Business Execution Excellence: Streamline, Improve, Simplify

May 28, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” which is offered to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

As I have written previously here, companies have over the past 3 years been hunkered down trying to ride out the economic downturn focused primarily on reducing costs while searching for sales.

Millions of people have lost their jobs. Yet, work remains fundamentally unchanged. Businesses haven’t retooled their processes to scale with staffing levels. What needed to happen during this period was to:

  • streamline operations
  • improve processes
  • remove complexity

As Ross Perot once said, “This is like the weird aunt in the basement–everyone knows she’s down there but nobody wants to do anything about it!”

It’s not too late. It’s time to tackle these pesky business execution excellence issues head on. This will help you, your team and your company thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 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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HP Layoffs, Culture and Ambition

May 21, 2012

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” which is offered to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

HP will soon be reducing its workforce by about 10%–30,000 people. President and CEO Meg Whitman signaled this possibility back when she discussed HP’s fourth quarter results.

Cutting 10% of HP’s workforce reduces expenses and sends a message to the those employees who remain that the status quo won’t prevail. But, so what? The bigger challenge for HP is ambition, drive and culture. What is HP leadership doing to:

  • create a lean, agile, entrepreneurial workforce and culture?
  • create a less entitled workforce?
  • drive innovation that captivates customers and investors?
  • ensure it isn’t a “me too” company?
  • build trust and respect lost with it’s employees lost over the past decade?

Ask yourself the questions above in the context of your company. What are you and your company doing to ensure you thrive?

Thought for the week:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 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” 14MAY12

May 14, 2012

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

This week’s focus: business execution

One of my favorite books is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, a book about breaking through blocks in our life and winning our inner creative battles. I recommended it to a colleague this past week and grabbed it to read on the train to and fro San Francisco. Here’s an except from a section titled “The Unlived Life:”

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance….

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius.”

Buy this book. Read this book. It will help you thrive.

Thought for the week:

“There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” – Wayne Dyer

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 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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Impressions of Citrix Synergy 2012

May 10, 2012

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day in San Francisco at the Citrix Synergy 2012 conference.  While I am not an I.T. technical person in the sense that most people attending the event were, I came away with a greater and deeper appreciation for Citrix the company, the team and its partners.  So, it is from that vantage point that I share my impressions of the event:

  • Citrix has a loyal, committed, enthusiastic customer base.  I believe the customer commitment comes from Citrix’s pragmatism and commitment to excellence.
  • Citrix appears to be a very committed partner with every major I.T. company in the world.  They’ve not been isolationists and they have not favored one company or platform over another.
  • Citrix is deeply committed to the cloud. The cloud is a key enabler of their mobile strategy.
  • Citrix listens to customers.  One new area of functionality they learned about is allowing users to specify where data is stored geographically in the cloud if that is of particular concern or interest to a customer. Customers are not forced into a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
  • Citrix profoundly “walks the talk” about being committed to mobile and mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, etc.  They didn’t just say it–they demonstrated that it is working today.
  • Citrix is a key enabler of the philosophy of being able to work seamlessly anytime, anywhere and on any platform.
  • Citrix has expanded their suite of technology products by acquiring a company I’ve been a huge fan of for over a year: Podio, a social collaboration platform dedicated to the future of work. And, within a few short weeks, Podio demonstrated a one-click integration with Citrix GoToMeeting. Podio is a brilliant acquisition for Citrix and for Podio.
  • Citrix isn’t standing still, harvesting revenues on their past successes.  Citrix is a company on the move with it’s ear to the ground and instincts guiding significant investments in their customer’s future.
  • Citrix is moving outside the I.T. realm into stronger relationship with business teams.  This is a newer frontier for Citrix. The executives I met with seemed to understand the challenges they face approaching business teams outside the traditional I.T. organizations.

I attended the event with David Coleman, Managing Director of Collaborative Strategies, Inc.  We were the guests of Citrix. Citrix Synergy was attended by over 6000 people from all over the world.

I was very impressed with what I see in Citrix and the Citrix team. And, I’m very excited to see Podio become part of Citrix.

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

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 07MAY12

May 7, 2012

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

This week’s focus: information technology

We often hear that a company is implementing an ERP, CRM, PLM or a product configurator system. Yet, by these very words, there is a lack of appreciation of what is really occurring:

You aren’t implementing an information technology system; you are changing the way work gets done.

By itself, information technology accomplishes nothing. Leverage comes from the integration of people and process with information technology. Most projects focus too much attention on the technology and too little on people and process.

A successful project must be a collaboration between business team (the people who end up living with the efficacy of the business application) and the I.T. team. The joint mission is delivering an application that enables the business team to accomplish its essential mission with greater efficiency and execution control.

Business teams must actively engage with I.T.–their future relies on it. Only through active engagement will the business teams thrive.

Thought for the week:

When my mother died 5 years ago, my father resolved not to die in front of a television set. For years, it’s been hard to get on his calendar–he has one night free each week.

He sings in the church choir weekly, performs ten Christmas pageant performances and a special outdoor 4th of July event each year, sings karaoke, participates in a widows and widowers group, continues to be an avid genealogist, loves taking cruises, and even took up ballroom dancing 4 years ago.

At 86, he won a trophy and multiple blue and red ribbons this past weekend. His trophy-winning rumba performance is captured on this 2-minute video. Enjoy!

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 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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U.S. Manufacturing Grows for 33 Consecutive Months

May 1, 2012

Here’s some good news on May 1, 2012:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — American manufacturing activity picked up in April, according to a report that showed the sector grew for the 33rd month in a row.

The Institute of Supply Management’s monthly index rose to 54.8 in April, from a 53.4 reading in March. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

“This month’s increase is yet another sign that the U.S. manufacturing sector has been one of the most reliable sources of growth in the U.S. economy since the Great Recession ended,” said Alistair Bentley, an economist with TD Bank.

Manufacturing growth has created 120,000 jobs in the first 3 months of 2012. This is welcome news!

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

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