Category Archives: Javis Brunson @JavisJay

The Workforce

 


Managing a Powerful Workforce: Performance Analytics, Not Time Tracking

By Bill Carmody @BillCarmody

 

During the Collision Conference, I had a distinct pleasure of meeting and speaking with Adam Miller, Founder and CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand, a publicly traded maker of cloud-based talent management software. As Mr. Miller works with many Fortune 500 clients as well as mid-size enterprise companies, I wanted to get his perspective on how companies will manage their workforce in the future.

 

Will Every Business One Day Hire “Employees” On-Demand?

During the Collision Conference, there was a lot of discussion about an on-demand workforce. Companies like Handy have already adopted an Uber-like workforce model that allows people to flexibly work when they want without being a W-2 employee. To hear some companies talk about a scalable on-demand workforce, they believe it is a forgone conclusion.

Mr. Miller disagrees. “Despite what some people may think, not every business will become an on-demand business; nor should they be” Mr. Miller explained. “Companies have a vested interest in retaining top talent and many people will prefer full-time employment to the on-demand model. Make no mistake. Industries are becoming much more flexible. You can get your work done at home or at a Starbucks, but that’s not the same thing as becoming an on-demand employee.”

 

Performance Analytics Replace Hourly Time Tracking

So if not all businesses are going on-demand, what does the workforce of the future look like? Mr. Miller believes that the answer is a whole lot more real-time feedback, predictive employee hiring and retention programs and new levels of insights being discovered with big data performance analytics.

“Beyond benefits and compensation, people want to work for companies for three reasons: They believe in the mission. They want to be part of the culture. They want to grow as individuals” he says. “I don’t think people fully appreciate that Millennials expect to go through 5 to 7 careers in their lifetime. Not jobs. Careers. If companies want to hire and retain great talent, they need to be much smarter about the needs of their employees. Gone are the days when we keep track of hours spent. If your employee is working from home, how can you verify the hours they work anyway? Instead, they are going to be graded by their peers on the tasks they complete and the projects they are working on. Performance analytics will replace hourly time tracking, and the function of mangers will change substantially.”

Hourly time tracking has driven many services-based industries for years. Lawyers, for example, charge not based on the value delivered or outcome achieved, but rather how many hours they spend on behalf of any client. The rise of performance analytics over hourly time tracking has profound implications for how businesses can and should charge for their services.

 

The Impact of Managing Employees by Results

“The way the modern workforce will be managed is by results, not by hours”, Mr. Miller explains. “How do you measure people? You need to have better, incremental measurements. This idea of measuring people only once a year doesn’t work. You need better markers along the way that people are actually being productive and doing what they need to do.”

What Mr. Miller believes we’re moving toward is real-time feedback across the organization. This could be anything from project-based feedback to activity-based feedback. You’re constantly getting feedback. “The second part of this is that you’re no longer getting feedback just from a manager”, he explains, “because the manager doesn’t have time to do their job and watch you do your job.”

This idea of continuous feedback and measurement means that you need multiple inputs. “We’re moving away from manager-based feedback to essentially crowdsourced feedback.” Depending on what projects you touch and who you interact with, you’re constantly getting feedback on the interactions you have with the team you’re working with. It’s a very different way of managing teams and Mr. Miller is already seeing this shift occur today.

 

Implications of a Performance-Driven Workforce

As entrepreneurs, we should be excited by this trend. The on-demand trend may not be for every company, but the Uber ratings system appears to be permeating many industries and business models and becoming much more pervasive. The implication for service-based businesses is clear. Utilization and realization rates will ultimately give way to real-time rating systems which provide a much more clear indication of the value of the time being spent by your team–not just hourly allocations by project or client.

Aligning a company’s results with the individual contributions of each member of your team has, at least to date, been much more art than science. But, according to Mr. Miller, we’re seeing very positive trends toward a new era of real-time performance feedback and peer-to-peer evaluation of the value being delivered. As this trend takes hold, we could very well say farewell to time tracking as we look to increase insights around the ongoing results we deliver.

Your Day

 


When the day is over

by Javis “Jay” Brunson @JavisJay

 

What kind of day will this day be?

When this day is over, what will matter most is not the assortment of events and conditions it brought to you. What will truly matter is what you have done with it all.

Rather than complaining about or making judgments about the negative energy coming your way, you can refocus that energy in a positive direction. You can create a day that’s very much of your own choosing.

As you sail across life’s ocean, you cannot control which way the wind is blowing. Yet you can adjust your sails so that you’ll move precisely in the direction you have chosen.

As you go through this day, you cannot control the thoughts, words and actions of others. However, you can fine-tune your own attitude, responses and actions to have an effective and fulfilling day out of whatever the world hands you.

Just as surely as you can create a thought in your mind, you can create this day in the way you choose. So choose right now, and in every moment, to create the best day yet.

Have a GREAT day and continue doing what you LOVE to do!

Steps to Manage your Time

 


Learn How to Manage Your Time With These 5 Steps

By Rhett Power @rhettpower

Your dream has always been to be your own boss. To do business the way you knew it should be done. To offer a great service or product. To stand behind your promise. To make a difference. 

Time management is one of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur. You may have no resources other than yourself and your idea, so it seems logical that you have to keep working harder and harder. You’re excited about your future, yet you’re already exhausted.

So how do you get it all done? How can you be sure you are making progress? Take a step back. Get a cup of coffee and answer the following questions.

  1. Do I have a master plan?

This is a crucial question. Where do you want to be in one year, three years, five years? Write it all down, then chunk it down. Start by making a list your goals for each year. Be specific: How will you get business? Pay for things? Then break these goals down by month, then by week. Now you have a concrete way to make progress. Each day, look at the week’s list and get busy on the tasks.

  1. How will I spend today?

You know what needs to be done today, and how it will move you forward. Assign times to each task, to keep you on track. Spending four hours on a short blog post because you got sidetracked clicking on interesting links is not useful. Give the blog post an hour and hunker down. Assign times for lunch, exercise, and interruptions. Just know how your day is budgeted.

  1. Does this task pertain to my goal?

As you consider your time, it’s important to use it wisely. I suggest that at least half your time be spent engaged in activities that produce most of your results.”

  1. Am I avoiding distractions?

Stay off social media while you work. Tell your family that your home office is out of bounds. Don’t check email every hour. Only take business calls during your scheduled work time. The easiest way to lose control of your day is to let time get nibbled away by distractions. When you discipline yourself, you’ll have better focus.

  1. Is this the best use of my time?

As the company owner and leader, you want to have oversight of everything. In the beginning, it’s how you measure your progress. But your time is precious, so ask yourself if your activity is in the interest of success. Do you need to be putting stamps on mailings? Writing every blog post? Making a spreadsheet of contacts? As soon as you can determine what to delegate, you give yourself the gift of time. Time that can be spent growing your business.

The hard work will never go away. And because you love your business, that’s good news. When you learn to manage your time and be more productive, you can do what you do best: Be successful!

Wake Up and Get Off the ‘Someday Island’

 


Wake Up and Get Off the ‘Someday Island’

By Matt Mayberry @MaTt_MaYbErRy

There are plenty of differences between high achievers and everyone else, but I think there is one that really solidifies the gap between the two. That one difference is that high achievers don’t live on the “Someday Island.” They are living on the “Now Island” and are fully creating their own circumstances in life rather than going along with what has been presented to them.

It’s disheartening when I meet men and women from all different walks of life and of wide ages who have already died inside, but just haven’t made it official yet. To hear them talking about their glory days 10 and 20 years ago while having no new hope or dreams for the future is totally depressing. The reason why it’s so depressing is because that same person has the power and ability to live their best life right this moment — now — and totally redirect where his or her life is headed.

The major reason why this becomes the point of quiet desperation for many people is because of their habit of putting important things off and living in a world of “somedays.” If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. The next time you are having a conversation with a family member or close friend, ask them what they want out of his or her life. I can almost guarantee you that his or her response will be, “Someday, I want to lose 20 pounds and have that dream body I always wanted,” or, “I would love to someday be in business for myself and become the entrepreneur that I’ve always envisioned.”

What has happened is that living on the “Someday Island” is the new norm for many people. If you aren’t living the life that you wholeheartedly love and desire, you can change it. Don’t shut off your ability to hope and dream about the future. Right this moment can be a new beginning for you. Think about it. What would you love to do? What is your lifelong dream?

Get off the “Someday Island” and put that new idea into action for yourself. Start that business that you have been contemplating for the past 20 years. Start working and developing that new course or product that your organization has wanted to roll out into the marketplace. Start being the leader that you always wanted to be.

The fact is that you have very little to lose by going after what you desire compared to letting those same passionate things die inside of you and never unleashing them out into the world.

At the end of your life, you will ask yourself if you truly lived a purpose-driven life. Whatever that “thing” may be for you, get off the “Someday Island.” Position yourself on the “Now Island” and get busy. Your life is worth way more than living in the past or ruminating over broken dreams and wishes. It doesn’t matter if you are 25 years old or 75 years old, you have a magnificent and wonderful life ahead of you now.

One of the best decisions you can make in both your personal and professional lives is to get in the habit of living now, taking massive action and going after what you deeply desire, full steam ahead.

Tomorrow is not promised

 


Tomorrow is not promised

By Javis “Jay” Brunson @JavisJay

Have you ever found yourself putting off today for tomorrow?

If you answered “Yes”, then I ask you to think on this, “Tomorrow is not promised.

The songThe Cat’s in the Cradleis told in the first-person by a father who is too busy with work to spend time with his son. Each time the son asks him to join in childhood activities, the father issues vague promises of spending time together in the future. While disappointed, the son accepts his excuses and yearns to “be like you, Dad.” The first verse tells of his absence at his son’s birth and walking, as “there were planes to catch and bills to pay”; the second verse relates the father buying the son a baseball as a birthday present but likewise declining to play catch.

The final two verses reverse the roles. In the third verse, the son returns home from college and his father finally has some time to spend with him. Instead, the son just wants to go out and asks the father for the car keys. The fourth verse advances the story quite some time, when the father is long retired and his son has started his own family some distance away. The father makes a phone call to his son and invites him for a visit, but the son has his own issues with his job and his children are sick with “the flu.” He tells his father he will visit him if he “can find the time” and says “it’s been sure nice talking to you” before he says goodbye. The final two lines of the song reflect the father’s observation of what has happened:

“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me”

Tomorrow is not promised. Enjoy life today.

You’ll Never Get New Customers If You Don’t Target New Markets

 


You’ll Never Get New Customers If You Don’t Target New Markets

By Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

 

Many entrepreneurs assume that everyone will love their solution as much as they do, so they tune their marketing focus based on their own needs and wants. That’s the right place to start, but real growth and scale requires attracting customers who are not like you. Expanding your market into these areas requires thinking outside your personal box.

For example, Starbucks found initial success with professionals aged 25 to 40 in urban areas and with moderately high income but later looked to a new market of millennials who wanted a place to sit and chat, study or work. More dramatically, both Facebook and YouTube started out focusing on people dating but expanded their focus when they found dating was giving them limited growth.

To make the step outside your target market, here are some key initiatives I recommend for every company seeking new sources of growth.

1. Update your technology to reach new customer segments.

Today’s customers want to be mobile and location sensitive. Make sure you website is mobile-friendly, totally user-friendly, includes a blog and provides for customers review and feedback. Include mobile-app support and new social-media channels. Word-of-mouth is an inadequate strategy.

2. Incorporate social consciousness into your message.

Make sure your marketing focus incorporates the greater good of society and culture sensitivities. Make your offering part of improving customer lifestyle rather than just solving a problem. Do the same for your employees to get a new level of commitment, creativity and loyalty.

3. Immerse yourself in customer domains you are missing today.

Talk to industry advisors and industry experts to identify customer sets you are not getting. Use social media and personal discussions to isolate their interests and needs. Identify your built-in biases and define compensating development and marketing strategies.

4. Extend your solution features to meet new interests.

It may be small feature extensions, packaging and distribution that can make your solutions attractive and more competitive for new market segments. Pay particular attention to customer values and wants as well as needs. This step validates the efforts to reach out to new customers.

5. Overhaul the buying and service experience.

New customers are looking for the best buying and support experience as well as the best product. They are looking for online reviews and social-media recommendations from their friends. They are also looking for employees who are motivated and empowered to go the extra mile to build unforgettable experiences.

6. Test drive marketing programs outside of your comfort zone.

I’m talking about highly targeted efforts on specific demographics with pre-defined metrics, not the “spray and pray” — spray your message broadly and hope it sticks somewhere — approach. This “narrowcasting” approach allows you to penetrate and understand a new audience.

7. Fortify your online brand reputation.

Proactively increase interactive communication to your core market to reduce negative comments and reviews. Protecting a brand reputation requires more positive reviews earlier to offset the occasional negative one. Responding to all feedback from reviews is required online and all social-media channels.

Like Starbucks, an obvious place to explore is generational segments outside your core focus. You personally can’t be experienced in all five of the core segments – matures, boomers, gen-X (40s), millennials (20s), gen-Z (tween). Each has different interests, spending habits and priorities. After you have mastered the first one, broaden carefully.

I recognize that the conventional wisdom you hear from business advisors and investors is focus, focus, focus on a targeted market segment. While I agree this strategy is key to getting your startup funded and off the ground, when you see sales starting to plateau, it’s time to pivot from that strategy per the initiatives outlined here. Change is the only constant in businesses that survive and prosper.

5 Life Lessons That Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

 



5 Life Lessons That Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

by Valerie Svenningsen @comforcare – ComForcare Certified Senior Advisor 

Throughout the years, I’ve gathered countless tidbits of advice from my parents, friends, colleagues and mentors. As I’ve learned about trust, responsibility and happiness, I’ve realized that these lessons extend well beyond my personal life. Today, I often find myself using professional advice as a way to confront a personal issue I might run into, or looking to personal philosophies to help solve an obstacle in the office.

Here are five lessons that can be applied both in life and in business that I find myself using regularly:

  1. Establish and maintain trust. Without trust, there is simply no foundation to move forward in a relationship, whether it is professional or personal. For a business owner especially, I find that it’s crucial to gain the trust of my clients in order to create and maintain a loyal clientele. Especially in the case of owning an at-home senior care service business, such as ComForcare Senior Services, my clients need to be able to trust that their caregiver is providing them with the most personalized attention and care they can experience in the field.
  2. Listen. Take the time to fully listen to what people are saying to you. We may have great ideas and advice of our own to give, but I assure you that if you truly listen when someone is speaking to you, you are bound to get so much more out of the conversation.

You will get a better understanding of where they are coming from and the things that they value most. It takes more than one person to have a constructive discussion of thoughts and ideas, so try to resist the urge of speak outside of your turn.

  1. Accept liability. No one wants to be associated with an individual who never takes responsibility for his or her actions. Everyone should pull their own weight, own up to their mistakes, and learn how to grow from them. At work, the more responsibility that you take on, the more respect you will earn from your cohorts. In order to create successful and lasting professional and personal relationships, it is crucial to hold yourself accountable your actions and those around you will treat you with more respect because of it.
  2. You have to give to get.It’s a simple saying, but remains true across every medium in my life. Whether it’s interacting with my colleagues or spending quality time with family and friends, I feel that it is my obligation to give them my upmost attention and care in order to be able to anticipate the same kind of reverence in return.
  3. Live each day doing something that makes you happy.I know we hear this piece of advice often, but many of us don’t follow it and we’re only hurting ourselves in the long run. If we do what we love, it will show in our work and we will be happier and more thoughtful people because of it. Even if it forces you to leave your comfort zone, get out there and put your full heart into newfound hobbies, work projects and campaigns. I promise that you will be a happier individual and your good vibes will rub off on everyone you encounter.

So, the next time you gain some great words of wisdom, think about the ways it can help you in both your life and at the office. You’d be surprise how many things you learn that can guide you in every aspect of your life.  

Find Your Element of Fun!

 


Find Your Element of Fun!

By Kate Steinbacher @k8bizcoach

 

“In every job there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP the job is a game and every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake.” – Mary Poppins

This may sound a bit corny, but if you really think about it, it is true. And if you think a bit further… what kind of work do you want to get up for each morning? The kind of work that stresses you out, where you avoid meeting with certain people, where you feel underutilized, where you are bored. Or would you rather it be the kind of work that energizes you? Would you like a work place where you cannot wait to meet with colleagues, where you are valued for your skills and where your values and those of the company’s mesh comfortably? Where you feel like you are using your talents and creating value for yourself and others?

So let’s talk about this Mary Poppins idea for a moment. Find the fun, what does that mean? Work is work isn’t it? Well let’s look at it this way: We each get 168 hours a week to spend. If we sleep 8 hours a night now we have 112 hours to spend. If we work 40 hours per week, now we have 72 left. If we commute 40 minutes each way to work, now we have 68.5 hours left of our week. Of those hours we will probably spend at least 2 hours a day accomplishing the necessities. The remainder: about 54 hours. Over one third of our time is spent at work; doesn’t it make sense to find work that is enjoyable and fun as well as rewarding? Are you willing to treat over one third of your waking life as just a job?

Finding fun work is more about discovering what you like to do, dream to do or what you would like to try to do or learn to do and then making that happen. It is about discovering what work atmospheres make you thrive. I met truck drivers and mechanics that couldn’t wait to get to work each day. They had a skill, they worked with little supervision, they were outside, they loved it, they had fun! I’ve worked with new supervisors and managers learning leadership and communication skills, there were difficult times, but they thrived on the challenge and growth that was happening before their eyes! They were willing to endure the learning curve of mistakes to do the worked they loved.

Discovering that work is fun is also a large part your attitude. I can tell you I traveled the world to exotic places and enjoyed gourmet foods on board a cruise ship, had the opportunity to meet and work side by side with people from every part of the globe to insure our passengers had an enjoyable cruise, OR I can tell you I worked 16 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week for 4 months straight, dealt with difficult customers, always had a problem to defuse, had to learn ways to work with foreigners that did not understand American ways and visited places that barely had plumbing. Both sides are true. But what is true for me is that for every challenge I grew exponentially, I thrived on problem solving. I loved meeting new people and discovering their ways and learning how to create win/win outcomes. I look upon each of those circumstances as fun challenges!

Author Carlos Casteneda said: “It takes just as much energy to be miserable as it does to be happy.” You choose.

Coaches Challenge:

FIRST: Take a survey of your work preferences. Look at the kind of atmosphere you thrive in, the kind of people you enjoy spending time with, the skills you enjoy using or what skills would you like to learn. Once you discover these aspects of your fun quotient, brainstorm with positive open-minded people that have learned the art of possibility thinking. Together think of as many different ways you may be able to utilize those skills and find or create that atmosphere.

SECOND: Take a close look at your attitude about work. How are you spending your precious energy?

Have a GREAT day and continue doing what you LOVE to do!

Foothills of experience

 


Foothills of experience

by Javis “Jay” Brunson @JavisJay

 

Today you stand at the top of mountains of life experience.

Your journey throughout the years has carved its own rocky pathways. Everyday you’ve gained valuable experience and have climbed to an even higher perspective than the day before.

Along your pathway, you have discovered moments of peace and beauty in the green valleys and still forests.  At other times, you have been challenged by the fierce storms and rocky ground as you made your way forward through life.

Today is the moment that all the other moments have been leading up to. Now you stand at the summit on your mountain of experience, and the view is more expansive than it has ever been.

Never has your life’s experience been as extensive or as valuable as it is right now.  So what will you do with it today?

Now that you’ve climbed to the highest peak of life experience, choose to live a full and positive life, worthy of all you’ve already been through.

Now that you’ve climbed so high, this is your moment to go even higher.  What are you waiting for, keep climbing.

Have a GREAT day and continue doing what you LOVE to do!

5 Tips for Developing a Winning Employee Incentive System

 


5 Tips for Developing a Winning Employee Incentive System

By Doug & Polly White @letgotogrow

There are incentives that go beyond compensation. The possibility of promotion or expanded responsibility can be a strong incentive. The desire for continued employment can also be a motivator. The hope for recognition drives some to perform.

However, in many cases, we find that incentive compensation, such as bonuses and stock options, is a wonderful motivator for employees. Further, if you design the system well, when the employees earn large incentives, the company has also done well. Therefore, you’ll have the money to pay the incentives.

We are strong proponents of incentive-compensation systems. We’ve used them successfully both in companies we have run and with our clients many times. People generally do what you incent them to do — they will act in their own best interest.

While we believe in the power of incentive compensation, a word of caution is in order. There is little in business that carries more weight than affecting an employee’s pay. A well-designed system can be very positive, but a poorly designed system will do more harm than good. When setting up your system, these five tips will be helpful:

1. Make it easy to understand.

To be effective, an incentive-compensation program must be easy to understand.

We worked with a brilliant manger — one of the smartest people we’ve ever known. He designed an incentive-compensation system for his company’s sales force that paid them for doing exactly what he wanted them to do. It was a very precise system. Unfortunately, the sales force couldn’t figure out how to maximize their income. The overly complex system just frustrated the employees. Ultimately, he scrapped it in favor of one that was less precise, but much easier to understand.

2. Employees should control the outcome.

Ensure that the quality of the employee’s work will have a significant effect on the amount of incentive earned. The receptionist may not believe that his or her work will have an impact on the amount of profit the company makes. If that is the case, paying him or her a bonus based on company profit will not incent performance.

It’s OK to have a small portion of an employee’s bonus based on something they don’t directly control, but the preponderance of their incentive should be based on his or her performance.

3. Align the system with company objectives.

People will do what you pay them to do, so be careful to ensure that you incent the behavior you want. If you pay people for the number of widgets they produce, you are likely to get a lot of widgets. However, if volume is all you pay for, the quality may not be what you need.

Incentive systems must align closely with company objectives. We think it puts employees in an impossible position when doing something that will benefit the company reduces their compensation.

4. Bonuses have to be a good amount.

Studies show that for incentive pay systems to have a meaningful impact on performance, they have to represent at least 10 percent of an employee’s compensation. Less is generally too little to matter.

5. Incentives must be paid out frequently.

Generally, systems that reward employees frequently, say with every paycheck, are more effective motivators than those that pay out only annually. However, for more senior executives or people engaged in longer term work, such as a big construction project, it may not be feasible to incent more frequently.

A well-designed incentive-compensation system can help you take your business to the next level. Following the tips above will start you on the right path.