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The Legend of Qu Yuan

There is a legend about a wise Chinese government official, by the name of Qu Yuan. It is said, he lived from 340 – 278 BC. As the legend goes, he attempted repeatedly to warn the King of an ominous threat to the county from a powerful enemy; however, the King chose to ignore his advice. Unfortunately, Qu Yuan’s concerns were correct and it resulted in the fall of the kingdom.

Many are like that King. They are warned of impending peril if action is not taken to correct issues and challenges within their Companies. Listening to the wise counsel of trusted Advisors seems to be a logical approach to doing business, but unfortunately, Leaders fail to see the value of utilizing those Experts as decisions are made.

Here are some insights as to why obtaining wise counsel is valuable:

  • The Experts are exactly that …. Experts in their given field. They can save on unnecessary waste of time, energy, and resources by utilizing their proven experience and knowledge.
  • The adage “two heads are better than one” is actually true. Two (or more) perspectives and insights reap greater results.
  • Experts often have history and access to data that you may not have or know about it.
  • They are impartial – and unemotional – related to making tough decisions.
  • They can help ensure you are staying true to your Mission and Objectives.

Avoid the mistakes that the King made centuries ago. Listen to wise counsel and follow the advice of the Experts. It can reap great rewards.

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

The Library

There was a little girl who loved to read; she would go each week to the library and browse the book shelves looking for books that interested her. She told her Mom that she was going to read every book in the children’s section of the library. However, that could never happen because new books were regularly being added to the shelves. No matter how hard she tried, the little girl would not be able to read them all.

Nowadays, it is even more overwhelming. There is a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips and we could never read and learn it all, no matter how many hours a day we focused on learning more.

This is why working with Experts is so significant. They bring knowledge and expertise to you and your organization that you do not have the time to learn. Through those Experts, you can expand your knowledge from them.

A Client once told us that one of the reasons they hire us (and other Consulting firms) is because Consulting firms have experience with a wide range of companies and industries. This allows the Client to gain from the Consultants’ other engagements, expertise, and knowledge.

My COO Resources and Aldridge, Kerr, & Associates, Inc. are Experts at process and building a strong operational foundation. We are not – and do not try to be – Experts at the wide variety of other needs a Client may have. We can provide knowledge and expertise that will broaden a Client’s ability to resolve those daily operational challenges that are causing frustration. Give us a try.

Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Additionally, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

Pumpkins

Fall is such a great time of year….the cooler weather, the vibrant colors and the pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins!!

Pumpkins are very versatile. They can be:

  • Used to decorate your porch
  • Carved into a multitude of faces bringing smiles to young and old
  • Used to bake pies, breads, and cheesecake

However, with all their versatility, pumpkins are still just pumpkins. They are not broccoli, or apples, or any other type of produce. They are what they are, doing what they do very well.

This is the same with the products and/or services an organization provides. A common mistake an organization makes is that it tries to be all things; in doing so, it often fails at most of what it does.

It is imperative to have clarity as to what you do well. Allowing your organization to lose focus on what your organization does well is setting itself for disaster.

Enormously prosperous companies like Amazon, Apple, or Walmart maintain a laser-like focus on their core competencies. In fact, it could be argued that the reason they are hugely successful companies is because they focus on what they do well and they deliver based on that focus

Define your organization’s strengths and core competencies and deliver on those. Be a really versatile pumpkin!

Need help obtaining clarity on your strengths? Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Additionally, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

It is a miracle there aren’t more accidents

Have you ever noticed as you drive down the street how other drivers are paying more attention to things other than driving their cars? Checking their emails, reading or sending texts, looking anywhere but the road …the list seems almost endless. In fact, recently while driving down the street I saw a woman putting on her makeup. I had to do a double-take when we stopped for a light.

The challenge we have is that many folks do not have a clear understanding of risk and its implications. They think “it won’t happen to me.” When in reality, statistics are staggering. Some Experts state that accidents involving injury or death are in the millions!!

This “it won’t happen to me” approach spills over into business. Too many Leaders do not assess their risks and mitigate them.

Operationally, so many risks can be mitigated. For example:

  • Creating repeatable processes that mitigate errors and provide clarity on what needs to be done
  • Understanding roles and responsibilities by all Staff
  • Assessing and then documenting processes for training and reference
  • Establishing internal controls to mitigate fraud
  • Defining methods to measure success

Avoid an accident and assess the risks that can compromise your successes. Questions? Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

A firm foundation

A couple had built their house over 15 years ago. It was designed with them in mind and they liked the layout, the square footage, in fact there was not anything they did not like about it.

However, over the last several months, cracks in the wall started to appear and the dining room floor began to buckle. They could not open their windows on the second floor. After hiring a structural engineer to assess the problem, it was determined that the house was built on a weak foundation. It would require an immense amount of disruption, cost, and effort to resolve the problems.

Often, in the early phases of a Company, the Business Leader does not consider the implications of building on a firm foundation. Things are looking good, business is coming in the door, and the Company is growing. However, like the couple with the house, over time, a weak foundation will begin to create unnecessary challenges. Folks leave and their knowledge walks out the door. Quality begins to suffer. Customers get angry over delays and errors. Staff are unsure of priorities. 

Building a strong operational foundation is critical to the long-term success of any Company. This is what My COO Resources provides: a structured methodology to build a strong foundation.

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

A guide through the city

Whenever I visit a new city on vacation, I like to hire a Guide who shows me around the city. I find that the Guide can provide insights that I would not find in tour books or on my own. Obviously, the Guide knows the city much better than I do. It also helps to identify those areas of the city that I want to go back and spend more time exploring. The Guide helps me see those areas that are interesting but do not need much more attention than a brief encounter. The Guide’s tour allows me to see a broader view of the city that I would have not seen on my own.

This “broader view” is also helpful in business. We as Business Leaders get caught up in what we know versus those areas where we have little experience. That is why utilizing “Business Guides,” with expertise in areas we know little about can steer us in a better direction. Those Guides can also help us become aware of those areas within our Companies that need attention and require more time for “exploring.”

Are you aware of those areas within your Company that need guidance? If not, take our free, four Simple Start Assessments in order to gain insights where you have areas for improvement.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

Life really is like a box of chocolates

The movie, Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks includes that iconic saying “Life is like a box of chocolates.” The truth is, Forrest was right.

Have you ever sank your teeth into a chocolate that delighted your taste buds or on the flip side, caused you to spit it out? Life can be like that. Surprises – some good, some bad – are around every corner.  Life is full of unknowns and adventures, just as biting into the chocolate.

Our ability to manage those surprises can have a huge impact on our ongoing success – both personally and professionally. Learning to address those issues – and being prepared for them when they occur – is critical.

With this in mind, consider the following:

  • Have you empowered your Staff to manage day-to-day surprises that arise?
  • Have you defined an Escalation Process for use when issues require Management’s involvement?
  • Have you established a Dispute Process to ensure Clients’ concerns are being effectively addressed?
  •  Do you have a Business Continuity Plan for use when surprises are catastrophic?

If you need help managing surprises, we can help. Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

Meryl, Warren, LeBron

What do Meryl Streep, Warren Buffett, and LeBron James have in common? All of them are successful in their chosen careers. Yet, none of the three reached that level of success over night. They each cultivated, developed, nurtured, and worked hard to excel. That desire for excellence has created a lifelong effort on their parts to continue to hone their skills, knowledge, and expertise. LeBron James is rumored to spend $1.5 Million every year to ensure he stays strong and healthy.

The mistake business owners sometimes make is that they do not realize that it takes more than a brilliant product or service to stay the course. It takes fine-tuning, further design and development, and building operational effectiveness.

Most business owners and leaders want to grow their Companies, yet they do not recognize that they must also build a strong operational foundation to achieve that growth. This should include:

  • Establishing clear leadership
  • Developing knowledgeable, competent Staff
  • Communicating effectively among Management, Staff, Customers, Strategic Partners and trusted Relationships
  • Providing consistency in what is done, how it is delivered, and how it is communicated
  • Focusing on both efficiency and effectiveness
  • Producing quality products/services
  • Establishing methods to measure successes
  •  Defining the organization’s culture and what are the “right” folks needed for the organization
  • Creating clarity
  • Having accountability for both Staff and Management

Need help with becoming more like Meryl, Warren, and LeBron? Don’t hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

Get it out of your head . . . . .before you go out of your mind!!

A frustrating challenge for Companies is that information is often in Staff’s “heads” creating obstacles for growth and stress for Staff and Management. We refer to that as “tribal knowledge” within a Company.

This can:

  • Impact quality of the Company’s products/services
  • Create customer frustration
  • Waste time as there is so much reliance on specific Staff
  • Result in loss of knowledge when someone leaves
  • Produce inconsistencies and inefficiencies of processes

These challenges can all be minimized when processes are effectively documented. Companies realize that they need to address this problem. This involves:

  • Identifying those processes that are the priority
  • Designing and/or optimizing those processes
  • Documenting them

However, just getting started can be overwhelming and exasperating; so, nothing is done.

We can help. This is one of Aldridge Kerr and My COO Resources areas of expertise.

Questions? Don't hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3

How can something so small…?

Have you ever gotten:

  • A pebble in your shoe OR
  • A splinter in your finger OR
  • A kidney stone?

How can something so small cause so much discomfort? That little issue can cause disruption, lack of focus, and create interruptions to your day. It is so small, but it can cause great aggravation.

Often, we just try to ignore it, hoping it will go away. Unfortunately, the pain has to become great enough for us to realize we have to resolve the problem. Then, that resolution is often much easier than we realized, resulting in relief.

The same applies in business. We have some small issue that can cause great aggravation and instead of resolving it, we just try to ignore it. We ignore it because we think it is not easily resolved, or we do not know where to start, or we are not certain the outcome will be positive. Yet, if we just worked through resolving it, life would be so much better.

Have you been avoiding taking the first steps to trying My COO Resources (www.mycooresources.com)? It can help to more clearly identify those issues that are causing problems, and give you the Solutions to resolve them.

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact me at CharleneA@mycooresources.com. Also, check out our blogs and previous newsletters and/or emails at http://www.mycooresources.com/?cat=3