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LEADERS BY EXAMPLE: 10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES USHERING IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION

green

LEADERS BY EXAMPLE: 10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES USHERING IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION

A Nielsen survey found that 81 percent of global consumers feel companies should help improve the environment. “Business strategies must include sustainability in their core beliefs and practices,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor at the Supply Chain Department of W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and an expert on global supply chain sustainability and strategy.

Fortunately, there are forward-looking leaders like the executives who follow that prove you can go green and succeed in business.

Simon Paris – CEO, Finastra; Chairman, World Trade Board

As the chief executive of one of the world’s largest fintech companies, while also chairing the World Trade Board, Simon Paris is in a unique position to talk about protecting the global trade system. Heading into the 2020 World Trade Symposium in his company’s hometown of London, Paris wrote about countering today’s protectionist narrative with “our reinforcement of the pro-trade narrative,” and he also called for ideas to reduce the small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SME) funding gap, currently estimated at $1.5 trillion. But he ended with a plea to “examine how open technology can act as the enabler for inclusive, sustainable trade.

As global supply chains become increasingly complex, our goal should not be measured on a binary figure of turnover or profit, but on the ethical and sustainable impact of our technological innovation; our technological social responsibility. How can we use technology, collectively, to ascertain the provenance of materials, improve the health and wellbeing of workers in remote locations, reduce the cause and effects on environment pollution of long-distance transportation or minimize the impact of waste and disposal? How can we use open finance technologies–and by this, I include open systems, open software, open APIs, open standards and open partner networks–to transform supply chains and encourage the formulation of more relevant and inclusive trade models, in support of ethical trade?”

Detlef Trefzger – CEO, Kuehne + Nagel International AG

This year, all less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments by Kuehne + Nagel began being CO2 neutral, which is part of the Swiss global logistics and transportation company’s goal of being totally CO2 neutral by 2030. “As one of the leading logistics companies worldwide, we acknowledge the responsibility we have for the environment, for our ecosystem and essentially for the people,” explains K+N CEO Detlef Trefzger, who along with his company supports the aim of the Paris agreement on climate. To that end, the company has also begun carbon-swapping nature projects in Myanmar, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Ongoing training programs maintain and expand the environmental awareness of employees, who have increasingly relied on video conferencing over business trips. In December, K+N announced its accession to the Development and Climate Alliance, which was launched in 2018 to simultaneously promote the development and environmental protection. “As a globally operating company, we are convinced that the private sector must also make its contribution to environmental protection,” says Otto Schacht, a member of K+N’s management board responsible for Seafreight.

Uwe Brinks – CEO, DHL Freight

DHL is a leader in piloting alternative drivetrains and fuels for its vehicles, which fits into the San Francisco-born, Germany-based global logistics giant’s target to reduce all its transportation emissions to zero by 2050. “Our sustainability goal is not just a vision, but a clear statement,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight. “In the future, we will give preference to transportation solutions that contribute to achieving our environmental goals.”

To that end, DHL launched “Terminal for the Future,” which tests and implements solutions and technologies such as automated volume measurement, intelligent yard management, and partially autonomous transfer vehicles. “All these developments are based on a clear approach: We want to make life easier and more efficient for our customers and employees,” Brinks says. “Technology should support our employees in their everyday work, not replace them.” Globally, DHL has changed vehicles in certain delivery fleets to use alternative fuels, including electricity and compressed natural gas, to meet the goals of its GoGreen project to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants by 2025.

David Abney – CEO, UPS

 As leader of one of the largest logistics companies in the world, UPS CEO David Abney sums up sustainability success best when he says: “The greenest mile we ever drive is the one we don’t drive.” Better route-planning software and developments have been key to the UPS green transport system—as well as its bottom line: The company claims to have saved $400 million since overhauling the routing system.

But UPS has not stopped there, having switched out dozens of diesel trucks, which get about 10 miles per gallon, for electric vehicles that can squeeze out the equivalent of 52 MPG. Abney and UPS recognize they are an important part of the global supply chain and that their customers expect solutions that help reduce emissions. To that end, UPS has dedicated itself to building the smart logistics network of the future.

Ben McLean- CEO, Ruan

When Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan was announced in October as a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award recipient from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CEO Ben McLean would have been forgiven if he’d reacted by saying, “Meh.” After all, this is the fourth time the green 3PL provider has received the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight, supply chain, energy and environmental performance. Of course, McLean—like everyone else at Ruan—was honored to again receive the honor. “This distinction from the EPA validates all the efforts and investments we have made to ensure we are operating as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible,” said James Cade, vice president, Fleet Services. “To us, sustainability is more than a business practice—it’s our moral commitment. We live in the communities we serve, and it is our responsibility to provide leadership toward a cleaner future.”

Recognition is understandable given that Ruan is one of only three for-hire transportation companies selected for the National Clean Fleets Partnership membership and participation in its annual Clean Cities study. The company’s fleet has green specifications including auxiliary power units that reduce engine idle time, efficient progressive shifting, auto-inflation trailer tire systems, and onboard recorders that monitor MPG, over-RPM, idle time, hard breaking and over-speed driving. Ruan also utilizes alternative fuel types including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. McLean, part of the third generation of the Ruan family, was out in front of his office to check out a prototype electric truck from Tesla, which has five orders from the company.

Simon Cox – Head of Sustainability, Prologis

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, San Francisco-based global logistics real estate firm Prologis was revealed to be No. 6 in the U.S. and No. 26 overall on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List. Those that make the list represent the top 1 percent in the world on sustainability performance, according to the Global 100 administrator, Toronto-based Corporate Knights. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to about 5,100 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment. It was among 7,395 companies worldwide that Corporate Knights analyzed.

“Sustainability has moved beyond simply a commercial advantage; it is now essential—business-critical,” Simon Cox, Prologis’ head of Sustainability, recently told Eye for Transport (EFT) by Reuters Events. “… We build warehouses that are ready for the next generation, who want to work for companies that do the right thing. Globally, we are seeing a move towards purpose-based products. It’s no longer enough to simply make something that cleans the kitchen, for example, it’s got to have a broader purpose. It’s got to be environmentally responsible. It’s the same for us as a business that develops and owns sustainable buildings.”

JJ Ruest – President and CEO, CN (Canadian National Railway)

Landing a spot for the first time on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List is CN, at No. 54. That recognition comes exactly 12 months after the Canadian National Railway marked its 10th straight year as a global leader on corporate climate action on the CDP Climate Change A list. Produced at the request of 650 investors with assets of over $87 trillion and/or 115 major purchasing organizations with $3.3 trillion in purchasing power, the A list is culled from thousands of companies that submit annual climate disclosures for independent assessments from CDP, an international nonprofit that seeks public and private sector reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as the safeguarding of forests and water resources.

CN transports more than $250 billion (Canadian) worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and U.S. cities such as New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama as well as the Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin and Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan areas. “Our commitment is to help our customers deliver responsibly by providing a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way to move goods,” says CN President and CEO JJ Ruest. “To that effect, we have improved our fuel efficiency by 39 percent over the past 25 years.”

Kai Nowosel – Chief Procurement Officer, Accenture

Also landing on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List (at No. 20, up from No. 93 the year before), as well as making the CDP Climate Change A list is Accenture PLC, an Irish multinational that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. From offices around the world—including 10 U.S. cities from Boston in the east to Irvine, California, in the west, and Seattle in the north to Houston in the south—Accenture uses “purchasing power to drive positive change on a global scale, creating more sustainable supply chains,” according to Chief Procurement Officer Kai Nowosel. “It also allows us to advance our key priorities, including environmental action, respect for human rights, inclusion, diversity and social innovation.”

Accenture has committed to using 100 percent renewable energy across its global portfolio by 2023. “We will be encouraging similar ambition from our value chain, and ideally reporting progress through established platforms such as CDP supply chain,” Nowosel says. “… We will actively seek partnerships and suppliers that are even more closely aligned to our corporate values so that, together, we will improve the way the world works and lives.”

Alexander Saverys – CEO, CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge)

CMB’s bold CO2 pledge is “Net Zero as from 2020–ZERO in 2050.” The strategy involves having all carbon emissions from CMB operations completely offset (or net-zero) from this year, while the investment in new technologies will create a completely zero-carbon fleet by 2050. CMB started by supporting certified climate projects in developing countries and acquiring high-quality Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) in Zambia, Guatemala, and India. Back at CMB’s home base, the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, the company’s “Hydroville,” the world’s first sea-faring vessel to burn hydrogen in a diesel engine, shuttles up to 16 passengers while producing zero pollution. That won the company the second-ever Sustainability Award from Antwerp Port Authority, Alfaport-Voka and the Scheldt Left Bank Corp. in November 2018.

CMB is now hard at work on “HydroTug,” a tugboat that will hit the water later this year or next using the same hybrid hydrogen/diesel technology as Hydroville. Hybrid barges would soon follow, and the company hopes to launch the world’s first hydrogen-powered container ships in the next decade. “Green hydrogen-based fuels are the only zero-emission solution in the long run,” according to CMB CEO Alexander Saverys. “… We are convinced of the potential of hydrogen as the key to sustainable shipping and making the energy transition of a reality.”

Thibaut de Lataillade – Global Vice President and General Manager, GetApp

Founded in 2010, the Barcelona, Spain-based Gartner company GetApp is an online resource for software buyers to compare products side-by-side with free interactive tools, detailed product data and user reviews. GetApp also serves as an online lead generation channel for SaaS. And the company also provides customers with sustainability advice. “Our main focus is on helping businesses become more efficient through technology and software,” says Thibaut de Lataillade, GetApp’s global vice president and general manager. “As consumers become more conscious of sustainability, businesses must adapt their supply chain processes. This means mapping their supply chain, setting goals and measuring supplier performance when it comes to sustainability. Using the right software to analyze and leverage data captured through this process will help business leaders make the right decisions and ensure sustainability in the future.”

GetApp doesn’t stop there. “We’ve also tried to highlight the many other benefits that come from becoming a socially responsible business. For instance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) can also lead to improved brand awareness and improved customer trust, loyalty and engagement,” de Lataillade says. “As a digital business, we have a duty to spread the message when it comes to creating a social impact strategy, and doing so for the right reasons.”

covid-19

What Employees Are Expensing During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 has progressed, more travel restrictions and social distancing practices are being implemented every day. More and more companies are implementing work-from-home policies to adapt to the changing situation.

We’ve been tracking the data since the beginning of the crisis to help your company ensure employee health and safety and make essential decisions around expenses.

Here are a few of the most significant changes we’ve seen.

COVID-19 expenses haven’t shown any sign of slowing down

In our last blog, we noted that COVID-19 expenses skyrocketed, and we expected them to fall as trip cancelations began to taper off. However, these expenses have shown no sign of slowing down. COVID–19–related expenses have doubled from the week ending March 7 to the week ending March 14, with trip cancelation and work-from-home expenses being the primary causes.

Number of claims

Submitted expenses vary by industry

Although changes to travel plans and cancelations still make up over half of all COVID-19-related expense claims overall, the trends change when you look at specific industries.

In the finance and software industries, half of the expenses are related to travel cancelations, and the other half are work-from-home expenses.

In the consumer goods, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries, masks still make up 15 to 20% of expenses but are otherwise in the low single digits in other industries.

The growth in expenses also varies by industry.

Work-from-home charges have increased dramatically; masks have fallen

Work from home expenses have grown the most, increasing 3.5x since last week. These charges are mainly related to “remote office setup” or “supplies for remote work,” and include accessories like printers, ink, headphones, and HDMI cables.

In our own workforce, we’ve noticed that everyone has a different set-up at home, ranging from at-home offices to sitting with their spouse at the dining room table or even sitting in bed with their laptops. It’s essential to employee productivity and ergonomics to help everyone make the best of whatever space they have.

Mask expenses have fallen – there was a peak in mid-February, then another dip, and a second peak at the end of February.

What does this data mean for my company’s expense policy?

We hope this data can help you consider the appropriate response to COVID-19 in your organization and how you can best support your employees. It’s clear from the above data that work-from-home expenses are increasingly common, and will likely continue to increase over the next few weeks as more companies continue to close their offices temporarily. We’ve also noticed that several companies have created specific expense types to track COVID-19 spending more closely. Others have created expense categories for their accounts payable departments to pay temporary workers more quickly in times of uncertainty.

If you’re unsure of what you should allow in your expense policy in response to the current climate, we’ve outlined some best practices on work-from-home expense policies from our peers and customers. In the meantime, we hope you and your company are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of your employees during this unsettling time.

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Anant Kale is a CEO at AppZen, the world’s leading solution for automated expense report audits that leverages artificial intelligence to audit 100% of expense reports, invoices, and contacts in seconds.

businesses

How Businesses can Weather COVID-19: Start with Empathy to Employees

Major U.S. businesses are adjusting operations, laying off employees or reducing hours in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s uncharted territory for the nation, and companies from large brands to small businesses, like everyone else, are operating without a playbook to deal with an unprecedented public health threat that will also have economic implications. How businesses adjust to the pandemic and respond to this “new normal” is critical to the future of their business.

“The most important part is showing empathy to employees – now more than ever in these uncertain times,” says Ed Mitzen (www.edmitzen.com), founder of a health and wellness marketing agency and ForbesBook author of More Than a Number: The Power of Empathy and Philanthropy in Driving Ad Agency Performance.

“While every company is dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to keep in mind that your employees are being affected in more ways than one. Added challenges to daily life now include your partner working next to you, your children being home from school, and having to keep an extra close eye on elderly relatives. In these unusual circumstances, people will notice which companies are treating their employees with empathy and compassion and which are not.”

A business leader’s response during a time like this defines who they are as a leader.

Mitzen thinks this challenging time could be used by business owners to assess their company culture and consider that how they treat employees is central to that culture and vital for business results. He explains how leaders can show empathy to employees, strengthen company culture and drive performance:

Lead with support, not force. “Culture starts at the top, and the best results come when leaders support their people and help them get the most out of life, rather than trying to squeeze them to work harder and harder,” Mitzen says. “People can sacrifice for the job for only so long before they burn out. It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes prioritizing life over work actually improves the work product. Once you hire good people, you don’t have to push them with crazy deadlines to squeeze productivity out of them.”

Build a team of caring people. “Business is a team sport,” Mitzen says. “To have an empathetic culture, you need people who care for each other and work well together. Build teams by looking for people who lead with empathy.  Don’t hire jerks. People who are super-talented but can’t get along with others tend to destroy the team dynamics, and the work product suffers.”

Define a positive culture – and the work. Showing empathy to employees can be an engine generating creativity and productivity. “The internal culture at a company defines the work the company produces,” Mitzen says. “Culture influences who chooses to work for you, how long they stay, and the quality of work they do. And the core of the culture is empathy, starting with employees and extending to customers and the communities that you live in. There’s a strong connection between a healthy work culture, which inspires people, and the work customers are receiving. That kind of company makes sure customers are treated the same way they are being treated.”

“Now more than ever, empathy, kindness and compassion are important values to keep at the forefront of your organization,” Mitzen says. “Business leaders can take the lead in doing the right thing, starting with their employees.”

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Ed Mitzen (www.edmitzen.com) is the ForbesBook author of More Than a Number: The Power of Empathy and Philanthropy in Driving Ad Agency Performance and the founder of Fingerpaint, an independent advertising agency grossing $60 million in revenue. A health and wellness marketing entrepreneur for 25 years, Mitzen also built successful firms CHS and Palio Communications. Fingerpaint has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for seven straight years and garnered agency of the year nominations and wins from MM&M, Med Ad News, and PM360. Mitzen was named Industry Person of the Year by Med Ad News in 2016 and a top boss by Digiday in 2017. A graduate of Syracuse University with an MBA from the University of Rochester, Mitzen has written for Fortune, Forbes, HuffPost, and the Wall Street Journal.

leadership

Assess Your Leadership Qualities By Answering These 7 Questions

A leader is supposed to be out in front, pointing the way toward whatever is ahead.

But, as we begin a new decade, too many business leaders are facing backward rather than forward,  says Oleg Konovalov (www.olegkonovalov.com), a global thought leader and consultant who has worked with Fortune 500 companies and is author of the new book Leaderology.

“The future can’t be met with backward-thinking and old leadership methods that are no longer effective,” Konovalov says. “The leader’s duty is to open a door into the future for people and explain how things should be considered and managed in that new reality.”

“Leaders face more responsibilities and much higher expectations in terms of the execution of their roles,” he says. “The leader’s responsibilities are expanding enormously, demanding much stronger competencies and skills than before. Everyday learning and continuous improvement need to be the norm.”

As a result, Konovalov says the modern leader needs to combine meticulous planning with flexibility.

“Combining these attributes is necessary in an ever-changing and hyper-competitive market,” he says. “The wrong decisions and actions can lead to the whole organization losing sight of customer needs as well as quality, harming the long-term sustainability of the organization.

“Making the right decisions means thinking of more than the company. It means considering the values and needs of customers and employees as well.”

He suggests leaders assess where they are in their abilities so they can define areas where they need to improve.

To begin that assessment, Konovalov says leaders should ponder how they would answer the following seven questions. He offers a more detailed 38-question self-assessment on his website:

-What are the most typical mistakes from the past that hold you back from becoming an extraordinary leader?

-How clearly can you define your customers’ needs? Can you envision them as clearly as your personal needs?

-How do you care for your people as a leader?

-A strong culture is not about me, but about what I do for others. What do you and your colleagues do in terms of investing in others on a regular basis?

-What is your leadership style? Are you a leader who takes care of people or a boss taking care of yourself?

-What were the aims and results of the most recent changes implemented in your company, and what were the employees’ reactions to those changes?

-What lessons have you learned in the course of your leadership journey?

By answering these questions, Konovalov says, leaders can begin to gain insight into whether their leadership style is one that is pointed confidently toward the future, or one that’s stuck perilously in the past.

“Bad leaders build barriers for people,” Konovalov says. “Strong leaders build barriers to problems, accidents, and stagnation. We have more than enough mediocre or bad leaders. We need strong leaders for real progress and to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”

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Oleg Konovalov (www.olegkonovalov.com) is a thought leader, author, business educator and consultant with over 25 years of experience operating businesses and consulting Fortune 500 companies internationally. His latest book is Leaderology. His other books are Corporate SuperpowerOrganisational Anatomy and Hidden Russia. Konovalov received his doctoral degree from the Durham University Business School. He is a visiting lecturer at a number of business schools, a Forbes contributor and high in demand speaker at major conferences around the world.

 

culture

What Happens When Leaders Forget the Culture That Made Their Company Great?

Many business leaders view their corporate culture as so important that they make it a point to hire people who are a good fit for that culture – and jettison any employees who aren’t.

But what happens when it’s the leaders themselves – for profits, for expediency, for getting the next deal done – who toss aside the culture and plow ahead with decisions that go counter to what made the company a success?

Trouble, that’s what happens, says Bill Higgs, an authority on corporate culture and the ForbesBooks author of the Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business (www.culturecodechampions.com).

“Your company’s culture should inform everything you do,” he says. “When you start straying from the practices that got you where you are, you run the risk of making decisions that will cost you in the long run.”

One example that surfaced recently involved Boeing, which posted its first full-year loss in more than two decades. The company was already reeling from two Boeing 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 passengers in Indonesia and Ethiopia, and forced the company to ground its entire fleet of Max jetliners.

According to news reports, the origins of the company’s woes can be traced all the way back to 1997 when Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas, a merger that immediately led to a clash of cultures. At Boeing, engineers were king. At McDonnell Douglas, the bottom line ruled.

In the end, the McDonnell Douglas culture prevailed.

“Mergers and acquisitions are always fraught with danger both financially and culturally,” says Higgs, a founder and former CEO of Mustang Engineering who recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast. “Financial concerns get the focus while management figures, incorrectly, that culture will just work itself out.”

But in any organization – with or without a merger – it’s paramount that the leaders take charge of maintaining the culture. Higgs says some steps crucial to establishing a company culture and keeping it on course include:

-Encourage communication. Higgs is fond of saying that all problems ultimately are communications problems. In any organization, there can be communications breakdowns. “The most important way to improve execution and efficiency is to foster and maintain a spirit of inclusion, where everyone who has any contact at all with a particular project feels they are involved and is kept in the loop,” Higgs says.

-Knock down silos. Too often silos emerge in large organizations where departments become insulated from each other. They fail to share ideas and resources, and an attitude of competition replaces a spirit of collaboration.

-Make sure employees know they are respected and valued. This is the real key to building a successful organization and making sure your best people stay with you, Higgs says. Leaders should communicate regularly with employees to make sure they understand how valued they are. He says employees should also know it’s all right to speak up if they see something problematic.

“When I was at Mustang Engineering and we had grown from a small to a huge company, I still had drafters who were comfortable jumping five levels in the organization to let me know they would have to put out substandard work if the schedule or cost were not changed,” Higgs says.

“I always told them I would handle the issues internally with engineering and externally with clients or suppliers, but they should stay the course on quality.”

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Bill Higgs, an authority on corporate culture, is the ForbesBooks author of Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business. He recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast (www.culturecodechampions.com), where he has interviewed such notable subjects as former CIA director David Petraeus and NASA’s woman pioneer Sandra Coleman. Culture Code Champions is listed as a New & Noteworthy podcast on iTunes. Higgs is also the co-founder and former CEO of Mustang Engineering Inc. In 20 years, they grew the company from their initial $15,000 investment and three people to a billion-dollar company with 6,500 people worldwide. Second, third and fourth-generation leaders took the company to $2 billion in 2014. Higgs is a distinguished 1974 graduate (top 5 percent academically) of the United States Military Academy at West Point and runner up for a Rhodes scholarship. He is an Airborne Ranger and former commander of a combat engineer company.

business

The 5 C’s That Can Help Businesses Ride Out Tough Times

With corporate CFOs expressing worries that 2020 could bring a recession, businesses small and large know they need to hope for the best and brace for the worst.

But, as important as business savvy and financial expertise can be in riding out difficult times, other traits also come into play and maybe just as essential, says Marsha Friedman, a successful entrepreneur who still leads a business she launched three decades ago.

“One of those essential traits is courage,” says Friedman, founder and president of News & Experts (www.newsandexperts.com), a national PR firm.

“Thirty years ago when I started my company, I probably would never have said it takes courage to lead a small business, but without it, I assure you, you’ll fail.”

Friedman, who is also the ForbesBooks author of Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, understands this first-hand. Her firm, like many businesses, endured tough economic times after the 9/11 attacks. Revenue dropped and bankruptcy loomed as a real possibility.

“I had to figure out how to turn my company around,” she says. “It took courage, endurance, and perseverance, but I knew I could not go back, so I had no choice but to go forward.”

Courage is just one of what Friedman calls the 5 C’s for building and maintaining a successful business.

“They’re the guiding principles I’ve learned through the ups and downs and all the mistakes,” she says.

In addition to courage, Friedman’s other C’s are:

Caring. First, care enough about yourself and your dreams to believe you can achieve success, Friedman says. “Just as important is caring about your staff and creating a positive work environment for them,” she says. “Be supportive when stressful situations arise in their lives.” Finally, a good business leader cares about customers, Friedman says. Be willing to listen to their concerns, take responsibility for mistakes, and correct them.

Confidence. Most people have faced and overcome challenges in life. The confidence that allowed them to prevail over those challenges needs to be brought into play in business, Friedman says. “Believing you can reach for and achieve your short-term and long-term goals is essential to getting you there,” she says.

Competence. It’s critical to stay up on the trends and disruptions in your industry. “But you need to recognize your limitations, and you shouldn’t take on jobs within your company for which you’re not qualified,” Friedman says. “You’ll make yourself miserable and your business will suffer.” So, she says, hire an accountant to handle the financials. Get marketing help if that’s not your thing. Hire competent people who you will trust in their jobs – and then trust them.

Commitment. Stay dedicated to your goals no matter how difficult that becomes. Friedman says there are times when this will be not only difficult but downright painful. That was the case for her during those tough times after the 9/11 attacks. “I had to make drastic cuts, including letting go of beloved employees,” she says. “For more than a year, I ramped up marketing efforts, diversified our services, and took other steps to get the business out of the red. In 2005, I succeeded – and it has been upward and onward ever since.”

“If you’ve recently launched a new business, know that you’ll encounter challenges, but don’t panic,” Friedman says. “When times get tough, if you rely on the C’s as a sort of compass, you can guide the business back to smoother waters.”

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Marsha Friedman, author of Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, is a businesswoman and public relations expert with nearly 30 years’ experience developing publicity strategies for celebrities, corporations and professionals in the field of business, health and finance.  Using the proprietary system she created as founder and President of News & Experts (www.newsandexperts.com), an award-winning national public relations agency, she secures thousands of top-tier media placements annually for her clients.  The former senior vice president for marketing at the American Economic Council, Marsha is a sought-after advisor on PR issues and strategies, who shares her knowledge both as a popular speaker around the country and in her Amazon best-selling book, Celebritize Yourself.

translating

Translating Your Product For The Global Market? Beware The Silo Effect.

Those “silos” that often pop up in large organizations – where departments fail to share information, tools and priorities – can prove especially vexing when a product’s global success depends on translating information into other languages.

Because of silos, the same information might be translated separately by every department, costing the company thousands in extra (and unnecessary) translation costs. A product’s packaging claim could conflict with material the marketing department is sending out. Or trouble could begin brewing over translations that weren’t vetted by the legal department and inadvertently violate another country’s laws.

“Silos can land a project in marshy ground and create major, costly delays,” says Ian A. Henderson, author of Global Content Quest: In Search of Better Translations and co-founder with his wife, Francoise, of Rubric (www.rubric.com), a global language-service provider.

Here’s just one real-world example the Hendersons encountered: They were hired by a U.S. company that planned a European rollout of a new personal hygiene product. When Francoise Henderson began working on the translations, she noticed the ingredients list planned for advertisements differed from the labels on the bottles.

It turned out the formula had been changed because some ingredients were banned in Europe.

“No one told the marketing department, though,” Francoise Henderson says. “Translation is about communication, and yet communications breakdown happens way too frequently in the world of translation when someone’s not overseeing the big picture and making sure the silo effect isn’t undermining the larger effort.”

Why are silos so common and what can be done to address the problems they create? The Hendersons provide these observations:

Company culture. On occasion, it is company policy or company culture that leads to the emergence of silos. For example, Francoise Henderson says, company policies may be in place to avoid breaking antitrust laws, or keeping up walls might help prevent conflicts of interest. “Company culture and policies can be the hardest thing to change,” she says. “Encouraging communication is a good start.”

Empire building. While sometimes silos just happen in the natural course of things, in some larger corporations, the building of silos is deliberate. “People might harbor concerns that a more streamlined process will make their own jobs obsolete,” Ian Henderson says. This could result, for example, in a marketing team in Belgium refusing to communicate with the marketing team in Japan. One way companies overcome this problem, he says, is to have a central communications hub that all information flows through.

Basic confusion. A company may have up to five separate sources of content, such as marketing, communications, technical, legal and packaging. “Each of these areas may have no sense of where their work intersects with the others, and how there may be redundancies in translations and beyond,” Ian Henderson says. “This can lead to confusion and even unnecessary work through duplication.” Companies should make sure each department has an understanding of what other departments do, and that they regularly interact with each other, he says.

“Silos are not a new problem, and they are not going to disappear overnight,” Ian Henderson says. “But when they are approached with foresight and experience, they can be dealt with and eventually dismantled.”

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About Ian A. Henderson

Ian A. Henderson (www.rubric.com), author of Global Content Quest: In Search of Better Translations, is chief technology officer and co-founder of Rubric, a global language service provider. During the last 25 years, Henderson has partnered with Rubric customers to deliver relevant global content to their end users, enabling them to reap the rewards of globalization, benefit from agile workflows, and guarantee the integrity of their content. Prior to founding Rubric, Henderson worked as a software engineer for Siemens in Germany.

About Francoise Henderson

Francoise Henderson is chief executive officer and co-founder of Rubric, overseeing worldwide operations and Global Content strategy. Under her guidance, Rubric has generated agile KPI-driven globalization workflows for its clients, reducing time to market across multiple groups and increasing quality and ROI. Francoise has over 25 years’ experience in corporate management and translation.

work

How An Integrated Life, Not A Balanced One, Is Key To Work Satisfaction.

In many businesses, a wide gulf exists between ownership and the workforce, a disconnect that can leave employees feeling undervalued and wanting to leave.
The high cost of replacing them means it’s important to find ways to retain the best performers, and studies show that transparency and education from the top can be a solution, boosting employee engagement and motivation.
And one way to achieve that transparency is to open the company’s financial books to employees and teach them the business, says Rich Armstrong (www.greatgame.com), a business coach, president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author with Steve Baker of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change.
“Too often in business, we fail to show the players on our own team the big picture – the overall score of the game,” Armstrong says. “We tend to try to manage from the sidelines, focusing on individual performance. Why not teach them what winning means in business?
“But opening the books may be the first time in the employees’ lives they feel they’re being treated as adults. This type of financial transparency builds trust and mutual respect. Teaching employees the business involves them in making a difference, so as a business leader, you need to get comfortable with opening things up.”
Many business owners are hesitant to open the books to their employees. One of their concerns is giving employees access to salary information, but that isn’t advisable, says Baker, who is vice president of The Great Game of Business.
“Opening your books does not mean sharing every detail,” Baker says. “On the other hand, if people see how much the company is making and that makes them want more, that’s what you want as a business owner.”
Armstrong and Baker break down how to open the books for employees and the benefits of doing so:
Bridge the gap between perception and reality. The perception among employees that the owner is focused on self wealth can be changed, Armstrong says, by teaching employees how hard it is for most companies to make money. “Many people would be surprised to know how little even large companies make in profit from every dollar of sales,” Armstrong says. “Research shows the median bottom line in companies in 212 industries across the U.S. is 6.5 cents on every dollar of sales. But the average employee thinks their company makes six times that.”
Break it down for them. “Once you show your team how hard it is to make money, sketch out a simplified income statement for your business, showing your revenue streams and all your expenses,” Baker says. “Draw a dollar bill and show them how little the company keeps out of every dollar.”
Bring the marketplace to your people. An owner can provide clearer perspective to the employees by sharing how and what other companies in the industry are doing. “Do your homework,” Armstrong says, “and find out about your competition. If your employees know how they stack up against the field, most will respond to your appeal to move the needle. Your transparency has made them feel valued.”
Make teaching financials interesting. “The strategy is to create a business of business people,” Baker says. “But remember, you’re trying to educate your people about your business, not create a bunch of CPAs. Share, teach and involve them in the numbers they can impact. Your people rarely need to know about debits and credits or how to do an adjusting entry. But they may very well need to know how production efficiency is calculated and why receivable days matter.
Teaching the business helps everybody begin to understand what they can do, both individually and as a team, to influence bottom line financial results.”
“The purpose of opening the books is to boost the employees’ confidence in understanding the numbers and in the company itself,” Armstrong says. “Then and only then will they begin to make a connection to the numbers that measure their performance and talk intelligently about improving the business.”
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About Rich Armstrong
Rich Armstrong (www.greatgame.com) is the president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author, with Steve Baker, of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change. This book is the how-to application of Jack Stack’s 1992 bestseller, The Great Game of Business. Armstrong and Baker co-authored the update of Stack’s book in The Great Game of Business – 20th Anniversary Edition. Armstrong has nearly 30 years of experience in improving business performance and employee engagement through the practice of open-book management and employee ownership. He serves as a business coach and senior executive at SRC Holdings Corporation, one of America’s top 100 largest majority employee-owned companies. He’s also a board member for the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).
About Steve Baker
Steve Baker (www.greatgame.com) is the vice president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on the subjects of open-book management, strategy, and execution, leadership, and employee engagement. Baker is a career marketing and branding professional and an award-winning artist.
comfort zone

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone: What Does It Take?

Getting out of your comfort zone is the initial step towards achieving greatness. But because of the many fears that become ingrained in us as we grow up, trying out new challenges is never an easy thing to do. 

Read and consult widely

We tend to stick to our comfort zones because we fear the unknown. If you read about the unknown and consult the people who have been through what you consider “unknown,” then you will easily step out of your comfort zone. Read as many books as you can find, browse through the internet, and talk to as many experienced people as possible in order to have all the necessary information about whatever you fear to do. 

Let’s say you dream of traveling abroad to advance your studies but you are afraid of the new culture, language, and people that you’ll meet in the foreign land. If you read about the cultural differences between your home nation and your to-be host country, you will be less skeptical about studying abroad. As the saying goes, knowledge is power!

Come up with a solid exit plan

You will only exit your comfort zone by confronting the things that hold you back; you must push your limits and try new challenges. A solid exit plan will help you with that. Top on your plan should be a list of your fears and how to confront them. The plan should also include a step-by-step guide on how you will be confronting each of the specified challenges. 

While at it, be sure to set achievable targets for specified timeframes, no matter how small they may seem. 

Maybe your main fear is meeting new people. Maybe you are never sure of what to do or how to act in social situations. Or maybe you are frightened by the thought of standing up for yourself in public. Finding out why these fears cloud your social life is an important step in creating an exit plan. Could it be that you don’t trust the sound of your voice? If yes, plan on how to make your voice better. Are you afraid that your looks or persona are unlikeable? Fine! Plan a facial, body, and/or wardrobe makeover. Also, you can hire a professional life coach to help you get your persona in line. 

Bottom line: Have a clear-cut plan of overcoming every trap that ties you down to your comfort zone.

Attach value to your discomforts

What do you stand to achieve if you embrace your discomforts? Assuming that you feel uncomfortable when speaking to rich and successful people, think of the great value you would gain both in your financial and professional life by stepping into the uncomfortable zone. If you run a successful business in your home country but you are afraid of expanding your startup in China, take a moment to imagine how much you stand to gain by overcoming those fears. Once you attach some value to every discomfort, your fighting spirit is renewed. While at it, try to get comfortable with one discomfort after the other so that in the long run, you will have the courage to claim the optimal value of your discomfort zone. 

See your failure as learning experiences

One of the factors that have been confining you to your comfort zone must be the fear of failure. Maybe you tried to expand your business to international markets and failed, so you decided to operate within the local market- where you are comfortable. That was the wrong decision. If you want to step out of your comfort zone, you need to start treating past failures as learning points. Instead of cultivating discomfort from the failure, cultivate positive energy. Write down everything that went wrong, find solutions and soldier on to another international business adventure. If you need help, you can hire the services of an experienced life coach who can provide guidance for reaching your goals, make sure the life coach has a diploma or has attained a life coaching course.

Adjust your routine in a meaningful way

Even though routines make you efficient in whatever you do, they are the largest contributors of the development of comfort zones. The best way to tear down routines is to switch up your timetable in a calculated, meaningful way. You will need to be patient, though, as this will take time. 

You can start by adjusting your morning alarm time, changing your route to work, getting rid of a few friends, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and adjusting your meal or sleeping time. These changes are seemingly inconsequential but they can have massive positive impacts in your professional and personal life. 

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George Foster is a marketing manager at Day Translations.

shipping companies

Traits of Reliable Shipping Companies

More and more people are seeing the benefits of using shipping companies. When it comes to transporting items or moving your home to a new place, they are usually your best bet at using your time and money wisely. But, unfortunately, not every company is capable of or willing to provide you with proper shipping. In order to have a good shipping experience, you need to do your best to only work with reliable shipping companies. So, how is one supposed to filter out shipping companies and find the one that is reliable? Well, that is precisely what we’re going to go through.

How to Tell if a Shipping Company is Reliable

It is hard to overstate the importance of working with reliable shipping companies when dealing with shipping. An unreliable company will not only provide you with a sub-par shipping service but might also try to scam you. Therefore, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by only working with companies that you are absolutely sure are reliable. So, with that in mind, here is what to look out for.

Ample Experience

The first trait you should look for in a shipping company is that they have ample experience. Now you can check for this online, but doing so properly can be a bit difficult. Even if a shipping company says that they’ve been in businesses for over 30 years, it doesn’t mean that all of their workers have that much experience. So, the best thing to do is to check for this trait during the interview. Sooner or later you will have to talk with a company representative. And during that time you should talk to them about their past experiences. The more tips and pointers they can give you, the more experience they probably have.

Excellent Customer Service

Speaking of company representatives, you also need to make sure that the company you are considering has top-notch customer service. Any reliable shipping company knows that good customer service is a must. After all, if they have a lot of experience with shipping, they’ve had to work with customers from all walks of life. And the only way to organize and deal with shipping properly with such a large variety of people is to have excellent customer service. Therefore, when trying to filter out reliable shipping companies, make sure to check their reviews for customer satisfaction.

Punctuality

Punctuality is another trait that reliable shipping companies possess. After all, having a decent shipping service means that you are able to deliver the shipped goods in the agreed time. Therefore, if the company representatives are not punctual, why should you expect their shipping crew to be? This, of course, is not always true as the company representative can be late due to numerous unforeseen circumstances. But, if they do not have a good reason for being late, know that the company probably has a loose policy on punctuality.

Multiple Shipping Options

Any serious shipping company usually has multiple shipping options. Now, if a company is small and focused on shipping locally, they might only use shipping trucks for their services. That’s ok, as not much else is needed for local shipments. But, if you are looking for a company that deals with long-distance shipping or even international shipping, you better find one that has multiple shipping options. Some routes can be quite difficult, especially if they have to be traversed in a limited time. This is why the capability of sending goods to another country by air or sea is a must for any large shipping company.

Looking for Reliable Shipping Companies

Knowing the traits of reliable shipping companies is useful. But, unfortunately, it won’t be enough to ensure that you find a competent shipping company to help you out. In order to find the best possible shippers to help you out, you need to use other methods to help you narrow your search. Now, finding reliable shippers is a large subject for which we would need an entire article to cover completely. Instead, what we’ll do is to give you an idea of how to use the traits we’ve outlined in your search. That way you will have a much better chance of finding movers that encompass all of them.

Online Reviews

When it comes to looking for reliable movers, online reviews will be your best friend. Sites like Google, Twitter, and even Facebook can be quite useful when it comes to online reviews, as they give clients complete freedom to post what they truly think. You can also read reviews from unbiased professionals in order to get a more educated oversight. Mind you, some companies still temper with their reviews. So, if you find a company that only has tremendously positive ones, be careful. An unsatisfied customer is bound to pop up even among the top-notch shippers. Therefore, try to find one that has an overwhelmingly positive review score, and that clearly doesn’t temper with customer reviews.

Using Free Estimates

Most shipping companies give free online estimates. This is something that you absolutely need to use, especially if it is your first time shipping. An online estimate should give you a rough idea of what your shipping should cost. Some companies might try to overcharge you for shipping. Especially if you don’t have much experience with it. So, the more estimates you have, the easier it will be to negotiate better shipping terms.

How Open are your Shippers

Most of the traits of reliable shipping companies we’ve listed can only be recognized if the company you are considering is open. A hard-working, well-functioning company will be more than happy to explain their shipping process to you and let you in on all the details. So, while talking to the company representative, try to figure out if they are trying to hide something. If they are, know that they are probably not to be trusted.

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Daniel Myers has been a freight service expert for years since working for companies such as easymovekw.com enabled him to understand the essence of this industry. He enjoys sharing his knowledge by doing freelance content writing and enjoys traveling around the globe whenever he has a chance.