Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

The Productivity Sinkholes: Confusion, Distrust and Fear of Mistakes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Recent downturns in the economy have led to downsizing, fewer workers doing more and, as a result, drops in productivity.  As employers get busier, they begin to micro-manage and express disappointment at employees’ lack of drive and initiative.  This leads to,… you guessed it,… workers not taking initiative for fear of making mistakes.

Alain Bolea

Alain Bolea of Business Advisors Network is one of our Inspired Business Center’s Collaborators.  In a recent blog Alain says, “One contributing factor is that leaders see the world from a vantage point that others do not have.”  Employees can’t see the big picture and how their role fits in.

Another factor is that under this pressure, leaders tend to find it easier to do the work themselves, so things never get better and often get worse.  (Read the Article Here)

The answer, says Alain, is that leaders need to take the time to communicate.  When everyone understands where the organization is heading, what it stands for and how the team can function effectively under outside pressures, productivity takes off again.

Alain contends “From a greater collective clarity come:

  • Better idea generation
  • More open discussions
  • Better understanding of the need for cooperation and communications
  • More individual engagement into the outcomes and
  • Better implementation.”

In short, Time is used differently.

Alain is a management advisor who helps organizations integrate the necessity of “making money” and the desire to “do the right thing” in terms of sustainability and social responsibility.   Learn more about Alain and the Business Advisors Network at www.business-advisors.net.

Until Next Time,

Marla

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

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YOUR TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION…BUT IS EVERYONE ON BOARD?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Ever try to go on a family vacation with a teenager or two who were “forced” to come along and

not buying the idea that “this will be a great adventure you don’t want to miss?”  How well did that work for you?

Empty Train Station

You’ll get the same results in your organization if you don’t engage and enroll others in your vision.  It’s not enough to hand them the annual organizational goals and say, “Let me know how you plan to achieve your accountability tasks.” They have to understand the direction you’re heading and the values you’ll be basing your decisions on.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about the importance of vision and values and how to know if your vision is strong and the right one for you.  Today, we’ll discuss the next important questions:

  • Do those around you share your passion and vision?
  • Are your organization’s values relevant to your employees?
  • How do those values and vision translate to your customers?

“Great leaders cannot delegate two things:  believing in the vision and inspiring others to share the vision.”  Business Evolves, Leadership Endures authors continue, “Most great leaders share three traits, drive and commitment, vision and the ability to communicate.”

Once you’re clear about your own Vision Statement and Values Statement, it’s crucial to align your Passion and Values with those around you, whether it’s your life partner or your business partners, and employees.  How can you ask those around you to support your vision if you don’t know how it aligns with theirs?

You don’t have to have the same vision and values, but they need to compliment and support each other.  For example, your vision may be to build a company that you can sell and retire.  Your employee’s value may be college education for her children.  Both values can be supported by a profitable, well- managed business venture.

An alignment and inclusion of the vision and values of the organization with those of the staff lead to empowerment, buy in, and initiative. Vision is essential to define explicitly an organization’s long-term ambitions.  Meanwhile, planning connects the vision to the company’s core purpose, goals, strategies, and tactics.  As a result, everyone should know where the business is headed, what needs to be accomplished, and how things will be done.

When I work with organizational teams to draft a joint Passion and Values statement, I hear such comments as “Wow, it’s good to know that we’re all on the same page”, “This will really eliminate the chaos”, and “I really feel like I’m an important part of my organization.”

Although we are just beginning to see evidence of this in Colorado, futurists are saying we are nearing a time of shortage of trained, skilled workers.  In their book Impending Crisis, Too Many Jobs, Too Few People, authors Roger Herman, Thomas Olivo and Joyce Gioia tell us that the top two strategies for attracting and retaining good employees are: Creating and instilling core values for the organization and taking advantage of vision and planning.

If now is the time for you to enroll those around you in supporting you and your dreams, I suggest:

1.    Identify who should be included in a joint visioning/values session.  Who will be key in supporting your vision and who will be directly impacted by it?  It might be your entire organization, your management team, your board of directors, your life partner, or if you’re a sole proprietor, your family.

2.    Invite them to meet with you for an uninterrupted 1-2 hour session and ask some key, open ended questions such as: What is the highest vision for our company?  What purpose do we serve?  What are some of the values that are most important to us?

3.    Now, ask them, “How do your dreams and values fit into what we’re doing as an organization?”  “What gives your work here meaning and purpose?”

4.    Ask everyone to share their answers and record them on a flip chart.

5.    Look for themes, similarities, and ideas to move forward.

6.    Draft a joint Visions and Values statement.

Join us next week as we take a deeper look at staying true to your vision.

Blessings and Peace,

Marla

P.S. If you feel good about your vision and would like to start manifesting that vision check out our upcoming 5 week Tele-Seminar Series: The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship beginning in early February.

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmchoco/62800377/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

by: Rev. Marla Riegel

Sustainability is defined as the capacity to endure. Entrepreneurs, executives and their employees have endured a lot in the past 18 months. What has sustained you during the cut backs, downturns and layoffs? What will keep you going during the long recovery process ahead?

Certainly it’s something internal, a higher vision of meaning and purpose derived from making a difference through your organization’s products and services. Take time now to review and re-awaken the company vision and values statements. What do you really stand for? It’s common to worry about how you are treating your customers, but how well are you treating yourself? Are you being honest about how much you or any one person can accomplish? Have you focused your priorities on what really matters when it’s all said and done? What is really driving you and when will you run out of gas?

Victor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor, wrote: ”Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

The reason many resilient bosses and employees are still standing, I believe, is their drive to make a difference, to find meaning and good in a situation. But I sense a danger. Many companies have cut back too far and have put the burden on the loyal staff that remains. I recently saw a company posting that read “It’s important to balance safety concerns with operational needs… employees cannot work more than 24 consecutive hours, 70 hours in 7 consecutive days or more than 11 consecutive days. “ Doesn’t that paint a picture of what’s going on in many organizations today?

It’s not just your employees who are pushing beyond limit, but also you business owners and managers who have had to reduce the staff that supported you.

The question is how do you get back to a sustainable balance? It’s one thing to conserve resources; it’s another to allow your human resources to implode!

A recent LOHAS blog post on consumer behaviors and economic sustainability explained that new dimensions of ROI are now include emotional and social values as well as investment, functionality and cost.

Another report by Rundtland emphasized that sustainability is a three legged stool of people, planet and profit. My concern is with the leg of the stool called “people”. The stool will not stand if the “people” leg is broken.

As a business owner, professional or employee, you can begin to look at your current work practices as “sustainable” or “unsustainable”. Wikopedia was right on and I quote: “For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of being”

ACTION ITEMS:

1. Step back for perspective. Where have you cut too far in staff, in capital improvements, in vendor support? What is it truly costing? (As you begin to ramp up sales, there needs to be a balance of people to deliver and produce the product.)

2. What would it take to return to meaning and purpose in your organization?

3. How can you begin to reclaim personal balance?

Alan Cohen wrote, “We get in trouble not for what we don’t know, but for what we know and don’t pay attention to.”

Register Now for our upcoming Tele-seminar Five Ways to Prosper in the New Economy, Tuesday, July 28 @ 2 p.m. Mountain. The Session is Free, but you must register. To learn more and sign up click here: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/5-ways

Photo Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/supersonicphotos/4521300451/

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