Tag Archive: complacency

WARNING…The Apathy Of Success by Guest Blogger, Steve Weimar

October 19th, 2019

Time after time we see good companies, or what we thought of as good companies, experience major issues in their business health with some unable to pull out of their death spiral. What caused this and how could this have been prevented?

Apathy, or complacency, can be the root cause in many cases, especially in small to mid-sized businesses. Example…business is booming, everything we do seems to turn to gold. As you, Mr. CEO or business owner, are counting your stacks of cash and enjoying all the perks of your well-earned success you’ve failed to realize that your focus on every aspect of your business as you were growing has disappeared. This is what I refer to as going to sleep at the wheel while your business has been on cruise control for years. Would you do this while you’re driving a non-autonomous car, the answer is a resounding NO. Then why do this with your business? Aren’t the inherent risks the same, well not exactly because you won’t die by falling asleep at the wheel, but your business can succumb to the damage of that unexpected crash!

Think about your business for a few minutes and ask yourself this question “Is my business on cruise control and am I at risk of failure?” Are you thinking one of these 3?

  1. DENIAL: “No way is my business going to fail. I’ve worked 10, 20, 30 years building my business and we’re the leaders in our field and too big to fail!”
  2. GUILT: “Oh No, what have I done? Is it too late to recover?”
  3. AWARENESS: “I don’t believe so but I’m going to conduct a thorough examination of my business, from top to bottom, and identify where we can improve our processes and productivity!”

If you answered #3 then you are many steps ahead of the others. Owning a business and staying current and relevant doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the direct result of a commitment to succeed, a willingness to change and empowering your employees to be contributing and respected members of that success!

The old saying, You Can’t See the Forest Through the Trees, is very applicable to business and change. In some situations, a business owner and their team are so close to the company’s processes, its products and services, operations, marketing and more that they can’t see what’s wrong. While some business owners and their teams have the inherent ability to do identify and correct issues as a normal operating procedure, many can’t and that’s where you need to employ some different options like these.

  • Survey your customers to gain a better understanding of how they perceive the company, its products, your staff, the quality and reliability of your service and do they understand your Value Proposition, assuming you have one. Another key information point to uncover…Is your company easy and enjoyable to do business with?
  • Conduct internal discussions with your team and white board every idea that is presented and prioritize the top critical areas to change. Take each critical area and prepare a detailed Action Plan for the changes you desire and empower your staff to execute. Establish KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to track the results of the change and don’t be afraid to make additional changes as needed to succeed. Establish regular meetings to discuss your progress and enjoy the results.
  • Hire outside professionals who will look at your company from a different perspective and a fresh set of eyes. Make sure to have a detailed agreement on their scope of work and provide them with background on the company and the employees. Their sole purpose is to help you and your company succeed so be open to the issues they discover and embrace the changes they recommend.

One of the big things to keep in mind is you must embrace change and the pain that sometimes is part of the process. Remember the old saying, No Pain, No Gain? Well that statement is so true in business and in life. We can learn so much from our mistakes and those trials and tribulations help form the core of who we are.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. So, I encourage you to take that giant leap of faith and learn what you don’t know about your business. No matter how successful you are there is always room for improvement, Always!




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Our Competition is Complacency

May 5th, 2016

supply chainI attended a conference for ProVisors (premier organization of senior-level trusted advisers) group leaders earlier today. It was energizing to spend the day with top notch trusted advisers and leaders. One of the speakers was talking about the power of collaboration vs. competition. I’ve found this to be true in my group as well. If two people who seem like competitors (perhaps two CPA’s) look for ways to work together, their business increases exponentially. For example, 1+1=16. If they see each other as competition, business declines. In this case 1+1=.5. In essence a scarcity thought process!

The bottom line is that “our competition isn’t the trusted adviser sitting next to us; it is complacency”. I loved this quote! It is quite easy to become complacent! However, why bother getting out of bed to go through the day being complacent? There is NO point as NO results will follow. Worse — results will deteriorate.

One tip to implement this week:

So, what can we do to avoid complacency this week? The great news is that no rocket science is required. It can be as simple as stepping out of your comfort zone. I received a message from an employee of one of my former clients early this morning. She stepped out of her comfort zone to give the leader of her facility her ideas. It was a risk as he could have thrown her out of his office; however, complacency was no longer enough. Instead, she was excited with his positive reaction. Push yourself to take a step forward.

It also can be as simple as mixing things up. If you usually walk the facility every morning and it has become just part of your routine and you don’t feel energized, STOP doing it. Instead, go to one of your employees, peers or leaders and ask him/her to walk the facility with you. Ask questions and listen. You’ll likely see entirely new things. If you always run a particular report or email a particular customer, call the appropriate people instead. Mix things up, and you’ll learn something new.

For example, yesterday I spent the day with Harvey Mudd students at projects day. These students are impressive — no complacency allowed! I left feeling energized and interested in new ideas and thinking about how to raise the bar.

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