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by Dennis Roberts

In many small businesses word of mouth referrals are the primary source of leads. So should you reward the referrer by offering a reward or incentive or trust that the karmic law will prevail and you will be duly rewarded by divine providence.

Unfortunately most creditors require something more substantive than “trust me, the universe will provide.”

Let’s explore the distinction between reward or incentive. Both serve the same end but the means is very different. Rewards are for an action taken in the past. They are a reaction or response to past behaviour. Incentives, on the other hand, are present/ future oriented. They encourage future behaviour. If rewards are the effect then incentives are the cause.

One of the things that dumbfound me most in business is that 80% of leads may come from referrals but the same business will spend nothing on proactive marketing effort to drive that very same pipeline of referrals. Is this true for you? 

When preparing your marketing plan include a budget (both time and money) for either incentives or rewards for the creation of word of mouth referrals. In fact take the idea further and make it easy for people to refer you. Spell out your ideal client, what problems or issues they have, and how you can help them.

I prefer incentives over rewards. Why? Because they drive behaviour, it shifts your/ their mindset from reactive to proactive and this is the most empowering thing you can do for someone. Having said that it is a falsehood to claim you can empower someone. The only person who can empower you, is you. An outsider may remind you of that fact, or hold a mirror for you to reflect but personal empowerment comes from inside of you.



by Dennis Roberts


 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

What is the appropriate strategy or strategies for growth? Before you answer that question consider what is that you are striving to achieve. Growth strategies come down to one of four options:

·         Retention of existing clients

·         Upselling existing clients

·         New clients acquired by organic growth, or

·         New clients acquired by merger or acquisition (M&A).

All of these options are a strategic choice. The growth option you choose will be influenced by your strategic objective and in some cases the converse is also true, ie your path to growth may influence your ability to deliver your strategic objective. For example, if you choose not to poach clients from competitors then it may slow your growth. You may choose not to target clients of competitors for moral or karmic reasons but in any event be aware that targeting clients of your competitors is a viable and legitimate strategy. Many consider it fair game.

What is your choice?

Be wary of any choice to combine growth strategies. Hybrid strategies may work but they add a layer of complexity that small businesses typically don’t do well. Focus on “depth not breadth”. If you execute one strategy really well then you gain leverage for your time and effort, rather than scattering your efforts.

If you have an urgent desire to generate new business and operate with a limited budget then the place to start is “one degree of separation” from your existing clients. Start right where you are by retaining your existing clients. Sign them up again. Upsell them into new products or services. Step out one degree and re-engage past clients. Step out one degree and ask current clients for a referral. Ask this question, “Do you, or someone you know, need this service?” if they draw a blank prompt them with follow up questions, “What about your accountant?” “Your lawyer?” “Your financial planner?” Who else? Note I asked an open question here. “Who else?” is very different to “Is there anyone else?”

The common basis of competition is differentiation. How are you different from your competitor? You must know this, communicate it, and communicate the benefits to your customer. There are very few services these days with insurmountable switching costs. In fact the opposite is true. Many buyers welcome an opportunity to try something new. Dare to be different and celebrate and communicate that you are, it may just give you the edge you need.


by Dennis Roberts

 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

The end of the financial year is fast approaching and for many business owners it marks the time of year for an annual performance review. The effectiveness of your review process will largely be a function of how well you framed your expectations at the outset. The performance review has two parts – backward and forward. So, if you didn’t frame your expectations well last year then not to worry, lesson learned, you can now set and manage your expectations of the coming period.

I know most forward plans project twelve months ahead. The more strategic your outlook, the further forward your planning horizon. I suggest amidst great uncertainty that you set and measure quarterly performance measures. Small business, short focus. Prepare a 90 Day Plan. You can get quite specific with short term accountability.

The main reason I suggest short timeframes is to shorten the decision cycle. Quick, decisive reviews and action are the order of the day. Few small businesses are afforded the luxury of carrying stock, working capital, non-performing staff or overheads of any description.

The Review

Conduct a performance review of both your business and your staff. Prior to meeting for the staff performance review here’s a couple of suggestions.

1.     Set the context in terms of time period and scope. For example, say upfront that it is going to be an annual performance review covering 1st July, 2010 to 30th June, 2011. It is a performance review of how well you achieved the duties, measures outlined in your employment agreements, contract or whatever you have documented. The first rule of performance reviews is NO SURPRISES. If you, or they, spend much of the review discussing or debating items of feedback that haven’t previously been aired then you are not giving enough informal/ formal feedback ongoing. If this rings true, learn from it, and change your ways.

2.     Invite your staff member to conduct a self-assessment PRIOR to meeting with you. The questions that can prepare are “What worked/ didn’t work?”, “What did I do well/ not so well?”, “What were my major wins?”, “What should I keep doing, stop doing or improve?”

3.     Let them talk. If they have prepared answers to the questions above then once they have shared their view then, and only then, can you ADD to the discussion. You may have a different view, and that is OK, but let them hold the floor for a bit.

4.     Setting expectations. If someone’s performance hasn’t come up to scratch then state what you expect of them. Provide lots of specific examples. Give generous, objective feedback. Listen a lot. If they have done well, then be lavish in your praise. Remain objective and be specific. The best way to be specific is to give examples.

Pay performance or reward results?

Performance drives results. Performance is the CAUSE, whereas results are the EFFECT. There are two things that drive performance – skills and behaviour. In business measures think in terms of the following – lead generation is the performance driver. Sales revenue is the result. Obviously you want to get results but if you want to influence your ability to get results you will need to stimulate the performance drivers at the causal level.

If someone gets results but you don’t know how then it will make it extremely difficult for you to clone their success or build your business. 



by Dennis Roberts


 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

I don’t know about you but I’ve been associated with over a dozen coaching and mentoring groups over the past ten years and they all have a different perspective and self-interest about the two modalities. What gets even more confusing is the fusion of different modalities from what I view as peripheral fields as they attempt to cash in on the hype that is coaching.

So, if I’m confused then I’m guessing it is not only confusing to you, the user, but also that this confusion may serve as a deterrent to you choosing the right coach or mentor for you.

Coaching, mentoring and consulting

Here is a quick distinction. A mentor is someone you learn FROM. A coach is someone you learn WITH, and a consultant well, for the most part a consultant’s gig is to deliver you the results that you might otherwise learn from either coach or mentor. The consultant is engaged to “do the do.”

“A mentor is someone you learn FROM.
A coach is someone you learn WITH.”


The mentor is often described as someone who has “been there, done that” whereas a coach’s main mission is to facilitate your own self-discovery. A coach will ask more than they answer.

The key to effective mentoring is the mentor’s ability to transfer his knowledge, wisdom and insight such that his lessons benefit the mentee. “I’ve been there, done that” is only useful to the extent that it relates to the mentee’s lesson of the day.

I’ll illustrate the differences in coaching, mentoring and consulting with a brief conversation/ case study.

Client asks “My sales are down, I’ve just lost a key account and the leads from my pipeline have slowed. What should I do?”

COACH answers: “What do you think you should do? What have you done previously in a similar situation?”

MENTOR answers: “Well, once my business took a hit when our industry was deregulated. What worked for me is that we compiled a database of past clients and began a campaign designed to reconnect with them offering an inducement to re-engage with us. Would something like that work for you?”

CONSULTANT answers: “Let’s do a quick diagnostic check of your current situation, identify where the gaps are and come up with a proposal to address your issues. If our proposal meets with your approval and your budget then we could start work within four weeks.”

There are basic three paths to implementing change:

·         Do It Yourself (DIY),

·         Done With You (DWY) like a coach or mentor, or

·         Done For You (DFY) by a consultant.

There is a fourth option, of course, and that is the Do Nothing option. Don’t ring me for that one!

At the outset of any engagement be sure to ask, “Who will do the work?”

When should I choose a coach v mentor?

There are some urban myths about mentoring that need to be dispelled. The major one is “You need to have grey hair to be a mentor.” Bollocks! The key to being a successful mentor is your ability to impart your knowledge, wisdom and experience to the mentee. My lesson is not your lesson. My story is just a metaphor, and as the mentee, you will find your own truth in my story. This is more an art than science.

“My lesson is not your lesson.”

Here are five situations where I recommend you seek a MENTOR rather than a coach.

1.       Starting a Business – are you searching for a map of territory trodden previously by another (Mentor) or is your journey into completely uncharted territory where a compass would serve you (Coach).
If your business/ leadership skills are lacking then by engaging a Mentor you can fast track your learning providing there are close parallels between your lesson and your Mentor’s knowledge, skills or experience.
80% of businesses fail in the first year. This is science. This is fact. There is a map of this territory and your Mentor may have it.

2.       Economic recession – this is an economic cycle, and cycles do what cycles do, ie they repeat.  A Mentor with past experience of economic cycles and how to ride them out, take corrective action, cut costs, lay off staff, down size, eliminate non-core activities, refinance your business, etc is invaluable. 
There are two big caveats to these comments and they are China and the internet. These two powerhouse influences may mean that we need a compass not a map. Keep that in mind. If you experienced difficulties during the tech wreck, global financial crisis (GFC), or the stock market crash of the 1980’s, there are wise heads who have navigated their way out of similar cycles. Until recently many young Australian entrepreneurs had not seen heavy rain let alone an economic recession.

3.       Crisis recovery – is the mantra “been there, done that” likely to give you comfort and afford you a solution to your challenge. If someone else’s lesson has parallels for you, and your lesson, then choose a Mentor. You may need to draw a long bow to find the parallels but it’s not the facts that are relevant but more the mental attitude, resilience, temperament or even simply an objective opinion. I used to love listening to my Grandfather’s stories of a bygone era. It tapped my creative mind, let lose my imagination and opened my heart to empathy.

4.       Merger & Acquisition – there are two ways to grow a business, either organically or by acquisition. M&A is such a highly technical field that calling upon specialist help is highly desirable. There is a fair chance you will have a team of professional advisors working on the deal but a Mentor can offer you comfort in ways that professional advisors may not.

5.       The After Life – when you exit a long term business, career or relationship your whole world gets turned upside down. Some of life events are best shared with someone that doesn’t just have empathy but shares that special bond, that kinship, you won’t find in other relationships. A Mentor is not a hard arse but will, where occasion warrants, both support and challenge you. The art is finding the delicate balance between the two roles and reading what you need at any given moment.

Here are five situations where I recommend you seek a COACH rather than a mentor.

1.       Greenfields territory – The analogy of the map and the compass I used earlier is a great distinction. When you are entering completely unchartered territory the questions you ask may be more inductive than deductive. A Coach can facilitate your self-discovery, this exploration of the brave new world.

2.       The deeper question of WHY? – Many people get stuck with HOW TO questions. Yet if you explore your raison d‘etre much of the detail becomes evident. A Coach may draw you into a deeper dialogue with self. Once you answer the question, “WHY do you do what you do?” you have a context to answer all other questions. You are no longer operating in a vacuum but in a larger hologram where everything is inter-connected. It is an extremely powerful to place from which to play life.

3.       Use of diagnostic tools – Coaches have access to a wide range of diagnostic tools from personality profiles, leadership inventory, behavioural type indicators, entrepreneurial profiles, communication style and many Business Coaches have access to a wide array of business diagnostic tools and indicators also. Make sure you know the scope of your coach. Many coaches are trained from schools of psychology with little or no business acumen.

4.       Business Acumen – if you are looking for a Business Coach then know this - the quality of your/their questions will determine the quality of your (business) life. Assess the level of business acumen your coach/ mentor possesses regardless of whether they have “been there, done that.” Business is a game. It has its rules, language, success measures, strategies, formulas, structures and whether Coach or Mentor your guide must know the game, how it is played and how you can win.

5.       Accountability – in a world of procrastinators the principal benefit of a Coach is accountability. You can have the best laid plans, greatest intent, all of the wisdom of Solomon but if you don’t implement then it amounts to nought.

There you have it. This is one man’s opinion and I am sure you will find many others. When you do get divergent opinion, do yourself a favour, and ask does the critic have a vested opinion, and if so, what is it?

I hope you enjoyed the article. Please check out other blogs/ articles I have written and feel free to post your comments and queries and if there is something I can help you with drop me a line. 



by Dennis Roberts


 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

It is an urban myth that you can create sustainable growth in your business. Just as life is followed, or preceded, by death, all growth is followed, or preceded, by periods of stagnation or decline. We have much to learn from the seasons of nature.

It is folly to assume that we can create sustainable growth rates, however we can create a sustainable business that recognises, plans for and adapts to these seasonal ebbs and flows.

Growth will take one of three forms - linear, step function or boom and bust. You may experience any or all over the life of your business. To understand growth is to understand life (and death). It’s all part of the life cycle.

At some point your business may die, or at the very least, experience mini-death (le petit morte) just as the branches of a tree die. You can expedite what occurs naturally just as you can prune the branches of a tree. When you know the cycles of your business you can pre-empt nature by pruning where appropriate.

Let’s explore this growth phenomenon a little further.

Linear (or incremental) growth

This is the basis upon which most business plans and revenue forecasts are created. It seldom reflects reality or seasonality. So what, you may ask? Well, if your revenue forecasts assume steady growth then your resourcing levels will also. This impacts hiring and firing decisions, capital and plant acquisition and expansion, service delivery and all business processes that support revenue growth, client retention and acquisition. Put simply, if you grow faster or slower than expected you are left without contingency strategies to upsize or downsize or take remedial action. It seldom works this way.

Step function growth

Your revenue growth may rise exponentially and flat line for a time. This is often due to seasonal factors, marketing campaigns, product launches and environmental factors. The biggest issue you face is when your organic growth exceeds your capacity to deliver triggering capacity issues. This will require capital investment, labour hiring, outsourcing, business process re-engineering, multi-site expansion and a range of commercial decisions that take you into unchartered territory. When you grow from a one man band with no management infrastructure to having to lead and delegate responsibility the personal challenges rise. It may also trigger a need for debt or equity raisings and greater personal financial exposure. Directors guarantee anyone?

Boom and Bust

This is volatility at its best. Rapid growth followed by either a plateau or downward spike. It is often triggered by turning your marketing pipeline on and off, or your infrastructure not keeping pace. It is easy to invest in the front end of your business, eg sales and marketing because the measures of success are tangible. If you are reluctant to invest in business systems, processes and service delivery capability then you are asking for trouble.

I once worked in the wholesale telco space and witnessed one of our retail customers grow from virtually nothing to $100m in eighteen months by acquisitions and promptly collapsed. The model was not sustainable. The tragedy was that you could see it unfolding before your eyes.

I have been a judge of small business awards and have also worked with small businesses on the brink of collapse. The sweet smell of success or bitter taste of failure is quite intuitive.

How can you better manage your growth?

1.       Manage your risk tolerance – most people have a risk tolerance of +/- 10% and entrepreneurs significantly more. What is important here is not your personal risk tolerance but the robustness of your business systems. If you have a high risk threshold and it is not reflected around you, something will break … and it may be you! It is highly desirable to surround yourself with balancing influences not yes men. Engage a coach/ mentor, seek wise counsel from your accountant/ CFO and appoint an Advisory Board.

2.       Know when to slow the flow – create your marketing and sales pipelines to be independent of you. As an Owner/ Operator you have the primary role of overseeing business development even if you have sales and marketing people. the buck stops with you as the CEO. If, by good management or good fortune, your lead generation and conversion exceed your capacity to deliver then slow the flow. Don’t turn it off but slow the acquisition.

3.       Build robust business systems – you are not your business. Appoint a project team or external consultant to build business systems. This is about working smarter not harder. Build the foundation for your future success. If your marketing budget should be 10% of your revenue then equally a percentage should be allocated to building your backend. How much varies in each case.

4.       Build a buffer – expect cost over runs and time delays by as much as 50%. It doesn’t mean blindly tolerate 50% inefficiency in your business but understand that as human beings are estimates are based on best case and life is seldom best case.

5.       Keep a tight rein - on your money and your time. At a minimum conduct monthly reviews. Ideally conduct real time reviews. So in order of preference - real time, daily, weekly, monthly. If you don’t have a handle on your monthly performance by the 10th day of the following month you are setting yourself up for a fall. Remember 80% of businesses fail. It doesn’t have to be you.

6.       Retain faith in your vision - and back it with the facts. Faith is one thing, blind faith is another. Solicit independent professional opinion, eg coach, mentor, advisory board, accountant. Build a mastermind team around you.

7.       Plan you work - it’s actually much more than planning your work. Planning your work suggests time and task management. To succeed in business you really need to think strategically. So whether your plan is one page or fifty pages, it must be strategic. A good strategic plan consists of three core elements in this order – vision, strategic objectives, strategies. Your principle responsibility as the CEO is to formulate this plan and execute it. Do this well and you won’t know yourself as an enterprise leader. Day-to-day challenges will still arise but now you will have a context within which to lead, and not just respond. When Einstein said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it” he was talking about your strategic thinking, your strategic plan and your enterprise leadership. I’ve been around the block a few times and this strategic planning and execution element is THE difference between mediocre business and elite performing business.

I hope you have found this article/ blog useful. If you have any questions or issues that I can help you with post a comment or contact me directly. 


by Dennis Roberts

 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

When you are the boss of an enterprise it is easy to assume responsibility for making the decisions. It doesn’t make the decisions any easier but the buck stops with you. This is how most owner/ operators work. The position demands that you take responsibility and be accountable. It’s your money so who better to manage it than you?

Well, if you had your money invested in financial securities there is a fair chance you would engage a fund manager, whether it be superannuation or managed investments. You place your reliance upon the professionals.

When you employ staff in a small business environment you are buying the knowledge, skills, talent and aptitude of your staff. Often they are closer to the action than you are. And if you are managing your business wisely that should hold true.

Many years ago I worked in a retail department store. It was a vacation job during university. At first I served customers in our stationery department. It was simply order taking. I later migrated to selling menswear where there was more finesse, and salesmanship.

Have you got your staff simply taking orders and performing assigned tasks? Every job function requires some degree of creative problem solving. People will create work arounds and adapt either their talents and skills to fit the demands of the job or vice versa, they will adapt task to skill.

The real opportunity to step into your leadership potential is to cease playing boss and making the decisions and create a space for your people to make their own decisions. This is art not science. I’d love a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “It is quicker if I do it myself.” It reminds me of the native American Indian proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others.”

What practical steps can you take to create this space for change such that your people assume personal responsibility and autonomy?

-       Conduct weekly meetings – set a simple agenda wherein you ask everyone on your team to give updates. Everyone gets to talk. Your role as Chair is to listen more. Agenda items may include: Highlights from last week, wins/ losses, roadblocks to success, priorities for the coming week, acknowledge staff contribution.

-       Keep the tone positive, constructive and supportive – everyone is doing the best they can. Ask how can you support them to perform at their best?

-       Lead the way – if the room goes quiet when you pose a question, then lead by example. If your staff aren’t used to public acknowledgements then show them how. If all this is new then set the context for your new methods by stating upfront, “I’m going to change the format of our meetings so that I talk less and encourage you to share more.” 


by Dennis Roberts

 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

When you are the boss of an enterprise it is easy to assume responsibility for making the decisions. It doesn’t make the decisions any easier but the buck stops with you. This is how most owner/ operators work. The position demands that you take responsibility and be accountable. It’s your money so who better to manage it than you?

Well, if you had your money invested in financial securities there is a fair chance you would engage a fund manager, whether it be superannuation or managed investments. You place your reliance upon the professionals.

When you employ staff in a small business environment you are buying the knowledge, skills, talent and aptitude of your staff. Often they are closer to the action than you are. And if you are managing your business wisely that should hold true.

Many years ago I worked in a retail department store. It was a vacation job during university. At first I served customers in our stationery department. It was simply order taking. I later migrated to selling menswear where there was more finesse, and salesmanship.

Have you got your staff simply taking orders and performing assigned tasks? Every job function requires some degree of creative problem solving. People will create work arounds and adapt either their talents and skills to fit the demands of the job or vice versa, they will adapt task to skill.

The real opportunity to step into your leadership potential is to cease playing boss and making the decisions and create a space for your people to make their own decisions. This is art not science. I’d love a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “It is quicker if I do it myself.” It reminds me of the native American Indian proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others.”

What practical steps can you take to create this space for change such that your people assume personal responsibility and autonomy?

-       Conduct weekly meetings – set a simple agenda wherein you ask everyone on your team to give updates. Everyone gets to talk. Your role as Chair is to listen more. Agenda items may include: Highlights from last week, wins/ losses, roadblocks to success, priorities for the coming week, acknowledge staff contribution.

-       Keep the tone positive, constructive and supportive – everyone is doing the best they can. Ask how can you support them to perform at their best?

-       Lead the way – if the room goes quiet when you pose a question, then lead by example. If your staff aren’t used to public acknowledgements then show them how. If all this is new then set the context for your new methods by stating upfront, “I’m going to change the format of our meetings so that I talk less and encourage you to share more.” 



by Dennis Roberts


 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

Every waking moment is a learning opportunity. It is a mindset and philosophy as much as practical skill set. We all learn at a different pace and in different ways. The challenge as a leader is to acknowledge the diversity in the learning opportunity.

Learning is a form of growth and growing pains and discomfort come with the territory. Positive reinforcement is essential to creating an effective learning environment. Aside from formal education through our schools and tertiary institutions the workplace is an ideal learning environment.

Learning results from stimulation of the senses and the field of neuro-linguistic programming suggests we may have sensory preferences where one is more prevalent than another.

There are four critical elements of learning that must be addressed to ensure effectiveness:

Motivation – it is a critical pre-condition that the learner has an appetite for acquiring new knowledge or skills. The environment must be conducive to learning and growth. Mistakes will be made and they form an integral part of the learning experience. Reward the leaner’s participation and find the right level of stretch in creating the learning experience.

Reinforcement – be generous in giving constructive feedback, both formal and informal. Positive reinforcement is essential to creating the desired behavioural change. Note: constructive feedback is neither positive nor negative, it is constructive.

Retention – give context to the learning. Retention of new information is easier to digest, understand and integrate when it is understood in context with the business goals, desired outcomes of the learning, practical application of new skills, etc.

When learners can see the meaning and purpose of new information they more readily embrace it. If the learner does not learn the original material well then they will not retain it well either. Give practical, on the  job, opportunities to demonstrate retention and application.

Transference – there are two types of transference - positive (where the learner uses the new behaviour) and negative (where the learner does not use the new behaviour) and results in a desired outcome. Transference is the ability to transfer what is being learned to a new setting.

Personal coaching is based on these adult learning principles. You can play a major role in the development of your people. When you lead an organisation make sure you devote time and energy to the performance of your staff and their ongoing personal and professional development.



by Dennis Roberts 


 
 
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by Dennis Roberts

According to business analysts and commentators, our labour market displays chronic skills shortages. Human resource professionals channel much energy into strategies designed around attraction and retention of talent. The phrase "War on Talent" is freely bandied about.

The dynamics of the labour market are much more fluid and transient than they once were. The average lifespan of the CEO is under three years. So you could safely assume the majority of your employees will have a short tenure. The dynamic that is different within the small to medium enterprise sector is that the CEO is often Owner/Principal. There is a double bind – leaving the job role and selling the business often go hand in hand.

Rather than focusing your energy on retention strategies for your employees, you would be far better served going deeper into the employment dynamic and devoting your time, energy and financial investment into strategies designed to engage your staff in their work function.

At some point your talent will leave your employ, that much seems certain. It is a question of when. Even if you are lucky enough to retain talented employees for longer periods the engagement, development and productivity is still relevant.

Regardless of tenure, your challenge as leader is how get your employee to "bloom" in the short time they are employed by you.

There are two perspectives on talent. Some consider employees, or human capital, an asset and others consider employees to be an overhead cost. Marcus Buckingham suggests your people may play to their strengths as little as 20% of their time. If this is true, then you definitely have your people as an overhead. If it is not true, ie. people are an asset, then your asset is under-performing. You are CEO of the enterprise and may also be Director and Proprietor. In any one of these stewardship roles it is your responsibility to manage your assets and the associated returns they generate.

This area of people and performance represents one area of your business that you can achieve quantum improvement. Very few small business proprietors can claim mastery in the realm of people and performance.

Here are some quick and easy strategies to realise tangible benefits: 

Your people are assets – This is a great ideology from which to start. Assets may either appreciate or depreciate, and perform or not perform. Set performance expectations on a quarterly basis. The old annual performance review cycle is far too slow.

Offer to remove the clutter – Research suggests our people spend only 20%, or one day per week, doing tasks for which they have a genuine aptitude. For sure they are busy all the time. You can add real value and unearth strategies to engage and fulfil your staff by identifying roadblocks and helping remove them. In your informal discussions ask, "How can I help make your job more fulfilling, engaging and productive?"

Learning and development is an investment – The investment of your training dollar is either for remedial or developmental purposes. If it is remedial, it may highlight deficiencies in your recruitment practices. Remember the adage "hire slow, fire fast". When assessing any training/coaching programs for your staff, quantify the economic benefits. All investments yield a return on investment. What is yours?



by Dennis Roberts