Moving Into Retirement

We can develop your next-generation leader of your business for when you retire (or want to back off a bit from your business).

How does a business owner gracefully pull back or exit from the business he/she has built? Often the plan is to sell the business. But 80-90% of small businesses for sale aren’t sold. (The rate is 30-40% for large enterprises.) If you’re a betting person, you’d be bucking the odds to think your strategy is to sell the company on the open market. Even if you do sell, you may not get the proceeds you think you’ll get because, if you’re like most small businesses, most of the value is in what you know and do; no one can buy that.

Additionally, companies don’t do well when someone from outside comes into the company. Their value doesn’t increase. Insiders do better at creating short- and long-term value. Insiders also already feel passionate about making sure the company continues to be a success.

You probably don’t have a staff person ready to take over the business and lead it as the staff or new leader buy the business from you.

That’s where we come in. We’ve proven in many industries how to unlock the leadership potential in your staff. We can be your interim CEO/COO and develop the new business leader from your team. Contact us at scott.ward@4wardassociates.com

The One Waste that’s Killing Your Company

If this ‘waste’ isn’t killing your company, it’s slowing it down more than you may realize…even if you’re growing. Most of you have heard about the Seven Traditional Wastes as identified by Lean Methodology. But this one killer waste is more pernicious and prevalent: the use of wrong metrics.

Too many corporate dysfunctions have been created through the use of Efficiency. It drives all sorts of internal-looking, suboptimal actions and decisions that the customers become dissatisfied and the organization lacks alignment and misses creating the overall optimal success for the whole team. Similarly EBITDA and ROI have been great for the short-term but not the long-term success. Even tactical measurements like On-Time Delivery have driven wasteful spending on expedited freight, overtime and excess staffing, excess inventory and so on. There are many more examples.

How many of your metrics are customer-centered? How many are measuring the effectiveness of the organization as a whole, rather than just one part? How many are measuring activity but not results and, worse, measuring activity that doesn’t drive the needed results but the unnecessary results?

We’ve helped companies and non-profits measure the right things that lead to accelerated growth.

Net Engagement Score by Category

alarm clock
It’s Monday Morning….aaaagggghhhh!

Every day your employees decide just how enthusiastic and committed they are to go to work and give their best effort. How often do you think about their decisions? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? What efforts do you try to improve engagement? Chances are they are the wrong ones. The real keys to driving engagement are rarely mentioned in the articles and books you’ve read and the consultants with whom you’ve talked. There are four things you need to do on a daily basis. Only four.  (We’ll keep it a secret for now but contact us for more.)

What if you could figure out just where your organization is at whether it’s a small- or medium-sized business, non-profit or church? We use Net Engagement Score By Category (trademarked by 4ward Associates). It’s similar to Net Promoter Score (trademarked by Satmetrix, Bain & Co., and Fred Reichheld) and their eNPS but with one major difference.

NES is based on one question and a comment. The net score is determined by subtracting the portion of “disengaged” from the portion of engaged employees (i.e. those that are enthusiastic and committed). A negative score means you have more disengaged than engaged. The comments let you know which of the major areas are the weakest. Are you missing a foundation of organizational trust? Solid leadership? Or failing in the area of daily motivation?

Net Engagement graphic representation showing a NES for each major category and overall. In the example shown in the link, this organization has a NES of 0. There are just as many disengaged (i.e. dreading going to work and apathetic about the company’s success) as there are engaged. Overall success movement will be neutral. It’s going to be hard to create change in a positive direction. This example also indicates that trust is low and steps need to be taken to improve this before anything else.

Contact us at 4ward Associates to learn how to create the success your organization deserves.