Presence Communicates Production Priority

Managers and leaders communicate priority by where they spend their time. Production teams make America happen. A walk through a production press room tells the workers they are important and what they do is important. Stopping by the front desk in the morning and looking the receptionist in the eye followed by a specific word of appreciation tells the company that guests are important. Openly discussing decisions and gaining feedback from the team along the way gives them a stake. Presence communicates production priority.

30 years of overseeing production teams 24/7 leaves me with a little insight on helping a shift through their day. Every shift is a day in itself. Each one needs right attention and priority.

Every meeting you attend, every walk down the hallway, every lunch in public communicates your deepest heart. You are being watched. An encouraging word, a kind action, opening a door for someone else, or a playful interchange all communicate compassion and priority.

An ancient proverb tells us to not muzzle the oxen as they tread grain. One visual picture we draw is of an ox pulling along in a field being harvested. He needs to munch a little every once in a while. He needs to gain benefit while working, not just at the end of the season. Your presence and encouragement is one of the daily benefits you can give with little cost and great results. Corporate parties, big meetings and bonuses help. They can never replace personal attention and involvement. Presence communicates production priority every day and communicates concern for the people.

Early In The Day Sets A Tone
A manager starts the day for work teams. A little whistle up the hallway in the morning tells the team it is a bright day. P lesant greetings communicate positive expectation and confidence. It is not just physical presence but emotional engagement that builds a productive team of individuals bound by mission.

Middle Of The Day Stimulates
By mid day in a production crew, sales team, customer service group, or any other set of individuals bound by mission, there have been problems. Opportunity to turn dour has come many times by noon. This is one perfect moment to inspire and prioritized. Where you spend the last minutes before lunch tells the team where to focus.

A purposeful and thoughtful communication to key team members on priority projects can keep problems from dominating. Customer service needs to keep moving while issues are resolved. Down equipment needs attended. Production schedules may need adjusted considering current availability. Sales teams may need a pep talk to overcome any weight of complaints.

End Of The Day Rules Over Tides
By the end of a good day, there have been powerful moments and struggling moments. Tides have pressed against the team attempting to bring them to defeat. They need presence. They need reinforcement that the customer is king and the team is in your heart. You need to let them know you are one their side. Before you go home, visit the oncoming team and give them the same whistling start you gave the first team.

Summary: Presence communicates production priority. Production is the ox of your company. Sales must happen. Production must run seamless. An ancient proverb tells us to not muzzle the ox as he treads the grain. Consider your time and attention and presence as unmuzzling the oxen. Invest in your people. They are the strength of the company.

Be Busy Building Better Business.  Have a Great Day!

Phil

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Make a definitive difference in the community!

I need your help. I need you to join me for lunch.  (It is okay if you want to just give to the work also if you can’t come.)

Register now. http://www.championfatherstourney.org

On Sept 16th at 11:45am join Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering, Hon. James Lankford, U.S. House of Representatives, Chuck Bowman, Larry Campbell, Imagenet+ Consulting, R.K. Black, Kimray, Tom Hill, keyevado, Shepherd Consulting, Willow Creek Golf and Country Club and others.

  • Understand the immense fatherless crisis impacting our nation, state, and your neighborhood.
  • Get insight on positive action you can take to change the statistics.

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You can join for golf afterwards, if you would like. But, I need you to join me for lunch.

You can sponsor more, but, I need you to join me for lunch.

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Fix The Plumbing

Don’t hand your customer toilet paper for a messy problem. Fix the plumbing.

Creative managers create solutions alongside staff. Duct tape and WD40 and vise grips may be all that is needed to do small jobs around the house. That won’t do in a productive and viable business. You need to fix the plumbing. You need to eliminate the repeating problem. You need to take responsibility instead of putting the issue in the customer’s hands. Don’t make them clean it up.

Good service management attends to a few items. There are incidents and service requests, problems and changes. Keep clarity between items. Address appropriately.

Incidents and Service Requests: These two items make up the bulk of customer service.

A service request is what we live to do. A customer asks for a product or service to be delivered. So do it. Do it with excellence and alacrity. Do it with pizzazz and punctuality. Do it. A service request may ask for an altered product or service or a new product or service. That means we have to jump into the area of change and that is another manage well article.

An incident is what we wish would never happen. While delivering a product or service, something is not right. Color is too light. The size is too big. The pizza came with pepperoni instead of black olives. The customer wanted 250 and we delivered 1000. While working with a client, every other email returned an error. My service provider was experiencing incidents. Thankfully they cleared the issue, but not before my customer had to wait extra minutes waiting on reports to be delivered as I had promised. Incidents need to be restored to proper service levels immediately and product or service delivered.

Problems and Changes: Confuse these and your customers will suffer unreasonable delays and constant delivery disruption.

Problems are incidents that won’t go away until a change is installed or a fix applied. A fix is just a fancy name for a change. When the plumbing backed up into my house through the shower drain, it impressed me something was tragically wrong. All the paper towels and mop buckets would not resolve this. When a problems occurs you need to look for root cause of the issue and determine a resolution or change to be made to stop the incidents from coming back. The sewer main had collapsed at the saddle in my back yard blocking all drainage from the house. The city came, sent cameras down the lines, and claimed it was an incident, it was my incident, and they were going home. I don’t think so. A friend and I dug seven foot deep in my back yard until we found the collapsed connection leading to the major collapsed connection. The city came back and repaired at much expense and then paid to restore my house to right order. Their paper towel and toilet paper solution was not going to fix my backhoe and major plumbing problem. Full repair and restoration was needed. The root cause had to be determined and a change made to get us back on track.

Changes move the nature of the service into a different order. Replacing the main saddle in my back yard not only restored right water flow out of the house, it took care of a sinkhole that could have swallowed one of my children. No one knew the sink hole existed until we dug up the yard. There were bigger problems looming that the change repaired. Changes fix things for good. Not necessarily forever, but for good. And they have potential to adjust the nature of the product or service. By handing me a toilet paper solution the city was setting us all up for some major pain.

Kudos for the city. The next time I had a city potential issue, the service manager came out, inspected, found a crack in the line feeding water to my house, repaired it, installed a new meter, and made me a happy man. It was a different experience and one for which I am grateful. Oh, they also reversed charges on my water bill even though the leak appeared to be in my pipe not the city pipe. That is service. They took responsibility for a debatable item and went an extra step. I love my city’s service.
Summary: Get your customer back to service as rapidly as possible. And then look deeper to determine if a problem exists that will cause service to be impacted again. Find the root and fix the plumbing. Work on your shop processes. Look for machine malfunctions. Examine reporting routines. Do whatever it takes to eliminate repeating incidents. Your customer will appreciate. Your business will grow.

Be Busy Building Better Business Have a Great Day!

Phil

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I need your help. Looking for plumbers. We are building a great team at the National Association for Family Ministries. Fathers.com and grandkidsmatter.com are building a side hustle team that love people and love team. You will love the product. It is exciting and all profits go to support families. Your commissions are ample and more. Lifetime residuals. No license required. I and the national team are your trainers.

Shoot me an email phil@grandparentbenefits.org and we will get together on a zoom.

Are you a PMO or a PCO?

Entitlement breeds discontent. There really is no productive way to look at entitlement. Don’t read this if you like entitlement organizations. Don’t read this if you enjoy getting something for existing.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher

Business, NGO, and government must face the question. Are a PMO or a PCO?

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” Abraham Lincoln

PMO – Poverty Maintenance Organization

PCO – Positive Change Organization

PMOs proliferate under social thrusts. The easy part of being a charitable organization is asking people to give for compassionate repair and reparation and life needs. Food, clothes, housing, and basics are all needed. People will give to maintain a certain level of poverty in another’s life. Poverty is the mentality that there is never enough resource and my efforts will never be rewarded adequately. Poverty is a codependent focus instead of an interdependent cooperation. Poverty is not an economic condition. Lack of economic resource is a result of poverty mentality and living. Societies and organizations that promote systemic adaptation to low rewards encourage economic, moral, and mental poverty.

PMOs proliferate under corporate mentality. Oops, you thought this was about charities. Any business that purses entitlement mentality of ‘get the minimum done to get paid and get benefits’ is as life force destructive as a charity giving out groceries to people who need growth. Businesses that emphasize fun and frivolity and fairness and equality usually end up with a work force bent on work avoidance and entitlement expectation. Those are all good things. They need to be built alongside productivity and profitability. After all business is about a fair return on investment. Jobs happen when profits happen.

PMO is the way of life of the government. Government consumes more and more of the community resource as laws get added and modified and bureaucracy grows and grows. It is impossible for all the government entities to pay off the exorbitant early retirement programs that are inequitable and inconsistent with business productivity. More and more cities, states, and nations have reached bankrupt points of no return. PMO.

How do you become a PCO when you are a PMO?

Positive change organizations proliferate under reward and recognition. Now, reward and recognition do not mean everyone gets the same dole or the longest tail gets the biggest piece of the pie. In a PCO, reward comes in relation to present contribution not position or power or political expertise.

In parenting theory we call that love and logic. Raising children in a positive environment keys on establishing positive and negative consequences for behavior. Reinforce that environment consistently and a productive citizen is formed. Oh, that is also a great system for correction systems and addiction recovery. Entitlement is an addiction. I used to believe nicotine was the hardest addiction to break. Entitlement is tougher.

So how do you change from PMO to PCO. This little graphic maps the path.

entitlementtoconsequence

Document the state of entitlement. Confront the facts. Identify where behavioral consequences are missing. Quantify the cost to your organization of death by indecision. Decide which battles you are willing to fight. Any reversal of entitlement will be met with violent resistance and revolt. Better to build with encouragement and consequence systems, but PMO happens. So be real and be honest.

Communicate change repetitively to those involved. Give plenty of lead time to the change but not so much that griping and groaning have time to build barriers. That is a fine balance.

Start rewarding productive behaviors before removing entitlement doles. This won’t change anything, but it will establish a new thought pattern in those affected. It might have been so long since they had positive reward for productivity that they have forgotten what dignity feels like. Entitlement strips dignity and inner drive. Dignity based on reality has to be instilled fresh.

Move to consequence and positive reward. You might find this difficult. Your management team may have no idea how to identify positive and productive behavior. They are used to promoting entitlement and systemized to zombie workplace. Dilbert might be their favorite cartoon for a reason. Of course, as the executive leader admit your guilt in leadership. You will have to change, too. The greatest failures of organizations wanting to make this move is that top leadership credits the workforce for being more powerful than the executives and blames them instead of the mirror. Truthfully, it takes combined efforts of management and work team to enter entitlement and to exit entitlement.

Measure Shock and Fear. This will be large. Get ready. Get poised. Backbiting, blaming, and bickering will explode. But it will pass if you hold ground. Keep focus on where you are going, encourage the afflicted, and do not let this stop you. If you stop here, you will find it doubly difficult to work on this in the future. Many companies sell out at this point and leave the issues for the new owner. They may scuttle great managers and executives as sacrifices to the masses. Don’t doubt in the dark what you know in the light. Keep moving forward. Plan to run. Run the plan.

Productive Behavior and Growth. Here is where you land. Here is where you focus. Here is where you want to be. The Positive Change Organization promotes, inspires, and realizes productive behavior and growth. Not everyone can exist in this environment. Yes, you may lose some people you had believed to be key. Not everyone wants to change. Try to salvage them, but don’t sink productivity in the process. New leaders will rise. They’ve been poised for this new environment and potential was shadowed in the old system. Now you can see them.

PMO or PCO? You decide every day with every decision what environment you wish to build.

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There is no magic route to riches in your business.

In 2004, Dick Gorelick wrote this insightful 101 Ways for printers.  It applies to any endeavor.  Just sub your business where it says graphic arts or printing.  You will be amazed at the insight you gain.   Printing was entering a revolution of digitization at this time.  It is a $640 billion business and continues to grow.   Here are some of his opening words and a link to the full article.  You will fell like you have been mentored by a tremendous manager after you read and will have much to do.  Read.  Muse.   Grow.

In our world, business is building.

There is no magic route to riches in the graphics arts

There is a positive side to every business challenge. Turning lemons into lemonade is dependent upon one’s inclination to avoid assigning blame and a willingness to accept — and understand — change as a permanent condition in this dynamic business environment.

There is no single, magic route to riches in the graphic-arts industry. That’s because success is the product of coordinated management of customers, supplies, staff, equipment and the graphic-arts community at large. Equally as important, management of these elements needs to be accomplished under the umbrella of a strategy that is credibly differentiated from competition — something that is critical if a company is to cope with the impact of price competition.

Since not all companies are the same, it is highly unlikely that all 101 ways outlined here will be applicable to everyone. In many cases, printers may already be addressing these issues. No one way is likely to revolutionize a profitability statement, no matter how conscientiously it is adopted. However, improved performance is likely to result with the adoption of many of these ways, when they are used to support a differentiated strategy.

Action without purpose loses its potential. Implementing several ways in this article can contribute to the attainment of your organization’s business objectives.”  Dick Gorelick

Full Article at American Printer

Face and Voice = Essential Communicators

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Have a question?

There are certain bridges that are not worth crossing, no matter what others think. Loyalty and relationships are important.  Tony Dungy, Quiet Strength

That quote jumps from every picture and presentation I’ve seen of Tony Dungy.  He never needed to say it because his face and voice always say it.  You should be like that.  Your face and voice define you.

Use your face and voice to communicate needed messages and lessons to those you serve.  Engage the power of your passion and allow the deep roots of your heart to be visible.  Common management philosophy leads to common results.  Great leaders such as Tony Dungy, legendary coach and motivator, allow face and voice to say, “Commitment counts,” even when others want to avoid transparency.

Speed of communication does not replace the need for face and voice.

Mass of communication does not replace the value of face and voice.

Repetition of communication does not replace the power of face and voice.

Face and voice communicate beyond words into value, passion, and power.

“Let’s discuss this,” announces the executive.

A gregarious and generous leader brings comforting value in communications that reaches the heart of those following when face and voice are engaged.  An opportunity to discuss with such a person is welcome.

An angry and tempestuous leader stirs anxiety through face and voice.  An opportunity to discuss may be avoided.

A pompous and persuasive face and voice bring different understanding to the same words spoken by a serving and heartfelt communicator.

The message can be the same, but face and voice provide platform.

Great leaders are masters of face and voice and command control of them at appropriate times and places.  Greatness of communications comes out of the transparency of that face and voice.  Sure there are false faces and feigned voices of politician leaders.  You don’t have to be in politics to lead politically.  You don’t have to be a political leader if you are a politician in the service of the people. Those around the false faced politician discover over time the difference and words become hollow and leadership ability wanes.

One of my great communicator friends is Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center For Fathering.  I love to be around Carey and let him rub off on me.  During one of our early conversations, upon walking up to me he said, “I remember you, you’re the one with the kind face for everyone.”  His observation shocked me and pleased me.  Certainly there are many days my face and voice communicate other stances, but this was the one he received and valued and affirmed.  It was a transparent communication back to me of what value I was bringing into relationships.  Face and voice communicated for me where letters and email might not.  Carey’s face and voice will always say to me, “open, honest, forthright, committed” framed in that and other interactions.  Every communication I receive from him will be tampered with his face and voice. (Catch Carey at www.fathers.com)

Be you.  Let that face and voice of your deepest heart come out.  Quit hiding behind emails and power point presentations. Take your face and voice out there and engage.  Of course there needs to be a compassionate and concerned heart that leads for the good of others for a servant leader, but that is another missive.

Ready to do something big in your organization?  Call me at 405-388-8037.  Let’s talk.  phil@shepherdok.com

Manage DIRFT: Quit putting out fires! 4 Attention Items.

Overwhelming issues seem to have some similar roots.  A disaster or two can send any organization or business into a spin. Resource management is challenged.  How often does the inattention to right details at right moments create the spin?  How often is the spin self initiated?

Operations can be smooth.  They must be effective.  DIRFT needs managed.

DIRFT?  Do It Right The First Time.  This simple acronym should entertain the attention of every executive and manager.  Engage it.  Paint it on your forehead.  Demand it.  Coach it.  Live it.

Control what is knowable:  U.S. Grant was an amazing manger of DIRFT.  It turned the war his direction many times.  On one occasion General Sherman wrote this about him. “The campaign of Vicksburg, in its conception and execution, belonged exclusively to General Grant, not only in the great whole, but in the thousands of its details…. No commanding general of any army ever gave more of his personal attention to details.”

Grant did not leave anything to chance.  Faced with a myriad of unknown items, he mastered doing each item under his control as a known.  By ensuring all that was under his control was handled correctly the first time, he reserved the strength of his troops for the unknown.  The mental acuity necessary to adjust is freed when the known details are handled right the first time.

Plan for the unknowable:  Our state and city has a group named VOAID, Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster.  During recent repetitive storms, this concert of concern was a first phone call.  Coordination made response quick and right.  Before federal resources had a chance to open the mail, these teams had already solved a myriad of needs.  Having worked together in other disaster situations, these folks made a difference.  Others have risen and joined ranks with them and the next disaster will be handled even more smoothly. Do it right the first time.

Quiet Time Development:  Building solutions that work the first time takes quiet time.  Avoid this and DIRFT turns into DRIFT.  The operation will drift to the loudest complaint and worst problems.  The business will loss vitality and focused expression.  Niche will become nice.  Nice operations could easily become eliminated operation as they miss the mark on needed activities and only tend to pleasing people on the surface not the deep points of need.

Sharp managers and executives use quiet times to sort the nice from the needed and the issues from the answers.  Make sure your plans fulfill the objectives of the operation established with reflective thought and right information to enable right decisions.

DIRFT!  Do it right the first time.  Inspect what you expect.  Expect what you inspect.  When a plan of operation is launched, it needs measurement points established to steer actions.  Quality control is fine if you are looking to lose.  Make plans that steer quality at each decision point instead of waiting until a job is complete to discover it is bad.  Rework is painful.  Plan DIRFT purposefully.  Teach it.  Coach it.  Motivate to excellence to prevent constant rework.  Learn some simple LEAN principles and implement them to take out wasted time and efforts so operations focus on getting it done right not finding out when it is done wrong.

Summary:  There is always enough time to do it right the first time.  There is never enough time to keep doing it over and over and over.  But, you need an operational plan to do it right.   Just giving it to people and expecting them to figure it out is a sure route to failure and frustration.  Engage them in the solution at the right moments and plan for smooth successful operation.

Have a great day doing what you do.  Operations should live in excellence.

Ready for a change?  Engage a conversation  405-388-8037  phil@shepherdok.com   www.shepherdok.net

Vitalize!: 4 Ready Executive Tools Increase Best Value

Increase asset value.  Do it.  Quit waiting. Isolate key components for value and recover.  Print communication services have declined in value as a viable business asset.  Communication channels have changed. Entrenched opinions view print as a commodity.   Look through that tinted lens and business value will suffer.   There is great value to be activated.  Right understanding and fresh vision can cause print communication to give value business results.

Think back.  What was the last department or business unit you overhauled that reaped benefit quickly?  How did you drag value out?  Did you offload a business unit with aging impact?  Why is it not working here?

Finish the quick article at GCWORLDBIZ

Vitalize!: 4 Ready Executive Tools Increase Best Value http://ow.ly/lLPe0