All posts by MSS

A New Humanism

Purpose Driven Strategy has become a prime topic of management in the last decade due in no small part to the popular books like Start with Why by Simon Sinek; Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia; Leading with Purpose by Mark Koehler; Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies, by Nikos Mourkogiannis; and the Progress Principle by Teresa M. Amabile & Steven J. Kramer. Executive seminars are held about it, business models are built on it, and consulting companies have established whole practice lines dedicated to it. This concept of Purpose Driven Strategy is a fundamental change to the approach expressed by Milton Friedman when he said: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” In a sense, it is a new type of Humanism where organizations don’t just work for their shareholders but for the betterment of all the stakeholders and the community at large. David Lee, Executive Director of the MSS Business Transformation Institute, explains how businesses are leading with purpose rather than profits and are becoming highly successful. This article shows businesses how to lead with purpose.

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From Around the Web: Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management transformed while you were sleeping. Are you prepared? Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shows some of the latest trends in supply chain management. Supply chain management is critical to every business at some level. This supply chain world amasses billions of goods and materials each day for sale to and purchase by the consumer. To some executives it may seem unnecessary to point out the importance of such an influential practice in business, but this article might be a wake-up call to some of you; you may be missing some freight.  Every nine days, another S&P 500 company is taken off of the index because the previous blue chip company, companies that for 60+ years had dominated their market, lost their competitive edge due to Complacency. Zulanas uses Amazon, Apple and Walmart as case studies in successful supply chain processes.

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Mitigating Supply Chain Risk: What the Military Does and You Should Too

Greg Grindley, supply chain expert, shares how in 2001 the US military looked at long-term needs and risks in their supply chain to military forces in Afghanistan to completely transform their process.  Delivering supplies to a land locked region was not without challenges including cost, delivery time, and limited routes.  By assessing potential problems, the US military was able to plan ahead and prepare for a hypothetical situation that did materialize.  Military leaders shifted supply routes and within a few months were able to deliver 85% of the fuel flowing into the region and a large portion of general cargo.  By modeling “what if” scenarios, the military was able to look ahead and make contingency plans while minimizing risk and exposure.

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How Can a Job Title Help Your Business?

Companies attempt to tell their employees how to work in many different ways. These “company controls” inundate corporate culture by way of dress codes, nosiness into employees’ work, requiring employees to follow specific processes or rules, when they need to come in and when they can leave. Excessive management plagues more organizations than most people will admit, and often leaves imperceptible wakes of inefficiency and profit-loss.

The remedy to this excessive management might be a quick-fix; allow employees to create their own job titles. Employers that give their employees the freedom to create their own job titles see positive impacts to their employees’ health, stress levels, burn-out rate, job satisfaction, and salary outlook. Allowing employees to select their own job titles might even help their companies with higher overall earnings.

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Taking the Leap from KPI’s to Balanced Scorecard

One of the most influential methods a company can utilize to transform its organization is the Balanced Scorecard. According to Gartner, 50% of enterprise-level companies in the US have adopted this method and it was selected by Harvard Business Review editors as one of the most influential business ideas of the last 75 years. Yet, most mid-market companies are still working with KPI’s. It is time to make the leap.

The Balanced Scorecard is a management system that enables an organization to translate their vision and strategy into action. It transforms the academic exercise of strategic planning into a fully realized system. This article speaks about the Balanced Scorecard and its uses for chief executives to transform their organizations and its different tenets of Customer Understanding, Employee Learning and Growth, Business Processes Development, and Financial Data Expansion along with recommendations on implementation.

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How Asking One Question Can “Delight” Your Customer

Is it good enough to simply meet the needs of your customers, or do you want to find exciting ways to elevate the value you bring to the table?

Martin Bonadio, Management Consultant, explains the “Voice of the Customer” (VoC), a structured communication process that begins with non-leading, clarifying and probing questions, and progresses with active listening to acquire a comprehensive gathering of information directly from the customer. Bonadio helps businesses to see what the reason behind the customer’s needs so they can develop a better solution for their customers to revolutionize the industry they support. Bonadio walks each reader, step by step, through the process of how to elevate your business operates.

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Complacency – The Spike Strip of the Business World

We’ve all watched the docudramas and YouTube videos – The suspect is speeding away believing he can out-run or out-smart the police, the officers in chase call for the deployment of the spike strips, and soon the tires are flat and forward motion has stopped or greatly degraded. How is the spike strip relevant to the business world? Keep reading…

As spike strips are to tires, complacency it to an organization: it deflates innovation, stifles creativity and impedes or stops the organization’s forward movement, what we call Transformation. This can occur at all levels in the organization or, in its most damaging form, it can afflict the organization as a whole. We’ve seen the impact of organization-wide complacency: Motorola’s comfort level with analog and refusal to embrace digital; Nokia snubbing the touch screen on mobile devices; Circuit City, Sears, K-Mart, the list goes on and on. These corporations were once leaders in their industries!

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Is Decision Fatigue Sucking the Life from Your Employees?

In his second article focusing on decision fatigue, Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shares how decision fatigue, as a physical state, may be negatively impacting your business.

In an increasingly commoditized world, employees have more options than they can handle before they even get to work, let alone at work. Many people find themselves in a state of decision fatigue or paralysis, resulting in poor decisions in the workplace that could threaten a business’s success and profitability. This mental fatigue is compounded because a majority of people (employees or not) in the United States are sleep deprived. According to the Center for Disease Control, insufficient sleep is a public health problem because individuals lacking sufficient sleep are likely to commit occupational errors and also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.

How can companies lead transformation with so many sleep-deprived and decision fatigued employees? Make their decisions “no-brainers.”

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Embracing Business Transformation through Digital Technology Should be a ‘No-Brainer’

Technology does not eliminate the need for people to navigate their internal systems, but instead requires fewer technical and process-oriented roles which can be replaced with big-picture, strategic employees. Time-consuming and laborious processes can often be streamlined by technology and, as stated in previous articles, companies want to make processes as efficient as possible.

3-D and augmented reality companies have created the best way to try furniture without going through the process of bringing it home then realizing it doesn’t fit the space or match the decor. This does not eliminate the need for sales people, but rather adapts their role into the bigger picture of customer-centric sales. Charles instructs regarding the best ways to gain profits and win customers through making “no-brainer” investments in technology.

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From Around the Web: Automation and the Technological Advances of Yesterday

Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, writes about practical technological advances and automation in business.

Many people protest the use of robots and automation. With the increase in technological advancements, employees fear they will no longer have stable job security. At present, activities that are process-oriented can be automated using the latest technology to save time, eliminate defects and create a standardized result and quality. Advanced systems often can be made more efficient through automation as well. During the standard business day, systems can automatically churn out the latest data that is relevant to business needs and communicate it in terms of the bottom line. Charles explains the increased efficiencies in business marketing, manufacturing, transportation and office management as a result of automation.

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