Tag Archive: employees

Harvey Mudd Student Projects & Innovations Related to Cancer

February 22nd, 2018

Earlier this week, I attended some clinic presentations at Harvey Mudd (student projects with companies / partners), and the value of innovation hit home!  

For example, there are students working on innovations to improve on the success rate of breast cancer surgeries – talk about relevant!  There are many tangible and impactful projects the students work on throughout the year in a wide variety of industries.  Marrying up practical experience with book knowledge can go far in preparing students to be successful in careers after college.  Do you provide well-rounded education and experiences?

One tip to implement this week:
What type of education and experiences do you provide for your employees and team members?  I see a distinctive difference between training and education whereas education is a much broader concept so that your employees will be able to interpret and carry forward.  Do you explain the whys?  Do you provide practical examples?  Do you allow your team members to try new things?  Even if they fail?

Although education can be quite valuable, it might not be enough.  Do you find a way to provide an experience?  A kaizen might do the trick …or at least get the process started.  Or, have you put together a cross-training program?  Shouldn’t a planner or logistics resource understand the trials and tribulations of talking with customers on a daily basis?  Dealing with an angry customer can do wonders for opening your eyes.  And how about vice-versa?  Are your customer service resources committing to whatever the customer requests regardless of whether you can deliver it?  Why not give a more comprehensive experience approach a go?

Regardless, continuous education is critical today as everything seems to change in a nanosecond!

 



Keep a Strategic Eye

December 8th, 2017

observation

 

The verdict is in – those executives that keep a continual eye on strategy outperform the rest.

Certainly, after spending a week in Fiji thinking about strategy, I am focused on the power of keeping a strategic eye at all times.  It is undoubtedly what our most successful clients do. We have learned to keep an eye on what “works” across organization sizes, industry types, and more. 

Recently, we were in a final project review meeting with a large, complex organization’s CEO, and he continually kept an eye on strategy. As much as he appreciated the tactical results, the strategic conversation was top of mind. It was a night and day difference to another client review meeting we participated in recently. There is no doubt which organization would make the better investment – not just in terms of cash but also in terms of referrals of resources. Top talent is attracted to top talent with an eye to the future.

We also met with a potential client recently who is vastly smaller in size than both of the above examples yet he had an eye to strategy and was willing to invest in the “right” talent to ensure his strategy translated into reality. This conversation engaged our interest in collaborating with him because we know the focus would be on outcomes that tie to strategy instead of deliverables that might have no relation to a result.

Are you engaging your employees, customers, suppliers and trusted advisers with an eye to strategy?

 



Who Should You Follow?

December 7th, 2017

Strong leadership will guide you to choose wisely
Several situations have arisen recently that leads us to plead “choose wisely”.  Examples abound on both sides of this topic.  Strong leaders attract top talent.  Weak and command and control leaders keep the weak and those close to retirement (in name only).  That is one of the things we love about being consultants – we have a wide view, across many organizations with vastly different personalities; thus, strong leadership is as obvious as a purple cow (to use a Seth Godin reference).

Pay attention to your employees
To your employees, leadership effectiveness is as obvious as a purple cow, even if it doesn’t stand out to anyone else.  Pay attention to how your employees react to their leaders.  Are they energized or beaten down?  One good question is as follows – if the phone rings at 5:05pm, would they pick it up, thinking it might be a customer with a question?  Or will they ignore it and instead put their efforts into a CYA type activity?  

Who will you go to for top notch service ?
In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, customers appreciate suppliers and advisers who will go the extra mile to provide that above and beyond service.  Just put yourself in their shoes.  Who would you rather go to for products and service – whether or not the ‘boss’ is there to make sure you receive top notch service?  Someone you know will help you regardless of what it does for their career or someone who is out for their self-interest?  

Remember, people work for and buy from people – not companies.

 



Thanksgiving & Going the Extra Mile

November 24th, 2017

 

I recently wrapped up the “holiday” (as they call it here) in New Zealand. Thanksgiving was our last day before heading home. With that said, I’m reminded of the meaning of Thanksgiving because the driver that picked us up from the TransAlpine train station (which is a beautiful ride through the mountains from the west coast to the east cost of New Zealand which also happens to double for the Murder on the Orient Express in the movies we learned today) went over and beyond to ensure we were taken care of and comfortable. The train arrived late so we missed our plane by a few minutes. After amazing assistance by the Air New Zealand manager, we had the last 3 seats and one standby seat on the last flight out. Our driver stayed with us and even went to the gate to see if I would get on stand by before leaving because he would take me to a hotel and arrange for everything so that we would have virtually no hassle. Talk about above and beyond! Are you going above and beyond for your colleagues, customers, suppliers and family?

I found this to be funny so I don’t care that it doesn’t really apply to my story :-). Hey, after all, in New Zealand, I’m on a different drummer anyway – sheep anyone?

 

One tip to implement this week:

Think about went over and beyond for during Thanksgiving weekend and upon your return to work. Perhaps you choose that “difficult” colleague or family member and SEARCH for something in common. Did you find something nice to say? Or just lent a helping hand and didn’t expect credit.

I hope you remembered to THANK your family for supporting you, your colleagues for making 40 hours + per week more pleasant than it would be otherwise (or, who knows, you could really love every minute of your job!), your customers for choosing you…..how about your employees for choosing you too? After all, employees can choose too. Why not be the leader everyone flocks to support?

With that said, I would like to THANK YOU for being important to me and LMA Consulting. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

And, don’t forget, there is still time.  There’s always Christmas!



Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) – Success Depends on People

June 27th, 2017

Vendor Managed InventoryAs with almost every topic our clients call about, Vendor Managed Inventory or VMI and supply chain partner collaboration programs are no different. Success directly correlates to people.

Questions You Should Ask When Coordinating VMI

1. Do your employees and partners understand VMI and the benefits of VMI? Undoubtedly, success is better when people understand how it matters.

2. Do your employees have relationships with their VMI counterparts? Do they have a good relationship with their suppliers and/or customers related to Vendor Managed Inventory? Have they met them? It goes a long way to meet a few key contacts.

3. Do your employees understand what is expected of them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Don’t assume if your customer requested VMI that they have clarified how the process works. Make sure the processes, systems/technologies, and communications are clearly understood.

4. Do all VMI parties understand the measurements? Often, we see scorecards used as a way to track performance. Do you understand what goes into the calculations? What is important to your customers? Have you explained what is important to your suppliers?

5. Have you set up check points? One of the keys to success is to set up time to talk with all VMI-related parties to see what’s working, what’s not working and how you can improve the process and results. 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to Profit Through People:
The 4Ps to Collaborative Customer Program Success

 Results Follow People