Achieve Purpose

Things Are About to Become Better

Can Popcorn Improve the Bottom Line?

In business, when something is working or doing what it is supposed to do, we tend not to look at it. When it breaks, we will fix it. There are more pressing issues to focus on that requires our time and attention. Take the self-service popcorn machine in the corner of the local pub. It’s been doing its job for many years; maybe decades. It makes popcorn. If the light bulb burns out or the stirring mechanism in the pot stops, you fix it. Although it may have seen better days, its working fine. Let’s think about it as it is part of a business process.   ·       Is it portraying the image that we want to our customers? ·       Can we increase customers if we had a better (and cleaner) image? ·       Can we reduce down-time with regular maintenance and cleaning? ·       Can we increase popcorn production?   ·       Can we produce better tasting popcorn? ·       Can better tasting popcorn increase sales? (Studies show that customers stay longer if pubs offer food. The salt from the popcorn will often increase drink sales.) Healthy businesses look at processes and systems for opportunities to improve customer satisfaction, increase employee engagement, and […]

Outperform the Market with Purpose

I recently had a discussion with a business owner who challenged the necessity of identifying organizational purpose. From their perspective it was simple; to make money to survive. Business was a necessity to survive life, a means to the end and nothing more. Making money is a result of doing good business. Purpose is why we are doing business. Organizational purpose is more than a goal that is completed and forgotten. It permeates and defines why we do, how we do, and what we do. When our focus – our purpose – is clear, the organization is aligned, engaged, and can thrive. Science is increasingly validating what people have known about our individual selves: that purpose is a foundational core. Purpose dramatically affects our longevity and well-being, and it creates drive and passion. We change, our priorities and values shift; confidence grows, dissolves into doubt, returns; relationships evolve, form and reform; we have life milestones and events – all forming the complexity of life.  Our individual purpose is not discovered once and then we are done with it. It is reexamined and discovered at various points throughout life. Organizational purpose is no different. The business changes, shifts, grows, and adapts; […]

Resources for Those Beyond Start Up

I hear from business owners that there is a lack of resources and support for small to medium size companies that are beyond the start up but do not have the budget or time to attend national training and seminars. There is a real need for companies with 10-75 employees to find resources that not only provide knowledge but also focus and support growth strategies. Designed exclusively for results-driven small to medium businesses, Purpose Boards provides business owners with the specific insights, strategies and leadership development to achieve results. Offers business owners and nonprofits an opportunity to: Have a trusted, confidential business source Have an objective board of advisors Improve organizational productivity Gain specific insights, perspective, and honest feedback Leverage the experience of other small business leaders Focus on the strategic Develop more effective decision making skills Reduce stress and find more life balance Give back and support other business owners Personal growth Increase your confidence to take action Achieve Purpose facilitates monthly professional peer-to-peer group meetings and individual sessions designed to support business owners beyond the daily operations and help them focus on their strategic growth decisions. Innovative ideas and creative approaches are critical to helping small businesses overcome […]

Surviving Year End

The average person has so many competing priorities this time of year it can be difficult to juggle all of the things that are competing for your time. Here are FIVE things to remember to help you survive the year end. 1. Stay Organized Most of us know that being organized offers a slew of benefits. It helps you feel more confident and capable, it helps you stay connected to the things and people that are important to you, and it saves you time. According to Jamie Novak, author of The Get Organized Answer Book, “the average person wastes almost an hour a day searching for misplaced items like house keys, reading glasses and important pieces of paper”. Remember that how each of us defines organized and what it may look like may be different for each of us. 2. Be Realistic Many people use the end of the year as an opportunity to try and complete everything that has not been completed yet this year. Maybe that includes annual sales goals, current projects, annual financial reports, or even 2013 unmet resolutions. On top of all that, this time of year usually adds family commitments, special events, holiday parties, and […]

How Do You Measure Up?

As we approach the end of the year most of us formally or informally, take some time to review current year and look towards the next. By now most large companies have completed next year’s budgets and established sales goals, and are probably are almost finished with updating their dashboards and report templates to be able to measure next year’s sales. Its good business and most would agree that drives achievement. Then why, according to the 4th Annual Staples National Business Survey, did more than 80% of the 300 small business owners surveyed say they don’t keep track of their business goals, and 77% have yet to achieve their vision for their company? With that statistic, it should be no real surprise that individuals have similar statistics. According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals, 16% do have goals but don’t write them down, and fewer than 1% review them on an ongoing basis. Why don’t small businesses and individuals create, write-down, and review goals regularly? I am fairly certain that it is not because small businesses and individuals look for ways to fail and not achieve success. I believe two […]

Using Marshmallows to Increase Employee Productivity

Walter Mischel’s 1960’s Marshmallow Study is one of the best-known self-control studies. Mischel took children, put them in a room by themselves, gave them a treat (a marshmallow), and the following deal: They could eat the treat right away, or wait 15 minutes until the experimenter returned. If they waited, they would get an extra marshmallow. Tracking the kids over many years, Mischel found that the ability to hold out in this seemingly trivial exercise had real and profound consequences. As they matured and became adults, the kids who had shown the ability to wait got better grades, were healthier, enjoyed greater professional success, and proved better at staying in relationships—even decades after they took the test. In a new study (PDF), Celeste Kidd, found evidence that, in addition to self-control, children’s wait-times are regulated by rational decision-making process that considers environmental reliability. Kidd’s own version of the Marshmallow Study was designed to test the effect of trust; being either unreliable or reliable. In the first part of the study, the researchers handed over a piece of paper and a jar of used crayons, then told a child to either use those crayons or wait for a better set of […]

Think, Act, and Communicate From the Inside Out

Many people can express what they believe is their life’s purpose, but often it is unsupported by real conviction or action. We express our rational thoughts, but in order to support it with real conviction or action it needs to be derived from our personal why. The personal why are our innerds. Innards are our internal organs. I use the word innerds (inner) to reflect our values and passions. Why does this have meaning or significance? Why am I doing this? Why am I compelled to feel this way? The results, outside forces or characteristics is the what, the action, or context of our lives. The outer what involves the neocortex or the outer layers of the brain. It supports “higher functions” such as sensory perception, generation of motor commands, conscious thought and language. It is our ability to be rational, factual, logical, detail-oriented, textual, and statistical. We can get caught up in an endless circular analysis of trying to comprehend or correct the outer what. Most often with little satisfaction or understanding of those forces because we can’t make rational sense of it or control all of the actions.   “When we communicate from the outside in, people can understand […]

Navigating Work-Life Balance

When work life and personal life are out of balance, our stress level is likely to be high. Balancing work and personal life has rarely been an easy task but in today’s technology driven environment, the lines between work and personal life can be even fuzzier. Technology has allowed people to take work home and be accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week. It has also allowed people to be on the road for sales calls, leave the office for doctor’s appointments and kid’s events and still be connected to the office and productive. Although that flexibility can be beneficial for both the employer and the employee, it can make it hard to identify when work life stops and the personal life begins. Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance: Fatigue – when you are tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer. This can lead to poor performance, costly mistakes, and a feeling of not being present with family and friends. Lost Connections – time is a fixed commodity. When you spend too much time with work, family and friends suffer and the possibility of losing touch with them increases. Reduced Productivity – trying to do more usually results in […]

Engaging Employees to Increase Performance

Dale Carnegie recently teamed with MSW Research to study the functional and emotional elements that affect employee engagement.  In their study, a national representative sample of 1,500 employees was surveyed, which revealed three key drivers:  • Relationship with immediate supervisor  • Belief in senior leadership  • Pride in working for the company This study and past research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. The study reinforces the idea that in order to create a competitive organization with superior performance, organizations should focus on their employees. It is the people who are in the company that can greatly impact the sustainability, profitability and the long term strength of the organization. The study found that 71% of the employees surveyed are disengaged or partially engaged. If almost three-quarters of the employees are not fully engaged it would be challenging, in not implausible, for the organization to achieve their full potential. This will be evident in employee productivity, customer service, and eventually the organizations profitability. For employees it is the “personal relationship with their immediate supervisor that is the key.  The attitude and actions of the immediate supervisor can enhance employee […]