Tag Archive: brainstorming

The Importance of Being Top of Mind

July 30th, 2018

 

Last week, I led my Ontario ProVisors group meeting.  It is a top notch group of trusted advisors that I’m thrilled to lead – not only is it a great group of people (professional, smart and funny) but they also provide my clients with “just what they need when they need it”.  It is surprising (and exciting) how often a client will ask for a specific (oftentimes obscure) resource or question, and I can help him/her because I know the best person to answer his question or fill his need.  If you have a need, please feel free to contact me.

Last week, we were brainstorming the best ways to be visible so that clients can find us and the idea of being “top of mind” came up.  I have certainly found being top of mind important as clients need to remember you when the issue arises.

It is quite surprising how visibility plays into success.  I had a few core group members I thought I would NEVER forget because they were awesome, integral to the success of the group and helpful to me personally.  Both moved away/took a different job of sorts.  Fastforward two years later: when I was asked for a referral, they didn’t pop to mind first.  Hard to believe when I realized how true it was!

Later that night, I went to another ProVisors meeting.  One person mentioned that although he sees me on LinkedIn, when he saw me in person, he remembered he had clients that needed my expertise.  Glad I was top of mind!  Are you?

One tip to implement this week:
No matter your role, it is important to be top of mind for your customers, clients, Board members, peers, and more.  Do you purposefully find ways to be top of mind (in a positive way of course)?

For example, do you check in on your key customers every month, week or whatever time frame is appropriate?  Do you send your key supplier a card for an important occasion?  Do you find a way to remember key dates related to your employees, peers etc.?

CRM isn’t required.  Use Outlook.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  Pick up the phone.  The great thing about being top of mind is that it doesn’t require money and resources.  Instead, it requires a little effort!  Do you appreciate the effort others take when you are top of mind to them?  Return the favor.

 



Do You See Your People as Assets or Expenses?

February 6th, 2018

Ponder this question: How do you see your people?  Assets or Expenses?

We all might like to jump to the answer of assets but is it true?

A few questions to consider include:

  1. If sales are down for the quarter, do you think about investing in people to grow the business or cutting back on people to keep margins steady?   What really pops into your mind?
  2. Do you hold brainstorming sessions with just your leadership team or do you actively solicit input from the people on the floor, in the field, on the phone etc.?  If you ask, do you plan to look into it or are you just checking a box that you asked?
  3. When reviewing financials, do you keep them to your leadership team/ inner circle or do you share the main elements with everyone (while explaining the numbers and soliciting feedback).
  4. If you run into cash flow challenges (due to growth, investments in technology, a non-recurring write-off etc.), do you immediately think about who you can cut?  Or do you look at the situation holistically and think through how to address?For example, when I was VP of Operations, we ran into temporary profit issues and the Board wanted to cut people.  However, the largest cost was materials.  We pushed back to keep our people and focused on how to reduce scrap which would provide a 10 to 1 return vs. labor which might actually cost more if scrap went up at all due to the lack of people.

You don’t have to share your answers.  Just think about them.  If you think about people as expenses, even occasionally, somehow they start acting like expenses.  It seems to work that way in every situation I’ve seen.



APICS 2014: New Orleans State of Mind

October 20th, 2014

supply chain

I arrived in New Orleans to speak at APICS 2014 on empowering and engaging employees, and so I’m in the New Orleans state of mind. Certainly, as my bio confirms, one of my favorite spots anywhere is Cafe du Monde. Where else do you have so little selection yet it is jam packed almost anytime of the day? I consider it a “must”! They have created an iconic brand that no traveler can do without.

After beignets at Cafe du Monde, we walked by a parade with great music – at first we thought it was a funeral as they are quite the affair here; however, it turned out to be a wedding. The entire bridal party & guests looked like they were having a great time. Perhaps we should all take a page from the New Orleans handbook and make icons and fun out of everyday events and experiences.

One tip to implement this week: Take a step back from your everyday work life and “smell the flowers”. Take a day’s vacation or set aside time to reflect. It’s hard to have ideas when you are dealing with 1000’s of incoming messages every moment of the day.  Instead, think about how to create excitement with your business and/or teams as you reflect with a New Orleans state of mind.

What can you do that would be different and refreshing that might create a buzz about your company, you and/ or your products?  In essence, how might you stand out from the crowd? Ask your colleagues for ideas. Consider going to a new environment for the afternoon for brainstorming. Sometimes it takes shaking things up to stimulate new thinking. Give it a try and you’ll likely be surprised and pleased with the results.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain talent? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”