Category: Business Coaching

Everyone has heard the story of what happened to Blockbuster. The VHS-rental business was the national leader in movie rentals until Netflix came along. Blockbuster had market dominance, piles of cash, and a massive customer base. So why did they lose out? The problem was that Blockbuster didn’t understand how to ride the trend. The overwhelming majority of consumers don’t care about a company’s values, they care about the functionality of the product or service they are purchasing. Consumers ask themselves: “Is it easier to use than a competitor? Is it cheaper?” Netflix figured out how to do both. Their DVD service was both easier to use and less expensive than Blockbuster. When Netflix added streaming, the gap became an ocean. Netflix disrupted the industry with DVDs, but they truly showed they understood how to innovate when they adopted streaming technology. If Netflix resisted streaming in favor of DVDs, they could have gone the way of Netflix. But Netflix proved that they know how to ride the trend in new technology.

New Trend Study

New Trends Can Disrupt An Entire Industry

Blockbuster is the easiest example of how new trends disrupt an industry. But there are plenty more. Take the old department stores for example. You can even add malls into this category. Malls and department stores across the country have been struggling to compete with Amazon for some time now. It turns out that consumers don’t actually need to physically be at the store to shop, they can browse and pick out the items that they want directly from their smartphone.

Make Sure You Don’t Get Caught Flat-Footed

As an organization, the worst thing that you can do is get caught flat-footed. If you don’t know what is happening in your industry and what the technological trends are, you are likely to get blindsided at some point. Don’t let that happen to you. Make sure that your organization invests in new technology and the development of new products and services over time.

Happy Team

Embrace Change, Don’t Resist It

Failing to embrace change can have catastrophic results for any organization, but especially for a business. Remember, consumers do not have any ties to you personally or to your company’s particular values. Consumers are looking for the best possible deal for themselves, both from a functionality perspective and from a financial perspective. Miss that, and in the long-term it is likely that you’ll forget what your customers are really purchasing from you—convenience. That is why you need to embrace change, and not resist it. Stay up on the latest trends and don’t shy away from trying new things, even if your organization stumbles a bit at first. That is a better outcome than being caught off guard by a new trend and being unable to change fast enough to meet your customers’ shifting demands.

Every business wants to create a company culture that employees and customers fall in love. However, cultivating and fostering such a culture isn’t a quick fix. Most companies that want to create a successful culture don’t have a concrete plan for how to get there. The end result is that management ends up essentially throwing darts at the wall and hoping that something sticks. What highly successful companies—such as Apple and Zappos do is establish a framework from the ground up to build a culture that generates success and makes everyone feel like part of the family. You’ll need to figure out your core values, make sure that your employees are communicating, and be prepared to change your culture over time.

Deciding Company Culture

Outline Your Core Values

Do you understand what your company’s core values are? Can you outline them in a few short sentences or share them with your direct reports in a compelling message? If your company’s core values aren’t clear, then it is important to gain clarity around the core values and learn how to communicate them to others in a way that people can stand behind them. For instance, are you focused on creativity? Are you about moving fast and breaking things? Is your business geared towards collaboration? Once you figure out what your core values, make them the foundation for everything you do. Connect what you do with why you do it and give your people reason to do the same.

Learn From Past Mistakes

It is absolutely critical to learn from your past mistakes as a company. Have you ever been a part of other organizations where the culture was flawed? Has your company culture had issues in the past? Learn from these mistakes and think about what limited success, and what cultivated it.

Incentivize Communication

Companies with poor cultures usually have a communication problem. Employees don’t communicate, and there is friction between departments. This lowers productivity and employee happiness. Make sure your company is cultivating relationships that are both honest and open. You want employees to be able to freely share their ideas and thoughts without fear.

Your Culture Is Going To Evolve Over Time

Culture is just like anything else. It grows and evolves over time. You can expect your company culture to change as trends change, and as your company grows. It is important to make updates to your culture as needed without straying too far from your core values.

Effective Team

Culture is something that isn’t built overnight. It takes months, and in some cases even years for your culture to get set in place. But the results are indisputable—employees working at companies with strong cultures are happier, more productive, and less likely to leave. And customers who benefit from strong company culture tend to become repeat buyers who are less likely to try out a competitor’s service. Your company culture is absolutely worth investing in, and management will reap the long term benefits of successful company culture development.

* Deciding Company Culture image credit goes to: rawpixel.

* Effective Team image credit goes to: rawpixel.

It could be time for your company to undergo a digital transformation. If you want to make that process a success, then you need to make sure that you understand what a digital transformation is, how it affects your entire industry, and how things could go wrong. A successful digital transformation will improve your customer acquisition and retention, improve workflow, increase your company reach, give you greater insight into your marketing decisions, and increase the pace of product development. It is important to note that as your industry undergoes a digital transformation, you’ll have to do the same in order to remain competitive in the future. However, a poor digital transformation can leave you in an even worse position—you can lose profits, time, resources, and productivity. That is why it is so critical to have an understanding of the process before you begin transforming how your company works.

Office Desktops

Learn What “Digital” Means For Your Industry

“Digital” doesn’t mean the same thing for every industry. You need to understand what going digital will entail before you start the process. For example, your industry might not need to digitize every piece of information and analyze it with machine learning or artificial intelligence tools. Adding those capabilities might not provide you with any additional value, and can indeed even be a waste of resources. That is why you should know how your industry is going digital and improving efficiency before you start your own digital transformation process.

Crafting A Culture Receptive To Change

Even if you have the best digital transformation plan, if you have a business culture that isn’t receptive to change, it won’t work. Digital transformations change how your business operates on a fundamental level. A constant stream of new digital innovations means that you’ll constantly be updating and tweaking your approach. Have you developed a culture that is conducive to change? Can your employees grow and adapt, and are they willing to get out of their comfort zone to utilize new technology?

Digital Transformation Doesn’t Mean Digitalize Everything

Some companies think “digital transformation” simply means to digitize everything in their path. Not every industry needs to put sensors everywhere, for instance. The wrong way to do things is to just burn money digitizing everything without have a concrete plan for how digitization can improve efficiency and workflow.

Undergoing a successful digital transformation starts with understanding how digital works in your industry. You don’t need to digitize everything to be successful—you need a structured plan that outlines how you will use digital in certain, specific instances. A poor digital transformation plan can leave your company worse than where you started, but a successful digital transformation can potentially give you the leg up on your competitors.

Task Assignment

Invest in your People

The best planned digital transformation is bound to fail, if you are not taking care of your people in the process. Any type of change causes anxiety and insecurity throughout the organization. To ensure people will excel during a transformation they need to learn how to strive in a changing environment. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss what you can do to prepare your people to succeed with change.

* Office Desktops image credit goes to: Green Chameleon.

* Task Assignment image credit goes to: rawpixel.

Getting the most out of employees is a goal for pretty much every company out there. While almost all companies profess to want to help their employees maximize Improve Productivity their abilities, few actually do. It takes time, resources, and effort to help employees maximize themselves, and many employers don’t feel that it is worth the effort. But if you put the work in, you can help improve the output of your employees in a way that is ultimately rewarding for both sides. Here are some ways that your business can get the most out of its employees:

1. Figure out your employees’ unique quirks

Figuring out what makes your employees tick is how you can figure out where and when they’ll be most effective. Some employees may respond to criticism, while others might need to be encouraged instead. Some employees work better in quiet, while others like a louder, freer flowing environment. Learning the specifics about your employees makes it easier to place in them situations where they can maximize their abilities.

2. Manage expectations

This one is key. You don’t want to put your employees in a position to fail, but you can do just that if you don’t manage expectations. While you certainly want employees that can handle challenging tasks, you don’t want to put them up to completing impossible ones. Make sure that you manage expectations so that your employees don’t burn out trying to complete tasks that they probably can’t get done.

Bring Out The Best in Your Employees

3. Make sure that the environment is challenging, but provide a support system

Providing a challenging work environment for your employees is critical to their personal and professional growth. At the same time, you don’t want your employees to feel constantly stressed. That’s why you should also provide a support system. Make sure that your employees feel comfortable talking to you, or to a supervisor, about work issues. Make sure that you genuinely hear them out and try to address their concerns. When employees feel supported, they’ll go the extra mile.

4. Make sure you lead by example

Nobody wants to work hard for a boss that they feel is a hypocrite. If you talk about hard work but don’t do any yourself, you aren’t going to get respect, and your employees won’t try to emulate you. Make sure that you lead by example—coming in and working hard every day.

When it comes to coaching a business team, you want Team Coaching to put your employees in the best possible position to succeed. That means eliminating the conditions that weigh them down, and enhancing the positives that increase productivity. As the leader of your business team, there are a variety of ways that you can improve conditions and help your employees along towards the company’s end goals. Here are some ways that you can help your business team become more productive.

1. Encourage shared ideas

Sharing ideas is important. You want your teams to communicate and to feel comfortable putting their ideas out there, so that good ideas can be built upon and poor ideas can be weeded out. By opening up to your staff about company goals, you can encourage team members to talk about their perspective. Ultimately, sharing ideas leads to a more productive group.

2. Learn about the individuals on the team and how they work

This point goes hand in hand with the last one. As a leader, you want to learn specifics about each of your team members so that you fully understand how they work best. Certain individuals might be better at research, while another might be better with hands on activities. Learn the strengths of your group so that you can help them work together to create a stronger whole.

3. Make sure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined

Just like in sports, business teams work best when each individual has a clearly defined role. If not, team members tend to take roles that overlap or are redundant. Make sure that your team’s roles are clearly defined, and all of the team members know their specific role.

Help Your Business Team For Better Productivity

4. Don’t wait until a problem occurs to provide feedback

Waiting until a problem occurs is a recipe for disaster. Instead of reacting, you want to be proactive. That means providing feedback to your employees even when things are going right—and you should expect them to do the same. In order for team success, you want a free flowing information stream going back and forth. Make sure that lines of communication between you and your team members are open at all times, so that you can quickly spot problems and areas for improvement. That way, you can nip a potential problem in the bud before it becomes a full blown issue.