Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 25APR11

April 25, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

As my wife and I returned from dinner last evening, we couldn’t help noticing a 3-year girl skipping across the street in her bright pink shoes, pink leotard and pink ballerina outfit.  Her parents struggled to keep up with her excitement.

This young child offered a stark contrast with someone I met this past week about a job opportunity within a client company.  The energy, passion, excitement of this person could not have been less in evidence.  The person was going through the motions, giving me pat answers, and, apparently, looking for an opportunity to make some money, not engage with me about an exciting, start-up opportunity with a leading-edge technology division of a global company.

Showing up is not enough.  Candidates need to demonstrate not only the capacity to do a job but also demonstrate initiative, passion, leadership in past roles, and enthusiasm for that role.  It’s these secondary qualities that help a person and their company thrive.

Thought for the week:

“…in today’s business world there is too much management and not enough leadership.”  John Kotter


What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

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

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 18APR11

April 18, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

My late friend, Dr. H.M. “Doc” Upton, M.D., took a big band jazz group to the 1970 Osaka World Exposition.  The lines for the exhibits were quite long. Doc invented a way of circumventing the lines–he would simply push the 30 or so uniformed band members to the front of the line all the while saying, “Excuse me–we have reservations for the front of the line.” Who knew?

Those at his celebration of life service laughed and laughed when they heard that story.  It was just like Doc to exploit every advantage he could in life when it came to saving lives, taking a big band jazz group to Japan, or simply overcoming a long line.

What is your company doing to make a reservation for the front of the line so you can thrive?

Thought for the week:

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”  – Confucius


What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

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

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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.


Drug efficacy questioned yet again

April 12, 2011

Business execution is about “getting things done.”  I find it very irritating when a drug is prescribed for people that doesn’t “get it done.”

A story titled “Popular drug for mild Alzheimer’s largely a flop” with the sub-title “Memantine helped control symptoms no better than placebo, study says” appeared in MSNBC.com the 11th of April.   Here are some excerpts:

Though there is no proof that the drug thwarts disease progress, some physicians may prescribe it, and some patients may take it, “under the hopes that it’s better to treat with this drug now rather than it is to wait until somebody becomes severe and then treat them,” said study researcher Dr. Lon Schneider, of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

Doctors should take into account these new findings when they consider treating mild and moderate Alzheimer’s patients with memantine, Schneider said. Additional studies should be conducted looking at the effects of memantine on patients with mild disease, Schneider said.

Hope is not a strategy.  Why are Alzheimer’s patient’s families allowing a drug to be prescribed when there is no known benefit?  All drugs have side effects so anytime a pharmaceutical is taken, there are implications.

If this were an aberration, I wouldn’t mind.  But, this happens all too often.

Not only is this drug being prescribed when there is no established patient benefit, I’d be willing to make a small wager that the cost of this drug is being borne by Medicare to the benefit of the pharmaceutical company and not the patient.  And, what’s worse: the drug isn’t approved to help “thwart the progress of Alzheimer’s.”

What do you think?

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

© 2011 Gardner & Asssociates Consulting


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 11APR11

April 11, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

Too many executives know that business execution, collaboration and productivity aren’t what they could or should be. While there are certainly fewer people employed in most companies today, the employees that remain aren’t accomplishing more. There’s plenty of gridlock, angst, frustration and unhappiness to go around. Executives crave:

  • improved business execution
  • improved collaboration amongst individuals and teams
  • doing more with less (people, resources, time, etc.)

Three areas that consistently trip up businesses are:

  • meetings
  • decision-making
  • business execution

If the areas identified above were easy to improve, companies wouldn’t continue to be plagued by them. Isn’t it time you took a closer look at these areas to ensure your company thrives?

[Note: Read the entire Fast Company Expert Blog post here.]

Thought for the week:

“Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.” -Wilfred Peterson

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

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

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 04APR11

April 4, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: leadership

Years ago, I had an employee who was a chronic, disruptive influence to my team and other teams in the company. She was an angry, bitter person who brought darkness to every situation or individual she encountered.

I wrote her up, gave her very specific examples of the problems, and told her in no uncertain terms in face-to-face meeting and in writing that this had to stop immediately. I told her there would be a zero-tolerance policy regarding any future transgressions which would result in her immediate termination.

I gave her a 0.001% chance of succeeding. She took what I told her to heart and, to her credit, changed. I never so much as had a hint of any negative behavior. I don’t know why I got through to her. I suspect it was because no one had ever confronted her about how she terrorized people.

As a manager, if you fail to confront a problem, you are complicit. A team can’t thrive with toxic people.

Thought for the week:

“Leadership means influencing how people think in ways that generate better sustainable results for your organization and the individuals in it.” – Dan Coughlin, Corporate Catalysts, page 46

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

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

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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.


Viability of Offshore Manufacturing

April 2, 2011

Issue raised on LinkedIn:

I am working on my Research Project as a part of MBA Curriculum. Title of my research project is “DOES OFFSHORE MANUFACTURING STILL MAKE CENTS?” The purpose of this project is to research and document the continued viability of off-shore manufacturing to primarily Asian countries and evaluate if time has come to return back to the United States or North America. I have come up with some questions for my project. I would appreciate if anyone can comment on some of my below questions:

1. What are the real costs components of off-shore manufacturing?

Costs that are often missed are the engineering and administrative costs associated with supporting sub-contract manufacturers. Traditional cost accounting distorts cost and potential savings as significant non-manufacturing costs aren’t included in cost accounting metrics. What a company should really concern itself with is total cost associated with getting a product into and sustaining it in the marketplace. Activity-based costing is a better approach for looking at total cost and the performance of a product or product line.

2. As companies have moved their production off-shore, have they realized all the costs savings they expected? If not, why?

I submit this is a bit like the estimated mileage sticker on a new car–the savings is never quite as good as it appears to be after you’ve purchased.

3. Can United States become a manufacturing power house again?

The U.S. is a power house today in manufacturing! No need for doom and gloom. Not all manufacturing segments are moving off-shore. Those that have moved likely will not come back. There is greater growth potential for higher-end, personalized or customized products to begin to expand with the U.S.

4. How can companies keep their manufacturing operations at home and still compete with the competitors who absorb the overseas risks?

It depends on the segment as I’ve written above. Dell, for example, has moved a lot of manufacturing out of Round Rock, Texas, to other parts of the U.S. and the world. But, as I will write in a Fast Company article in a few weeks, Dell has not reduced its office footprint in Round Rock and actually continues to create more, higher-paying jobs for knowledge workers in Round Rock than it previously paid manufacturing employees. I recently interviewed the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Trisa Thompson, about this and other issues. Dell has just announced that it is expanding in Silicon Valley, again with product development and knowledge workers. [Note: I am member of Dell’s Customer Advisory Panel, a position for which I receive no compensation.]

5. Do you think that government needs to provide some type of incentives to improve manufacturing competitiveness in North America and encourage companies to return manufacturing on-shore?

As we have seen with “green” industries, investors are loathe to invest in industries where the U.S. government offers incentives. The fear is that the market dries up when the incentives are pulled. So, we need to be careful about how the government participates. The U.S., state and local governments as well as foreign governments offer incentives to lure companies to create jobs in their area–this is routine and expected. This also allows companies to shelter profits outside the U.S. in many instances.

What do you think?

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

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved