Starting and managing your own small business can significantly change your management style, personality, and life.
· Making decisions can put a lot weight and stress in your shoulders especially when these decisions to be made could dictate the success or failure of your business.
· As a manager for large corporations such Intel, Allied Signal, Honeywell, the Compass Group & BCS, LLC, I learned things that make those companies what they are today. All companies have "Corporate Lifecycles" the key to over come them is the ability to mastering-understanding change. I can not tell you what to do or how to run your business, in the contrary I have learned many great things just by watching other business men do what you do best. Besides admiration, confidence and respect I have for you and your start up business; I would like to share some thoughts with you.
Like ___ Charles Darwin said: It is NOT the strongest of the species that survive, NOR the most intelligent, BUT the most responsive to change"
When companies are facing change, there are many factors that make the survival complex and difficult. In order to keep your company at float and alive you must learn to manage and lead change by finding and implementing solutions with a minimum of stress. There is nothing wrong with CHANGE; the key is what you do with it and how you embrace it.
* Just like any lifecycle, they are born, they grow and unless management knows what to do, they age and will die.
* When systems change, they fall apart. The faster the change, the faster the disintegration, which is always manifested in problems of all kinds and magnitudes.
* A successful diagnosis of a problem is the correct identification of what is falling apart, the cure and successful treatment is INTEGRATION of those parts.
* Your role as a leader is to LEAD the change that creates new problems, reintegrate the organization to solve those problems, prepare it to be change AGAIN, and have new problems. "The challenge is to CHANGE continuously and NEVERLESS always remain together as a company, team, and family.
* It is always easier to LEAD when you know the road ahead. You need to share your thoughts and expectations, be clear with your company employees, paint a clear picture and I assure you they will follow.
* Successful Leaders: MUST learn to distinguish normal problems, those that the company should experience, from abnormal issues it need NOT to experience. See when an organization is changing and going through the transition from a lifecycle to the next, problems are eminent.
* Normal Problems: are transitional in nature and life it self; they cannot be avoided, but they can be solve by the company with is own internal energy by setting process, policies in motion and making decisions to overcome the problem (s). For this very same reason, I took the initiative to think, write and make available to all employees, policies that will structuralize many aspects on how your company moving forward can do and will do business. (Technology)
* Abnormal Problems: this will happen to you when you/your company expend time and energy inward in futile attempts to remove blockages to change and usually require external therapeutic intervention. Think about considering aging abnormal if it can be averted with appropriate treatment.
* Curative Treatment: this is like calls for removal of abnormal problems so your company progress to a new set of normal problems/issues.
* Preventive Treatment: involves developing capabilities that will enhance and sustain PRIME & EXCELLENCE.
Understand that commitment makes any company or organization-marriage, business or society-VIABLE. Also as a Leader of your company, you must excitedly believe that your product or services will satisfy your clients’ real needs. You need/must to transmit this thought to your employees and make them believers like you, so they can transmit the same feeling to your clients in order to obtain a mutual goal, sale, agreement or benefit.
Take a look a what systems you have in place, like any other company in transition and growth you must develop a plan, creating sales policies, delegate sales, marketing and support-customer service ideas-products and materials to the appropriate manager or management group. This will take some time but it is very and extremely important.
Be careful making extravagant sales or acquisitions, projections; be conservative with the projection of capital gains. Many companies make their problems worse by NOT paying attention to this small but very important detail. Be realistic with projection and expected company growth.
* Do not take short term loans
* Discounting prices to generate cash
* Do not sell equity to venture capitalist who does not share your visions or interest.
Challenges within Companies:
* Delegation of Authority
* Change of Leadership to Professional Management
* Goal (s) Displacement (Do not become a "GO-GO- Company")
* Risk taking to Risk avoidance: usually risk avoidance becomes the dominant pattern, a company’s culture changes.
* Expectations Exceed results to results exceed expectations: to minimize undesirable deviations and maximize results, companies attempt to reduce expectations.
* Cash Rich to cash poor: usually in the advanced stages of aging, companies are highly liquid with more cash than they can use.
* From emphasis on function to emphasis on form: In aging, form bureaucracies over takes function (production/entrepreneurship) because form is less taxing. Remember form is SIMPLE. There is no need to think. It is easier to enforce form than to perform function but as long as some degree of function exists, form can survive.
* From WHY, WHAT, to HOW, WHO and WHY NOW? Fear DOMINATES these terms are pathological meaning that rather focusing on how, what, and why to achieve, they ritualistically pursue how for sake of how; rather than the forward-looking, why driven what.
* From contribution to personality: ALWAYS what people contribute? Is what MUST matter MOST? Companies hire and promote because of personality and despite the lack of contribution.
* Forgiveness to asking permission: employees must get reprimanded despite extraordinary results if they DO NOT follow the rules, correct procedures or company policy.
* Problems or opportunity: When a company gains control and matures, usually attitude takes over and every opportunity could become a potential problem. This cause companies to do not anticipate change therefore it does not react to it.
* Marketing, sales to financial and legal: you know that the core/center of power moves further into the finance and legal departments in a company, whose role is to say "NO!" and prevent mistakes.
* From Line to Staff: Those with NO responsibility- accountability for results now have authority over those who do. This switch/change has broad repercussions.
* Responsibility vs. Authority: We know that Authority is split from responsibility. Finance and Legal depts., gain authority and power but responsibility remains with sales and marketing. People do not feel really accountable, and decision making and implementation are slowed, eventually resulting in a company paralysis.
* Who is managing who? Systems, policies, rules, procedures and guidelines dominate behavior in a company.
* Momentum or inertia: you can capitalize on inertia by maximizing efficiency. (Company Systems such LAN, Network & PC System)
* What to do? Change in leadership or change the system? If you feel the system has taken over the company, New Leadership will only be effective if changes the system.
* Look for the right person to get advice from, a person that understand your needs, goals and business mind set and allowed that person to work with you to change the power structure of your organization.
* From Sales to a profit orientation: To change behavior in an organization you need to alter the (their) goals, reward systems, hiring and training practices. When I worked at Intel & Honeywell, they were able to increase both sales and profits simply because FORM & FUNTION have equal weight.
* From Customers to Capital: Be very careful with company goal displacement, what I mean is usually the goal becomes personal, political, or survival; outside interest groups dominate the decision making process and the interest of your company are no longer relevant. Deterministic goals are the one we want to maximize and constraint goals are those we DO NOT want to violate. Keep both in mind and in balance.
* From Cash to Politics: As companies grow the investment, community becomes the client. Therefore, they take more and give less, investing less in the future, cutting services and squeezing out whatever profits remain. Usually owners rush to extract a return on their investment and internal politics devours most of the managerial energy.
* Training: you must implement training-education programs throughout the company-and-across the board, an educated work force is powerful, productive and low cost.
Focus on past achievements rather than future visions, are suspicious of change, and reward those who do what they are told regardless of what it takes.
Spend money in control systems, benefits and facilities.
Keep your eye on it and ask questions when in doubt.
Care more about how things are done than what and why things are done.
Value formality in dress, address, loyalty, honesty, integrity and tradition.
Employee individuals who are concern about the company’s vitality. But the operating motto is "DO NOT MAKE WAVES"
Keep an eye on people involve in interpersonal conflicts, backstabbing and discrediting each other.
Paranoia freezes the organization, usually talented people leave.
Keep an eye on: Your leadership, functionality of Leadership style, functionality of organizational structure.
Do not forget: Sales vs. Marketing, Production vs. Research, development and engineering, Accounting vs. Human Resources Development and TRAINING.
INTEGRATION: External cohesion "functional energy to satisfying its clients’ needs is external marketing. Internal cohesion "a reflection of the degree of cooperation within a company; the energy a company expends to achieve that is internal integration.