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Week of 1/09/23

Morning Minute 1/09/23 "How Do You Pivot?"


“How Do You Pivot?”

Now you are ready. You have your bold, audacious goals well researched, written out, and communicated with your team. You have the right people in the right places. You have installed the best systems and processes. Your products and services are in total alignment with your goal. And, you have structured the best promotional plan to support your team’s efforts.

With everything in place, you confidently launch your plan for the year. All goes well until:

1.    A key supplier shuts down causing a major disruption in your supply chain; or

2.    A key team leader resigns to go to a competitor; or

3.    Someone introduces a new product or service that clients want more than yours; or

4.    A major event upends the market causing a sharp reduction in clients and/or their ability to buy from you.

Consider these events:

1. Chip shortages constricted the manufacture of cars causing major supply shortages.

2.   A McDonald’s president once defected to Burger King.

3. The personal computer, cell phones, and Velcro have restructured numerous industries.

4.  A major blizzard and a hurricane caused massive property and infrastructure damage and power outages.

Your competition is a moving target. Innovation occurs daily. Catastrophic events happen. And people change jobs with no notice. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­You have been successful in planning to achieve your goals. How do you pivot in the face of events beyond your control?

First, stay informed of trends, market shifts, competition, and innovation. You can accomplish this through online groups, trade associations, publications, and by listening to your people. Shifts that occur due to innovation happen more slowly than storms, business closures, and defections. Investigate and plan strategically to stay ahead of your competitors and to use innovation for continuous improvement.

Second, empower your people to use their brains. This includes all team members, not just team leaders. Train and encourage them to observe, to think, to regularly communicate, and to be a part of any solution. Creating this inclusive environment will create a strong team to help you adjust your plan when major events happen. Plus, you will have team members ready to replace any defections of key personnel.

Every leader claims that their people are the most important component of their organization. Back that up by providing continuous training, and empowering your people to actually be the important part your team…that you claim they are.

And, that is today’s Morning Minute.

Morning Minute 1/13/23


“How do you celebrate winning?”

Close your eyes and imagine winning. Is it scoring a game winning point or crossing a finish line? Is it meeting your production goals, having your proposal selected, or getting your contract signed? Is it achieving your charity’s fund raising goal? Or, losing 25 pounds?  

Whatever your mental picture, winning is simply defined as achieving a stated goal. The stated goal comes first…then the win. With the win then comes the celebration!

We celebrate winning so our happiness endorphins are released into our blood stream. Our mind remembers that happy feeling. Then our mind tells our body to do what it takes to win again. However, this understanding of why we celebrate winning has not always been understood nor accepted.

After World War II, most managers ruled like military leaders…top down management. The boss was a dictator. Workers did what they were told. They were expected to perform. There was no celebration for doing their job.

Then, W. Edwards Deming began teaching that companies should treat employees as associates, not hired hands. His principles and methods were a radical departure from those used in American manufacturing. Being shunned by the American auto industry, Deming took his principles and methods to Japan. One of his ways of motivating associates was to celebrate winning in the factories and in the dealerships. Following Deming’s principles, Japanese auto makers took massive market share away from American manufacturers.

To compete, Americans companies finally adopted Deming’s principles. One of these was to celebrate hitting their goals. Leaders found out that by celebrating winning, their associates were happier. Happy associates then created more happy, loyal customers.    

Here is an example. In a dealership call center, their key performance indicators (KPIs) are # of calls, appointments made, appointment shows, and unit sales. These were further broken down into 4 time segments. Each time segment was required to produce 100 calls, 6 appts made, 4 appt shows, and 2 sales. At Noon, 2pm. 5pm, and 8pm their performance was posted on the call center bulletin board. Upon achieving their goals, every agent stopped so they could congratulate each other. Then the manager announced to all that the call center had achieved their goal so every team member knew of their “win.” That is how they celebrated winning.     

Remember, the more you celebrate winning, the more winning you will have to celebrate!

“How do you celebrate winning?”

And that is today’s Morning Minute!