Seeking Richness in Our Days

More than ever, people are looking to the future. “When this is over, I’m going to…. or “When the time is right, I can’t wait to …”  
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A COVID Thanksgiving

On this Thanksgiving holiday 2020, I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.

However, here are the grim statistics:
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Did Someone Say Strategic Planning?

I agree with this description of strategic planning by cartoonist Tom Fishburne. “Traditional strategic planning is often neither “strategic” nor much of a “plan”. It usually resembles a peace treaty more than clear marching orders for an organization.”

How to Become Antifragile

People are reacting in different ways to current events: the pandemic, civil unrest, election jitters, stock market swings, etc. Some are celebrating, some are screaming in despair, others are crouched in fear waiting for the next catastrophe. There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t been negatively affected by one or more of these events.

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Do You Know What Your Employees Are Going Through?

When will we finally be able to stop worrying about this #!!#%$ pandemic!? Unfortunately, that’s a question no one has a definite answer for. The result is fear, anxiety, and stress that according to the CDC, can be so overwhelming, it can lead to burnout.

Knowing what to look for help. Stress can make people feel irritated, angry, and uncertain. Some may feel tired and overwhelmed or seem to lack motivation, have trouble concentrating.

What can you do to help people manage stress and build resilience?

  • Communicate about job stress
    • Identify circumstances that cause stress and work together to find solutions.
    • Talk honestly about how the pandemic is affecting work. Expectations should be clearly communicated by everyone.
    • Post mental health resources in your community. Encourage employees to utilize them.
  • Develop a consistent daily routine when possible.
  • Encourage everyone to take breaks from work to stretch, exercise, or check in with colleagues, family, and friends.
  • Create areas where people can relax while social distancing.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Take a personal interest in individuals. Listen to what is important to employees in their personal lives.
  • Teach everyone the facts about COVID-19. Ensure they know how to protect themselves and others.
  • Encourage people to take breaks from the news. Use social media for fun stuff or not at all.
  • Encourage employees to check in on others via phone calls, texts, mailing letters or cards, video chat, etc. Helping others improves our sense of control.
  • Show funny movies or cartoons during breaks; comedy is a great way to reduce anxiety and it enables people to laugh. Laughter is great medicine.

The CDC website has more information on how to help your employees cope with job stress and build resilience.

We all feel better knowing we care about one another. Smile, ask questions, and encourage; it goes a long way.

The road is easier together,

Time is valuable. We are grateful you’ve chosen to spend some with us today.

OCTOBER 2020 ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF THE MONTH: What’s the #1 thing you’ll focus on in your planning for 2021?

problem

What’s the #1 thing you’ll focus on in your planning for 2021?

  1. Succession planning. We also need to figure out how to make our business more valuable.
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  2.  Examine the different kinds of memberships and season passes to see if we need to raise prices. We will also look at family memberships; they are increasing.
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  3.  Sales!
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  4. We’re going to pay more attention and dedicate more resources to our website. Sales have increased with COVID. We need to take advantage of that by getting more product on the website.
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  5. I am determining what I should and shouldn’t be spending my time on. I’m working with a consultant who suggested I write my job description for three years from now. It helped me focus on my priorities.
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  6.  We need to build sales in sheet metal and controls. We will be focusing attention on identifying customers and finding work that will fit our business.
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  7.  Cash! We’re in a growth mode: we expanded our facility last year and invested in new technology.  We’re continuing to grow and will need more capacity. Cash is at the top of our list.
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  8.  Getting people into the right seats. We have a new management team and we’re dealing with people who are accustomed to doing things the old way. We’ve been having serious conversations about the opportunities available to us if we have people who share our values and enthusiasm.
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  9.  If I had to boil it down to one thing, it would be to increase the value of my company: pay off debt, increase EBIDTA and remove any company-specific risks.
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  10.  Building brand recognition and closing sales. We’re new in this market; for the past last 18 months we’ve been trying to get people to recognize us. We’re focused on getting people to know who we are and what we do. 2021 will be spent growing sales.
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  11. I need to get a handle on the financial management strategies which is a new area for me. I’m trying to develop tools for myself and figure out how money is spent. I’m working on a budget planning process involving people in different components of the budget.
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  12.  We need to improve communication and efficiency. We must be sure we have the right people in the right seats. We have a lot of redundancy that needs to be eliminated.
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  13. Customer care. This is a busy year, and I am taking on a lot more. I want to focus on meeting the needs of current customers and keeping them happy. Growth will come from that.
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  14. Learn more about technology and what it can do for me and my company. It’s here to stay and I’d like to get better at it.
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  15.  I have been working on a lot of initiatives to increase efficiency and move the business forward. I want to get the right people in the right seats. I’ve been learning a lot through the process of buying the business and I want to keep learning. On the personal side, I’m going to focus on self-care and having fun.
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  16. Becoming more efficient at developing processes and patterns for getting things accomplished.
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  17. Sales! I want to develop a plan to attract more business and find new customers.
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  18.  My focus will be on increasing “touch”: follow-up with all the people I’ve connected with during this time of COVID. I want to offer support and assistance as quickly and effectively as possible.
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  19.  Having a strategic plan is so important. It helps you think about the “what if’s” when things go great and when things go bad.

    You look forward to where you want to be, and you look backward to see where you’ve been.

    The road is easier together,

It’s Critical You Do This

In a few days, another presidential election will be in the history books. Millions of people have already voted. If you have already voted, congratulations! Read More

The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Every organization needs radical honesty. The leaders who run them juggle innumerable demands, take massive action and push their limits every day.

Being responsible for keeping a business solvent, people employed AND healthy is more challenging than ever. We often think it means we need to put on a show of strength, keeping our own struggles and insecurities to ourselves. But at the end of the day, just like everyone else, we’re human, going through all of life’s stresses.
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Succeeding in Spite of COVID-19

Companies all over the world are being challenged to find new ways to serve their customers and communities while trying to keep their employees safe.

Heroic efforts by many organizations attempting to do business during this have resulted in employees who are suffering from fatigue and burnout.Read More

I’ll get to that tomorrow… maybe

Procrastination. The single biggest killer of a working day.

Procrastination is the art of delaying action on something that needs our immediate attention: 88% of the workforce admit to procrastinating at least one hour a day. Some college students procrastinate for weeks. The result is people don’t reach their full potential.  Read More