The Ripple Effect of Change

Have you ever noticed that once a change is initiated in your organization or in your personal life,  a series of subsequent changes occur?  The ripple effect of change is a normal phenomenon and rippleone that many people find uncomfortable.  Why?  Because these changes may happen outside of your control.

What is a ripple effect?

Wikipedia describes it as “a situation where, like the ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally.”

I have been working with a client on an organizational change project which has rippled through so many areas of the organization.  The most recent was repositioning a division to be more responsive to their clients.  The change was initiated by the CEO when he recognized a lack of relevancy between the division’s deliverables and the wants/needs of their clients.

This desire to change prompted the director to resign.  The change process continued and eventually two staff members also resigned.  It’s sad when you lose great people but the flip side offers you, and your organization, a great opportunity to embrace the changes and continue the process.

Here are five tips you should consider when leading changes

1.  Share your plan.  Communication throughout the change process is critical to success.  It is important to let all team members, and those who will be impacted by the change, what is happening.  Sharing the big picture and how they will fit into this new environment will settle fears, engage your team, and provide valuable feedback.

2.  Prepare for the Changes –  Once you know what you want to achieve, taking time to document the action steps that you want to take and the milestones you want to reach will pay dividends.  Not only will a written plan increase the chances you will actually achieve these outcomes, it also allows you to identify gaps and opportunities.

3.  Act decisively.   As a leader, it is important to be confident and decisive to keep team members engaged.  Expect others to push back, question or refer to “the old way”.  When you listen to concerns/comments/objections, and take action with confidence, people are more likely to accept the change process and follow along.  I often hear “You seem to know what you’re doing so I keep circles-freegoing.”

4.  Recognize the challenges others face and be willing to review and rejig the plan.  In every well created plan an unforeseen glitch will occur or new information will come to light.  Nothing is perfect.  As a change leader, you want to be open to options, feedback and other insights.  This new information may cause you to change your plan or adjust an outcome or methodology.  Review is vital and more often than not will only improve the process of change.

5.  Keep the momentum.  Change happens continually and maintaining momentum is key to avoiding the panic.  Systems that you have put in place will create a great foundation to leverage time and effort.  Keep the above four steps in place and you’ll be positioned to navigate the changes you, and your business, face.

Our done with you, done for you approach to coaching and consulting offers you a way to navigate the changes you’re facing.  Let us assist you.  Book an Ignite Call (using contact button below) and we can explore your next steps.

PS    Don’t forget to check out our Ignite Summer Mastermind Program to get started today in a unique coaching/mastermind program for business owners, professional and entrepreneurs.

The Winning Way – Calculate Part 1

Know Your Numbers – Recurring Charges

When September began I had numerous subscriptions and annual expenses (like insurance) come across my desk.  As I was already spending time decluttering filing cabinets and electronic files,  I thought it would be a good time to really take stock of my own business so that I could tweak my goals as I enter the final half of my fiscal year.  I  regularly lead clients through this process but, like any specialist, I don’t always set aside the time to do the same for myself.

This lead me to thinking about my chapter of the best selling book “The Winning Way“.  In my chapter I share three key attributes to ignite the leader within. One of those attributes is the ability to know your numbers.

 “When you know your numbers, you have a unique method of measuring your own success, and the effectiveness of the methodologies you have in place.  Key performance indicators (KPI’s) allow you to better understand how well the systems deliver the results you want to achieve. ” 

As a business leader, whether you are a business owner or executive, manager or a project leader, you probably have to manage a budget, a team (in-house or out-sourced), suppliers, inventory and more. To effectively do your job, you need to know your numbers at different points in a week, month, year, or in the project. My question to you – how well do you know your numbers?

Over the next week, I will share with your my deep dive into my own numbers and saved myself thousands of dollars!   Asking yourself these questions could save you too!

 What are your recurring expenses?  What value do they bring to your business?

Every year I sign up for different programs, journals, magazines, which incur recurring charges – either monthly or yearly.  These expenses are automatically billed to a credit card and I acknowledge them when they are on my statement, but frequently forget about themcircles-free in the months between.

I have now taken stock of all of the subscriptions and other recurring expenses I incur each month.  Mapping it out provided me with a visual map of when the expenses occur and how much they are.  I was then able to review each expense and evaluated whether I used it, how often etc.  I also looked at other options.  Frequently other companies may have introduced some new features to their product line which better fit your needs.

In my review I realized I wasn’t using 3 of the services I pay for each month.  I had the subscriptions for “just-in-case” situations.  I realized it was better to pay the slightly higher cost for one-time use rather than having a low recurring expense and therefore I cancelled the three services – saving me $500/year.  Another recurring expense is an annual fee with no refund potential.  Again, I realized it was costing me  more than I realized and the quality and options I could now get in that package were no longer worth that pricetag.   I have now calendarized the renewal date so that I can cancel this subscription.  This will save me another $500/yr.

Download my Recurring Expense Tracker to review your recurring expenses.  How much can you save your business?

A Happy Independence Day 2014

Wishing all of my American friends and colleagues a fabulous Independence Day !  Enjoy your celebrations with family and friends!  Now summer begins!

USA waving-flag

Wishing You a Happy Canada Day 2014!

July 1 is Canada’s Birthday.  Our country was formed in 1867 and continues to grow in size and diversity every year.   Have a great Canada Celebration with your Family and Friends!

Canada-256

When an Opporunity Appears – Will You be Ready?

As an avid hockey fan, I often find great examples from sporting events that can apply to the business world.  The most recent was the decision by the Montreal Canadiens to play their 3rd string goalie in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final  rather than the more experienced back-up.  Tokarski was recently called up from the AHL and is now in his debut post season game.  Tokarski is obviously lacking some NHL experience with only 10 NHL games under his belt, but he has lots of experience and wins in big games throughout his career.

How does this relate to business?

In the above example, franchise goalie Carey Price was injured  in Game 1 and was unable to play for the remainder of this series.  The injury was unexpected and created an opportunity for his teammates.

This is no different to business situations where a potential client may unexpectedly have a need for your product/services.  Would you be able to step up and “play big”?

Image:  Stuart Miles | www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles | www.freedigitalphotos.net

In business, similar opportunities present themselves.  It is up to you to be prepared.  This may mean having to set up systems, learn new skills before you need them, hire staff in advance of getting that next job — all so you can act quickly to capitalize on the opportunity.

It also means you have to be nimble.  One of the situations that was presented to me was a project to evaluate a specific team and construct action plans to reach best practices.

In this instance I needed someone with specific experience to bring more value to the project.  I quickly explored my contact lists, identified possible connections and found the ideal person.  My client signed off on their addition to the team and the assessment began.   Soon this project morphed into new opportunities which kept my team working for 2 years.

Don’t let opportunities pass you buy because you aren’t ready. Think bigger and get prepared today for what could be possible tomorrow.  Who could you call upon to do different tasks?   Have you created processes which allow you to easily delegate and train others to step in and get up to speed effectively?   Are your systems scalable in a way that they will continue to work  as you grow?

Just a few things to thing about to be prepared for the unknown, which can move you from small to a recognized leader.

Are you looking to review your strategy, operations and your ability to leverage?   I can help you and your team.  Book an exploration session today so we can explore how to ensure you don’t miss out on your next opportunity.

Social Media can help Professionals Build Relationships

 

When I wrote my e-book, “Social Media for Professionals”, I was responding to the overwhelming need for a tool to assist my clients and colleagues in better understanding how social media could help their business.  Most thought of social media as a time-drain, and an avenue of communication which was a slippery slope which would cause them to give away free information or cross ethics boundaries.

Here we are a few years later and the use of social media has continued to grow an evolve.  The one stable component is that business is conducted primarily when a business or professional has developed the know, like and trust factor with their customer.  Customers are less likely to do business with a complete stranger or business they know nothing about – even if that business carries a product they want or need.

As a professional, you bring knowledge, skill and experience to your customer.   Whether you are a realtor, accountant, bookkeeper, nurse consultant or graphic designer, you offer a valuable service to your clients and many others who are yet to become your client.

An online presence, including your website, blogs, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) offer professionals a very effective way to connect with prospects and stay connected to existing customers by offering information, insights and ideas.

Social media helps business professionals establish a rapport with  potential  customers, and stay connected with existing customers.  

Your time is valuable and connecting in person at networking events alone can be expensive and limits your ability to expand your reach.  In contrast, social media enables you to build a global customer base or expand the customers you serve within your city, province/state or country.

Every communication channel you have, offers another unique touch point to connect with your ideal client.

Connecting is not selling.

Similar to networking in person, connecting via social media is not just another sales channel.  Instead it offers you an opportunity to share articles, tips, or insights that others perceive as valuable or interesting, as well as offering a solution to a pain or obstacle they face.  Each article, tweet or post allows you build a connection with that person and to stay “front of mind”.

Take this blog post and my newsletters for example.  In each blog post or newsletter , I attempt to share a few key points I hope others can use to take action to grow their own business or develop their own leadership skills.  I share these options on other social media channels which increase readership and expand my ability to connect with new people I would not have connected with otherwise.

Although most articles or newsletters include some information about the services I offer, or contain a call to action, selling isn’t the primary focus.   People who relate to my article will share it with others, download free resources, book an exploration call to learn how they can work with me, or they may just incorporate the insights I shared.  Regardless, I become better known and my value is shared.

Social Media is one marketing communication channel which, in my opinion, needs to be included in every business and professional’s marketing plan.

Consistency is key. 

It doesn’t matter which communication  channel or approach you use, the important point is to communicate consistently – whether this is daily, weekly, or monthly. 

Reach, Target Your Focus

Some points I share in my blog or social media posts  may resonate with you, while others do not.  This is the challenge of communicating with a wide audience.  Social media enables you, as an individual or as a business, to have a very wide reach… but targeted messages are necessary to connect with the right person.

Choose the communication channel(s) that allow you to connect with your target clients.  If your target clients are on Facebook, use this channel.  Twitter is popular because people can quickly scan messages and click on links that peak their interest.  You can drive them to your blog, website, or a landing page.  Pick the right content and add value — people will interact and connect with you.

 A Call to Action

Another component of each article is some information or reference to my Ignite coverbusinessIgnite Leadership International.  As a long-time entrepreneur, I have lots of experience in change management, business development, and growing business.  My experience coaching business owners, managers and executives to do the same adds another opportunity for me to work with motivated, successful leaders.

If you want to learn more about how you can grow business with social media, order my ebook today .  Only $19.97

What steps can you take to build your network, and the relationship with each person to expand your business or career opportunities? I hope you will continue to read and share my newsletters and blog posts as I share tips, ideas and thoughts about business and leadership.  I’ll keep you informed about my business programs too.  I’d love your thoughts and feedback!

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”

Author Unknown

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Happy Cinco De Mayo 2014

Cinco-de-Mayo 2

A new project brings new opportunities…

This post, taken from the CelebrityPress Website, explains more about the up-coming book I have participated in this Spring.  I am excited to have had an opportunity to participate with such great writers, and look forward to sharing the book with you in June 2014.

For my press release, click here

 

“Publisher CelebrityPress Signs Publishing Deal With Leading Experts For “The Winning Way”

CelebrityPress, a leading book publishing company, has recently signed a publishing deal with several of the world’s leading business professionals to release the new book, “The Winning Way”

Orlando, FL – March 28, 2014 – A select group of leading experts from across the globe have joined together, along with best-selling author and speaker, Brian Tracy, to co-author the forthcoming book titled, The Winning Way: The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Share How They are Winning in Life and Business and You Can Too! Nick Nanton, Esq. along with business partner, JW Dicks, Esq., the leading agents to Celebrity Experts® worldwide, recently signed a publishing deal with each of these authors to contribute their expertise to the book, which will be released under their CelebrityPress™ imprint.

CelebrityPress describes the book:

By definition, winning means that you competed and you came out ahead. Human nature requires us to compete in order to survive. Therefore, winning and survival have the element of success in common. To ascend to a winning position, you need a goal, a desire to achieve it, and the qualities of discipline, perseverance and action to attain it.

Having your goal and setting yourself up to achieve your goal is the first step in the process. You adjust your mindset and begin to plan diligently. Goals may be as different as DNA, but methodologies have much in common. Furthermore, your plans and expectations will need adjustments as you go along. That is why the knowledge shared by the CelebrityExperts® in this book will be of importance to you.

The advice and suggestions of these CelebrityExperts® are based on their experiences – both their accomplishments and their shipwrecks. The knowledge they share will allow you to make plans that can propel you in the right direction. That is the function of a mentor – to guide you where you are going and to advise what to avoid.

Some of the authors contributing to Against The Grain include: Stephen A. Stack, Soul Ongoiba, Jonathan Leise, Dr. Wayne Pernell, Lupe-Rebeka Samaniego, Dr. Bernard Press, John Muldoon, Robert Putnam, Craig McPhail, Catherine Rocheleau, Tamara Word-Magalotti, Paul Emery, Janis Butler, John Haggerty, Shawn Chhabra, Oksana Mazourik, Rick Poston, Louis Brindisi, Robert Keil, Linda Drake, Mark Gaffney, Dr. Eric J. Christeson, Malcolm Ross, Bob Roark, Dr. Dr. Luc Lemire, April Holmes, Kip L. Carpenter, Joseph C. Culin, Patricia Tello, Kate Beeders, Daniel Shub, Brenda F. Wise, Jimmy Ocean, Matt Choi, Kimleigh Smith, Nina Irani, Dr. Michael W. Payne, Bill Walton, Cheryl Catchings PhD, Soren Majgaard, Kellee Spillman, Dr. Diyari Abdah, Jonathan Graves, Steve Hansen, Tony Horner, Daron Destiny, JW Dicks, Nick Nanton, Lindsay Dicks, Greg Rollett and Brian Tracy.

The book is tentatively scheduled for release in June 2014.

Other books recently released by CelebrityPress™ include:

  • The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide: The Nation’s Leading Expert Advisors Reveal Their Secrets For Buying Right In Any Markets
  • Tech Multiplier: The World’s Leading Technology Consultants Reveal In-Depth Case Studies of How the Smartest Businesses In the World Are Leveraging Technology to Increase Profits and Reduce Waste While Safeguarding Data
  • Secrets to Winning Big: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal Their Top Strategies for Winning Big in Life and Business
  • Healthy Input: America’s Leading Dentists Reveal the Secret Truths to a Healthy Body Starting With What You Put In Your Mouth
  • The Ultimate Success Guide: The World’s Leading Experts Reveal Their Secrets for Success in Business and in Life

About Celebrity Press™:

Celebrity Press™ is a leading business, health and wellness book publisher that publishes books from thought leaders around the world. Celebrity Press™ has published books alongside Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Dan Kennedy, Dr. Ivan Misner, Robert Allen and many of the biggest experts across diverse fields. CelebrityPress™ has helped launch over 1400 best-selling authors to date.

If you’d like to learn more about Celebrity Press™ or to see if we’re a good fit for your book project, please visit http://www.celebritypresspublishing.com/contact-us

Success is in the Follow-through

Last week I was working with a client and one of their new suppliers.  The project was to establish an inventory/ordering system that worked for them.   Switching from one system to another always takes time and can be frustrating but there is light at the end of the tunnel – they will save time and money!

Three days after this meeting I received a phone call from the suppler.  The Account Rep was following up to see if everything arrived ok, and to see if we had identified new questions or problems.  Receiving this call was like a breath of fresh air.  It also reminded me at how valuable this short call is when you are the customer.

Following up is a vital part of business.  Your success hinges on it, yet it is often the last thing given time and attention. (I have been guilty in falling behind on my follow-through too).

The “SPARK How to’s” for Following Up

1.  Seeds of Inspiration   — Keep notes on every client, what they do, personal information (hobbies, interests, family etc) they’ve shared with you, ideas they have mentioned for future projects, the type of work you have done for them and when, ideas that you think could help them

2.  Plan the Follow-Up — Every business works more efficiently when they have a plan.  Creating a follow-up plan will allow you to schedule your follow-up in a way that allows you to keep in touch without being “a nuisance”.  Identify articles, resources, opportunities etc. where you can reconnect with everyone in your network.   What is the best communication channel to reach each person?  

There are numerous ways to keep in touch with your current and past clients.  There is no best way.  You Connected team-StuartMiles_ID-100146283have to identify the communication channel that works for you and your clients.  I recommend using a variety of different channels

  • In person
    • Invite them for coffee
    • Invite them to attend a meeting or event with you
    • Networking events
  • Phone Calls  A phone call is a great option with a personal touch.
  • Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Handwritten Note
  • Cards for special events or seasonal celebrations
  • Article/Resource Sharing
  • and more….

3.  Act on the Plan —  A plan offers you a map of what you want to achieve.  In order to get to your destination (get new clients, referrals or repeat business).  Following up offers you information, feedback, opportunities to share and to receive.

A Customer Relations management program is a great tool to help you automate this plan with outward communication.  The one I like is Infusionsoft because it combines CRM and e-commerce.  It also helps me keep track of key information on each customer, colleague and friend. Some others include Quickbase from Intuit, Zoho.com, and Salesforce.

Don’t forget to share your successes with your network.  If you have received an award, had an article featured in a newspaper, magazine or on-line, share it with others.   These successes can add to your credibility and help build confidence in the mind of others about what you can achieve.

4.  Recognize, Review, Respect

Another part of your follow-through plan is to recognize the accomplishments of others.  If a client or colleague receive an award, change jobs or get a promotion, you have a natural “touch point” to connect with them.  Don’t forget birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions too.

Review your plan and make changes based on the efforts that are working, and eliminate or tweak those that are not.  Every good plan needs to be revisited and reevaluated to be sustainable over the long-term.

5.  Keep Connected and Building Your Network

 

 

image:  stuart miles| freedigitalphotos.net

 

Two Wishes on this Special Day

 

Wishing all my American Friends and clients a very Happy Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends.

 

On this unique day, I am also wishing all of my jewish friends and clients a very Happy Hannukah.

 

Images:  photobucket.com   and  phillipmartin.info

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