Alignment Foundation: Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™ Part 2

The Alignment Foundation: The Core 4 The Alignment Foundation is about the Core 4: Purpose Values Mission Vision Nothing earth-shattering here. Many of us have heard that we need to have these four pieces in place. But what I'd like you to consider is whether they are REALLY part of your who your organization is, deep to the core. If an employee was acting outside of the core purpose or values of the company, would every other person in the company step in and provide some correction? It starts with the senior leadership team. Each person on the senior leadership team must exemplify each of the core values of the company. They must know the purpose of the company and be able to tell what that looks like when realized. They need to be able to quote the values and mission (both short), and do so with real conviction. And sharing the vision needs to be second nature, with stories of what you are creating and what it will look like in the future. Your Purpose Organizations exist for a purpose. Many would consider that purpose is to make money or create an impact. But purpose goes deeper. Purpose to a faith-based leader may be to glorify God. Purpose to a non-profit leader may be to save millions of lives. And the purpose of a for-profit leader may be to have both a profit and impact. Your Purpose is your WHY. Your Purpose never changes. Big Think's Purpose: To Create offerings and events that transform businesses. Your Values Core Values are those things that you will get into arguments over, and fire people when they don't line up with them. They are your immovable rocks [...]

By |2020-01-21T16:18:30-05:00March 7th, 2016|Innovation, Leadership, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

Analyze This: 3 Tips to Help Improve Operational Efficiencies

For growing companies who are starting to realize real revenue growth, it’s important to analyze operations. This allows you to review key areas of your company, find weaknesses and strengths, and improve on your processes. Here are three areas that should be analyzed to help improve operations: Revenue Analysis An analysis should be made up of the following: Sales mix Product demand Order quantities Product obsolescence Creation schedules Storage space Competition Look at sales generated by different types of selling efforts: Direct mail Online Through partners Etc. Determine the variability in volume, price, and cost of each major product or service. Ask this question: Should products or services be more personalized?   Cost Analysis Direct cost ratios should be used in analyzing operating costs, which include: Direct labor/sales Direct travel/sales Direct marketing/sales Determine if costs are excessive relative to production volume. The ratio of selling expenses to net sales reflects the cost of selling the products. As a Cost Analysis is implemented or revised, approach it from a cost/benefit perspective. Each offering’s costs should be compared to the direct income generated form that offering. Then you can decide whether your company should continue offering that product or service. Example: If you have a product that contributes a very small margin (<5% margin), it may not make sense to keep that product unless there is a strategic advantage gained by offering it.   Process Analysis A business process is an operation, function, or activity that may cross departments of a company to create the product or render the service. By concentrating on the entire process, you can improve operations and product/service quality, realize cost savings, and reduce processing time. In appraising processes, consider the following questions: [...]

By |2016-03-01T15:04:22-05:00March 1st, 2016|Operations|0 Comments

Building A Modular Business

Although I usually focus on what differentiates companies in order to sell more, I've been thinking about what makes businesses similar for some time. Our competitiveness and hubris often gets us to build businesses that are totally "unique" - that have their own processes and functions rather than building off a core set of "modules" that can be combined in different ways to build a powerful, stable business from the start. Building a business using Business Modules™ is much like building a Lego building. Each brick helps provide stability and adds to the character and function of the business. Since businesses began, people have looked for ways to win in the game of business. Instead of sharing resources, companies built proprietary systems that have to be dismantled and rebuilt as a company grows (or it remains stagnant). The concept behind Modular Business™ is that each business is unique, but all businesses share some basic processes and functions. Those functions can be considered Business Modules that fit together to build a complete, profitable business. With a Modular Business™, business owners can choose which Business Modules™ they want to connect, and which ones they will operate themselves. The difference between Business Modules™ and outsourcing or hiring contractors is that Business Modules™ are designed to interact and share information effortlessly for easier decision making and synergy, and to deliver outcomes, not just activity. Modular Business™ interconnections are pre-defined so that Business Module™ providers can deliver the same type of service across a range of companies. Building a Modular Business™ is a way of getting the benefits of franchising across a much wider range of businesses. This allows Business Module™ providers to specialize and provide specific Business Modules™ to “Core Businesses.” Business owners can then choose which Business Modules™ best fit their Core Businesses and swap Business Modules™ as [...]

By |2016-03-30T00:04:10-04:00February 19th, 2016|Innovation, Modular Business™|1 Comment

Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™: The Big Think High Performance Spearhead

Building a Naturally Innovative Organization™: The Big Think High Performance Spearhead Many companies struggle with staying on the innovation front-end rather than getting bogged down and decimated by competitors that are more innovative. At Big Think Innovation, we have been talking to leaders and thinking about what differentiates innovative firms from those that are just getting by. And we’ve created the Big Think High Performance Spearhead to show how pieces build on each other and fit together to drive innovation in an organization.   The Alignment Foundation Starting at the bottom, we have the Alignment Foundation in purple. The Alignment Foundation focuses on getting everyone in the organization moving in the same direction, with passion and engagement. These three elements are the core of building a Naturally Innovative Organization™. They provide direction and get the right people in the organization from the start. The Core4 includes Purpose, Values, Mission, and Vision. Before over-communicating the Core 4 to others, the leadership team must Live the Core 4 to show integrity, and also use the Core 4 as a key element of hiring and review. Inspiration and alignment are natural byproducts of establishing the Alignment Foundation. High Performance Core These three elements build on the foundation by providing detailed guidance and assuring that all people in the organization are working at top effectiveness and in the same direction. Building a sharing a comprehensive strategy that connects to peoples’ roles is important. Then you need to adjust the organizational structure to assure that the strategy can be executed effectively. Finally, you need to install a management system that is based on fairness and trust, and that focuses leaders to take care of their people and get out of [...]

By |2016-04-18T00:50:46-04:00February 7th, 2016|Innovation, Leadership, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

5 Ways to Develop and Market Content to Grow Your Business

Content Marketing. You hear about it all the time. Many are doing it (some well, some not so much). Some have no clue what I’m talking about. Developing and marketing content has become a great way to promote and grow your business. But, many business owners and executives are not taking advantage of this tool. They are concerned they don’t have the time or the skill  to write and market content. I have found that this is not always the case. Here are a few tips on how to use content marketing for business: 1. Start writing As simple as this may sound, it truly is the backbone of content marketing. Write about what you know, your passions, why you love the industry you serve. The more your write, the easier it will become, and the more you will improve. Start by writing out a list of subjects that interest you, refer to that file and write to those subjects on a regular basis. 2. Use the LinkedIn Publishing platform I have been writing on LinkedIn for more than two years, and I do so because I believe it is an amazing content marketing tool. I articulated the reasons why in a recent blog post you can see here. (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-reasons-why-linkedin-killer-content-marketing-platform-chuck-hester) My 30 LinkedIn posts have garnered more than 40,000 hits and countless new business opportunities. The LinkedIn publishing tool is quick and easy to use, and a great way to develop and market your content. 3. Let others know about your content, and share theirs I often say that social media is the "anti Field of Dreams." You can build it (in this case write it) but if you don’t promote it, they won’t come. [...]

By |2016-02-19T11:03:34-05:00February 7th, 2016|Expert Business, Marketing, Revenue Growth|0 Comments