Financial Planning | Leadership / Management | Organizational Development | Training & CPE

We have met the enemy and he is us!

We have met the enemyRemember that old Pogo comic strip by Walt Kelly (when there were newspapers)?

It's not the economy, or disloyal customers, or competition that is really the problem. Often we and our own organizations are the problem.

I was reminded of this today when I got saw this e-newsletter from business author Steve Yastrow, titled "We have seen the enemy and it is ..." He makes a good point.

Here are his recommendations to turn it around:

  1. Get agreement on intended results before you focus on action steps. I call this getting your OARRs (outcomes, agenda, roles and rules) in the water. How many times do we start meetings before getting clear on intentions? Guilty as charged.
  2. Turn your BHAGs into CCAGs. Using one of my favorites -- Jim Collins' "big hairy audacious goals," or BHAGs -- Steve makes the case for CCAGs: clear, compelling, audacious goals.
  3. Focus on customer behaviors before your own behaviors. Steve goes on to say, "You don't create your company's results; your customers do. Focus first on what actions you want customers to take, directly connecting those actions to desired business results. Then, it will be easier to identify ways your company discourages those customer actions."
  4. Start worrying about your company or firm's internal brand. I think of this as, "You can't sell it outside if you can't sell it inside." Does your culture fit the external story that you are telling? Many organizations miss focusing on their culture -- one of the easiest and largest returns you can get for investing time and money into. Things like training and development, team-building and teamwork are all smart ways to get your organization facing in the same direction.

Want some good, quick advice? Read Steve's free e-book, Encounters, or go buy his book, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship.

Our own Business Learning Institute has plenty of programs to help you create better "We" relationships, manage your brand and build a winning culture. You can find all of them in our learning center. Here are a couple of upcoming sessions (these are all also available to be brought to you at your organization as a custom on-site program):

Listening For Leaders: Ask the Question, Discover the Need, Win the Trust, by Greg Conderacci, Oct. 12, 1 to 4 p.m., Shepherd Pratt, Towson, immediately after my town hall / professional issues update.

Your Key to Business Development: Find a Need and Fill It, by Greg Conderacci, Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., MACPA Towson

Webcast: Growing Your Business Through Trusted Relationships: "The Power of Trusting Relationships", Nov. 16, noon to 1 p.m., part 1 of a five-part weekly lunch and learn series of webcasts by BLI instructor Mark Slatin

More from CPA Success about "We" and Steve Yastrow:

What do you do to get out of your own way?