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There’s been a lot of chatter about company cultures recently. Unfortunately, that includes lots of bad examples.

  • Google employees are arguing about gender bias.
  • Airlines have opened up a debate about what enables great customer service.
  • Restaurants are starting to figure out that the roots of food contamination often start with how their workers think of their role in the company.
  • These events have increased the realization that businesses are more like organisms than machines. They’re based on how people believe and behave as a group.

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We’re at the end of September already!  That means we have just three months left in the year.  How are your goals doing?

There’s been some wonderful discussions going on in our revitalized ICF chapter about the value we bring to members and the profession, so I thought I’d share this with you!

What does “professional excellence” mean in YOUR situation?

graphI’ve been putting together a workshop at the local SBDC next week about incorporating mission and values into your business.  There’s a breakthrough concept that can be applied here which changes how you achieve your goals.

In business, we have assumptions that:

  • If it can’t be measured, it won’t get done.
  • Everything has to be measured in numbers, preferably with a dollar sign in front.

When I state it this bluntly, you can see where the fallacy is.  Can you imagine measuring your personal happiness this way?

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orgI work with businesses all the time which are struggling with their employee programs and benefits.  It’s something you know you have to do in order to be seen as a solid employer and retain your folks.

But it’s so easy to get mired down in all the details!

The details are important, sure, but you can lose your way.

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dierschow-1024x730Robert Kaplan and David Norton developed a powerful concept back in the 1980s and ‘90s for monitoring business performance.  Dubbed the Balanced ScoreCard, it has spread rapidly through large organizations around the world.

Despite this popularity, I’m continually surprised by its lack of visibility among smaller companies.

Perhaps some fear that it’s too complex and requires too much overhead to support. Well, yes, it’s possible to go crazy and create a behemoth which then crumbles under its own weight.  But that’s true of any tool of significant power.

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I’ve been talking with quite a few people who are looking ahead to the day when they can retire as company owner. This is uncharted territory for most of us, though; it’s yet another phase that nobody prepared us for.

It doesn’t have to be as scary as you might think.

I’ve worked with several clients who are working through this transition, hoping to leave a healthy and prosperous business. Read the rest of this entry »

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