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Category: Strategy Published on Jun 15 2017

When I was a manager and struggling with delegating tasks the question “What’s the worst that can happen?” became my mantra. If the worst that could happen didn’t include the end of the world, anyone being killed or maimed, or me losing my job I would usually go ahead and delegate the task. (By the way, most tasks pass this test.)

 

When I started my business, I let this question slide. After all, it was just me. I didn’t have any employees to trigger the question. Over time, however, I became aware of the fact that this question is also quite useful for small business owners.

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Category: People Published on Jun 07 2017

We spend a great deal of time talking about the ideal situation – where the owner’s vision and values are built into the business from day one. But what do you do when a company has grown and has lost touch with their original values?

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Category: Newsletters Published on May 23 2017

Hi Karen:

 

We are in the process of restructuring and writing new job descriptions. Would you be able to provide any guidance in this area?  Especially regarding core competencies?  Thank you.

 

Linda, PA

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Category: Strategy Published on May 08 2017

Have you ever had that moment when you suddenly had a core belief proven to be accurate? Or perhaps found proof that it’s not only accurate but also more important than you realized?

 

I had one of those moments. While reading Corporate Lifecycles by Ichak Adizes, I had my belief that small businesses are different from larger organizations both confirmed and explained. I don’t want to bore you with all the geeky details (if you don’t think this is geeky I suggest you read the book or ask me more about it when you see me) so I will summarize it simply by stating:

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Category: Newsletters Published on Apr 25 2017

Karen,

 

I found your last two newsletters on writing a written warning very helpful. Would you clarify when it’s appropriate to use a written warning vs. giving a verbal warning?

 

Paul, PA

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Category: People Published on Apr 18 2017

A popular concept in business literature is to surround yourself with the smartest people you can find. The corollary to this belief is to always hire the smartest people. This is an idea that I endorse– to a degree.

 

Following are three times when hiring the smartest person can create more problems than they solve.

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Category: Strategy Published on Apr 11 2017

I was once trapped in a room listening to a speaker talk about goal setting. You know the feeling, it’s a topic you’ve heard many times before and you are confident that there is nothing new you can learn. The best you can do is hope for an interesting presenter and sit in the back so you can check your email. Therefore, I was surprised when I experienced a big Aha! moment in the middle of the presentation.

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Category: Strategy Published on Apr 04 2017

During a follow up call with Marie, a Strategic Plan-tingWorkshop attendee, she mentioned that she was still working on her strategic priority for the quarter: updating her website. She was excited that she was making progress, but mentioned it wasn’t going as fast as she had indicated it should when she created her action plan for the task.

 

 I smiled in response to her remarks for two reasons.

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Category: Internal Brand Published on Mar 28 2017

One of my favorite things to do when I go into the city is to visit Di Bruno Bros. I can’t count the number of times that I walked past their door without going in. Something would draw me to their door, I would peek through the window and I would see what I thought was a tiny center city Philadelphia grocery store. And then I would keep walking. After all, I took the train in and didn’t have a cooler. How was I going to take fresh foods home with me?

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Category: Newsletters Published on Mar 21 2017

Karen,

 

Would you please provide me with some tips for writing a written warning? I’ve found samples on-line but they don’t always fit my needs.

 

Jordan, PA

 

 

Dear Jordan,

 

As I mentioned last month, there are two elements to writing a good written warning: layout and content. This month I will concentrate on including effective content in your memo.

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