Category: Organizational Development

Growth

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I’ve been thinking about growth as I’m getting ready to celebrate my 10th anniversary of LMA Consulting Group, and as I’ve been partnering with several clients who are in high growth mode lately. If you aren’t growing, you are declining. Unfortunately, staying the same doesn’t work. You must choose a path. How focused are you on growth – of your business, of your sales revenue, of your skills and experience? Which factors are most important for growth? Certainly, it starts with people – do you have the right people on your team? It also relates to strategy and plans. How do you…
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Leadership’s Unsung Heroes

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Success begins and ends with leadership. Clearly, formal leaders are vital; however, it is important not to overlook the power of influence leaders. These folks are informal leaders who command significant influence in an organization – typically unsung heroes. Who do people follow? At all of my most successful clients, I find informal leaders. Sometimes they are in a leadership position of some sort but not the “top dog”, and often they have no official power. Yet these influence leaders wield VAST influence on the organization’s success. Typically, they are known for championing the critical yet difficult changes. They seem…
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Strategies to Reduce Operational Cost without Capital Investment

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As businesses look to find ways to grow profitably and build efficiencies into the process upfront, maintaining low operational costs remains paramount.  It also provides pricing flexibility as you are able to reduce your breakeven point for covering costs. A few strategies to consider include: 1. Reduce waste – sounds obvious but often requires significant focus. Focus demands priority. Dictating priority doesn’t last long; instead, it must be a priority backed with support when “the going gets rough”.  Reducing waste reduces raw material cost – if raw materials are a significant portion of your business cost, consider prioritizing. If they…
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It Begins and Ends with Leadership

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As a tribute to my HR mentor who recently retired after a long and successful career in organizational development and HR (congrats, Debra), I have to tip my hat (if I wore hats) to her for being 100% correct – success begins and ends with leadership. Undoubtedly, my successful clients can have mediocre strategies, plans and even people; however, if they have great leaders, I guarantee they will be more successful than the reverse. The most talented and dedicated employees will become frustrated and leave if saddled with lousy leaders. Some might stay if particularly loyal; however, they will eventually…
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Cycle Counting Remains Core to Success

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I’ve started working with one of my clients on a cycle count program, and so I’m reminded of the critical importance of this supply chain fundamental. If you cannot find the right inventory in the right place at the right time, your customer will be negatively affected. This should be a sufficient reason to pay attention if you’d like to grow – or even maintain your customer base; however, it will also impact your profitability and cash flow if you need additional incentive. Cycle counting is a measurement process; however, cycle counting alone will do NOTHING to fix your inventory…
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Leaders Must Be Strong!

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I started writing this about supply chain strategy, and I might go back to that topic next week as I was preparing to teach an APICS CSCP (certified supply chain professional) class tomorrow; however, I was diverted on a conference call that compelled me to change my topic to leadership. There is ZERO doubt in my mind that strong leaders will prevail in the worst of conditions whereas weak leaders can cause even the BEST people to fail. Leaders must be willing to confront problems and address reality. It is easy-sounding until you have an issue arise. This has occurred several times this…
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Looking for Opportunities for the New Year

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It seems like a good idea to look for opportunities to grow your business, elevate your business performance and/or dramatically increase the value of your business, right? Of course! Yet the question remains: How? I’ve found that identifying opportunities can be quite simple yet is rarely done. It requires a few key traits: 1) The power of observation – do you notice what is going on around you? Do you notice changes?  Are your employees moping around one minute and energetic again the next week?  What changed?   2) The right priorities – you are most likely working hard, but are…
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The Value of Relationships

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On the 6th day of 2015, I’m reminded of the power of relationships. I just finished a lunch with a wonderful, 20-year friend and former colleague, and this topic is top of mind. What could be more important in our personal and business lives? The holidays tend to bring this topic up as we get together with long-lost relatives (or celebrate remotely with them via Facebook, the phone or with tools like Skype), family, friends and colleagues. Actually those who have worked this week might have strengthened relationships with co-workers as there are typically so few people working that it…
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Jump Start the New Year

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Often, the holiday aftermath can linger on into January; thus providing a slow start to the year. Instead, those companies who thrive will ensure success by kick starting the New Year with power. Since customers are demanding elevated service levels and quicker deliveries, we must rise to the challenge – or accept the likely alternative of lost business. In my experience as a business consultant who works across multiple industries, geographies and company sizes, I’ve found that executives base a considerable amount of their profit plans on achieving project results. Thus, why leave it to chance? Instead kick off the…
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Customer Service…the Art of Success

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There have been a few times in the last day where I’m reminded of the value of customer service. There is an art to success. It is not merely the words spoken. Instead, it has to do with whether the person seems to truly care about their customers and explores for areas of common interest. For example, I helped my aunt buy a new car today. She had several specific requirements in addition to a specific car (Mazda 3) such as no interest for 3-5 years, no extras, a low price (which she determined could be found on truecar.com – not that she…
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