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    November 2007

    Day 13: Take Calculated Risks

    November 21, 2007 1448 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 13 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    Calculator

    After analyzing the purchase histories of customer groups, Brad [Anderson, CEO of Best Buy] discovered that 20% of his customers were responsible for virtually all the transactions in which the company lost money, while an entirely different 20% accounted for the bulk of store profits. To prepare for the change, Brad trained his "on the floor sales staff" in 100 pilot stores. He got them to quickly recognize and accommodate their high-profit customers.

    Surprisingly, price was not the issue to this group of customers, yet they were responsible for most of the revenue in the company; hence, the importance of recognizing your customer's value.

    Hechanged the way his salespeople talked to these high end customers. He trained them to describe the benefits of their products and to upsell them on additional features, warranties, and options in a way that this highly targeted group would appreciate.

    At the same time, he eliminated all discounting and price driven promotions to deter the 20% of customers that resulted in unprofitable transactions. Within a few months, Best buy's 100 pilot stores posted double the sales gains of the other stores. Promptly, the change was exported to the remaining stores with great success.

    ...Brad had no guarantee his strategy would work, but his courage to try it paid off.


    This is just another example of the 80/20 rule showing itself in real life. 20% of your best customers generate 80% of your revenue, and 20% of worst customers generate 80% of your losses. Fire the 20% on the bottom and focus on the 20% on top.

    Day 12: Celebrate Success

    November 20, 2007 1535 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 11 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    celebrate success

    A paycheck is what an employee works for. Recognition and praise is what they live for! Every manager should understand that recognition is a human need...one that we all crave. And one of your greatest challenges is to find creative ways to fill that need. Many times, this one thing can be the difference between a good and a great leader. Michael LeBoeuf understood this when he said, "The greatest management principle in the world is 'the things that get rewarded and appreciated get done.'"

    During the change process, an effective recognition practice is to celebrate successes, and to reinforce your goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You are making an investment in your most important asset...your people!

    Day 11: Inspire Personal Accountability

    November 19, 2007 1785 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 11 of Change is Good…You Go First:


    Don't pass the buck

    Buck

    According to Gallagher and Ventura, the most important words of personal responsibility are as follows:

    The 10 most important words:
    I won't wait for others to take the first step

    The 9 most important words:
    If it is to be, it's up to me.

    The 8 most important words:
    If no me, who? If not now, when?

    The 7 most important words:
    Let me take a shot at it.

    The 6 most important words:
    I will not pass the buck.

    The 5 most important words:
    You can count on me.

    The 4 most important words:
    It IS my job!

    The 3 most important words:
    Just do it!

    The 2 most important words:
    I will.

    The most important word:
    Me

    Frank Tyger said it best...

    "Your future depends on many things, but mostly yourself.

    Day 10: Let your actions speak

    November 16, 2007 1621 Views

    Today's method to inspire change really puts a new spin on the idea of "lead by doing." When was the last time the CEO of your company did something like this?

    An excerpt from Chapter 10 of Change is Good...You Go First:

    Not long ago, I read a great story in INC. magazine written by Norm Brodsky. In it, Brodsky wrote about being on a Jet Blue flight when Neeleman [the company's founder] was on board...
    "As we were buckling up to take off, Neeleman stood up and introduced himself. 'Hi, I'm Dave Neeleman, the CEO of Jet Blue. I'm here to serve you today and I'm looking forward to meeting every one of you before we land.
    "As he was handing out snack baskets he would stop to chat with everyone. When he came to me, I told him I thought it was a great idea to serve his customer first hand, and asked him how often he did it. Expecting him to say once or twice a year, he said, 'Not often enough...I get to do it about once a month.'
    "Out of curiosity, I watched him interact with other passengers. In several instances, I saw him taking notes and listening intently to what passengers were saying. In a few instances when he couldn't answer the question, I watched him take a business card and say, 'Someone will be in touch with you in the next 24 hours.' Even at the end of the flight, there was Neeleman, in his blue apron, leading the charge collecting the trash from the seat pockets."

    Day 8: Lead with speed

    November 12, 2007 1440 Views

    Note: This is the 8th post in our Change is Good series

    There are no speed limits on the road to excellence. -Anonymous

    Productivity usually comes in bursts. You know how it is. You've got something in the back of your mind that you need to do, and there are two possible outcomes. You either get used to the status quo, and it sits on the backburner, or you get motivated and do it.

    Once you get into the zone, and you're motivated, progress happens quickly, but if there's even one little roadblock standing in your way, it won't begin. The problem is that little roadblock gets bigger and bigger the longer you wait.

    I've got homework for you today. I know there's at least one thing spinning in the back of your mind that you've been putting off. Maybe you have to deal with a difficult customer. Maybe you have to paint your living room. Whatever it is, find that one thing you're putting off and split it up into small tasks that take maybe 5-10 minutes.

    What's the very next thing that you need to do to make progress in accomplishing that task?

    Take 5 minutes and do it. You'll be amazed how small that roadblock seems when you're done.

    The moral of this story is that one victory, however small, will make you push for the next one. The key to progress is smashing or jumping over little roadblocks on your path to success, before they have time to turn into a mountain.


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