Jim Lindell's TEC CEO Insights

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Objective Outsiders - SWOT Process

Objective outsiders - Strategic planning
Organizations will use SWOT analysis in Strategic Planning efforts.  SWOT represents:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

    The typical SWOT process requires input from senior managers.  The distillation of the input should result in key points that the management team will:  ignore, leverage, invest, divest, mitigate, defend or improve.

    One way to leverage the SWOT process is to have knowledgeable objective outsiders provide input for the SWOT analysis.  The outsiders are typically not: held back by current paradigms, influenced by internal politics, advocates of a particular agenda.  Companies have brought insiders in for focus groups and other type of information gathering processes.  Expand the use of outsiders to enrich the strategic planning process.

    ©2013 Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc. - Jim Lindell
    #strategicplanning #outsiders #strengths #weaknesses #opportunities #threats </ p>
  • Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    4 Steps to Turnaround a Business

    What should you do when the business is declining and the future is in jeopardy?  Review this youtube video and learn the 4 major steps that any turnaround must go through.

    Lean Office Journey Implementation

    Starting a Lean Journey for your Accounting Department is not as difficult as it might seem.  Keep in mind that many accounting policies and procedures will conflict with lean concepts. 


    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Small Business Optimism Low - What Should You Do?

    The Nation Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism came in at 94.4. A reading of 94.4 is historically low and consistent with the sub-par performance of GDP and employment growth ... In the last year, small-business optimism has limped along, and today the sector is no better off than it was just over a year ago,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. “The lack of progress is discouraging, producing no signs that economic activity will pick up this year at all. 1.

    With no certain sign that economic activity will pick up, how should a business position itself to be successful in this environment? Business owners should make specific plans to address the following areas: Vision, Customers and Efficiencies.

    Vision -as a country we continue to grasp for green shoots that will foretell an economic turnaround. Unfortunately the continuing mediocre news discounts the possibility of any significant recovery. Owners must present a vision, primarily for the benefit of their employees, that is encouraging, directive, and supportive. In proverbs 29: 18 it states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." The same is true with our employees. Owners must inspire courage that there is a successful future just over the horizon. In addition they must provide the direction for the company that employees can see, understand, and implement. Owners must also express their understanding for the employees’ economic well-being since it has been so significantly altered over the last several years.

    Customers -owners must be sensitive to the needs of their customers. Lean concepts are built on two major tenants, one of which is "only provide products and services that your customer values." Owners must take the time to make sure that they are chatting with their customers and determining what the customers’ needs are.

    Efficiencies -the second major tenant of lean concepts is a "relentless identification and elimination of waste." Since we have not turned the corner in this economic malaise, owners must train their employees on ways to identify and eliminate waste. They also must inculcate waste removal into the very fiber of the organization.
    When all is said and done, this is the time for owners to step up and provide the leadership to help their company and employees be successful in uncertain times.

    ©2012 Jim Lindell - Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.

    1. “Small-Business Optimism Index Stagnates: No Progress Made for Small-Business Sector in May | NFIB”, n.d. http://www.nfib.com/press-media/press-media-item?cmsid=60346.

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Armored Car dumps cash - unrelated motorists pick up & keep - not robbery


    Motorist stealing armored car cash
    HYATTSTOWN, Md. - Coins and bills spilled from an armored truck on northbound Interstate 270 Friday morning, and passersby stopped and scooped them up. Maryland State Police are investigating how the cash came out of the truck...Police have asked motorists to return the cash they picked up. The police also stated that there was no indication of Robbery.

    Unfortunately, we have lost the sense of right and wrong. The Police were correct when they said it was not a robbery, however it was THEFT. Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theft) defines theft as:
    the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny.

    The motorists that picked up the money from the Armored car and kept it for themselves are common thieves.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    We are Emotionally Dependent on Technology

    The way that we interact with one another continues to evolve. We are also at the point that technology is so intertwined with our individual self that we have emotional problems when we are disconnected from the modern daily tools of cell phones, internet, e-mail, etc.

    Consider the following from Intersperience's recent press release:

    Intersperience research highlights people’s emotional dependency on technology

    • 53% of Brits feel ‘upset’ when deprived of internet connection
    • 40% of people surveyed feel ‘lonely’ when not able to go online
    • Challenge of 24 hours without digital devices described as ‘nightmare’

    London, UK, July 22 - A new study into the impact of online and digital technology on people’s lives in the UK found that more than half of the people surveyed felt ‘upset’ at the prospect of being deprived of an internet connection even for a short time.
    The extent of people’s ‘digital dependency’ in their everyday lives was revealed by international consumer research specialist Intersperience in a new project entitled ‘Digital Selves.’The project, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 individuals from age 18 to over 65s, questioned people about their 'digital lives' including their attitudes and use of the internet, smartphones and other connected devices.

    The project also involved qualitative research, including challenging participants to get through one full day without using technology. Giving up technology was considered by some to be as hard as quitting smoking or drinking, while one survey participant described it as “like having my hand chopped off” and another called it “My biggest nightmare.”

    A significant number of people ‘cheated’ by switching on the television or radio as they did not regard them as ‘technology.’ Others agreed to the challenge but turned their mobile phones to silent, regarding being completely disconnected even for one day as “inconceivable.”

    Many participants found it extremely hard to resist the temptation to go online, especially those for whom online communication represents a large part of their social interaction. A total of 40% of people felt ‘lonely’ when not engaging in activities such as social networking, emails, texting or watching their favourite television channels.

    Younger people, who tend to be heavier users of social media and text messaging, found giving up technology the most difficult while older people (over-40s) generally coped more easily when cut off from digital connections. Only a minority of those surveyed reacted positively to the prospect of being without an internet connection, with 23% saying they would feel “free.” (end of press release)

    The problem for our businesses is that trying to control access during the work day will continue to get harder and harder. Workers may even be less productive if they believe that lack of connection via technology is hurting them in some way. There must also be recognition on the part of managers that workers may seek out less face to face contact with customers and co-workers.

    © 2011 Jim Lindell, Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.
    TEC Chairman - Wisconsin

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    The Consumer is out of Gas!

    It is estimated that the consumer is responsible for 70% of our national economy. If the consumer is not spending, recovery remains a distant goal. In Friday's NY Times, they published the embedded image. Note how the declines of consumer spending during each of the recessionary periods. The most current recession (which I would argue that we are still in) is the deepest decline in consumer spending. Our country will remain in the doldrums until this changes. Jim Lindell, Thorsten Consulting Group, Inc.