Top 3 ‘Oh Shit’ Moments in Business

There are some dumb things that happen and are said in businesses situations and sometimes they lead to poor practices. Of course no business sets out to create inefficiencies but these things do happen over time. The bigger the business, the more prevalent the disease. In this article we discuss the Top 3 ‘oh shit’ moments when bad practices rear their ugly heads and how you can take action.

  1. When you hear someone say, “That’s the way we’ve always done that.” OR “Why fix it if it ain’t broke?” run for the hills. You’ve been infected!

time for change sign with led lightBlindly repeating the actions of a predecessor can lead to this mentality. The only constant is change. And let’s face it, change can generate innovation and excitement where passion can be lacking. It’s important to ask questions for continuous improvement. Understanding initial decisions and why they were made will be paramount when managing resource churn. As new technology presents itself, and as your industry changes, it will be productive to seize new skills, processes and tools to adapt. This should be seen as a business opportunity rather than pose as an adverse business risk.

2. The next time someone mentions, “Yeah, but this new tool is going to solve our problems.” OR “It’s the tool’s fault, because it can’t do [insert a feature].” take heed! This mindset is too focused on the technology instead of the people and processes. Over time this leads to tool sprawl and mismanagement of the technology meant to help.

woman wearing red and black checkered blouse using macbook

In some business cases, tools are tied to a person or even a calamity where business decisions may have been made based on knee-jerk reactions to firefighting or maybe it’s as simple as the lack of business maturity. Over time it’s very easy to be ‘in the weeds’ with a number of tool sets where only 20% of the tool is actually understood and utilized. Dedicating the time and resources to learning the other 80% often goes by the wayside and instead the tool you had is simply replaced with another tool, which will presumably solve business problems. This thought process of adding more tools to the stack can lead to a new set of issues like unnecessary network load, wasted budget, silos of chaos, and increased security risks. Look to your people and processes to be the driver for excellence delivering on business goals not features of software. Everytime a new tool is considered, simultaneously review existing tools.

3. The next time a deadline is missed and phrases like, “But nobody told me about this.” OR “Mistakes were made…” are uttered, you might have an accountability problem.

man in brown long sleeved button up shirt standing while using gray laptop computer on brown wooden table beside woman in gray long sleeved shirt sitting

It is not uncommon for a lack of accountability to creep into business process. Unclear priorities, low levels of trust, missing objectives, and unmet deadlines is a recipe for disaster. When working in teams and with multiple teams, it’s tough to hold others accountable if nothing is defined. It’s important to ensure everyone is aligned. Expectations should be set with teams and what success looks like should be defined. “If you never tell anyone what you expect, then expect to be disappointed.” –Thoughtful Leader

That’s it. Of course there are more ‘ah shit’ use cases we could roll through but these top 3 are pretty rampant in businesses no matter what their size, so keep your ears and eyes peeled for the warning signs.

marketing, technology

Your Brand; Your Identity – 10 Tips

Brand Business ConceptTop 10 tips on how to put yourself out there:

  1. Know your audience. Who do you want to reach? Who will listen? Envision your ideal audience for your message and put yourself into their shoes. What do they want to know?  You can tell them. It’s your destiny!
  2. Build a strategy. Nothing screams success like a well formulated game plan. Take some time to think through your strategy. Build up a project plan with detailed steps necessary to reach your goals.
  3. Construct a calendar of events. Define your content and lay it out on the calendar. Situating tasks for each day to deliver your message will be an important step to stay organized and on track.
  4. Speak authentically. Be yourself when conveying your message. No one likes someone who tries too hard. Keep it real and keep it simple. If using complex vocabulary is not normally your thing, then don’t start just because you may want to sound smarter. You’ll end up only pushing your audience away because your words won’t seem natural.
  5. Weave in the personal. Emotion is a powerful source of truth and can create instant connections with people. Use it to tell your personal story and capture the hearts of your audience.
  6. Focus. This can be tough. Your message must be clear and concise. There is only so much brain space and time you have before your reader loses interest.
  7. Use powerful headlines. You have only seven seconds to make a great impression when meeting someone. Headlines work the same way. They are the bits of information we use to judge whether we want to pursue something more. Get over the hump by using inviting, captivating headlines that draw the reader in.
  8. Make your content easy to read. Your reader should be able to glance through your material and understand the main points without having to do further research. Include bullet points, headings, numbered lists, etc. to achieve this.
  9. Include a call to action. Give your reader a purpose. What do you want them to do with the information you’ve put out there? Provide additional links  for further information or offer up images, a sign up form, etc. to provide your user with another opportunity to interact with your brand.
  10. Finally, go the extra mile. Be helpful. Start by answering any possible questions you think your audience may have. Discuss your products and/or services further or even offer a feedback loop so your audience can contact you for suggestions on improvement.