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Performance Improvement
Performance Improvement topics include lean and six sigma, conflict resolution, faster cycle times, free agent thinking, the best in class, organization design, alignment, time management, process re-engineering and more!
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Is Selling to Government Really that Different from Selling to Business?
by Rick Wimberly and Lorin Bristow

Even with the frustrating maze of rules and process to work through, the bottom line is that people are still making buying decisions, even in the government.  They want the same things we want when we buy.  They just go through the process of buying differently. (From the authors of Seven Myths of Selling to Government.)

Is Your Company on the Road from Now to Nowhere?
by Rosemary Rein

Here are five ways to get moving and get back your MOJO - Make a MAP, Develop (NA) Thinking, Learn Creative Problem Solving, Assemble a Tribal Council and Juggle the Cornerstones of Progress.

How to Accelerate Your Company’s Product Line Growth and Stop the Continual Decline in Profitability
by Bill Bachrach

Executives need to know how to break a spiraling downward financial situation and forge a new path that will accelerate growth and profitability. To do this you need to understand the forces affecting the profitability of the product line, your true profitability drivers and how to create a pathway to accelerating growth.

Six Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line
by Patricia Sigmon

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of small businesses either didn't make a profit last year or failed to increase their profit, according to the year-end report from the National Small Business Association. It doesn't have to be that way! There are simple, creative steps any business can take to improve their bottom line.

Now, Build a Great Business!: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market
by Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy

In Now, Build a Great Business! authors Mark Thompson and Brian Tracy offer easy, tried-and-true ways to think about and plan organizational growth, especially in tough economic times. Here are three short excerpts to give you a taste of what they offer: If You Don't Buy It, Why Should Anyone Else?; Leaders Are Made, Not Born; and Great People Defined: Five Key Success Factors.

Stay Productive by Scheduling Your Interruptions
by Stever Robbins

When you’re juggling a dozen balls, interruptions come fast and furious.  As I discuss in chapter 4 of my book Get-it-Done Guy's 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More, you can tame your interruptions with a few simple techniques.

Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing
by Keith Hanna

The philosopher Sören Kierkegaard said: "purity of heart is to will one thing". To me this statement underscores the need to focus on a single external, tangible, measurable definition of success. Innovation is a challenging and risky enterprise. A single number focuses an entire team on applying its creative resources on cracking the problem.

Taming The Technostress
by Eileen McDargh

As marvelous as all our technology is, chronic malfunctions and crashes and the constant demand to keep up might account for the fact that at least one in four of us will admit to physically assaulting a device. Here are ways to conquer the beast.

Business Process Innovation:  Avoiding Equipment Focus at the Expense of Experience
by Daniel Lock

We need the experience of tradition with the capriciousness of the dreamer to extract a solution from a problem that is both effective and workable. Machines cannot do that, just people, and to believe differently is to head for disaster. Involving both in Business Process Innovation combines reality with insight, and gives better results over less time.

Bonus Your Way to Profits!
by Gary Brose

Why do we pay people?  Well, that’s a silly question you say.  You would probably say we pay them because they work.  I say that you are wrong.  We don’t pay people because they work.  I thought about this long and hard and came to the conclusion that Woody Allen was right.   Woody said, “80% of life is showing up.” 

Cop Outs
by Sloan Campbell
When we talk about organizational behaviours we are generally referring to a field of study that investigates the impact which individuals, groups and structure have on behaviour within organizations for the purpose of improving an organization’s effectiveness.Well I have, over the last number of years, encountered three ideals that have graduated from being organizational behaviours to becoming the biggest cop outs in business.

Avoid Square Peg in Round Hole to Achieve New Project Success
by Baldwin H. Tom

Until one has defined the nature of the initiative, know how to implement it, and who or what might be needed to make it work, providing a structure should be the last thing done, not the first. Here is a four stage process that avoids the urge to house a project before its definition.

Transforming Federal Government – An Unknown Success Story
by Baldwin H. Tom
The President’s Management Agenda is almost an unbelievable success story!  Money has been saved, efficiencies have been achieved, and higher accountabilities demonstrated.  We have been in the midst of this transformation the past seven years with significant and positive changes in government that we taxpayers should applaud.  Since most of these are not public activities, very few people outside the government know about them.

Do Your Job
by Liz Weber
Am I doing my job? Am I building comfortable work relationships with my employees? Can I honestly talk with them about my concerns and expectations? Do I hold them accountable for certain tasks and performance standards? Do I support them individually, while ensuring the entire organization moves forward?

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants Counts on Document Management
IKON Case Study
Organizations are faced with wasteful costs associated with the time spent looking for information, lost customers, slow response times and the worst of “cost” of all, losing knowledge workers who take history, information access and experience with them. A consistent archival location, consistent methodology and universal organizational access are required to be successful.

A Guide to Implementing Lean Six Sigma
by Carl Wright
If you're in the business world, you have either heard of lean manufacturing or six sigma. Almost every company in either the service or manufacturing sector has adopted one of these two disciplines as an improvement methodology. Some businesses have adopted both methods using the term lean six sigma. It is the name most often given to the combination of lean manufacturing and six sigma principles.

Searching for New Profit Ideas in Your Company? Look No Further than the Services Department!
by Jim Sakaguchi
If you're a maker of hardware or other products with profit margins getting squeezed by the competition, you may want to consider developing new revenue streams from your services department. You may be surprised to learn there are several ways to turn service offerings into a competitive advantage and create new profits for your company.

Eight Strategies for Achieving SMART Goals
by Merlyn Sanchez
Are you tired of setting goals and not achieving them? Learn the eight strategies for setting and achieving "SMART" Goals.

We're Going Lean, Where's the Payoff?
by Rick Pay

Lean manufacturing, Lean operations, Lean administration, Lean accounting. It seems that everywhere you turn, Lean is permeating American industry. Yet, a mere 2% of the companies have fully achieved their objectives and only an additional 24% reported they have had significant results. Why are more than 60% of the companies implementing Lean not making the progress they would like to see?

Beyond the “Balanced” Scorecard: How an “Un-Balanced” View of Performance Could Dramatically Increase Your Ability to Execute
by Dr. Dan Roller

If you are thinking about “ordering” a Balanced Scorecard, think again, or rather, think first of your organization’s specific needs around strategy execution.  Once these needs are clear, ask what type of scorecard will best help you address these needs and best facilitate the effective execution of your organization’s vision, mission, and strategy.

Culture KOs Strategy ... Again
by Ed Horrell

I often write about the importance of corporate culture and how it affects a business.  I found a great example of a company that had a clear culture, lost it for a while and brought it back with a vengeance.  If you've ever doubted the impact of culture, read on. You'll like this story.

Ma Bell Uses Fuzzy Math
by Ed Horrell

I challenge you to read your next corporate telephone bill with any comfort that you are getting what you paid for. Then remember that there is a company watching out for you.

Hunting Gorillas in the Corridors
by Peter de Jager

The ugliest 600lb purple polka dotted Gorilla in most organizations is “the pervasive unwillingness to confront problems.” Recognize THAT specific Gorilla and all the other ones will go away.

Improve Your Time Management Skills by Limiting Distractions and Eliminating Excuses
by Denise Landers

Once you deal with the top ten distractions and eliminate the top six excuses you can improve your time management skills, increase your productivity, lower your daily stress, and gain control.

Do Your People Let You Down? - Unintelligent Dressing
by Peter Landau

The subconscious mind is an amazing machine, it takes in information all the time and computes it and most of the time one is unaware it’s happening. What you wear can improve your chances of success.

Watch Out For the Red Zone of Pricing Strategy
by Dr. Reed K. Holden

This year, we'll be hearing about more price wars then ever. To ensure your company doesn't fall into the Red Zone, relentlessly monitor your competitors, provide leadership guidance and do the necessary advanced planning.

Time Management Systems Help Us Soar!
by Denise Landers

On a recent airplane flight, I thought of all the systems that are in place to get us from one destination to another as efficiently as possible. Set up the systems that will help you soar!

Lean Six Sigma for Enterprise Resource Planning: Four Principles for Chief Executives
by Forrest W. Breyfogle III

Chief executives of businesses large and small are using Lean Six Sigma to improve their organizations' performance. Too often, however, they are viewing the methodology through myopic lenses.

Designing Deals for Lasting Value
by David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius

Negotiation involves the art and science of drawing up deals that create lasting value. Deal design is an essential part of 3D Negotiation™ that is often overlooked.

Time Management Training: Organize Your Time With The Building Blocks of Productivity
by Denise Landers

Why spend extra hours in the evenings on work that you could have fit into the day with the right construction of your schedule?

Lean PIZZA - Applying Lean Principles to Small Businesses
by Dan Stoelb

No, this isn't a story on how to make a pizza that has fewer calories or is fat-free. Rather, it is a story of how even a small "ma and pa" shop can apply lean manufacturing concepts and tools and see a significant improvement in their bottom-line results.

Want Higher Profits? Choose Your Customers Wisely
by Lynn Daniel

Keeping your company clearly focused on profitable customers and opportunities will help ensure that your company is profitable, no matter how the economy fares.

What's Propping Up Your Leadership?
by Sam Allman

Is your leadership upheld by being liked? Being respected? Both? Finessing these two contraries is one of the most difficult challenges in leadership.

Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management by Edwin C. Bliss
summarized by Cam Howey

Bliss' book was first published in 1976, and was updated in 1993. His ABCs are 'right on' and provide ways to better manage our precious time.
By using the tools in this book, they will help improve performance and get the right things done.

How CEO's Can Use Axiology to Improve the Bottom Line Part I
by Mitch Axelrod and John Beaton

In today's fast-paced business world, CEO's are trying to keep up with change and adapt to the global marketplace, constantly searching the horizon for an edge over the competition. One thing they overlook is very close to home.

How CEO's Can Use Axiology to Improve the Bottom Line Part 2
by Mitch Axelrod and John Beaton

In our first article we explained the little known science of Axiology and the Value Profile. In this article we continue on to discover additional and deeper critical distinctions the Value Profile provides.

The Most Neglected Ingredient in Business Growth
by Sam Allman

A business short on capital can borrow money, and one in a poor location can move. But a business short on leadership has little chance of survival.

Creating Powerful Management "Synergy" Via Executive Compensation
by A. Lee Westervelt

Crafting an effective executive compensation program is complex - part art, part science. It requires a careful and thoughtful understanding of the business, of the executives running the business, and of the goals the two have together.

The Game Plan – the Difference Between Small Business Success and Failure
by Jan B. King

A business plan gets you in the game. A game plan keeps you in the game. A business plan is a sales brochure and a game plan is an instruction manual. A game plan is about tactics.

Cut Waste with Lean Teams
by Lewis E. Frees, Ph. D.

Lean teams assume that the work is continuing 24/7, whether people are spread down the hall, across town or around the world. In addition to expecting effective interactive skills and processes, lean teams use a combination of process redesign and technology.

Realizing Your Best and Highest Use: Your Key to Success as a Company, Executive or Consultant
by Andy Birol

If a company, executive or consultant can uncover their best and highest use, there is a much higher chance they will be successful, achieve their objectives, and have fun.

Why "Free Agent Thinking" is Good for Your Company
by Lora J. Adrianse

Do your employees a favor. Encourage free agent thinking. As a company, yes, you'll have to work harder to keep the talent you want to keep. And yes, you'll probably lose some.

ISO 9002 or ISO Stupid?
by Andy Birol

How can you take the best from ISO to drive your costs down and your quality up without risking your future of innovation, customer value, and profitability? Here are a few key steps.

Getting Back to Behavioral Core Competencies
by Dick Olenych

As companies take an introspective look, they are realizing that behavioral core competencies are crucial in obtaining success in business and in life - Competencies Really Matter!

Survey Strategies and Solutions
by Shirley Frazier

Many firms prepare surveys with the help of outside consultants, but this isn’t always the best option. If you’re ready to go this alone, here are five points to steer your company toward developing an insightful survey.

The Five P's of a Profitable Business - Purpose, Position, Promotion, Performance, and Phun
by Sid Smith

Having a profitable business is like a flowing river. If you try to force it uphill it won't get very far. Allow it to flow in its natural direction, and it will eventually get to its goal, even if that means meandering across a long valley or pushing its way through a rocky gorge.

Don’t Strategize, Empathize
by Irene Etzkorn
“Who designs these things?” We’ve all asked the question. Usually, it’s as we’re struggling with impenetrable packaging or trying in vain to turn off the mysteriously blaring burglar alarm.

The Solopreneur Bill of Rights
by Veronika Noize and Jack Rubinger
The Solopreneur (one-person business such as a consultant) is a breed within a breed. After years of working on our own, we’ve generated an important set of rights that all solopreneurs can recognize and appreciate.

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe ... Isn't There a Better Way to Pick a Consultant?
by Victoria A. Hoevemeyer

Organizations spend billions of dollars for impractical or incomplete data, ineffective or inappropriate interventions, and poorly thought-out or implemented recommendations. This article can help you select a qualified consultant.

What is a SWOT?
by Skip Corsini
Successful companies constantly review their current business strategies to make sure they are working and effective. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do so is through a situational, or SWOT, analysis. It is a powerful tool in creating and maintaining the necessary and all-important strategic conversation within a company.

Saving Money Everywhere: Uncovering Waste's Hiding Places
by David A. Goldsmith & Lorrie Goldsmith
Corporate waste is more prevalent than most people realize. The good news is that once you know where to look, preventing waste and pocketing profits is an easy task.

Uncover and Eliminate the Hidden Costs NOW!
by Lora J. Adrianse
Now is the time to take a closer look, to find, uncover and eliminate the "hidden costs". The hidden costs are far less obvious to the major decision makers, and may be most obvious to the people who are closest to getting the work done.

On Being Proactive
by Preston G. Smith

"Proactive" is a contemporary buzzword. But like many buzzwords, this one is far easier to recite than it is to apply.

Increase Your Human Capital ROI with an Alumni Network
by Christina Morfeld
As the concept of "lifetime employment" becomes obsolete, many organizations are finding that they have more former employees than current ones. They are also beginning to recognize the bottom-line benefits of cultivating ongoing relationships with their "alumni."

Sales Best Practice - The Ten Fundamentals
by Richard Ilsley

It is hard to find an organisation that is not using the term 'Best Practice' somewhere within its sales operation. It seems that no matter where you go, someone is talking about it and everyone wants it. But what is it and how do we know when we have it?

Business Dashboard
by Gary Lockwood
When you are driving down the road, a quick glance at your car's dashboard gives you a lot of information. In an instant, you know how fast you're going, how much fuel you have remaining and whether the engine is overheating. What are you looking at as you're driving your company? How easily (and quickly) can you get crucial information on all your key performance indicators?

The New Accountability: Part 2
by Brian Ward
Using the balanced scorecard to align accountabilities for results.

Corporate Firefighting with the Fire Triangle
by Michael L. Perla
The fire triangle is one conceptual tool for the organizational problem solver's toolbox. Like most models or tools, it is simplified and inherently iterative, yet it provides a focus for understanding different problem elements and how they interact.

A "Cyber" Staffing Solution for Small Businesses
by Christina Morfeld
Consultants, entrepreneurs, and other independent professionals often find themselves performing a juggling act. Fortunately, advancements in technology have spawned a new industry, called "Virtual Assistance," that provides SOHOs with the relief that they need.

"Problem Employee"
by Lee A. Plutino
A "problem employee." What is that? We've all heard the term at one time or another. How and what a company communicates, directly or indirectly, affects how the employee interprets his relationship to the company.

Sustain the Gain of Change
by Greg Brue

You don't make the investment in Six Sigma and take the time to train people, to select projects, and then to drill down to your costs of poor quality once. Six Sigma is ongoing; it's a constant, "living" methodology that needs to continue as long as your business does.

The Breakfast of Champions - How Organizational Self-Assessments Can Put You on the Road to Success
by Brian Ward
It has been said that 'feedback is the breakfast of champions.' With a comprehensive Objective Self-Assessment, it becomes the full meal deal!

Demystifying Value Added
by Derek F. Martin
Despite its widespread acceptance, few people can actually define value added in a way that enables them to apply it. Take the time to understand the components of value added so that you can employ it in your own activities.

Managing Risk in a Start-Up Through Trust and Foresight
by Stacey van Hooven
The new economy created rapid growth and sudden wealth for many young companies, a great deal of which we all know now has dissipated. Many failed start-ups might have better managed their risk with an extra touch of integrity and a carefully considered risk plan.

Cutting Costs Without Losing Your Shirt - A Strategic Approach to Cost Reduction
by Derek F. Martin
The five-step SCR methodology primes your organization to enact value creating and sustainable cost savings.

Quality Improvement: A Front Line View
by Judy Worrell
In spite of the broad recognition and adaptation to quality improvement, there continues to be a challenge within organizations to fully integrate this newer approach with the work of front line staff. This article identifies some of the factors that contribute to these barriers, and suggests some proven strategies for overcoming them.

Risking to Win – How to Improve Performance by Taking Risks
by Jim McCormick
Consistent top performers are talented and persistent risk-takers, and it is possible to improve a person's risk-taking ability and thereby their performance.

The Independent Business Professional Thrives!
by Rick Sidorowicz
Individuals and organizations share a common challenge of adapting quickly to new and unique circumstances and re-inventing how they can create and deliver real value to their customers.

The CEO Challenge - Put Yourself to the Test
by Bill Fisher
Quality pictures of understanding make it easier for everyone to do better work. Put yourself to the test.

Win Win Conflict Resolution - High Powered Energy Transformation!
by Rick Sidorowicz
How we ‘hold’ conflict and how we ‘handle’ it can re-energize our spirits and strengthen individuals’ alignment to a common purpose.

The Focus is on Performance!
by Rick Sidorowicz
The set of skills, attributes and attitudes of the independent business professional are precisely those needed by individuals and organizations alike to respond effectively.

The Critical, The Few, The Vital, But Not Necessarily The Only
by H. Peter Schiller
Exploring the 80/20 rule. Our gut instinct tells us to stick with the few, the simple, the vital. What is the 80/20 rule? How does it work? Does it always work?

Performance Improvement - A Classic Checklist
by Rick Sidorowicz
"Improving Performance" by Rummler and Brache remains a classic reference for organization design, process re-engineering, and performance improvement.

Faster Cycle Times - Just Do It!
by Rick Sidorowicz
What hurts? Where are the gaps? Make decisions in real time! Get ‘stuff’ done fast! The ‘doing’ makes the difference.

Faster Cycle Times - Streamlining Basics
by Rick Sidorowicz
Assess value from the customer’s point of view, eliminate bureaucracy, simplify and accelerate action, and get closer to the customer - for superior performance.

Deming’s 14 Points
by Rick Sidorowicz
A refresher on the basics of quality - the key issues as prescribed by the master - W. Edwards Deming.

Characteristics of the 'Best in Class'
by Rick Sidorowicz
Fast Cycle Time - try this quick and dirty quiz to see how your firm measures up to the best?

The Independent Business Professional
by Rick Sidorowicz
What is really wanted and needed? Independent contractors have a different point of view!

Related Topics: Leading Change | Customer Service | Project Management

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