Archives For Strategy

As we look forward, it is helpful to also look back and gain perspective. Today’s supply chain is even more global than two years ago… It is more aligned and proactive than it was five years ago. We are making progress, but there are still critical challenges to address.  It is still not working well… experience tells me we can do better.

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Typically, even though organizations may be consolidating for cost management and scalability purposes, the walls of the individual functions, channels and regions have become even thicker. As a direct result, it is harder for you, as a leader, to build end-to-end supply chain functionality in an ever-changing global marketplace. It has become increasingly difficult for you to gain agreement on specific, customer focused initiatives or broader organizational change.

This is not a technology, process or policy problem – it is a people problem:

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Today, quality in products and services is a given. Customers are increasingly aware of their choices, and as a result quality has become assumed if an organization seeks to survive. Quality performance has peaked globally, resulting in the face of quality shifting from the front-line employee to the corporate leader.

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As quality continues to evolve, the question becomes, “how do we shift the ‘definition’ of quality to reflect quality leadership?” If we refer to Deming’s quality methods, there are some clear indicators as to how we can connect quality principles to leadership principles. Deming’s Quality System is based on what he called “Profound Knowledge” – calling out four interrelated and inseparable aspects of quality that act as a critical foundation: Continue Reading…

The customer experience today is a battlefield in the global marketplace, as well as one of the only truly sustainable sources of competitive advantage. Today’s customers share their opinions around the clock and around the globe, making the customer’s experience central to your business performance.  The obvious truth is that it doesn’t take many bad experiences to lose a customer.

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In a recent global customer experience study by AchieveGlobal, 93% of companies said they would refuse to do business with a company again after three or fewer bad experiences. Multiple sources indicate businesses can lose 20-30% of their revenue from poor customer experiences – yet many fail to focus on the their customer experience strategy, creating a global performance chasm.

The Customer Experience Does Drive Your Business Results  

Every organization is comprised of people with different worldviews. It is inescapable – recent statistics indicate upwards of 90% of business’ have a culturally diverse workforce. What does this mean for you as a leader? It means… You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide. It means… if you want to succeed, Cultural Integration should become a critical component of your business strategy.

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We all have different worldviews based on our various life experiences. In today’s business environment, bringing people from different backgrounds together and appreciating the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives in a cohesive way becomes very complex. Cultural Integration is really, in its simplest form, about bringing those diverse people together to leverage the unique strengths of the individual parts to create a stronger, more competitive whole.

So what can you do to build Cultural Integration into your organization?

Just as companies continue to reinvent themselves, leaders will always continue to face defining moments.  As those moments present themselves, some leaders will prove themselves risk adverse, preferring to observe and play it safe…while still others will accept the challenge and seek to make a significant and lasting difference – for their organizations and the people within. How you handle your defining moments will determine your legacy.

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The sad truth is that most leaders do not think about their legacy until it is far too late. Commitment and planning are required – legacies do not happen by themselves. Organizational legacies are built over time and have a “living” quality. In other words, your legacy grows and evolves as you do. Legacy is your contribution, your value-add… Unlike an heirloom, your legacy must be digested and absorbed by others before it can be passed on. If you do not consider and plan for your legacy, you will probably still leave one – but it will most likely not be the legacy you had in mind! Continue Reading…

For better or worse… we are all extensions of the networks we have built – or the lack thereof. Those who are devoted to the intensive cultivation of the vine will prosper and grow, while those who do not, well, you can guess the outcome…

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Ask any senior executive (or successful salesperson) which single skill has helped them to accelerate their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one simple word… Networking.

We all know what makes the corporate world continue to expand and grow. It’s a giant social vine, with people dynamically interdependent upon one another for success.  Whether we like it (or care to acknowledge it) or not – we are dependent upon one another. Continue Reading…