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How to be Great At Work

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 6, 2018

This is my summary of a book that echoes many principles I wholeheartedly endorse, Great at Work - How top performers do less, work better, and achieve more by Morten Hansen (who co-wrote Good By Choice with Jim Collins).

Topics: Management
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Team of Teams: Business Lessons from an Army General

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 30, 2018

I have written previously that some authors write dismissively of military leadership and its applicability to modern business. I wonder how familiar they are with how modern elite military units actually operate? They might be surprised to know that military leaders have overcome many of the challenges of managing people in the modern era, challenges that business leaders are only just beginning to understand.

Topics: Management
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Understanding the Context of Your Strategic Decisions

By Andrew Ritchie on Oct 22, 2018

I have been in the privileged position of working with the Leadership Teams of many businesses to review their Strategic Plans, and in so doing, I've had the opportunity to help them set up, tweak and improve those plans.  As the facilitator of those reviews, one of the main things I bring to the table is to ensure that the discussion and debate uses the correct context to drive decisions.

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Video: Executives #1 Regret - And What To Do About It

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 16, 2018

When Stephen Lynch addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the Entrepreneur's Organization conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month, he revealed the #1 regret business leaders have—and what to do about it:

Topics: Management
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Tom Peters' Greatest Hits

By Tom Peters on Oct 9, 2018

Editor's Note: 

Topics: Management
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Decision Making Biases

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 11, 2018

There are many cognitive biases that can lead us to make poor decisions in life and in business. I previously wrote about how Survivorship Bias fools us into thinking there is a "success formula". In this article, I focus on a selection of other thinking biases and provide suggestions for how to inoculate ourselves from them.   

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Do You Foster Useful Communication??

By Cameron Herold on Sep 4, 2018

Editor's Note: Our guest blogger, Cameron Herold, is that rare individual who not only possesses knowledge and experience, but also the ability to present it clearly and effectively. Called "the best speaker I've ever heard" by Forbes magazine publisher, Rich Karlgaard, Cameron doesn't espouse theory, he weaves "in the trenches experience", gleaned through building $100 Million companies, with practical advice that gets businesses and business leaders growing immediately and rapidly. He is the founder of COO Alliance, and wrote the highly regarded (and wonderfully titled) book "Meetings Suck." This post originally appeared on his own blog and is republished here with his enthusiastic permission.

Topics: Meetings
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Driving Results

By Sturdy McKee on Aug 28, 2018

I have seen business owners, time and again, frustrated with the lack of results from their teams. And in nearly every case it is because they lack a process to drive their desired results.

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What Really Works

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 21, 2018

The authors of, “What Really Works - The 4+2 Formula for Sustained Business Success” researched 160 large companies in equivalent industries over a 10 year period. The researchers looked at successful companies (winners), unsuccessful companies (losers), and also those whose performance changed for better or worse over the 10 year period (climbers and tumblers).  They identified 8 management practices that were directly correlated with superior performance (in terms of total shareholder returns) over the 10 years.

Topics: Management
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Employee Engagement and Productivity

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 14, 2018

I was recently asked to write a guest article for another software company here in San Francisco. They wanted to know how I would answer the following 2 questions:

Topics: Management
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5 Secrets from Global Experts on How to Grow Your Business

By Andrea Salinas on Aug 8, 2018

It's difficult to keep pace with all the great business literature published these days. Here are some quotes from top thinkers to help you gain their most practical, actionable insights:

1. Tracking Metrics

Jim Canfield, Author, Managing Director at CEO Tools

Topics: Management
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The Three Categories of Metrics that Drive Growth

By Andrew Ritchie on Jul 31, 2018

There are many ways of categorising metrics, (often called KPIs or Key Performance Indicators). They can be arranged by industry, functional area and role type, to name just a few. Researching KPIs in these categories can be helpful in identifying the metrics that are appropriate to take advantage of your team’s strengths and resolve the challenges that they face.

Topics: KPIs
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The Power of Finding Your Core Purpose

By Andrew Ritchie on Jul 24, 2018

To really get the best out of your people and be the best organisation you can be, you need to give your people a compelling reason to work for you, beyond simply earning money.

Your core purpose is not about what you do or how you do it, your core purpose is why you choose to be part of this business and it defines the difference you want to make in the world. Together with your Big Hairy Audacious GoalTM and Core Values your Core Purpose forms the long term vision that you have for your organisation.

Topics: Strategy
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The Meeting Facilitator's Role

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 17, 2018

In my opinion, the meeting facilitator’s primary role is to optimize meeting productivity. Well-structured meetings chaired by a competent facilitator can help keep attendees focused and engaged, hold people accountable for performance, support the decision-making process, and assign clear tasks to advance progress. Before giving you some of my recommendations for meeting facilitators, let’s review The 5 P's of Productive Meetings:

Topics: Meetings
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Don't Be Fooled By Survivorship Bias

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 11, 2018

I remember the first personal development book I ever purchased. It was called “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. I was going through a low point in life and the promise on the book jacket jumped off the bookshelf: “Millions of readers have acquired the secrets of success through The Magic of Thinking Big. Achieve everything you always wanted: financial security, power and influence, the ideal job, satisfying relationships, and a rewarding, happy life.”

Topics: Strategy
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Beware the Nantucket Sleigh Ride

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 3, 2018

As a young boy, I was enthralled with Herman Melville's book “Moby Dick”. The daring tale of Captain Ahab and his crew hunting the giant albino sperm whale captivated my boyhood imagination.  

Topics: Strategy
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Lynch on Hiring, Part III: The Topgrading Face-to-Face Tandem Interview

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 26, 2018

As I have written previously, when hiring for any role in your company, it is vital that you follow a proven process. That’s where the Topgrading methodology made a huge difference for me. I learned to follow a disciplined hiring methodology to significantly increase my chances of hiring A-Players for every role.

Topics: growth hiring
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Lynch on Hiring, Part II:The Importance of Reference Check Interviews

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 19, 2018

Reference Check Interviews are a vital step in the hiring process, and many employers conduct this step poorly, if at all. My firm recommendation is that reference checks must be conducted before any hiring decisions are made. No reference check interviews = No job offer. It’s that simple.

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Lynch on Hiring, Part I: How To Interview and Hire A-Players

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 12, 2018

As I have written previously, when hiring for any role in your company, it is vital that you follow a proven process. That’s where the Topgrading methodology made a huge difference for me. I learned to follow a disciplined hiring methodology to significantly increase my chances of hiring A-Players for every role.

Topics: growth hiring
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Set Your CRM Up For Success With Great KPIs

By Andrew Ritchie on Jun 5, 2018

When implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform such as Salesforce, it is essential to set the project up to deliver the intended ROI.

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Business Lessons from Navy SEALs

By Stephen Lynch on May 29, 2018

Some authors write dismissively of military leadership and its applicability to modern business. I wonder how familiar they are with how modern elite military units actually operate? They might be surprised to know that military leaders have overcome many of the challenges of managing people in the modern era, challenges that business leaders are only just beginning to understand.

Topics: Strategy
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The Importance of Building a Brand

By Wendy Dessler on May 15, 2018

Having a great brand is just as important as having a strategic plan. We're pleased to have Wendy Dressler of OutreachMama.com give her view on how to create one that will delight your target market and drive the right customers to your business. — Tom Lombardo


Your brand is the face of your company. In simplest terms, your brand is your name, your logo, and your color scheme, but in reality, it’s so much more.Your brand is what defines your business, what people know you for, and how people recognize your work.

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Set Up Your Software Implementation for Success

By Andrew Ritchie on May 8, 2018

If you are implementing new software into your organisation there are steps that should be taken to ensure it rolls out successfully. Software implementation projects can be large and complex so for the purposes of this article I’m going to assume you’ve completed your business case and vendor selection process. You are happy with the product you have chosen, your resources are allocated and it is time to start the rollout. You will have technical configuration and training planned, but there are also tactics that you can employ to increase your chances of setting up your implementation for long-term success.

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Working Efficient Hours vs Working Long Hours

By Stephen Lynch on May 1, 2018

I read the following scenario in a New York Times article titled, “They work long hours, but what about the results?”.

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How To Stand Out in a Changing Industry

By Andrew Ritchie on Apr 24, 2018

I enjoy live music and frequently attend concerts but none have inspired me to write about the experience in a business context until now.  On Friday night I saw Las Vegas based band The Killers, as much as I enjoyed the night, it left me thinking about changes in the music industry and the impact of creating a brand.

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How To Create a "No Excuses" Culture

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 17, 2018

Steve Blank is a silicon valley author, entrepreneur, university lecturer, and pioneer of the Lean Startup movement. I read an interesting blog article by Steve about creating a “No Excuses” culture and thought I would explore the concept further.

Topics: Management
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Does Writing Down Goals Really Work?

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 11, 2018

Stop me if you have heard the following story:

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Open vs Closed Door Management

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 3, 2018

It’s almost a cliché in business; Managers saying, “I have an open door policy”. But what does this really mean and what are the implications of adopting this principle?

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Three Ways to Use the 70-20-10 Rule

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 27, 2018

The 70-20-10 ratio has several applications that I am aware of: Time allocation in meetings; Resource allocation for driving innovation, Job training - just to name a few. You may be aware of other applications too. The order in which the ratio get applied tends to vary, 20-70-10, 70-20-10, 10-20-70 etc. Here my take on how to apply these ratios in your business:

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Is It Time to Update Your Company Vision?

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 20, 2018


Here at RESULTS.com we recently chose to update our company vision. Obviously, this is not something to be undertaken frequently or frivolously.

Topics: Culture
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How to Start Teaching Your Strategy to Your Team

By Tom Lombardo on Mar 13, 2018

A Japanese proverb says, “Vision without action is a dream. And action without vision is a nightmare.” For any successful organization, the vision is the strategic plan. And yet many leaders find themselves in the nightmare of constantly putting out fires and working “in” the organization instead of “on” it.

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The Tyranny of Metrics

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 5, 2018

Book Review of The Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Z. Muller

Helping business leaders to identify the right metrics (key performance indicators) is a core part of any strategy consulting practice.

Topics: KPIs
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Create Strategic Planning Success

By Andrew Ritchie on Feb 27, 2018

Over the years, I’ve worked with numerous organisations to help create more effective, productive and engaging strategies. The 5 P’s of productive meetings is one of the tools we use to help businesses transform meetings and it strikes me how especially important these principles are to the strategic planning process.

Since you'll complete your strategic planning at meetings, following the 5 P’s of productive meetings ensures that you approach them with the right mindset. Following these principles enables you to conduct an effective process, to be clear on the decisions that you will make, and to set yourself up with the best plan to execute on your strategic priorities.

Here are the 5 P’s as they apply to strategic planning meetings:
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Manage Your Way to Originality

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 20, 2018

You know the feeling: One day you find yourself looking for "creativity" in the tiniest nooks and crannies of your business processes. And then it  hits you: Somehow you've lost sight of the universe in which your business exists.  Every successful leader has felt disconnected like this at some point. You don’t know what needs to change, but you know that you’re looking for the answer in the wrong places. 

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What Makes a Project Strategic?

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 13, 2018

A client asked recently, “What is the difference between a Strategic Project and a regular Project?”

Topics: Strategy
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How To Select Business Management Software

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 6, 2018

Worldwide, employers are finding it difficult to find and retain skilled workers. At the same time, employee expectations have evolved dramatically, making the market for the best people more competitive than it has been for nearly a decade. 

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How To Find the Key Benefits Your Brand Offers

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 30, 2018

Here's a classic marketing story that I love. It's about an elderly woman who needs to buy a new furnace to replace the one in her home that has just failed. Naturally, she goes to an appliance store. There's only one salesman on the floor, so she waits patiently for him to complete a phone call. Then he walks over and introduces himself.

Topics: Branding
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The Art of Pivoting

By Andrew Ritchie on Jan 23, 2018

One of the key aspects of a maturing organisational structure is developing and documenting standard procedures. Doing so has a huge benefit for both companies and individuals, of course, but we’ve found that it comes with a downside: we frequently see that processes can slow down innovation and embed the status quo. They can create a dangerous ‘this is how we’ve always done things’ mindset.

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How To Use Your SWOT Analysis as a Reality Check

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 17, 2018

I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I was a young boy growing up in New Zealand. That was my first BHAG. I joined the Air Training Corps as a cadet as soon as I was old enough. I learned to fly solo in a glider when I was in high school. I studied math and physics because I knew you needed that to be a fighter pilot, and, as soon as I was old enough, I applied to join the NZ Air Force.

Topics: SWOT Analysis
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CEO's Top 3 Fears for 2018

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 10, 2018

Sometimes success breeds anxiety, and the business leaders we serve worldwide are expressing both. On the success side, the U.S. is still enjoying the record-breaking stock market bull run that began in 2009, and most of our clients have profited from it.

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Strategic Insights From Kiwi Rugby

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 3, 2018

The New Zealand national rugby union team, commonly called the All Blacks, is the most successful sports team in history. They have a 77% win rate since their international debut in 1903. 

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Use Strategic Planning To Grow Your Business

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 27, 2017

I found the graphic to the right in the Harvard Business Review, and to me it speaks volumes about what we’re trying to accomplish here at RESUTLS.

Topics: Strategy
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Stephen Lynch Video: The Essence of Strategy

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 19, 2017

Strategic alignment starts with leaders. They align first, and then they invite everyone else to link arms. That's how the best companies in the world are run. That's how the "best companies to work for" earn their reputations.

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4 Ways To Make Your Strategy Succeed

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 12, 2017

Leading firms have found that the clarity they achieve with a brief, focused strategic plan can actually do much more than align management. It also makes it possible to drive revenue by making everyone happier.

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Close the Gap Between Strategy & Execution

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 5, 2017

When conducting strategic planning with clients I have a saying that I share with them, “Successful Business Execution is 20% getting clear about what needs to be done, and 80% following up to make sure it actually gets done”

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Better than Year-End Performance Reviews

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 29, 2017

If you haven’t abandoned performance reviews yet, you probably have the same reason as Facebook: “Critics of performance evaluations have suggested that ratings automatically produce a fight-or-flight response,” their executives write. “Actually, many people have stronger reactions to not being rated.” 

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The Limit of Business Intelligence Software

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 21, 2017

Most businesses collect an ocean of data these days, and it’s easy to drown in it. But once you’ve got a few million data points, which can happen incredibly quickly even in a small business, you realize that you may as well have none.

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Power Up Your Year-End Strategic Planning

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 13, 2017

Most successful entrepreneurs and all of our clients use the last quarter of the year to polish their strategy. That way, they can start the new year at full speed.

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Unleash The Power of Your Brand Promise

By Andrew Ritchie on Nov 7, 2017

Being in the privileged position of guiding our clients through our Quarterly Strategic Review process, every quarter I receive feedback on one of the elements of our strategic planning process. Each quarter we review our client's current reality and methodically help them set their key strategic priorities for the coming quarter.

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How Top Consultants Grow Their Business

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 31, 2017

Top tier consulting firms have major clients in their “logo soup.” On their website and on a slide in their first presentation to a potential client, they are proud to mention the fact that they have provided services to large, prestigious companies in their area or vertical. It shows that they’re in the top tier of their category. It shows that people with significant budgets and significant pressures on their performance trust their judgement.

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How Top Consultants Get Their Clients to Execute

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 24, 2017

Clients typically come away from a strategic planning session or a goal setting session all fired up and focused. It’s one of the best parts of any consulting engagement. As I mentioned earlier in this series, it’s the best time to ask for a referral and to get a testimonial.

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How Top Consultants Justify Their Value

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 17, 2017

It can be hard to sell an intangible service like consulting. It’s even harder to justify your price. You might have a solid business background and rate your abilities as an educator and facilitator very highly. But so do many of your competitors. How do you show prospective clients that what you have to offer is meaningfully different and superior?

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The Secret Way Top Consultants Sell Themselves

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 10, 2017

RESULTS.com started out in New Zealand, where I am originally from, more than 20 years ago. For most of our history, we were a management consulting firm, helping small to medium size businesses to create their strategic plans and implement our business execution methodology into their business to help them execute their plans.

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How to Hire a Consultant & Be the Consultant Who Gets Hired

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 29, 2017

Most management consultants deliver guidance in two broad categories: First, there’s the business side. Then there’s the human side. The two have become evermore intertwined. 

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Is Your Organization Ready for KPIs?

By Tom Lombardo on Mar 19, 2017

Practically every business leader reaches a point where they have to marvel at the wealth of data they’re collecting from all the software applications they’re using to run their company.

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How to Find & Hire A-Players

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 13, 2017

I’ve learned many management lessons the hard way, but one of the most important was the realization that I can make things a lot easier on myself and achieve far better results if I hire the right people in the first place. That’s where the Topgrading methodology made a huge difference for me. I learned to follow a disciplined hiring methodology to ensure I only hire A-Players for every role.

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How To Motivate Employees with Your Phone

By Tom Lombardo on Mar 6, 2017

You don’t need proof to know that people do better work when they’re in a good mood. And you don’t need a study to tell you that a good mood will spread from person to person. But how do you put people in a good mood? How do you get that started? If you could do that, your team would be happier. Management would be easier, and, almost certainly, there’d be a positive impact on your business.

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The Importance of Career Paths that Lead Nowhere

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 26, 2017

You’ve probably heard the cliche that goes, “People get promoted to their highest level of incompetence.” We say it as a joke when we meet a manager who doesn’t know what they’re doing. But people really do get promoted into positions they shouldn’t have, and believe it or not, it’s almost always because of the executive’s best intentions. You can solve this problem, or prevent it, with one tweak.

Topics: Management
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Lynch on Strategy Part IV The Cadence of Strategic Execution

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 7, 2017

I love watching a great rowing crew in action. The boat glides through the water, propelled by oars moving in perfect rhythm. It may be the most graceful example of teamwork in the world.&nbsp;

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Lynch on StrategyPart III What Are Strategic Numerical Targets?

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 31, 2017

Business is filled with numbers, but you want everyone in your company to be aware of, understand, and talk about only a few. These are the numbers that track the execution of your long-term, 3 to 5 Year Strategic Moves, and chart your progress toward your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).

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Lynch on StrategyPart IIThe Real Difference Between Leadership and Management

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 24, 2017

Back in 2006 I attended a presentation given by business author and former Gallup researcher, Marcus Buckingham. One of the highlights of his presentation was how he defined the difference between leadership and management. &nbsp;

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Lynch on Strategy Part I: Why A One-Page Strategic Plan?

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 16, 2017

One of our new staff members asked me the other day, “Why is it important to capture your strategy on just one page?”

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How Strategy Builds Community

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 10, 2017

Man is by nature a social animal. Society is something that precedes the individual.
— Aristotle

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2017 Will Be Completely Different - Here’s Why

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 4, 2017

Last year sure got under people’s skin, didn’t it? I think this is the first time in it’s 127-year history that the Wall Street Journal actually published a guide – no kidding – to “night spots…throwing parties to capitalize on widespread bitterness about 2016.” While losing Mohammad Ali and David Bowie certainly means 2016 had it’s downside, let others search for reasons to be “bitter.”&nbsp;

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Your People Are Your Capital

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 13, 2016

A fascinating discovery recently reported in the Harvard Business Review arose from an experiment where the authors asked pairs of strangers to tap out a beat. They either tapped in-synch with each other, or out-of-synch with each other. Later, one of the pair was faced with an unfair load of work, and the other knew about it.

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Strategic Planning in Today's Reality

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 5, 2016

A lot of entrepreneurs think about strategic planning around this time of year, which is great, because the exercise has never been more important than it is now. In the recent past, you could go for years without changing your business much, and still make payroll. In fact, the heroic entrepreneur was often the guy who kept doing the same thing, really well, for years on end.

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How to Build Your Business with Millennials

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 27, 2016

Now that Millennials make up 36% of employees worldwide, most executives and business owners have made a priority of meeting their needs and aligning their success with the company’s. Fortunately, doing that for Millennials succeeds in doing it for most all employees. That’s because, as a group, they entered the workforce over the course of the recession, which for them was a formative experience. But since they shared it with everyone else, the lessons they learned, and the desires they pursue as a response to it, apply to a much broader demographic.

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The Future of Business Is Orchestration

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 22, 2016

Fortune favors the bold. - Roman proverb

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The Best Manufacturing KPIs, Part 2 of 2

By Andrew Ritchie on Nov 15, 2016

Read The Best Manufacturing KPIs, Part 1 here

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The Best Manufacturing KPIs, Part 1 of 2

By Andrew Ritchie on Nov 7, 2016

When approaching the implementation of KPI structures, there will be key challenges that you are looking to resolve, opportunities you are looking to take advantage of and core behaviour you are looking to encourage (or discourage).

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How To Make It From Entrepreneur to Executive

By Tom Lombardo on Nov 1, 2016

A lot of times when a CEO looks at good economic conditions, like right now, they feel like they need to do two things at once.&nbsp;

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Do This Alongside Your Year-End Reviews

By Tom Lombardo on Oct 26, 2016

If you haven’t abandoned performance reviews yet, you probably have the same reason as Facebook: “Critics of performance evaluations have suggested that ratings automatically produce a fight-or-flight response,” their executives write. “Actually, many people have stronger reactions to not being rated.”&nbsp;

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Understanding Business Intelligence Software

By Tom Lombardo on Oct 17, 2016

Image:&nbsp;Tim Marshall

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Accountability Without Hierarchy

By Tom Lombardo on Oct 3, 2016

Deloitte surveyed 7,000 global business leaders and 92% of them said their number one priority was to update their business’ organizational structure. It makes sense that so many of them would identify the same issue at the same time. The simple fact is that having a great organizational structure has become a major competitive advantage.

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The Three Rules that Make KPIs Work

By Andrew Ritchie on Sep 28, 2016

We work with many companies that are going through an exciting, if somewhat stressful, period of transformation and growth. Often they have identified Key Performance Indicators as a crucial part of how they want to manage this change, and they always have the best of intentions. They want people to know how their work contributes to the company, and they intend to situate things so people can succeed often and contribute more.

Topics: KPIs
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How to Make Every Meeting Strategic

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 21, 2016

Ratha Grimes

Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon. 

– Daniel H. Pink, Drive

Great executives lead a group of committed people to a destination on the horizon. They keep their head up. They trust each other. They’re probably not marching in formation, but they’re strategically aligned because they’re heading to the same place. What matters most is that everyone is looking forward.

Topics: Meetings
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The Secret Knowledge of the World’s Best Entrepreneurs

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 13, 2016

Kalen Emsley

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review, where he laid out his famous Hierarchy of Needs for the first time. No one paid any attention. But Maslow was different, and determined. He rejected the prevailing opinion that advancing psychology meant scrutinizing mental illness, so instead, he spent the next decade studying the most extraordinary people in society. Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass and the top 1% of college students became his subjects. In 1954 he released his findings in what would become one of the greatest classics of the social sciences, Motivation and Personality.

Topics: Management
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Why Processes Fail & What To Do About It

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 6, 2016

 

One of my favorite things about RESULTS is working with the most interesting business leaders in the world. We have clients ranging from shipping providers to sports leagues. But when I read a recent study estimating that businesses waste USD $3 trillion a year on “excessive management,” I knew that out of all our clients, the ones who had addressed that problem the best are agencies.

Topics: Leadership
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What To Do If Your Business Stalls

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 1, 2016

It is common for firms of all sizes to reach a plateau where their revenue growth stalls out. And while political, regulatory, and economic factors beyond our direct control can have an impact on company growth, of course, research documented in the book Stall Points&nbsp;shows that 87% of growth stalls are preventable, and are related to the strategic decisions you made in the past. &nbsp;

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Goal Hierarchies Fail – Do This Instead

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 1, 2016

 Picture your org chart as it looks from the bottom. There’s a hundred people down there with you, looking up. You haven’t much authority. It’s easy to think your job is not too important. Even your goals don’t seem too important. You feel like you don’t matter very much, and so you sulk into work, collect your pay, and avoid any trouble.

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How to Start Relentless Momentum

By Tom Lombardo on Aug 24, 2016

Georg Nietsch

We work with a number of growing and transforming enterprises, so we're especially attuned to the number one challenge leaders in those situations face: They need more than everyone's buy-in. They need everyone to care.

Topics: Goals
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Why Less Data Creates a Better Culture

By William Wiebe on Aug 17, 2016

Your people are with you because they love your culture. There’s something about the way you run your business that fits them. They like each other, and they like your customers. Every leader who's ever run a successful team knows how important those intangibles are. Your culture feeds your success.

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Dashboards are Done – This is Next

By Tom Lombardo on Aug 10, 2016

As a CEO, you’re always looking for the insight that will change everything for you and your business.

You study your competitors because you intend to see what they missed. You read everything, hoping to find that outlier idea first. You chat with your friends, working off their thoughts to sharpen your own. And for the last decade or so, a lot of CEOs spent a lot of time creating – and recreating, over and over – one “dashboard” after another.

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Advice for New Managers

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 3, 2016

Are you a new manager, or hoping to be one soon?

Unfortunately, most new managers are left to sink or swim when they get promoted into a leadership role. The data is concerning, 40% of new managers don’t last 18 months.

Topics: Productivity
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Top Three Reasons Meetings Fail

By Tom Lombardo on Jul 27, 2016

WoodleyWonderWorks/Flickr

At some point in their career, practically all business leaders hit a well-known, oft-discussed, and absolutely impenetrable barrier: they can’t clone themselves.

Topics: Meetings
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The Trick to Command Presence

By William Wiebe on Jul 20, 2016

HBO

In Season 2, Episode 3 of Game of Thrones, What Is Dead May Never Die, Lord Varys says to everyone’s favorite character, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister,

“Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall, and a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

When he says “a very small man,” Varys is playing with Tyrion’s height, because his real point is that “any man” can cast a very large shadow - if he knows the “trick.”

Topics: KPIs
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How Meetings & KPIs Create Productivity

By Andrew Ritchie on Jul 12, 2016

Jean-Frederic Fortier

The plays we recommend in our recent Productivity Playbook can help you create a culture of accountability. In that culture, “accountability” should drive the productivity improvements that ensure the business results you are looking for.

Topics: KPIs
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The Secret Source of Right Answers

By Tom Lombardo on Jul 6, 2016

 

Six out of ten executives believe, according to the Harvard Business Review, that their enterprises make good decisions as often as they make bad ones.

That’s horrible. Can you imagine trying to get a degree with a record like that? What if every time you got an “A,” you got an “F” as well? You’d go insane. What about raising children? What if every time you managed to do something wise, you knew that your stupidity was about to land a punch as well? You’d go insane – and you’d be depressed.

Topics: Productivity
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Great Meetings Include Hunting

By William Wiebe on Jun 29, 2016

JRMartin Photography/Flickr

I go hunting at a duck club about an hour east of our San Francisco office, and last season when I aimed and shot at a Mallard, I had an inspiration. I realized why people have a hard time understanding business leaders – even if they really want to.

Topics: Meetings
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How to Create KPIs When There's Nothing to Count

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 21, 2016

 Son of Groucho / Flickr

According to research from the Gallup organization, employee engagement begins when each employee can strongly agree with the statement, “I know what is expected of me at work.” To this end, Metrics, commonly called Key Performance Indicators or KPIs, help to clarify performance expectations for your functional teams and for every role in your company.

Topics: KPIs
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How to Retain Your Best Employees

By Tom Lombardo on Jun 15, 2016

Vincent Diamante, Flickr

You know the cliches about hard-nosed capitalists. You’re the tough one who can weather any storm. Everyone else is afraid of risk, but you have an appetite for it. You go out into the world and bring back deals that create jobs. You’re a captain of industry.

Topics: Leadership
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The Psychology of Goal Setting

By Tom Lombardo on Jun 8, 2016

“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu

Topics: Goals
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The Secret to Employee Productivity

By Tom Lombardo on Jun 1, 2016

I’ve spent the last few weeks in the United States talking to some of our clients, and I was not surprised when they all told me that over the next twelve or eighteen months, their biggest challenge is this:

Topics: KPIs
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The Importance of  Creating Gritty People

By John McKeown on May 24, 2016

I define Grit as passion and perseverance for especially long-term goals.

Topics: KPIs
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Collaboration Grows Up

By Tom Lombardo on May 17, 2016

When you have disciplined people, you don’t need hierarchy.

Good to Great,
Jim Collins

Every organization ultimately exists to achieve something an individual can’t.
Topics: Meetings
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Revolutionize Your Meetings Before It's Too Late

By Tom Lombardo on May 10, 2016

I’ve been running or attending meetings at businesses around the world for nearly twenty years.

Topics: Meetings
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How to Teach Decision Making

By Stephen Lynch on May 2, 2016

So you want your people to make good decisions?

Topics: Management
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Become the Chief Storyteller

By Tom Lombardo on Apr 26, 2016

Right down the street from our San Francisco office there’s an international consulting firm that helps clients “develop radically better businesses.” Called Wolff Olins, they have one of the most interesting types of C-level executives in the city: a Chief Storytelling Officer.

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Assets for No Cost

By Tom Lombardo on Apr 20, 2016

Many of us have worked in companies where the executives all but hid in their offices and let only the bare minimum of carefully controlled information trickle out.

Topics: Meetings
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How to Find What 77% of Us Seek

By Tom Lombardo on Apr 14, 2016

This year, according to a study by Deloitte University Press,&nbsp;77% of businesses globally are restructuring their organization.

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How to Find What 77% of Us Seek

By Tom Lombardo on Apr 13, 2016

This year, according to a study by Deloitte University Press, 77% of businesses globally are restructuring their organization.

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How AI Will Affect Your Business Within 5 Years

By Tom Lombardo on Apr 5, 2016

Technology has already changed business completely. Everyone knows that.

But the real revolution is yet to come.

Topics: Progress
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How to Tell If You Have a Winning Strategy

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 29, 2016

One of the more interesting books I have read on strategy recently is “Playing to Win” by Procter and Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin. The book uses case studies from Procter and Gamble’s history to demonstrate how to create a winning strategy.

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How to Link Core Values and Culture

By Andrew Ritchie on Mar 15, 2016

Core Values are one of the cornerstones of a strong, healthy organizational culture. Their importance is often underestimated, even though they can change your business from being a place where people just “turn up and check out” into a dynamo where your people are energized by their contribution.

Topics: Core Values
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5 Ways to Improve Strategy Execution

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 9, 2016

A new book published by Harvard Business Review Press, Strategy that Works, documents research on successful strategy execution.

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The Secret to Confidence in Business

By Tom Lombardo on Mar 2, 2016

No one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses — ever makes it alone.

― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers

Working with new people is one of my favorite things about starting a company. Watching your crew engage with your vision is a beautiful thing. I love it w

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HR Executives to the Rescue

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 23, 2016

There’s a perfect storm brewing for employers, and it’s likely that the companies who weather it best will attribute their success to the stewardship of their Human Resources executives.

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Encouragement for Zenefits’ New CEO

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 16, 2016

One of the best ways to become a better corporate leader is to study other corporate leaders -- especially when they respond to a crisis as constructively as David Sacks has as the new CEO of Zenefits (photo from his blog).

Topics: Core Values
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How To Be an Irresistible Employer

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 10, 2016

Around May of last year, the unemployment rate in the United States fell to about 5.5%, which economists consider the “tipping point” that puts job seekers in a position of control. At that point, there are too few of them, so employers compete for hires.

Topics: Leadership
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Radical Transparency Will Change Your Life

By Tom Lombardo on Feb 2, 2016

It’s possible that I spend too much time thinking about how to improve business so it benefits everyone. 

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The Secret Needs of Highly Accountable Employees

By Andrew Ritchie on Jan 26, 2016

Hiring accountable people is the key to success for any business, but their accountability is only part of the equation. Here’s the secret to getting the best out of the best people you’ve hired.

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Become Immune to Toxic Employees

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 20, 2016

Toxic employees cost you a fortune. A recent Gallup survey&nbsp;found that about one in five employees actually sets out to undermine the enterprise where they work.

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Become Immune to Toxic Employees

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 19, 2016

Toxic employees cost you a fortune. A recent Gallup survey found that about one in five employees actually sets out to undermine the enterprise where they work.

Topics: Leadership
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Secrets of the Century’s Sweet Sixteen

By Tom Lombardo on Jan 6, 2016

It’s the twentieth-first century’s sweet sixteen.

And the business world is acting just like a teenager. That’s incredibly exciting. It means we’re starting new type of human society.

Topics: Strategy
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Why Employees Love KPIs

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 29, 2015

In his ground-breaking study, “Man’s Search for Meaning: The Case of Legos™,” behavioral economist Dan Ariely discovered something every business owner and executive needs to know if they want to succeed with today’s workers.

Topics: KPIs
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Top 5 Best Practice KPIs for Your Finance Team

By Andrew Ritchie on Dec 23, 2015


A look into key performance indicators for financial teams that will contribute to the entire companies success.

We have previously blogged about defining KPIs&nbsp;and about the benefits of having the right KPIs. Now, I am taking a deeper dive into specific functional areas of your business to look at how to identify strong KPIs, and what my recommended Top 5 are for each area. For this first post, we’ll examine finances.

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The Secret Lives of Culture and Strategy

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 16, 2015

Culture eats strategy for lunch.

-- Attributed to Peter Drucker

Topics: Strategy
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Top Five Best Practice KPIs for Aligning Teams

By Andrew Ritchie on Dec 11, 2015

Lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies at least $1 trillion a year.

Topics: KPIs
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The One Thing That Drives Business Success

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 8, 2015

Learn how to figure out the “one thing” you need to do right now in order to achieve your definition of success. 

There is a great scene in the movie City Slickers where Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, is riding on horseback in the New Mexico desert alongside the grizzly old cowboy named Curly, played by Jack Palance. The old cowboy is coaching him on the secret to living a successful life.

Topics: Strategy
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The Santa Claus Any Entrepreneur Can Call

By Tom Lombardo on Dec 1, 2015

Customers consistently stump the brightest business leaders in the world. Make sure that doesn't happen to you this Christmas.

Topics: Strategy
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Use Your Value Proposition to Unleash Your Employees

By Orlando Werffeli on Nov 24, 2015

"The secret to happy, committed employees isn’t much of a secret, really. In small ways and big, you need to prove to them that their work truly matters." - Jon Olinto, Co-founder of b. good

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Top 5 Best Practice KPIs For Your Sales Team

By Andrew Ritchie on Nov 18, 2015


Many business leaders will argue that sales is a numbers game. But what if you’re not focusing on the right numbers?

Today’s business ecosystem is almost all digital, which makes it easy to obsess over all kinds of data. As a result, many sales leaders will fall into the trap of measuring the wrong metrics.

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Does Your Strategy Pass The Sniff Test?

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 17, 2015

Many of the companies I work with think they have strategy, but this test shows they haven't made any strategic choices at all.

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Do You Have a "Real" Strategy for Long-term Success?

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 10, 2015

Many companies claim to have a strategy, but all they have done is an exercise in goal setting. This is a mistake. Here’s how to create a “real” strategy.

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Is Your Strategic Plan Good Enough? Take This Test Now

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 10, 2015

Using the 10 Part Pressure Test inspired by McKinsey & Company is the best way to test your Strategic Plan for 2016.

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Ready for 2016? Advice On How To Start Your 2016 Business Strategy

By Joseph Cole on Nov 10, 2015

Make sure your team is aligned and ready fo 2016 by working together to revise your Strategic Plan.

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3 Strategic Questions Every Business Owner Should Answer

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 10, 2015

Break through the noise: be remarkable, be different, and, in some cases, be on the edge of outrageous....

 

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Business Strategy: Do You Know What's The Problem With Yours?

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 10, 2015

The majority of managers believe that their companies lack a winning strategy.

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KPIs vs. OKRs - What is the Difference?

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 3, 2015

KPIs vs. OKRs. Talk about alphabet soup! What do these 3 letter acronyms mean, and what exactly is the difference?  

Lately, a number of clients have asked about the difference between OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), so what exactly is the difference?

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10 Tips for Delivering a Live Webinar

By Tom Lombardo on Oct 30, 2015

Your next webinar should be your best! Based on a survey by ReadyTalk, between 20% and 40% of webinar attendees turn out to be qualified leads.

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Business Process Automation Could Potentially Save You Thousands

By Orlando Werffeli on Oct 27, 2015

There is nearly 11 times more business to business organizations with automation than there were in early 2011. Why?

Businesses are finding new innovative ways in which they can cut down on costs associated to poor productivity. In a recent study by Business Insider, it was found that your company could be losing up to $3,156 per employee due to issues related to poor productivity.

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The Number One Secret to Productivity - Time To Reflect And Learn

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 20, 2015

As life seems to be getting busier, are you finding yourself running faster and faster just to keep up?

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How to Unite Marketing & Sales to Improve Customer Acquisition

By Orlando Werffeli on Oct 13, 2015

Did you know 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative? 

So how can we embrace each other’s differences to increase customer acquisition together?

Over the past couple of months, our marketing and sales teams have grown significantly across both offices in the northern and southern hemisphere.

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Top 5 KPIs for Your Operations Team

By Andrew Ritchie on Oct 8, 2015

In operations, numbers are everything. No matter what type of business, operations teams have the same quantifiable directive.

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5 Ways to Get Millennials to Embrace Their Jobs

By Tom Lombardo on Oct 6, 2015

Great companies have a vision of where they want to go. And they share it so everyone in the company not only knows the vision, but also buys into it.

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Startup/SMB launching a PPC Campaign? Track the KPIs that matter.

By Michael Steele on Oct 1, 2015

Paid advertising represents a crucial inflection point in a growing company’s business. But how do you measure if you’re doing it right?

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Post-Recession Millennials and Authentic Engagement

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 29, 2015

Over the course of the economic recovery we’ve been expanding RESULTS.com in North America at double-digit rates, and that’s put us in a unique position to watch a fundamental change in the way people relate to work. 

 It has a lot to do with the Millennials coming into the workforce, but it’s not just them.

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The Millennial Meeting: Embrace the Tech, Reap the Rewards

By Laurel Wiebe on Sep 25, 2015

Understanding how Millennials function in the workplace can be a challenge. Here's how to make the most out of Meetings that include Millennials.

We’ve all experienced the awkward, frustrating attempt to converse with a person who relentlessly checks his or her phone. Their eyes rarely greeting your own as you speak: “Am I boring you?” “Is that text really necessary?” These are some questions that arise when someone expresses their egregious indifference towards you as you attempt to connect with them.

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Best Practices to Achieve your BHAG

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 22, 2015

What it takes to create and inspire your team with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

The work we do at RESULTS.com gives us the rare privilege of being able to study thousands of businesses, working closely with them to identify the right goals and approach to developing a successful business strategy.

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The Top 5 KPIs for Customer Service Teams

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 15, 2015

Being founded in New Zealand, customer service is very important to us, NZ remains the top country for customer service so here’s how to get it right.

By working closely with our clients, we’ve identified a real need for companies to set, manage & measure customer service KPIs. All too often we’ve found that customer service teams could be doing far better than they expected or, they’re just not getting the credit they deserve.

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Day 3 of INBOUND 2015

By Orlando Werffeli on Sep 11, 2015

Sales in a new light, with a new set of ABCs by Daniel Pink at INBOUND 2015.

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Top 5 Marketing KPIs

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 8, 2015

Did you know that 73% of executives don't believe that marketing drives awareness or revenue?

They also believe that marketers are not focused enough on results to drive incremental growth. 

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4 ways you can improve employee performance with corrective feedback

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 1, 2015

Q: Do you know the most common regret expressed by business leaders?  A: They wish they had dealt with poor performance sooner. 

Giving positive feedback is relatively simple; although most managers probably don’t recognize and praise their people frequently enough.  Giving negative feedback, on the other hand, is something many managers procrastinate on. 

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Do you want your customers to be satisfied, or loyal?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 18, 2015

Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty are often misunderstood. Here's why:

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3 Social Media KPIs for Small and Midsize Businesses

By Orlando Werffeli on Aug 17, 2015

3 KPIs every social media marketer should consider when tracking performance:

Social media isn’t the easiest marketing tool to measure, considering constant changes to algorithms, and the fact senior executives prefer to focus on more traditional methods. There's no doubt social media is an important part of the marketing mix, but how valuable is it for creating leads, increasing sales, improving brand recognition, etc?

Here’s how you can go about it - set a small number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are simple, easy to measure, explain and prove its value. If you’re asking the question; "what is a KPI?" make sure you read our blog "What is a KPI?"

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How to improve accountability in a family business

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 11, 2015

7 steps to create more accountability and alignment with KPIs in family and small business:

Results.com_how_to_create_accountability_and_allignment_in_family_and_small_business

I received a question from a client recently.

I enjoy your posts and find them helpful - especially the recent one about motivating employees. Can you provide some help regarding 'accountability for owners'? My brother and I own the business. We both have some KPI's, but because we are both owners, we don't really report to anyone, so there are no consequences if we don't hit them.
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10 things you probably didn't know about KPIs

By Laurel Wiebe on Aug 10, 2015

There's a lot out there about KPIs. We'll help you uncover everything you should know about KPIs.

1. Honestly, what is a KPI... 

KPI is an acronym for "Key Performance Indicator." These indicators measure your company's activity and effectiveness that determine your desired outcomes. They measure your critical success factors that drive your existing business model.
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Why KPIs matter to Millennials

By Laurel Wiebe on Aug 10, 2015

How do you think Gen Y would react to KPIs? The answer might surprise you. 

The Millennial Generation, otherwise known as Generation Y, now comprises the largest population of humans entering the workforce. How to connect with these digitally entrenched, smart-phone-in-hand, globally-minded individuals can appear a daunting task for someone who grew up in a time when "social networking" connoted encounters of physical presence, and diaries/scrapbooks hadn't devolved into "Snapchat Stories." 
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How to move business strategy to business execution

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 4, 2015

Identifying your company's strategic moves is important, but executing those moves is the hard part. 6 tips for strategic execution success:

An article in the Harvard Business Review titled, Why Strategy Execution Unravels - and What to Do About It, states while leaders have a pretty good idea of what strategy is now, unfortunately they know a lot less about translating strategy into results.

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What's the pulse of your business?

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 28, 2015

Your KPIs establish the pulse of your organization and ultimately its success. Learn how to find the right pulse.

When people are going through the process of choosing their Key Performance Indicators (the numbers that drive the success of your operating model), they often ask, “How frequently should we be tracking our KPI measures?”  It’s an interesting question.

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Employee Engagement Starts with the Manager

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 21, 2015

Where do you think employee engagement starts?

With all the thousands of books and articles published on the subject “employee engagement” over the last decade, you’d think some of it would be having a positive impact by now. Not so.

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How to use virtual teams to improve strategic decision making

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 14, 2015

Brainstorming isn't nearly as effective as you think...

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Should KPIs be linked to compensation?

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 8, 2015

Some managers believe that incentives be attached to KPIs. But is that what the data suggests?

When supporting clients to define and track their Key Performance Indicators, I often get asked how to link employee KPIs to individual incentive payments.

Many managers operate under the assumption that people work primarily for money, and that you can motivate people to work harder with a financial “carrot”.  My 3 word response to them is, “Fraught with danger”. 

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The benefits of having the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 1, 2015

Employee engagement starts with your employees agreeing with, “I know what is is expected of me at work”. To get there you need the right KPIs. 

In a previous article: “What is a KPI? It's probably not what you think”, I looked at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - what they are, and where to look for them.

Now that we have a notion of what KPIs are, let’s look at the some of the key benefits of identifying and measuring the right KPIs for your organization.

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What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 24, 2015

Creating effective and meaningful Key Performance Indicators is an art.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on the subject of KPIs as part of a training course I am developing for RESULTS.com clients. To be honest, it’s been a tough slog. Let’s just say the source material is somewhat …. dry.

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8 lessons entrepreneurs can learn from the military

By Joseph Cole on Jun 16, 2015

How you can become a better entrepreneur and leader 

The analogy of military leadership and modern management, particularly for Gen Y (aka millennials), might seem like trying to mix oil and water. I shared a similar bias, viewing military leadership as being aligned to a strict hierarchy with a strong focus on a “command and control” management methodology.

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Rules on how to be effective by delegating responsibilities.

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 9, 2015

Solving problems for employees is like playing a game of fetch and that's not a good thing.

What do you say when a person gets into the habit of coming directly to you with a problem and asks, “What do you think I should do?”

Your subconscious urge will be to provide you recommendation, or even make the decision for them. Your ego gets stroked because you get to play “the expert.” It feels good.

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The dark side of goal setting

By Stephen Lynch on May 31, 2015

Setting goals are crucial to your company's success, but there are 4 parctices you should avoid.

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The secret behaviors of effective leadership

By Joseph Cole on May 26, 2015

New research from McKinsey & Co suggests that a small subset of skills correlate closely with the success of frontline leaders.

I have written before about the importance of middle managers, and how front line supervisors have a greater impact on company performance than any other role. This stems from the key role that middle managers play in project management, coaching individual performance, and the supervision of deadlines.  For sure, this is not the most glamorous side of leadership, but it is where the key to higher performance lies. Middle managers coordinate the work of others and play a key role in fostering innovative and creative team environments.

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A faster way to achieve your business goals

By Stephen Lynch on May 19, 2015

Before you charge off and set up a countdown clock, make sure your goal is grounded in reality.

I just read some interesting research that may help us to be more effective when it comes to achieving our long-term goals. According to the research, using a frame of reference where we picture our goals based on a “number of days” we have left until the due date can be more effective in getting us to take action now - as opposed to thinking about our goals in terms of weeks, months and years.

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The art of using the right numbers to improve your KPIs

By Stephen Lynch on May 12, 2015

The numbers don't lie... or do they?

Many years ago, when I was a competitive bodybuilder working toward the goal of being named Mr. New Zealand, I measured several things so that I would know how I was progressing. They were my personal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

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How to run better team meetings.

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 24, 2015

Ford Motor Company used weekly meetings to improve company performance. Here's how:

When Alan Mulally became the CEO of Ford in 2006, he discovered that his senior executives spent too much time in meetings, so he quickly eliminated all unnecessary ones. However, he instituted a comprehensive weekly meeting to review strategic progress and discuss performance.

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4 secrets behind a high-performance culture

By Joseph Cole on Apr 24, 2015

Most CEOs and business leaders know culture is important, but don't truly get what needs to change.

Many business leaders acknowledge the importance of employee engagement, but few actually know what tangible things they can do to motivate and engage their team. Adding to this problem, I found an interesting note in a Harvard Business Review article which indicated that the employee engagement score declines as you go down an organization’s org chart. Effectively this suggests there is a disconnect between leadership and their respective teams.  

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The 5 Ps of productive meetings

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 21, 2015

Meetings get a bad rap. People hate them. But they can be productive.

A Microsoft survey tracking office productivity contacted 38,000 workers around the world to identify "productivity pitfalls." Respondents reported that two out of every five days on the job were wasted. The main culprit: "ineffective meetings."

Topics: Meetings
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3 "lacks" that prevent your company from achieving its goals

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 17, 2015

Most companies and teams start the year fired up. Then then flame out. Here's the 3 lacks causing this. 

A flameout is "the failure of a jet engine caused by the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber." I've never seen a jet engine flame out, but I've seen a lot of flameouts in business. You probably have as well.

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You can't run good meetings without good data

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 14, 2015

We have a saying at RESULTS: "You should never have a meeting without data." Here's why.

At RESULTS.com we are in the the privileged position of being able to observe thousands of managers and teams working on their Goals, and by analyzing the patterns we quickly learn what works and what doesn’t in terms of achieving better business results.

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How to engage employees in the hospitality industry

By Joseph Cole on Apr 8, 2015

CQ Hotels is leading employee engagement in the hospitality industry. Here's how.

Disruptive technology has created rampant competition in the hospitality / hotel industry with the likes of Airbnb and HomeAway

Online review sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp also require constant attention to detail when it comes to maintaining a high-level of service and a prestigious product. Another challenge in the hospitality / hotel industry is a disproportionate percentage of employee turnover.

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Company Culture, Key to Client Success

By Joseph Cole on Apr 7, 2015

Core values serve as the building block for a strong company culture. At advertising agencies, culture is important.

Core values serve as the building block for a strong company culture. It might be an exaggerated comparison, but core values are like your company’s version of the “ten commandments.” They help provide your company direction and serve as its moral compass.

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15 insights: how to make your meetings more effective.

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 3, 2015

$37 billion USD is wasted in unproductive meetings each year! So. Do you know what you're doing wrong?

A study referenced in Strategy + Business looked at mid-size companies and recorded the types of meetings they held, and the impact these meetings had on company performance over a period of two and a half years.

Topics: Meetings
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How to use LinkedIn to fuel your company's growth

By Joseph Cole on Mar 24, 2015

4 practical tips you can use to increase brand awareness and drive lead generation with LinkedIn

At RESULTS.com we have a lean marketing team. Many of our clients share a similar set-up with equally ambitious lead generation goals and sales targets (often in lieu of a marketing budget at all). Does this sound like your company?

For this reason, we’ve leveraged LinkedIn to create brand awareness and to feed qualified leads to our sales team. Below is a list of practical tips I’ve learned through using LinkedIn to help fuel company growth.

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Managers must weed the garden

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 1, 2014

 

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Company Culture: 8 traits of good managers (according to Google).

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 29, 2014

Management is key to even Google's success. Do you know what traits make a good manager?

I read a fascinating bio on Larry Page, the co-founder and CEO of Google. The story goes that for many years he was “anti-management”. After all, Google went to great lengths to only hire the most talented software engineers, and he thought that having a layer of supervisors to manage them and prioritize their work was an unnecessary cost and impediment to getting work done.

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5 benefits of transparency in business

By Joseph Cole on Sep 28, 2014

Ignoring transparency in business is radically silly.

Transparency is something most people value, whether it’s in business, politics or with personal relationships. Unfortunately, in many cases, the word transparency is used as little more than a buzzword.

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How better customer service improves your brand

By Joseph Cole on Sep 27, 2014

Customer service is ultimately linked to your business’s bottom line. Customers will avoid your company for up to 2 years after a bad experience! 

Just as rave reviews about a company can travel quickly across social media, so can stories of rude service or a company being unresponsive to their customers. Social media and mobile devices have given customers a voice like they've never had before. Whether you realize it or not, people are more likely to talk about bad customer service experiences than good ones.

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Company Culture: If you're not leading leaders, you're not leading

By Tom Lombardo on Sep 25, 2014

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How you can help your company meet its goals

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 24, 2014

Employees want to discuss their goals, but managers aren't making time. Why?

A survey published in Training magazine showed that employees want to discuss their goals, tasks, and results frequently, but most managers are not making the time to have these conversations. 
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Set yourself up to succeed

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 24, 2014

Do you know exactly what is expected of you at work?

The extent to which you can agree with the statement "Do you know exactly what is expected of you at work" is one of the key predictors of employee engagement according to the Gallup organisation.

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Business Strategy: Do you know what's the problem with yours?

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 22, 2014

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Business Leader? Learn how to say "NO" to improve your productivity

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 21, 2014

Business leaders tend to be incredibly busy individuals. “Busyness” should never be confused with effectiveness however. We need to switch from being busy, to achieving results.

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5 tips for effective task management

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 20, 2014

If you want to get things done effectively, clarity is critical. Here are 5 ways to help with effective task management. 

From observing many thousands of clients using RESULTS.com software, I have learned some subtle differences that can make your Task management and Delegation much more effective.

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Business Execution Advice: how to build teams that can execute.

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 19, 2014

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GROW method: to grow your team and employee engagement

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 19, 2014

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Are you practicing the 5 to 1 Ratio?

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 17, 2014

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What kind of manager are you? Which style drives employee engagement?

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 17, 2014

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12 signs you're a micromanager

By Joseph Cole on Sep 16, 2014

Micromanagers kill employee engagement. Are you guilty?

Many people think they are being effective managers and are shocked to learn their actions are stifling growth and creativity. The cause? Not realizing they’re the dreaded micromanager.

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Aviod these "big 5" KPI sales mistakes

By Joseph Cole on Sep 14, 2014

KPIs can make or break your sales results. Here are the big 5 sales mistakes to avoid when developing your sales KPIs.

  1. Focusing on just financial KPIs
  2. Too many KPIs
  3. Measuring activity without measuring effectiveness
  4. Not setting a pass or fail criteria
  5. Lack of visibility

Big mistake #1: Focusing on just financial KPIs.

Sales is all about reaching financial KPIs that the company has budgeted for. But it is a mistake to purely focus on financial KPIs to drive sales as these are outcome focused. If you want to influence sales outcomes you need to measure the precursor (inputs) to the sale. These are behavioral KPIs like the number of phone calls, meetings, proposals etc. When managers focus on holding salespeople accountable on the right KPIs sales will grow!

Big mistake #2: too many KPIs.

Have you heard of the phrase “paralysis by analysis”? The issues when measuring too many sales KPIs is just that! It is very confusing and hard to hold people accountable to what really matters. If you want to hold your team accountable, less is best. Try not to focus on any more than three KPIs, which sounds easy but it can be difficult to narrow it down to three that really matter.

For example, a recruitment company that we worked with had an overwhelming dashboard they measured everything possible, but failed to hold their Recruitment Consultants accountable on what really mattered. When push comes to shove what really mattered was just three KPIs. 1. Number of Job Orders to Fill, 2. Candidate interviews with Client meetings, and 3. Sales revenue MTD. This massively increased the revenue of the company because it focused the recruiters on the right behavior, because at the end of the day nothing really matters unless you have job orders, and candidates in front of the clients.

Big mistake #3: Measuring activity without measuring effectiveness.

An easy trap to fall into is to measure the activity without effectiveness. On a recent client visit, they had a salesperson from a supplier call on them just prior to my arrival. My client took pride in pointing out that the salesperson who just left turns up every month, does not ask any questions, has a general chit chat, does not add any value and is in and out of the office within minutes. He then proceeds to sits in his car to tick off his call reports! Do you think his company has the right KPI’s in place? The salesperson is obviously measured by the activity on the call report but not the effectiveness of the call. Never, ever make a call with out an objective!

Big mistake #4: Not setting a pass or fail criteria.

If you want to manage the right behaviour with your sales team, they not only need to know the right KPIs that they need to achieve, but they also need to know what a pass and or a fail looks like. Having a traffic light system is a great visual to achieve this:

  • Red = Off Track
  • Yellow = Needs Help
  • Green = On track

For example, the recruitment company measured Job Orders per recruitment consultant:

  • Green = > 8 job orders (On track)
  • Yellow = 5 – 7 (Needs Help)
  • Red = < 5 job orders (Off track)

Big mistake #5: Zero visibility.

Visible dashboards in sales are often referred to as “Wall of fame or shame” and are a good way of holding salespeople accountable to the right behaviour. For the most part salespeople are a competitive bunch and they don’t like losing, so this acts as a system of self-motivation. Furthermore there is nothing better for the competitive salesperson to know that they are smashing their results, their peers and they are all green! Because Green is what makes them money! As for red, it is like a red card in sports. They don’t want to keep playing if they are getting reds. So they either shape up or ship out. (red-carded).

  1. Do you have a dashboard, which effectively drives your sales?
  2. What are the key milestones in your sales process that influence the sale?
  3. What is the right activity, which drives sales results?
  4. If you had to measure one thing what would it be?
  5. How can you make your sales visible?
  6. What improvements could you foresee if you had this in place?

Learn how to smash your sales KPIs. Sign-up to access our free KPI success kit.

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Business Strategy Success? Don't chase squirrels!

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 13, 2014

A good business strategy requires strict focus.

Swinging into action without doing a proper, disciplined analysis is like starting to cook without knowing who is coming to your dinner party or without planning the menu.

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Do you know about the "4Ds" of productivity?

By Scott Morris on Sep 12, 2014



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Business Strategy: How to change what "cannot" be changed?

By Bernie May on Sep 11, 2014

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The real cause of bad meetings, flameouts.

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 11, 2014

Recognizing when a flameout is about to happen is key to improving your meetings and company performance. 

When I was a boy who dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot, I tried to learn everything I could about jet planes. That's when I heard about flameout for the first time.

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Onboarding new hires to maximize employee engagement

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 10, 2014

15 percent of all new hires think about leaving on the very first day.

Everybody shows up motivated for the first day on the job. Unfortunately, for many people at many companies, that's the most motivated day they'll ever have. In fact, one study by Booz and Company concluded that 15 percent of all new hires think about leaving on the very first day.

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Business Strategy: 5 observations about leadership

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 8, 2014

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How to help a struggling employee to improve engagement and performance

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 7, 2014

People often ask me, “What should I do when one of my team members isn't performing?"

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3 ways to get your time back

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 6, 2014

Most companies do a poor job of tracking and managing how we invest the most important resource of all: our time.

Many companies use Dashboarding software to be more effective at tracking and managing their Key Performance Indicators, Projects and Tasks. However, research published in the Harvard Business Review showed that most companies still do a poor job of tracking and managing how we invest the most important resource of all: our time.

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Business Strategy: advice to my younger self?

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 5, 2014

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Productivity: take time to reflect (to get faster)

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 5, 2014

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Accountability: meaningless without consequences

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 4, 2014

A proven process to drive accountability in any organization. 

Without a doubt, the most stressful times in my management career have involved dealing with poor performing employees. What follows is an approach to help you turn things around for the better. 

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Brainstorming 2.0: the art of making them effective

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 3, 2014

Most brainstorming sessions are ineffective. Try these two approaches, one based on research, the other from Google Ventures

I learned many years ago from my friend Doug Hall that the way most companies conduct brainstorming is ineffective. He documented these findings in his excellent marketing book, Jump Start Your Business Brain. Here’s a quote:

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How to create highly productive virtual teams

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 2, 2014

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Business Productivity: The 1-Thing that = business RESULTS?

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 1, 2014

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The research on how to create a winning company

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 31, 2014

What makes a company successful? Is it strategy? Is it Culture? Read on to learn what creates success...

With the increasing pace of change in terms of technology disruption. globalization, and the changing nature of work itself, what should companies do to ensure they continue to survive and thrive? This article is my take on recent research published in Strategy+Business

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Visualization a "secret" to achieving your goals

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 30, 2014

Thinking about the process, or path we will take, helps to focus our minds on the key action steps we must take to be successful.  

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5 employee engagement tips for new managers

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 29, 2014

Congratulations on becoming a manager.

Most new managers are left to sink or swim when they get promoted into a leadership role. The data is concerning, 40% of new managers don’t last 18 months. Why do so many companies tolerate the lost time, lost opportunities, lost money, and of course the inevitable heartache that comes with dealing with a new manager who does not perform?

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Creativity + Innovation = Employee Engagement (your company's ROI)

By Joseph Cole on Aug 28, 2014

How to encourage creativity to improve employee engagement

Every business has some kind of competition. Technology and globalization has heightened this. Without a doubt, someone somewhere is grinding away to make a product just like yours, only less expensive, better looking, and faster. So what can you do to keep one step ahead?

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Are you praising your people frequently enough?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 27, 2014

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Core Values + Company Culture – why do they matter?

By Scott Morris on Aug 26, 2014

Core Values are a building block to your company culture.

Many companies have a core value statement that is printed beautifully in their literature or hanging on a plaque on the lobby wall.  But are your values really alive in your company?  Do they really matter? It should becasue your Core Values are a building block to your company culture. 

The value of value Core Values.

Whether it’s explicit or not, every company has a personality, a culture.  It can be defined in many ways, but one of the simplest definitions I use is that a culture is “how things get done around here”. Culture defines the guiding principles, the ‘non-negotiable’ rules of play. These are the company's core values.

For small organizations, values often reside in the hearts and minds of the owners or leaders.  And that works when a company is small and every decision, customer interaction, or employee issue is handled by the owner.  Where it breaks down is when a company grows and the owner isn’t involved in every interaction any more.  At that point and beyond on the growth path, employees now have to make decisions and represent the brand consistently, in the same way the leader would. 

In order to do this, your employees need to understand explicitly what the values of the company are.

Implication in the marketplace

Values also come into play in the competitive marketplace. Successful companies win the battle for two things - great people and the best customers. Great employees don’t work for you because of a pay cheque or a benefits plan. If they are really good they can get that anywhere. What they are really looking for is a place where they fit, where their personal values are aligned to the company values.

One of our Energy Services clients has a core value called “Live Safely”. Everyone from the CEO down the organization is very clear on the behaviors that support this foundational principal. Those who act in accordance flourish; those who don’t, will not survive in their culture.

Similarly, the best customers are attracted to vendors who ‘fit’, whose values are aligned to theirs. They look for strategic suppliers who share the same belief system. In his book, “Start with Why” Simon Sinek argues that customers don’t buy from us because of what we do, they buy from us because of what we believe.  He cites Apple as an example; Apple didn’t create a cult of fanatic customers simply by producing good computers, MP3 players or phones. Customers are attracted to the brand because of what their company stands for – Apple believes in challenging the status quo, by creating products that lead in design, and that break new ground.  This is part of its value system – a system that has helped catapult Apple to becoming the number 1 brand in the world (May, 2011 Study by Millward Brown).

Creating meaningful value statements

Many company value statements look something like this

  • Teamwork

  • Honesty

  • Customer focus

  • Innovation

  • Respect

Snoring yet?

The problem with value statements like these is that they don’t define the business; they look the same as everyone else’s and are too generic. And they certainly don’t have any meaning to employees and customers. There is no personality here.
Value statements need to be relevant, meaningful and simple. They need to apply to everyone in the organization, and they need to paint a picture of what the value-based behaviors look like.

A great example is from one of our clients. The firm is a residential painting company and they wanted to express a value around quality of work. They could have used the word “Quality” or “We do a good job”, but that was what all their competitors were saying and it wasn’t meaningful to their staff or customers. 

Instead, they crafted the statement “Three coats means three coats” in response to the reality that in their industry their competitors often promised additional coats of paint, but often only applied one to cut time and cost. “Three coats means three coats” is a unique and meaningful value statement for that company.

Living the values

For values to be really alive in your organization, they need to be used on an ongoing basis. And in order to use them, your people need to know them. So step one is to make sure that everyone in the organization can state the company values. Consider creating a simple acronym to help your employees remember them.

Once your employees know and understand values, here are some ways to keep them alive in the organization on an ongoing basis:

  • Recruiting – successful recruiting is about ‘fit’. Will the people you are bringing on board fit the culture and personality of the business?  Will they represent the brand appropriately? The only way to know is to test for fit in the recruiting process.  Testing for values fit is not about asking, “Here’s our values statement, what do you think?”. Consider instead creating a set of structured questions to test for values fit. For example, one of our values here at RESULTS.com is Passion for Learning. In our recruiting process we have designed several questions to test for fit to this value, including “What are you reading right now to keep up your professional knowledge?”, and “What courses have you taken in the past year for professional or personal development?” The responses to these questions give us insight into the candidate’s fit for our environment. Remember, you can always change what someone knows; you will never change who they are.
  • Values Stories – values come alive and are better understood if your employees hear stories within the company about other team members living the values. Consider making “Core Values Stories” a part of your regular weekly meetings. One of our clients has created pre-printed index cards called “Value Nominations”. On the card, there is space for employees to nominate their peers when they see them living the values.  These cards are shared at the weekly meetings, and handed off to the nominee as a formal method of recognition.
  • Performance Management – Your performance management system should evaluate employees on two spectrums; performance to role measures and performance to values.  This approach is well documented in the book “Topgrading” by Geoff and Brad Smart. “A” Players are those that consistently demonstrate the company values AND meet or exceed the performance targets for the role. Managers should be measuring on both spectrums during performance reviews.  Management Dashboard Software makes this easy.

Valuable Lessons

If you are still skeptical about the importance of core values in your organization, consider this final thought. Companies that are built upon strong core ideologies and values outperform those that consider it lip service. The research supports it, and business leaders and CEOs agree that a strong foundation built on core values help move companies from GOOD TO GREAT.

If you'd like to learn more about the importance of culture and core values in an organization, download our free culture resources. 

Founding Partner - RESULTS.com Canada
This article was originally published by OilWeek Magazine in May 2011 .

 

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Management myths vs facts.

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 25, 2014

6 management myths to avoid ASAP.

I have read hundreds of business books over the years, and to be honest it’s hard to impress me these days. A lot of “so called” best-practices are often nothing more than the same old myths that keep getting perpetuated. As a result, I seek out authors who bring meaningful data and intellectual rigor to their work. One of them is Professor Bob Sutton from Stanford. 

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Company culture: not what you are but what you do that = success.

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 24, 2014

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If business was a game, what game you are playing? Is it creating a Results oriented culture?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 21, 2014

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Employee Engagement and Accountability. Is it possible?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 20, 2014

Employee engagement requires "difficult" conversations (sometimes)

One of our clients emailed me recently wanting to know:

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How to be a better business leader

By Bernie May on Aug 19, 2014

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Monday Meetings? 7 ways to nail them and make them productive.

By Tom Lombardo on Aug 18, 2014

As a leader of a company, branch, or team, you have a few secret weapons to help you get things done. Mine is the weekly team meeting (that happens to occur on Monday).

One of the secrets is what we call the “weekly execution meeting.”  This meeting will only be effective if you have carefully chosen goals and have the right KPIs in place for each member of your team. If you have these, then your weekly meeting is the most important thing you do as a leader every week. These meetings should be the most productive part of your week, but they often aren't. Before stating these meetings, remember: 

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How to get everyone on the same page to improve employee engagement

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 17, 2014

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How coffee breaks can improve your effectiveness

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 15, 2014

As a business leader, you need to think carefully about how you spend your most important resource – your time. 

If you're not deliberate about how you manage your time, you can fritter it away doing “busywork” – e.g. responding to emails and reacting to what is going on around you.  You may feel like you are working hard, but are you actually moving your company forward?

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5 tips for employee feedback

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 14, 2014

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4 tips on how to beat the "planning fallacy"

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 13, 2014

"Stuff" hardly happens as planned. “Stuff” happens!

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Stop chasing rabbits (if you want to be productive in business)

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 12, 2014

 

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It's all about attitude when it comes to company culture and results

By Kendall Langston on Aug 11, 2014

 

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7 ways to be an awesome manager (to improve employee engagement)

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 9, 2014

Employee disengagement occurs when managers lose touch with what's happening on the "ground." 

Research contained in the book “The Progress Principle” identifies key principles proven to help business leaders drive better employee engagement and business resultsHere's our take on 7 ways to be an awesome manager:

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7 Management traps to avoid for employee engagement

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 8, 2014

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Got management chops? 7 tips to drive employee engagement

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 7, 2014

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3 Tips for an effective week

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 3, 2014

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8 steps for running a sucessful 1:1meeting

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 30, 2014

The 1:1 meeting is where you are focused solely on one team member and how you as a manager can best support your direct reports.

Weekly team meetings are vital to share information, make decisions, and align your team for business execution – but the subtleties of each individual’s particular needs cannot be fully addressed in a team meeting.

Topics: KPIs Meetings
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Leadership Vision for Business Execution

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 27, 2014

Peter Drucker shared a wealth of timeless advice for business leaders. He's often referred to as the father of modern management. Here is a summary of his business execution wisdom for leadership vision.

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Employee Engagement: 8 Things So Rarely Discussed

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 12, 2014

The two biggest challenges facing business today are growing leaders and engaging employees. 

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Why you must burn the boats

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 9, 2014

An article in Forbes stated that only half of the companies surveyed thought their organizations adapted well to the introduction of new technologies.

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How to use KPIs to motivate your team [free KPI infographic].

By Joseph Cole on Jul 6, 2014

Do KPIs have you confused? Here's why they're important and how to use them. 

Personally, I like the idea of KPIs or Key Performance Indicators, but if you do a quick Google search using "KPIs" it's easy to become overwhelmed with the search results (last time I checked, I got almost 7 million!).

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1 reason small businesses stay small

By Tom Lombardo on Jun 29, 2014

Over the last decade I've seen many small businesses that have stopped growing, and are slowly getting worn down by their Herculean efforts to break through to the next level.

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The 5 Hallmarks of a BAD Strategy

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 15, 2014

Bigger, better, faster, cheaper is not strategy! 5 hallmarks that you must avoid.

One of the more interesting books I’ve read in the last couple of years is the book, Good Strategy Bad Strategy, by Richard Rumelt, and I thought it worth repeating the key points again. 

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RESULTS.com wins in Management category at Book Awards

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 11, 2014

The book “Business Execution for RESULTS” written by RESULTS.com’s Stephen Lynch was  named Winner in the “Management” category of the USA’s 2014 Small Business Book Awards. 

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Do your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) pass the tropical island test?

By Stephen Lynch on May 21, 2014

Learn how to use KPIs in way that makes a difference in your results even when you're away on holiday.

Imagine that you're the CEO and you are vacationing on a distant tropical island. It's lovely there, but it's very remote. Communications are severely limited. In fact, you can only receive a single five-line text message per week to let you know how things are going at the company.

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10 tips for more effective email execution

By Stephen Lynch on May 18, 2014

The number of software tools we have for communication and collaboration is expanding all the time, but the trusty old email is going to be with us for a while yet. Depending on which research you look at, approximately 300 billion emails got sent every day, and the average business leader receives 100+ emails per day. It is becoming increasingly stressful to keep on top of it all.

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How Your Strategic Plan Benefits from Dual Vision

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 30, 2014

And Why Your SWOT Analysis Comes Last 

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Focus on less to achieve more: a secret to winning in business.

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 27, 2014

Focus on less to achieve more: a secret to winning in business! 

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Core Values - The behaviors that define your culture

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 23, 2014

This article is part of our series to help you create a robust one page plan for your company

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Developing a sustainable R&R (Reward and Recognition) program.

By Joseph Cole on Apr 20, 2014

Guest blog post by Nicky Powers: @nicki_powers_ 
Digital Marketing Manager at Zeis Group

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Brand Promise - What’s in it for your customers?

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 9, 2014

Your Brand Promise should be blunt, overt, and compelling...why?

Your Strategic Position is a statement of who you are. Your Brand Promise should tell your customer what they can expect to receive from your brand. Your Brand Promise is the blunt, overt, compelling offer you're going to put in front of your target market customers. Your Brand Promise is going to be derived from, and supported by, your three Key Benefits

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What key benefits does your brand offer?

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 2, 2014

This article is part of our series to help you create a robust one page plan for your company:

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How to strategically position your brand

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 26, 2014

This article is part of our series to help you create a robust one page plan for your company:

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Serving your customers for the future

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 19, 2014

In a previous article “How to identify your ideal target customer”, we learned how to clearly describe your “center of the bull's-eye” customer. We identified who your ideal target customer is and what your customer really needs and wants, and succinctly captured that information in your One Page plan

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Increase the value of your product by 2,806% with stories.

By John McKeown on Mar 16, 2014

How to increase value of your product or service should be something of magnificent importance in every business. What separates two products of the same inherent value, why do we pay so much for a Rolex over a Swatch? Quality? Sure. That’s a part of the equation, But the real answer lies in the power of stories.

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How to identify your ideal target customer

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 12, 2014

This article is part of our series to help you create a robust one page plan for your company:

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Are you a bad boss? 4 ways to correct yourself.

By Joseph Cole on Mar 9, 2014

Most managers start off with good intentions, but don't recognize the signs when they're becoming the manager from hell. 

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Strategic planning: How to set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 5, 2014

Business goals are like climbing a mountain, and are easier to achieve when you involve your team.

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8 ways to boost employee engagement for free

By Joseph Cole on Mar 1, 2014

Guest blog post by: Elizabeth Bromstein, Contributor and author at Workopolis  

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How to engage your employees with a compelling reason "WHY"

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 26, 2014

Every employee has a mix of motivators, and that mix almost always includes the same three things.

"Looking back over my career, I can't remember a single bonus check or what it was for. The money went into my bank account, and I used it to buy things. Salary and bonuses quickly become "part of the package" for employees. They may feel good for a couple of weeks, but it has limited effects on future performance.

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What business leaders can learn from Private Equity firms

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 19, 2014

Existing leadership teams can become too attached to decisions that were made in the past, particularly if the incumbent leaders were involved in making those decisions. If a Private Equity firm (or other external investor) were to take a financial stake in your company tomorrow, what changes do you think they would want to make? 

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7 practical ways to engage your workforce to get results

By Joseph Cole on Feb 15, 2014

Multiple studies suggest a strong relationship between employee engagement, happiness in the workplace, and levels of productivity.

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YUP. It’s (already) FEB., 2014. What were YOUR New Year’s Goals?

By Joseph Cole on Feb 1, 2014

Now that it’s February 2014; do you remember your New Year’s resolution(s)? Here are some of the most common goals we set for ourselves:

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How to prevent your company growth from stalling

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 22, 2014

It is common for firms of all sizes to reach a plateau where revenue growth seems to stall. How can you prevent this from happening? This growth tip references research contained in the book Stall Points

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How to complete your SWOT Analysis (part 3)

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 11, 2013

Maintaining focus with your SWOT (don’t go chasing squirrels).

As mentioned in the last post in this series, your SWOT Analysis (an analysis of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) should be updated every quarter to ensure it is an accurate reflection of your current operating environment. The pace of change is increasing and you need to keep ahead of it. 

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Creating your SWOT Analysis (part 2)

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 4, 2013

Creating your SWOT analysis means addressing the Elephant in the room. 

As mentioned in SWOT Analysis – part 1, you need to start with a clear strategy, before you even look at doing a SWOT Analysis. 

Then you need to keep the concept of “Dual Vision” in mind. Strategic planning requires us to look at how to improve our current business - “improving what is”, balanced with what we need to build to succeed in the long term - “creating what will be.”

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How to start your SWOT Analysis (Part 1)

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 27, 2013

Don't do a one-eyed SWOT. 

Early in my business career, (prior to joining RESULTS.com) I had the experience of having external consultants come into my firm to do “strategic planning” with us on an annual basis. 

We would go to an offsite meeting. They would start by having us do a SWOT analysis (an assessment of company Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), and then we would create a long list of action items and go back work and do our best to get these things done – with varying levels of success.

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The “Ownership Gene”

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 13, 2013

My colleague Ben Ridler, RESULTS.com CEO, says that he looks to recruit people who have what he calls, “the ownership gene”. 

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What you should know before you start using KPIs

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 6, 2013

Key Performance Indicators focus you and your team on what's most important. Here's what you should know before you start:

KPI basics and reality. 

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Leadership is not a democracy

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 16, 2013

Most management writers these days encourage leaders to be more participative and collaborative in their decision making. Gone are the days of the top-down, hierarchical organization of the past they say! But then why does the business media continue to make heroes out of highly autocratic leaders, writing biographies about them, and sticking them on the magazine covers? 

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Have you identified your marketing bull's-eye?

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 9, 2013

A couple of years back we booked a half-day pistol shooting session with a tutor at the LAX firing range in Los Angeles. One of the things he said stuck in my mind. "Remember," he said, "you have to aim for the bull's-eye if you want to hit the target. If you just aim for the target, you will be more likely to miss it." 

That's as true for marketing as it is for pistol shooting, but it's not an insight that comes naturally to business leaders.

I've encountered several companies that seemed to think that it was best not to aim at all. A plumbing company might describe its customers as "anyone who needs plumbing services." A toy store could say its customers are "people who buy toys," while a toy manufacturer would describe its clients as "companies that sell toys."

It sounds reasonable, but actually it is a huge mistake. It's like aiming in the general direction of the target: You waste a lot of ammunition. As any good shooter knows, if you want to hit the target consistently you need to aim for the bull’s-eye every time.

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How to deliver bad news

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 25, 2013

Delivering bad news can be the worst part of the job for any manager. In this article we provide suggestions for how to do it in way that maximizes your chances of keeping your team engaged, and achieving a successful long-term outcome. 

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How to create a business that lasts 100 years

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 11, 2013

A while back, Fortune magazine published an article on five lessons learned from IBM as they celebrated being in business for over 100 years. Here is our take on those top 5 lessons: 

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Tips for Getting Things Done in Business

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 28, 2013

Start by clearly defining what “done” looks like. We see far too many companies choosing Project Goals to improve their business without a clearly defined finish line of what the “100% completed” Project looks like. Or, if the Project is part of a longer-term strategic initiative, what is the specific milestone that you intend to reach by the end of this quarter? 

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Don't be so quick to dismiss "military style" leadership

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 14, 2013

Modern management books and articles write dismissively of the so-called “command and control” style of leadership (except of course when Steve Jobs was doing the commanding and controlling). The authors infer that the so-called “military style” of leadership does not belong in the modern business environment. 

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The #1 regret of business leaders

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 17, 2013

New York Times columnist Adam Bryant has spent many years interviewing the world’s top business leaders. His book “The Corner Office” captures the common lessons he learned from the world's most successful leaders. Here is my summary:

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Middle Managers are the key to successful business execution

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 13, 2013

Middle managers have a tough job. They are the meat in the sandwich. They have to execute the strategic direction of the company, and implement change – even if it may be unpopular with their people. They manage a finite set of resources. They have boundaries to the types of decisions they can make. They have to make sure information flows up and down the company. But, ultimately they are the ones who make sure the company achieves its goals. 

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Do you know what is expected of you at work?

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 10, 2013

The art of setting role expectations to improve your team's engagement. 

Employee engagement surveys continually show that most employees do not agree with the simple statement:

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Why you should NOT have an open door policy

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 12, 2013

It’s almost a cliché in business; Managers saying, “I have an open door policy.” But what does this really mean and what are the implications of this? 

In my first management role I took this advice at face value and quickly became frustrated with the number of interruptions I experienced with my team constantly asking me questions.

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Beware these common pitfalls when setting business goals

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 5, 2013

When setting business goals, whether they be numerical targets, or the achievement of key milestones in the execution of your chosen strategic projects, it is important to guard against the following common pitfalls: 

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Hiring - how to filter out the tire kickers

By Stephen Lynch on May 15, 2013

Companies who are highly effective at business execution follow a disciplined hiring methodology. This ensures you only hire “A-Players" for every role in your company, as described in our previous article “No more hiring mistakes". Hiring is too important to get wrong.

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Communication mistakes to avoid (and fixes to make)

By Bernie May on May 11, 2013

Many managers I've met think they're better at communicating than they really are. Communication is hard. It doesn't just happen. It has to be deliberately designed. Here's a couple of suggestions mistakes to avoid, and how to be a better communicator (and therefore a more effective leader): 

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How to avoid making a bad hire.

By Stephen Lynch on May 8, 2013

Many painful business decisions can be avoided simply by hiring the right people. Learn how.

Looking back over my management career, the worst experiences were without a doubt, having to deal with poorly performing or badly behaving staff members. I remember the stress, anguish, not to mention the loss of sleep thinking about the tough conversations I needed to have.

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New School Leadership. Are you up for it?

By Stephen Lynch on May 1, 2013

Good leadership is timeless with a consistent set of 10 attributes. 

While there’s much about leadership that remains constant over time, there are profound strategic changes occurring in many industries, and the pace of change is only increasing. Leaders need to display certain attributes to deal with these changes. 

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How to build and repair customer relationships

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 24, 2013

Ideally, we proactively contact our customers to assess their level of satisfaction (or better yet their level of advocacy) with our products and services and take action to resolve any issues that are raised. Seeking customer feedback needs to be a regular discipline, as the dynamics of the relationship can change over time.

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Do you have the discipline to be disciplined?

By Stephen Lynch on Apr 17, 2013

If you are a regular reader of these business growth tips, you will know that we strongly recommend that business leaders follow a disciplined strategic decision making process, and a disciplined business execution process – that is, if you really want to maximize your chances of business success. 

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Leadership lessons from John Spence

By Kendall Langston on Apr 13, 2013

One of the best things about working at RESULTS is that we get the opportunity to meet and hang out with many of the thought leaders on the planet. It is a chance to understand their thinking, discuss ideas, hear how they apply ideas and concepts and to just get to know them.

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The art of Setting Lofty Goals

By Kendall Langston on Mar 30, 2013

I am lucky enough to live in the leadership space. Every day I am paid to lead the company to set and achieve the goals set by our strategic plan. Every day I am influencing people and their activities. Every day I am overcoming the challenges that this throws my way.

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Digital Dashboards: A business case

By Tim OConnor on Mar 16, 2013

The implementation of digital business dashboards in companies drives productivity and performance improvements in many areas. This fact has been illustrated and verified by a variety of research studies in the past decade:

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How to do a better job of connecting with others

By Stephen Lynch on Mar 13, 2013

According to the Harvard Business Review, the No.1 criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively.

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Predictors of business execution success

By Bernie May on Mar 9, 2013

I have started noticing that when I begin consulting with a new client, very early on I get a pretty solid feeling on how the next year is going to go. I haven' t made it a disciplined study, but I think I'll open a file on my smartphone and start keeping track of which clients I think are going to be successful, and which ones might struggle. Success being defined as being able to improve their business in a way that's favorable to them (more revenue, more profit, or however they define it). 

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6 steps every leader needs to take to stay in front

By Kendall Langston on Mar 2, 2013

High performance leaders make time to plan ahead.

As I go about my daily work with business leaders, I find myself constantly encouraging them to plan ahead. Being reactive leads to them constantly “playing catch-up.” As a team leader myself, I find it is a constant challenge to be one step ahead of the team, to see what is coming next and to shape the future so I understand the challenge. 

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How to give feedback to your top performers

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 27, 2013

A common management trap is to spend most of your time trying to improve the performance of the stragglers in your team. Instead, you should spend most of your time growing your "rock stars", your “A-Players". 

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What business leaders can learn from non-profit organizations

By Tim OConnor on Feb 23, 2013

I have been blessed over the past several years to have had the opportunity to work as a volunteer and director with two nonprofit societies. I have watched them evolve from a group of individuals with an idea to well-functioning, mature, and highly successful organizations.

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3 proven keys to management success

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 20, 2013

A survey of over 10,000 firms in over 20 countries, found 3 key success practices associated with top performing companies that every good manager should strive to follow.  Companies that exhibit these best practices were associated with a 3% higher return on capital, 26% higher market valuation, and 70% faster growth. 

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A 5-step process for creating accountability

By John Spence on Feb 13, 2013

Making the case for accountability and reasons why some managers fail...

Recently I was asked why it seems so hard for some managers to hold their people fully accountable. There are several reasons, but mainly they just don't know how. 

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The Essence of Excellence

By John Spence on Feb 9, 2013

Several years ago one of my clients asked me to deliver a speech for 1,600 of their people on "the essence of excellence." Putting together that talk was a daunting task and after weeks of research and talking to top CEOs around the country I finally settled in on what I felt were the three key watchwords of excellence: FDA 

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Have you created your Strategic Plan for 2013?

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 6, 2013

Business leaders all around the world have been using the RESULTS.com One Page Strategic Plan to capture their strategic decisions and share them with all their staff.  This planning template is even used at MIT in Boston as part of the Entrepreneurial Masters’ Program.

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How to make your online marketing stand out

By Stephen Lynch on Feb 2, 2013

With all the articles about the importance of websites, blogs, email newsletters, and social media platforms it is easy to forget that these are just communication tools. If you don’t have a clear and focused inbound marketing strategy, no communications platform is going to save you. 

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Playing “bad cop” is often part of being a good manager.

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 30, 2013

Should you accentuate the positive or eliminate the negative?

Certainly, every leader should try to do both. Yet, given that you have limited time, attention, and resources, an interesting question is: which should take priority? Common wisdom tends to suggest that we should focus on the positive, however a growing body of research indicates that it's more important to eliminate the negative. 

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The big reasons why companies fail to execute strategy

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 25, 2013

MBA trained managers usually know about the theory of strategic planning, but they know very little about business execution i.e. how to execute a plan - according to the book “Making Strategy Work: Leading Effective Execution and Change.” 

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How to really motivate your people

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 23, 2013

Good news. The key to motivating your people turns out to be largely within your control. It has nothing to do with money or incentive systems, or even recognizing your people. The top motivator of employee performance is in fact - "progress".

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How to spark more creativity in your business

By Tim OConnor on Jan 19, 2013

If you are a business leader, you know the importance of innovation and creativity. With the right spark your firm can leap ahead of the competition, grab “first mover advantage” or even redefine your industry. At the same time, if your company is not the innovator, you could be on the losing end and left behind. 

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Business Execution - the big challenge for business leaders

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 16, 2013

Many business leaders realize the need to make profound changes to their company strategy – but become incredibly frustrated when they roll out a new plan and don’t achieve the implementation traction they desire. Creating a winning strategy is just the first step. Most leaders struggle with business execution – the discipline of getting the right things done. 

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Do you have a winning strategy?

By Stephen Lynch on Jan 9, 2013

Bigger, better, faster, is not a strategy!

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Business Leadership: The Big 5 Lessons of 2012

By Kendall Langston on Jan 5, 2013

It is summer here in New Zealand. A time when people take a longer holiday and enjoy family, time in the outdoors and exploring our beautiful country. Business leaders need time out, and I try to take at least three weeks off and to unplug from the grid. This means deleting the e-mail accounts from my cell phone and not being available! Novel stuff I know in the world of 24/7 connectedness. 

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What makes you think you will be more successful this year?

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 29, 2012

Good intentions will only get you so far. Follow through and execution is the key to success.

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Want information to help your strategic thinking?

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 29, 2012

Check out the RESULTS.com Linkedin Group.  Unlike other groups on Linkedin which can quickly turn into self-promoting spam-fests with every member promoting their own interests, our group solely focuses on providing members with quality content curated by our consultants to help you think strategically and become more effective as a business leader.

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The importance of trust and relationships

By Bernie May on Dec 22, 2012

A client once asked me how much I read. I read about two dozen business books a year, plus countless blogs and magazine articles. I also listen to several business, sales, and management podcasts. I take the bus whenever I can, so I have an hour or so to read either way. Plus I don't have to deal with traffic.

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Why companies fail (and what to do about it)

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 19, 2012

Many business books and articles present case studies about successful companies and endeavor to find common themes we can learn from. Unfortunately, good luck and forces outside the control of the business leaders can play a bigger role in these success stories than the authors care to admit. Also, success can be a very fleeting thing, and many authors have been embarrassed by their reference companies going from “great to bankrupt” in the space of a few short years. 

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Leadership lessons from the Army: How to fight to win!

By Kendall Langston on Dec 15, 2012

Much of my working life has been spent as an Army Officer, initially as a regular and later in the Reserves. I have found that the skills I learned and applied on the battlefields of the world are very relevant and transferable for leading teams and driving business execution; especially in this increasingly dynamic and ever changing marketplace.

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Radical Transparency drives business results

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 12, 2012

Imagine you got to work on Monday and you knew exactly how you had performed the previous week, and could look up how everyone else was doing. Or a manager could go online, any time of the day or night, and see how their team was performing, who deserved a bonus, who was lagging, even if those people were customer service staff, or engineers", said the introduction to a research article in Harvard Business Review.

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Progress: the most motivating factor for employees

By Stephen Lynch on Dec 8, 2012

4 ways to improve the feeling of progress in your company.

After examining 12,000 daily diary entries from workers in a survey, the authors of the book “The Progress Principle” reached a set of fascinating conclusions:  How people feel inside profoundly affects their performance - and the most powerful motivating factor for employees is seeing tangible progress whilst performing meaningful work. 

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What’s your Story?

By Tim OConnor on Dec 1, 2012

One of my family’s favorite movies is RV starring Robin Williams. In it the hero Bob Munro, played by Williams, takes his family on a vacation in a rented RV while secretly continuing to work in his high-profile job at an advertising agency. He even goes as far as coordinating his cross-country RV trip to put him in the vicinity of an important meeting with a key prospect, and attempts to covertly attend the meeting to land the a major new client without his family knowing.

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Six keys to business execution success from John Spence

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 28, 2012

I spent an enjoyable afternoon a while back speaking with my good friend, author John Spence about key business success fundamentals. John should know. Some of the companies he consults to include Microsoft, IBM, GE, AT&T, & Abbott Labs in the USA, as well as New Zealand dairy products giant, Fonterra.  He writes about the 6 key business success fundamentals in his book Awesomely Simple.

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How to deal with the stress of leadership

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 24, 2012

Many companies are trying to do more work with fewer people - and it can take a toll in terms of increased stress levels, health problems, deteriorating relationships, and weakened job performance.  You might feel like you don't have time to exercise, eat right, or modify your behaviors right now, but consider this: Your current high level of stress may be your "new normal".

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Is your strategic plan good enough? Take this test now.

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 21, 2012

I was recently asked by one of our RESULTS.com software clients to take a look at their strategic plan for the coming year. The CEO said that he held up his strategy document against a 10 part pressure test I had written about previously, and he was pretty confident that his team had done a good job, but he wanted me to take a closer look and provide an objective viewpoint. His enquiry made me think that it would be worthwhile re-posting this article. Does your strategy pass the test? 

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How to use leading indicators to drive business execution

By Tim OConnor on Nov 17, 2012

Numbers drive the world of business: Revenue, profitability, production efficiency, production output, lost-time due to accidents, and a variety of other measures are commonplace. And leaders would be at a severe disadvantage without timely and accurate figures relating to all aspects of their business. Numeric literacy is a must! 

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Jim Collins is wrong. Who wants to be on a boring bus?

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 14, 2012

I never liked the Bus concept Jim Collins writes about in his books. He asserts that your business is like a bus. According to Collins, the business leader is the bus driver, and you need to “get the right people on your bus”. I think this concept is flawed and demeaning. I propose an alternative analogy for your business – the Viking Longship!

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Leading by design with the Stanford University D School

By Kendall Langston on Nov 10, 2012

One of the things I love about working with RESULTS.com is that learning is constant. There is never a day goes by that I don’t learn more about business, people, leadership, or gain new perspectives that challenge our thinking about things or how we do them.

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How to make better business decisions

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 7, 2012

Peter Drucker said effective executives do not make many decisions; rather they concentrate on making a few important ones that will have the biggest impact on the business. They make the big strategic decisions, rather than running around trying to solve lots of little problems. They do not make fast decisions either.

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How AnswerLab became one of the Great Places to Work

By Stephen Lynch on Nov 5, 2012

RESULTS.com congratulates AnswerLab for being recognized as one of the Great Places to Work in the USA - as published in Fortune Magazine.  Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer Dan Clifford said “Being recognized as a Great Place to Work is especially meaningful to us because it is based on employee feedback.  It’s validation that our focus on culture, training, career development and fun, not only enables us to provide amazing service to clients but also provides a rewarding work environment for the team.  We know that talented employees value an engaging and enriching work environment so we hope that this recognition will help us continue to attract top talent.”

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You may be a leader, but can you be a good follower?

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 31, 2012

You only succeed as a leader when your team succeeds. Your job title may state that you have a leadership role in your business, however when it comes to various Strategic Projects that your company is working on, you may be the leader in some projects, but you may be a follower in others where you only have a bit part to play. If you want to be a great leader, you need to learn to be a great follower as well. Here’s how:

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How to make your business more referable

By Tim OConnor on Oct 27, 2012

Any business leader will tell you that referrals and word-of-mouth introductions are the most effective sources of new customers for companies in a business-to-business environment. A recent review of our RESULTS.com client base showed that well over 50% of our current clientele originated from referrals, and, in some cases, we could trace numerous new clients back to one raving fan. 

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10 ways you can use KPIs to improve management

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 24, 2012

RESULTS.com10waysKPIscanimprovemanagement

Most companies don't use KPIs correctly and unfortunately don't see how they improve management. 

Most companies do their best to set numerical targets (goals) for the month and the quarter. However, they seldom do a good job of setting and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) - the small handful of predictive measures that you measure on a weekly basis that will ultimately drive goal achievement. Nor do they do a good job of holding people accountable for results.

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The power of consequence: tools to help improve performance.

By Kendall Langston on Oct 20, 2012

The art of using consequences to improve poor performance. 

Recently one of our Software users submitted a question on our website and asked the following, “What do I do if someone in my sales team does not hit their targets each week and has a red dashboard? How do I handle that?” 

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How to earn more trust as a business leader

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 17, 2012

In order to be effective as a business leader, you first need to earn the trust of your team. And yes, trust has to be earned – it does not automatically come with the title. The level of trust you earn is always in a state of flux too; you are either building trust, or eroding trust with your every word and deed. Here are some simple (but not always easy) actions you can take every week to build more trust, build more accountability, and earn the full commitment of your team:

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How to be a better manager by "listening"

By Bernie May on Oct 13, 2012

Becoming a better manager / leader requires that you listen to your team. Learn the art of generous listening:

One of the keys to business execution success is the art of generous listening.  It is core skill for business leaders to master if you want to be able to influence and align your people. As Stephen R. Covey said, “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” Your influence will only reach to the extent you’ve paid attention, and have been seen to pay attention. If you've been through the "active listening" course you know that those techniques are fine. But merely restating to confirm understanding will only take you so far.

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How to improve leadership productivity

By Stephen Lynch on Oct 10, 2012

Peter Drucker once said, “If you cannot manage yourself for effectiveness, you cannot expect to manage others”. Studies show that on average, leaders are interrupted every 8 minutes (or about 73 times per day). Interruptions can include telephone calls, email messages, interruptions by colleagues, as well as the odd crisis. An average interruption time of 5 minutes – equates to about 4 hours - or 50% of your productive time being wasted by interruptions!

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Reaching Your Goal One Mile at a Time

By Kim Raggett on Oct 6, 2012

It is estimated that only 0.5% of the US population will ever complete a marathon in their lifetime. Unfortunately most people will never experience the joy of this achievement. Perhaps it's because people are intimidated by the 26.2 mile distance which makes up the marathon? However, as someone who has now completed three marathons, I know that running a marathon is just like any worthwhile goal - you must work towards it every day, and it is achieved one mile at a time.  

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Why You Should Pick a Fight

By Tim OConnor on Sep 29, 2012

If you were like me growing up, you may have found yourself in the school principal’s office from time to time due to some misbehavior or offence. For me, I recall one particular occasion when I was on the losing end of a playground brawl with one of the larger boys in my school. Of course, my parents got involved, and I had to endure their long lecture about how picking fights was not such a good idea – especially with kids bigger than me!

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The Cadence of business execution

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 19, 2012

Picture a rowing crew in the Olympic finals with the coxswain calling out the tempo of the rowing strokes.  Everyone in the crew is rowing in time and the boat is rapidly slicing through the water.  The race winners have a plan.  They stay focused on the execution of their race strategy even though they can see their competitors jockeying for position in their peripheral vision.  They maintain their synchronous cadence – a fast, even tempo for the duration of the race, even when they are tired and don’t necessarily feel like it. 

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You must inspire people to drive business execution

By Bernie May on Sep 15, 2012

I've had the good fortune to hang out with some very passionate and driven marketing folk lately, learning about how they tap into emotional archetypes to drive action. I find this topic fascinating. Any business leader knows that getting people to change the way they do things is one of the hardest things a leader has to do. But it’s critical to business execution.

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How to deal with customer complaints

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 12, 2012

At some point you will have to deal with an upset customer. Your business execution challenge is to handle each situation in a way that leaves the customer thinking you are a great company to deal with, and if you handle the issue really well – hopefully they will become a passionate advocate for your brand. 

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If Change isn’t Needed - it is Probably Time to Change

By Kendall Langston on Sep 8, 2012

Most days I am working with business leaders who are trying to drive business execution and achieve better results.  Finding the time to execute their strategic plan whilst managing the fast pace of “business as usual” is the biggest challenge for the leader of any organisation. In reality, it is really about making strategic execution the number one priority on an extensive priority list.

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How to maximize business execution and personal productivity

By Stephen Lynch on Sep 5, 2012

How do you achieve business execution success whilst making quality time for your personal life? The higher you climb; it seems the greater the personal sacrifices you need to make. Many high achievers burn themselves out thinking they have to get everything done.

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What is The Purpose of Social Media?

By Kim Raggett on Sep 1, 2012

A seemingly simple question, though a surprisingly hotly contested issue... as I found out at a recent Social Media Club event! Put a hundred or so Social Media managers into a room and it soon becomes clear we are all passionate about what we do. This has never been more evident than when the entire reason for the industry came into question, ‘What is the purpose of Social Media?’ The resulting debate was both entertaining and enlightening.

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Do you have a strategy execution framework?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 29, 2012

Almost 90% of companies in a global sample of 1,854 large companies failed to achieve profitable growth, even though they claimed to have created strategic plans that specified clear targets for growth - according to an article published by the Harvard Business School. These companies all set goals, but they did not achieve the results they were looking for. The reason for this failure to grow?  It's called Business Execution.

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Don't be a dinosaur. Here's how to make better strategic decisions

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 22, 2012

There are profound changes occurring in many industries. Are you going to be one of the casualties or one of the success stories?  Business leaders have to deal with more complexity than ever before - and they are being forced to make tough strategic decisions that will profoundly impact their company’s future success.  Don't be a dinosaur!  Here are some the common mistakes to avoid when making strategic decisions:

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Secrets to leading a high performing team.

By Tom Lombardo on Aug 18, 2012

Over the last 20 years as an entrepreneur, and in my role as CEO of RESULTS.com I've had times when things were going really well, and times when they weren’t. When it comes to leading high performing teams, here are a few of the things I've learnt along the way:

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Personal branding for busy business leaders

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 15, 2012

Social media’s impact on our business and personal lives is only going to intensify. Your colleagues, staff, boss, clients, suppliers, investors, potential business partners, recruiters and business connections are already judging you based on what they find about you online. Like it or not, you are a brand. 

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Find out why you are not realizing your full potential

By John Spence on Aug 11, 2012

In this guest post, John Spence - one of the top business thought leaders in America - shares his findings on why so many companies struggle with business execution, and why they do not get the results they deserve:  

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Are you a smart leader?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 8, 2012

Many business leaders have a distorted concept of “management by objectives.”

They think that it means setting challenging goals – followed up with lots of motivation and pressure in order to drive their team to achieve success. It brings to mind the trench warfare of World War One, where the officers would urge their troops to climb out of their trench and charge the enemy with “Just one last push over the top”. The millions of slaughtered troops did not suffer from a lack of motivation. They suffered from a lack of competent strategic leadership.

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Are you good at holding your people accountable?

By Stephen Lynch on Aug 1, 2012

One of the most common complaints I hear from business leaders is about a “lack of accountability” in their company.

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Get uncomfortable (if you want to be great)

By Tim OConnor on Jul 28, 2012

All business leaders recognize the need for change. The world is just moving too fast to even dream that we can continue operating under the status quo from year to year. But change requires energy. How can business leaders create the organizational energy needed to fuel the change required in their firms and overcome the inertia of status quo?

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MBWA = Get the hell out of your office!

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 25, 2012

Management By Walking Around (MBWA) was a term coined by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman in their 1982 book “In Search of Excellence”. This practice remains as relevant now as it was then. In essence, MBWA means tearing yourself away from the e-mails, spreadsheets, reports, and management team meetings – and getting out into the real world. It sounds simple, but simple does not mean easy. 

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Getting consensus versus being decisive?

By Bernie May on Jul 21, 2012

The Sergeant who took me under his wing when I was a wet-behind the ears second lieutenant once told me that the worst way to be a leader was to wait for perfect information or perfect certainty before committing to a course of action. This, he espoused, created fear, uncertainty and doubt in a world where perfect information and certainty were impossible. He asserted it was better to make the wrong decision (and own it) than to make no decision. To play to win instead of playing not to lose.

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10 Steps to being a more successful leader

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 18, 2012

If you want to be successful as a business leader, you need to project a high level of confidence. You need confidence in your abilities (self-confidence); confidence in your team’s abilities; and confidence in your strategic plan (you followed a disciplined thought process to create a winning strategy and you have clearly specified what actions need to be taken to execute your plan). Here are 10 more things that will help you be more successful:

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Leadership tools to drive Business Execution Success

By Kendall Langston on Jul 14, 2012

Leading people is one of life’s great challenges and privileges. Every day at RESULTS.com I work with CEO’s and Business owners who have “People Issues”. Let's face it we all have them from time to time, and dare I say it when you are in the leadership game, "People Issues" are "Business as Usual". So why do leaders dread it so much? Short answer: it takes courage, patience, common sense and focus to get the best out of people. The rest comes with experience, being authentic, leading from the front, and being able to guide, mentor and develop your team.

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The one page strategic plan

By Stephen Lynch on Jul 10, 2012

Many companies think they have a strategy, but usually all they have done is a meaningless exercise in financial goal setting. Goal setting is important - but setting numerical targets is not a strategy. We all want to grow – but growth is not a strategy. We all want to improve our businesses - but improvement is not a strategy. We all want to be more efficient – but efficiency is not a strategy. Yes, we want to be better than our competitors – but beating our competitors is not a strategy either. Bigger, better, faster, cheaper is not strategy!

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How to go from strategy to business execution

By Tim OConnor on Jul 7, 2012

Commitment and focus to a company's strategy tends to start off high. Then nothing gets done...

It’s a common pattern: a firm’s leadership or executive team holes up for one or two full days of high-intensity strategic planning at the start of the year, resulting in a set of strategic intentions or priorities to move the company forward. The business strategy and initiatives are top of mind immediately following this event, and the commitment is high.

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Buying a House (or The Right Staff Member)

By Kim Raggett on Jun 30, 2012

There are few decisions as major as buying a house, and the same can be said for finding the right staff member - both can make or break your future. In this blog I take some great lessons I learnt from house buying, and apply them to making sure your next hire is a top performing “A-Player”

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Business Execution wisdom from Peter Drucker

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 27, 2012

According to Peter Drucker (often referred to as ‘the father of modern management’), “Staff efforts must be concentrated on the few activities that are capable of producing significant business results. Managers must minimize the amount of attention devoted to activities which produce primarily costs."

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Do you make these common marketing mistakes?

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 20, 2012

Take a look at your marketing messages now. Look at your website, product packaging, advertisements, brochures, trade show displays, as well as your company social media pages. Do you make any of the following mistakes?  

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Leadership is a Journey Not an Event

By Kendall Langston on Jun 16, 2012

For many in the business world the word “leader” is one that is not well understood. Too often “management of resources and people” is mistaken for the art of leadership.  Good leaders understand that leadership is about people, and getting the right things done in order for the business to win. Leaders need to know their staff and to generate trust and get a balance between work and fun. They need to be authentic and leadership is a journey, not an event.

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How effective are your team meetings?

By Stephen Lynch on Jun 12, 2012

Effective, well structured meetings positively impact your company not just immediately, but years later. 

A study looked at mid-size companies, and recorded the types of meetings they held, and the impact on company performance over a period of two and half years.  They found that companies which run highly disciplined, well-structured team meetings achieve superior performance that has a positive flow on effect years later.

Conversely, companies which run poorly disciplined, unstructured team meetings experience more employee dissatisfaction, lower staff productivity, and overall poorer performance.

Be honest. How effective are your weekly execution meetings really?

  • Do they inspire and motivate your team members?
  • Do they drive accountability for business execution?
  • Do they lead to better business results?

Meetings matter!

Unfortunately most companies don’t seem to know how to run effective meetings.The study showed that highly productive teams used their meetings to focus on performance. The team members are proactive and take accountability for business execution – they focus on results, and get their tasks completed on time. The team confronts problems head on.

The manager seeks a variety of perspectives when framing potential solutions. The manager or meeting facilitator typically has a strong personality; they stick to the agenda, and keep people focused on what’s important. Management dashboard software makes it much easier to run great meetings.

Conversely, the poor performing teams held unstructured meetings and wasted a lot of precious time. Complaining and criticizing behaviors were common, as was failing to take accountability for execution and this was highly detrimental to performance.

Eliminate bad meetings.

These negative meeting practices had a greatest impact on performance. Thus, managers need to focus on preventing the bad behaviors most of all. Eliminating negative behaviors is even more important for business execution success than accentuating the positive.How satisfied are you with the quality of the meetings in your company? What are you going to do to improve your team meetings – starting now?

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Business Leaders - what is your LinkedIn strategy?

By Kim Raggett on Jun 9, 2012

You know that awkward moment when an unexpected LinkedIn invitation arrives in your inbox and you are wondering how to respond. Yes? No? Who is this person anyway?  In this post we examine your options: 

What is your LinkedIn strategy?

LinkedIn suggests only accepting invitations from people you know, but to me this question is not quite so clear cut. First, you must decide upon your strategy for LinkedIn.

Are you someone who would like to keep up-to-date with the close personal connections you have made in your professional life?

Or is your strategy to build a huge contact list of loose connections to tap into should you need to request advice or ask for a favor in the future?  Or are you somewhere in between?

Where ever you decide you fit on the spectrum, a consistent approach will help to ensure you achieve your goal.

Option 1: The bigger the better.

If you are looking to build the biggest network you can, then the answer is quite simply to accept all the invitations you receive and send out as many invitations as you deem appropriate.

This does have its risks, as it is impossible to know everyone well, and it becomes unclear who your “real connections” are.

Any recommendations or endorsements you give out, may not be as valued. Or, if one of your connections asks for an introduction to someone else in your network, do you really know both parties well enough to make an introduction that reflects positively on you and benefits all parties?

Option 2: Keeping it tight.

The power of keeping a small network is the strength of your connections. Deciding to only accept invitations from people you know, trust, and would personally endorse, makes a strong statement about the value you place in your connections.

The downside to this, is that your “reach” is more limited if you are trying to promote yourself or your business.

Best practice.

I would also consider connectiing with people where you have had at least one meaningful interaction with them (whether it was a physical meeting, or communications via email, social media etc).

If you receive an invitation to connect, and do not know or remember the person, and it seems very unlikely you would ever meet with them, then it is fair to decline (ignore) their invitation. It is always worth researching them through LinkedIn and Google first to jog your memory.

Shades of grey.

What about those invitations you receive that fall into a grey area? For me, it comes down to a conscience vote. Is the person someone you would like to have in your network? Do you have common interests? Perhaps send them a personal message first to find out more about who they are and what they are looking for, before you agree to connect with them.

Making connections.

When sending invitations to connect, don’t just use the default connection message. That makes it look like you don't really care. Take a few seconds to personalise the invitation. Mention how you know the person, that way your invitation is much more likely to be accepted. It makes the choice easy for them.


What about you? What approach do you use with LinkedIn? Why?

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How "bad profits" can undermine business execution success

By Bernie May on Jun 2, 2012

"What's been your worst day at work?", I asked. "The day we got held up at gun-point", she said, "but having a phone thrown at my head last week was a close second."  I love stories like that. It gives me insight into human nature and the culture of the company. The clerk at the cell-phone store was great. I admired her for being able to stay calm under pressure. It’s a good characteristic in her role working for a company that treats its customers poorly.

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Business execution: Is your business focused?

By Tim OConnor on May 27, 2012

In the great 1991 movie City Slickers, Jack Palance plays Curly Washburn, the weathered and wise old cowboy trying to teach the folks from the city how to drive cattle across the American west. In a memorable scene, Curly asks the main character Mitch Robbins, played by Billy Crystal, if he’d like to know the secret of life.  

“One thing, just one thing”, says Curly, “stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit” 

This scene drives home the moral of the entire film. Namely, that success comes when we get really clear on the ‘one thing’ or the few priorities that are most important, and stay focused on those at the expense of other, less important priorities and distractions.

The Power of Focus.

The same can apply to organizations and their employees. A colleague of mine for many
years in the corporate training industry used to open every one of his business seminars
with the phrase, “In today’s environment it’s not opportunity that we lack, there is an
abundant and constantly growing number of opportunities at our fingertips. What we
really lack is focus, the ability to choose the handful of high priorities and stay
focused on those.”

For individuals this principle can be implemented in a number of ways including the
concept of the “Not to do list”. This phrase, credited to Timothy Ferris in his book The
Four-hour Work Week
, implies that if we are going to be truly productive we need to pay
as much attention and apply as much discipline to what we take off our task lists, as what
we put on them. This is truly the art of prioritization, and is fundamental skill for
all employees and leaders today.

Another tactic is to make priorities and performance visible through the use of business
execution software
and dashboards. When there is visibility, especially between peers,
there is a higher level of focus.

The concept of focus goes well beyond personal productivity for individuals. Focus is a
fundamental characteristic of successful companies and brands. In his 1996 book Focus:
The Future of Your Company Depends on It
, author and branding guru Al Ries insists that
firms must find their focus in order to survive and thrive into the future.

Ries argues that the strength of a brand is inversely proportional to its breadth, and firms that narrow their focus position themselves more strongly in a world deluged with marketing
messages and communications.

A great example of this is Vancouver based 1800GotJunk. This firm grew exponentially
over the past 15 years by focusing entirely on one service and making that service the
single brand message visible in all their marketing communication: “Remove your junk
without lifting a finger”.

Clarifying your “One thing”

As leaders how do we clarify our “One thing”? It’s not easy, and may take time, but one
tool that can help is Jim Collin’s Hedgehog Concept. In his book Good to Great, Collins
identifies that great companies are like hedgehogs.

Based on the parable, the hedgehog always outsmarts the fox by doing one thing over and over again, and doing it really well. According to Collins, great companies do the same and this feature is a key characteristic that separates good companies from great ones.

Further, Collin’s prescribes that leaders can discover their hedgehog by exploring the
intersection of these three questions:

  1. What is your organization and culture passionate about?
  2. What can you be best in the world at?
  3. What will drive your economic engine? What will customers pay for?

In working with many clients using this concept, we’ve found it extremely powerful in
identifying brand focus, and making strategic decisions around core and non-core
activities.

Untangling your rope.

It can be easy to lose focus, and generally it is not intentional. Leaders and employees
are constantly faced with new information, ideas, opportunities, challenges and problems,
all of which can contribute to “taking the eye off the ball”. But with the right
process and accountability to the task, companies can determine their “one thing” and use
that to drive higher levels of performance.

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RESULTS.com "Business Execution Software, made simple"

By Stephen Lynch on May 23, 2012

Are you ready for better business results? Like most of our readers, you are probably a business leader of a mid-sized, fast-growth company.  Today, more than 25,000 business leaders from all around the world subscribe to these Business Growth Tips. 95% of the time we write about best-practice business growth wisdom. Today, I want to offer you the opportunity to get head start on your competitors and learn how all businesses will operate in the future. 

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Business Execution: The importance of keeping things simple

By Stephen Lynch on May 17, 2012

There is a weed that stifles business execution success. That weed is called complexity.  Unfortunately, a company tends to become more complex the longer it has existed. In addition, the pace of technology change tends to increase complexity, as does globalization, as does complex organization structures.  If business leaders are not vigilant, your firm will become increasingly complex, and your ability to execute your strategy will suffer.    

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How to create a culture of accountability?

By Scott Morris on Mar 28, 2012

Who in your life (and at work) can you really count on?

This question was posed to one of my business partners recently by author David Irvine. David has written a number of books on culture, leadership and accountability, including Accountability: Getting a Grip on Results, which he co-authored with Sean Murphy and Bruce Klatt.  As I pondered his question, I realized the people who made my list possess two key characteristics in the way that they operate.  

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Effective Strategic Execution

By John Spence on Dec 7, 2011

I was recently invited to return to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business for the eighth year in a row to teach a special class on strategic planning. I called my contact a few months before the session to ask if it were possible to shift the class more from "strategic planning" to “strategic thinking" this year, but was surprised to find out that 98 executives had already signed up for the class based on the catalog description of it as "a solid look at how to write and effective strategic plan." So I decided to go back and take a hard look at the program and see if I could update it a bit and was surprised to have an epiphany of sorts.  

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Get Real, creating authentic organizations.

By Scott Morris on Sep 27, 2011

Not that long ago, organizations considered internal communications as separate from external communications.  Our Human Resources or Corporate Communications departments were responsible for internal messaging to employees, while our Marketing and Sales teams were in charge of crafting messages, creating campaigns, and communicating with existing and potential customers.  And for many organizations in our industry, these discrete departmental structures still exist.

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Business Execution - the discipline of getting things done.

By Stephen Lynch on May 31, 2011

In this article written for the Executive Briefing section of The Economist, Stephen Lynch, Chief Operating Officer at business execution consultancy RESULTS.com, argues that having a sound strategic plan to create your company’s future success is vital, but most firms still struggle with execution – the discipline of getting things done.

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