Investing In Employee Growth

May 18, 2015

 

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This story or its variations have been shared many times:

CFO: What if we invest in our employees and they leave?

CEO: What if we don’t invest in them and they stay?

In a Fast Company article I wrote called How Much Experience Do You Have?, I offered the following story:

Our CEO offered, “Someone who repeats the same year of their life fifteen times doesn’t have 15 years of experience; they have one year of experience repeated fifteen times.” That thought really stuck with me. We had a lot of people that fit that bill. What are leaders facing?

A business is either evolving or dying. The people within the business are either growing or dying. What are you doing to ensure your people are growing?

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water. 97% of the water on Earth is salt water.” – Heard through @AquaiWater on Twitter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Process Improvement Opportunities Are Everywhere

May 11, 2015

 

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NBC11 Bay Area TV news showed an investigative report revealing one building at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a hospital, routinely calls 9-1-1 to get assistance to move patients from one building on the campus to the emergency room on the same campus.

The 9-1-1 call gets a fire truck and an ambulance dispatched to the campus to pick up the patient and transport to the ER. Each call ties these crews up for probably 30 minutes and makes them unavailable for other emergencies.

What’s remarkable is there is an underground passageway connecting the 2 buildings that are about the length of a football field apart. It takes longer to get the emergency medical system response activated than it would to wheel the patient to the ER in a wheelchair or on a gurney.

The head of medicine at Valley Medical Center said he was unaware of the practice and would look into it.

Executives can’t address issues they aren’t aware of. When something doesn’t make sense, the best practice is to raise the issue to a member of the leadership team, not simply shake your head in disbelief.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Christiaan Triebert

Thought for the week:

“Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Collaborative Partners Speed Go-to-Market

May 4, 2015

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I attended the grand opening of Jabil’s new Silicon Valley Blue Sky Center. As CEO Mark Mondello offered,

“The Jabil Blue Sky Center is a hands-on showcase of our broad range of world-class capabilities. We’re working with customers who have innovative new product ideas and our Blue Sky Center is where we turn dreams and ideas into reality.”

Jabil has evolved tremendously from the company I knew in the 1990’s that made printed circuit board and cable assemblies as a sub-contract manufacturer.

Today, Jabil is a $20 billion company with 180,000 employees working in 90 different locations in 24 countries across the globe.

Jabil understands that it is important to engage with large clients during the ideation phase of new product development. Customers validated the critical relationship they enjoy with Jabil. One of their large customers said they do business with Jabil due to the Jabil culture. Jabil is more than a vendor–they are a partner in their customer’s success.

How important is it to have partners? A recent study commissioned by Jabil uncovered that 50% of new product ideas are abandoned due to the inability of a company to execute a new product strategy. This isn’t a noise-level problem. A partner like Jabil can help entrepreneurs and large companies alike develop, ramp and scale.

What are the critical trends that are driving today’s markets?

  • Personalization
  • Customization
  • Differentiation
  • Risk of customer satisfaction is in execution

The Blue Sky Center will enable current and future customers to explore and realize innovation across the full life cycle of new products. Of course, a big part of Jabil’s future is supporting the Internet of Things or IoT. The Blue Sky Center will enable companies to prototype new products and capabilities.

Is your company leaving money on the table by thinking you can’t do it all? Perhaps you can do more for your customers and yourself. You may be one partner away from seizing competitive advantage you heretofore could not imagine.

Thought for the week:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


What I.T. Support Should Be

April 12, 2015

 

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I’m working with a client and occasionally need I.T. support.

The I.T. person who supports me and the entire division is a model for who an I.T. support person should be:

  • He’s very responsive–usually within minutes
  • He responds to requests for assistance from anyone including me
  • There are no hoops to jump through to get his help
  • He gets whatever needs to be done completed quickly and professionally
  • He does everything with a smile

Duane is a standout. I look forward to working with him on any issue that might arise.

It doesn’t matter if someone is supporting internal or external customers–great customer service is something to rejoice about.

Photo Credit: CWCS Managed Hosting, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“People wish because they are afraid to take action.”  Alan Weiss, Thrive–Stop Wishing Your Life Away
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Improvement Via Industry Best Practices

April 6, 2015

 

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Insular companies and cultures miss opportunities to improve and evolve. It’s possible to learn from others within your industry or even outside your industry.

The vast majority of airlines outside the U.S. did not adopt the U.S. standard of never leaving a pilot or co-pilot alone in the cockpit. This procedure was adopted after the U.S. 9/11 terror incident.

After the recent Germanwings plane crash, airlines outside the U.S. have begun adopting the U.S. procedure. Why did it take 150 deaths to make this standard adoptable outside the U.S.?

Lufthansa’s CEO believed that his company had effective processes for hiring and continuously evaluating pilots that would have mitigated any possible risk–an assertion proven invalid.

What ideas and best practices has your company failed to adopt that could be a source of competitive advantage, safety, comfort, growth, etc? Isolating yourself from the business world around you only serves to exacerbate your challenges.

Photo Credit: Steve Hardy on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

“Ideas must work through the brains and arms of men, or they are no better than dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Gender Discrimination Verdict Predictable

March 30, 2015

 

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When a plaintiff is unable to connect with a jury, the outcome is not surprising.

Ellen Pao lost her gender discrimination case against one of the most verable venture capital firms in Silicon Valley: Kleiner Perkins, Caufield and Byers.

Juries are not comprised of multi-millionaires. Consequently, juries have little sympathy for a plaintiffs seeking millions of dollars in damages particularly when the plaintiff seems to be doing well professionally. The violation(s) must be so egregious that there is little doubt that there was a violation of the law.

Was there legal merit to Ellen’s case? Yes. Yet, she and her team were unable to sway the jury that the law was violated and she was due just compensation and damages..

Many believe that Ellen Pao’s case will make companies–many based in Silicon Valley–think more closely about gender discrimination. I hope they are right. Gender discrimination continues to be a real issue.

Photo Credit: David Yu on Flickr.com

 

Thought for the week:

I’m proud of Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, and the City of San Francisco for being amongst the first to take Indiana to task for their anti-LBGT law. Many others are following suit. Arkansas will apparently follow Indiana’s lead. May Arkansas, too, feel economic loss for what will ultimately be held to be an unconstitutional law just as Indiana’s law is unconstitutional. Why?The equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be the basis for striking down these laws. The clause, which took effect in 1868, provides that “no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction ‘the equal protection of the laws.’”
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


How The Customer Experience Is Improved

March 16, 2015

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When I think about “making the complex simple,” I’m driven to help my clients improve the customer experience.

Companies invest large sums in process improvement initiatives (most of which have a significant information technology component) that have little bearing on customers. There needs to be a favorable return on investment for these initiatives. But, just as importantly, how many improve the customer experience?.

  • Via these initiatives, are you making the complex simple?
  • Are the people who interact with customers delivering the kind of experience that excites and delights the customer?
  • Are systems and processes enabling a better customer experience?
  • Is your company and its customer-facing processes a standout in your industry or mediocre at best?
  • Are your employees empowered to help customers on the spot or are customers who experience problems subjected to a hellish gantlet to resolve a problem that should have been very easy and quick to resolve?
  • Are you treating customers like you would like to be treated?
  • Are service levels improved to the extent a customer would even notice?

Systems and processes alone are insufficient to provide a great customer experience.

The human component is one of the highest return investments yet it is usually the most neglected area. Companies need to set high standards and insist that employees rise to meet those standards. Employees who can’t deliver a wonderful customer experience need to go.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“The secret of success is constancy to purpose.” – Benjamin Disraeli
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


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