Disaster Recovery Made Simple for Small Business

August 25, 2014

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Given the recent earthquake in Napa, this could not be more timely.

My good friend and colleague, Dan Weedin, The Crisis Conqueror, has an important session about disaster recovery at Noon PDT on September 5, 2014.

  • It’s a one-hour event.
  • It’s recorded so if the time doesn’t work for you, you won’t miss a thing.
  • Your investment is $50.

To register, please go here.

Update: If you live in Napa or Solano County in California and were impacted by the quake, Dan Weedin will offer you a free scholarship to attend this event. You need to contact him directly via his website. You must tell him you learned about this from my blog, Business Execution Insights.

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

 

Photo courtesy of Mohri UN-CECAR, Flickr

 

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The Earthquake Effect

August 25, 2014

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At 3:20 am PDT yesterday, Napa, California, suffered a 6.0 magnitude earthquake, the largest quake in Northern California since the 1989 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17th at 5:04 pm.

The threat of earthquakes is omnipresent in California. There is no earthquake forecasting system yet though there is one under development. Additionally, we never know if an earthquake is a precursor–a foreshock–to a larger earthquake or the main event itself for months afterward.

Business owners should contemplate what unforecasted events can impact their business.

  • What contingency plans need to be put in place for events–weather-related, earthquakes, power outages, bridge collapses, supply chain issues, etc., that might impact business for an extended period of time.
  • Attention should also be given to disruptions that can occur because of competitors, both known and unknown. It is possible your world can be jolted overnight.

I’d bet Boeing–who at one point enjoyed nearly 100% market share for commercial aircraft–didn’t believe that Airbus would amount to much when they first started selling aircraft. And, now there are even more competitors like Embraer and Bombardier in the market.

Big jolts can be an important wake-up call. Make sure you don’t miss the sign and your opportunity to accelerate your growth.

Photo Courtesy of Martin Luff on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as being stuck where you don’t belong.” – Unknown
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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

© 2014 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.


Palestinians: Here’s Your Problem & Solution

August 21, 2014

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To the Palestinian people: Work towards what you want, not toward what you don’t want.

Please include me with many in the world who are deeply concerned about the on-going conflict between Hamas and Israel. Sadly, Hamas is using—taking advantage of—the Palestinians to support it’s agenda of demonizing Israel. The sacrifice being made by the Palestinians is great—too great in my view. My profound wish for both sides is peace.

The great and unnecessary Palestinian sacrifice being wrought on Gaza today is only made possible by allowing Hamas to seize control of facilities such as schools, mosques, hospitals, etc., for terror purposes and for then for Hamas perpetrating violence against Israel from these facilities. This has gone on for years.

If the Palestinians were to think this through independently, you just might come to the conclusion that Hamas’s constant bombing and terror activities are responsible for Israel’s defensive attacks being imposed on the Palestinians in Gaza.

Do you really believe Israel wants to kill innocent Palestinians? Israel doesn’t want this.

Israel wants what you want: to live in peace, to not be bombed, to not be subjected to suicide bombers, etc. This is what the vast majority of people in the region want.

After years of attacks, Israel must seriously degrade and, to the extent possible, eliminate the Hamas’s terror capability. Sadly, Hamas uses the Palestinians as martyrs for its cause without the consent of those who are being killed and injured. And, the anger that follows feeds additional hatred. It’s a perpetual hatred machine.

The Palestinians can’t seriously believe that Israel is out to pick a fight with you, right? You have to believe that after years of Hamas poking Israel in the eye that these efforts might result in military retaliation by Israel, right? Hamas has been begging for this fight—it furthers Hamas’s agenda, and, in so doing, fails to advance the cause of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinians need to tell Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), “Enough. Go away. You don’t represent us and you aren’t helping us.” The Palestinians must disassociate yourselves from any and all hatred and terror activity aimed at Israel.

I urge you to not allow these groups pretending to be looking out for Palestinian interests to represent you any longer.

You are either victims or creators. Hamas is only empowered if the Palestinians are victims. You can do better than this. You have the power to create something different for yourselves.

The Palestinians need to start by acknowledging Israel’s right to exist and mean it. Imagine what that one statement could do if the Palestinians meant it and demonstrated that they meant it?

Imagine being able to build trust with Israel as other Arab and Islamic people living in Israel do day in and day out. Look at what the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is doing to support the Palestinians with field hospitals. This is what Israel is about. Watch what happens after this first huge step. The world—including the U.S.–will push Israel to support the creation of a Palestinian state.

I’m sure some who read this will tell me, “You don’t understand. It’s much more complicated that this.” While there is certainly more, the Palestinians need a starting point. Keep it simple. Peace for the Palestinians. Peace for Israel. Peace in the region. Peace opens opportunities for the Palestinian people.

Dave Gardner

© 2014 Dave Gardner

Note: Dave Gardner grants permission to reuse, re-blog or re-purpose this post in its entirety with appropriate attribution.


Changing Corporate Behavior–It Ain’t Easy

August 18, 2014

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As Marshall Goldsmith wrote, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

If your company has a change-resistant culture, Goldsmith offers an important insight. It also speaks to the notion that embracing the status quo is insufficient to get a company from where it is to where it wants to be.

How do you implement significant, dramatic change? In an article written by David Roberts, Staff Writer at Grist.org, Roberts paraphrases insights from Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr:

The first step in changing a behavior is to isolate it into a kind of indivisible unit. For each desired behavior change, there will be a unique set of barriers and benefits; successful programs will reduce the barriers and increase the benefits (or, he noted, raise barriers and reduce benefits of competing behaviors).

While the article speaks about humans adopting environmentally-friendly changes, McKenzie-Mohr provides insights to one of the business world’s most daunting challenges: implementing change.

How might you use this these insights to help you and your company accelerate growth through change?

Photo Courtesy of myriam di maio on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

The world has been “down in the dumps” this past week over the passing of Robin Williams. I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone else in the entertainment industry who is so universally loved. Robin leaves behind an amazing legacy. He will be missed.
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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

© 2014 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.


Medicare Bonanza: Ka-ching!

August 17, 2014

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A senior citizen I know recently had a trip to the emergency room at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California. This person has Medicare and Medicare Part D insurance coverage.

Who knew what extravagant, concierge-level service you can get with this coverage!  Here’s what happened. [Note: Ka-ching is for the hospital’s cash register ringing with a billable to this person’s insurance company.]

The patient showed up with a vertigo problem. When this individual lay down in bed, their head started spinning. I’ve since learned this person’s condition is referred to as “positional vertigo.”  This patient had had cardiac surgery within the last year. Here’s what happened:

    • The patient was given an electrocardiogram heart test EKG (Ka-ching!) right near the ER door entrance. I joked that if they were any closer to the door, they could start the process in the passenger unloading zone. Someone may pass that idea on!
    • The patient was taken to an ER exam room (Ka-ching!).
    • The patient was hooked up to heart/blood pressure/oxygen saturation monitoring system (Ka-ching!).  
    • The on-call physician (Ka-ching!) concluded the issue was an inner ear infection and immediately prescribe 3 types of oral medication (Ka-ching!) to stop the vertigo. The vertigo symptoms resolved in less than 30 minutes.
    • The patient was very unsteady so, they decided to have the patient stay overnight which required being admitted to a regular hospital room (Ka-ching!). It was hard to argue with this appropriate suggestion.

Now things really started rolling!

  • A chest x-ray was ordered (Ka-ching!) while in the ER prior to be admitted to a room. A state-of-the-art portable x-ray machine was rolled into the ER examination room to get the x-ray.
  • A phlebotamist showed up minutes later to take a normal blood test (Ka-ching!) plus gather sufficent blood for blood cultures (Ka-ching!). Blood cultures take 2 days to grow out, so the results would have been ready after the patient left the hospital.
  • A urinalysis (Ka-ching!) was ordered.
  • The next morning, the attending physician wanted to order a CAT scan to make sure there had been no stroke. I offered, that, since the medication administered for vertigo had worked so well the night before to resolve the symptoms, my unlearned opinion was that a CAT scan was overkill and we didn’t need to do it. The doctor reluctantly agreed to not do the test.  She added, “We can never be too cautious.”  Missed Ka-ching! The doctor probably lost bonus points.
  • Because the patient has a  chronic, long-term swelling of one lower leg that is being treated by the patient’s regular physician, the doctor ordered a doppler scan (Ka-ching!) “to make sure there was no blood clot” in the patient’s lower leg. Why was this necessary? What did this have to do with vertigo? Why the medical scope creep?
  • Occupational therapy (Ka-ching!) was ordered to assess the mobility of the patient and ability of the patient to get dressed, etc.  They oncluded the patient would need to use a walker to move about the patient’s residence.  Okay…good call.

Does this seem a over-the-top to you?  It certainly does to me. Yet, once someone arrives at the hospital, the patient is given little option about what happens next. It is almost as if the arriving patient is seen not as a patient but more as “how much money can we extract from Medicare while insuring we cover our butts should something go wrong later?”

I have no idea what this acute episode cost but it seems to me much, much more than it needed to be.

How do we balance patient needs without piling on unnecessary tests and procedures?  How do we balance patient needs without taking advantage of Medicare insurance and unnecessarily driving up the national cost of patient health care?

What do you think?

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

© 2014 Dave Gardner

Photo Credit: Flickr.com, Christiaan Triebert

 

 


First World Problem: Missing Drone

August 15, 2014

I was in Los Altos, California, for a meeting.  I encountered a guy struggling to take a photo of a flyer being buffeted by the wind attached to a pole.  On my way back to my car, I decided to capture the photo. Here it is:

Missing drone photo

 

Oh, the woes of first world problems!

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


Lessons from Blackberry & John Chen

August 11, 2014

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John Chen, a turnaround artist and current CEO of Blackberry, has a formidable task ahead of him: Make Blackberry a viable firm once again now that the luster has long since worn off. In an article in the San Jose Mercury News, Michelle Quinn provides thoughtful insights:

Silicon Valley has a predictable cycle: Companies experience periods of rapid growth and then, for most of them, a maturation period of flatter growth. For others, contracting revenues can start a tailspin of contracting ambition. Not many survive as independent companies. BlackBerry may not be a survivor. Even Chen compares BlackBerry to a patient in critical condition.

John Chen’s offers his turn-around formula:

“The first thing you do is stabilization,” he said, “which means in business getting the financials in order.” Then, “you examine what is driving you to disconnect with customers. If you weren’t disconnecting from customers, then you wouldn’t need me.”

Quinn offers, “For now, BlackBerry is focused on its core customers in government and industries like finance, banking and health care who value security and long battery life.” Here’s another take:

“I don’t envy the guy,” said Mike Levin, partner and co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which pegs BlackBerry’s U.S. consumer market penetration as rounding down to 0 percent. “Smartphones are more than a consumer product now. The challenge is going to be to find something distinctive that competitors don’t have or won’t be able to copy within a year.”

The world has innovated around Blackberry. Blackberry, like so many firms before it, was caught flat-footed watching its market share erode quarter after quarter for a number of years now.

Once a firm loses its luster, it’s nearly impossible to become highly desirable again. Best case, Blackberry can be niche player if John Chen can connect Blackberry as being the preferred smartphone in one or more niches.

How is your business trending? Are you growing? If you aren’t growing, you’re on the decline. That’s no way to thrive. If customers turn off and tune out–as they have at Blackberry–it’s nearly impossible to win them back.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Ian Lamont  “In 30 Minutes guides

Thought for the week:

“The middle of creating anything new can be messy & miserable. Keep moving, step at a time, & suddenly see finish line.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter
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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

© 2014 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.