Green Your Horizons – 3 Steps to a Better Business

Greening your horizons doesn’t mean becoming a ‘tree-hugger’ or anti-establishment.  In fact, I believe that incorporating a MoreThanGreen™ approach to your business gives your business heart and will “do-good”.  You will have a better business and better customers and more profits to do more good!

What is business with heart? 

In today’s business world, a self-centred focus on your own profitability is not enough to be truly successful and to have longevity. Businesses must remove their blinders to create and maintain a positive impact on their own employees, the community they live and work in, and on the environment.

A for-profit-businesses is traditionally, and continues to be focused on wealth building.  In addition, today’s Comtemplation Reap Action ILIprogressive and most successful businesses also now recognize that wealth sharing is a critical facet that cannot be ignored. Giving back to the community and reducing their impact on the environment are a necessity if they want to engage and retain top talent, attract loyal customers and build strong relationships with community members.

A business with heart considers all facets on the triple bottom line – people (employees, the community, clients), planet (environmental impact) and profits. They strive to create economic value while also creating social or environmental value at the same time. Each factor is important in all decisions and actions are transparent and well documented. Corporate philanthropy is as important as profit-making components of any business.

What Steps Can You Take?

1. Integrate your Values

Are you clear on your own personal values?  Do your values and those of your organization align with those of your employees / team members? Are employees clear on what the business’ values? If not, this is the place to start! If values are not clear and in alignment, there will be challenges – a true misfit!

One of my top values is education. This has become an integral focus of my business endeavours, my own professional development and is part of my charitable focus. This alignment creates a strong link between the three and allows me to maintain a strong focus. It also sends a clear message to my team, colleagues and clients of what is important.

2. Set SMART goals.

Setting goals should be a routine activity for every business, department and leader.  As you know, goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Realistic and Time Specific).  One area where new goals for business can be set are philanthropic goals.  Many organizations claim to “do good” but they fail to have clear and measurable goals in this area.. In my business, I have set a goal to donate a minimum of 1% of gross sales to charities that align with my values.  Learn more on my efforts on my website

Can you measure the impact of your social and environmental efforts? Are your efforts transparent so others can clearly recognize that you do what you say? If not, it is important to establish a method to both measure and report on actions taken and results achieved. Be specific. Rather than state “a portion of profits,” state a specific amount of total revenue ie: 1% of gross sales, or $2.00 of each book. These numbers cannot be manipulated or branded as a “green-wash.”

3. Engage Others

Getting employees at all levels engaged with your business goals and endeavours is a critical component.  Are your philanthropic goals resonating with members of your team and with your customers? Are your efforts more than lip service to a cause? How do you demonstrate this commitment? Employees are more motivated to help you to achieve your goals if they are part of the process. Do you support their desire to volunteer for causes important to them?

Many large corporations are now encouraging their employees to volunteer in the communities where they live and work. They support these efforts by allowing time off from work and/or providing financial, marketing or physical resources such as equipment. Millennials and Generation Y’s now expect this involvement from employers. Failing to integrate and involve them in social enterprise efforts means they will look elsewhere for employment. If you want to attract and retain top talent, engagement is critical.

Isn’t it time for you to seriously add heart to your business and green your horizons? Your community, the environment and your bottom line will thank you!

End the Roller Coaster of Business

One thing I have learned over the years in business is there will always be some ups and downs.  Some are small, others more of a roller coaster ride!  When ups and downs happen, as the leader, you know how important it is to stay the course rather than make major changes.

Now, staying the course does not equal no change.  Instead, it involves connecting with your vision, understanding the market place and evaluating your systems.  Are they in alignment?  For example, as we enter summer, business may slow down as more of your customers take holidays and are away from work.  If your customer base is primarily business, the rotating holiday schedule may delay the decision making process, even when a sale appeared imminent just prior.  In this situation, you won’t make drastic changes, but may have to adjust your business operations or attract new clients who are open for business.

Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important to have a clear vision and strong systems in place so you can make subtle shifts effectively.  Recently I have experienced a series of ups and downs in my business.

The Spark in all of this was a major setback when a client backed out at the last minute.  Do you Is your biz on a roller coaster-Is it (2)believe in coincidences?  As I write this post, I have a smile on my face… realizing that coincidences do happen!  When one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

As I mentioned, I was speaking with a potential client who was indecisive on taking next steps. Long story short, we’d been doing the “sell-dance” and ended when they decided not to move forward on their project.  They loved what I could bring to the table and wanted to work with me because they could clearly see where I could lead the transitions they want to make … yet they decided to put everything on hold.

Ok, I must admit that this is not the first time I’ve experienced this same scenario, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.

When facing this situation, I have found two key questions can help potential clients to make a decision.  “What specifically will motivate you to make a decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?”

This gentle roller coaster ride resulted in some amazing business opportunities to appear because I was prepared and open for business.  After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

New… Strategic Huddles

The Strategic Huddle: Focused Sessions to Align. Activate. Advance Your Business

 

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,

don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

 

According to the definition, a huddle is used in sports and “is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to strategize, motivate or celebrate.” Canadian, American, Association football, cricket and Australian rules football all use a form of a huddle during games/matches.

In business, a huddle offers many opportunities to strategize, plan, motivate, communicate and build teamwork between teams. I have successfully implemented the huddle concept in a large not-for-profit with 5 different departments. Through daily huddles, the teams are more integrated, focused on top priorities, and more proactive. The daily huddle has become the hub from which operations flow.

You may be thinking I’m not on a sports team so what’s this have to do with me?

What if….

  • I am a solo-preneur and juggling all the tasks and responsibilities of my business.
  • I’m overwhelmed and lacking focus – I want to get back on track so I reach my goals.
  • I’m stuck in my middle-manager role – it’s time for a change.
  • I want to take my business into new areas but not sure how.
  • I want to motivate myself to get more out of my career and find time for life.

Well— Strategic Huddle Sessions are for you!

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They combine the key attributes of the sporting huddle and offer you an opportunity to gather together with me to strategize, plan, and move forward in a more innovative and effective way.

Unlike a traditional coaching session, these 90 minute strategic huddles are working sessions. I’m not there to just listen and ask more questions. Yes, I do ask a lot of questions, but I will also help you cut to the chase and find the right solution, approach or resource to make things happen quickly. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, take out the paper and pencil, computer or tablet and join me to dig deep, think outside the box and take action! Where we find a gap, we’ll brainstorm and problem-solve together – that’s the fun part!

So, step up, make the decision and you won’t be disappointed.

 

I have gained so much more focus for myself and my new business – even my friends are noticing that I’m calmer. I’m psyched about what can be achieved. Boosting my income is top priority and I already see that happening within 3 months. Joyce Sagi – Disaster & Associates LLC

 

Before Your Session

Like any sporting event, you must come prepared to the Huddle. This means taking time to really look at the issues and what your goal(s) are. To assist you in this process, I will send you a short questionnaire. Your responses will help me zero in so we maximize the benefit you gain.

 

Your Strategic Huddle Session

Align

We will look at where you are now. What your dreams and goal are for the coming quarter and beyond. What is happening now and in the near future that can impact or deactivate you plans. You set the direction and I’m there to help you through coaching, exploration, brainstorming, and more!

Activate.

Knowing where we are starting from will allow us to create the plans that will map out what you want to accomplish and how you will navigate through the maze of challenges, obstacles and opportunities – everything from day-to-day operations, identifying and accessing the right resources at the right time, and more!

Nothing can happen to stretch and achieve those goals and dreams unless you hit the accelerator and take action!

Advance

When staying still is not an option, we will help you ensure your plan keeps you advancing with forward momentum. Growth is an advancement of a seed to a plant that provides food or other materials used for many purposes. Together we will take your seed of an idea, surround it with the right systems and resources so it too can grow and develop to be of use to you, your clients, team or superiors and your support network. We will identify where you add value and how to reap the benefits along the way.

If you are the CEO of your life, career or business these Strategic Huddle sessions are for you!

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Catherine looked at my skill set and very quickly made recommendations to transform my business in a way that totally fit with my vision. She then took me through a step-by-step description of exactly what needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the end result.

If you believe your business can operate more efficiently, or you want to shift your focus to increase productivity, Catherine Rocheleau will amaze you. Thanks Catherine.                                                                                     Bruce Langford, Stand Up Now!

 

But that’s not all….

If you want to ramp up your execution and extract more out of our time together, take advantage of the Strategic Huddle Add-On package.

You can

  • Extend your Strategic Huddle to dig deeper on the same issue,
  • Start anew and focus on something different,
  • Choose a coaching session to brainstorm, problem solve or role-play,
  • or mix it up – You decide!
  • Decide when you want to book your second session… the following week or in a month’s time… whatever meets your needs and will bring the greatest value.

What’s included in the Add-On?

  • More focused time in your 60 minute call with Catherine
  • A copy of the recording so you can extract even more out of our work together.
  • A copy of my Networking Worksheet so you can expand your connections and interact effectively with others who can become customers, suppliers, supporters, colleagues or employers.

 

“Catherine is highly gifted in giving clarity to one’s thoughts and vision.   She will be a great asset in initiating change in an organisation which is willing to move forward to the next level.”

Grace Ng – FInd Business Solutions

 

Now is the time… Don’t let Your 4th Quarter be less than spectacular!

Book Your Strategic Huddle and Add On Session Today!

Only 15 spots are available at these execptional prices!!

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Note: If the dates or times I’m offering don’t quite work for you, book your session and send me an email sales@igniteleaders.com and I’ll see if I can adjust the time (no guarantee). All Strategic Huddle Sessions must be booked on or before September 18th, 2014. Add-On Sessions must be booked by October 31, 2014.

What You Think Appears

In the past week I have had some amazing opportunities and coincidences happen.  One frustration was all it took!   As I write this, I have a smile on my face… realizing that it is true, when one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

I had a potential client who I’d been doing the “sell-dance” with for awhile finally decide not to move forward on their project.  They love what golden-eggbring to the table, want to work with me, understand how my services can really propel their concepts forward and recognize that I’m offering good value… yet they decided not to put everything on hold.   GRRRR!

Ok, this happens.  I haven’t been in business for over 20 years and not experienced this same situation before, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.   The interesting thing for me was I instinctively knew this would most likely be the outcome, yet when I outright asked these 2 questions, “What specifically will motivate you to make the decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?” I was told they were close to a decision.

After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

 

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

 

 

Contact me for a Complimentary Exploration Session… let me assist you to create what you want in your career or business.

What’s in Store?

happy_new_year_2013_06According to the Chinese zodiac, the “Year of the Water Snake”, offers some unique advantages to businesses as well as individuals not found in other years.   A recent article in Entrepreneur.com, entitled “What the Year of the Snake Could Mean for Your Business”, author Stephanie Vozza provides an overview.

In her article, Vozza indicates the Year of the Snake is a desirable year.  Vossa quotes author, Marina Lighthouse who states, “This isn’t the time to do anything rash,” says Lighthouse. “Move forward steadily and smoothly. Work hard and keep an even pace to succeed. It’s a year of steady progress; discipline and attention to details will help you achieve goals.”

Good Advice

Whether you believe in the Chinese astrology predictions, the advice for businesses is very good, particularly if you are starting a new business venture, company or product.  Taking advantage of opportunities can be successful when you keep your eyes wide open and create an action plan to support each goal or project.

An action plan will ensure that you stay focused on the changes you wish to achieve, or the outcomes you are striving for.  A strong and effective action plan allows you to move forward steadily and smoothly – enabling you to be more efficient, productive and to better utilize resources.

A good action plan will include the three C’s

1.    Complete   — When your action plan includes all of the steps that are required for each goal, it is easier for you to stay focused, measure your progress and celebrate key milestones.

2.  Clear — A clear action plan indicates what steps are taken, who is accountable for that action and what resources are needed.

3.  Concise —  A strong action plan will reflect the current situation as well as what you could face in the future — opportunities and obstacles.

 It’s not Static

Remember, an action plan is a living breathing document.   Don’t lock it away in a drawer or filing cabinet.  Instead, post it in a visible location so you stay connected to it every day.   Discipline is achieved by regularly reviewing and adjusting your plan and ensure you pay attention to details that are necessary for success.

 

Check out our Business Leadership Journal or Online Goal Strategy Success Program  — designed to help you set goals, create action plans, and monitor and  tweak them as you move forward.  The outcome — You Achieve Your Goals, Improve Productivity and Enjoy the Successes you previously just dreamed about!

Take 10!

I recently had a fun opportunity working with students on a film project.  I was the actor being filmed.  My role was a news anchor announcing some breaking news to the TV audience.  Although I regularly speak in public and have been in media interviews etc.  I have not previously had to recite memorized lines.   Getting it right, with variations just in case, took 10 takes!

Are you willing to undergo 10 takes to get things right? [Read more…]

Are You A Fire Fighter?

Many businesses, large and small, operate ineffectively.  This state leads to a high percentage of businesses that fail within their first 2 – 5 years.  Even businesses that have outlasted the failure statistics are not immune to a lack of productivity, inefficiencies and business struggles.

Can You See the Light?

A critical factor which leads to business failure is a failure to establish a sound business strategy.  In larger businesses, we often see the corporate strategy, set by the C-Suite executives.  This strategy is supposed to be the guiding light for the organization.  Look a little deeper and each business unit within the company creates its own strategy — but is this strategy connected to the corporate strategy?  Frequently not! [Read more…]

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