succeeding in a down economy Archives - Blog

An Inspirational and Thought-Provoking Baker’s Dozen from Jim Collins

“Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.” ~ Jim Collins We’re headed back to Atlanta in May for the Scaling Up Conference in a week, which reminds me of one of my all-time favorite speakers from this conference,…

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What’s your Forecast for 2014?

As 2014 approaches, I thought I’d share the following “forecast” about what the upcoming year could hold.

Dear Small and Mid-Market Executive –

The past few years have held their own share of challenges for companies of all sizes, but for you in the small and mid-market space they’ve been particularly stressful.

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Are you falling victim to Procrastination?

The election is next week. The holidays are close behind, and 2013 is just around the corner. And yet many companies still don’t have a formal strategic plan on the books OR a meeting scheduled to create a strategic plan and align their team.

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Why Follow a Path if You Don’t Know the Destination?

As we head into the last quarter of 2012, the subject of strategic planning should be on the top of your list.  In my travels, however, I’ve found that there are 3 categories companies fall into when it comes to Strategic Planning.

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Cash is Queen…

People are the life blood of a business – but getting them engaged and committed can seem like a daunting task at times…

  1. What are you doing to foster engagement in your company?
  2. How are you getting people on the same page and pulling in the same direction?
  3. How much time do you spend reinforcing what’s important AND what are the consequences of not performing?

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Before the year gets away from you…

Summer’s winding down…at least in the northern hemisphere…and I’m starting to hear talks of annual planning for 2013 – along with lots of“strategic thinking” and “what if” conversations. Of course, there’s always the critical prioritization question given all of the things you could be doing…

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How are you holding your team – and yourself – Accountable?

 Accountability seems to be the word of choice these days in many of the business conversations that I’m having.

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Learning to say “No”…

Learning to say “NO” to opportunities for new business has been a major business lesson for me over the past few years. In the dozen years that I’ve worked in the small and small mid-market sector, I’ve noticed an intriguing but not surprising pattern… Only a very small percentage of CEO’s in this space are truly willing to adopt the discipline…

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Are you Relevant?

Even if you aren’t in a growth industry (but especially if you are)…there’s plenty of work to be done in the summer “downtime”. Remember: Complacency is not an option.* Most of the companies that I’m talking with aren’t “dying” anymore, a bunch are definitely “catching their breath” and many are back on the upswing. But they’re…

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So what did you miss in Atlanta?

If you weren’t able to be there last week at the Fortune Leadership conference in Atlanta, you really missed a treat. Jim Collins did another fabulous and inspiring job as the keynote speaker on Tuesday morning.  This is the second time I’ve heard him “live” and I continue to be impressed with: his insights about the role of leaders…

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What’s your Number?

Ed Sullivan, four-time entrepreneur and currently CEO of G2Link, has a track record with companies that might turn a few of you green with envy.     And, while he is highly creative, he is also extremely disciplined when it comes to running his businesses. At a recent lunch with him and a couple of my clients, Ed…

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And the Survey Says…

Well the results are in from our Sixth Annual Growth Strategies surveyof the CEO’s of small and mid-market companies in the Greater Philly region and for those of you who haven’t seen the results yet, they’re very encouraging. Some of the key highlights… Businesses that survived the downmarket are now investing and growing Finding, developing and keeping good people…

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So what about those “practical” examples?

As I shared with you last week, the companies that are successful at long-term growth are the ones that find a new “S” curve for their business, according to Dave Power of Power Strategy, the speaker at our upcoming Growth Strategies Breakfast next Friday, the 16th.  Whether it’s a new product, a new way of doing things, a new…

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So what can Dave Power teach you…?

So why am I bringing Dave to Philly?  And more importantly – what can he teach you about dealing with the challenges of growth? Dave Power has spent his career helping growth companies to grow…and helping them do what they don’t want to always do – acknowledge that today’s success doesn’t insure any success going forward, unless you’re willing and…

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2012 is Right Around the Corner…

What can you learn from other CEO’s mistakes? One of the biggest “lessons learned” in the stories that I’ve been sharing with you the past few months is making darn sure that your company has a clear Strategy – what it is and sometimes more importantly – what it isn’t. The CEO’s that I spoke with also consistently emphasized how critical…

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Sometimes Life catches Up with You…

In what will continue to be challenging economic times, how do you grow and sustain your company? Strategy and People That’s the message that came through loud and clear two weeks ago at the Fortune Growth Summit in Phoenix.  My biggest takeway? The companies that will weather the storm in the next few years will do so…

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Success can breed some very bad habits…

Founded in 1989 by Phil Jaurigue and two partners, Sabre Systems, Inc. is a technology and engineering consulting company that has grown to over 600 professionals operating both nationally and internationally.  They’ve won the Philly 100 eight times, have competed successfully with the likes of Lockheed Martin and Computer Sciences Corp, and built a well-respected and well-run business. One…

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Why should you care about Core Values?

From its inception nearly 30 years ago PERFORMANCE CONTROLS, INC.® (PCI), has had the same mission: To design, manufacture, sell, and service high bandwidth, low noise electronics for precision applications  in the medical, government, and industrial markets. Perry Walraven has been the CEO for the past eight years and has seen the company grow 300% in that time,…

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3 “Must Do’s” to move into the “Modern” age…

So what did Diane Connor and her business partner, Kevin, decide were their 3 Must Do’s in 2011 to maintain their forward momentum? 1)       “Have Faith In Yourself – and Your Customers”.  Initially when Diane ran into the problem I wrote about last week with a major client she said, “I thought that we had failed.  But we were responsive and…

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