To download this interview right click HEREand select ‘save link as’.
Have you ever uttered the words or had the thought “I wish I could find good people” or “why don’t my people care as much as me”?
These can be symptoms of a lack of connection with the purpose of your business …. What???
Yes it can be a little intangible and is on the ‘fluffy’ side of business, but the truth is, as humans we crave connection. Yes even you. And if your team doesn’t feel a connection to the work they are doing, their sense of care will be greatly diminished.
In this interview, Candace Wagner shares how she has brought her business purpose alive in a multitude of ways. Enjoy!
Truthfully, this is just one reality .. but a good one at that 🙂
Norm Jefferies of Computer Merchants has been running his company for over 20 yrs and I think it’s fair to say, he’s doing a damn fine job at it.
Norm and his team adopted the philosophy of Open Book Management (OBM) at an early stage and it has become a key part of their culture.
In this interview, Norm shares how they implemented OBM and what the benefits and challenges have been of sharing the numbers within the team. We dive into the specific of day-to-day tactics, how OBM affects performance and how they make it a living and effective tool to align the team.
If you are thinking of implementing Open Book Management or are on the other side and think it’s crazy, either way you’ll get some direct benefit of learning from Norm’s experience.
You may have noticed you’ve been getting busier, and it would be great to have an extra person or two to take some things off your plate. But what things? How many people? Before you throw money at the problem and hire another team member into your midst, you need to consider your systems and how they can be fine-tuned first.
Consider the 80:20 principle: That 20% of your activities account for 80% of your results, so you are certainly going to want to concentrate on those items and pass a hat to someone else, so you can focus on growth. Have a look around at the resources you have first, to see if this delegation can be done internally. There are also many ways you can implement technology to help you do more with less.
Determine if you can afford 60% of a new hire’s salary. In theory, the new hire will bring the remaining 40% of their salary to the table themselves through efficiency and capacity.
Consider the burn rate. When hiring, you have to factor in 3-6 months of overhead costs while your new hire is getting up to speed enough to work at a higher level (and achieve financial results for your organization). Ensure you have enough to funds to cover this transition, and that you have the training to support their development.
Cloud computing is all the rage … in case you didn’t know. It has the capacity to significantly increase your competitive advantage … if you know how. And therein lies the challenge.
Enter Clayton Oates.
Clayton has been consulting to SME’s about software for over 25yrs. So if you ask how long he’s been involved with cloud technologies, it’s fair to say he’s been there from the start. In this interview we dive into the reality of cloud technology today, what it can do for your business and what you should be wary of.
There are definitely some precautions to be taken. But not so many as to stay on the sidelines. Be bold and have a listen to the gems Clayton shares with us in this 30min chat.
To download this interview right click here (and choose ‘Save As’)
Damian McConnell has been involved in Personal & Professional Development for the past 16yrs and now brings his message to the business world working with individuals and teams to elevate and improve how they think.
We dive into Goal Setting and how to go about it so that your goals are realized vs just being dreams. Damian has a unique view on this and some powerful ways to go about it.
You may have heard before that your goals need to be ‘realistic’ and ‘achievable’. Damian likes to scrap this approach and his philosophy around this is worth exploring. You might be surprised.
Enjoy the conversation.
Notes: here are some links that were mentioned in this interview
If you’ve read or studied marketing in any way, shape or form, odds are you’ve learned or been told that it is vital that your company has a point of difference. Otherwise you are left to compete on price … and that’s a tough way to be profitable.
I’m going to reinforce that same concept. I believe, before you spend any money or time on marketing, there are two things you need to know:
Who is your ideal customer?
Why are they going to choose you over the competition? i.e. what makes you different and better?
In order to gain some real world teachings, I reached out to lead generation and marketing guru Cheryl Cappellano from Idea Factor. Cheryl has 28 years of experience in opening doors and getting people’s attention. She’s done it amazingly for her own business and she does it consistently for her clients.
In this interview, Cheryl shares her story and her best tips that you can take and adapt to your own business. She shares examples and how to’s on how to stand out from the crowd. Thank you Cheryl.
Today, we sat down with Aaron Lavell, Managing Director with WMS Chartered Accountants, to speak about the shift in workplace culture which led to the creation of WMS, and their fantastic culture growth which has seen them grow to be one of the Gold Coast’s largest professional firms.
Aaron tells us why principles matter in business planning – and what impact that has on retaining the best talent.
J: Give us a bit of an overview of WMS and how you came to be…
A:We started in May 1994. 2 partners and 5 staff left a Big 4 accounting firm at the same time after an extended down turn period emanating from the “Recession we had to have”. The “W” and “M” stand for the surnames of the founding partners and the “S” stands for Staff. From day 1, the staff have been recognised as the core ingredient of what the firm is about.
J: What led you to embark on formally developing your culture?
A:Day 1 was easy. We simply looked at where we had come from and assessed the merits of doing the opposite. That isn’t intended to be a criticism per se of the former firm, it was just a result of an extended down turn and their former policies around transparency in numbers and decision making processes. For example at WMS for over a decade, we were totally open book and staff set their own salaries. As the firm grew we found it harder to keep everyone on the same page and certain newer staff didn’t appreciate the history and the fragile nature of a true open book approach. We found staff making ambit claims for pay rises expecting to be shaved back. In the first 5 years of operations, not one pay rise was knocked back, because the requests were fair.
Around 2006 we implemented the “WMS Culture Wheel”. This was 10 core cultural concepts usually expressed as one word. We received immediate positive impact with same. A true test of any culture is hard times, with the onset of the GFC we found that some of the one word concepts could be interpreted in different ways and some were aspirational. As an example, our final concept was “Fairness” which was the outline of the wheel and designed to be a tie breaker provision. What is “Fair” can vary depending on your perspective. So with that by way of background, in 2014, we embarked on a fresh approach trying to keep the genesis of the firm’s origins whilst introducing an explanatory framework for each core principle. It coincided with a brand and web site refresh.
J: Can you give us an overview of the process?
A:We grabbed our 6 partners and a range of 6 staff. By range, we covered from our next partner in waiting to the leader of our Secretarial team. We were facilitated by someone external and we had regular break out groups of 3 armed with butcher’s paper to brain storm concepts and associated explanation. We had decided to include 3 to 5 core principles with about 3 explanatory lines per principle. This was designed to address the ambiguous nature of the original one word concepts. By day’s end we had a draft list of 5. We met again internally the following week and then again the week later with the entire office (approximately 50). During that workshop, which was again facilitated by the same external party, we updated the proposed imagery for the core principles to go onto our new website. We workshopped on a Friday afternoon and the website went live on Monday. This gave us bang for our buck internally and also drew attention to it for visitors to our new website.
. J: How did the team engage/react to the process/outcome?
A:You could feel the energy in the room which was great to be part of. As it was designed in-house, we all had ownership of it.
J: What have been the benefits of the process?
A: Straight up, it gave us to have a focused above the line discussion as a group as to “what type of work place would you want to come to everyday?”. You then assessed each principle as to whether we as a group were prepared to commit to live and breathe it in both good and bad times. We have a go to framework to assess any key decision facing the firm.
. J: How do you keep it alive?
A: It has to come into your daily vernacular. As an example, every email our HR manager sends contains a footer with some different play on words of one of the principles. We filled an entire wall of our main break out area with graphics of the 5 principles. Our screen savers are a rotation of the core principles. We had about a dozen of the staff do a culture video which sits on our website. The framework was allocated in terms of what principle each team member would cover, but what they said was completely unscripted. We wanted it to be real and the only way to do that was to have it come from the coal face.
J: What are some of the setbacks or pitfalls you’ve experienced around developing your culture?
A: We adopted two broad approaches pre the present framework. Both were entirely appropriate for the firm at that stage of the firm’s evolution, however, for broad reasons outlined above, they both ran their course.
J: How has it impacted your ability to attract or retain talent?
A: Huge impact. 99% of applicants make reference to the culture video on the website and the initial perception of what it is like to work here is very high. Our challenge of course is to provide the tools and environment to enable the reality to match the brochure.
. J: How has it impacted performance and happiness of the team?
A:Our last financial year results were great. The staff turnover here has always been good compared to industry standard but has further been enhanced. I think the staff trust the culture and we encourage them to “shoot straight” if they feel we have slipped up as a partner group. We all work hard and deadlines can stretch the odd friendship, however the group get along very well because we have a common goal to understand our client’s business and make a difference to their lives.
. J: How did you get all leaders aligned to buy into the process?
A: That was easy, as our own observations combined with our 360 degree reviews told us the old Culture Wheel had run its race. When you get that feedback, you ignore it at your own peril. None of our partner group are perfect, but we all understand that if you don’t have the foundation right, anything you try and build on it will be fragile.
[two_thirds]Aaron Lavell is the firms Managing Partner, and has over 20 years experience in the accounting industry with his initial years at Ernst & Young, before commencing as a founding member of WMS.
Aaron has a strong focus in the property sector and heads the firm’s Corporate Finance Team, which holds and AFSL
You don’t need to ask many business owners what they think of banks before you hear something negative, which is always fascinating. After speaking with long time banker Karl Brandt from ANZ, it is not hard to see where the disconnect lies.
In this 25 minute interview Karl dives into how the banks work and shares the tips and tricks to get the banks on your side.
If you are a growing business and looking to have your bank as a successful partner, this interview is a ‘must listen’.
And…if you’ve got any specific questions you’d like answered in relation to this interview, you can either post them directly below or contact Karl directly. His contact details are:
If every there was a holy grail, this would be it. If only there was a way to consistently hire top performing sales people!!
Well I’d love to say I’ve got the silver bullet for you … but I think you’d know I’d be lying. What I have got though, are some juicy tips and tricks shared from recruiting veteran Kristen Harcourt. Kristen is a senior consultant with The McQuaig Institute. The McQuaig Institute are leaders in the field of profiling and assessments with respect to recruiting. While The McQuaig Institute can and do help companies assess a variety of roles, their grass roots and expertise is with sales people.
In this interview, Kristen shares with us the ‘tells’, tricks and tips on finding, filtering and identifying top performers. The whole interview is 37 minutes long and it is packed with gems to help you find the sales people you are looking for.
Enjoy the listen. Please share your thoughts and ideas on the content of the interview below, we’d love to hear your take.
And…if you want to take this podcast on the go and have a listen later, you can! Right click the link HERE and save it to your device.
This post is an interview with veteran Business Broker Rob Mitchell from Sunbelt Business Brokers. Rob shares with us a solid frame work for maximizing the value of your company and then outlines the process and players involved in getting it sold.
In the field of exiting companies there can be a lot of information. Rob has a straight forward way of explaining the concepts.
If you’d rather download this and listen on your phone, see the link at the bottom of this post.
Or if you’d like some additional links and resources on this topic, email us to get a copy of the March 2015 Business Nutrition.