Check this out! Bruce’s Latest Article – “It All Impacts – Just be Nice…” published by Young Upstarts!

Our planning session was occurring and there he was.  A Hilton employee quietly entered with copies in his hand.  He was the red headed front desk guy who told me he would make copies.  My plan was during the break to go and pick them up, and then there he was.  Bright, cheerful, and bringing added value.  That put him and the San Diego Hilton Garden Mission Valley on the fast track to be my favorite hotel.  He was nice. The taxi was green…it stands out in my memory as green is my favorite color.  He was early for my six o’clock departure and efficient as the bag ended up in the trunk.  I made a call and then we talked.  He was very much a perfect cab driver.  Car was clean and a Prius.  As I exited at the airport, he fist bumped me, gave me his card, and told me to call when needed.  I will.  He was nice. Read...

It All Impacts – Just be nice….Observations of a bald guy

Our planning session was occurring and there he was.  A Hilton employee quietly entered with copies in his hand.  He was the red headed front desk guy who told me he would make copies.  My plan was during the break to go and pick them up, and then there he was.  Bright, cheerful, and bringing added value.  That put him and the San Diego Hilton Garden Mission Valley on the fast track to be my favorite hotel.  He was nice. The taxi was green…it stands out in my memory as green is my favorite color.  He was early for my six o’clock departure and efficient as the bag ended up in the trunk.  I made a call and then we talked.  He was very much a perfect cab driver.  Car was clean and a Prius.  As I exited at the airport, he fist bumped me, gave me his card, and told me to call when needed.  I will.  He was nice. It’s five in the morning, I am downstairs at the Double Tree in a foreign land.  The sign says coffee from the coffee maker $2.00 a cup.  I get a cup and go to work at the bar.  Sandy haired middle-aged night desk clerk comes up and says “coffee on me sir.  I cannot stand that you must pay”.  I say, “it’s free at other Hilton properties” and he says “but not here; you are a good customer and you must pay”.  Then he said, “not with me you don’t”.  Now that is being nice, and he and his hotel just won my heart… In these cases, the...

Get a brand new BHAG

BHAG’s – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – are a term you hear frequently in the business world. Some leave the “hairy” off and just refer to BAG’s, but I like leaving the hair in. Maybe it’s a jealousy thing. In any case, a BHAG is a 5 to 10-year stretch goal that should light people up and fill in what is missing within the organization. BHAG’s are unreasonable, yet still possible; Collins and Porras say that a BHAG should have a 70 percent chance of fulfillment. I have seen value for organizations in simply rolling around in this BHAG territory. It allows a leadership team creative freedom to put some positive, bold goals in front of the organization. To begin the BHAG process, sit around in loincloths and smoke a peace pipe with some very special tobacco. As the smoke wafts to the top of the corporate wigwam, imagine what the company could produce and become. Okay.…in reality sit in your business-casual uniform in a generic conference room at the company or some other meeting place and imagine what the company could produce and become. The first part of creating BHAG’s for your business is to ask the leadership group to brainstorm worthwhile goals for the organization. These goals should, by their very nature, require employees to demonstrate the organization’s reason for being and values. (See? It is all coming together.) An example of this is my plastics manufacturing client. The company’s BHAG was to prove that its model of manufacturing could thrive in the United States. Achieving this BHAG required the organization to live out of its values...

Creating the Reason for Being

Here are some ways that the leadership group can create a powerful and relevant Reason for Being (aka mission/vision statement).  Some of the following thinking and exercises were inspired by an article called “Building Your Company’s Vision,” by Collins and Porras, the authors of “Built to Last.” When the senior leadership gets together to create the company’s mission/vision statement (from here on I’ll refer to it as the Reason for Being) ask them to consider the following and write their answers on paper, preferably flip chart paper with a sticky side that allows for easy posting: 1. What is the purpose of your organization? You want participants to ask themselves what is unique about the organization. What does the organization do that truly matters to customers, employees, and other stakeholders? How does the organization make “the difference?” 2. What would be lost if the organization ceased to exist? Here, you need to dig into the question: if our unique, special organization were not here, what would our customers, the community, and, for that matter, the world is losing? If the group needs a scenario, tell them that the company was bought and the new owner simply mothballed the business. All employees were given a severance. What has the world lost by this organization no longer existing? 3. Repeat this process five more times with slight variations: if the organization ceased to exist, what would be lost for employees, customers, vendors, society, and the world? This question gives participants insight on the impact their organization has on its customers, employees, and communities. Provocative answers rise to the surface. One of my plastics company...