20 things the most valued employees do every day

Great Article from Business Insider

Become invaluable. Think about the best boss you’ve ever had. Now, think about the kind of employee that boss valued most. Regardless of who that employee was, I think I can probably describe him or her. That’s because the most valued employees have a lot in common, regardless of their jobs or the companies they work for. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day. They buy into the vision. A great leader’s top priority is to provide a goal that is worth his or her employee’s time. READ MORE>>

5 Steps to Predictable and Reliable Success

Challenged?
 Not meeting your personal and/or business objectives?
Need a proven process that assures measurable results and overcomes obstacles?
Group of Multiethnic People Discussing About Business Issues

 

 Many people think that goal setting is the true secret to success in any area of life. Although setting a goal may seem simple, achieving it is usually another question altogether.

The ability to achieve your goals is the true secret to success!

Why is that? Because you will never achieve your goals unless you:

(1) Know exactly what you want

(2) Are passionate about your goal

(3) Have a solid, realistic plan of action

This is what marks the difference between nebulous dreams and wishes – and truly achievable goals!

Many obstacles and challenges will fly right in your face when you’re going after a goal. Here are 5 time-tested methods that will help get the success you deserve.

1. Know exactly what your goal is: Your first job is to discover exactly what your goal is. What will achieving that goal really look like? Be as specific as possible about exactly what your desired end result is. Your success will be a measure of your clarity – since an achievable goal plan cannot be created around a nebulous “dream.”

If your goal is to create a more successful business, what will that look like? Are you thinking in terms of simply hiring someone to accelerate sales? Are you looking for a very specific monthly profit? Or can your goal be best expressed in terms of a certain lifestyle?

Regardless of what you want, the best way to get it is to first clarify exactly what you want in as much detail as possible. This can be hard work. But without a clear mental picture, you’ll never have the focus required to achieve your goal.

2. Be willing to pay the “entry fee”: Success takes dedicated planning and effort. In a way it’s like building a house. In the beginning all you have is a rough concept. Then you develop a complete set of plans – and you immediately move closer to success. The same is true of creating a better lifestyle, or a more successful business.

But there’s always an “entry fee” to be paid for success. The entry fee? Creating more success in your business may mean less recreational time. Writing your own book may require less TV. Being closer to your children may require adjusting your work or social activities. It’s the “full glass” deal.

If your life (your time) is already full to the top, there’s no room for something new. The entry fee is carving out the time to create that something new.

3. Focus on your goal every day: I’m sure you probably want to achieve your goal as fast as possible. That’s why clear mental focus is so very important.

Consistent daily focus is absolutely necessary to “burn in” the new neural pathways you need to create your new goal. Without daily focus, the old mental habits that have kept you from your goal will continue to take over. This happens automatically – since these old habits replay 24/7 deep in your subconscious mind.

The only way to override subconscious anti-success messages is to consciously focus on what you DO want – and build new neural networks! That’s why success is an every-day event.

Re-commit to your goal every day. Don’t let your goal take a back seat to the daily tasks and distractions that will try to take over. Life WILL try to get in your way. Just get, and stay, on course every day. Focus on your goal, and on success!

4. Get passionate: One of the most powerful tools in your “success tool box” is having real passion for your goal. Why passion? Because intense passionate desire for your goal will help you burn in those new neural pathways even faster.

Many, many scientific studies have shown that intense emotion (passion) is a key success tool. PLUS (and this is really a “big” plus) intense passion will also help you rapidly override any inappropriate old “failure messages” stored in your subconscious mind.

5. Take consistent action: In many ways, actually taking action can be the most difficult step. Successful goal achievement is built by taking one small action after another. The word is ACTION!

If you commit to take at least one small action each day, your actions WILL add up and make a difference. So avoid sitting back waiting for that big second when everything will magically “just happen.” You CAN create whatever you want in life.

The secret is to determine exactly what you want, then pursue it passionately. But remember — in the end, only action and accountability counts! You can’t just dream about it! You have to DO IT!

If you can now see what a process like this can mean to you personally imagine the results if you applied this approach to your organization and created a “Goal Driven Management Team” ? No more delays, excuses, silos, risk, late deliveries, lost sales, and more. We have even achieved greater than 25:1 return on the investment.

If you feel inspired to move to your success achievement to the next level both personally and professionally, give me a call at the number below and learn how this our goal achievement process coaching can accelerate your path to success and enhance your business performance quickly as we have done with others.

4 Keys to Predictable and Reliable Results

 

As executive adviser Jacques Neatby wrote in Harvard Business Review:
As one executive once put it to me, ‘the CEO is the most manipulated person in the organization.’ He was reacting to the myth that CEOs, perched as they are atop the organization, see and know everything. Research and experience tell a very different story: CEOs actually find it difficult to obtain the information they need.
In their efforts to gather relevant information from your team (How is the work going? Will we get to our destination on time? What do we need to do differently?), leaders often err on the side of:
  • Too much information. They personally pore over every every graph, slide deck, and spreadsheet, but there’s so much irrelevant noise that they easily lose the signal.
  • Too little information. They seal themselves up in their office and don’t try to tap the perspective of their team. Their decision-making falls out of sync with reality, and they are unable to steer the enterprise.
  • Not the real information. They are given just enough information to allay concerns or deficiencies in their team’s performance or accountability; not the whole truth.
The net effect of these errors is the same: unreliable company performance. Getting the right information in the right amounts is a challenge, but there is a quicker and more accurate way: Khorus-a platform built to help CEOs monitor the real results of their companies:
 
1.  Get the right context. Khorus helps cascade the employee’s insights in context of company goals and objectives. It’s not just more noise; it’s useful, actionable data about the performance of your team from the bottom-up when and as often as you want it.
2.  Get quantitative and qualitative insight. Sometimes how the employee feels in his or her gut and his perspective is just as important as the raw numbers. Khorus gives you balanced feedback.
3.  Get information about the future, not the past. If you’re just getting historical information from the organization, you’re a rear-view leader. Khorus helps you see ahead by asking for predictions, insights and feedback from the bottom up.
4.  Start the feedback loop. As a communication platform, Khorus lays the foundation for critical two-way conversations and accountability that helps everyone get on the same page and avoid barriers to success.
Khorus online platform was engineered to help CEOs deliver consistent, predictable and reliable performance results.  At The SOS Group Inc., we’re now partnering with Khorus, and it’s a powerful combination. You get help from SOS as you develop and implement your winning strategic mission and goals that spells success for your business, plus Khorus as an online platform for collecting and monitoring feedback from the organization to assure predictable and reliable results.
Ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market? Give me a call today at 713-249-9569 for a free demo and to learn more.

4 Cultural Benefits of a Great Strategy-Execution System

ba6fbf5a-2d6b-4adb-9159-c2af4592ecb2Every leader wants their team to have a great culture. But it’s impossible to create or modify culture directly—you can only fuel culture through the organizational systems you create.

As Jay Lorsch and Emily McTague write in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, “Culture isn’t something you ‘fix.’ Rather . . . cultural change is what you get after you’ve put new processes or structures in place to tackle tough business challenges.”

In the previous two posts in this series, we’ve covered one of the most critical processes any business can set up: a repeatable system for translating company strategy into on-the-ground execution. Khorus was purpose-built to help CEOs implement such a system, which includes:

  • Getting clear on the short-term strategic priorities of the business.
  • Cascading those priorities down into executable goals for the entire team.
  • Soliciting regular quantitative and qualitative insight from employees on how the goals are going. 

Let’s take a look at the specific ways we see cultures evolve when leadership excels at turning strategy into action.

1. Accountability becomes a cornerstone. Accountability is about ensuring that every employee, from the CEO to the frontline, makes clear commitments and keeps them. A transparent, companywide strategy-execution system builds this discipline in a positive, rather than punitive, manner. (And your employees actually want accountability.)

2. Everyone gets in on the game. Every business sets goals, but in the vast majority of companies, most employees feel out of the loop. A robust strategy-execution system involves everyone in the game plan—turning a collection of individuals into a real team.

3. People communicate better. When everyone knows the plan and the role they have to play, communication gets more focused and value-packed. Confusing updates and wild goose chases are replaced by meaningful conversations. This pays off culturally and financially: as Towers Watson has shown, “Companies with high effectiveness in change management and communication are three and a half times more likely to significantly outperform their industry peers.”

4. Employees think ahead. Especially if your strategy-execution system collects explicitly predictive insight (“Will you complete your goal on time?”), like Khorus does, people get really good at thinking ahead. They learn to communicate about likely outcomes and solve small problems before they become big problems—all of which leads to more predictable results.

***

At The SOS Group Inc., we help leaders and organizations develop and implement strategic change, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.

We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get help with developing and implementing strategic goals that spells success for your business, plus the tools and a consistent method for managing and translating the strategy into predictable results.

So, if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

4 Steps to Keep Execution Humming

d98f9dcc-fc64-4118-aaa9-5f09ad7e1245In our previous article, we talked about four steps to keep your strategy from dying.
Now, let’s drill down to see what a workable strategy-execution process looks like.
It starts with setting goals. That might sound easy, but most leaders know it’s hard enough sit down and write goals-much less empower the team to get them done. Use this framework to keep execution humming along in every part of your organization:
1. Set specific priorities at the company level.
Start with annual goals. With long-term strategy in mind, what are the priorities for the coming year? To generate ideas, think about possible goals in the key areas of a business (resources, products, process, and markets).
Then, break annual goals into quarterly goals and assign a single, objective metric to each one. For example, how much revenue do you need to make in Q1 to meet your annual target?
 
2. Cascade the goals.
Next, every team and individual should set their own quarterly goals based on the company’s quarterly goals. Again, tie an objective metric to each goal. This exercise ensures that your employees’ work reflects the broader aims of the business.
Doing this well puts you ahead of most of your competitors: According to Deloitte, “barely more than one-third (36 percent) of organizations have a standardized process for cascading goals enterprise wide.”
3. Gather weekly feedback.
Don’t wait until quarter-end to pull back the veil and see whether people met their goals; get regular feedback on how goals are going. Make sure managers check in weekly with their direct reports and escalate any issues to you rapidly. (Software can boost the power of this process tremendously.)
Weekly goal feedback should be:
  • Quantitative and qualitative: You need to know not just about the metric but how the employee feels about the quality of the work.
  • Predictive: You need the employee’s forecast on whether he will meet the goal on time (predictive), not just their status (historical).
 
4. Quickly address new risks.
When you get feedback that a goal is faltering, jump right in. Ask the goal owner what she needs-can someone in the organization offer resources to keep the goal on track? These conversations help the team be nimble and collaborative.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll talk about how leaders who collect predictive insight from the organization benefit from predictable results.
At The SOS Group Inc , we help leaders and organizations develop and implement strategic change, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get help with developing and implementing strategic goals that spells success for your business, plus the tools and a consistent method for managing and translating the strategy into predictable results.
So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

4 Steps to Keeping Your Strategy from Dying

 
KhorusIf you had written the Great American Novel, would you keep it locked in your desk drawer?
If you had developed the cure for the common cold, would you keep it to yourself?
Of course not. Your book is useless until it’s published. Your cure is nothing until it gets produced. Yet CEOs and leaders routinely do something similar: They write grand strategies for the next three, five, or ten years but don’t actually help their organization make it a reality.
How do we know that leaders are terrible at this? For one, research:
 Executing isn’t easy, but following a few simple disciplines can keep your company’s strategy from dying on the vine:
 
1. Turn strategic abstractions into concrete priorities.
It’s one thing to state that the company’s strategy in the next three years is to grow revenue 7 percent year over year and begin global expansion. It’s another to break that down into a playbook for next quarter, including goals and metrics for the major areas of the business. What exactly needs to be achieved, and how will success be measured? Create this clarity by setting 4-7 specific goals for the organization every 90 days, making sure they align with the long-term strategy.
 
2. Help the whole team see their part in the strategy.
Share the strategy and company goals with the entire company, down to the frontline-and require that each team and individual set their own supporting goals for the quarter. This keeps everyone strategically aligned even when they face day-to-day distractions. By ensuring that everyone sets well-defined goals each quarter, you also plant the seeds for a culture of accountability and collaboration.
 
3. Talk about strategy all the time.
Don’t think you can just share the strategy once. Use every chance you get-emails, meetings, town halls, informal chats-to talk about actions, decisions, and goals in the context of strategy. This ongoing articulation of the strategy will help employees act strategically even when you’re not there. Let any fear of repeating yourself go. Talk about strategy, and then talk about it some more.
 
4. Refresh every quarter.
Finally, close the loop at quarter-end. Sit down with the leadership team and discuss: Do we need to tweak the strategy based on what happened in the past 90 days? Where did we excel, and where did we fall short? Communicate key takeaways from this discussion to the whole company, then set and share goals for next quarter.
In their now famous Fortune article, “Why CEOs Fail,” Ram Charan and Geoffrey Colvin explain what trips up 70 percent of chief executives: “It’s bad execution. As simple as that: not getting things done, being indecisive, not delivering on commitments.”
At The SOS Group Inc, our mission is to help business leaders and organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness by helping them develop and implement strategic change that delivers measurable and predictable results, getting them from where they are now to where they want to be-quickly.
We’re now partnering with Khorus, makers of the first enterprise leadership platform. It’s a powerful combination. You get a measurable and predictable strategy that spells success for your business, plus a consistent method for translating the strategy into teamwork and real results.
Remember you cannot manage what you cannot measure.  So,if you’re ready to lead your company forward and gain a measurable competitive advantage in today’s market, give me a call today at 713-249-9569. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

3 Keys to Enhancing Your Competitive Advantage Today

f0fa8bc1-0be6-4f2f-8294-a9ffaa404046 Game Changer
During a recent SPE luncheon Hess presented their results and achievements in implementing Lean in their oil and gas operations. They demonstrated outstanding successes and improvements in performance, reducing costs and more.
Lean is about maximizing customer value while minimizing waste, increasing revenues and improving results. Following their success they are expecting their suppliers and contractors to demonstrate commitment and implement Lean programs!  So what should you consider in establishing a Lean program to show commitment and enhance your competitive advantage?
 
Strategy
Lean needs to be a sustainable key strategic commitment cascading from the top down throughout the organization.  Without management’s commitment Lean is just another flavor of the month initiative.
 
Leadership
It is up to leadership to communicate and lead on a continuous basis the implementation of a Lean improvement program. They must cascade accountability and seek out opportunities for improvement in every work process ranging from accounting, management, operations and customer acquisition.
 
Culture
Culture encompasses the values and behaviors of an organization in its execution of the strategy and delivery of results. It is management’s responsibility to nurture the right attitudes and create an environment that motivates its valued resources to achieving the business objectives. Management must make Lean thinking, acting and behaviors a cornerstone of every aspect of their daily business.
 
Winning Results
Rome was not built in a day; however, the ROI from Lean successes can start in less than a week. Companies have realized bottom line improvements of 25 to 45%.  With a continuous program and winning results you can demonstrate your enhanced competitive advantage when your client asks – Are you Lean?
Ask how we can help your team enhance your competitive advantage through a successful Lean initiative.
 
Author – Charles Wilds is senior management consultant with over 30 years of experience in contracting, operations and strategic business development. He works with leadership and organizations to drive alignment to winning behaviors and performance for faster growth and greater profitability.

Improve Margins FAST – Or it Costs You Nothing!

85fd77e0-3f7f-4831-a769-5e724319c161In our last newsletter “So You Cut Your Costs – Now Recover Lost Margins Fast”, we introduced the concept of SPEED where you could recover 25% to 65% margins starting this week, month or quarter?  To back this up we are going to offer a proposition that you cannot refuse!

The Proposition

  1. Select a high value “CORE” business process that will yield the greatest ROI,
  2. Establish the workshop charter,
  3. Agree targets,  and then
  4. Leave the rest to our experts and your team!
  5. No Cure, No Pay! Nothing to Lose!

“CORE” Business Processes

Examples of “CORE” business processes include those that: impact customers, have a changeability index, have a measurable performance-base, impacts business outcomes, impacts work processes and more.  Candidate processes might include development, financial accounting, information systems, purchasing, programming, customer service, distribution, financial planning, production control, delivery schedules, approvals, personnel, quality, sub-process candidates and more.

Benefits

The benefits of an internal and external “SPEED” program of this nature are overwhelming.  This proven and repeatable process has yielded 25% to 65% recovery in cost savings, increased capacity, minimized waste, improved profit margin, reduced overhead, improved quality, shortened schedules and cycle times, created ecstatic customers,… and more.

Limited Time Offer – Act Now! 

563e7c0e-de97-4749-b4f7-2c09e4345861You’ve heard the expression “Time is money!”  Every day you wait or delay taking action could be costing you.  Call at 713-249-9569 to set your no obligation appointment – NOW!

Call NOW! – You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain!

So You Cut Your Price – Now Recover Margins FAST!

332a3802-5432-4393-97b6-5b5246f0e9feYou cut your price, you downsized your staff and you tried to innovate?  You have even considered the 2015 CEO challenges and strategies focused on human capital, innovation, customer relationships, operational excellence and sustainability.

So what actions should you take now that will assure success as you move forward?  You do not have untold resources available to study all of the potential opportunities.  How can you recover 25% to 65% lost margin, this week, month or quarter?

Business is Process and People Driven

Your business is principally made up of a series of projects, resources, processes and deliverables.  They are either internally or externally customer driven.  Internally, they can range from payroll and accounting, human resources, training, HSE, procurement, administration and more.  Externally, they can relate to management of resources, estimating, bidding, delivering the products and services to meet customer’s expectations and more.  Either way it really comes down to the people and processes as you count on these to delivery results.  If you could find one strategy that could impact your bottom line quickly it would be through the application of “SPEED.”

Application of SPEED

You’ve heard a lot about Lean and Six Sigma as they impact processes in our business.  However, both principles, individually or jointly cannot deliver fast results. Adding the concept of “SPEED” impacts more facets of business and its financials than any other strategy available today.  “SPEED” impacts the time to delivery, allocation of resources, cost of money, efficiency and effectiveness, waste, risk and more.  By focusing on “SPEED” you can impact your bottom-line results FAST.

In order to gain the maximum benefit from the concept of “SPEED” you need the following:

  1. Top-Down Strategy – Commitment to achieving the ROI otherwise it will be construed as another flavor of the month initiative.
  2. Value Focus – Selection of the high value “CORE” business processes that will yield the greatest ROI.
  3. Defined Objectives – Clearly defined goals and commitments.
  4. Bottom-up Redesign – Using the proven “SPEED” implementation model to redesign and acheive the ROI changes.
  5. Implementation – Approve, implement and assure ongoing achievement of the strategic objectives.
  6. Repeat “SPEED” learning for the next high value “CORE” business process to compound the ROI.

Benefits

The benefits of an internal and external “SPEED” program of this nature are overwhelming.  Proven results have yielded 25% to 65% recovery in cost savings, increased capacity, minimize waste, improved profit margin, reduced overhead, improve quality, shortened schedules and cycle times to delivery, creates ecstatic customers,… and more.

For a free introduction and evaluation of how “SPEED” can increase your margins by 25% to 65% in less than a week, give me a call. This short call could result in the greatest ROI you every experienced.

Sustainability – The New Greening ($)

Today’s business environment is7a5f748c-7b3c-46f4-b737-09d8df982d21 dynamic to say the least.  It can create challenges and opportunities!  Where do we look for opportunities and how do we position ourselves to maximize our growth potential and overcome those challenges that keep us from achieving high-quality sustainable business growth?

The 2015 strategies that CEOs are looking at:

  • How to create a culture of innovation by promoting entrepreneurship and risk taking
  • How to engage in strategic alliances with customers and other business partners
  • How to find, engage and incentivize key talent
  • How to apply new methods, products and services
  • How to develop innovative skills in all employees

One definition of Sustainability is that it is a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental, and social developments.

NEW FRONTIER

Some think of it as “greening” an organization. While that is part of the definition, when done properly it is much bigger and cuts a wider path. According to an article published by HBR

“Our research shows that sustainability is a mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns. … In fact, because those are the goals of corporate innovation, we find that smart companies now treat sustainability as innovation’s new frontier.”

Initially it was thought that sustainability would increase the cost of doing business. As with the quality movement this has been proven to be false. As a matter of fact, improving quality and becoming sustainable will actually reduce costs, improve profits, and help the environment.

Sustainability from an organizational perspective also includes an increase in productivity and/or reduction of consumed resources without compromising product or service quality, competitiveness, or profitability.

BENEFITS

Enhanced outcomes of sustainability strategies can include: a stronger brand, greater pricing power, greater operational efficiencies, more efficient use of resources, supply chain optimization, enhanced ability to enter new markets, enhanced ability to attract, retain, and motivate employees, increased customer loyalty,  reduced environmental impact, and improved innovation.

Sustainability has the greatest chance of success when a proven implementation model is used. “You cannot implement these kinds of programs bottom-up; it’s impossible. It’s always top down … Always. Because it’s such a cultural change, you cannot do it organically.”

IMPLEMENTATION

Often improvements go across departmental lines and this requires top management’s involvement. In our experience when sustainability is strategically based, management driven, employee supported, and stakeholder/customer focused, it’s a winner. However, without management’s focus, a change of this magnitude simply becomes relegated to another “program-of-the-month.” When that happens, its power is lost and the employees become disillusioned with their management.

We have a proven implementation model that works quickly and would very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you to determine how you can begin reaping the extraordinary benefits of sustainability as a business strategy. Most of all it will enhance your competitive advantage!

For a free demonstration, give me a call. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a great deal to gain.