Blog

Jan 18

“Do you have an exciting One Page Strategic Plan and engaged Senior Management Team (SMT) driving innovation for 2017?”

“I need to clone myself to get stuff done!!!” is a lament we often here.

Do you feel the same way?

Back in 2007 I took my CEO and CFO of Greencross Limited to a Verne Harnish seminar in Brisbane. I was the company chairman at the time. I had been using tools promoted by Verne for decades so wanted to expose my colleagues to his teachings. Here’s a brief summary of what we were exposed to.

“Do you have a Big Exciting Audacious Goal for your company?”

We wanted to grow to 10% of the veterinary market in Australia and New Zealand. It meant growing our turnover and profits by more than ten times!!! We did better than that.

“Do you have a passion and purpose that unites your team and focuses them on innovation?”

We wanted to provide the most professional veterinary care and advice for passionate pet owners.

“Do you have a great team meeting often enough to create a sense of urgency to implementing actions to improve the business?”

We created a Senior Management Team or executive group, met daily for 15 minutes to identify what’s happening for you, how are we going against our daily targets, and what roadblocks exist?

We referred folk to where they could get help, allocated resources to assist, and got actions happening to unblock solutions.

These meetings were no more than 15 minutes…debate solutions elsewhere. This is a SMT download on stuff to be done and where to go to get help.

Refer debate on process changes or new opportunities to the Weekly SMT Operational Meeting for detailed discussion and action planning where there is time to do so.

This meeting rhythm allowed us to improve communication between the SMT members and actually saved time for all team members. We set priorities for unsticking customer and team member concerns and created a more dynamic decision making process in the company.

SMT members then added daily stand up huddles with their direct reports and took the same lessons into their teams.

Front line team members in sales, admin or “job doing” in its many forms in different parts of the company then were listened to daily and got immediate encouragement to fix stuff instead of waiting weeks for it to go up to SMT meetings and struggling to get the go ahead.

We found the quality of debate around improving the company and developing smart strategies to deliver what customers really valued also improved.

It sure beats trying to run a company on your own and feeling you have to make all the decisions and do all the stuff that needs doing.

It engages and energises all your team members.

But it is not about simply delegating responsibilities…it is more about creating a faster pulsing communication process between front line team members and your SMT.

This approach allowed us to grow from a micro listed company to the top ASX 200 over 10 years.

We’ve taken the lessons from Greencross and all the other businesses we’ve been working with into our new “Leadership for Profitable Business” workshop.

The next one is scheduled for February 21st in Auckland.

It’s a one day learning experience…click here for a detailed programme and registration process.

Bring your senior team members and create a SMT to work on improving your business and finding you time.

Then set an appropriate “Pattern of Meetings” and meeting rhythm to get decisions happening much faster than before.

You’ll profit from this experience.

Cheers.

Andrew Geddes 17th January, 2017.

Jan 15

Practitioner under the microscope!

Posted by Andrew Geddes at Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Adam Criddle, survey manager with the TGM Group in Victoria, is our guest this month. He shares his insights on utilizing technology to manage his workload in this article. Adam will be delivering a session at our “Profitable Business Management Workshop for design professionals” in Brisbane in late March, 2014.

We’ve all been told how technology has made – or will make - our lives easier: everyday jobs finished sooner; mundane tasks handled for us, instant communication at the click of a mouse. Most of this is true and there’s no denying that technology has increased rapidly in the last decade or three. However, with these gains comes some un-anticipated challenges. I’ve personally experienced increased client demands on my time, seen deadlines get tighter and now manage staff that want flexibility by leveraging these new technologies. I’m sure I’m not alone in this added pressure on our practices and ourselves.

“Increased connectivity” is a nice catch phrase for this revolution in today’s professional consultancy. The result is that our clients expect immediate contact and service. They call our mobile phone whenever suits them; emails appear night and day; plans are uploaded not sent . . . authenticated not signed. Yes – a lot of this is a plus and can work for us. However, there are the negatives as well.  Let’s take a look at some common situations and see how the software and hardware you already have can make life easier.

1. Email

You look at your inbox and it’s full. You check the number of unread messages and it shows more than you can handle in a day let alone whilst you have lunch. So what do you do?

Below are a few of the myriad of ideas for processing email:

  • schedule times your day planner to check mail;
  • use Outlook add-ons to categorize and handle your messages later;
  • learn skills from books like David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”; or simply
  • exercise constant discipline in sorting though and deleting all that’s not necessary.

However, there’s also some features built into Outlook that can help. Outlook allows you to:

  • schedule a send and receive;
  • work offline;
  • set up rules & create filters; and
  • move and categorize mail automatically.

By spending some up front time you can drastically reduce the number of emails in your Inbox. You’ll still be receiving those emails, but they’ll be in other folders within Outlook – waiting for you to read them whenever is convenient to you. Even the simple act of taking the time to un-subscribe from newsletters that are no longer useful will also reduce your mail backlog. Add some simple custom commands and shortcuts and you’re on the way to keeping that Inbox under control.

With the deluge of email at your desk, receiving email on all your devices may seem like lunacy . . . but we do it anyway. If we work smart, it actually frees you up to leave the office and be on the road or with your family. The trick here is to let email work for you. Yes - the email is there, but do you have to open it now? Do you have to handle the action required by your client that instant? Why not send a thankyou email and confirm you’ll handle the request first thing in the morning or forward the email to someone in your team and ask them to handle it for you? Mobile email allows all this - including attachments - so why not use it?

2. Mobile calls

Did you know that you can respond to any mobile call with a custom text message – just with the push of a button? This simple iPhone feature allows you to “take” a call even when you can’t. The text can respond that you’re busy and will call later. Once you’re free, you can call your client back. Hey Presto, your client receives constant contact and knows that you have received their request. Now, you can finish drafting that report, wind up the meeting you’re in or nail that tricky putt on the second hole of the back nine. Android and BlackBerry devices can do the same – either natively or through an app.

3. File access

It used to be that you had to stay in the office to work: files weren’t accessible or you didn’t have the right software available away from the office. This is where the internet has really made life easier. Cloud based storage, virtual private networks, remote desktop protocols are terms thrown around these days, but what do they mean?

  • Cloud storage is storing files remotely for access from anywhere. Typically the files are available through a web interface or mobile device app. However the storage can be created as a directory on any desktop computer. You can work on files at one PC/Mac, they replicate to the cloud and by the time you get home that same file is available on your home desktop. Cloud based storage is offered by Apple, Microsoft, Dropbox, Hightail and countless others. Most of them have free starting options, so why not give it a try?
  • A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to log onto your work intranet/network from anywhere. All you need is the correct settings an access to the Internet. You can be sitting at home or on holiday with your laptop and accessing all the same files you would from your desktop. VPN creation is built into Windows and Mac and there are several software products that build on this capability. You can even browse your network from your ipad. Chat to your IT consultant and have them set it up for you today.
  • Remote Desktop Protocol is a feature natively available on Mac and PC. It allows you to access another computer and to see what is being displayed on that monitor. The two computers can be side by side, across town or across the globe. This capability allows you to use your work PC from home. The work computer can be running 12d or AutoCAD or LisCAD and you can use that functionality at home. No need to take the dongle home, no need to install the software. As your viewing your work computer, all your files and directories are there to be used as well.

I’ve tried to show above how the everyday programs we use can be harnessed to get you out of the office and still look after your clients. Why not come to Brisbane and learn more. You’ll also come home with a list of iOS apps that can change the way you work forever.

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Kind Regards,
Adam Criddle | Licensed Surveyor
Manager – Survey  | TGM Group
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 03 5330 8888 | m 0427 092 528 | e adamc@tgmgroup.com