Welcome to Eagle Associates. Helping you get Results.

Meet Lois Greisen, Executive Coach and President/Owner of Eagle Associates. Lois is a Certified Business Coach with over 25 years of management experience.

Posts Tagged ‘Core Values’

13 Jan
Are You Doing These 7 Keys to Success? Key Number 6
Posted by lois on Monday, January 13th, 2014 | permalink | trackback

Fail Forward – If Plan A fails, learn from it and move on to plan B

Focus on your plan.  If you fail, learn from it and adjust your plan and keep going.

Focus on your plan. If you fail, learn from it and adjust your plan and keep going.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, key number one in the seven keys to success, was to know where you are going.  Key number two was to develop a plan to get there.  Key number three was to implement the plan, key number four was to monitor the plan and key number 5 was to stay focused.  Today we will discuss key number 6, which is to fail forward.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all your plans were successful?  Well they won’t be.  When you fail you can do one of three things or variations of them:

1. You can quit. Give up.  Throw in the towel and have a pity party.   That won’t get you to your goal.

2.  Keep on doing what you’re doing and expect different results.  That is       the meaning of insanity.  If you keep on doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep on getting what you have been getting.

3. Evaluate what you have been doing.  Figure out what it is not working and change it or develop a better plan.

Item number three makes the most sense.   The key is to change what isn’t working and continue to do what is working and don’t give up. You only fail when you quit.

You might have noticed that I haven’t blogged since July.  I could do any one of the three items listed.  I could do the first one…quit and shut down my website.  That is not an option for me.  I could do the second item on the list and just continue in my path of not blogging.  That is not an option for me either since people go to my site for tips and information.  I like to give value to people whether or not they work with me so option number three is my choice.  I looked at my schedule and I am time blocking my time.  Today my main focus is scheduling a newsletter and blogs for both of my websites (my other website is www.CoachLoisG.com ).  So I evaluated what I was doing and came up with what I hope is a better plan.  If this plan doesn’t work, I will reevaluate and come up with another.

It is so important to have a strategy for your business and this is a great time to implement the steps I have discussed in earlier blogs.  This is step 6 in my 7 keys to success.  Go back and review the first 5 steps and make the New Year your best year yet.  Are you as successful as you want to be?  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

19 Jun
Customer Service – My Miserable Customer Service Experience
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 | permalink | trackback
Lois Greisen Certified Business Coach

Lois Greisen
Certified Business Coach

Today I was shopping at M_____d’s for two items.  I was looking for shop rags and floor dry for my husband’sworkshop.  I walked into the store and went over to the department where tools, nails those sorts of things are sold and asked if they could help me.  They told me that shop rags were in automotive and a very nice lady walked me over to the automotive department where we found one type of shop rag (there were two sizes listed in the sale flyer).  I ask her if the floor dry might be there also.  We could not find the floor dry.  Another fellow came by and he said the floor drive was in by check out lane number three.  There were two types of shop rags and I was looking for the other type so I asked somebody where they might be.  “Shouldn’t they be together?”  He said “No, the other ones are back in the paint supply area”.  Well the painting supplies are on the other end of the store.  I was in the front left corner and paint supplies are in the back right corner.  Well, off I went to find the other shop rags.  I got to painting supplies and they told me they the shop rags were in plumbing.  Plumbing is at the front of the store and paint supplies are at the back.  Next, I headed up to plumbing and I couldn’t find anyone to help me.  I looked and looked and looked and no assistants were there.  I was getting a bit frustrated by this time.  I went to the desk and tried using their phone to call the operator.  No luck, I got a busy signal so obviously that wasn’t working.  Next I found a business card sitting on the desk so I called the general number to the store.  That did not work so I tried dialing nine to get an outside line, but it still didn’t work.  I tried calling just out loud and still no one came.  I thought: “I bet if I tried to rob the store somebody would come”, but I wasn’t willing to resort to that.  Finally, after about 10 minutes I saw somebody stocking shelves at the back of the store.  So I headed over to ask him where the shop rags were.  He said they were by check out aisle number eight.  This time he said he would take me.  By this time, I had gone from the middle of the store to the front left corner where I was directed back to the back right corner and then back up to the front right corner.  It’s a big store. We finally found the shop rags that I was looking for. Shop rags in the cart so I thought I would head over to check out number three and find the floor dry.  No floor dry.  The young man at checkout number four was very helpful.  He came to help me look as well.  He couldn’t find the item either so he went to ask a gal at the front desk.  She said “It’s in automotive.”  I said “No, I looked over there in fact a couple of us looked over there and couldn’t find it.”  She said “Well it must be over there.  Just keep looking.”  When you think about it, that’s hysterical.  But I wasn’t laughing.  It’s kind of like a Bazooka comic I remember from when I was a kid.  It went something like this:  “I lost a nickel so I’m looking for it.”  “Where did you lose it?”  “I lost it over there by that tree.”    “Why are you for it over here?”  “I’m looking over here because the light is better.”  That’s what that gals comment made me think of.  If you can’t find the floor dry in automotive, just go keep looking over there.  (Did she a magic Genie was going to wave a wand and make it appear?)  She didn’t offer to send somebody over to help me.  But, the obedient person that I am, off I went back to automotive and started going up and down the aisles looking.  Shortly I saw another man from another department.   He was helpful and started helping me try to find my floor dry and of course he couldn’t find it either.  He went over and asked another young man where it might be.  This time this young man took me over to where it was in front of checkout aisle 3 near the front wall beyond the checkouts.  

I don’t know if you can gather I was a little frustrated with the whole situation.  (The best part was that I had something to blog about.)  Customer service is so important for any business.  In my run-around, I did meet almost half of the employees that were very helpful.  Unfortunately, I ran into several that were not helpful at all.  And of course the one gal who told me to go continue looking in an area where I couldn’t find what I was looking for is the one that was the most remarkable and stands out the most in my mind. It’s unfortunate that so many employers have substandard people when it comes to customer service. There were a couple of other things I could have bought in that store, but I went to another store and finish up my shopping. 

Does your team do a good job with your customers?  If you think they do, are you sure?  Your team is the face of your business and there is so much competition that if your employees are not treating your customers beyond their expectations, they may just take their business elsewhere.  

I talk about having a strategy for your business and good customer service from the top down should be part of that strategy.  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

13 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or theyOrganizational Alignment have an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a fourth.

A fourth reason to develop a strategic plan is that the highest-ranking businesses have a strategic plan and the ones that fail often do not have a strategy.  Is that true across the board?  No, but it is typically true and wouldn’t you want the odds on your side?  I know I would. 

 

In order for your business to be successful, it needs a roadmap to take it where it wants to go.  You need to know where you are now and what results you want for your business in the future (vision).  If I wanted to go to San Antonio, California, I would need to map my plan from Frazee, Minnesota (since that is where I live)…not from New York City. 

 

As you develop your strategic plan you will assess your current strengths and weaknesses internally and look for opportunities and threats externally.  In other words, your SWOT analysis.  That is your starting point.

 

Now you can determine the things you want to achieve in the next year or so that will start to take you to your vision.  Then you can develop the strategy on how to get there.  Now you have a roadmap to success.  You need to be sure your people know about your plan and that they are working toward it and you need to be sure your operations or processes are moving in the same direction as well.  Developing a strategic plan is one thing, implementing and executing the plan must happen or your planning is fruitless.

 

 

 

Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment could be the success of your business.

 

 

 

Please post your experiences with strategic planning that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend and if you have not signed up for my newsletter, please do so.  Take action now.

 

11 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or they Execution Value Gaphave an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a third.

A third reason to develop a strategic plan is that it can help the organization benchmark its results.  Not only can the company benchmark results against itself, but it can also compare itself to other businesses in similar or like industries.  This can be beneficial if a sale of the business is planned.  Prospective buyers can utilize the information when making a decision whether to buy or not.  The seller can utilize the information when valuing the business for sale.  Benchmarking is also helpful when reporting to investors. 

In addition, knowing that progress is being made on the goals being worked on is very rewarding and motivational.  Employees see that they are making a difference and are more motivated to do better and committed and loyal to the company.  Teamwork improves and a positive work culture is generated.  Most people enjoy a challenge and goals set by both the team and the individual are motivational.  As staffs work toward the initiatives of the plan, work is more exciting and enjoyable.  A positive work culture will help the organization attract the best people and pay a competitive wage rather than a premium.    Employees will know where they are headed.

 

A strategic plan is beneficial both financially and emotionally.  It can help improve the profits of the organization and motivate and challenge the employees resulting in a win-win position.

 

 

 

Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment will be worth it. Please post other reasons to develop a strategic plan that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit from your experience.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.  Take action now.

 

 

05 Jun
Strategic Planning – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Strategic planning can save the organization resources.  The second reason to

"When you say 'I will' with conviction, magic begins to happen." Wally Amos

“When you say ‘I will’ with conviction, magic begins to happen.” Wally Amos

develop a strategic plan is to save the organization resources including time, labor and money (time and labor translate into money).  Saving resources directly impacts the bottom line and isn’t that why companies are in business?  Even non-profits can do more good if they have more money to work with.  When an organization knows where it is going, resources such as time, labor and money etc. will not be directed at projects that are not taking the organization where it needs to go.  It will eliminate the “that didn’t work, let’s try this” mentality where one idea after another is tried until maybe something works or until all the capital is used up and the organization folds.  Even in the organization that something eventually works, a lot of the resources are wasted in the process.  Throwing money into a project and hoping something works is never a good idea.  Strategic planning only makes sense (cents).

If you need help with your strategic plan, please contact me.  Also, if you enjoyed this article, please share it with a friend and “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eagleassociates?ref=hl.  Take action now. 

 

27 Mar
End of the First Quarter of the Year
Posted by lois on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

We are at the end of the first quarter of the year.  How is your year going?  If you don’t have a strategic plan, this article is for you.

You Might Need a Strategic Plan If…

There are a number of reasons that an organization might need a strategic plan.  Here are some that really stand out:

  1. The company didn’t do as well as expected. As the year or even the season, quarter or month winds down, results are not where the company had hoped they would be.

 

  1. The company doesn’t know where it is headed. The organization doesn’t’ have solid financial numbers to shoot for.  It isn’t just financial; the company may not know where it is headed in terms of clients, growth, leadership or a number of other variables important to the organization.   Without a goal to aim for, it is very hard to get great results.

 

  1. The organization has no idea how to get the results it wants. The company’s desired results are just a dream.  It would be great if they were achieved, but they probably won’t because they seem so overwhelming and day-to-day activities always seem to get in the way; which leads us to the next point.

 

  1. The organization’s leadership team seems to be in crisis mode. Everything is urgent and should have been done yesterday.  Without a strategic plan there are multiple priorities and everyone’s priority is important to them.  Joe needs XYZ from Ann and Ann needs ABC from Bob and Sam needs LMN from Joe.  A plan has the entire organization focusing on the same things.

 

  1. Projects are planned, started and then scrapped only to have another idea with another project to take its place. Without a plan, any good idea seems to be a good one.  Resources are lost in this start stop pattern.

 

  1. The company is missing opportunities. Without a plan to make decisions against, when an opportunity arises, they are often missed as the company tries to figure out if it is a right or wrong option.  On the flip side, the company is choosing the wrong options.  This leads us to the next reason.

 

  1. Poor decisions are made. This is similar to the previous point.  A company needs to have a standard to make decisions against.  With a strategic plan, the organization is able to determine if their decision will take them toward their vision or move them away.  They can determine whether to go forward with a decision or look for another option that better suits their vision.

 

If one or more of the above points applies to your organization, then you are probably wasting valuable resources in both time and money.  It is time to invest in a strategic plan.  I would love to help.

13 Mar
Communicating the Strategic Plan – Tip # 2
Posted by lois on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

The organizations strategic plan is developed and is now ready to be shared with everyone in all levels of the organization. As mentioned, in many organizations, executives think they have communicated the plan after they share it once.  Then they can’t understand why they aren’t getting the results they want.  In order to communicate the plan, there has to be understanding on the part of the employee and that typically does not happen on the first impression.  Sharing the plan once is only the beginning.  The second method is to:

Link team and personal goals to the initiatives in the strategic plan. When goals are linked to initiatives in the plan, employees see that they are essential to organizational results.  Morale increases and a positive team culture develops.  Follow through by holding monthly employee progress meetings have both the employee and the manager score the employee as having missed, met, or exceeded the goal in that period.  The progress meeting consists of a gap analysis between the two scores and any gaps can be discussed.  This is another great way to keep plan initiative in the forefront, hold the employee accountable and recognize employee progress.

Do you feel that you are getting the results you are looking for?  Give me a call for help in aligning your people and processes to your vision and strategy.

16 Mar
Strategic Planning – Defining
Posted by lois on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 | permalink | trackback

The parts of developing and implementing a strategic plan include:  assessing, defining, futuring, planning, executing, monitoring, evaluating and rewarding.  My last post discussed assessing. Today we’ll focus on defining.  Here, we describe our future.  It is determining who we are and what we want to be in the future.  It is clarifying the vision and core values of the organization.  Defining the vision and core values is meant to involve employees and to grab hold of both the mind and spirit.  When done correctly, organizational visioning is the commitment to rethinking and reviewing the organization and empowering employees, at every level, to achieve and reach that vision. Core values define and drive behavior.  They are timeless guiding principles that every employee follows as they do their job.  Vision gives us direction and tells us where we are going.  Core values help us get there in the right way.

If you’d like to learn more about developing and executing your strategic plan, contact Lois Greisen, Eagle Associates.

02 Mar
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
Posted by admin on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 | permalink | trackback

In the last several month’s newsletters, I’ve discussed an overview of leadership. I’d like to continue my discussion in this newsletter and in the next few months. Please go to my website at www.eaglea.com to review previous issues.

We’ve been talking about a Result-Based Model of Leadership. Alignment is the first step in Results-Based Leadership. It is literally the act of “lining things up”. Today we’ll focus on aligning the operating systems to the strategic vision. When all the employees’ goals are aligned with the vision of the company, positive results are more apt to happen. This will only happen if the operations are aligned to the company vision. A compelling vision is a powerful force that creates energy and focuses on the direction and future of the company. In today’s changing times, the vision should be for the next 3—5 years.

Many organizations fall short in their attempts to be properly aligned. There are three levels of alignment. In Level I alignment upper executives determine the strategic direction and share it in a newsletter, on tent cards, or put it on the wall. The often unstated message is “OK, here is where the company is going, now make it happen. Align your efforts to the vision and we should succeed.” Research shows that 60-70% of employees don’t even know the vision of the company when asked.

Level II alignment goes a little further and yet, results are little or no better because divisions are at cross purposes with the vision statement and are uncoordinated and misaligned. In fact the probability is that the company will suffer lower earnings, lost customers, and reduced market share. Executive Leaders may be frustrated with lack of effort when the lack of results are not due to lack of effort or poor attitudes rather that everyone is pulling in different directions. Alignment must involve everyone from the top down.

Level III alignment represents the alignment process that is embedded in the results-based Leadership Development Processes that I facilitate. The steps are: 1) develop the 3 – 5 year vision of where you want your company to be in the future. Keep it simple…it may or may not be specific. 2) Write the mission statement…a brief statement in general terms of what needs to be done in the next year to make a significant dent in reaching the vision. 3) Critical success factors (usually between 4 and 8 depending on the size of the organization) are things that will achieve the mission in the next year. They are more specific than the mission yet not as specific as the goals. 4) Goals are established to achieve the critical success factors. They are more specific and there is no limit to the number. Whatever it takes is the rule. 5) Develop the action plan to achieve the goal. Who does what by when?

It is imperative that the strategic plan be passed down to every level of the organization. It doesn’t matter how it happens, just that it happens.
This material was adapted from “Fail-Safe Leadership” by Linda Martin and Dr. David Mutchler. Linda Martin is the founder of the company I’m affiliated with. Contact me to learn more about aligning your company.

02 Mar
The Little Engine That Could
Posted by admin on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 | permalink | trackback

Core values are the heart and soul of any organization. Your Leadership Development Process that we’ve been discussing in the past several months are only as effective as the values driving them.

“Core values are the standards by which an organization will exist and operate. They are the “corporate culture” or its “corporate personality”. They govern the behaviors, decisions, and actions of every person working there. In other words, they are the “lifeblood” of the organization.

Your organization may or may not have clearly defined values. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you now think about what values are needed to fuel your new processes. Ask “What must everyone in our company internalize and live as being the most important in order for the processes to perform optimally?
It’s important that your top leadership decides on those non-negotiable beliefs that you, your senior leaders, and every employee must commit to live in order to ensure success.

So, what’s the difference between a value and a behavior? A behavior is what a person “does”. A value determines how one will do what he does. That is, core values govern behavior. If we have honesty and integrity as core values and an action or behavior of writing a performance appraisal, the core values will influence how we write the appraisal.

In an organization, the purpose of vision, mission, critical success factors, goals, and action steps is to determine what everyone is to “do” – their behaviors. The purpose of the core values is to determine how they’re going to go about doing it…in effect, the guiding principles.

Without core values, there is too much latitude on how to do things.

Three to five core values is common. They are equal to the importance of vision.

This material was adapted from “Fail-Safe Leadership” by Linda Martin and Dr. David Mutchler. Linda Martin is the founder of the company I’m affiliated with. Contact me to learn more about aligning your company and how I can help improve your bottom line.