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“Quality is no longer a differentiator. Quality is your ticket to the dance to compete with others who also have quality.”

The same could be said of many things we offer up as differentiating us from our competitors . . . aggressive pricing, on-time delivery, outstanding customer service, great response time, to name a few.  You have to do all those things.  Customers expect those things, and without them, you […] Continue Reading…

 
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“The purpose of your organization is to meet customer needs. That’s the game. Profits are the score.”

That’s obvious, isn’t it?  Well, it should be, but we often behave as though our customers must meet our needs.  Think about it.  Do you impose deadlines on your customers to make life easier for you?  Are your pricing schemes aimed at getting customers to buy the way you […] Continue Reading…

 
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“If your business keeps you so busy that you have no time for anything else, there must be something wrong, either with you or with your business.”

 
Do you have time to do things you want to do outside of your business?  Or, said another way, do you feel you have good “balance” in your life?  Obviously, there are times when business activity is high and things can get a little hectic, but that’s not what […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Compensation is an equity issue. People want to know that they are being compensated fairly compared to others doing similar work within the company, and to others doing similar work in other companies. After that, it’s a non-issue.”

It really is that simple, yet we continually find ways to complicate the situation.  For example, let’s say we’ve got two employees, Bob and John.  Bob has been with the company for 20 years, John for only 18 months.  They both do the same work and do it equally […] Continue Reading…

 
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“It’s not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it’s too low and we reach it.”

Michelangelo offered that advice about 500 years ago, but I think we have to be a little bit careful how we apply it in our businesses.
Clearly, setting goals that can be achieved at a walk is a bad idea.  People don’t get much sense of accomplishment when the goal […] Continue Reading…

 
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“People don’t come to work everyday to do a bad job.”

Mostly true.  Sure, there’s the odd malcontent who’s mad at the world and wants to challenge authority, but as a rule, people really do want to do what’s expected of them.  When they don’t perform as expected, there are generally two reasons, both of which are failures of management.
The […] Continue Reading…

 
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“A company’s culture is defined by what it tolerates.”

All companies have a culture.  In some cases, the culture is one that has been carefully constructed and nurtured, in others, the culture has evolved haphazardly over time, but either way, a culture is present, and it is defined by what it tolerates.
Think of IBM in the early days.  […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Let people accomplish your objectives their way.”

Where systems or processes are concerned, it really is essential that everybody use them uniformly.  Imagine an assembly line.  Each station on the line must perform its function in a very precise way, each and every time, or stations further down the line won’t be able to do their […] Continue Reading…

 
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“We hire for skills and fire for behaviors.”

That’s true isn’t it?  We were excited about our new hire.  He had worked at some great places, been trained in the exact systems and processes we need, and impressed us as someone who is diligent and efficient.  This was going to be a marriage made in heaven.  Unfortunately, […] Continue Reading…

 
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“Progress always involves risk, but you can’t steal second base and keep a foot on first.”

“Change with the world – or it will change without you.”
There is always risk with change, and in general, the greater the change, the greater the risk.  But you know what?  There’s also risk in not changing . . . arguably even greater risk.
Changes in the business world are […] Continue Reading…

 
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