Boards and staff have to set the records straight. They need to define their roles and responsibilities. The Board needs to set the general direction for the organization and look at the long-term viability of staff, programs, and assets. While the staff is hired to look after the particular operations of the organization.
When hands-on Board becomes to muddled up in too much detail, the staff feels disempowered and frustrated that every decision including what nails to use or plants to buy or how many colors of the logo needs to have is a pain in itself. Boards are not meant to make those calls!
It is important to leave it up to the staff to figure it out. They are to be trusted to make those important operational decisions because they are close to the problem, they know what works because they have the experience working in this role, and that they need to exercise their creativity and ingenuity. Respecting each other's roles is highly critical to the success of this relationship.
When Board and staff work constructively, then it can be heaven on earth. It is important that staff can consult the Board when....(state those reasons) and stick to those as much as possible. Constructively in the sense that while roles and responsibilities are delineated well, the relationship is very supporting of one another. If both Board and staff collectively use their energies and their strengths together, they can solve problems, anticipate future challenges, and deal with setbacks with resilience.
It is a tango- takes two steps forward and one step backward. As a dance, partners have to be in one heart, soul, and mind so that it doesn't become a labor but of an art in itself. So it does with Board and staff relationship.
This is one of the learnings of all time.
If you want to get a better deal, ask for it.
Negotiating your interest and what favors you is very important. There is no one on earth who can actually speak for you than yourself.
Whether it is asking for a raise, getting your internet provider/cable costs reduced, getting clients to honor payment deadlines, subcontractors working on their deliverables, buying a house, getting bought out, selling your business, these things do not go in your favor naturally. The other party would have their interests as their main driver/motivation.
Did you notice that usually the one giving advice to you has their interest on their own and not yours? Some time ago, a new acquaintance said that I have to get trained on this particular model to get a particular client's business or even attention. Well, to tell you the truth, getting to another training to get certified is not the best use of time. It does not guarantee business at all. With that and a ticket, you can get on the bus.
There is nothing wrong with getting your deal the way that you want it. Sometimes, you wont and sometimes you do. But asking all the time and not accepting blindly what is being offered is the best policy.
Have you actually asked for a better deal?
Do not ask for permission, ask for a better deal.
This is one of the best questions you can ask an organization.
What business are you in?
If you are selling ice cream, you can't be selling computers next year. That is out of your character, identity, and your mission.
If selling the highest quality of ice cream all over the world is your objective, then please stick to that and do not attempt to be the best of something else, or else, you lose your personality and you confuse your audience, market, and buyers.
The tendency to be-all for everyone is a strong temptation. Resisting is a must if you can be seen as a credible player in your field. The marketplace is very unforgiving. It does not care if you lose focus or patience. It is for the quickest and the strongest of all.
Clear differentiation is the best weapon for businesses to stand out in the crowd. You may be the best barber or social media or marketing professional, but if you do not provide the clear value proposition and significant difference from the pack, it will be hard to attract the right audience for what you do.
It is in the mind of your audience that you have be in the front, centre, and clearly the best choice of all.
In the Philippines, we have a traditional song that goes....
"Planting rice is never fun"
"Bent from morn till the set of sun"
"Cannot stand and cannot sit"
"Cannot walk for a little bit"
It is not fun at all when you have a water buffalo that wanted to do something else! Life in rural Philippines had changed dramatically but in very remote locations, you can see a farmer with his buffaloes.
I don't know about you but planting the seeds of consciousness starts with preparing the mindset for a new thinking, acting, and doing. It is laying the ground work for future action that will take place in not so distant future. It happens in organizations that are thinking strategic, thinking long-term, and thinking about investing further along. Managers need to think carefully how to set the stage, create an environment where the status quo is no longer adequate to account for challenge, let alone, to compete effectively.
The best scenario is the one that comes from the decision-makers themselves and this goes not by serendipity but by actually nurturing and creating those needs for action, the ownership will be there, and of course, the resourcing will never be behind.
Leading from behind is more art than science. Let your nudge take them where you want them to go.
Okay, your organization made a big mistake, and the public is talking about it. What can you do?
This is when crisis management kicks in. It is just a matter of time when the crisis comes. It will come and don't hope and pray that it won't blow your organization to pieces. With social media, fiascos, nightmares, and blunders are magnified to the millionth power.
1. Create a plan to address the most critical issues to the least important. Is it a public relations crisis, an environmental disaster, a public health concern, a racist statement, a hostage situation, a sudden accident in the plant causing deaths, etc. What are the paramount issues that need to be tackled immediately, in the next 24 hours, 48 hours, and the first week of the crisis, second week up to the first 3 months?
2. Create a team or committee that will have different roles and responsibilities to deal with several aspects of the crisis. One person will be the one answering to media inquiries. One person will contact the people or customers concerned and inform the relevant stakeholders and agencies of the problem. One person will keep the staff calm and collected, and become that go-to for anything company related. One person from management will address the public and stakeholders via a public broadcast which may require an apology statement or statement that details what the company will do to avert further damage, destruction, or mayhem to the situation.
3. Keep the lines of communication open, internally and to the public at large. Nobody wants to be in the dark about a crisis that is developing that may involve public safety, public health, and life and death, and other serious repercussions. The more the company or organization is open in admitting its omissions and commissions, its errors, and gaps in its practices, solutions can be developed for long-term prevention and mitigation measures.
4. Something significant happened in the company that put them in the news. Whether it is because of certain practices that led to these unfortunate incidents or things that were taken out proportion and perceived in an awful light, these things can propel the company to sudden popularity in a not-so-good way. When Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, all companies associated with the brand had to back off before their sales start to dip. Reputation management is crucial. Companies built brands for decades only to be damaged by malicious intent. Be responsive, address the issue, and take control of the messaging. If your company cannot control its messaging, somebody will, and it may not be on a favorable term.
The steps to crisis management start with creating a process to deal, contain, and control the situation from further escalating, empower a team to deal with different aspects of the case with central coordination, opening the lines of communication to all concerned stakeholders, and take responsive measures until all issues are satisfactorily resolved.
I grieve for customer service under the guise of virtuality.
Call us on the phone. Text us your opinion. Tweet your photos. Follow us on Facebook.
When you want to speak to somebody to establish rapport, connection, demand attention, file a complaint, you are talking to a machine or not even a machine, nobody.
Nobody knows what’s the process once the form has been filled, the phone call is made, or anything for that matter that is called reaching out. You wait for your lucky stars if they are even going to get back to you.
The bigger the company, the bigger the bureaucracy and bureaucracies kill innovation and creativity. It creates pockets of fiefdom within organizations where lower-level staff or personnel are not empowered to delight and please the customer. All problems and issues get pushed to the middle management where the action is synonymous to wait out and see.
I went into a job fair recently to talk to companies and organizations that are hiring and get their pulse on their industries. I asked one lady for her card, and she said, I didn’t bring any, just go to the website. Well, lady, you are not there on the website. The website has a bunch of information that is not going to give me access to someone like you that I met in person, talked about the company, and made that vital connection.
The purpose of the job fair is to get to know your prospective hires, attract the best talent, and get them to know your company. Hiding behind the website is inane, and it shows how either you loathe what you do, or your company wants to be more secretive than FBI or CIA.
Honestly, I don’t think I want to work for your that company.