Energize Your Business cover

Hope you’re having a very Happy Holiday season.

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Much success and fulfillment,

Ray

The SPOC Analysis

Here is a great employee engagement exercise for every leader to build into their end of year routine before beginning strategic planning for the new year.

Before beginning any journey, you first need to know where you are. To better understand where you are in business its helpful to know what got you here. Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, and philanthropist, says…

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

Remember the last time you were planning a trip and consulted a map? First, you identified your current position. Next, you located your destination. And then you figured out the best route between the two points.

In a similar manner, applying the elements presented in this article will enable you first to understand your current position as an organization so you can chart the best course to achieve your company’s values, mission and vision.

It’s time to do some soul-searching. The deeper you choose to go into your analysis, the easier your next steps will be. Some facilitators call this next part of the process a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). But I like to call upon a “higher source” by renaming this soul-searching aspect the SPOC analysis (Strengths, Possible Improvements, Opportunities, and Challenges). It may seem trivial, but I’ve always loved the logical- and positive-minded Mr. Spock, from “Star Trek,” so I suppose this is a tribute to him. Rest in peace, legendary actor Leonard Nimoy. Thanks for the memorable v-shaped hand signal and the benevolent affirmation…

 “Live long and prosper.”

So, what is the SPOC analysis; and why should you do it? In the process of building your business, the SPOC analysis offers a great, revealing way to assess where you are right now and then to scan the business environment in order to anticipate the possibilities that might present themselves on your journey toward achieving your values, mission and vision. It also identifies key areas that you may want to focus attention upon in the form of goals, objectives, or strategies. We’ll discuss more about that later.

Are you ready? Here’s how the SPOC Analysis process works:

  1. Answer the question “What are your organization’s Strengths?” These are the areas in which your organization does well, in which you excel. Capitalize on these strengths, and your organization will prosper, your teams will maximize their potential, and your employees will be productive and fulfilled.
  2. Answer the question “What Possible Improvements would help your organization to be more successful?” These are areas in which you may presently be experiencing some deficiencies. When guiding leaders through this segment of the SPOC analysis, I prefer to coach them to be proactive in identifying what needs to be improved in order to achieve their core purpose, core values, mission, and vision more quickly and effectively. These deficiencies act as speed bumps, slowing your progress.
  3. Answer the question “What potential Opportunities could be seized to move your organization toward accomplishing its mission and vision?” These ideas are most likely untapped activities and projects, or knowledge and skill-building events. Taking advantage of these opportunities will accelerate your progress toward success.
  4. Answer the question “What Challenges may need to be overcome?” Consider them as obstacles or roadblocks standing in the way of achieving success. These challenges could even be showstoppers for you and your company. Like water flowing along a rocky stream, you will need to find creative solutions in order to make your way over, around or through these obstacles in order to realize your mission and vision.
  5. If they didn’t surface when you were brainstorming the “Opportunities” and “Challenges,” what trends are emerging in your industry?

Answers to these five questions will help you to identify goals, objectives and strategies on which to focus your organization’s energy and attention.

So, why not do some soul searching before planning the new year…

  1. What are your Strengths as an organization?
  2. What are Possible Improvements in order for your organization to succeed?
  3. What Opportunities could you pursue to accelerate your progress?
  4. What are potential Challenges that may stand in your way toward achieving success?
  5. What trends are emerging in your industry?

Much success and fulfillment and Happy Holidays,

Ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Adapted from Chapter 6 of Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process by Ray Madaghiele.)

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celebrateSuccessful companies celebrate often and use their celebrations as opportunities to reinforce their cultural values.

To keep the fires of company enthusiasm stoked, show appreciation for all the valiant efforts of your team. This extremely effective motivator costs nothing and has a lasting, positive effect. Create a culture of Acknowledgment. Show appreciation for individual and team achievements. Praise the slightest improvement. Praise every improvement. And by all means, share the wealth through bonuses and/or other concierge benefits.

Celebrate milestones achieved. Celebrate each other. Think of fun ways to show appreciation.

There is great power in appreciation. When it comes to our finances, we want our bottom-line and our investments to appreciate—to increase in value…to rise…to escalate. When it comes to human nature, appreciation has a similar relevance. As human beings, we all want to feel uplifted and valued—as friend, family member, employee. William James said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

To illustrate the power of this principle, let me share my recent experience as an interviewer on a job interview panel. One of the applicants shared that the main reason she wanted to leave her existing job was, she didn’t feel appreciated by her boss. When she talked with her boss about important matters, she reported, he didn’t seem interested. She also observed that he was often critical. “The only thing that seems to matter to him,” she said, “is the bottom-line.” His lack of appreciation at the personal level had caused this valuable employee to seek employment elsewhere. Could this be happening in your organization?

Why does something as simple as showing appreciation have such a phenomenally positive effect? Because it invokes a fundamental, universal principle. Social psychologists call it the natural Law of Reciprocity. Reciprocity refers to the human tendency to respond to a positive action with an equally positive action, rewarding kind actions with kindness. Reciprocity means that, in response to friendly actions, people are frequently much nicer and much more co-operative.

Physicists call it the Law of Cause and Effect: For every action, there is a reaction.
Meta-physicians call it the Law of Attraction: Like attracts like.

Dr. Masaru Emoto, researcher and author of Hidden Messages in Water, who studied the effect of words on our water-dominant human physiology said, “Water has a message for the world: The world is linked together by love and gratitude . . . The words ‘gratitude’ and ‘love’ form the fundamental principles of the laws of nature and the phenomenon of life.”

When we express gratitude or appreciation to another person, they feel better; and, simultaneously, we feel better at a deep, cellular level. It actually strengthens our molecular bond with each other.

Try this simple self-assessment: Do you receive far more appreciation than you deserve—yes or no? Do you regularly dish out healthy portions of honest, sincere appreciation to associates, friends, and family members—yes or no? Could there be a correlation?

The bottom-line: if you want more appreciation, show more appreciation.
If you want to brighten a person’s day and lift productivity, give an honest, sincere compliment.

If you want to increase the productivity of your team, create a culture of appreciation and acknowledgment in which people are catching other people in the act of doing things right. Similar to throwing a pebble into a pond, you will send a powerful ripple of gratitude throughout your organization.

Lao Tzu said, “Your behavior influences others through a ripple effect. A ripple effect works because everyone influences everyone else. Powerful people are powerful influences.”

“Your behavior influences others through a ripple effect. A ripple effect works because everyone influences everyone else. Powerful people are powerful influences.”

Enjoy creating a positive ripple of appreciation this holiday season with your team members, with your family, and beyond.

Much success and fulfillment,

Ray

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Adapted from Chapter 10 of Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process by Ray Madaghiele. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz .)

 

Golden Rule 02These turbulent global times demand that we return to basic universal principles both personally and professionally.

Here are some examples of successful organizations that deliver exemplary service by putting into practice a simple, timeless, and powerful core value—The Golden Rule. If you think it’s “too touchy-feely” for your organization, think again.

How about Hewlett Packard’s “The HP Way”— which focuses on respect and concern for the individual. It is simply the Golden Rule, which says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

HP was identified in Built to Last, by James Collins and Jerry Porras, as one of the most successful visionary companies of the past hundred years.

One of the most popular business books of all time, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, dedicates over half its contents to illustrating different facets of “The Golden Rule.” Since the book’s release in 1936, it has sold more than 15 million copies. Today, it is still listed on bestseller lists along with other current top-selling business books.

Not convinced yet? One of the oldest and largest business associations, Rotary International, advocates applying “The 4-Way Test” in making sound business decisions.

Before deciding a course of action, apply “The 4-Way Test” to the things we think, say and do:

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

These are all facets of “The Golden Rule!”

Conclusion: It simply makes good business (and personal) sense to invoke this universal principle of service in order to attract and retain customers (and valued employees).

Whenever I facilitate the core values portion of the strategic planning process, I begin by asking the participants to brainstorm these two types of Golden Rule questions:

  • “How do you like to be treated as an employee?” and
  • “How do your customers like to be treated?”

Answering these simple, yet profound, questions will establish or clarify the behavioral values of your organization. Also, the greater the number of employees you involve in defining “their own behavioral values,” the greater will be their enthusiastic buy-in for implementing them.

You will find that these values also provide a worthwhile tool for measuring individual and team service success.

So, how do you like to be treated?

Much success and fulfillment,

Ray

Ray Madaghiele is Chief Inspiration Officer at Business Energizers, a division of TLC, an organizational and human excellence company.

Ray is the author of the book Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process, which was launched last week. Learn more or purchase at www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz . This article is adapted from Chapter 11.

Ray is a Master Facilitator who has a unique lifestyle as a full-time RVer, operating his business while he and his wife, Lyn, roll across North America. Their present RV lifestyle evolved from Ray’s 3,369 mile, 70 day, transformational bicycle ride from Phoenix, AZ to Ground Zero New York City in 2002.

Business Energizers Logo 2015-07-09This blog is dedicated to all the passionate business owners and leaders who have the courage to take a leap of faith to act on their dreams.

On this page, I will share proven, practical tools and tips accumulated over my 25 years of experience facilitating groups, developing training and workshops, and providing leadership coaching.  I will begin by drawing from my new book, Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Click here to learn more www.EnergizeYourBusiness.biz.

Together we will explore what truly energizes organizations. Please feel open to share your own personal experiences.

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Also, please follow me on my social media channels so that we can deepen our connection and you can share these posts with your friends and associates.

Much prosperity and success,

Ray Madaghiele

Chief Inspiration Officer

Business Energizers, a division of Transformational Learning Center