2019 Business Excellence Forum – Blinding Flashes of the Obvious Part 3

The second day of BEF kicked off with Michael Losier, author of “Law of Attraction – The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t.”  Among the many BFOs were:
  • Contrast – The brief observation of what you don’t want will bring clarity to what you do want
  • The Law of Attraction is like a Google search, refine the search until you find what you are looking for.
  • To invoke the Law of Attraction, refine your Words->Thoughts->Vibes->Results
Our next speaker was Stephen Hightower, President & CEO of Hightower Petroleum Co.  Mr. Hightower was profiled in CNBC’s “Blue Collar Millionaires”, he went from cleaning toilets in his parent’s janitorial business to founding a multi-million-dollar oil company.  One of his big breaks occurred when his company was chosen to provide all the fuel that is put into new cars coming off GM’s production line.  At the time, he didn’t have the credit nor the supply chain to satisfy the contract.  In fact, he needed to triple his capacity.  His search for credit and supply led him to the following BFO:
  • “If the opportunity is big enough, you can find a supplier to support it.”
Having the right relationships has enabled his company to now supply the fuel for most of the cars produced in North America. The additional BFO’s from Mr. Hightower’s presentation included:
  • As long as you don’t die, you have the opportunity to do something different
  • “Exposure gives you the ability to see what is possible.”
  • “90 % of my customers are being called upon by someone else.  100% of my customers were once customers of someone else.”
This last BFO from Stephen Hightower was so powerful and valuable that it covered my BEF investment several time over.  We all have competitors, thus, to succeed for the long haul, we must CONTINUALLY exceed our customer’s rising expectations. Stay tuned for the next installment of BFOs from the 2019 BEF.

How To Grow My Business And Not Lose My Edge?

During many coaching sessions with my clients one theme that constantly reappears is how to grow a business in balance.  For growing businesses, losing sight of their culture, their mission, their excellence, or their operational consistency is a constant concern.  The faster the rate of growth, the greater the danger. I recently read a great article by Leigh Buchanan in the March 2014 issue of Inc Magazine that addresses exactly this important concern (http://www.inc.com/magazine/201403/leigh-buchanan/how-to-scale-your-company.html).  I am sure you will garner a few useful insights that will help you grow your business in balance.

What Can We Learn About Business From My Granddaughter?

A few weeks ago my 20-month-old granddaughter suffered a broken pinky as the result of a stroller mishap.  A few days after the accident my son-in-law sent me this photo of my granddaughter multi-tasking. After admiring how cute she is in the photo, I started thinking about, of all things, business. Many “experts” have differing opinions about the effectiveness of multi-tasking, everything from it works, it is efficient, it is possible, to it doesn’t work, it is not efficient, it is impossible.  My experience convinces me that the effectiveness of multi-tasking is highly situational.  Multi-tasking is a subject onto itself, and not the primary take away from this photo. The primary business lesson to be gained from my granddaughter is about being adaptable.  We all need to be adaptable as to our investment of our time, our plans and our products or services. First, let’s address how we invest our time.  Think about it, how often during your business day do you find yourself working on items or tasks that were the furthest things from your mind at the beginning of the day?  I am willing to bet that even those of you who are very proficient at planning how you invest your time often find yourself off track at some point during your day, I know I do.  So if we are destined to have unplanned activities occupy anywhere from a few moments to major parts of our work day we must become time adaptable. How often have you read about a very successful company that became successful after its original business plan failed to yield the results it was seeking.  For example, the company we now know as Twitter was in fact founded as Odeo, a podcasting company.  When Apple launched iTunes podcasting, and made Odeo’s podcasting platform irrelevant, Evan Williams, CEO, Biz Stone and an Odeo employee named Jack Dorsey decided to create something called Twitter instead.  (Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-twitter-was-founded-2011-4#ixzz2lyym7wSj).  This turning point displays adaptability at its finest, snatching success from the jaws of failure.  Odeo was both plan and product adaptable. I could site many other examples of companies and owners being adaptable, and I am sure you can add more than a few to my list.  The point of this is really about having the attitude, mindset and culture that allows, supports and facilitates being adaptable.  When the inevitable challenges of day-to-day business arise, will you complain, display counterproductive behaviors or will you view them as opportunities to learn, outpace your less adaptable competitors and to ultimately succeed?