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Trust: A Business Success Story

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 21, 2016 6:59:51 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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In business, trust gives you a true competitive advantage over your competitors, for some pretty obvious reasons. But often, organizations don’t pay attention to building and maintaining that level of trust with their clients, prospects, and vendors. They allow their employees to remain too focused on being the technical experts they believe their clients need, or worse, laser focused on making a profit.

Creating that critical trust isn’t difficult. But it does require a mindset change, at least in the beginning. Your employees need to step out of their comfort zones, to show customers and prospects how you are just what they need, when they need it. You must also be open to the fact that this expanded role may not always include the primary service you provide. You, and your employees, want to become the first place an organization thinks to contact when they have a question or a concern, or place an order.

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6 Qualities of Giving the Best Business Gifts

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 6, 2016 11:41:42 AM / by admin posted in Advisory

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Have you thought about how giving business gifts, as we head into the end of the year, can strengthen your relationships with your clients and even your vendors?

Hopefully you’re providing services throughout the year that meet your customers’ needs, and you are also communicating with them regularly so they remember you when they need what you offer.

But in case you haven’t talked to them in a while, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost the relationship. Sending the right business gifts at the end of the year can provide several benefits.

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Doing 2017 Budgets the Right Way

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 16, 2016 12:16:26 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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Operating a successful business is hard work. It takes sweat and planning and involves much more than making, marketing and selling your product or service. Have you and your executive team mapped out what success means to you in 2017, both operationally and financially? How does that picture differ from what you’ve experienced or planned for in 2016?

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Boosting your Bottom Line by Increasing Trust

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 1, 2016 12:32:37 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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A 2014 survey by the American Psychological Association delivered some pretty startling statistics around employees and trust:

  • 25 percent of those surveyed (employed adults over 18) didn’t trust their employers; and
  • Only about 50 percent believed their employers were open and upfront with them.

All employers should take notice of these numbers, even those companies that believe they are open and honest with their employees. Lack of trust, real or perceived, affects employees in a variety of ways, and employers often see it in their employees’ increased use of their sick time, poor performance and higher than expected turnover.  

Increasing your company’s transparency can positively affect your customers and prospects, as well as your vendors.

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Are you Ready to have “That” Work Conversation? Handling Conflict Effectively.

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 18, 2016 12:50:31 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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On a world-wide scale, unresolved conflicts exist all around us, from the current US election to the struggles between nations and the disagreements between large, public companies. Conflicts also show themselves to us on smaller, more personal scales, and those may be more important because they tend to affect us personally. These can range from the disagreements we have with our spouses and children, to the difficulties that arise between us and clients, co-workers, supervisors and employees.

Although the larger conflicts do affect us to some degree, it’s the more personal conflicts that, if not resolved completely and in a timely manner, impact us at a much more intimate level. That said, conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bringing it into the open can allow for innovation and improvement, in addition to airing grievances, resolving problems and improving relationships. That is, if those involved take the time to have those conversations on the deep level at which they need to occur.

How do you handle those tough conversations in the workplace? Do you think you do a good job?

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Shifting your Company to "True Accountability"

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 12, 2016 1:17:31 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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“Accountability.” It’s everywhere we turn, in all aspects of our lives. Kids are accountable to their teachers for getting their homework done, and we’re all accountable to our doctors (and our families) to get and stay healthy. In our work lives, we’re accountable to our bosses and co-workers to do our jobs in a way that makes the company money and helps it meet its goals.

At the same time we’re being held accountable, it’s as necessary for our teachers, doctors, co-workers and bosses to be accountable to us. To give us the structure, skills and support we need to complete these tasks successfully.

So what exactly does it mean to be truly accountable, for all involved? We’ve pulled together a quick primer. Here, you’ll learn what it really means and get a chance to think about how/if your leadership is accountable to your employees and vice-versa. We’ll also give you a few ideas for turning things around, if your company isn’t quite there yet.

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Performance Review Anxiety? Maybe the Process Needs an Overhaul.

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 27, 2016 5:54:48 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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Performance reviews (also called performance appraisals) are an essential part of career advancement and pay increases for most organizations. They’re normally conducted once a year, and occasionally they include a mid-year touch base. At the end of the review cycle, employees and their managers assess how well the employee has met the goals they set the year before. Managers then use this information to determine how much of a raise the employee will receive. It’s often also used to determine whether they should be promoted.

It’s a good premise, but rarely do these programs perform as intended.

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How well-trained are your Middle Managers?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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When it comes to leadership development, many middle managers get left behind. Companies invest in training their new employees to be good employees and they train their executives to be better leaders, but they don’t spend much effort or dollars developing the group that needs it the most.

Often, middle management training is like getting the keys to a stick shift car after driving an automatic for 10 years; they’re left to figure it out on their own. "Here’s the group (or here’s the program) we want you to manage. Now go manage.

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Are your customers the RIGHT customers for your business?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 17, 2016 3:59:07 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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One thing you know after your years in business is that not all customers are the right customers. You also know that not having the right customers can lead to lots of lost time, energy, and money. Are your customers difficult to satisfy? Are they returning products? Working with you once and not returning? You could offer the best products or services in your industry, but if the wrong people are buying them, there’s a disconnect that could be costing you.

Here, we’ve compiled a quick guide for bringing in more “perfect fit” customers while minimizing your exposure to the not-so-perfect ones.

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5 things great leaders do during mergers & acquisitions

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 2, 2016 1:21:39 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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According to a 2016 Merger & Acquisitions (M&A) survey by KPMG, 91% of companies planned to initiate at least one acquisition in 2016. That’s a significant jump from 63% in 2014. These transactions can be highly stressful and a lot of work and sweat for all involved.

Executives would love it if they could just snap their fingers and all M&A activities transpired successfully and quickly. The two companies would merge seamlessly, with a shared vision, merged cultures and technologies and happy customers.

Unfortunately, that rarely happens.

 

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