Culver, Member of SpecialChem Technical Expert Team Closing Commentary
Today is the closing issue of The Culver Cache business reports published on SpecialChem4Coatings.com. It is both a sad time and a joyous experience. A joyous memory was generated by writing to you each week about various business topics, getting the opportunity to challenge your thinking and sharing insightful commentary with you. Looking back over the extensive archive of business reports published, The Culver Cache collective articles have undoubtedly covered the majority of critical business challenges that you, whether in a role as supplier, customer, downstream client, distributor, complementary player, stakeholder, top-level manager, middle manager, line manager or trench employee, will encounter in the business environment. Likewise, it is generally a sad time when one must leave such an awesome assembly of friends, readers and business partners. A special note of appreciation goes to SpecialChem4Coatings.com for publishing The Culver Cache articles in a very timely and professional fashion. For the final issue of The Culver Cache column on SpecialChem4Coatings.com, please enjoy the following collage of "closing commentary" on a variety of life and business related issues. Here we go!
Have you noticed how select corporate management teams spend a great deal of time carefully and meticulously "departmentalizing" or "compartmentalizing" their respective companies? One of the best ways to "protect" your company is to "departmentalize" everything so that no single area of the business enterprise knows what each of the other areas is doing. The principle is based on "isolation" theory. However, one of the best ways to "destroy" your company is to "departmentalize" everything so that no single area of the business enterprise knows how to individually answer a customer's questions, resulting in the customer having to call multiple departments to get a piecemeal-fed answer! How well are you balancing company security against the customer service experience?
Are your eyes wide open when it comes to your employee population? What are you watching across the employee population, whether top management, middle management, line management or trench employees? What are you doing with the information and signals emanating from the employee landscape? How carefully are you observing your employees? Are they using leverage effectively? Are they routinely multi-tasking? Are they practicing honesty and forthrightness or "manipulation"? Are they delivering consistently high performance? Are they sharing learnings and mentoring co-workers and clients? What are you constructively doing to improve your employee landscape?
How focused, disciplined and consistent is your company when it comes to cost management principles? Are your cost management initiatives short-lived or sustainable practices? Are you constantly entering and exiting cost-cutting programs? Is your company the victim of wasteful spending habits at all employee levels, top to bottom? Are you, as a manager, permitting employees to indulge in expensive golf outings, costly hotel chain stays, meals at expensive five-star restaurants, extravagant sporting event tickets, cruise trip entertainments, trips on corporate-owned jets, fancy office interiors, luxurious company cars and first-class travel arrangements that are consistently eroding your bottom-line profits? How are your stakeholders reacting to all those wasteful spending behaviors?
When is the last time that your boss upset you? What exactly did he/she do to cause the upset? Are you considering leaving your present company? Do you know when to leave a company or a boss? Ask yourself the following questions: (1) How often am I positively reinforced for superior job performance? (2) How many exceptional job performance opportunities have I been given during the last 2 years? (3) Is my boss effectively mentoring, coaching and striving to improve my job performance? (4) What degree of growth have I experienced over the last two years in salary and job responsibilities? (5) How many promotions have I received during the past three years? (6) How does my boss consistently rate my job performance? And (7) What training has the company provided to improve my job performance? After reflecting on the responses to these questions, is it time to leave your company and/or your boss for another more promising opportunity in life and business?
Are all of your employees "trainable" and in what "skills"? Can every person be properly trained to perform every skill at the necessary job performance level? What can you train a person to do? Are there skills and talents that you can develop through applying training while other skills and talents cannot be developed by training, but rather are simply "gifts" unique to a particular individual? How do people learn skills and talents? Why can some employees learn the necessary skills and talents, while others cannot? How do employee passion and receptiveness, educational level, complexity of subject matter, qualifications of the teacher and teaching methods enter into "The Learning Equation" of your enterprise? When is the last time that your enterprise did a thorough analysis of its training programs?
Do the personnel that comprise your firm deeply understand the principle of "customer experience" and the impact on the success or failure of your business model? Have you learned and experienced the power of the "positive customer experience"? How does business location and surroundings, employee attitude, employee training level, product quality, service level, and complaint handling skills impact the "customer experience" delivered by your company to direct and downstream clients? Try asking your clients! Leverage the power of "positive customer experience" on a daily basis.
At some point in your career, you will likely consider "retirement". Do you know when to retire? Ask yourself the following questions: (1) Do I despise attending non-productive meetings? (2) Is my worthy opinion constantly ignored by management and co-workers? (3) Are my life and business philosophies incompatible and incongruent with the majority of managers and co-workers? (4) Have I been assigned to a "dead-end" job? (5) Are my pay increases get smaller each year and my promotions vanishing? (6) Am I totally frustrated at the end of every work day? (7) Do I feel the company processes and my administrative duties have reached the absurd zone? And (8) Am I no longer comfortable operating in the shifting culture of the enterprise? How will you know when it is time to go?
And finally, as part of the "closing commentary" from The Culver Cache column, ponder on these two pieces of advice: (1) Find one thing in life that you can do better than anyone else and purse that one thing with the greatest of passion! However, make sure that the one thing is legal, ethical and moral. And (2) Remember, you can't plan for everything that you will ever encounter in life and business, but it is a good idea to make a plan to deal with the unexpected.
Safe Journeys & Enjoy Life!