Monthly Archives: July 2011

The real role of HR folks – A CEO’s Checklist

 1. Influence and develop the business strategy

2. Make the Business success

3. Make the people a success

4. Develop people and the processes

5. You are business first

6. Understand that you need to be able to connect the business dots

7. Understand that you role is to uncomplicate the business world for all around you

8. Understand that your job is to give your knowledge away

9. Remember that the reason you got into HR was to create and develop and build the business and the people

10. Remember that leadership was never about you

Always remember you are business first and people first in that order.

Always remember there is no mission without margin

Always remember that your job is to build a business all else will follow.

Always remember to speak business and not techie HR.

And always always remember understanding people is always more important than polices and procedures. Those are givens.

You will never be great in what you do until you lead greatness in others.


The lost art of anticipation a crucial business competence! A CEO’s checklist.

When did we stop thinking about what “things could be like?” What if only…?”

Somewhere along the way we lost the art of anticipation.

I often notice that when we do not anticipate we do not get to “the extra mile – above and beyond” it simply cannot happen. I notice this a great deal when it comes to “people” experiences.

I asked a group of folks recently what is the difference between customer: service, care, and delighting the customer. You can imagine that conversation! Do you know the difference?

I also asked who do you want to speak to when you buy a product? Is it the store or someone remote to the whole buying experience?

I also asked why is that we spend millions on customer service departments?

You get my point, if this was your business is this how you would run things?

Remember the last time you had to talk to customer service: The time when you punched a myriad of buttons only to talk to someone so geographically distanced that you wonder how did we get to this state in business today!

How is it that when we shop locally we speak to someone globally and so separated from the concept of “think and buy local?”

Does this concept add value to the customer experience or simply add cost! It is not often that I find it adds to a customer’s experience!

I also find that there is much to do when it comes to someone who is not your customer today but could be tomorrow!

I did an experiment on recruitment processes and wondered whether we would treat applicants differently if they were your next boss or a major potential stakeholder or future customer!!!

I got an answer that I did not like.  Oh my! We need to understand that applicants can also be customers and they figure out pretty quickly how consistent your business practices work and how consistent your values are!!

I urge you to ask the questions I asked!

Is your business really “delighting the customer?”  And do your employees really know what that means?

Hint: It is not what we do today for our customers that will bring long-term success it is what we anticipate that they will need tomorrow and the day after that is a business competence that will separate us from everyone else.


“A checklist for CEO’s – Profitable growth or same old thinking”

I have recently been reading a number of comments from business minded folks. What are they thinking?

So here is a checklist for CEO’s.

Ask these questions. It is too important to leave it to someone else. Your business your reputation your success.

More importantly ask those who want to be part of your organization! Your future leaders – not yet hired! Ask them how they were treated and how you made them feel. (You represent what happens!)

This  “temperature business check” is also a meaning full way to gauge the perception of your business from a customer/consumer perspective and identify whether what you do internally is adding to the reputation of your business.

  1. How does your business treat applicants? Do many receive a meaningless standard courtesy thank -you. Note: Most never hear anything after that. Realize that applicants can be your next customer or breakthrough though leader and is that how you would treat your customer? Does your business make them feel special when they apply for a career? Do you include them in your process design?
  2. Where will you continue to you get your best ideas? I hear that many applicants selected for interview, come from the same market/business background. Know that excluding those with a diverse background means excluding those who offer knew ways of thinking and often bring breakthrough business ideas that have IMMEDIATE impact.
  3.  How difficult do you make it for an applicant to join your organization? Really! Asking them to fill in an online application, which takes 20 minutes! Is that the best you can do for your future stars?  Are your processes working against or for your business? Are the brightest and best simply saying, “stuff that” I am going where I feel welcomed and where I can have a conversation!
  4. Do people in your organization understand the difference between customer care, customer service, and customer satisfaction and customer delight? Ask them, and then ask them how do they live and deliver it!
  5. Do the people who represent your business really understand what the “best qualified applicant” really means? Do you want regulators or business developers? (Remember the age-old adage.) “Quality is a given. So is being in compliance!” You want people who can do both, but those who do your hiring need to know the difference and know that success only occurs with the builders and developers of your business.
  6. Are you settling for easy options when sifting applicants? Or do you really put emphasis on finding out the “diamonds in the coal.” Are you so automated with your processes that you are settling for the generic? Ask what differentiates your business in seeking new talent!
  7. Do people in your business really understand what it takes by way of talent to be the best business you can be and then some? How does that translate into what you do each day?
  8. Are you taking advantage of skilled people who are already accomplished and trained in “business’ and who can make an immediate impact through bringing their transferrable skills from another industry or business sector? Or are your recruitment processes designed to be “safe.” Better the devil you know then the angel in disguise who will effect real change!

As I said, you business, your success your reputation and more over your responsibility and the responsibility of those who lead with you.



Playground Negotiations


Recently I took a few vacation days to soak up the sun.  I was in my back garden.

We have several children in the neighborhood, I often enjoy listening to them, and it is amazing the conversations that you overhear from little kids!

So there I was just lying in my lawn chair soaking in the sun, thinking of nothing in particular and this is what I overheard! – A playground negotiation. From two seven year olds!

A tough little boyish boy and a girly girl, play together as they often do.  Usually it is water fights and practicing baseball.  But, today was different; each had a different agenda on their mind.

The little boy came up to the fence, and asked his neighborhood friend if she wanted to play.

She said “Yes”,

He said, “Let play war; I will go get my guns.”

She slowly said, “Wellllll, I want you to come over and have a tea party with me.”

It went very quiet for a moment, and then he said, “Ok. We will play war first, and then I will come over to the tea party.

She, with excitement in her voice said “that will be divine” (that made me smile).

Soon he came back with a gun and a sword; he was quick to say, “I couldn’t find my other gun, so you can use the sword.”

She hesitated, and then asked, “Why can’t I have the gun?  I would like to pick my weapon (another smile from me) “If you have a gun, you can shoot me; but I will have to chase you all over the back yard with the sword!”

As the little boy, thought about this, she quickly spoke up and said “Oh it’s OK; if you shoot me, we will get to my tea party sooner.”

As I listened, I thought, how young we start, I had just listened to two seven years negotiate what each wanted over guns, swords, and tea parties.

Some things never change! Life is one big negotiation. In business we are all too aware of what it takes to get things done. We just get more complicated!

Guest Blogger:  Sister Mae I



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