, and stirs anger among the traditionalists as to a means to obtain image counsel. While there is certainly merit in the argument, low cost and speed are attractive lures for the consumer. No place for IBM to go for council, but the new realtor opening doors down the street doesn’t need high-end expertise.

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