The stress your African American employees are experiencing you cannot relate to. COVID is far more damaging to their community; they are taking the brunt of unemployment and wealth destruction while daily being scared that they may have a negative encounter with law enforcement. They are worried about their families and themselves, and especially at this time, their stress is off the charts. Now is the time to show empathy and listen.
I have heard that the new job interview question is “What are you working on?” The purpose is to look for clues that show how their resume translates into the needs of the current world and how involved that person is in today’s most critical missions. Well, CEOs must realize that the “A players” are going to ask them the same question. For all the complaints and grumbling about millennials, they are the largest segment of the workforce, so you need them, and they are saying, we’re not going to tolerate it anymore.
Look at Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew put out a statement saying that taking a knee would never be acceptable to him as it disrespected the flag. Within hours there was a response from his teammates decaying Brees’ stance, especially a strong rebuke from Malcolm Jenkins. It was apparent that Drew had lost the support of his team. A quarterback, no matter how good, needs his team to win. So after trying to figure out how to straddle the fence, Brees gave up and apologized for his earlier comments.
So decide on what you are going to do to show empathy and support. However, whatever you do, do not put out an announcement as the NFL did initially, which said nothing! If you are going to say nothing of consequence, say nothing. As Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, CEO of the Mavericks and the first black female CEO in the NBA, said, “As a leader, it’s’s important that I’m clear about what I stand for and what I am against. I abhor racism, disparate treatment, inequities, and inequality.” Adding, “more importantly, [business leaders need] to listen to their employees.” If you stand for nothing it is best not to make it obvious.
I think Mark Cuban put it best when he said, “Dear White People: We are the ones that need to change.” So as Emerson College’s Pelton asked, “The most important question is: What are you going to do?” I would ask you to rise to the occasion. You will be measured by it for a long time.
Copyright (c) 2020. Marc A. Borrelli
Defining an organization’s culture as a “Family” culture reflects tolerance to subpar performance. Rather focus on those characteristics of a “family” culture that you want.
Knowing the profit of your core customers is key to building a growth model. Many companies have identified core customers that are generating a sub-optimal profit and so they cannot realize the profits they seek. Identifying the correct core customer allows you to generate profits and often operate in “Blue Ocean.”
The European Super League collapsed within days of launch due to hubris and the founder forgetting the key parts of their business model, value creation, sales, and value delivery. The collapse might bring a high price.
Many business owners want to sell at the top of the market. However, market timing is tough. Is this the best strategy? Probably not.
Working with many companies looking to grow, I am always surprised how many have not built a financial model that drives growth. I have mentioned before a financial model that drives growth? Here I am basing on Jim Collin's Profit/X, which he laid out in Good to...
As we emerge from COVID, the current employment environment makes me think of a surfing concept: “Being Caught Inside When a Big Set Comes Through.” Basically, the phrase refers to when you paddle like crazy to escape the crash of one wave, only to find that the next wave in the set is even bigger—and you’re exhausted. 2020 was the first wave, leaving us tired and low. But looking forward, there are major challenges looming on the horizon as business picks up in 2021. You are already asking a lot of your employees, who are working flat out and dealing with stress until you are able to hire more. But everyone is looking for employees right now, and hiring and retention for your organization is growing more difficult.
“Why don’t they use common sense?!” You may have said this phrase yourself, or heard it with your managers, when discussing an employee’s actions. However, the frustrated appeal to “common sense” doesn’t actually make any meaningful change in your organization. We all make decisions based on the information we have and the guides we have to use. So if the wrong decisions are being made in your organization, it’s time to examine the tools you give decision-makers.
You can only determine profitability when you know your costs. I’ve discussed before that you should price according to value, not hours. However, you still need to know your costs to understand the minimum pricing and how it is performing. Do you consider each jobs’ profitability when you price new jobs? Do you know what you should be charging to ensure you hit your profit targets? These discussions about a company’s profitability, and what measure drives profit, are critical for your organization.
If you were starting your business today, what would you do differently? This thought-provoking question is a valuable exercise, especially when it brings up the idea of “sunk costs” and how they limit us. A sunk cost is a payment or investment that has already been made. Since it is unrecoverable no matter what, a sunk cost shouldn’t be factored into any future decisions. However, we’re all familiar with the sunk cost fallacy: behavior driven by a past expenditure that isn’t recoupable, regardless of future actions.
Bringing clarity to your organization is a common theme on The Disruption! blog. Defining your business model is a worthwhile exercise for any leadership team. But how do you even begin to bring clarity into your operations? If you’re looking for a place to start, Josh Kaufman’s “Five Parts of Every Business” offers an excellent framework. Kaufman defines five parts of every business model that all flow into the next, breaking it down into Value Creation, Marketing, Sales, Value Delivery, and Finance.