Sunday, September 8, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
- What can occur to cause this step to NOT come in on time?
- What can occur to cause this step to NOT come in on budget?
- What can occur to cause this step to not achieve the expected results?
- What actions can we take to make prevent these occurrences or to compensate if they do occur so we can achieve the desired results?
So how do we Plan for Failure for our businesses? Here are some steps:
- For each project, task set, production run, service offering, event, or any other important occurrence, evaluate the impact if it isn't on time, on budget, or meeting the expected results. If the impact in minimal, then just do it. If the impact is critical, then continue
- Develop the plan, including the three W's for each step - WHO is responsible for doing WHAT, and WHEN. Writing it down is key to assuring success
- For each step, brainstorm what can go wrong with respect to Measurements, Materials, Method, Environment, Manpower, or Machine (see Cause and Effect Analysis)
- For each item identified that could go wrong, identify what can be done to eliminate the potential problem, what can be done to identify that the step is going wrong, and how to monitor to make sure the step is on track.
- Prioritize the mitigation steps
Using Failure to Succeed
Of course, you want to do everything you can NOT to fail. However, it happens. The key is to do everything you can to avoid failure and minimize the impact (through the above process), and then move on when it happens. Here's how to do that.
Cut and run
The first thing to do is admit failure. To whom? Most importantly, yourself. Many people hang onto their present course of action much too long and commit more time and effort, hoping things will turn around, versus declaring a loss and moving on. Avoidance, in most cases, just makes the loss in the failure greater and delays getting back on course. A "cut and run" strategy reduces the impact and speeds recovery.
If you're not failing, you're not learning - nor living up to your potential
There's safety in never exceeding limits. However, a conservative approach - working well within the safe boundaries - sometimes can mean mediocre results. Pushing limits can mean growth and excelling. This doesn't mean taking stupid risks, but includes planning for those risks (per above). Additionally, developing a habit of learning from failures - analyzing what went wrong and then implementing actions to not repeat the failure based on the learning - is very valuable.
Make the failure public
Selectively, tell others about your failures. After admitting the failure to yourself, next share with others who are strategic business partners - those who care about you and from whom you can get business advice. But don't just share the failure; share your learning and actions you are implementing to not repeat the failure. Saying all this out loud makes it real. Sharing it with others drives your commitment.
Share your story with your clients. By sharing the story of how you got to where you are and what you do, you drive credibility. Caution: This only works if you have learned and implemented the actions to avoid repeating mistakes! However, taking this step means you will have your learning down very well!
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Read the article: The Handshake: Why It’s Important to Get a Grip
Monday, October 8, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
a) Decide for whom you want to meet people
b) Decide what kind of people you want to meet
c) Make your target public
In accordance with Do Unto Others, when I go to networking events, I'm there to find referrals for my network partners. The premise of this strategy is that by working to find referrals for your network partners, then you are also helping the person at the networking mixer to whom you refer your network partner. This is the two-fer: Help your network partner and help a new acquaintance. With one act, you now have two people who are grateful to you, you solidify an existing relationship, and you move a new relationship forward by showing you care. By behaving in this manner consistently, relationships like these lead to reciprocity and therefore a steady stream of referrals to you.
To do this, before the event, you need to pick for whom you want to find a referral. Look at your list of network partners and decide for which ones you want to find referrals. Part of this decision can be for whom you want to provide reciprocity for referrals they gave you.
Next, once you know for whom to find referrals, you will know what kind of person you will be looking. This step and the first might be a bit interactive. You may want to take a look at the type of people who will attend the event! You can get a preview on this by requesting a list of the registered attendees prior to the event. Based on that, you can match prospective attendees to referral targets for your network partners and chose for whom to find referrals based on the people at the event and then target those prospective attendees.
One side benefit from this: You will look different than most others at the network mixer. Instead promoting yourself at the mixer like most attendees do, you are trying to help others. This behavior is looked upon favorably and attendees who jump on your band wagon and want to help you help others. This is where the third tip comes in: Make your target public. Start out by announcing to the event organizers who you are looking to find so you can bring back a referral for your network partners. The organizers may know a lot of the attendees and in many cases, will act to introduce you. Further, as people arrive, they will remember for whom you are looking and direct you to them as they arrive. Announce to everyone you meet for whom you are looking and they will become part of your team as well.
A second side benefit of these strategies is that by not talking a lot about yourself and looking to help others, this makes you more likable and desirable to know. Other attendees will want to hear about you and offerings. At one of the last networking mixers I attended, this strategy resulted in two prospect meetings and a new client - one of my biggest!
Bringing back a two-fer makes the networking mixer a success for you!
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Here's what we business owners have to keep in mind: Unless we have 80% market share in our industry, the economy has little to do with our performance! We don't have to see a "slow-down" - economically, seasonally, or for any other reason. All we have to do is be just a little bit better to reaching our customers and prospective customers. If we put forth just a little more effort, we actually can GAIN market share and increase our business while our competitive gives up!
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Your Core Money Engine is the three to four processes in your business that make you all the money. If you were to stop doing any one of those processes, your business would stop making money almost immediately. Managing your Core Money Engine processes enable you to maintain control of your business, make the business repeatable and consistent, and help you to be successful.