Cash is King! You have probably heard this saying and regardless of what you think it means we all know that it is hard to conduct business if you don't have any cash. Right?
Most accountants would probably say that if you want to increase cash on hand, you either need to increase revenue and or reduce expenses. I agree with that, but I'd also like to add another way and that is to Close Your Cash Gap.
What is a cash gap?
It's the timing between your account payables vs your receivables and the revenue that it represents.
Let's say you were a contractor and you spent $1,000 cash for supplies and charge your customer $4,000 with 50% due after completion and the balance due in 30 days. Assuming it took you 30 days to complete the project, you would have a cash gap of 30 days totaling ($1,000). The contractor in this example must have enough cash in the bank to cover the $1k plus any other bills due during this time.
To close the gap we will look at two areas, accounts payable and accounts receivable. Both of these numbers should be found on your balance sheet.
I was consulting with a small business that was struggling with a cash shortage. When I looked at the expenditures and bank statements we discovered several services that the company was not using (almost $2k/mo) so we immediately discontinued those automatic withdrawals. Next we looked at the terms of each remaining vendor and picked the top 3 to contact and see if payments could be moved out by 30 days. The next step was to apply for a business credit card. When the supply invoice was due the payment could be made via the credit card extending the actual cash disbursement another 30 days.
Another organization had burned through their reserve and was starting to panic over a lack of cash. I asked to see their accounts receivables and found that they had over $75,000. Then we looked at when they were due and I found a couple of interesting problems. First, $25k had already been received but had not been accounted for. That brought their total to $50k. Of the remaining balance almost all of it was past due by over 90 days! What we did was to list the customers and contact them to find out when they planned to pay. If they never received an invoice, we invoiced them for the balance due. We negotiated a payment plan and updated the terms moving forward so that payment in full was received at the point of completion.
Going back to the original example of our contractor let's apply the changes to see how that will affect the companies cash position.
By negotiating better vendor terms he is able to order the $1k in supplies without paying upfront. The new customer contract requires 50% upfront with the balance due upon completion. By making these changes cash goes from minus $1,000 to $4,000. See the chart below.
If you play the scenarios out over 3 months assuming 1 job per month, the cash on hand for scenario 1 grows to $3,000 compared to $11,000 for scenario 2! Let's take a closer look.
Now for the new terms and condition for scenario #2. Look at the difference!
So why is this important? After all, we are just changing the timing of payments and expenses, right?
While it is true that the profit $9,000 for both scenarios will be the same, the organization in scenario 2 has less risk and more cash which potentially provides better flexibility when evaluating other business opportunities.
In real life the numbers can become significantly larger and things like compensation & benefits create additional complexities in evaluating the cash gap. Making errors on cash flow, whether in a large or small scale operation can lead to stress or even bankruptcy.
Each organization has its own cash requirements in order to operate efficiently. A once a year cash gap analysis is one way to identify opportunities to increase your cash position.
An annual cash gap analysis includes:
1. Evaluate all expenditures from high to low concentrating on the top 80%.
2. Eliminate redundancies or non value add expenses.
3. Review contracts and identify potential changes to terms and conditions
4. Negotiate new T&C's or find alternatives - buying coop, memberships, etc.
5. Evaluate all past due invoices
6. Collect outstanding balances.
7. Review customer/client contacts - terms - conditions
8. Negotiate new T&C's
If you have questions about conducting a cash gap analysis, feel free to schedule a chat.
In 2002 Colorado had a devastating drought.
In fact, according to one Hydrologist it was the worst drought in Colorado history. While presenting at a river outfitters conference he explained that Colorado always has a drought somewhere in the state. He contrasted that by showing us a chart of 2002 where every single region within the state experienced drought at the same time. This created the conditions for fires to burn uncontrollably throughout the state to the extent that the Governor went on the air to tell the nation "don't come to Colorado this summer our state is on fire!"
As you can imagine this really hurt the normally robust tourism experienced during the summer. Because of a low to non-existent snow pack, streams were drying up and even the Arkansas River which usually receives supplemental releases from dams upstream, crept along at what would usually be winter flows (barely enough to raft on). Most rafting companies experienced anywhere from a 30-70 percent decrease in business that year with one notable exception!
I had to meet with the owner to find out why when everyone else was going out of business, he had actually remained steady and took over the number 1 slot in market share. So I set up a meeting and interviewed him.
Here is what I found out.
1. Raving fans - The experience that they created was unique and even with low water they made it fun and adventurous. This resulted in guests that were super excited and naturally spread the word to family and friends.
2. Key Customers - They had developed strong relationships over the years with key group leaders. Their emphasis was on the 10% of the people that accounted for 90% of their business.
3. Multiple Income Streams - Instead of relying on raft trip income exclusively, they developed a number of other sources of revenue. This included onsite camping, food service, hiking, climbing, etc. By offering a variety of choices they were less dependent on a single source of revenue.
4. Advanced Commitments - This was probably the most significant take away. 80% of their business was booked 1 year in advance. Brilliant! Instead of waiting and then spending hours sending emails, postcards, calling, etc. They communicated in advance that if they wanted to guarantee a spot for next year the group leader needed to come prepared with a deposit for the next year. This virtually eliminated the issue of fair weather rafters and provided a really solid base for planning. If a group did not renew, they had time to fill it from their database. In this way they always knew in advance how the year would go and it helped them optimize their schedule and staffing.
I hope these ideas stimulate your thinking on how you can drought proof your organization. It certainly did for me. I have actually used what I learned here to begin developing what I am calling a revenue factory. But, I'll need to share more details with you in another article.
If revenue in your organization is not where you would like it to be, I'd be happy to chat with you about ways to improve your position. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Millennials and Generation Z don't want bosses --- they want coaches
According to research conducted by Gallup, managers play the single most important role in determining staff engagement and overall productivity. Currently only 34% of employees are engaged at work. Gallup defines an engaged employee as involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their team and organization.
What I find incredible is that after decades of research, Gallup shows the following results comparing engaged team members vs disengaged team members.
Engaged Team Members
With these staggering differences I would think getting to high team engagement would be a top leadership priority within every organization!
Unfortunately even those that want to improve, find it difficult to make the changes necessary. How do you develop managers who can become great coaches?
I remember my first promotion to a management position. I was working in a warehouse and my boss called me into his office. "Wear these" he said as I reached out to accept a button up shirt and tie. I didn't ask any questions, I just realized that I was moving out of jeans and t-shirt mode into the suit and tie. I was razzed by my staff for a week but it was clear that I was making a change from being "one of the guys" to becoming a leader and future coach.
My boss had many meetings with me throughout that first year talking about purpose, goals, measurements, personal development and much more. In fact, it was because of the example he set and what I learned in those formative years as a manager that I was able to develop my own high performance team and replicate that many times over in the years that followed.
While Gallup did conduct research in those days it wasn't until several years later that they published a number of books the most recent being "It's The Manager" in 2019.
What I realize now is that my boss was actually more of a mentor and coach than anything else. The research validates the methods that he used. I was fortunate to have someone that intuitively knew how to engage his staff.
Not everyone is that lucky.
With more individual and team contributors getting promoted into management positions it is critical to include in that transition good training and coaching on how to become an effective manager. How to lead well and how to coach.
This is where business coaching or executive coaching can make a huge difference.
Often times senior leaders don't have the time to invest in the weekly development of their Jr. or even mid management team. Many times small business owners have not had the opportunity to get coached themselves let alone do it with their team.
That is one of the reasons I started Forward One Business Coaching. To come along side leaders who are committed to making the changes necessary to improve their organizations and have a positive impact on the world.
Here are a few action steps:
I believe your investment will be worth every penny.
Let me know how it goes!
If you want to chat I'd be delighted. You can schedule that directly here.
"Over the years I have observed that effective leaders do three things well. They Dream, Design and Do. Preferably in that order but not always. Let's take a deeper look.
1. Dream - In the Proverbs it says that without vision the people perish. I think that is true in organizations that lose the passion for what they are doing. By contrast the leader who has mobilized a team that clearly understands where they are going and why, creates a powerful force that can literally change the world.
When I started at Focus on the Family I was a warehouse clerk and it took me a couple of promotions and a few years to understand my role as a leader. What were we doing? Order fulfillment, storage and retrieval, just basic boring stuff. Yet that is not how the CEO felt about it. Dr. Dobson would regularly take visitors and VIP's on tour of Operations because "they get things done." He told us we were part of the "hidden ministries" of Focus on the Family and that changed my thinking. I began to paint a vision of becoming a world class distribution center and ultimately our motto was "Being There for God's Divine Appointments". The staff responded wonderfully and I could literally feel the difference as I walked through the facility.
2. Design - All the dreams in the world will go nowhere if there is no design. I have heard some teach the "ready, fire, aim" technique. Can't you just skip a step and get right into it? Yes, for certain projects you can switch the aim part, but the key is that you still need to be ready and "design" is a part of the getting ready process.
When I relocated to Colorado we had a wonderful home that we moved into. The basement was unfinished and my wife and I said to each other "wouldn't it be great to finish that someday." 3 years later the basement was still unfinished. It wasn't until we started putting tape on the floor and getting drawings put together that the dream started to take shape. It wasn't long before the plans were approved by the county and within a few months we had a finished basement.
3. Do - You may have heard the saying that "leaders do the right things vs Managers do things right." While I am not sure I agree with the definition, there is one thing they both have in common, and that is the word DO! With no action there will predictably be no results.
Some of the common constraints leaders face with implementation is lack of money, fear of failure, not enough time, lack of expertise, resistance to change.
These constraints can be overcome with commitment, creativity and a bit of luck.
Actually I do not believe in luck. Let me refer again to Proverbs where it also says that a man makes his plans but the God directs his steps.
I think we do have the responsibility to plan but we need to understand that as we move forward we may need to pivot along the way. Providence has a way of directing what actually happens.
At one point I had a great plan and was completely on course for implementation. I had a great executive position in a large nonprofit, I owned my own adventure company that was growing, I was a year into my Doctorate in Business Administration and I was an adjunct faculty at a local University. I won't go into the details of my ultimate plan because everything changed in 2009.
Due to the economy tanking, I ended up losing my position, selling the business, dropping out of the doctoral program, and leaving the teaching opportunity.
Because of those changes, I ended up being free to move to PA and then to MT to help two companies design and implement major organizational initiatives.
Ultimately I ended up back in Colorado and made the decision to continue helping leaders navigate change through Forward One Business Coaching!
If you would like a workbook that can help with your Dream, Design, Do planning you can get that here. I wish you the best in becoming the Leader you were called to become.
The most frustrating question in the world
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with World War II. This is the question that inevitably comes up after your project is just about to be implemented and go live.
You are in a meeting and someone asks the question Why Wasn’t I Involved?
Wait just a second, you think. We have been working on this initiative for over 6 months. We have had meetings out the kazoo, you have received sign-offs from the city, county, state, executive team and yet it never fails. Like clockwork, right before you pull the trigger you are hit with “the question”.
Now, in reality, it’s not really a question at all. In fact, it’s an indictment. Like, you didn’t involve me and if this thing fails don’t come crying to me. Don’t expect my help if you go forward.
This technique is actually used quite effectively by everyone from the entry-level clerk to the President of the company.
Here are 5 different versions of the Why wasn’t I involved question.
So what is a leader to do when it seems the odds are stacked against ever getting any change implemented?
While you can’t really control how people respond to change, you should be able to ensure that no one is surprised. That happens through effective communication. So this is what I suggest:
Finally, keep a good sense of humor, you’ll need it.
When my wife and I were newlyweds I was making minimum wage ($4.35/hr) working at a warehouse in Southern California.
With a new baby on the way, I had to figure out a better way to make ends meet.
My boss set me up with a meeting with a man who used a financial plan created by Larry Burkett (the guy Dave Ramsey studied under) and he showed me how to create and monitor a monthly budget.
The bottom line was that income must exceed expenses otherwise I would be in debt, which was bad news.
When your average gross income is $754 a month you have to get very creative in order to make ends meet.
Once I graduated from college I was sure I’d be able to get a good job, eventually, but that was still over 6 months away and while I had overtime and odd jobs to supplement my base wage, we needed a system to control expenses.
These are the questions that my wife and I committed to ask before every expense. It was transformational!
The same concepts can be applied to small businesses as well as non-profits.
These questions can be applied to any purchase. A vehicle, rental space, household or general business expense. For fun let's just say we found a pair of hiking boots on sale for $85. I'll walk through the questions and lets see what happens.
1. Do we need it? Since my primary job is indoors and I work inside I would have to say no. Now let's say I was planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. In that case the answer would be yes assuming the PCT got past the questions and still survived.
2. Do we need it now? If my PCT journey begins in May next year and it is December the answer is no. We don't have to spend the money now.
3. What are the options? Is there another way? Well, perhaps we could use hiking shoes or synthetic material vs leather. It is possible to hike in tennis shoes but not advisable. There are lots of styles, makes and models of hiking boot. Are there sales? What about the bargain barn at Sierra Trading Post?
4. Can we get it used? Yes, In our town we have lots of outdoor people so the thrift shops are full of cool outdoor gear including boots. What about the REI garage sale? Craigs list? If we are patient and know exactly what we need, there is a good chance we can find it used. Another idea is to post on some outdoor forums and ask if anyone has your size boot that they would like to get rid of.
5. Can we get it for free? Yes, it is possible to write the boot manufacturer and ask if they would sponsor the event. We could pick a cause and raise support for a nonprofit and perhaps we will receive a free pair of boots to help us accomplish our mission. Who do we know that is an outdoor fashion king? If our size matches we should be able to get the hand me downs when they upgrade next month.
6. Is it budgeted? If the answer is no then don't spend the money. If the answer is yes then you still need to check the bank account and make sure you have enough cash to cover the expense. You can only spend budgeted dollars after the budgeted income has been deposited. Now if you have a surplus in one account and you forgot about an expense in another then it may be acceptable to borrow or transfer from the surplus account. However, do not get into the habit of robbing Peter to pay Paul otherwise why bother having a budget to begin with.
7. Can we afford it? If the answer is no then again you should not spend the money. However, just because you have money in your account does not mean you should buy the item. You can burn through a lot of cash if you get careless about spending just because you can. In the case of the boots let's say that we are on track for purchasing them in January. So in this scenario we will wait and see if we can find a good pair of boots another way for the next couple of months. If not we can always buy them at full price later.
My wife and I saved thousands per year using creative approaches to getting what we needed.
Once I started making more money we relaxed and thought we could "afford it." We started paying retail prices and although we saved a bit of time, we scratched our head at the end of each month wondering why our bank account was so low when our income was so much higher.
When we went back to the 7 questions we saw major results in as little as two months.
Here's your challenge!
Write down the 7 questions on the back of a business card and put it in your wallet. Every time you are about to buy something, go through the questions, and see how it impacts your cash on hand. Try it for 3 months.
It may be hard at first but I think you will like the results.
A colleague of mine told me a story about an event he was attending at the nonprofit we both worked for. It was a graduation dinner and each of the students were seated together with their families and 1-2 staff members.
It was during the dinner that one of the student's grandmother asked my friend a peculiar question. “Sir, could you tell me who here is the vice president of perfection?” “What do you mean” my friend responded. “Well since I arrived, everything I have experienced has been perfect. When we drove up, the parking lot was well lit with easy directions, we walked in and were greeted with big smiles and treated like royalty. The decor was delightful and interesting and everywhere I looked it was spotless. We have just enjoyed a scrumptious meal and I want to thank the person in charge of perfection. Is that you?”
My friend responded “well thank you so much for sharing that with me. I will make sure your evaluation gets back to all of the staff that made this event happen. While we don’t actually have a VP of perfection our founder has created a culture where every person/department strives for excellence. Our hope is that everyone that visits us will feel exactly the same as you.”
If you haven’t read the Perfect Order blog go ahead and give it a read at this point and then come back.
Great! Can you begin to see how the perfect order can apply to service?
Think about your organization and the particular service you provide.
When I first took over the inventory management department for a nonprofit that distributed educational material I asked to see the metrics that were being used.
I received charts that measured total investment in inventory, COGS, turns, etc. The most interesting number, however, was inventory availability. The department was very proud that they had reached 99%. What that meant was that out of every 100 sku only 1 was on back-order. In this case with 5,000 SKU that meant we were only out of stock on 50 items.
Compared to what it used to be that seemed pretty good!
That was until I found out that only 1 out of 3 people that ordered from us received all of the items requested.
In other words, the actual order fill rate was only 66%!
So while the department thought they were producing A level results, in reality, they were measuring the wrong thing from the customers perspective. The true work results was closer to D level performance.
This is not an isolated incident.
Ed Frazelle PhD is the founding director of the Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech. I had the privilege of going through his Logistics Management Series and one of the concepts that he used as an eye opener for supply chain professionals was his perfect order % exercise.
What he would do, is ask everyone in the room to define what a perfect order looks like. He would write down each item and then asked how good are you? What is a great performance? And everyone would respond somewhere between 95 - 99% and we would end up with a chart like this:
Clear online description 98% -> A
Pricing was accurate 97% -> A
No errors during checkout 95% -> A-
Items available 95% -> A
Order confirmation 98% -> A
Picked accurately 97% -> A
Packaged properly 97% -> A
Shipped on time 95% -> A-
Received w no damage 97% -> A
Proper documentation 95% ->A
In every case, each department thought they were doing pretty good.
It was not until the end that Dr. Frazelle would say no, we aren’t going to average them, we need to multiply each one to get the actual perfect order percentage.
Here is what that looks like.
.98*.97*.95*.95*.98*.97*.97*.95*.97*.95 = 69% or a D+
Now, who wants to get excited about D+ work?
To have A level work, each component of the supply chain needs to be (to borrow a line from Mary Poppins) “practically perfect in every way”
Ok, so nowadays Amazon does all of that stuff for you. You're wondering, is this even relevant to my organization?
Yes, I think so.
Next time I'll show you how this applies to a service organization like a school, resort or camp. In the meantime be thinking about:
I was just out of college and working as a manager in a distribution center and heard about a problem brewing in the warehouse.
I called the two staff members that were engaged in the conflict into a conference room to try and understand what was going on. That’s when Sue pointed her finger and blurted out HE PINCHED ME! and I thought to myself, seriously? I’d been working with Ben for a year and he did not seem like the kind of person that would go around pinching people. And besides, isn't this the kind of thing you deal with in Kindergarten or maybe Jr. High. Surely, I am not going to have to recite the “keep your hands to yourself” speech. Please, aren’t you two in your 40’s and aren't you immigrates from the same country. I’m sure we can all get along, right?
Back to the conversation:
Ben was so flustered that he could hardly speak. So I asked Sue and Ben to take a turn and walk me through the chain of events that led up to this altercation. When Sue shared her story it was all about how hard she worked, the sheer volume of orders that she would pack each day. She poked fun at how slow Ben worked and said that it was unfair that he would hurt her because he was jealous.
This only frustrated Ben more and with his heavy accent it was all I could do to figure out what actually happened.
Here is what happened:
Ben and Sue had come from the same country but from different classes. So while there was a common language and it appeared from the surface that these two got along fine, there were deeper cultural issues that intensified the situation.
Sue had figured out a way to cherry pick most of the easy orders and shift the larger more difficult orders over to Ben’s workload. So as they packed orders, it appeared that Sue was doing more work because her stack of empty totes was always higher than Ben’s. This was a fact that she proudly pointed out to the team, leads, supervisors and anyone else who would listen. Ben internalized his frustration and it finally came out one day when Sue came too close to him and in frustration and anger he reached out and pinched her.
I ended up giving Ben a formal warning regarding the pinching. He was reminded of the proper outlet to report issues as they arise. Sue was instructed not to cherry pick orders and a lead was assigned to go back over the process and procedures with her. Sue left that next year. Ben stayed on for 20 years. He never pinched anyone again.
Even though most professional workers are more sophisticated in how they interact with each other there is still virtual “pinching” going on every day. According to Gallup, 87% of the global workforce is disengaged at work. I am sure any leader could think of a number of frustrating staff related issues that while not exactly the same have the same underlying issues.
Having worked with hundreds of leaders over the years I have observed 8 things that great teams have in common.
Let me ask you a few questions:
Does your team genuinely enjoy working together?
Does everyone know exactly what they are expected to do each day?
Are you getting the absolute best from your team every day?
Have you developed your team to the point that you can take a week off without having to worry about a thing?
If you answered no to any of the above then I’d like to invite you to schedule a chat with me. This is an advice only (no sales/pressure) session to help you identify specific ways to improve your teams performance.
There is no shortage of business networking opportunities today, but how many of them incorporate true Colorado adventure?
I'd like to redefine business networking by shifting the commercial rendezvous from posh banquets to the wild & crazy waters of the Arkansas river.
The Biz & Raft Networking Series, provides whitewater rafting for business leaders who are looking for a new adventurous way to connect with other entrepreneurs, clients and key industry contacts.
Unlike other events where you don't know who you will meet, this event puts you in the drivers seat. Once you reserve the raft for this summer you get to invite an additional 5 people to become part of your crew for the day.
I will facilitate the days activities in order to help you accomplish your objectives.
When you’re all on the same boat, shooting the rapids together, you develop a feeling of oneness. It’s this solidarity which is crucial in relationship building.
Our groundbreaking networking series is designed specifically for leaders who are looking for a creative, fun, adventurous way to strengthen relationships and grow their business.
Go HERE to get all the details and discount information if you make your deposit in May.
Or if you like send me your email address and I can shoot you over more information.
What You Need To Know To Sell Your Business
Selling your business will prove much easier if you prepare ahead of time. The worst thing you can do is rest on your laurels, take your foot off the gas pedal and assume the offers will come rolling in. You should do the exact opposite. This is the perfect time to go all out, work your tail off and maximize the value of your business.
Here's how to do it.
1. Find Valuation Comps
There is no way to gauge the true value of your business unless you understand what similar businesses have sold for. Take a look at what companies of similar size and revenue in your industry have sold for in recent years. Once you have a firm grasp of your company's true value, you will be able to make an accurate assessment of your business's actual worth. If you do not want to do the research on your own, hire a broker to help. Professional insight and research will give you an idea of what your business should sell for based on prior sales of similar businesses and current market dynamics.
2. Mind the Books and Records
Prospective buyers are primarily interested in the business's financials. You should be able to present a clear and accurate picture of what your business income is today and what revenue is projected to be across the next couple of years. Your bookkeeper should also be able to detail current costs as well as expected cost down the line. Update your books, make sure you can provide a legitimate picture of your company's finances and potential buyers will be that much more likely to bid.
3. Review Systems and Processes
The average business owner has operated his company for several years or even multiple decades. It is perfectly excusable to forget the nuances of systems and processes. Review these systems in-depth before discussing the business with potential buyers. Streamline operations as best as possible prior to putting your business up for sale. Make everything is as efficient as possible so the buyer-to-be understands he or she will enjoy a seamless transition as they assume control of the enterprise.
4. Clean the Premises for a Powerful First Impression
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Though a thorough cleaning of your business will not increase its value, an unkempt business really will convince some prospective buyers the enterprise is not worth bidding on. Consider repainting the office, replacing old electronics and installing new carpets to make your business that much more aesthetically appealing.
5. Prepare Your Employees
Wait until you are certain one of the proposed offers is worthy of acceptance before telling employees about the sale. The alternative is to notify your team of your intention to sell and watch them exit one-by-one for new positions with other companies. A depleted staff will make the business less marketable so remain quiet until you are certain a deal is in place. However, it will help to confide your intentions in a couple trusted employees. Explain your vision, ask them to help you plan for the sale and speak with staff members about the transition at the appropriate time.
6. Perform Your Due Diligence
Instead of hoping offers will roll in one after the other, be proactive by looking within the industry for prospective buyers. You just might find one or several candidates looking to expand their operations. Some of those within the industry might be interested in your business as your unique offerings will diversify their existing product line and ultimately expand their customer base.
7. Pinpoint The Right Buyer
There is no reason to rush the sale of your business unless you are starved for cash. The average buyer has less than a couple hundred thousand dollars to invest. Some prospective buyers have not owned a business of any type. Consider the buyer's motivation for purchasing your company before committing to the sale. Do not be tempted to offload the business for a low offer simply because an offer is made.
Be patient, hold out for the right offer and you will get fair value for your business. If you plan on retaining a share of the business, do not settle for a buyer with significant flaws. Finding the right buyer for 100% of your company is also important as this individual will have power over your hardworking employees. If possible, try to sell the business to a caring individual with good people skills.
8. Do Not Ease Up Until Your Business is Sold
Continue to work your hardest all the way up until the day your business is officially sold. Otherwise, you run the risk of putting your business up for sale and receiving underwhelming offers or no offers at all. Follow the advice set forth above and you just might be pleasantly surprised with the bids made for your company.
This book was published back in 2009 but I still think it is interesting and can be relevant as you consider the interests and values of each tribe. DG
Here is an excerpt:
The Seven Tribes
Citing his research, Barna indicated that the United States has seven dominant faith tribes that hold the key to the restoration of the nation. “We must recover the values that made this nation great and that must be firmly in place for order, reason, freedom and unity to prevail,” the researcher explained. “Our faith tribes are central to the development and application of people’s worldviews, which in turn produce the values on which we base our daily decisions. It is on the basis of such values that a nation rises to greatness or plummets to oblivion. The choice is ours. And it is up to our faith tribes to demonstrate the courageous leadership necessary to facilitate a national restoration of the mind, heart and soul. Without a nationwide commitment to this process, we are destined to become a country of historical significance and present-day insignificance.”
Drawing from the research, Barna identified the seven faith tribes as:
Here is a great info graphic that that demonstrates the power of camp and the impact it can have on kids lives. Schedule a chat if you would like to discuss how to maximize the impact of your organization.
Energy Leeches and how to stop them.
Over the holidays I was talking with my 87-year-old aunt about a childhood business she had collecting and distributing leeches to people in her small town in Sweden.
As I understand it she did pretty good at it and even hired an employee (my mom) to expand her market and increase profit.
The logic back then was that a good leech would get rid of a lot of bad blood and if you drained enough bad blood you would eventually get better.
But, the problem with too many leeches is that a person can lose so much blood that they become weak, faint or even die.
How does this relate to your organization?
It’s easy to get consumed with too many things that we think are important but completely drain our energy reserves. Let me ask a few questions.
If you answered yes to any of these then you may have some Energy Leeches causing you trouble.
How can you get rid of Energy Leeches and still run an effective organization?
Here are 7 steps you can take to get rid of leeches and restore your energy levels.
#1. List the items/activities that consume your time that you do not enjoy.
#2. Rank them in order from the worst to least.
#3. Indicate whether the item/activity is something that is really important.
#4. If the item is not important, extract it and immediately place it in the kill jar.
#5 If the item is important then find 1-2 staff members who could do a great job and would enjoy doing it.
#6 If you can’t find a staff member who could do it then find a consultant or contractor to help you manage that component of the business.
#7 Begin to offload each energy leech one by one until you notice a change.
Try this exercise once a year and see what happens to both your personal productivity and the effectiveness of your organization.
P.S. I've been told there is still a market for leeches as pets and for certain medical procedures. I wonder if my Aunt wants back into the business? :)
Businesses would be nothing without loyal customers.
Customers make purchases, support, and refer people which keeps a business thriving. Through online reviews, feedback, or honest opinions, they’re also there to tell a business owner or the team what’s working and what’s not in a current product or service. However, as a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll likely face a situation when your customer isn’t right.
While it’s important to always listen to what your customer has to say, there are scenarios when it’s helpful to move forward and go a different direction. It can be difficult to grow, innovate, or surprise when you’re stuck in this cycle.
If you’re looking to grow your business, it’s your job to show your customers a solution. Through advertising or marketing it’s helpful to provide an even better product or service.
It’s helpful to keep in mind that your customers can’t envision the future of your business.
Check out the infographic by Valpak below on when not to listen to your customer. It breaks down helpful scenarios, company examples, and common types of customers you may need to coach along the way.
Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.