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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 ‘Morale’

05 Nov
4 Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 | permalink | trackback
Strategy Can Help Business and the Team Stay Focused

Strategy Can Help Business and the Team Stay Focused

Business Strategy – Heart of the Business

A good strategic plan can propel a business to be even more successful. Over 90% of success stories in business are attributable to a good strategy. There are a number of reasons that make the strategy the heart of the business.  Let’s look at four of them

1.  Helps in crisis prediction and prevention.  Many businesses end up losing equity or ultimately collapsing in the face of a crisis. A good business strategy is key in ensuring that crises are predicted before hand and prevented before occurring. For example, a good strategy defines the cause of action in case of raw material shortage. This ensures that the business does not go into crisis mode when the shortage occurs.  Strategy is a key to combating a host of organizational challenges.  Take time to develop your strategic plan.

2.  Acts as a reference point – A good business strategy also acts in the interest of the business whereby it acts as a point of reference. A good strategy gives the management and the workforce as a whole a sense of direction toward the accomplishment of set goals. This is crucial in building teamwork as well as ensuring that the whole organization’s labor force works towards achievement of common objectives.  Look at where you are today and strategize where you want to be in the future.  Strategic planning can help you get you there.

3.  Efficient resource utilization – One of the main causes of organization failure is the misappropriation of resources including time, money and supplies. Resources may be directed in a multitude of projects. A good strategy enables the right resources to the right projects by clearly outlining which projects will move the company in the right direction.  This reduces inefficient resource utilization.  It is too costly not to have a strategy in place.

4.  Customer attraction and retention – Businesses exist as a result of their customers. Customers are a very important element of the business and they need to be constantly attracted and retained. A good business strategy has in place customer attraction techniques as well as guides on how the organization can retain these customers. Without a good strategy, the business is likely to under perform and is at the risk of losing it customers to its competitors.

In conclusion, it is important that your business has a well-laid strategy in order to ensure that the business survives and thrives its challenges into the future.  A good business strategy is responsible for profits and loss prevention.  Schedule your strategy session.  Contact me today.

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. 

 

15 May
Three Rules of Strategic Planning – Rule Number 2
Posted by lois on Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Rule number 2 – Know where you are now.  If you are planning a trip to Dallas, Texas and you are currently in Fargo, North Dakota, you would not start planning from Seattle, Washington.  When developing your strategic plan, you need assess your company to determine what your strengths are so that you can capitalize on them in the future.  What are you really good at?  Are you utilizing your strengths to their maximum potential or is there more you can do?  Also keep in mind that what you are good at might be coming to the end of its life cycle.  Be aware of that and be ready to transition at the right time if that is the case.  An example is Kodak transitioning from film to the digital age.  They were slow in incorporating the new technology and filed for bankruptcy in January 2012.  They were not the first company to falter due to changing technology.  Don’t let it happen to you.  Plan your continued success.

Knowing where you are now also means knowing what your weaknesses are so that you can minimize them.  Do you have untrained staffs?  How is the internal culture?  Does your management team need development?  Are you structured properly?  Is your technology getting outdated?  Are you outgrowing your space?  Are you marketing to your best advantage?  These are just some of the questions you should be asking.  In this part of the planning process you want to uncover anything that might jump out at you in the future as you are implementing your plan that might block your way.  You won’t be able to eliminate all obstacles, but you can plan through many.  Remember rule number two – Know where you are 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.

20 Mar
Communicating the Strategic Plan – Tip # 3
Posted by lois on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

We mentioned that after the organizations strategic plan is developed it is often not communicated throughout the organization thus execution does not happen as it should.  That is the biggest missed opportunity in many organizations.   Sharing the plan once is only the beginning.  The third method for communicating the plan is:

Publicly reward people that achieve goals that are linked to the strategic plan. Many executives forget to do this.  They reward people for all sorts of things, but not what should be the most important thing…the results they want.  Rewarding people publicly can become a great teaching moment.  Explaining what the person or team did to move the organization toward the results is just one more way to communicate an aspect of the plan.

There are many ways to communicate the strategic plan throughout the organization.  Be creative and focus on the plan in unexpected ways.  The team may surprise you and find creative ways to get the desired results.

Do you need help developing and/or executing your strategic plan?  Give me a call, I’d love to help.

13 Dec
Why Develop a Strategic Plan – Reason Number 3
Posted by lois on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 | permalink | trackback

We’ve been discussing why many companies don’t have a written strategic 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?  Here is reason number three:

a strategic plan 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 the industry.  This can be beneficial if a sale of the business is planned or 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, teams are formed, employee morale is improved, and a positive work culture is generated.  Most people enjoy a challenge and goals set by both the team and the individual; as they work toward the initiatives of the plan, make work exciting and enjoyable.  A positive work culture will help the organization attract the best people and pay a competitive wage rather than a premium.  Staffs are motivated and morale is high.

Do you need a strategic plan?  Contact me, I can help.

22 Nov
Leadership with Impact
Posted by lois on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 | permalink | trackback

This went around via email a while ago.  I thought I’d share it today since it has a great message.  I am not sure who wrote it…I wish I knew who to give the credit to.

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” she heard whispered. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much,” were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. She nodded: “yes.” Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.”

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

“We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”

Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”

“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary”

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists”

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

This special class developed a lasting bond by the actions of one leader.  Is there something you can do to develop a lasting bond with your team?  Your team might be either personal or professional.