Time to Get Back to Work – Part 2

Time to Get Back to Work – Part 2

by Sid Raisch

It’s too late to do much to alter the outcome of the 2010’s.

“The time is ideal to create the outcome of the 2020’s.”

The decade is all but over, and there’s not much that can be done to end it any better than it is. The way we started on this journey back in 2010 didn’t inspire much hope beyond “recovery from the Great Recession”, and the “lucky” feeling of getting back to where we were seemed like all one could ask for.

Where your mind went, your body followed, and achieved pretty much exactly what you allowed your mind to think you could accomplish.

Maybe you’re one of the exceptional ones that did much better this decade than you did in the 2010’s, but as the numbers show in The Group’s annual P&L Study, this decade has been (on average) nothing to brag about, except of course if you were one of the Best Practices companies.

Let’s begin the 2020’s more intelligently, by creating the “Profile of the Ideal Decade of the 2020’s.”

Our mantra for this decade could be to become Exceptionally Exceptional – to beat average, to beat the average of Best Practices, and to be the Best of the Best!

I’m happy to know that Danny Summers has chosen the theme of “Raising the Bar”, which is easier to say than Exceptionally Exceptional with his southern drawl.

Here’s how to Raise YOUR Bar – figure out where you want to raise it to then go about doing specifically that.

Determine to Not Settle
Settling for mediocrity – The Group average is a bar barely worth jumping to. There isn’t much growth or profit in it. Achieving The Group “Best Practice” average isn’t all that difficult to achieve, and isn’t all that remarkable except when compared to the lower bar it exceeds. But you can do it, if that’s really all you want.

Get Out the Mind Freshener
Stale and stuffy mindsets must be replaced with invigorated and refreshed minds. We must first Raise the Bar on who we are personally before we can ask others to raise their bar. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” – featured in a 1970 Earth Day poster by Walt Kelly, a take-off of a quote by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. We the enemy must mentally get out of our own way.

Clear the Cobwebs
Invisible cobwebs are stronger and stickier than the visible. We need to freshen up occasionally. Get out the broom and clear away the cobwebs. They are the attitudes and opinions that keep us where we are if we don’t clear them out first.

The cobwebs of a business are literal, and ethereal – the too-low level of thinking that will hold us back.

1.    We’ve been trying to do better, and that hasn’t worked.
2.    Our people already work as hard as they can, and they can’t do more.
3.    We’ve always done it this way.
4.    Our customers won’t pay for more.
5.    Our market isn’t good, and certainly isn’t THAT good.

Time to Change
It’s time to get back to work on the things we should be working on – the business side of the business. It’s time to make some changes.

To change a company takes an intense desire, and the willingness to act with specific intent.

Maybe you’ve tried to change your company but haven’t been able to?  First you must change the mindset of your people – their beliefs, attitudes, and opinions must change along with yours. If you haven’t been able to change, you must change people - beginning with yourself. This applies to the leader at every level.

If you’re not ready to change your own beliefs, attitudes and opinions, you need to recognize that it is you – your mindset is in the way. Nothing around you can change until you change. If you’re unwilling to Raise the Bar, then promote or hire someone who is at least willing to try, then step out of their way. It’s time.

What is the “Profile of the Ideal”?

Executive Principle #1: Leaders Clarify Reality. This applies to the present, and also to the future. Since the future is not yet known, we apply our vision of reality to the future that is yet to become.

If your future, as you want to know it, is yet to be defined, then it is your job as a leader to define it as you wish it to become. Start with defining your desire – define what you really want, and why you want it.

The future has many parts and each one of them needs to be clarified. To declare a Profile of the Ideal in each area is to provide a clear set of objectives (your "why"), and vision (what does it look like), and steps that must be taken to achieve that future scene you wish to create. People need crystal clear clarity, and so do you.

Example:

Profile of the Ideal Outcome of the Decade of the 2020’s

3 Steps for Developing the Profile of the Ideal:

#1 – Develop Exceptional People Exceptionally
#2 – Develop Exceptional Processes
#3 – Promote Exceptional Products Exceptionally

Objective:
Increase Balance Sheet Equity by at least (50%) to allow for continuation of the business, financial strength to change, adapt to, and secure a sustained and profitable future.

Vision:
EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) profit will be no less than (5%) in 2020 and will increase by 2% per year over each year through 2029.

Steps to Accomplishment:

#1 – Develop Exceptional People Exceptionally

a.    Empower company leaders to improve product selection and assortment, facility, and service provided to achieve customer perceived value to match or exceed GM expectations.
b.    Task and hold accountable (names) to meet or exceed GM budget in their areas.
c.    Teach, train, and develop (names) to manage to achieve expectations.
d.    When I cannot affect the expected outcome through the people, I will change the understanding and ability of our people, change the people, or change myself.
    a.    Get out of the way when I am in the way, so leaders have the freedom and full
           accountability to do what is expected of them to achieve their objectives.

#2 – Develop Exceptional Processes

a.    Create an annual budget by month that allows for (__%) EBITDA Profit (__%) COGS, (__%) Wage & Wage Benefits, and (__%) Operating Expense.
b.    Provide (names) monthly and YTD reporting of budget to actual for accountability.

#3 – Promote Exceptional Products Exceptionally

a.    Provide resources necessary to achieve the Customer Perceived Value to earn Gross Margin and GMROII goals of each area of the business.
   i.    Improve fixtures, signage, and other atmospheric qualities of the shopping space.
  ii.    Eliminate products that we would not use ourselves.
 iii.    Display only products we use or would use ourselves.

Committed to by: ____________________________

There, I practically wrote it for you. Now fill in the blanks (__) and add your own spin and you have a game plan for achieving a bar as high as you’re willing to commit to raise it. What will hold you back, other than your desire, willingness, beliefs, attitudes and opinions? Next, you’ll create your own Profile of the Ideal for each area of the business side of your business.

Want help?
I’m here for you. Text or call 937-302-0423 now while you’re in the mood to Raise the Bar by becoming Exceptionally Exceptional.

Are you ready to talk with Sid?
Sid Raisch
Cell: 937.302.0423
Sid Raisch is a leading consultant for business growth, change, and results throughout the US for over 40 years.  He is a consultant to The Garden Center Group and has helped transform both national and local businesses in horticulture into valuable assets with programs that create change in culture, community and company. Connect with him at [email protected]
REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Robert Hendrickson, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!
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