How My Son Hacked Your Business

How My Son Hacked Your Business

When I began my consulting career most of the consultants around me were COBOL coders doing exciting work like coding a custom accounting system for the Grand Trunk railroad. I had just spent four and a half years learning 68000 assembly language, C and hardware communication protocols. Working on the railroad so-to-speak held no interest.

You Aren’t Wonder Woman

You Aren’t Wonder Woman

You’re halfway through the year.  Soooo, how’s it goin’? 

Some of our clients are hitting something of a headwind now.  Is the business struggling a little to put numbers on the scoreboard?  Or is it struggling to keep up because sales are hitting a record pace?  In either case, you may be tempted to put on the cape and respond in the role of your super hero alter ego and save the day.  If you’re tempted to make all of this happen on your own, you should think twice about that.  Let’s take a look at how NOT to don the cape. 

Are You Looking In the Wrong End?

Are You Looking In the Wrong End?

Early in a business’ development, focus tends to be on the next month or next quarter. Initially, this isn’t such a terrible thing as early on, cash flow is critical.   

Cash-related challenges are the leading cause of early business failures. However, as a firm develops and matures, if it continues to focus on the near term, it can prolong the period when sales and cash flow are uneven.

Steps to Achieving a Positive Trading Relationship

Steps to Achieving a Positive Trading Relationship

“Either they get the money, or I keep the money.” This is true. If a buyer pays more for a product or service, the seller keeps the extra. If the buyer pays less, they pocket the difference. It’s that simple. Except that a good buyer/seller relationship can often be more valuable than the purchase price suggests. A book could be written on supplier relationships and has… several times. This is NOT that book, but we can unpack this a little.

How Logistics and Transportation are Impacting Businesses

How Logistics and Transportation are Impacting Businesses

Do you remember those public service announcements that used to run on late night TV; “It’s 11 O’clock, do you know where your children are?” Let me ask you; “It’s 11 O’clock, do you know where your customers are?” Do you know how they feel about the fundamentals of your relationship; value, price, ease of doing business and overall experience? Would they recommend you? These issues are the most powerful driver of growth. In fact, firms that get this right, grow at 3.8 times the pace of the average successful firm.

Measuring Customer Experience

Measuring Customer Experience

Do you remember those public service announcements that used to run on late night TV; “It’s 11 O’clock, do you know where your children are?” Let me ask you; “It’s 11 O’clock, do you know where your customers are?” Do you know how they feel about the fundamentals of your relationship; value, price, ease of doing business and overall experience? Would they recommend you? These issues are the most powerful driver of growth. In fact, firms that get this right, grow at 3.8 times the pace of the average successful firm.

How Key Performance Indicators Impact Your Business

How Key Performance Indicators Impact Your Business

If you are measuring too much it can be harmful to your health… or at least the health of your business. Here we are in January 2019. Quite probably at a moment of inflection in the business environment. Is your system of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) helping you thrive during this turn, or is it an administrivial ball and chain? During a recent meeting with a client she said “I’m really not into all that book-of-the week crap. We need to focus on our KPIs and deliver on them. That’s all there is to it.” I agree with her. However, there is an important difference between flavor of the week and true organizational learning.

An Assault on Wealth

An Assault on Wealth

Is your wealth under attack… from you? I recently read an excerpt from The Perfect Square: A History of Rittenhouse Square by Nancy M. Heinzen. Rittenhouse Square was home to high concentration of very wealthy in the mid to late 19th century. It describes a shift in the relationship between the wealthy and their money.

Taking Stock

Taking Stock

It's time to get off the speeding train and take a moment to take stock.  We are fond of saying that “Traction is a good business book” AND that “Traction is NOT the last best business book that will be written.”  One of the things that Traction got right is the need for weekly, monthly and quarterly check points on progress toward strategic business goals.

Assessing and managing business performance

Assessing and managing business performance

Assessing and managing business performance has two dimensions to it.  The first is managing day to day performance.  This involves making performance visible and then discussing the difference between desired performance and actual performance.  The second dimension of performance management is related to managing the development and progress of initiatives.  This aspect combines traditional project management discipline with performance management.