Once upon a time in a company not so far away, there existed a man we’ll call Bob. Bob was a friendly person whose job was to supervise accounts receivable. Because this was a fairly small company, one of Bob’s duties was to make collection calls.
One day the Controller asked Bob to make calls for a variety of past due balances that were each in the $100-200 range. Over the next couple of weeks, these balances disappeared from the accounts receivable aging and the Controller was happy because he believed the money had been collected.
In reality, Bob had written the balances off. How did this happen without the Controller’s knowledge?Read more
Are you one of the many small business owners that resist creating policies and procedures? It’s understandable since almost everyone has either experienced or knows someone who has experienced the horrors of bureaucracy. In fact, a large percentage of small business owners vow that they will do it differently in their company.Read more
Many years ago I worked for a not-for-profit organization that had many inefficient processes. One of my responsibilities was to improve those processes and procedures so I spent a great deal of my time shadowing employees. As they performed their jobs, I kept asking: “Why do you do it that way?” and the answer I consistently received was: “Because we’ve always done it that way.”Read more
“To achieve excellence, one needs self-discipline to control urges and short-term temptations.” Ichak Adizes, Author Corporate Lifecycles
Many small business owners start their businesses because they have a talent and a passion to bring the benefits and outcomes of that talent to others. As an example, think of the person who has a talent for baking and a passion for bringing delightful, sweet treats to harried women and their families. This person, let’s call her Pearl, starts by selling cakes and cookies from home and soon after opens a store front in a trendy little town. Pearl is wildly successful because she is:Read more
You may have heard this story:
One year a young girl helps her mother to prepare the Easter dinner. As they are prepping the ham, the girl asks her mother: “Mom, why do you cut the ends off of the ham?”
The mother replies: “I don’t really know. This is the way my mother did it and I never thought to ask. Let’s go ask Grandma.”Read more
There is a conflict, or natural tension, between entrepreneurial creativity and systems and structure. I admit it. I have a love / hate relationship with procedures and standardization. By creating processes for daily tasks, we free up time and energy to work on the growth and truly exciting aspects of our businesses. Instead of struggling with daily tasks, wouldn’t you rather locate the next exciting opportunity, vision a bigger and better future, or identify and imprint the values and culture that will make your company unique and endurable?Read more
I recently received an email from someone who attended a webinar. To quote, this person stated: “Your information was very basic, but good.”
Ouch! Very basic….really?