As the year winds down, it’s great to understand where you’ve been, enjoy where you are, and see where you’re going. See the “3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business” after the special announcement.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

If you own a business or are thinking of owning a business, here’s an exciting opportunity for you to create a great 2018…

 

A Strategic Planning Process

that Energizes Your Business

facilitated by Ray Madaghiele

5:30 to 7:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tempe Public Library

I will teach the art and science of facilitating an inspiring strategic planning process for your business. You will be guided to determine the best way to proceed with your own custom-designed strategic planning process for your unique organization. You will learn how to:

  • Create an empowering culture in which your people are focused on what matters most to the success of your organization
  • Gain enthusiastic support for your strategic plan
  • Strengthen accountability by creating alignment and buy-in throughout your organization

All attendees will receive a free participant guidebook and an autographed copy of my book, Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Your investment is only $25 (all proceeds go to the Greater Phoenix SCORE to support their many services for business owners).

Click here to register at Greater Phoenix SCORE

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Here are 3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business:

  1. Reflect on the Past
  2. Celebrate the Present
  3. Project into the Future

Several sure-fire tips to execute these three rituals in your organization…

Read more

What does love and Valentine’s Day have to do with business? In a nutshell, everything!

  • Customers and employees who feel loved are more loyal to your company.
  • Employees who love their bosses and their jobs perform better.
  • Customers and employees who feel loved share their experiences with others.

What if this is true: “It’s all about love!”?

Simply put: Love aspires. Love inspires. Love grows.

Let’s look at two extraordinary companies, both of which were launched in 1971—more than 45 years ago—operating with love as an essential core value.

Have you ever enjoyed a burger and a beer at a Hard Rock Café? Did you know that the company was founded by two hippies who chose love, peace, and rock-‘n-roll as their mantra? Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. They built their first café on London’s Hyde Park corner as the first “classless” restaurant in the class-laden English society.

Today there are more than 175 Hard Rock locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues in 55 countries. Emblazoned on the wall of every property is, “Love All, Serve All.” It is the life—and business—success principle that Tigrett borrowed from his guru in India.

The Seminole Tribe acquired the Hard Rock companies in 2007, continuing to keep its love-based culture alive. Their mottos are still visible: “Love All, Serve All,” “Take Time to Be Kind,” “All Is One,” and “Save the Planet.” And how’s this for a core value: “Deliver kick-ass service.”

Southwest Airlines is another company that fearlessly embraces love (“LUV”) as a fundamental principle.

Read more

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. When your plan is done well, it enables you to get clear, get organized, get going, and get results as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

There are four phases of the process to create your strategic plan:

  • In the 1st Phase, you and your team get clear about the direction to take the organization and why to do it;
  • In the 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to get organized and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and why to do it;

Read more

What I love about a well-done strategic planning process is that it accomplishes collaboration and cooperation throughout your organization. Having everyone participate in the process naturally creates enthusiastic buy-in and support all the way from the top tier of the organization to the frontline.

The Strategic Alignment Model shows what’s possible with respect to involving more and more people in the process as it unfolds. It is a natural, cascading effect—similar to water flowing down terraces in a mountain stream. Read more

With 2016 nearly wrapped up, I hope that you are taking a deep, contemplative breath and a little time for personal reflection.

Every year we weave a unique tapestry of adventures we have experienced, successes we have accomplished, and setbacks we have suffered.

Reflect on the Past Year

Part of my ritual this time of year is to list these significant events that have occurred in my life, both personally and professionally, so I can fully view and appreciate the tapestry I co-created. It includes projects completed, activities enjoyed, problems faced, milestones reached, unforeseen circumstances overcome, etc. Some within my control, some not. What I have grown to know is that each experience was necessary to bring me to the present moment.

Jump Start Your New Year

Whatever our past year’s tapestry looks like, the beauty of the dawn of a New Year, is that we get to envision a new tapestry. It is time to begin selecting some of the threads and colors, and identifying the themes we desire.

Our greatest opportunity for 2017 is to apply our talents, skills and abilities more fully to make the finest tapestry possible.

Personal goal setting and strategic planning are creative tools that enable us to design our personal and professional tapestry.

If you are a business owner, thinking of starting a new business, or are a leader in an organization this upcoming class will help you to jump start your strategic planning process and make your 2017 tapestry your best yet. It is my honor to partner again with Greater Phoenix SCORE to facilitate this engaging how-to class, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Read more

Facilitating MeetingsWhen asked to facilitate a group meeting, equip yourself with the right tools to energize the participants and accomplish the objectives.

Last week I had the honor and pleasure to facilitate an afternoon SCORE workshop for a group of small business owners titled, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Being directly after lunch, I knew the session needed to crackle with energy or else nap time would soon be upon us.

Here are some of my favorite group facilitation tools and tips for captivating the attention of participants and accomplishing meeting objectives:

  1. Clear Meeting Objectives– Prior to the facilitation, get together with key leaders and stakeholders to define the objectives of the upcoming meeting. These objectives are your ultimate targets, or goals, to accomplish.
  2. Written Agenda– Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at how many meetings I have attended at which people don’t know why they are there. A written agenda, at the very least, provides a good framework to channel discussions. Sending it out to the participants before the meeting is a bonus.
  3. Declarations of Understanding– I begin every facilitated meeting by asking the participants, “What are your desires and expectations for this meeting and of me.” I capture their ideas on a flipchart. Then I share with the participants what I desire and expect of them, listing everything on another flipchart. Next, I hang both flipcharts on a wall so we can all refer to them throughout the meeting, if necessary, in order to keep things on track. My favorite desires and expectations of participants are:

Read more

 Strategic Planning Facilitation

(This is the second of two posts highlighting this powerful 12-step process. Click here to read about the first 6-steps in last week’s article.)

12-Step Strategic Planning ProcessEnergize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process that helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.

Here are the remaining steps of the 12 steps of the strategic planning process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

 

Get Organized…

  1.  Do Some Soul Searching – Warren Buffet said “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” When you reflect on and understand your Strengths, Possible improvements, Opportunities and Challenges (SPOC Analysis) as an organization, you can chart the best course toward your goals and figure out the actions needed to reach your company vision.
  1.  Focus Your Energy – What you focus on expands and grows stronger, so, focus your attention on your desired intention. Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
  1.  Chart Your Course – Companies that use strategic planning to set only financial targets are missing out on some of the most rewarding benefits and possibilities. Establish goals that will be inspiring and energizing, not just financial targets to achieve. Involve your employees in the process before you get too far down the path.

Read more

Energizing FacilitationThe success of your strategic planning process depends upon selecting the right facilitator. This person will be the foundation upon which everything is built during the process.

It is critical that you choose a neutral facilitator(s) in order to guarantee that everyone’s voice will be heard. An experienced facilitator will guide the process without bias, ask the tough questions, and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to provide input. A skilled, seasoned facilitator will keep things fun, engaging, and on track by using an array of tools in his or her facilitation tool box—including storyboarding, small group activities, teambuilding elements, interactive dialogue, and intimate experiences—all seamlessly interwoven throughout the natural unfoldment of the process.

Fa·cil·i·ta·tor One that facilitates; especially: one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision ~Merriam Webster Dictionary

The science of facilitation is the step-by-step activity. It is what needs to be done to complete each element of the process, while progressively asking the right questions at the right time—each question building upon the next.

The art of facilitation is how you go about accomplishing it. It involves sensing the energy of the participants and knowing when to ask a tough question that will reveal the “elephant in the room”—a vital issue that is screaming for attention and crying out to be resolved. The art requires listening beneath the words for deeper meaning. It entails using uplifting energy and wit to lighten up tense situations.

The success of your strategic planning process will depend upon how safe people feel in sharing their deepest thoughts and feelings. Read more

Tim McGrawHave you heard Tim McGraw’s new song Humble and Kind (written by Lori McKenna)? I dare you to listen and watch the amazing video collaboration with Oprah Winfrey and Wes Edwards and not be deeply moved. I have.

 

https://www.facebook.com/TimMcGraw/videos/10153924575173556/

The lyrics speak of simple truths to happiness, fulfillment and success in life and business. What would your family and business life be like if your children and employees practiced these simple principles from the song:

Hold the door, say please, say thank you

Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie

I know you got mountains to climb but

Always stay humble and kind

When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you

When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride but

Always stay humble and kind

 

Don’t expect a free ride from no one

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why

Bitterness keeps you from flyin’

Always stay humble and kind

If so moved, please feel free to share this blog post and video with your employees, family, and friends. Let’s use our power and influence to radiate a timely ripple of good character to all those we touch.

Much happiness, fulfillment, and success,

Ray

 

Core Values GraphicWhat does your organization stand for—your core values? Successful business owners understand how vital a company’s core values are to creating a company culture that results in happy, productive, successful employees, which, in turn, leads to happy customers and a healthy bottom-line.

Values are your guide for weathering ethical dilemmas. They become the fabric for weaving good sound decisions. Values become your employees’ moral compass. For your company’s values to permeate throughout your organization, it will take conscious, consistent, deliberate actions.

Jim Collins & Jerry Porras (authors, Built to Last) say…

“The only truly reliable source of stability is a strong inner core [purpose and values] and the willingness to change and adapt everything except that core.”

Core values form the root system of your organization. Values nourish and stabilize your company. They represent the ideals that your organization stands for. They form your legacy. The more widespread and deeply imbedded your values, the more likely it is that your organization will stand the test of time. A company that knows and practices core values can weather storms and the winds of change… (Click here to read more of this LinkedIn article)

 

(Adapted from Chapter 3 of my new book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Read free chapters and learn more at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)