Small Steps / Large Gains

Many business executives have a core understanding of the cause and effect relationships that determine business value. However, the standard “score keeping” of financial reporting typically fail to itemize employee behaviors, and their social and emotional competencies, which impact their roles, responsibilities, thinking, decision making and customer-facing outcomes.

Businesses should also identify and measure the “softer skills” of workplace behaviors. They massively leverage desired improvements in financial performance.

The present value of a company is increased or diminished based upon the total effect of employee behaviors on the business. Optimizing financial value requires soft skills training to improve employee performance. But what are those different actions, and how does a company put them into play?

Business success requires awareness and the willingness to adapt, to change. Companies want to improve, but frequently that’s not budgeted. The daily challenges take priority. So change waits.

Companies want to be positive and action oriented, but research in psychology and neuroscience indicates that people often don’t change as they are not consciously aware of what needs to be changed. Awareness doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive, especially in smaller businesses. It is about constantly being curious. 

Periodically evaluate key customer-facing processes and practices. Management tends to focus on What, Where and Who, and that is appropriate. But, consider asking Why and How focusing on soft skills and customer-facing processes. Different answers will come to the fore, resulting in small refinements that can generate large performance gains. Don’t put off fundamental change … to a distant tomorrow. 

Creating business value is a journey of many small steps. Take the first step. We can help.

Not Guessing!

The requisite motivation for a business owner to hire advisory or subject matter expertise – commonly known as outsourcing – is typically a growing awareness by the owner(s) of a problem that must be urgently resolved, one that can no longer be relegated to “it will get better soon.” That assessment is usually coupled with the determination that the company’s resources of expertise, experience or time inside the management team are found to be wanting or need to be augmented. The “problem” may be predominately internal to business processes, practices, products or its people, or it may be significantly external in nature, driven by market changes or possibly new competition.

Regardless of the problem’s origin or nature, in some instances the necessary motivation to hire outside “consultants” is hard to find. We surmise the motivational challenge – significantly more prevalent in smaller businesses – is frequently centered in a past experience or two where the desired outcome or deliverable from the consultant fell somewhat short of the defined scope of work and the value promised. It’s more than being lean. A project initiative that failed to meet its expectations can happen, but why and how can outsourcing be more effective, more valuable to the company?

Let’s consider how the project’s Scope of Work (SOW) is determined.

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